Since I am leaving Japan soon, many people have been inviting me for lunch or dinner to enjoy being together before I leave. Recently, a teacher from the English Department invited me over to her home, a rare treat in Japan. Several people from my department know that I have a diet different from their own, but they don’t really know what this is exactly. She kindly and conscientiously asked me several times about the foods that I could eat and couldn’t eat to find a suitable menu plan for everyone (including her seminar students). Her cousin, a dietician, was also very interested in my being macrobiotic and she decided to come to lunch too!
I decided to take some daifuku dessert (strawberry covered with sweet azuki bean paste and mochi rice). The teacher’s 91-year-old mother with a very frail appetite really loved them and wanted to eat more.
My colleague made very delicious chirashi zushi with homemade lotus and ginger pickles, as well as kiriboshi daikon, and her cousin made a clear broth soup with sea bass. They put eel and egg on the side for the students. That was really kind of them to do for me.
I wondered if perhaps I might end up in the hot seat, answering questions about why I don’t eat meat, fish, egg, sugar, etc., so I prepared the night before. Fortunately, I wasn’t grilled! This is what I would have told them, if they had asked.
1.) Why don’t you eat meat, fish, or poultry?
Eating meat in the polar regions gives a lot of energy and warmth to endure the extreme cold. However, for those of us in temperate climates, eating meat is too difficult for us to digest, taking twice as long as for vegetables and grains. While the meat travels though our intestines, it begins to putrefy, creating harmful bacteria in our intestines. The toxins begin to accumulate in our liver, large intestine, and kidneys, and destroy the villi in our small intestines. Fat begins to accumulate around these organs, our arteries harden, and we develop cysts, tumor, fibroids, and high cholesterol. We can eventually develop cancer.
With more oxygen needed to digest the meat, we have a lot of oxygen traveling through our blood and into our brains. This makes it hard for us to keep a calm mind, and can lead to aggressive behavior. We become fixed and rigid in our mentality.
2.) Where do you get your protein?
There is ample protein in the grains, nuts, seeds, seitan, tempeh, tofu, natto, and other beans, in addition to the occasional fish that I eat. These foods are very easy to digest compared to meat and dairy. Too much protein, such as in the standard American diet, can lead to osteoporosis, cancer, and heart disease.
The standard American diet, with meat and dairy, is very high in fat. A high fat diet leads to heart attacks, stroke, an overstressed liver and other main organs, and can eventually lead to cancer.
3.) Why don’t you eat sugar?
Sugar, too much fruit, honey, and milk all leach minerals from the body. Our bones become brittle as the sugar leaches minerals away, and we develop osteoperosis. These sugary foods clog our intestines, cause weight gain, and lethargy. Simple sugars make our insulin levels (blood sugar) unstable, first soaring and then crashing, leading to hypoglycemia, diabetes, and even drug addictions. Our pancreas and liver are unable to cope with the overwork and stress, and they become fatty, leading to cancer. Furthermore, sugar causes an acid condition in the body, making us susceptible to viral and bacterial infections. We are also susceptible to nervousness, worry, passivity, introversion, spaced-out behavior, lack of concentration, lack of memory, and slow decision-making.
On the other hand, complex carbohydrates (in grains, grain malts, and amazake) burn slow and steady keeping our insulin levels, thoughts, concentration, decision-making, and emotions balanced and harmonized.
4.) Why don’t you eat cheese and eggs, or drink milk?
In addition to meat, dairy products are very difficult for our bodies to digest. The toxins get stuck in our upper intestine, leading to more putrefaction, which weakens our organs. Dairy causes mucus to develop in our bodies, especially in the reproductive organs. We develop sinus problems, kidney stones, fat, tumors, cancer, hay fever, and infertility. Because dairy takes a long time to digest, it also leads to a dulled mind. Other problems such as allergies develop, in addition to antisocial and dependent behaviors.
I am so happy to be macrobiotic. I am so thankful that coming to Japan led me to such a wonderful way to see the world and to live my life. Thank you Japan! Thank you Kobe Women’s University!