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Macrobiotic Nutrition: Three Diets In One

Posted by Carmen Chu on


The Origin and Evolution of Macrobiotic Nutrition


The name “macrobiotics” comes from Greek “macro” and “bios” meaning large or long life. The unique approach to creating balance in the body was developed by Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, in the 4th century BC, in ancient Greece. Hippocrates suggested eating fresh, seasonal and local food, coining the phrase “Let food be thy medicine”.


Today, some 2,000 years later, macrobiotic nutrition has evolved into three essential diets: medicinal, standard, and gourmet.


The medicinal diet is best suited when the body is out of balance, overwhelmed, and needs healing. The standard macrobiotic diet, or standard macro, is practiced to provide nourishment on daily basis. Lastly, the gourmet macrobiotic diet, or gourmet macro, is practiced from time to time, mostly reserved for celebrations, social gatherings, and includes an occasional trip to the restaurant.


The chart below lists the ingredients used in the standard macrobiotic diet. 

Credit: Informed Meateater


Medicinal Macrobiotic Diet

It is a common misconception that medicinal macrobiotic diet is the only macrobiotic diet, and that it is strictly for the ill. It is true however that many people who begin practicing macrobiotics are looking to heal.


When I was 15 years old, my mother Mina Dobic, was diagnosed with a Stage IV ovarian cancer, which spread to her lymph, bones, and metastasized to her liver. She was 43 years old at the time and given two months to live by western medical experts. Mina began practicing a medicinal macrobiotic diet and lifestyle to correct her condition. Six months later, the cancer stopped spreading, and a year later she was pronounced cancer-free. I witnessed the power of macrobiotics firsthand and supported my mother by helping her prepare meals and home remedies. In October of this year, my mother Mina will be turning 77 years old - and she is as energetic and vibrant as ever!


Medicinal diet is also for the healthy and it is practiced occasionally to improve digestion, help body get rid of toxins, mucus, and restore energy levels. Few days of cutting down on salt, oil, spices, eating more regularly and little lighter then usual will give your body the break that it needs to reboot.


Medicinal diet isn’t fasting. There is no skipping meals and brown rice is not the only thing on the menu. It’s simply about strengthening the body and organ functions with proper nourishment, one meal at the time.


Standard Macrobiotic Diet / Standard Macro

As one of my teachers once said “Eat to live, don’t live to eat”. In other words, food, no matter how good for you, should not be the only focus of your life. Proper nourishment plays an important part in achieving goals, but it’s not the only reason we are here. We have talents that need exploring and dreams that need accomplishing and the food we eat on daily basis should support our goals. Standard macrobiotic diet does exactly that! It gives you proper nourishment so you can achieve your goals and still have enough energy to go out and celebrate.


Standard macrobiotic diet is food for everyday living. It is important to understand the different energies we get from varieties and combinations of whole grains, vegetables, beans, sea vegetables, fish and fruit. Different cooking methods are used to further support the body and mind balance and create specific energy suitable to accomplish particular tasks. For and individual who is more physically active, stronger protein and longer cooking time might be needed. For a creative type, on the other hand, eating more plant-based diet combined with shorter cooking time will keep the energy light supporting mental activity. The approach to choosing your diet based on your constitution and physical and mental needs is a true testament to the saying “you are what you eat”. By practicing standard macrobiotic diet you get to observe your body and learn what works for you.


Gourmet Macrobiotic Diet / Gourmet Macro

Gourmet macro diet is mostly reserved for special occasions, like my brother’s birthday coming up later this month. We are getting him a cake – a macro gourmet cake! It won’t have any dairy, simple sugars or eggs but will still be as delicious and satisfying as the “real thing”, without the food-comma of course. To build up to the cake part, we’ll have a lunch featuring my famous seafood pasta with fresh made tomato sauce, scallops, calamari, and fish. To balance out the seafood pasta, fresh salad is also on the menu. I am thinking spring mix, grated carrots, grated daikon, cucumbers and avocado seasoned with olive oil, sea salt and balsamic vinegar. Lastly, oven roasted fingerling potatoes to make things more interesting. This is what a gourmet macro diet is; a celebration of flavors, a feast fit for a king. The best part is, I’ll still be able to get up the next day and just go; without food guilt and free of aches or pain. Actually eating gourmet from time to time gives body a chance to flex its digestive muscles. But the next day, I am back to my standard macro. It’s probably a good thing I don’t have that many friends with birthdays this month, otherwise I’d have to go medicinal for a few days.


All three macrobiotic diets are equally important and should be practiced depending on how you feel, what you do, and what kind of nourishment you need. Just like no two individuals are the same, no one diet is right for everyone. Macrobiotics provides this flexibility and I encourage you to explore it.


Next time we will take a deeper look at food as energy and learning how to balance your meals to support specific activities and conditions.



Macrobiotic Workshops with Srdjan “Serg” Dobic

Serg has 3 levels of workshops lined up for October and November 2019. Sign up for the classes from the links bellow!


Workshop Sign Up Dates:

  • Workshop 1 - Day 1
    Introduction to Macrobiotic Nutrition Cooking Class
    Wednesday, October 23 11:00am – 1:30pm
     Sign Up Here

  • Workshop 1 - Day 2
    Introduction to Macrobiotic Nutrition Cooking Class
    Thursday, October 24 6:00 – 8:30pm
    Sign Up Here

  • Workshop 2 - Day 1
    Food as Energy - Macrobiotic Nutrition with Cooking Class
    Tuesday, October 29⋅6:00 – 8:30pm
    Sign Up Here

  • Workshop 2 - Day 2
    Food as Energy - Macrobiotic Nutrition with Cooking Class
    Wednesday, October 30⋅11:00am – 1:30pm
    Sign Up Here

  • Workshop 3 - Day 1
    Home Remedies - Macrobiotic Nutrition with Cooking Class
    Tuesday, November 5⋅6:00 – 8:30pm
    Sign Up Here

  • Workshop 3 - Day 2
    Macrobiotic Nutrition with Cooking Class
    Wednesday, November 6⋅11:00am – 1:30pm
    Sign Up Here



About the Author: Srdjan “Serg” Dobic


Srdjan “Serg” Dobic is a macrobiotic nutrition and lifestyle counselor. Implementing the principals of macrobiotic philosophy, diet and lifestyle, Serg specializes in working with clients to enhance vitality and improve specific health conditions such as stress, anxiety, chronic fatigue, digestion and respiratory issues.


For a 15 minute complimentary consultation and to schedule a full consultation with Serg, please send email to or Call / WhatsApp: +852 6112 4183

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