Macrobiotics is based in large part on striving for balance between the opposing energetic principles of yin and yang, which are supposed to be in evidence everywhere, including in food, which is its main concern. One of macrobiotics' foundational concepts is that food has a profound influence on various aspects of person's condition, and the community brings special attention to the link between food, thought, and behavior. So an important part of the practice is to develop an awareness of how different foods affect you, how you feel, what you think, say and do.
A main goal of eating macrobiotically, to use a popular metaphor, is to "come down the pendulum" from the extremes of highly concentrated foods like white sugar, other processed foods, and animal foods, to a simpler, lower-on-the-food chain, lower-frequency diet composed of mainly whole plant foods, at the heart of which are well chewed grains, chiefly brown rice. This kind of diet is meant to promote a sound, healthy condition.
So the diet here revolves around whole grains, fresh garden vegetables, various kinds of seaweed, fermented foods like miso, tempeh, umeboshi plums, and pickled vegetables, seeds and nuts, and other plant proteins like tofu and seitan. There is some fruit but it is not prominently featured, and they try to go light on the night shades and tropical fruits. The communal meals are all strictly vegan.
As I mentioned in my last post, the rice fast gave me a renewed gratitude for the pleasure of eating, which got me thinking (and drooling) about the many tasty delights I've enjoyed while here that I haven't yet had the occasion to share with you. So, here is a bit of a sampling, may it provide inspiration...
Mochi, a fried pancake of mashed sweet rice. A centerpiece of a sumo wrestler's diet, I am told.
Millet, lima beans seasoned with mustard (tasty as I've had that particular bean), beet salad
I know what you're thinking, it doesn't look very nice. But it is. Very very nice.