I did some research today on raw foodism and macrobiotics; two things I've been very interested in learning more about, but haven't had the time to research. I bought and read cover to cover "The Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics" and then did a bunch of research about raw foodism on the internet. It's hard to reconcile the two, and my head is swimming a little bit.
Raw foodism is based on the premise that cooking food destroys beneficial enzymes and that nutrients are supercharged when not cooked. Because of this, foods are not heated to above 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Sprouting and dehydrating are two common forms of preparations for things that can not be consumed raw (i.e. beans) or to have variety.
A macrobiotic diet is more about balancing "yin" foods with "yang" foods and eating foods on a spectrum. Yin foods are those that are considered stimulating; overstimulating yin foods like sugar, alcohol, coffee, and chocolate are to be avoided, or at least only eaten in moderation. Yang foods are considered grounding and strengthening. Consuming too much of the edgy yang- meat, eggs, salt, are harmful and cause you to feel sludgy. At the base of a macrobiotic meal are cooked grains, steamed veggies, and pickles to help aid in digestion.
So here's the conundrum; Eat raw and worry about being too harsh on the body, or eat macrobiotic and worry about destroying all the beneficial enzymes. (For some reason I have this weird visual of the cute little enzymes baking in the sun to a burnt crisp.)
As with any diet, I think it's most important to listen to your body's intuition. For example, I've been feeling very sludgy lately, so I was craving raw foods earlier today. I made a delicious raw wrap that consisted of a sunflower seed pate with sliced avocado, chopped tomatoes and cilantro and a tahini dressing (ok, not 100% raw, but good enough for my first attempt.) I wrapped it all in an ezekial wrap (sprouted grains) and thought it was absolutely delicious!
Later on today, though, the thought of consuming more seeds about sent my stomach into a tailspin. NO, THANK YOU. So, I took a page out of the macrobiotic book and had brown rice, pan seared swiss chard, seitan and a nutritional yeast gravy. Again, not completely macrobiotic, but it was grounding, comforting and seemed the perfect mix of that elusive yin/yang balance. One of my twitter friends eats raw every day until dinner; not something I'd do every day, but definitely a good way of looking at it...
It will be interesting to see my journey into these new philosophies. To me, food philosophy has always been a life philosophy; how I eat is indicative of how I move through the world. I'm excited to take what I'll learn from both raw foodism and macrobiotics, put my own spin on it, and continue to move through the world consciously.
11 hours ago