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The macrobiotic movement. From Georges Ohsawa to René Lévy.

Macrobiotics is above all a food philosophy, a holistic approach, which conceives life and the human being as a whole. It is a diet close to veganism.

Macrobiotics is a concept that had already been studied by Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland -physician to King Frederick III of Prussia and Queen Louise of Prussia at the end of the 18th century- in his book "The art of prolonging life, or macrobiotics" and which also uses concepts studied in ancient Greece, such as Socrates, or Hippocrates: "May your food be your medicine and your medicine be in your food".

Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland, from Langensalza, Saxony, is recognized as the most famous forerunner of preventive anti-aging medicine.

Cuisine et Santé. Saint Gaudens. France.

Georges Ohsawa

Georges Ohsawa was born in Kyoto on October 18, 1863, and is considered the creator of the current Western macrobiotic diet philosophy

As a teenager, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was cured with the natural therapy of Dr. Sagen Ishizuka, a Japanese doctor, with a therapeutic system based on diet, which later became the basis of macrobiotics.

The fundamental characteristic of Ohsawa's teaching is its practical aspect of it. In particular, he calls attention to the study of the primary influence that food exerts, not only on health but also on behavior and judgment. He considers that obtaining "good health" is the basis that allows the development of a judgment capable of capturing the whole of reality. That said, his notion of "good health" differs significantly from the generally accepted one: it is not about "feeling good" or "not being sick" but about reaching a state that allows us to lead a free and independent life.

The cooking methods are determined by Yin and Yang.

Likewise, the cooking methods are based on Yin and Yang: The very yang profile is extroverted and is often a very active person, rather thin, they like action. Yin cooking will favor you: boiled, stewed, and steamed foods.

The yin profile tends to relax and be chilly and internalizes a lot. You will prefer yang cuisine, such as smoked, grilled, or gratin, or baked.

The fundamental principles of macrobiotics:

  • Gradually replace animal proteins with vegetable proteins, favoring tofu, tempeh, seitan, and vegetable pates (panisse, hummus).

  • Replace refined sugars with rice, barley, and wheat syrups, and, choose almond and sesame preserves.

  • For fats: give preference to tahini, hazelnut, almond purees, miso, and rice drink.

  • Eliminate coffee, black tea, strong alcohol, and sugary drinks and replace them with green tea, Mû tea, and cereal-based drinks such as yannoh, thyme herbal teas, rosemary, miso soups, or soy drinks.

  • Eliminate industrial, refined products that contain preservatives, additives, and privileged foods closest to nature, region, from Organic Farming.

René Lévy

René Lévy, the founder of Cuisine et Santé, meets Georges Ohsawa in Paris, the 1960 donkey:

"At the time, I frequented university restaurants and my body was completely out of whack. One day, I attended a conference given by Georges Ohsawa, who advocated diets based on whole grains. These constitute the very foundation of macrobiotic food. Seduced by his speech, I tried this diet for ten days. I found myself transformed! Suddenly, I slept little and perfectly, my mind was clear, and I felt surprisingly well and joyful, in short, I have only seen positive effects. This is how I became his student assistant".

René Lévy devoted his life to teaching macrobiotics with unfailing loyalty to Ohsawa, of whom we can say that he was the worthy successor. His influence nurtured many vocations, as he trained students who in turn passed on his teaching.

Au pied des Pyrénées, c'est trouvé Cuisine et Sante, le centre emblématique, où il a été pendant des années un point de rencontre international pour la cuisine macrobiotique la plus fidèle à ses origines.


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