I decided to include some general talk which I usually don´t post in this blog, which is more of a recipe blog tracking my culinary experiments. But I feel this is really, really important and maybe it could help some who are struggling with similar issues…
When I went fully macro a few months ago (after many months of doing a strange semi-macro up and down diet, because my previous lifestyle was very complicated to combine with a real macrobiotic way of life), I started experiencing more discharge than usually. I started to also finally understand my discharge, which was even more important. I started seeing it for what it was – a persistent strong attempt of my body to heal itself and to get rid of large amounts of toxins that would otherwise accumulate, possibly eventually into tumours…
For years and years I thought I am soooo unlucky that I am suffering from all kinds of diseases. Since early puberty I was plagued with allergies (it started out as a pollen allergy, but in the last years it multiplied into several food allergies and some more general unexplicable allergies nobody really understood), a low immune system (I cannot count how many times I suffered from returning respiratory problems, sinusitis, colds etc.), chronic fatigue, headaches, loss of skin pigmentation, thyroid problems and severe acne which would never go away, no matter what medication and procedures I went through. Later on I was diagnosed with celiac disease and went completely glutenfree. The last few years a new thing appeared in my “collection” – dramatic hives, which would cover my body in a map of red, swollen, incredibly itchy “bumps”. I started experiencing swelling of eyelids, lips and various body parts, mostly hands and feet. Luckily I never had asthma, but during those nearly anaphylactic shock spells my throat closed up so it was hard to breathe, those were one of my worst moments, when I was afraid to choke. Long story short – before becoming macro my health was sometimes unbearable, that is, it would be unbearable without a pill, a powerful antihistamine, taken daily…I was addicted to this medication, that´s for sure. And this same medication blocked all the discharge my body was attempting! Just like a corkscrew on a bottle, keeping all the “bad stuff” in. Neutralizing its effects (my symptoms), but never healing the cause, which it didn´t even pretend to do.
When I started my macrobiotic studies here in Holland, I immediately (after a couple of days of a strict macro diet 3 times a day) “caught” a cold, the same as most of my co-students. It was a overwhelming cold, with lots of mucus coming up, but it lasted only a few days and it was over. My body managed to discharge this more superficial layer of yin (mucus) accumulation pretty quickly, with the help of many healing dishes. I went through some digestive trouble for a week or so, but then I got regular again. Suddenly I felt a burst of energy flowing through my body. I went off my allergy pills!! That was a huge feeling of liberation. My mornings were not anymore the worst part of the day when I would experience massive amounts of mucus discharge and blocked sinuses, suddenly my mornings were bright and easy.
Of course, this phase didn´t last forever…in the later classes we learnt how to cook more rich indulgent menus, which was not the best for my prescribed strict healing diet…there was a fairly large ingestion of oils and macro desserts…I started feeling a bit heavy and blocked again. But still I was eating macrobiotic and the discharge continued. The yin was leaving my body quite quickly, but what I think happened next was the start of a discharge of deep yang accumulation (probably not meat anymore, since I was vegetarian for 7 years, but there was a LOT of cheese and eggs still in my cells…). I felt awful in the last two weeks – unbelievably irritable, with overwhelming waves of anger which wouldn´t actually leave totally at all, hot spells, dry throat, big thirst, feelings of exhaustion….I had a cycle with no ovulation, and my period came extremely late….and there came cravings, of course yin cravings, because I needed to relax and soothe my nerves and body. I went overboard with oils (even deep-frying a few times) and desserts and hot spices…my hives and swelling returned in the end and I had to compromise and take my good ole pill…what a failure. At least that was the emotion that accompanied this decision, although it was a necessary decision, because my breathing problems came back as well.
And since I already felt as a failure, I could confirm it even more, right? How to do that? By eating that Saint Nicholas traditional Dutch pie that was sitting on a little table in my room for weeks (yes, the Dutch eat this supersweet almondpaste filled pastry every year on St Nicholas eve). It was glutenfree, but other than that full of the worst macro nightmares – sugar, butter, eggs, milk, additives. It was a BIG pie, with a LOT of sugar. So much sugar (which I didn´t ingest for weeks) that it didn´t even taste sweet to me, it tasted ACID. Burning unpleasant strong acid. Sugar actually is very acid-forming for the blood, so no wonder. The funny thing is that you don´t probably have an idea that the actual taste of sugar is acid, unless you go for weeks without touching sugar. You also don´t feel the acid creeping through your whole body, through the digestive system and into your head as I did, unless you go for weeks without touching sugar. It was an extremely interesting though not pleasant experience of what sugar truly is, or, what it means for our bodies. I now don´t have the need to repeat this experience. I now know how badly this would affect me afterwards. The next few days I was (and am) busy discharging all this massive sugar – through hives, swelling, headaches, unclear thinking, mood swings etc.
I returned to point Zero.
Now I´m trying to get back on the more strict healing macro wagon…It´s tough because the body is confused, still discharging loads, still having a lot of cravings, the emotions are still swinging back and forth. But I am grateful for this lesson, no matter how painful it was and still is . Isn´t that macrobiotics? Learning by experience the effects of foods on your body and mind?