Well, since we began our un-frugal practice of juicing at the beginning of the year, we have, quite by accident, delved into a world of clean eating. Before our juicing experiment, we had a pretty balanced diet, compared to most Americans, that is. We balanced eating processed food with eating whole foods, kept sugar to a minimum and always drank plenty of water. We liked our balance. It felt like we got to have our cake and eat it too, so to speak.
As I mentioned in this post, juicing started out to be more of a chore than a blessing. I had to
strongarm gentle convince the kids to drink their mean green juice a few times a week, promising them happier health if they’d obey. Then a funny thing happened on the way to healthier living: the kids started to love their mean green juice. Anarchy would ensure if we were out of juicing ingredients. The kids were, as were we, loving the benefits of juicing. Our heads were clearer, our emotions were mellow and stable. This is probably TMI, but our systems began to get nice and regular. 🙂
So we started researching more about different types of healthy eating and what they involved. Today I’m going to talk about the difference between the macrobiotic diet vs the paleo diet. Here’s how Wikipedia describes the two:
The Macrobiotic Diet
A macrobiotic diet (or macrobiotics), is a dietary regimen which involves eating grains as a staple food, supplemented with other foods such as local vegetables, and avoiding the use of highly processed or refined foods and most animal products.
The Paleo Diet
The paleolithic diet, also known as the paleo diet or caveman diet, is a diet based on the food humans’ ancient ancestors might likely have eaten, such as lean meat, nuts and berries.
There’s much debate online about the benefits of the two. Critics say that the Paleo Diet doesn’t have enough grains and legumes, critics of the Macrobiotic Diet say that it has too many grains and legumes.
For the last three weeks or so, we’ve been eating a macrobiotic diet in our household. We’ve been largely red-meat free since November, when we ran out of our side of beef. I didn’t want to order another side until tax return time, and I won’t buy store-bought red meat, so we’ve been surviving on chicken and other stuff.
More on the Paleo lifestyle: The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat
Saturday marked our return to red meat consumption. I picked up the side of beef Saturday morning, put a couple of steaks and some burger on the counter, and counted the minutes until that sweet, tender Ribeye from the grill was melting in my mouth.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the cow: I started to enjoy our macrobiotic lifestyle. I’ve always considered myself more of a Paleo girl because of the meat factor, but it turns out macrobiotics have made a huge difference in our health. Now, I’m not anti-meat, by any stretch of the imagination: good quality red meat has scores of nutritional benefits when free range and grass fed. Healthily raised cows are loaded with Omega 3 fats, where feedlot cattle are loaded with the bad Omega 6 fats.
The little kids loved their burgers, but when we ate those steaks on Saturday, the appeal was GONE. Just gone. And on some level, we were sad. A high-quality steak had always been our go-to splurge meal at home since we’ve all but dumped restaurant eating. What would we do now that steak has lost its appeal?
Well, what the heck. Why not embrace the macrobiotic diet? Oldest daughter has taken the lead here, searching for recipes and making lists of what a good macrobiotic student eats.
Proof that our bodies really have changed and have begun craving healthy foods lies here: I took the kids to that famous soft-serve ice cream chain this week to get them each a large cone. We haven’t been to this place since before Christmas, so they were all excited. As we drove away and they started to eat their cones (I didn’t have one, nor did I have a craving for one like normal), they started to express their disappointment in the experience. We started to talk about what had gone “wrong”.
“It’s like mean green juice has become ice cream and ice cream has become mean green juice.”, second oldest daughter said, reflecting back on the olden days when they hated mean green juice and loved ice cream and other treats. She’s right. Things are backwards now.
I feel like we’re living in Bizarro world; this world were good is now bad and bad is now good. But we love it here. I’m not sure how long we’ll stay in the Bizarro world of the Macrobiotic Diet, but for now, we’re enjoying the ride. And my still meat-loving brothers have offered to buy a good chunk of the meat from us, since we won’t be consuming nearly as much red meat as we usually do.
Note that I’m not advocating macrobiotic over paleo, or vice versa. Each person needs to eat in the manner that makes them feel their best. I am, however, advocating that you consider eating healthier, whatever the form of healthy eating may be.
I guess the point of this post is that I want to encourage you to think outside of the box when it comes to your diet, and everything else. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone, to take that leap from what you imagine you want to do to what you actually do.