Macrobiotic Life Is a Practice, Not a Diet. ~ Lesley Glenner

Via elephant journal
on Oct 22, 2012
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Source: via Carol on Pinterest

Macrobiotic living is not a literal diet, but a philosophy, of which eating is a small portion.  

When people hear the word macrobiotic, it often conjures images of plain brown rice with seaweed, or an entire meal of seeds and grass. Often, as a result, they write off the diet as too extreme. When this happens, people are operating on misconceptions and a lack of true understanding of the full spectrum of the macrobiotic approach to health and happiness.

There is so much more to the macrobiotic lifestyle, and understanding its nuances can help anyone lead a more vibrant, peaceful, energized life- full of purpose, peace and awareness.

Some main pillars of macrobiotic practice are:

>  Macrobiotic theory is a movement for world peace.  The more in tune we are with how we nourish ourselves, the more in tune we will inevitably be with the world around us. It’s the ultimate of acting locally.

>  When we’re healthy, we’re able to live in integrity and follow our path.

>  To live in balance, it’s important to understand the seasons of the day and year, as well as the seasons of our lives. Once we learn balance, we will be able to notice when we are out of balance.

>  It’s also important to pay attention to what’s happening around and inside us—and to eat based on that. Food has energetic properties, and if we listen closely, we can hear how food is informing us about what we need.

Some common misconceptions about macrobiotic practice are:

>  It’s a limiting diet.

Quite the contrary. Like any addition to our life, we must adapt the macrobiotic theory and make it our own.  If we dislike some item that is highly recommended, we can feel free to skip it and eat something that warms our belly and makes us feel great inside.

>  It’s dogma.

Rather than following a strict regimen, we can have an organic relationship with a living system. We can make the practice our own—take what we like and let the rest wash over us.

Every body is unique in its needs and preferences. As we move through life, the kind of diet that works for us will change and adapt as we change and adapt. By staying attuned to these cycles, we will experience the full benefit of balanced nutrition.

As we learn more about the macrobiotic lifestyle, we will likely see we are living by many of the macrobiotic principles without realizing it.


Lesley Glenner, an attachment therapist, helps her clients to have healthy relationships in all areas of life.  This includes the relationship with self, intimate partners, family, food and past experiences.   She continually travels through the terrain of her own shadow, and is therefore able to skillfully and compassionately guide her clients through their own journey to experience clarity, empowerment, and happiness.

Lesley is the owner and founder of Holobeing, collaborative wellness center in Boulder Colorado.  The center will be hosting macrobiotic guru Warren Kramer for a special workshop Nov 1-3 2012.


Editor: Nikki Di Vigilio

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4 Responses to “Macrobiotic Life Is a Practice, Not a Diet. ~ Lesley Glenner”

  1. Hey All! I'm around and would love your comments, feedback, questions, etc.
    Love and Health,

  2. redtree says:

    Good article, Leslie.

    As someone who graduated from the Kushi Institute in the mid-80s, and went on to study with the better Macrobiotic teachers of that time, and taught many cooking classes, I'm glad someone is tackling the issues of Macrobiotics as being too dogmatic in its thinking and approach, as well as its very limiting diet. Because both of those were, and still are, real issues in the teaching and movement. To this day, when I pull out fresh elk meat, organic dairy, or something else not listed in any of the current macro books, I'm told "that's not Macrobiotic." Yet at 60 years old, I'm one of the healthiest in my tribe.

    There's so much good info in the over-arching philosophy of Macrobiotics. It's a challenge and a half to come up with a definition that gets beyond its early prejudices. I wish you luck in helping that happen!

  3. @redtree thanks for your post! And I appreciate your perspective as a macrobiotic practitioner. For me, the philosophy as opposed to the diet, was what was profound in my own life. I just hope I can be of benefit and help even one person find this path, no matter what it's called, if it helps them to heal and be in their integrity 🙂
    I resonate most with the tenant that Macrobiotics was a movement for world peace… "the family that eats together…"
    Thanks for your reflection, I'd love to hear more if you'd like to share.

  4. Sam says:

    You are correct. Macrobiotics is all about balance and without balance everything in reality is a mess. Unbalanced eating and thinking create so much chaos. Which is why the standard American diet causes so many people to have a chaotic life, it is a very unbalanced diet. A good book is One Peaceful World by Michio Kushi.