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Want the diva diet?

india Updated: Jun 27, 2009 12:43 IST

It's called Macrobiotic and no, before you start thinking of technicality and gizmos, hold on — the new food fad in town is actually quite easy to follow.

Based on a simple tenet advocated by the Greek physician Hippocrates "let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food" — the term is all about bringing the body and mind back into balance.

Shonaalii Sabherwal, chef, counsellor and Mumbai's first Macrobiotic Diet specialist has said that the approach encompasses not only good food but extends to cooking styles, lifestyle, daily exercise, even meditation to support a vibrant life.

The right balance
The diet that is reportedly followed by everyone from Alicia Sliverstone, Madonna Gywneth Paltrow and Cindy Crawford, is all about finding the yin and yang in food. One has to aim for a balance that the two forces create, she quips. "Imagine a scale. In it, alcohol and chemicals, sugar, coffee, honey, butter, oil (yin foods) are on one end. At the centre you have tofu, leafy greens, vegetables, whole grains, beans and vegetables.

"The other extreme tilts toward salt (table salt), eggs, red meat, cheese and poultry (yang). You shouldn't be swinging toward either ends, and, if you do, that's when the cravings for certain foods begin." In simple words, avoid anything too sweet, salty or spicy.

Give up milk?
Dairy products are a no-no as diary has casiens which do not assimilate in the body for a long time and since they can't get discharged they can lead to other problems like bronchial problems, allergies and even cysts in women. "For Indians who have a huge leaning toward these products, it's tough initially. But you can supplement it with soy milk or home-made almond milk."

Healthy cooking styles
In addition to the right food, the regime emphasises that cooking styles can govern the way your energy will flow. "Steaming encourages the energy to move up, while sautéing moves it outward, pressure cooking causes it to move inward, while boiling — to flow.

So you could stew some carrots to slowly settle your energy, or steam greens to move your energy upwards. Thus, you can prepare foods in a way that sends healthy living energy into certain parts of your body.

So, get cooking; ingredients are available at your local baniya.