A few days ago, Meg Wolff offered to send me a copy of her book, Becoming Whole. Meg is a bone and breast cancer survivor who cured herself with a macrobiotic diet. Her book is incredibly touching and engaging. Her blog is also called Becoming Whole and it is a wonderful resource for recipes and health information.
After reading her story and browsing her recipes and meal plan, I’ve decided to try macrobiotics. I’m not going to go fully macrobiotic (yet), but I am going to try hard to adopt a more macrobiotic diet and lifestyle. I’ve decided to do this for two weeks, and after the two weeks are up I’ll evaluate my findings and decide where I want to go from there. Here is a summary of macrobiotics directly from Meg’s site:
Organic whole grains, vegetables, beans, sea vegetables (seaweeds), soups, some fruit, and some seafood.
Junk or highly chemicalized processed foods, dairy, animal products (and yes, this means saying no to cheese and eggs, too!) Fish is the exception.
I can’t wait to start this experiment. I won’t be eating fish, so I guess this is actually going vegan for two weeks. But macrobiotics is so much more that just food choices. I may be posting more of my meals again in an attempt to hold myself accountable. More from Meg’s site:
BEYOND THE FOOD:
Macrobiotics also is about doing healthy things for your body, including eating three balanced meals a day, not eating three hours before bedtime, getting exercise, chewing your food well, eating reasonable portions, and — actually sitting down and taking your time to eat!
I think that these practices are very important and I have definitely been neglecting them. This is going to be the hard part for me. Her story is truly inspiring and I can’t wait to share my thoughts on her book with you all. It was an absolute pleasure to read. Bobby is going to play along and eat my macrobiotic meals as well. He loves Japanese food and the macrobiotic diet incorporates a lot of the food he had growing up (his mom is Japanese). What have you heard about macrobiotics? Would you try it?
My review of Becoming Whole:
This book is in two parts – Meg’s story and a practical guide to her diet, which includes recipes and meal plans.
Meg’s story begins in a doctor’s office in 1988. At 31 years old, she has just been diagnosed with bone cancer. Her fluid writing then carries us from stories of her childhood, through her diagnosis of bone cancer and losing her leg, through the aftermath of that loss, and on to another cancer diagnosis – this time breast cancer. At a point perilously close to death, Meg hears about macrobiotics. She details her journey of learning about the practice, following it religiously, and her eventual recovery (yes, this story does have a happy ending).
Some things I particularly enjoyed:
- Watching the evolution of Meg’s relationship with her husband. Macrobiotics not only cured her physically, but it helped restore their relationship to something wonderful after it was damaged by the years of disease.
- Learning about the Asian approach towards food/lifestyle versus the American approach. Meg lived in Korea for several years and she noticed that people would put food in front of her and say, “eat this, it’s good for your heart,” or, “eat this, it’s good for digestion.” We don’t do that in the U.S. We don’t connect food and health the way we should. Later on in her story Meg also talks about how macrobiotics is based on the ancient Chinese principle of yin and yang. Read the book to learn more!
- Meg’s openness. Her words are honest and she’s not afraid to talk about any step of her recovery. You will see her pain but also see what it was like to overcome these difficult situations.
- Her hope, and her eventual triumph over fear.
- How Meg learned to question doctors. Once she learned to go with her gut and question authority, she found what she needed.
The recipes section is also a great resource. She has 4 weeks (!) of menus, and recipes for a variety of foods – soups, grains, beans/bean products, fish, vegetables, sea vegetables, simple desserts, and party foods. Meg also explains a bit more of the philosophy and science behind the macrobiotic diet. I looked through this for ideas for this coming week’s meal plan. She has recipes for everything from miso soup to apple pie.
This book was eye-opening for me and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn to seize life and conquer their fears, or for anyone who wants to read a story that’ll leave you with hope. Thank you Meg for a lovely read, and a new perspective on life!