Category Archives: Macrobiotic

Macrobiotic Redux

Ann Arbor Food

Tilapia with ginger orange and soy, steamed rice and miso/chili cabbage with red pepper

A few years back, I used to eat a Macrobiotic diet. The diet consisted of a lot of brown rice, veggies, beans and occasional fish.

At the time I was on the diet, I was very over weight and unhealthy and I turned to the program for health and weight loss. And it worked. In about a year, I had lost 90 pounds.

I was healthier and felt great.

Now, I find myself in pretty much where I was back then. I am 80-90 pounds over weight again. My bad habits kicked in over the years, but the Macrobiotic program in retrospect seemed too strict, which caused me to rebel against it.

But looking back now, I might have thrown out the baby with the bath water as the saying goes,

Instead of adding some items to a strict macro diet, I gave it all up. There were a lot of things that actually work, some that didn’t, but as a based diet it worked.

Macrobiotic introduced me to brown rice, sea vegetables, shiitake mushrooms, the use of miso, and dark leafy green veggies like kale and collards. It also got me into radishes, turnips and winter squash.

And macro introduced me to beans and fermented food like quick pickles.

I also learned about macro desserts, which using rice syrup, barley malt and maple for sweeteners instead of crystal sugar. They also use fresh and dried fruits and whole wheat flour or rice for sweet puddings.

With that said, the  version of the Macrobiotic diet I followed did not allow:

Meat, dairy, Eggs
Spices (including black pepper)
Garlic, Ginger
Very limited use of oil in cooking (non preferred)
Most herbs (except parsley)
Raw Food (no salad, or raw fruit)
Limited baked good, limited use of baking for cooking
No nightshade veggies (eggplant, tomato, potato, and peppers)
No spinach or chard
No chocolate
No tropical food (coconut, fruits)
No Coffee
No fried food (limited)

Fish was allow, but limited (non preferred)
Nut butters were allow (to be avoided or limited)

For those not familiar with macro who are looking at the No list, you might ask, “What the heck can you eat.”

My new approach to Macro is a hybrid. I plan to use the items on the No List, while keeping to the foundation of the Macrobiotic Diet of brown rice, veggie and bean based meals.

The meal above represents my new take.

It has the macro brown rice staple and includes a veggie dish with steamed fish. But I include a little oil in the rice, ginger with the fish, and red peppers and chili sauce with the vegetable. And for good measure, I have a (raw) orange with the meal.

The meal was tasty and uber healthy.

I can’t help but think if I allow myself a little more leeway with macro and ate meals like this one, I would not have gained back the weight.