Yin & Yang, the Energy of foods

Macrobiotic nutrition help us follow the environmental rhythm and adjust to it, just as we choose to dress up warmly in winter or seek coolness in summer.

Meat, hard cheese, eggs give a much more contracting (Yang) result compared to vegetables, as they are the result of the concentration of the vegetal foods animals were eating.
In vegetables, roots and seeds are more Yang (contracted, dry) than the leafy vegetables and fruits (softer, juicer).
Aboveground plants growing close to the ground are more Yang compared to the ones growing on trees or higher from the ground.
Furthermore, the plants which grow faster, in warm climates and contain more liquids, are predominantly more Yin.
While those which grow slower in temperate or colder climate, are more dry and harder, are generally more Yang.

Since everything becomes balanced eventually, when we consume extremely Yang foods (meat, eggs, salty cheese, salt, baked goods), we naturally create a craving for the other extreme of Yin (sugar, alcohol, spices, fruit juices, tropical fruits, coffee, ice cream etc), in order to balance our condition.
This imbalance and oscillation on the edges, puts our health at risk, in all levels.
Our lifestyle and nutritional habits, play a substantial role in this.

The Model of Macrobiotic nutrition

“We are what we eat”. Our eating patterns, influence our whole existence.
It is a process without which we cannot survive and one that builds our physical body as well as our mental and emotional functions.
Many scientific researches prove the benefit of a Macrobiotic lifestyle and diet for human and environmental balance.
It is a natural and healthy way of preparing tasty meals with a variety of ingredients and cooking styles, which help the prevention of degenerative and chronic ailments.
Preparing food in a Macrobiotic way, gives a tasty, nutritious and suitable for all ages result. The variety of choices is enormous.














The Basic ingredients


40-50% of daily weight.
Products of organic and natural farming methods.
Including: Brown rice, barley, wheat, millet, oat, rye, quinoa, amaranth, corn, buckwheat, sorghum etc.
Other forms: pasta, noodles, kneaded bread naturally leavened, grain flakes, cracked grains/bulgur, semolina etc.

30-40% of daily weight.
Local and seasonal products, of organic and natural farming methods.
Cook with a variety of styles (boiled, blanched, steamed, sautéed with oil/water, pickled, pressed, raw)
Daily use: Cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkin, squash, parsley, turnip, carrot, onion, leek, scallions, daikon, cucumber.
Occasioanally: celery, lettuce/romaine salad, celery root, sweet potato, beetroots, zucchini.
Try to avoid nightshades (potato, tomato, pepper, aubergine), spinach.

5-15% of daily weight.
Products of organic and natural farming methods.
Including: Lentils, chickpeas, adzuki beans, red beans, white beans etc.
Bean products that can be used include: tempeh, natto, tofu and also seitan a grain product, all full of high quality plant based proteins.

5-10% of daily weight.
Daily soups can include vegetables, legumes, grains, seaweeds. Season with Miso, soy sauce (shoyu) or tamari sauce.

Prepare beverages made of traditional herbs, roasted barley or rice, roasted tea leaves (bancha) or tea twigs (kukicha) and grain coffee.
It is better to avoid intense, aromatic beverages and stimulants (coffee, black tea, cocoa).
Choose spring water if possible and drink water in room temperature, never cold.

Additional seasonings

Additional foods
include sea vegetables such as: nori, wakame, kombu, hiziki, arame, dulse, agar-agar. Τhey provide important quantities of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Cook them in soups, as a condiment or a side dish.
Seeds: sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds give richness to grains, salads or as a side dish.  can be lightly roasted or boiled to accompany meals. Dry nuts of temperate origin (e.g. walnuts, almonds, peanuts) can be used, in moderate amounts, as a snack or in dishes (salads, grains, sushi etc).
Fruits: fresh, dried or in a dessert, 2-3 times per week. Prefer temperate, locally grown and organically produced fruits. Try to limit or avoid altogether any tropical fruits, as they have a highly expansive energy, as well as fruit juices. Temperate fruits include: apples, pears peaches, apricots, plums, berries, strawberries, melons, watermelons.

Animal food
Considering the condition, place of living and needs of the person, one could consume white meat fish or seafood 1-2 times per week. Preferably in a soup, steamed or boiled. Replace the legume portion (5-10% of the weight) of the meal. Fish is a better substitute to meat, poultry and eggs in a transitional period towards a vegan Macrobiotic diet.

Gomashio or sesame salt, seaweed powder and cooked condiments, umeboshi, fermented pickles (without vinegar), pickled cabbage (sauerkraut), tekka, can all add flavor to our dishes.
Natural sweeteners to prefer: rice syrup, rice and barley malt syrup, amasake, mirin.
For sour taste use: brown rice vinegar, sweet brown rice vinegar, ume vinegar, umeboshi, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar.
Savoury condiments: natural unrefined sea salt, naturally fermented organic Miso, Soy sauce (Shoyu) and Tamari, can all give the necessary “saltness” and depth in our recipes.
Oils-that are proposed: sesame, olive, sunflower, corn oil, preferably of organic origin and unrefined.

Photo source here