The SHI approach to macrobiotics includes adding to your diet and lifestyle – not taking away. This means it is not all-or-nothing, you can go at your own pace. Additionally, from a diet perspective, we base things off of the cuisine of all the longstanding civilizations around the world, rather than a specific region of the world only.
For us, a person’s lifestyle and how they eat is also important (not just what you eat). In the broadest sense, macrobiotics should be adapted to people’s needs and conditions now. It should not feel restrictive or too narrow in lifestyle decisions, meals or ingredient choices.
It’s Not All-or-Nothing
If you are familiar with the 7 steps to the SHI approach to macrobiotics, you likely already know of the focus on the spirit of health. In order to cultivate it, we must focus on will power rather than love. This is how we can get to lasting health.
Health is a direction that we move either towards or away from at any time. It is not a fixed destination. But, many times people feel as though they are either healthy or they aren’t. And, their diet and lifestyles follow that philosophy as well. This causes them to focus closely on very strict rules to remain healthy. Of course, this frequently ends up harming people by making impossible long-term choices that fall flat after a matter of time.
To avoid burnout of your diet or lifestyle choices, make sure to focus on adding in healthy aspects, rather than removing those that aren’t perfect. And, if that plan isn’t perfect, that’s okay. If you have a sweet tooth and are particularly fond of a specific candy, then allow yourself to indulge responsibly. That way you don’t subconsciously feel restricted.
Incorporating Many Historically Sound Practices
The basis of the macrobiotic lifestyle is nothing new — it is based on principles established by the world’s most long-standing civilizations. For that reason, it should be considered the best, most natural way of life. Let’s look at how some of these practices evolved and ignored some of the disturbing changes to how humans interact with their food.
About 12,000 years ago was the retreat of the Ice Age in Northern Europe. Food was scarce so trading amongst neighboring societies helped to diversify the diet. Especially after ship building made such large improvements.
10,000 years ago we see the first evidence of agricultural villages that had the capability of cultivating a plethora of different grains and cereals. These grains started the modern day breads, bulgur, chapatti, couscous, pita, rice that we are all familiar with as a side dish for even the most extravagant meals.
There have been many changes between the earliest humans and modern day diets. For brevity, let’s just mention the outcome of the USDA Basic 7 food groups, which were released after WWII. Chemicals were being introduced to agriculture and technology and transportation were exponentially improving. So, unfortunately, the spread of this philosophy also grew rapidly and the diet of most humans changed drastically.
We focus on the older civilizations that thrived and incorporate their practices as our own. In some macrobiotic circles, you may see a very heavy focus on either Japanese or Mediterranean practices. For the SHI approach, we use things from all of the world to craft good diet and lifestyle practices.
Beyond Just a Diet
One could have the most diverse, healthy, diet possible and still be missing a major aspect of macrobiotics. It is not just about diet! Here are some the things that we believe are also important in addition to diet.
Make your daily life active. Walk outside for at least 30 minutes everyday and do life-related exercise that provides the most benefit for lasting health.
Give yourself a daily body rub. Did you know you can achieve new skin in just 28 days? This will help you get there and within that time, you will begin to feel like your glowing if you do the body rub each day. Don’t forget that our skin is the largest organ in our bodies.
Make time for your hobbies. They make balance for the more structured and pressured areas of life. Hobbies can also relieve stress and promote physical health and mental flexibility. Lastly, hobbies are important because life’s about having fun!