In macrobiotics, the energy and context of everything you eat has a value and a purpose. One of the most valuable tools I learned through macrobiotics, no matter what I eat, is the power of chewing. Chewing until liquid or chewing once for every tooth you have. This process slows down your eating, which helps your digestive system to properly digest the nutrients and encourages a subtle body. The other concept, that is rarely talked about, is the texture of foods being eaten in relation to how it affects your body. For instance, eating hard, crunchy foods could cause your body to be tight and stiff. Eating soft foods can help your body become more flexible and open. Bringing new awareness to the old saying, you are what you eat. Here are some tips to help your body become more open and flexible by eating.
1. Flash cook vegetables to make them soft. Boil a little bit of water in a sauce pan and place the vegetables, broccoli for instance, in the boiling water for about 30 seconds or until bright green. Do not overcook, as you will lose the nutritional values. You will see that all vegetables turn a brighter color when cooked perfectly, that is your cue that they are ready. You can also cook certain fruit to make them softer, such as baking apples for a healthy sweet craving option.
2. More fresh, less packaged foods. The less work your body has to do to process the foods it eats, the better. You can help by choosing organic, unprocessed, preservative free, GMO free foods and chewing your food thoroughly. This of course discludes ice cream, hence it is a soft food but it is loaded with sugar and we are speaking of healthy options here. Anything loaded with sugar can make your body more tight and trigger inflammation.
3. If you are feeling tight, sore or in any pain, lean more towards soups, broths, smoothies and juices...healthy soft foods. Stray from anything that is hard, crunchy or takes a lot of effort to chew and digest like animal products. Begin to notice the connection between the foods you eat and the outcome it has on your body.
* "Notice that the stiffest tree is the most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind." - Bruce Lee