The Natural Epicurean brought Warren Kramer in for several days to teach some macrobiotics classes to the professional program students and in a couple of public classes. Warren is an internationally recognized macrobiotic counselor based in the Boston, MA, area who also studied with Michio Kushi, one of the chief pioneers of macrobiotics in the world. (For more on macrobiotics, read below and check out my posts here and here.)
I participated in a group consultation with a few other students one evening. Warren reviewed our brief health histories, evaluated our morphology very quickly, and made some high level recommendations. Each of us had 20 minutes, so it couldn’t be very in-depth, but it was a wonderful way to see how a top macrobiotic counselor works with clients. It was a really useful experience.
Below: Warren discusses umeboshi plums, which are a condiment used in Japanese cooking and macrobiotics. They are very salty, but good!
During the consultation, Warren shared that his view of macrobiotics consists of food factors and lifestyle factors, with lifestyle being even more important than food in his view. I really appreciate that approach and I think people could really benefit from those kinds of recommendations. An example of a lifestyle recommendation would be waking up and going to bed at consistent times to allow the body to properly rest and recover, and to provide structure.
For me, Warren believes I have an overly tight condition (yang), so doing things and eating food that is light and uplifting energetically will be useful. Blanched vegetables, pressed salad, warm showers twice daily, and eating regular meals were all main recommendations for me.
Ten Tips for Strengthening Health
Warren shared with us ten tips that he always recommends to people. He encouraged us to share them with others, so here goes:
- Sit down to regular meals daily.
- Eat slowly and chew your food well. (Lino Stanchich advises chewing 50+ times per mouthful!)
- Stop eating three hours before bedtime.
- Eat cereal grains (rice, barley, oats, polenta) and a vegetable dish with every meal.
- Eat a variety of foods.
- Have 1-2 bowls of vegetable soup each day.
- Give yourself a daily body rub. This involves a warm, moist hand towel and rubbing the skin to redden it. This tones the skin. The skin is a major body organ and one of the chief ways we circulate toxins and other energy out of ourselves.
- Walk 30 minutes each day.
- Wear pure cotton next to your skin.
- Surround yourself with green plants.
Natural Epicurean Professional Program Classes
Warren also presented two classes to the professional program students. One class was on desserts and the other was on healing remedies and condiments. In both classes he discussed macrobiotics theory and I found it to be extremely useful.
Below: A sketch Warren Kramer made to illustrate body systems under macrobiotics theory. Macrobiotics is heavily influenced by traditional Chinese medicine.
Below: Warren says that much of his counseling practice is based on the teachings in The Great Life Diet, by Denny Waxman. Below is a sweet potato puree with citrus zest that I thought was excellent.
A Bigger View of Health
Macrobiotics takes a larger view of health than just “carbs + protein + fats = energy.” It looks beyond vitamins and minerals. The concern of macrobiotics is more expansive than what is discussed in nutrition classes or medical schools. Is it infallible, is it grounded in hard science? No. However, how many times have you visited a doctor only to walk away disappointed that you weren’t heard? Or disagreeing with the outcome/diagnosis? How many people come away from Western medical treatment sicker than when they started? How many die from treatment? Are you just a collection of biochemicals that needs Pfizer’s next big drug to be symptom free? I submit that macrobiotics is a far more useful tool for most health problems than Western medicine.
I’m not a nutritionist – I’m not interested in nutrition. It’s not interesting to me. I am interested in the energetics of food. I don’t ignore nutrition, but nutrition is not the big picture. – Warren Kramer
That’s all for now, I’ll write more in a couple of days…