The seal above is Ishoku Dogen (å»é£åæºï¼, a profound Japanese saying that means “Food Is Medicine.” It can also be translated as “Food is the Key to Health.” This saying has been part of the Asian heritage of wisdom for thousands of years.
Today, modern science and medicine have begun to agree with this ancient wisdom. More and more, people are realizing that diet is directly connected with our health and well-being. What we eat, what’s in it, and how it’s prepared is so very important. That is the Macrobiotic point of view.
- Japanese eat slowly, the length of any individual meal time should be longer than 20 mins and ideally 30 mins to 45 mins. When I was young, my grandma told me to chew 50 times for each mouthful, but realistically chewing 7-10 times per mouthful is enough.
- A common traditional Japanese meal is soup (miso or savoury soya), a bowl of steamed or boiled rice, and a main such as fish / meat/ tofu, along with a few side dishes of seasonal vegetables.Â For dessert we eat seasonal fruit.Â Typically the meal consists ofÂ 50-55% carbs, 25-30% protein, and the rest vegetables and fruit.Â A traditionalÂ Japanese diet is a balanced high fibre diet + eating until only 80% full, and with seasonal ingredients.
- Don’t eat or drink alcohol afterÂ 8:30pm and don’t eat 3 hours before going bed. If you go to bed aroundÂ 11pm, don’t eat afterÂ 8pm. In these modern times this is sometimes very difficult, so if you must eat late at night, just eat a small portion of food.
- Drink water or green/brown tea with a meal.Â Sometimes we drink beer or sake with meal, but it is usually a small amount such as 100-150ml.
- Japanese adjust meal portions the following day if we had big portion the previous day.
- Exercise at least 30 mins every day.Â Ideally 40-60 mins per day.Â Walk, jog, do sports, yoga, pilates, dancing, gardening, cleaning house, etc..
- Don’t accumulate or hold stress everyday.Â Stress creates a huge setback for losing weight. Find a way to de-stress every day.
- Connect with the season and try to make a homemade meal each day.Â Try to eat seasonal vegetables and fruit and reduce the amount of ready meals you eat every week.Â Many ready meals contain high fat, high sugar, high salt and lack of nutrients such as important vitamins.
- Be happy or make yourself happy. Â Think about your happiness.
- Review your food diary every night.