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To Purchase "The End of Medicine",
LIVING MACROBIOTICALLY IN THE TROPICS.
I have received a request to discuss how to live macrobiotically
in the tropics. Many of the visitors to The Alchemycal Pages live
in South and Central America, The Far East, Middle East and Africa
and I live in Northern California and have spent my entire macrobiotic
life of 25 years living either in the United Kingdom or North
Thus I have no experience of living macrobiotically in anything
other than a northern temperate climate. However, I was born and
raised in Kenya, East Africa, which is right on the equator.
It is a mistake to believe that Kenya has one type of climate.
Within the confines of its borders are many different climates,
ranging from alpine, to rolling grassland plains, to wooded hills,
semi-desert, desert, tropical forests and upland meadows reminiscent
of Dorset and Cornwall in England.
Thus one cannot give any kind of blanket recommendations about
what and how to eat if you live in any particular climatic zone.
The main adage of macrobiotic living is "eat cooked locally
grown food in season".
So, the first task when we are living in any locality is to
find out what the indigenous native dietary habits are. Of course,
in this day and age where the western corporate materialistic
scientific world view has metastazised as a social carcinoma into
every region of the earth in the search for more "markets"
for their products , it is not necessarily easy to find out what
the local native indigenous dietary habits are, if they even exist
However, even in major cities with the corporate food chains
sprouting up everywhere there are still farmer's markets and the
like where the local natives living outside the cities bring their
fruits, vegetables, grains and animal products for sale. These
are the places to go and start doing your research to find out
the local, traditional native culinary choices.
Then, having obtained this knowledge and learned about the
native vegetables, grains and fruits that grow in the area of
the world where you are living, about how the natives have traditionally
cooked these foods and so forth, you then apply macrobiotic principles
to what you have learned.
These include that our principle daily food is cooked Whole
Grains, secondary foods are vegetables (roots, ground vegetables
and leafy greens) and these two categories comprise 70-80% of
our daily eating. Supplementary foods are fish, fruit, beans and
seaweed. Foods for pleasure include ANY FOOD but these are eaten
occasionally and eaten in moderation.
Then we have the principle that we EAT ACCORDING TO OUR CONDITION.
This is a very important principle because it removes macrobiotic
living from have anything to do with a "diet" or "dieting".
This is one of the most significant mistakes people starting out
on a macrobiotic way of life make. It is simply NOT POSSIBLE OR
DESIRABLE to eat, all our macrobiotic lives, the narrow, circumscribed
way of eating we generally start out with because our condition
warrants it. As we continue with our macrobiotic practice we must
get out of the "formulaic method" where we eat so much
percentage of grains and so much of vegetables, beans etc. This
way of approaching macrobiotic living will only be helpful for
a short period, perhaps 3-4 years. The reason this principle is
significant is that our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual
condition changes as we continue our early narrow, circumscribed
way of eating. IT IMPROVES, provided that we are, in addition
to eating our narrow, circumscribed way of eating, doing the Ginger Compress Regimen. I make myself
clear on this point - the Ginger Compress Regimen comprises 50%
of what we need to do in order to facilitate the physical body's
response to our adopting a macrobiotic way of eating.
The bodily functions change such that bowel movement improves,
we lose weight, the toxins long stored in various and sundry organs
and tissues of the body are gradually eliminated, our vitality
increases, organs and tissues revitilize and regenerate, we experience
deep and refreshing sleep, all the various aches and pains we
have disappear. These changes will be gradual and will be non-linear
(see "On Healing" for more
detail), but as time goes on we will need to make adjustments
to our daily eating habits including adding foods that we do not
eat when we are eating a circumscribed, narrow way of eating.
Thus we have to begin to learn how to read our condition
as well as spend a great deal of time learning and studying the
principles of yin and yang. Then we apply
our understanding of yin and yang to clarifying for ourselves
what we need to change and what we need to add to our daily fare
and how to cook it anywhere in the world we happen to be living.
We also need to understand the climate and weather patterns
of the locality where we live in terms of yin and yang so we can
make adjustments in cooking styles. Cooking styles from the perspective
of yin and yang are as follows:
So, living in the hot, humid climates will generally mean,
depending on our condition, that we will refrain from pressure
cooking and baking on a regular basis and do more boiling as the
preferred method of cooking the grains and boiling and steaming
our vegetables with the eating of more raw vegetables and fruits
depending on the season and weather.
It has occurred to me what if in the locality where you live
in the Tropics does not allow for the growing of grains. Then
you will find that the main staple will be more yam and cassava
type tubers. This is where it is important to learn about the
local native wisom and experience of the traditional way of preparing
these foods, always using the macrobiotic principles of yin and
yang to make the final decision on how you might modify the methods
to keep the preparation and cooking methods conform with the idea
e-mail : Kaare Bursell
1041 Kains Avenue
Albany, CA 94706.
The Alchemycal Pages Copyright © Kaare Bursell, 1996