Standard Diet and Healing Diet

Foods to Eliminate While On Healing Macrobiotic Diet

Healing Macrobiotic Diet-Transition and Discharge Phase

General Suggestions

Methods of Cooking and Food Preparation

Setting Up Your Macrobiotic Kitchen

You Must Have "Good Blood Quality" For Best Health

Common Mistakes In Beginning Macrobiotic Practise

Condiment Guidelines/ Use of Leftovers and Reheating Foods

Maintaining Macrobiotic Practise While Travelling

Transition and Discharge

What's Wrong With Soft Drinks?


Dairy Products




Common Mistakes In Beginning Macrobiotic Practise


It is easy, particularly at the beginning of your macrobiotic practice, to overuse salty seasonings such as miso, shoyu/soy sauce, sea salt, umeboshi (plums, paste, or vinegar), condiments and sea vegetables. It also happens that, out of fear or unfamiliarity, people underuse these ingredients. However, overuse is the most common error in beginning macrobiotic practise. It arises from the desire to make the food tastier or because we are unfamiliar with proper seasoning amounts and techniques. Also, many people make the mistaken assumption that “if some is good, then more is better”. It is essential to study macrobiotic cooking with an experienced, well-trained and qualified macrobiotic cooking instructor so that you learn macrobiotic cooking techniques and how to create tasty, well-prepared, and balanced food. It is also helpful to follow the recipes and seasoning guidelines outlined in macrobictic cookbooks which are designed for health recovery.

The following are common mistakes:

Adding too much Miso or Shoyu/Soy Sauce to your Soup

Miso soup is best when it has a light, refreshing, mildly salty flavor. Michio Kushi’s apt and poetic description for the ideal broth is “fresh as a spring breeze.” You should still be able to taste the vegetables in it, see the bottom of the bowl, and not want to take a beverage or something sweet after drinking it. Keep in mind, however, that it should taste like soup and not tea. Soup relaxes us before the meal, stimulates our appetite and digestion, and helps make good, strong blood. Learn to make elegant, delicate (and sometimes heatty, but not salty) soups, and you will enjoy your meals to the utmost.

Not simmering in the Miso, Shoyu/Soy Sauce or Sea Salt

Miso needs to simmer in the soup over a low flame for 3-4 minutes before eating. Shoyu/soy sauce needs to simmer over a low flame for 5-7 minutes. Sea salt needs to simmer for 10 minutes or longer over a low flame. When the salt from these seasonings is properly blended in the broth, it not only tastes better and smoother, it is far more digestible and nourishing.

Using too much Sea Vegetable in Soup

Follow the recipe guidelines for wakarne/kombu use in your recommendation booklet. Keep in mind that soup is seasoned with miso, shoyu/soy sauce, or sea salt - not by the sea vegetable. A graceful leaf or two of wakame floating in the bowl is the appropriate amount (as opposed to a slurry of slime!). On average, about _" - 1" piece of dry wakame per cup of miso soup creates a desireably mild taste.

Too many Condiments or Pickles

Condiments are the spark plugs of macrobiotic eating. They supply vitamins and minerals, while improving the taste and digestibility of grains and vegetables. They should enhance, not overpower, the dish on which you sprinkle them. A _ -1 level teaspoon of condiment once or twice a day is an appropriate amount for most people. Some may need a bit more, many will do better to take a bit less. Follow the guidelines in your recommendation booklet. In order to receive the most benefit out of condiments, use just enough in a meal to taste it in several mouthfuls. Rather than creating unidentifiable mounds by smothering your food in a salty powder, keep in mind that you should be able to fully see the food beneath the condiment.

The same goes for pickles: a little goes a long way. The average consumption is one tablespoon per day. You may eat them with or following any meal. They are not the most ideal snack, as they may make you hungrier, thirstler, or crave sweets. Also, please remember to rinse or soak them (including store bought) well in.cold water before eating. This will remove any strong salty taste.
Using shoyu/soy sauce at the table
Shoyu/soy sauce, while available as a table condiment in Japanese and Chinese restaurants, is really designed for use in cooking. Only when it is well blended into food over a low flame does the best, sweetest taste result and is proper digestibility assured. Pouring it on rice, noodles, beans, or other foods like popcorn, toasted nuts or seeds can make us feel stiff, irritable, thirsty and crave sweets.

Sea Vegetables

Sea vegetables are a delicious part of a natural foods diet. In addition to supplying important minerals, including complex sodium, sea vegetables help to clean our blood, cells and tissues, keeping them strong and flexible. If we overeat sea vegetables, however, we may become quite the opposite: stiff, inflexible, tired, and craving oily foods or sweets. Please follow recipe suggestions and enjoy moderate amounts throughout the day and week. Just a NOTE: When cooking rice with kombu we generally use almost 1" square (US. postage stamp size) dry piece instead of sea salt to mineralize the rice.


Using the leftover water from cooking udon or soba noodles can make us feel tight, experience water retention and other symptoms of excess salt consumption. Discard noodle cooking waters while healing and rinse off Japanese pasta well after cooking as it is made with salt.

Using sea salt and kombu while cooking rice is too much. Choose one or the other. The standard amount of sea salt per cup of rice is a tiny, tiny pinch - the amount that sticks to your moistened finger.

Using miso as a spread like jam on bread or rice cakes. Use miso only in cooking and only in modest amounts. While it is delicious right out of the container it is not easily absorbed in the body and is generally too salty for this type of use.

Snacking on salty umeboshi plums, adding condiments to already well-seasoned soups and in general overdoing it. If you find yourself consistently craving salty taste, please contact a qualified macrobiotic teacher for assistance in distinguishing what imbalance could be causing such cravings.

Salt’s Hidden Power

The use of sea salt and salty taste in cooking is one of the most important factors in our human diet whether it is based upon grain and vegetables or animal food. Good quality, unrefined minerals are essential to our body’s ability to make strong blood, bones, teeth, nerves, tissues, and cells. Managing salt in our cooking helps ensure not only good tasting food but good health as well. There is no need to fear salt and salty seasonings - simply use them with care.


Salt Sources: Sea salt in cooking, Miso in cooking, Shoyu/Soy sauce in cooking, Umeboshi (Plums, Paste, and Vinegar), Condiments such as Gomashio (Sesame Salt), Tekka, Shiso Powder, Green Nori Flakes, Roasted Sea Vegetable Powder, Sea Vegetables. Pickled Vegetables.

Miso for Soup
1/4 - 1 level teaspoon per cup of broth
Simmer in broth for 3-4 minutes

Shoyu/Soy Sauce for Soup
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon per cup of broth
Simmer in broth for 5-7 minutes

Sea Salt for Soup
1/8 teaspoon per 2 cups liquid
Simmer in broth at least 7-10 minutes

Umeboshi Vinegar for Soup
1/2 level teaspoon per cup of soup
Simmer in broth 5-7 minutes

Dry Wakame Sea Vegetable for Miso Soup
1/2 - 1 " per cup of liquid

Sea Salt for Beans
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon per cup of dry beans
1/4 teaspoon per cup of black soybeans

Shoyu/Soy Sauce for Beans
1-1/2 teaspoon per cup of dry beans (if used instead of sea salt)

Miso for Beans
1-1/2 teaspoon per cup of dry beans (if used instead of sea salt)

Sea Salt for Rice
1 “1 finger” pinch per cup of dry rice (3 pinches equals _ teaspoon)

Kombu Sea Vegetable for Rice
1 square inch dry kombu per cup of dry rice (for use instead of sea salt)

Sea Salt when making Pressed Salad
1 teaspoon per 2 cups chopped, packed vegetables (Rinse very well after pressing)

Umeboshi Vinegar when making Pressed Salad
3 teaspoons per 2 cups of chopped vegetables (Rinse very well after pressing)