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
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
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
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
a lot better after the 10 days of cleansing.”
Abe Gruber, senior computer information
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