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Old 04-17-2013, 03:32 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
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My main reason for eating vegetarian or macro is health related and the idea of animals rights doesn't enter into it that much. I could feel sorry for the animals but I don't think about it, although I couldn't eat chicken for years after seeing my grandfather lop the head off my favorite hen when I was a little child.

Humans have hunted and eaten animals since prehistoric days so I just don't have that much against eating animal meat on that basis. I make sure it's as natural as it can get and that's about all I can do except to not eat much of it. If I don't eat meat I feel weak so I do include a little bit of it. I totally respect other people's reason for being meat free.

Today I made a smoothie of banana, pineapple, and rice milk. Supper will probably be tacos make with tomatoes, onions, guacamole, etc. Back to miso soup tomorrow morning though. Must get some beans soaking too.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:20 AM
 
Location: Volcano
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Originally Posted by jtaustin View Post
I had miso soup for breakfast, and it was good and quite filling. I garnished it with the grated daikon raddish, which yes, seems to me to taste exactly like our regular old raddish, maybe less harsh.
Daikon is very mild, without the sharp spiciness of the kinds of radishes Americans have traditionally eaten. It's also eaten cooked, while salad radishes are typically eaten raw. You can't really substitute them for daikons in macrobiotic cooking, but they are used as pickles.

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The miso soup was 1/2 $hitake mushroom broth/bottled water, julienne $hitake mushroom, potatoe and carrots, a sliced garlic clove, sliced ginger, with the miso paste added last. It was good. I was disappointed that I forgot to get green onions at the store, but next time.
This does not sound like an authentic macrobiotic recipe to me, because of the white potato (sweet potato is ok). Keep in mind that there are lots of miso soup recipes, but they are not necessarily macrobiotic. For one thing, in macrobiotic miso you add the miso last, for only about 2 minutes, and never boil it. The miso paste is a living culture, and the maximum probiotic benefit comes from consuming it while the culture is still alive. You also choose the type of miso to use... light, dark, red... barley, soy, chickpea, brown rice, azuki bean, etc., depending on the time of year and other factors.

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Macrobiotic writings sometime include the prohibition of nightshade vegetables, tomatoes and potatoes. But miso soup can include potatoes.
Potatoes are not used, nor are any of the nightshades, in the Kuchi system I studied, which is probably the purest expression of George Oshawas teachings for Americans. As various people have tried to "Westernize" macrobiotics to make it more acceptable to the American public's taste, I think they've lost some of the basic values. For the straight stuff, check out Kushi Institute - where health comes naturally . They also have an online store where you can buy all the various food specialties as well as cookbooks and knives and rice pots and surabachis and other kitchen items serious macrobiotic cooks use: Kushi Store

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So not sure why this exclusion, or the exclusion of coffee.
Macrobiotics is based on healing theories about balancing elements and energies in the body, and acid vs alkaline, and expansive (yin) vs. contractive (yang), and some foods are simply too overpowering to balance well. Coffee is one of those. In macrobiotics you would drink a much lighter beverage, like a light brewed tea made with green tea leaves and roasted brown rice. No sugar, no milk.

This complexity can be very confusing at first, which is why I think you're best off using complete meal plans, which take everything into account and give you well balanced nutrition. And follow the lists of what to avoid... like tropical fruits, and spinach and tomatoes... until you're experienced enough to understand why they are to be avoided, and can... if you desire... carefully experiment with introducing them into your diet.

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There are no microbiotic cooking classes here, or yoga, for that matter. I need to move.
1) Do you have a public library? If so, you may be able to find additional books about macrobiotics there. Otherwise, you've got the internet. Here's a good basic explanation of the basic elements.
Macrobiotic diet - the five elements

2) Do you have access to a health food store? If so, ask them if they know of any macrobiotic support in the area. And check "affinity group" web sites... there could be something like a Meetup Group you can find.

Good luck!
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:48 AM
 
Location: Volcano
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Originally Posted by jtaustin View Post
My first day on the macrobiotic regime did not go well. Bad gas pains in the evening and all night, which I attribute to the undercooked edaname beans. Big mistake on my part and they went back in the freezer, to be thrown away when the trash is taken out.
Oh, my, no need to throw them out!

Somebody should have told you... switching to a macrobiotic diet will change how your digestive system works, and it may take a while to settle down. It's not unusually to feel bloated or gassy at the beginning, particularly when introducing new foods that your system isn't used to yet. Daikon is another food that can cause gas for some people.

Remember, the brown rice should be 50 - 60% of your food intake every day. This is a high fiber, low fat diet, which is what many experts consider optimum for long life. But it is so completely different from a typical American diet... even a vegetarian one... that most people find that their "elimination" cycle changes in various ways... timing, amount, etc.

If you find yourself reacting to something new, as you think you did with the edamame, just dial it back, and try it again later in small quantities. A half dozen edamame in a bowl of miso, for example, is plenty to start with. And chew them very thoroughly, to allow the digestive enzymes in your saliva to reach as much of the mass of the bean as possible. Underchewing can dramatically increase the gas you experience.

You can also ask at your health food store for a digestive aid, an enzyme supplement that can help break down the hard-to-digest sugars that cause the gas.

BTW, if you used frozen, shelled beans the edamame were probably not undercooked. 5 minutes is about all they need to make them appetizingly hot, and they should be firm, not mushy. Matter of fact, since they are typically partially cooked as part of the processing, you can even use them "raw," as I do sometimes for salads. On the other hand, if you got fresh whole ones, in the hull, they do need about 20 minutes worth of steaming to prepare them.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:31 AM
 
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Humans have hunted and eaten animals since prehistoric days so I just don't have that much against eating animal meat on that basis.
I certainly agree that human history is a history of violence, but I don't find the argument convincing. We have emerged over time as more ethical overall, and animals have evolved with us; there is no reason not to try to be less violent and what is going on in factory farms is unconscionable. See the works of the artist Jo Frederiks:

https://www.facebook.com/#!/Jo.Frederiks

But your views are admittedly in the majority, at present. No doubt about that. I do think (or hope) that there will be a tipping point where the ethic moves to unacceptance of these horrors, and I think young people are going in this direction. There is really no reason to eat meat when there are plenty of delicious substitutes, and the consequences of factory farms are so damaging to the environment. But everyone who is courageous will address these issues in their own way. But you have to be willing to look at the realities.

@OpenD: Thank you for your extensive post. I may be too tired and too depressed to do this perfectly from the beginning. I do have several books on the subject.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:48 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,621 posts, read 18,693,933 times
Reputation: 33338
Even macrobiotics suggests that we eat fish and I, for one, cannot get enough protein without fish. I would rather never eat meat or fish because I don't like the taste but I am doing this for my own health and I have to eat what I need.

On a macrobiotic diet many years ago my main problems were with the lack of protein because I couldn't get fresh, good tasting fish and that the diet was too salty for me.

As for nightshades, I strongly avoided them but I am still using them at this time as I ease back into the diet. I try to not eat them very often though.

Well, I've had my beans soaking all night with a strip of kombu and I haven't even had my miso soup yet. I have to get out and buy some good greens for it though. I use frozen greens until my own are ready to pick. I like beet greens but not what you'd get in the grocery store, sprayed with who knows what.

Thanks, OpenD, for the great posts.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:25 PM
 
7,099 posts, read 9,306,087 times
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Originally Posted by jtaustin View Post
I'm going to see if I can find dashi today. I really like the taste of miso, but according to some recipes online for miso soup, one should wait to add the miso after cooking the other ingredients in order to get the full benefit. Also going to get the edamame, though it's in the frozen vegetable section.

Chewing a lot is a difficult habit to establish, at least for me. But all of this is, I am convinced, more healthy, both for the individual and the environment. And it's really not a diet or a temporary fix but a change in personal philosophy. But I'm preaching to the choir.

But when you go macro, you HAVE to chew more. the food is hardly processed at all. It's sort of built in.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,539,229 times
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Originally Posted by jtaustin View Post
I may be too tired and too depressed to do this perfectly from the beginning.
Don't worry about doing it perfectly. You can't, you won't, you never will.

The fact that you are being deliberate and conscious about your diet is half the battle. Now what there is to do is to continue to learn, and to apply what you have learned.
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