Depression link to processed food

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Eating a diet high in processed food increases the risk of depression, research suggests.

What is more, people who ate plenty of vegetables, fruit and fish actually had a lower risk of depression, the University College London team found. READ ARTICLE

No Comments | Tags: Articles and Research, Macrobiotic Diet, Macrobiotics, Mental Health

Our View of Life and Our Health

Posted on by Denny Waxman

If we think “Life is wonderful; life is a long process; it goes on and on” then we are not too rushed. We are open. We can receive things and let things out. But if we think “Life is very short, we really have a lot of things to do; I must work hard every day, accomplish a lot and make a lot of money” then our minds get very closed, very tight. Whatever else we do with our diet and activity, in this case we are constantly sending heavy yang energy throughout our whole body. Throughout our so-called spiritual channel, our chakras, throughout every meridian, every cell. Very heavy condensed vibrations. These heavy condensed vibrations keep generating more pressure. Even though we are trying to eat well, in a balanced way, and have good activity, this heavy yang energy works against that. At the same time, opportunities are being shut of. We close things off because we do not allow openness, or for things to come in.

If we try to orient our view of life, to change how we see things, then automatically we adjust our condition through that, which affects our diet, activity and everything else, including how we choose foods.

Some people are willing to change their diet, but not their view of life. We like to hold on to certain views. We think that is us, so that is our security. However, by trying to hold on to those views, we often block ourselves from changing. We don’t open ourselves to new change and possibilities. This is an important consideration. There is a common point in the progression of illness, which is that as it progresses, our point of view gets more and more stuck and unchangeable. We cannot get away from the effect of what we receive from our minds and send down through our bodies. Choosing grains and vegetables automatically creates more openness. We also need to try to create more harmonious activity and a harmonious lifestyle. This includes a view of life that is accepting, embracing etc. Otherwise, we constantly generate pressure, difficulties and heaviness.

2 Comments | Tags: 7 Steps, Adjusting Your Diet, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Mental Health

What makes learning at French Meadows unique?

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Living free from electricity, radio waves and EMF’s, etc. and communing with nature with no means of escape is an incredible experience and contrast to most of our daily lives. Eating wood fire cooked food in such a pristine environment has two unique benefits. The first is that it creates an unusually strong and deep physical and energetic alignment among the teachers, staff and participants. The second is that the environment and wood fire cooked food alkalize people’s conditions very quickly creating a positive, upbeat and helpful attitude among everyone very quickly that deepened by the day.

All together I felt that the learning was more organic and deep than is possible in other situations. I realized from being there that macrobiotic education in natural surroundings together with hearty cooking has a unique learning potential.

No Comments | Tags: Macrobiotic Counseling, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Macrobiotics, Mental Health

Overeating

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Boredom and frustration are very important causes of overeating. Emotional frustration can come from work or romance. If you are not satisfied with what you are doing in your life or in your relationships, or if you feel bored, then there is a natural tendency to overeat.

Essentially, overeating means either biological or emotional frustration. You try to compensate either biologically or emotionally for many different reasons. Therefore you have to take some steps to remedy that problem.

Overeating also comes from imbalanced nutrition, which comes not only from eating dry, baked foods but especially from refined, chemicalized foods. If you take white bread, white rice, white noodles and many refined flour products; if you take vitamins and mineral and seaweed supplements, you are going to make nutritional imbalances which will throw your appetite off.

The more supplements you take of any kind, the more complex the balance comes. Then it is an endless search trying to create a balance. The more you complicate your diet, the more difficult it becomes to find a balance. Food, on the other hand, is simple, and makes that process easier. Knowing how to get back to your center and creating a satisfying life are important ways to eat proper amounts of food.

No Comments | Tags: Adjusting Your Diet, Macrobiotic Diet, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Mental Health, Weight

To Reach Potential By Yin and Yang

Posted on by Denny Waxman

If your constitution and condition are more yang, you prefer to be asked questions than to ask them of someone. It also means that you seek questions more than answers. You place more value on the question than the answer, for the reason that a good question has many answers and as time goes on, you get many good answers from one good question. But when you seek the answer, that is the end of the process. That is a very yin process. But you also like to be asked questions if you are a yang person. A yang person likes to be asked to do things. A yin person doesn’t.

If you are constitutionally yin but your answers tend towards yang, this means for most people that their constitution and condition are opposite. However you are born, you seek what you lack. That is making your capacity grow. You are not opposing your nature. This is a natural process. It is natural order, natural movement. It makes your capacity grow. The secret of success, which means realizing our potential, is to know what quality we can take, to build up, to support what we lack.

If we take bad quality, we get sick. If we take good quality, we get great. If you are yang, then you must find out what kind of good quality yin you can take to build and support your nature. And if you are yin constitutionally, you need to know what kind of good quality yang you can take. Then you build up your potential fully.

No Comments | Tags: Macrobiotic Diet, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Macrobiotics, Mental Health

Food is Energy: Steaming

Posted on by Denny Waxman

There is a style of macrobiotic cooking called Kinpira. This dish usually uses certain combination of vegetables, such as carrot and burdock, or carrot, onion and turnip. The essence of kinpira is that after sauteeing, we add water, cover the pan and let it steam. Steaming makes more downward energy. It is done in a covered pot with a small amount of water. The steam goes up to the lid, hits the lid and then rains down. Steaming is something like rain. What does that movement make?

It makes more downward, stabilizing energy. When you simmer the vegetables afterwards, it takes that active, rich energy and sends it down, deep inside. It makes your energy strong and active, but deep inside. Not so much on the surface, but deep inside. Kinpira is a dish we use for weakness or anemia, to make you strong and help you to discharge yin foods. That isn’t important to know, however.

If you start to look at food as energy it may look difficult to figure out. But once you start to look at it, then little by little you start to see it and then it seems interesting. Then you start to know which way to go with your cooking, whether you need more of this or that. If this seems difficult to understand now, try it!

When you start to choose foods, when you start to think of what combinations you are going to make, and what cooking styles, start to think “How will this nourish my energy?” I guarantee that if you do this every time you cook, before long, you will start to see these relationships.

Once you start to see food as energy, then food starts to come alive!
When it comes alive, we can better nourish ourselves, our families and our world.

No Comments | Tags: Adjusting Your Diet, Macrobiotics, Mental Health

All Life is Energy

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Vegetables give us an incredible ability to change our orientation. There are three main types of vegetables; root–growing downward like carrots, burdock, parsnips, etc.; round–growing around the surface of the earth and generally round: onions, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, squash, turnips; upward leafy–growing upward: collards, Chinese cabbage, scallions, leeks, etc.

If you want to become more stabilized or physically stronger, or more physically active, you concentrate on root vegetables. If you want to become more upwards, dispersed, open and stimulate yourself more mentally, you focus on leafy vegetables. If you eat only leafy vegetables, you get weak physically. If you eat only root vegetables, you get too heavy, too down.

To become balanced we use round vegetables. But round vegetables are interesting, because round, balanced, means there is no uniqueness. We have different sayings like “cabbage head,” and “pumpkin head.” By this we mean someone who doesn’t have much in their head. If we have plenty of round vegetables, we become very balanced but not very interesting. We lose our uniqueness.

Our uniqueness comes from how we create that balance, through our selection of interesting varieties of root and leafy vegetables together with round vegetables. We need balance, but then we go out from balance and create our own uniqueness. If our selection is very narrow, then that is how we become. If our selection is broader, we become broader.

In this way we can use food and energy to create our lives.

No Comments | Tags: Adjusting Your Diet, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Mental Health

Cooking Nourishes Our Energy

Posted on by Denny Waxman

When we cook, we bring out certain nutrients in our food. Each type of cooking brings something out. With blanched vegetable salad, vegetables are quickly boiled in lightly salted water. The vegetables are removed from the water when their color is bright. We are really after brightness. Some people may think they need the vitamin C in the vegetables, but that is not the point. The point is bringing our energy up to the surface and having it sparkling and bright on the surface. That is what blanched vegetables do. It is more accurate to see this cooking style for what it does to our energy, how it nourishes our energy. It nourishes our brightness and our freshness.

Quite often people are concerned about their weight, and I say “Eat blanched vegetables. That will keep the weight up.” Then they look at me in a very strange way, thinking “There is no fat there, no protein there. What is going to keep my weight up? But blanched vegetable salad keeps you from over-contracting. It keeps you fresh and bright. Your weight will be fine if you eat them often.

If you try to balance foods nutritionally, it is very complicated, but if you see things as energy, it becomes very simple and clear. What are you looking for? Are you looking for more strength and vitality; more freshness; more stability? If you know what you are looking for then it is easier to recreate energetically. Practicing the Seven Steps of Strengthening Health Macrobiotics helps us tune in to what we want, and we can then create that with our cooking. In this way we can greatly improve our health and that of the world around us.

No Comments | Tags: Macrobiotic Diet, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Mental Health, Weight

Nothing is One-Sided

Posted on by Denny Waxman

There is nothing in this world that is one sided. Everything contains its opposite. We have come to think that health is good and sickness is bad. The approach is, “If you are healthy, fine, if you are sick get rid of it. Let’s take the sickness away.” However, if we think about this, it looks different. Before you decide if health is good and sickness is bad, let’s consider day and night. What if we thought “the day is good and the night is bad. Let’s get rid of the night. Let’s just keep the day. The day is warm, the sun comes out, the shops are open, people are out, you can do things. At night it is cold, dark, the shops are closed, strange people come out, strange insects come out. The night is no good, we can’t do things, let’s get rid of the night.”

That is very strange even to think about! But is it any stranger than thinking “health is good and sickness is bad”? or “Let’s just get rid of sickness”? This may require some thought, especially if a health concern is present.

Everything is moving. Everything is in a state of change. A more realistic situation is that we move towards sickness or we move toward health, day by day. If we practice the seven steps of Strengthening Health Macrobiotics, we are automatically moving toward health, and we won’t have to worry about ideas like keeping day and losing night.

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Order and Creativity

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Most of us get an idea of order and stability from our family and home life. If you were fortunate to grow up in a family that was very loving, caring, nourishing and very stable, stayed in the same place for a long time and had an interesting kind of life, then from that you get a kind of confidence that enables you to go out. You get a kind of vitality and a kind of openness that enables you to go out and live your life, be creative and do things. It creates an openness.

However, if your family life wasn’t very supportive or wasn’t stable, or pushed you down, then automatically we have some kind of insecurity or some kind of protectiveness or a loss of vitality that restricts our ability to go out, to be open, to be creative and develop our life and create it in the way that we like.

Our family is one thing that is different for everyone. Everyone’s experience of growing up with their family is a little bit different. Some experiences are a little better and some a little worse. If your upbringing is too good and too supportive that is not great either because we might become over-nourished and over-spoiled and lose our ability.

If someone is brought up without good quality order and harmony and would like more vitality and openness, and to lead their lives well, then the seven steps of strengthening health macrobiotics are a valuable tool. Practicing the steps brings us into alignment with nature and makes our lives more orderly. From this order comes increased confidence, vitality and creativity.

It is never too late to change!

No Comments | Tags: Macrobiotic Philosophy, Mental Health