Life Lessons


Noting the effects of what you eat is a very worthwhile form of self-education.

Observing the effects of what you eat can build a foundation for the most dependable form of health maintenance system.

And it costs nothing but your time to master.

For example, one person noticed they would experience migraine-like headaches after eating raw salads. They also experienced a headache after eating some grapes one day. However, they also noticed they did not get headaches after eating cooked apples.

The average person might conclude this person was allergic to raw salads and grapes, but not apples.

To the person educated in Macrobiotic principles, a different conclusion presents itself. The headaches were due to expansion of brain cells caused by the stronger Yin quality of raw salads (especially if salad dressing was added) and grapes. The milder Yin (expansive) quality of cooked apples, however, did not expand the brain cells as much, so the lack of expansive pressure kept this person from experiencing headaches.

The headaches were a very good teacher. They allowed this person to discover the effects of different foods, and isolate the cause of the headaches. As long as this person stayed away from strong Yin foods, they did not experience any more of the severe headaches which had been a bane of their existence for some time.

However, without understanding Macrobiotic principles, this person would still be suffering, because they would be faced, as most people are, with an endless, difficult task of isolating one by one which foods, beverages and other substances set off their headaches. They would doubtless have discovered eventually (if ever) that there was a very long list of items that they would have to avoid, since there are many kinds of strongly Yin foods and drinks in this world.

With a little study of the Unique Principle, however, they would have been able to realize that anything strongly Yin would cause the same unpleasant effects, and that it was not something in the food like a toxic chemical or substance they were allergic to that was the culprit, but simply the fact that the items which caused headaches were too Yin (expansive) for their personal condition.

Most puzzling to those who do not understand Macrobiotic principles is the fact that the same foods and beverages that can send one person into hours of agony do not affect others. Macrobiotics explains this phenomenon simply: those that are not affected adversely are more Yang, and therefore can tolerate strong Yin better.

A good example of this phenomenon that can puzzle even the best trained medical experts was related to me recently in the following excerpted letter:

Recently I saw a dietician with 20 years of experience at the famous Mayo Clinic. When I told her that I had been on a strict macro diet for the past week and had experienced no nightly pain for the first time in months, she brushed this off as a fluke. She then proceeded to explain that I was deficient in proteins and calories in general. After also explaining that I should be eating meat, ice cream, cookies, refined products that my intestines could handle more easily, and generally more fat and sugar, I was thoroughly confused. She said that macro was way too strict and would likely cause a blockage in my already compromised intestines. This visit was very disillusioning. Something told me that everything she had said was wrong.

This case exemplifies so well the great gulf in understanding that exists between conventional medicine and Macrobiotics. If this woman had continued to heed the advice of the dietician, she would have continued to experience pain. The conventional approach would have been to take pain killers or search for other pharmaceutical or surgical solutions.

Ignorance of the effect of diet is so deeply ingrained that the dietician dismissed what the woman was telling her, and to make matters worse, proceeded to warn her of the dire consequences of continuing the very practice which had given her relief from pain. That is amazing!

Fortunately, the woman was perceptive enough to realize something was wrong here. Not only was the dietician dismissing the very practice which had given her relief within just one week, but tried to persuade her to abandon the very practice which had brought an end to her suffering!

Another line of erroneous reasoning often encountered goes as follows: any positive benefits you may have experienced are just a fluke and will not last. This is usually followed by a renewed effort to persuade you to abandon the "dangerous" practice you had stumbled upon in your effort to regain health.

If these people are sufficiently motivated with a deep-seated belief in the modern, science-based way of thinking, they may feel it is their duty to keep people from harming themselves by a dietetic approach which does not conform to currently-held notions of nutrition. There have been attempts by the medical profession to discourage people from following macrobiotic teachings. Fortunately, the right to freedom of speech is still upheld in the USA and many other countries.

However, the arrogance of modern thinking runs so deeply, and has become so deeply entrenched, that it is often impossible to convince people of the validity of the Macrobiotic approach to health who have not experienced it for and by themselves.

Once you have experienced Macrobiotics, you will probably begin to question many ideas you have taken for granted about nutrition and life in general.

Macrobiotics is based on the principles of Yin and Yang; modern Western nutrition is based on the modern scientific approach. There is a spectacular difference between these two approaches. The bottom line is: which one works? In the case excerpted above, the conclusion is self-evident.

As long as dieticians and medical personnel believe proper nutrition requires meat proteins and foods containing refined sugars to be balanced properly, there will be no end to disease and suffering.

Instead of admitting failure to help end this woman's suffering and free her to research other ways to resolve her pain, the dietician tried to dissuade her from continuing the very method which had brought her relief! Is not this the essence of arrogance itself?

The only way to escape from the hell caused by ignorance is to seek wisdom. As typified by the case above, the way this woman resolved her health problem was to study Macrobiotics on her own.

My life's dream since I was a child was to discover a simple, universal way anyone, anywhere can achieve health and happiness, then give what I discovered away to the world as a gift. This was the purpose in setting up and maintaining this website.

Life must be built on sound principles. Macrobiotics is based upon the soundest of all principles -- the one upon which the entire universe was established. This is the dialectical principle called Yin and Yang.

If you would like to become free, this principle is worth serious study. If you would regain and maintain health, this principle is worth serious study. If you would become wise to the ways of the universe, I think you should study this principle.

This does not mean you should abandon a spiritual life in pursuit of this philosophy. On the contrary, I think you should endeavor every waking moment to lead a spirit-filled life.

As Jesus, born in the little town of Bethlehem almost 2000 years ago, taught,

"Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Father."

This "word" is Wisdom and Truth.

Let us all become seekers of Wisdom and Truth, and in this way help the world advance toward a New Millenium, in which peace, health, happiness, justice and freedom for all will become established at last.

--Fred Pulver

11/28/99