Tag Archives: macrobiotic

Arthritis and Diet

Toasted Sesame Seeds

Short Grain Brown Rice and Electric Steamer

These two picture represent a radical switch in the change in my lifestyle.

Brown rice is the staple food in the Macrobiotic Diet and most on the diet like myself put toasted sesame seeds on their rice.

I talked a bit in the last few posts about going back into macrobiotics and vegan, but besides for weight loss, there is another major reason.

I have arthritis.

It is not official. I still need to see a Rheumatologist and get x-rayed or an MRI, but everything I have read suggests that I have a pretty classic cast for someone my age who also has psoriasis.

I have some on a joint on both hands, which is not too bad. But the real issue is that I now have it on the right side of the bottom of my lower back.

What does this means?

Almost over night I went from being normal functioning person (just out of shape) too not.

It is now hard to walk up stairs, walk fast, I need to be careful getting out of bed, getting up from sitting, getting out of the car and a subtle twist in motion can set it off.

And forget lifting heavy things, jogging or other activities.

It basically sucks. (Maybe I will look back and be grateful, but not today)

I feel like I became a old person over night. This all basically started a week or so ago at least on my back.

As for what to do about it, I am taking glucosamine/chondroitin, which is the standard go to supplement for arthritis and I am also taking fish oil.

The big change is a switch in diet, which is anti-inflammatory like macro/vegan.

This is all in the try and see phase because no one really knows what to do. I a still waiting for a treatment for psoriasis that won’t destroy my immune system in the process (and not even work).

As for medical science, besides for a handful of meds with major side effects (I cannot even take advil because of a reaction and hydrocortisone, which cause sblotting…also bad because it can create edema) I am basically on my own.

This is about the time Dr. House is suppose to come in with his miracle cure after misdiagnosing me at least three other times. He will give me some meds, a shot or IV drip to make me all better.

But that is TV and this is real life.

With that said, there are a bunch of books on arthritis with diet, supplements and exercise with some folks (on amazon book review) stating positive results.

At least that is something.

In the mean time a macro/vegan diet (with some fish) is the course of action.

No matter what, losing the 80-90 pounds I need to will help out my back (I hope) and I need to do this no matter what.



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.