Hello all! I've happily been eating a mostly lacavore, all vegan diet for some time, and just finished The Kind Diet. I had a bit of difficulty realizing the heavy influence of asian ingredients involved in a Macrobiotic lifestyle. Yes, given the origin of macrobiotics, it's quite natural, but I live in central-northern New Hampshire and don't have some of the more exotic ingredients at my disposal. Plus, though I adore asian foods, I prefer to have a wider variety of flavors on my palatte. Any reccomendations for me on getting access to the more obscure foods, and more importantly, working these foods into other styles of cooking? I want to stay true to my local, regional foods, and am having trouble reconciling my vegan locavore habits with a macrobiotic, asian focus.
Hi, that is my problem with macrobiotics too. It can't be that only the vegetables that were native to Japan are good and anything native to the Americas is bad. I was a macrobiotic in the 1970's, yeah I'm that old, so I've studied it and I think it is very limited. My opinion is that if we eat a plant based, whole food diet we are being superheros!
At least I'm not alone. New York's asian markets and California's variety in produce make this a diet a bit more acessible, but I don't feel it's as accessible from up here in the rurl Northeast. I love sea vegetables, picked, vinegar-y flavors, miso soups and and soy sauce, but don't want those flavors prodtruding out of every dish I make! Still hoping to make it work somehow, without having to reach across the continent(s) for pantry items. :)
You don't have to use Asian pantry items at all if you don't want to. I have yet to buy umeboshi plums, shoyu etc. And I still eat papayas, pineapples etc. Stick to whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans/lentils/seitan [if you want] and use whatever spice mix you like and you'll be good to go. Try not to get stuck on the individual items listed on TKD as the only way to do it. There are many variations - do what feels right to you depending on where you live, and what is readily available.
I live in Mass and even though I have been able tofind some of the more exotic items I prefer more local flavors and then add in some asian fare occasionally. I also find it more cost effective to purchase items native to the NE. I have only been Vegan for a little over a week and was feeling a little overwhealmed at first by all of the new recipes and unfamiliar foods. I then bought a couple Vegan cookbooks and Dr Barnards book that includes the 21 day kickstart and found plenty of options that were easier to find and make. It also is more in line with my New Year's Resolution to live a kinder life by helping my community by buying from local vendors.
I will still try to include various new recipes to shake up my new diet. But for now I feel like I am still on track as long I follow the basics of fruits, veggies,legumes and whole grains. BTW - I do feel great and losing wt so for now my own variations seems to be doing the trick:-)
I guess I'll stick with my instincts on this one, which you've affirmed, thanks! I do have quinoa, brown rice & other heritage grains, nori, miso, umeboshi vinegar & paste, and shoyu, I just don't use any of them much. I guess I was just a little let down with the approach to "superhero" eating in the book, since I'm already a vegan who eats locally. I have upped the grains, and rid myself of excess salt and sugars; I definitely prefer agave nectar to sugar, but brown rice or malt syrup I've yet to find. Thanks for the help! At least I feel I'm already on the right track anyway :)
You maybe able to find brown rice syrup on amazon.com. They have many different vegan products. I agree on the macrobotics issue. You are told in the book do not eat an orange because it is cooling and not natural to your area, but find some seaweed and eat that. I live in the midwest. Seaweed is not native. That being said I order some on line at eden.com and tried it in one recipe and liked it ok.
Hi guys, I was wondering a lot of the same things when reading the book. I think that the macrobiotic diet is meant to adjust to the individual person, male or female and the general climate that they are in. I think the environmental cost of transport is different. TKD is Alicia's personal favorite macrobiotic vegan dishes and gives a way for people to incorporate macrobiotic elements into the kinds of foods they like. I came across this video http://www.hipchicksmacrobiotics.com/blog/intro-to-macrobiotic-cooking/ when I was trying to answer some of the questions I had abnd mainly because i've been so fascinated by food lately. She gives a good tutorial about the macorbiotic diet. Some of the things she says seem kooky but actually kind of go along with some things from my intuition, so I might try and learn more...
Also sea vegetables are suposed to give you amazing skin and hair and shrink tumors
Thanks so much for this post! I just read My Beautiful Life - by Mina Dobic which recounts her personal story of how a macrobiotic diet cured her of stage IV ovarian cancer. A great book - but I too find macrobiotics kind of limiting... and I live in the NE as well, so finding all the staple ingredients is not always easy. I'm a vegan of four months, but have been reading a lot about raw foods and find I am more intrigued by that than microbiotics... I suppose it's just about finding what works for each of us as individuals
Lori, any idea if Susty's vegan cafe in Northwood, NH is still open ? We always try to stop there when in the area, she makes excellent food. Though a while back we heard rumor that she may be going on to do something else. Any info would be appreciated, thanks !