Macrobiotic Diet

Macrobiotics refers to the science of longevity and health.  It is based on the view that each person is largely influenced by his environment and social interactions as well as the geography and climate of the place where he lives in.

Macrobiotics also views illnesses as the body’s attempt to return to a more dynamic and harmonious state with nature. It also highly stresses the importance of a healthy diet as one of the major factors that affect one’s health and well-being. Therefore, a macrobiotic diet not only refers to one’s daily diet but it also embraces the importance of living with healthy lifestyle habits for the long term.

What Foods Are Included In A Macrobiotic Diet?

Macrobiotic diet prioritizes locally grown foods which are prepared in a natural manner. Undertaking a macrobiotic diet also means taking extra care in the way the foods are being prepared and cooked.  There is a strong emphasis on eating foods that are baked, boiled and steamed and little fried and processed foods.

Whole grains, vegetables, fermented soy, fish, nuts, soups, seeds and fruits are the main composition of a macrobiotic diet. Other natural food products can also be incorporated in the diet. The composition of a macrobiotic diet can be altered in order to suit an individual’s needs with much consideration to his health status. People who are into a macrobiotic diet must condition themselves to eat slowly and chew their food thoroughly.

What Foods Are NOT Included In A Macrobiotic Diet?

Since a macrobiotic diet strongly recommends that foods must be eaten in their most natural state, processed foods should be avoided. Fatty meats, dairy products, sugar, caffeine, refined flour, alcohol, poultry, zucchini and potatoes are some examples of foods that should not be included in the macrobiotic diet. Remember that macrobiotics aims to achieve balance in every aspect of your life.  Therefore, those foods which were found to be too extreme, highly-concentrated and over stimulating must also be eliminated in your daily diet.

Macrobiotic Diet Studies

Some studies reveal that following a Macrobiotic diet has helped many people lower their levels of blood pressure and serum lipids. This is why some experts suggest that this kind of diet can also be used as an effective means of preventing the emergence of many cardiovascular diseases.

Many experts also believe that a macrobiotic diet can also serve as a valuable inclusion in a cancer prevention plan. However, the macrobiotic diet remains the subject of controversy as many experts doubt its benefits when practiced by people who have diagnosed malignancies.

On the other hand, many anecdotal reports claim that its therapeutic effects are remarkable to patients who are suffering from advanced cancer diseases. But, to date very few research and studies have been conducted that would prove or disprove the benefits of a macrobiotic diet.  Further studies are warranted in order to prove its effectiveness in cancer prevention. Other concerns expressed by some experts include those factors that affect social limitations and nutritional deficiencies. However it is difficult to dispute the long term health benefits of any diet which is based on the consumption of organic and locally grown foods.

5 Kid Friendly US Destinations

Although there are a multitude of destinations considered kid-friendly, here are  5 you may want to consider on your next family vacation.


1. Disney World

This ultimate family vacation has been the source of great joy for adults and kids alike.  Whether you stay several miles from the theme park or enjoy the onsite amenities, this vacation affords you an endless array of activities designed for the entire family.  From Epcot Center to Sea World; from Disney Village to Universal Studios; Water parks to Wildlife parks; no time is wasted at this world-famous resort.


Moreover, many online travel sites are offering special packages to Disney World as well as Southwest Airlines and others.  In addition, you can save quite a bit of money by selecting hotels that offer free stays for children, as well as free meals for the little ones. This is one destination where you can easily book a trip based on your budget and stick to it.


2. Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch

From Alaska to Wyoming, there are a multitude of dude ranches perfect for a family vacation.  But, one of the most notable is the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in Colorado, approximately 20 miles from Rock Mountain National Park.  Here, your family can engage in an array of activities including: horseback riding, hayrides, nature walks, and a host of amenities provided by the ranch.


This dude ranch is perfect for families who love the outdoors as well as enjoy visiting such historic sites as Fort Collins, Old West Museums, and Cheyenne (where you can buy tickets to the world’s largest rodeo held from July 17 to the 26th).


3. Hawaii

While Oahu has always been a popular destination, it is Maui that attracts family vacationers more than any of its islands.  The reason is that it offers a wide variety of activities such as whale watching (seasonal); Lahaina, a famous whaling village; and Maui Ocean Center, home to the largest aquarium in Hawaii.


Your family can also take a ride on the Sugar Cane Train, circa 1890; visit Oheo Gulch to marvel at the spectacular waterfalls; spend a day at Iao Valley and view the Iao Needle; or visit the black-sand beaches at Waianapanapa in East Maui.


For fabulous weather, magnificent sunsets, and beautiful beaches; Maui is the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy spending quality family time.


4. New York

Probably the most exciting vacation spot for families is New York.  The “Big Apple” has something for everyone; from Broadway to Rockefeller Center, you will never run out of things to do here.  Among the many sites to visit is Radio City Music Hall where you can take in a show; Madison Square Garden; the Empire State Building; the Village; 42nd Street, the Theatre District; museums; shopping, fabulous cuisine; the list is endless.


Spend a day walking along Fifth Avenue and stop at St. Patrick’s Cathedral; take a tour of NBC Studios; spend an afternoon in Central Park and visit the zoo there; go to the South Street Seaport or take in a matinee performance on a Wednesday afternoon.


Whether you stay uptown or downtown, you will always be in close proximity to the many historic sites and sounds that comprise Manhattan.  Moreover, your kids will enjoy all this city has to offer.


5. Las Vegas

The city that never sleeps offers a wide range of attractions for kids.  This is why it is among the top family destinations in the US today.  Moreover, it is an affordable vacation because the hotel packages and meals will fit any budget.


Among the many attractions offered for families include: M&M’s World, the Lion Habitat at MGM, Adventure Canyon, Game Works (a video game-playing wonderland), Sports Park, Circus Circus rides; Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage hotel; Shark Reef; New York, New York’s roller coaster; Madame Tussaud’s; Lake Mead; Children’s Museum (the largest of its kind); and Adventuresdome, the largest theme park in the U.S.


Many of these attractions are free and are well worth visiting.  Don’t forget the Flamingo Habitat at the Flamingo hotel or the spectacular water fountain show across the way at Caesars Palace.


For great fun and awesome rides and venues, Las Vegas is a wonderful choice for your next family vacation.


Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Are any of your children difficult to handle? Maybe they are defiant, foul-tempered, or hard to get along with for more than five minutes. It might not be about your parenting but about their condition. Your children could be suffering from Oppositional Defiant Disorder or ODD.


Kids will be Kids


That’s what old folks used to say about children when they were mischievous. All kids test their parents by pushing their boundaries with words and actions. It takes some time but most kids grow out of their questionable behavior as they approach adulthood.


Sometimes, the defiant behavior is more serious than just a “phase” they are going through. Instead of blaming yourself, your child, or trying to sweep the issue under the rug, it may be time to get help. Learn what you are dealing with in order to bring peace back into your home.


Oppositional Defiant Disorder


Children could be suffering from a condition called ODD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder. It involves chronic negative and defiant behavior on the part of your child. They exhibit a pattern of behavior that goes on for at least six months, with almost daily events of:


*Arguing with parents, teachers, and other adults

*Disobeying rules given by parents

*Losing their tempers

*Annoying people on purpose

*Being spiteful or vengeful towards others

*Showing anger and/or resentment towards others

*Irritability or annoyance at the behavior of others

*Placing blame on others instead of accepting it themselves


Children with ODD are highly disruptive. Just going out with your children can lead to problems within the family unit. Normal outings are no longer enjoyable when children exhibit this type of behavior regularly.


Children diagnosed with this condition are likely to suffer from additional issues. These can include ADD (attention-deficit disorder, ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), anxiety, depression, dyslexia, and other learning disabilities. To help resolve the behavior issues, all of the symptoms and conditions must be addressed.


The Cause of Oppositional Defiant Disorder


As with many other conditions, the cause of ODD is not definitive. It could be biological. Chemical imbalances in the brain can lead to a number of conditions that manifest themselves in the body. Genetics can play a part, if other family members have been diagnosed with ODD or other forms of mental illness. Environmental factors can also play a role, whether through food, air, or issues within the home.


Labeling defiant children as “bad” could be detrimental to them. Something else could be at work in their bodies that might be going unnoticed. The key is to have children diagnosed by qualified professionals and address the ODD symptoms as well as any others that may present.


The Fishing Trip

The 5 am alarm had just gone off, and it was signaling it was time for Jane to wake up. As a new year resolution, she had decided to reduce her weight by exercising and observing her the past years, she had accumulated a lot of weight for living an unhealthy lifestyle of eating fast foods, and she barely exercised.


She prepared herself quickly putting on her jogging pants and sneakers and left to jog. Her jogging track involved running around a lake that was a few miles from her home. She always looked forward to jog because she had met this amazing and good looking guy who was a fisherman. Jogging in the morning was so convenient for her given that there were not many people to distract her. Also, it enabled her to start her day feeling fresh and rejuvenated.


The weather that night had been so conducive and Mike had spent the whole night on the lake fishing. Most of the times, Mike and Jane usually met during this morning hours as he was returning from his fishing expeditions. They had developed feelings for one another, but no one had disclosed their emotions to the other.


But this morning something was different, Mike had returned earlier than usual, and so they did not meet. This day, Jane too was so preoccupied with the items of the report she was to present that day to the management. She did not even notice that the fisherman had left early that day.


Just before she finished the final lap around the lake she saw something unusual and decided to check. As she slowly approached the grassy patch, she noticed a big brown bag lying concealed by the tall grass. Drawing closer she realized the bag had some blood stains on it, and she was immediately engulfed in fear. Could it be Mike’s body stashed in that bag? She started wondering.  “Had her boyfriend killed someone and hid their body in the bag?”


She wanted to call the police when Mike emerged, but she couldn’t let him get close. “How could you?” she shouted at him. “I cannot continue dating a murderer; I have to report this.” Mike got confused. “Can I explain?” he pleaded.  It was at that moment that she Jane realized that Mike dressed differently. “I have been waiting for this moment, to show you something” he explained.

“ would you like to accompany me to try my new fishing gear this weekend, will you?”.


She had been waiting for this moment for Mike to ask her out for a date. Jane was so confused, how could she be so judgmental? “Sure, I would love to.” After a short chat, they parted after agreeing to meet that weekend for the fishing.