Category Archives: Macrotalk

The end of one little experimental blog

This is not an easy post to write as I feel that there are a lot of people following this blog, enjoying the recipes posted here and perhaps even impatiently awaiting new ones to appear in the future. And it´s not just my feeling – this blog actually has many followers and from time to time I bump into somebody that I don´t even know telling me that he or she likes my blog, which is really amazing and always hard to believe for me! That´s because this blog started as a very modest personal project, more of an online diary, which I founded mostly for the purpose of keeping track of my own “progress” in macrobiotic cooking and to store recipes that I come up with myself or that I read in a cookbook, on another blog etc. I was quite overwhelmed when I found out how many views it gets and how many people click on the like button, leave a comment or subscribe to the blog. It necessarily produces a sense of responsibility for the content and a wish to leave behind posts and recipes of good quality that people will enjoy reading and trying out on their own. I am very happy and grateful for all the positive feedback I have received in the two years of this blog´s existence.

However, everything that has a beginning, has an end – and that is very macrobiotic! Why? Because that´s the whole idea of yin and yang…everything changes, passes, turns into its opposite. Yes, I COULD have continued writing this blog for many many years I suppose, but inevitably one day I would have to “retire” 😉 That would just be a matter of time. I decided to quit after about two years for a good reason, though. That reason being – I am not currently following a diet that would fit into the macrobiotic model. I still had a lot of recipes from the previous months when I was still cooking in a macrobiotic style and I didn´t want to toss those recipes without publishing them, because I was quite sure that they could still benefit many readers, and me, too. And this IS, after all, my personal online cookbook as well! 😀

But when it comes to my own health and well-being, I was lately forced to make some significant tweaks, which means that my diet became very different than what it used to be. I don´t want to elaborate on the topic of my ongoing health issues, because that was never the purpose of this blog and I don´t wish to share them in public. But the truth is that my view of what kind of food pattern can be macrobiotic (in the widest sense of the word) changed so much, that I feel I don´t want to label myself this way anymore. The term “macrobiotics” is usually used in a much less wide manner, mostly describing a diet derived from the teachings of George Ohsawa, Michio Kushi and some other teachers. Very often the “standard macrobiotic diet” is used as a template, perhaps with many personal adjustments, but still within some given frame. If one gets very far from this frame, then why the need to still call yourself macrobiotic? As much as I LOVE the taste of  many “macrobiotic foods” and I love many aspects of the whole philosophy and lifestyle, the dietary template no longer served my health needs and I ventured into other realms of nutrition,  looking into ALL traditional diets and also some more modern interpretations of these diets. Yet, still firmly remaining in the world of NATURAL, chemical-free, (mostly) organic foods, of course! I think I will always stay convinced that anything that was produced in an industrial environment using several manmade ingredients, is detrimental to anybody´s health.

Maybe one day I will feel a need to set up a new blog again, but for now I am happy enough just experimenting with my cooking on my own, without the need to be sharing these experiments online 🙂 Once again, thanks for being with me… Much love, health and peace to all.

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1st anniversary of Macrobiotic Magic in the Kitchen is here!

Today it is exactly one year since the first post appeared on this blog!!

I must say that both my cooking skills and my overall approach to food, cooking, nutrition, diets etc. changed a LOT during that year. My meals became (I dare say) more advanced and thought out, though I still really enjoy making also very simple quick dishes and I actually prefer presenting those here instead of complicated recipes with loads of ingredients and steps required to assemble a meal. My understanding of macrobiotics and healthy eating in general developed as well, thanks primarily to my intense studies in the Kushi Institute in Amsterdam and lots and lots of self-study, using resources in books, on internet and real life experience. I discuss these topics with many people in the offline and online world and most of all, I am a living experiment myself. I went through several adjustments of my diet, trying out various different dietary styles and additions to, as well as reductions of my diet, with interesting results, to say the least. But that´s already a bit beyond the scope of this blog.

I definitely don´t plan to end my blogging endeavour, not any time soon. My focus might be a bit less “macrobiotic only”, and more “healthy eating” in general (that is, macrobiotics in the real sense of the word, which means Big Life). Anyway, there sure will be stuff going on, as long as I´ll be cooking…And you bet that I will be (even though my new part-time job in a health foods shop is taking up a portion of my once free time), because cooking is not just a means of survival to me, it´s a passion, an outlet of creativity, an endless challenge and reward in itself… Thank you for being here with me this past year.

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Off to the summer conference!

Macromagician will not be online until around August 11th, because tomorrow I am leaving for the 13th European Macrobiotic Summer Conference held near Den Bosch in The Netherlands – link here. Hopefully I will bring home some great new ideas and inspiration for future blogposts! 😀

Can´t wait to taste all the wonderful food, by the way. Not that I don´t enjoy my own cooking, but it´s great to sometimes have a break from it all and just be pampered and well-fed by one of the finest macro cooks, don´t you think 😉

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Arrival of the mill!

Here it is, my new treasure!! He came allllll the way from Hungary. He weighs over 5 kilos and is built from massive beech wood. He is purely hand-powered, no electricity! And let me tell you, it is quite a workout :-p What I am talking about? My new birthday present, a grain mill and flaker combined in one device.  Rolling the flakes is really fast and easy, I was very surprised by that. Lovely fresh flakes in an instant! On the other hand, to mill some fine flour for baking purposes takes pretty damn long. But well, that´s what you get when you insist on having a non-electric mill 😀 Luckily we bake only very rarely and also small amounts, so it´s still worth the effort – the benefits (and taste qualities) of home-milled flour are just too big. Unfortunately, these mills/flakers are still very expensive, it is after all a little piece of art, not some plastic junk made by a multinational high-tech company… Good old craft! I really hope this baby lasts a long time….

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Some changes to my meals…

Macromagician is lately going through some dietary changes, it´s been a bit of a wild ride…first with my oil-free (almost) no-dessert regimen (including no nuts and sunflower/flax seeds) which was designed by my macro teacher…and now switching to an upgraded and modified version which is more anti-candida oriented. So right now I am starting a sort of “macro anti-candida diet” for some time. I plan to get back to the original dietary plan which I had, but for now this is the regimen, because I realized that I am not treating the candida overgrowth strongly enough and the effects can be quite devastating. Diet alone (the idea of starving the yeasts by not feeding them the simple sugars they like best) might and might not work, depending on the specific case. Anyway, that´s my take on it, there is a lot of contradictory information on candida out there, especially within the macro community, so you just gotta make your own opinion on it in case you are struggling with this issue. Apparently almost all of us in these modern times have a candida overgrowth in our intestines (and not only there) to some extent, due to our common background of eating acidizing foods, combined with long-term/frequent medication use, pollution, stress etc. 😦

Thus, my new modifications are: introducing some natural antifungal remedies (such as coconut oil, which is used by some macro teachers/students and not by others; or garlic, flax and olive oil, lemon, apple cider vinegar, but also some spirulina/chlorella, barley grass powder etc.) and also a daily cleanse with grey bentonite clay which pulls out toxins from the body without being absorbed by the body, it literally just passes through carrying away the unwanted fungi and other harmful bacteria. I could (and might) write more about my anti-candida plan, but let´s get back to the food!

I wanted to let you know mostly because there might  be from now on less activity on the blog (let´s face it – the anti-candida diet is often very plain and not exciting in terms of interesting recipes) and also some of the ingredients might not be from the standard macrobiotic diet (such as above mentioned coconut oil which didn´t yet make it to the classical MB literature, but I believe it might one day, as it´s starting to be used more widely).

Yesterday my lunch was: sprouted and cooked sweet millet with gomasio (I am now soaking/sprouting all my grains for 24 hours to make them easy on the digestion), steamed veggies (green beans, carrot, daikon, turnip, leek, broccoli and collard leaves), long-baked onion/carrot/pumpkin drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and rosemary (baked for about 45 minutes, first under a tinfoil, then uncovered) and a salad of lettuce and rucola with a dressing of 2 tsp flax oil, 2 tsp apple cider vinegar, salt and black pepper (for 2 people).

 

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Black amaranth – for real ?!?

Imagine my surprise when I found these tiny shiny black seeds in the health shop in Zagreb – black amaranth! Try and google some information about this grain, you will probably not be successful… It´s apparently very rare. I like amaranth a lot and often cook it mixed into rice, so I thought this would be similar, just black. I decided not to mix it into rice this time to create a visual experience of contrasting black grain with colourful veggies. Well, the black amaranth was a disappointment…It tasted like poppy seeds, except I like poppy seeds better 😀 Actually, it tasted more like wet sand, more so than normal amaranth (which also has an odd texture, but eventually gets creamy). I cooked it for about half an hour, but it was still gritty. There were also quite many tiny stones which were not tooth-friendly… But you must admit it looks pretty, especially with the lightly sauteed veggies 😀

We ended up mixing it into rice/barley which I accidentally cooked for the next day. The next morning we cooked it with the rice/barley into a porridge, but it didn´t get any softer 😀

 

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Brown rice fast – day 10

This is really funny, yesterday I totally forgot to write my blogpost – about the last day of the rice fast! 😀 Maybe you can tell I was too excited at the prospect of starting to cook normal food again…

Yep, I just said it – the whole tenth day of the fast was just me focusing on the transition back to a regular macro diet. I must say that I was surprised though that until the very last day I managed to ENJOY my rice, especially in the form of the morning porridge, but even the regular rice, just with some gomasio and pickles. Yes, I did get bored and I did crave for some variety and especially for freshness and juiciness, but that doesn´t mean I started disliking rice…I was a bit afraid that might happen and that would be really sad because rice truly is the king of grains which I wish to love for the rest of my life. But luckily this went well – I still like rice, I just want to eat more than just rice from now on.

The discharge that the rice fast brought up was much milder than I expected, meaning that the rice fast is not a drastic measure to induce toxin flow out of your body… I did experience some minor aches and cramps in my middle organs (stomach, pancreas, spleen, liver), I did have some untypical bowel movements (both constipation and diarrhea),  some bigger skin breakouts than usual, some chest pain and quite a bit of mucus coming out from my sinuses. But none of that was very dramatic, just a bit unpleasant and annoying.

My mental state was for most of the time pretty calm and centered, with some slight depression at times, but also nothing really dramatic. What I felt more was general tightness, a bit like mentally shrinking, collapsing inwards. I must say I wasn´t very social during these ten days – I felt a much bigger urge to just stay at home, relax, do some light work, take a short walk or exercise, but nothing too exhausting. It was really a need to focus on myself and not interact too much with the outer world. I am really happy I didn´t have to go to town or to social meetings, except for some very few occasions which I handled just fine.

One of the best things that I learnt during the fast was chewing well – at first it was hell, resisting the urge to swallow and also my jaws hurt very much for a day or two, but then all improved. I stopped counting pretty quickly but I still paid a lot of attention to making my food liquid, I think.

I can´t say I´m absolutely thrilled by the results of the fast – I expected a bit more discharge and I also expected to feel and look really well after the ten days. Instead I am still kind of weak and tired and in the need of replenishing my energy.  And I am still discharging. I think it was not the very best idea to do this fast at this time of the year when energy in the environment is scarce and cannot support you. Also I would probably not feel so cold if I was doing this in a warmer time of the year.

But I don´t regret the experiment as it taught me a lot about myself, my eating habits, my real nutritional needs…I learnt to appreciate my food much more, chew my food better, I became better aware of the energy in the food. I think I finally stopped seeing food primarily as a source of sensory pleasure but more as a source of life energy and its manifestation in the complex web of nutrients it provides us with. So yes, I would do it again, and I probably will, when the weather gets warmer. I will probably eat not only rice, but also other grains, for example millet or barley.

Today I had my first bowl of miso soup, together with my rice porridge with gomasio and some olives and some fresh rucola. How exciting! Especially the freshness of the rucola was so wonderful! Now for lunch I´m gonna make adzuki beans with pumpkin (yes, pumpkiiiiiiin!), millet and probably some sauteed veg, can´t wait. I´m definitely not going to indulge in not-so-healthy meals for some time, at least for a week I want to be reeeeally careful…it´s a bit of a continuation of the fast actually, eating only very centered alkalizing foods 😀

 

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