Coming soon, an interview will be published in the online macrobiotic journal Nishime with other counsellors. Here is the interview in English.
Before I started practicing macrobiotics, I was not satisfied with my life. I was searching for something meaningful. When I was younger, reading George Ohsawa’s message about personally creating the health and life that you want started me on the macrobiotic path. His message was dramatically different from anything I had encountered before. When I found out about macrobiotics, I learned that I could guide my own health as well as my life. Now I wake up each day wondering about what I can do, what I can learn, what I can discover–how I can live more and more fully each day.
Diet and lifestyle choices have great power to influence our health and life. Macrobiotic philosophy and lifestyle provides basic guidelines that help us to gain a sense of control over our life, and also help us learn how to create lasting health for ourselves and families on a daily basis. As our health improves, healthy food becomes more delicious and satisfying. At this point, desire guides our macrobiotic practice. The discipline then, is not in eating healthy food, it is in the shopping, sitting down to meals, and blocking out time to cook. Perhaps the best thing is that once you start practicing macrobiotics, you become part of a growing, global community that is interested in personal, social, spiritual, and environmental health.
I still weigh the same as when I was 16, and I am still relatively flexible. As the years go by, my thinking has become more clear and open, which is in contrast to the idea that as we age, our minds deteriorate. Retirement for me is neither an intention nor a goal. When I reached sixty, I felt like I was entering the next phase of my life, where I could use my previous experience in new ways. Macrobiotics has given me the mental and physical vitality and clarity to live my life as an adventure and well as the practical tools to share and pass on what I have gained to other people.
There are certain changes in lifestyle that may be perceived of as difficult, such as buying food and finding somewhere for dining out, which requires a bit more forethought. These considerations are a deterrent for some. But overall, I find many peoples’ attitude towards macrobiotics and lack of acceptance (or the unwillingness to give the practice a chance) to be the most challenging thing as a practitioner. Even though macrobiotics is the longest-standing diet and lifestyle practice, it is also still the most progressive at the same time. Over the years, I have noticed a growing stigma against being thin and fit. I have also noticed a very strong attack against vegetarian, vegan, and macrobiotic practitioners from the animal and dairy industries as well as from biased nutritional research that is very confusing for some people. Of course, there are also on-going social difficulties as they relate to finding food to eat, and what to prepare when in the company of people who don’t practice macrobiotics.
I believe that the combination of macrobiotic philosophy and understanding of history and tradition together with science can develop into a medicine for the future. Macrobiotics is a hub that can help refine, focus, and develop the benefits of the vegetarian and vegan way of life. Macrobiotic philosophy has the potential and ability to guide and combine the unique aspects of plant-based eating into a comprehensive nutrition and lifestyle guide for future generations. The future of macrobiotics depends on shifting the current widespread image that the practice is restrictive and isolating to the reality that the practice is a growing and expanding process of discovery that fosters vitality, creativity, and openness. We encourage adding healthy foods and developing life-supporting habits as opposed to avoiding certain foods and habits. It’s important that people understand that macrobiotics is much more than a cancer recovery diet. Sickness is a part of life and macrobiotics has a powerful ability to help people recover their health. This is because macrobiotic practice helps us to get in touch with and develop our innate and unique abilities that over time, naturally promotes personal, social, and environmental health.