by Lucia Stansbie
The macrobiotic diet is based on Zen Buddhism principles combined with a western-style vegetarian diet, and was popularised by George Ohsawa in the 1930s and subsequently elaborated on by his disciple Michio Kushi. Foods are considered either yin (cold, sweet) or yang (hot, salty) and are combined in a meal to reach balance between the two elements. Staples of this diet are rice (brown) and legumes, as well as fermented soy produce and seaweed. Meat, dairy, processed foods and nightshades (aubergines, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes) are excluded.