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by Michele Shackelford, staff writer


Today most people think of dieting as a restriction of food meant for weight loss, but there are other reasons for various diets. Used for religious purposes, diets can sometimes become a lifestyle change. A macrobiotic diet, a vegan diet, and The Master Cleanse are three examples of lifestyle changes, or philosophies, rather than diets.

The macrobiotic diet, the cleanse, and the vegan lifestyle are done for other reasons than losing weight. They are methods for purifying one’s life and starting new. If you are looking for a way to get your life back to a healthy state of being, these diets might be something to consider.

For centuries, people have looked for ways to make their bodies more alluring, but these habits are not meant to transform physical appeal but rather for transforming the mind, body, and soul.

The macrobiotic diet
The macrobiotic philosophy of living is to achieve a radiant mind and lead a balanced and healthy lifestyle. “Macro” literally means large and “bio” means life, therefore it is a philosophy of creating a big life and developing a sense of balance and strength in one’s health.

Michio Kushi, a student of George Ohsawa, a philosopher-writer and teacher, came to America in 1949 from Japan, and created the standard macrobiotic diet. Kushi’s mission was to create world peace. Ohsawa taught that food was the key to health and health was the key to peace. Kushi adapted this philosophy and transformed it into the standard macrobiotic diet. Kushi presented his philosophy before the U.S. Congress in 1970, and has lectured in the United States and around the world for the last 25 years. His family owns numerous organizations, and he has been featured in multiple magazines and studies over the years. Harvard Medical School, Boston College, and many others have published the benefits of his macrobiotic diet in journals.

In 1990, Kushi developed the One Peaceful World Network, which is a global organization of friends, businesses, educational centers, and other associations. Its purpose is to give people a support system to help live this lifestyle in today’s world. According to the Michio Kushi Web site (www.michiokushi.org), the mission of the One Peaceful World Network is, “to help lead the planet safely into this century and ensure humanity’s continued biological and spiritual evolution.”
The Kushi Institute is another program founded by Kushi and his wife, Phiya. According to Mrs. Kushi, “the macrobiotic approach is based on the view that we are the result of and continually influenced by our total environment…” The mission of the Kushi Institute is to teach, guide, and inspire individuals towards greater personal freedom, health, happiness, and peace through the principles of Kushi macrobiotics. The Kushi Institute is located in Berkshire, Massachusetts.

Followers of the macrobiotic diet are usually seeking a healthy way of eating that integrates physical, spiritual, mental, and planetary health. This diet mainly emphasizes whole grains and vegetables, making it a high fiber, low-fat diet. The macrobiotic lifestyle is often used when seeking to improve health and reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. For more information and inspirational testimonies, visit the Center for Aliveness and Wellbeing at www.macrobiotichealingcenter.com/testimonials.htm.

(Left) This collage shows some of the foods recommended following the end of the Master Cleanse.
Clockwise: apple, grapes, strawberry, orange, and bananas (center). (Right) This graphic shows foods that vegansim prohibits. From left to right, top to bottom: cheese, eggs, milk, and meat.

Photo illustration by Makana Shook
Photos courtesy morguefile.com.

Veganism, or total vegetarianism, is another lifestyle people sometimes choose to follow. Vegans consume only plant foods and do not eat milk, eggs, cheese, meat, or any other animal products. This is a difficult lifestyle to follow while attempting to include all the essential vitamins one needs. It is often recommended that vegans take vitamin supplements to make up for the lack of vitamins received from such a restrictive diet.

Vegans also have communities which they can turn to for support and understanding. The Vegan Society began in 1944 and was founded by Elsie Shrigley and Donald Watson, according to The Vegan Society Web site (www.vegansoicety.com). Shrigley and Watson decided it was important to coordinate “non-dairy vegetarians.” According to The Vegan Society Web site, “the Society remains as determined as ever to promote vegan lifestyles-that is ways of living that seek to exclude, as far as is possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.” The Vegan Society also supports vegans in the community with books, videos, and a variety of events. They also release a quarterly magazine called The Vegan to show their support to all of the vegans in the community.

People generally choose to become vegan for four main reasons, according to The Vegan Society: for the animals, for their health, for the planet, and for others.

There are also many health benefits by choosing to become vegan: weight loss, lowered cholesterol and blood pressure, less frequent use of medication, lowered chance of cancer, and a more energized feeling. By lowering your intake of processed and fatty foods, you boost your health.

Vegans partake in a very difficult lifestyle. They must base almost everything they do around the way they eat and the products they choose to use. It is a struggle to be a vegan in a nonvegan world. For more information about local support groups, ordering books, or other self-help devices visit www.rawfoodplanet.com.

The Master Cleanse
The Master Cleanse or “The Lemonade Diet” is a detoxification process used for cleansing the body. According to Stanley Burroughs, author of The Master Cleanser with special needs and problems, it is “the basic elimination of every kind of disease, and the purpose of the book is to simplify the cause and correlation of all disorders regardless of the name or names.” He states that we must cleanse all diseases and afterward build positive, good health.

According to Burroughs, it is made to cleanse the kidneys, digestive tract, eliminate toxins and congestion, purify glands and cells, and relieve irritation throughout the body. After the cleanse, it is essential to cautiously wean your way back into a normal, healthy diet. Soups and juices are recommended for the first few days after the end of the cleanse, and then it is advised to slowly move into fruits, vegetables, and other natural foods.

The Master Cleanse is one of the most draining and difficult cleanses the first few days, but after the fourth day people claim to feel a regained energy and lack of hunger. This grueling cleanse can be very difficult to attempt around others or in stressful environments, and therefore is often recommended to be done with a support group or in a relaxing period of time.

It is important to stay focused and press on even though sluggish feelings and headaches may occur the first few days. This is not a cleanse for everyone, but only for serious people looking to purify their bodies and mind. The Master Cleanse guide book is available for purchase at www.mastercleanse.com.

The Master Cleanse detoxification consists of drinking a precise mixture: ½ a lemon, 2 tbsp. of pure grade B maple syrup, 1/10 tsp. of cayenne pepper, and 12 ounces of purified water.

It is also recommended to drink an herbal laxative tea twice a day. This is a cleanse that is meant to be practiced for 10 days or longer the first time used, and then one to two days a month afterward.

Photo by Makana Shook


Courtesy Abe Gruber

“A few friends and I decided to do the Master Cleanse. I noticed that my energy level was a lot better after the 10 days of cleansing.”

Abe Gruber, senior computer information systems major

Courtesy Veronica Garcia

“I chose the vegan lifestyle after I read countless literature on the effects of living vegan. Many cultures and spiritualities who practice veganism are known as more compassionate and peaceful people.”

Veronica Garcia, junior social work and environmental studies major

Courtesy Danielle Jones

“I was on the Master Cleanse for about two-and-a-half weeks. It enhanced my smelling, hearing, and seeing capabilities. I could smell a BBQ from blocks away!”

Danielle Jones, senior visual communications major and spanish minor




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