Originally published in 1998 in black and white by the Kushi Institute. Now available here online, in colour and free!
Hello, my name is Lucy and I like big words. Sometimes people don't understand what I'm saying . . .
. . . So I'll try not to use too many big words.
One of my first ever favorite big words was 'vegetarian'. I'm a vegetarian. I don't eat meat because I like animals and I don't want to eat them, if you see what I mean.
My Mum and Dad used to eat a lot of meat, especially beef and pork. So from time to time I would try to offer them a little friendly information . . .
This is the story of how the word 'macrobiotics' became my favorite big word.
My Mum wasn't feeling well so she went to the doctor's. He told her she had cervical cancer. A serious illness in the place in her tummy where babies come from
We were all very worried.
When Mum's friend, Brenda, found out she had cancer, she came round right away and gave Mum a book on the macrobiotic diet. She said it could get rid of the cancer.
Mum was very happy that she could do something to help herself. She decided to give it a try.
She gave up meat, sugary food and drinks, processed food and dairy products like cheese, milk and cream.
And she started cooking whole foods including lots of fresh, organic, green vegetables.
At first it didn't go too well. . .
But Mum doesn't give up easily and she asked Brenda, who knew a lot about the macrobiotic diet, to come over and help her.
Dad made fun of Brenda and said she ate 'macro-slime' and that Mum was going on the 'macro-slime-diet'.
Mum said she would show him he was wrong and sent him out of the kitchen.
And before long she proved that she was right. She began to make delicious, healthy meals. All she needed was patience, determination, and support from us.
The person who wrote the book said it was also important to chew every mouthful at least fifty times, preferably a hundred. This is to make sure that when the food is swallowed it is completely liquid. This improves digestion a lot and helps the body fight illness. It is also important not to overeat, if the tummy is too full its job of digesting food is made harder.
Going out and enjoying the beauty of nature was recommended too, so going out for walks everyday is a good idea. Walking is an excellent form of exercise.
The author also encouraged other forms of gentle exercise.
He said it was good to develop spiritually.
My Mum is a Buddhist. She believes in the mystic universal law of life. And my Dad is a Christian. He believes in God.
I like to see myself as an agnostic. . . I choose not to practise a religion. . . also, it's a really good big word.
So, while my Mum chants more. . .
And my Dad prays more. . .
I like to develop my skills in levitation*
*to lift yourself into the air through the power of your mind
I didn't have much success with levitation, but something else happened which was really good.
Mum and Dad lost weight!
They seemed to be falling in love with each other all over again, which was great. Although I was a little concerned when they began to talk vegetable language. . .
It wasn't just that they were slimmer and falling in love again. They had more energy in general. What's more, Mum stopped being so crabby and Dad stopped getting so stressed all the time.
In fact, I was amazed. They seemed so much younger altogether.
When Mum went back to the doctor's, he said that the cancer was regressing. That means that it was shrinking. She seemed to be getting better.
Now that she knew for sure that the macrobiotic diet was working, she continued even harder, as well as trying out the other natural therapies that were recommended such as hip baths. . .
. . . and singing everyday. . . although I never understood why they said it is supposed to be relaxing. They keep telling me that their favorite song is an old Motown classic. Well, if that's what music from Motown sounds like, I never want to go there!
Apart from the horrible singing, a couple of good things happened. First of all, my eczema went away when I stopped eating sugar and cheese and drinking milk. Eczema is when your skin goes dry, red and itchy. Sometimes mine got so bad it would bleed. you can imagine how pleased I was that it went away.
And my Dad was delighted when his dandruff went away too. . . so was Mum.
In fact, Dad was so pleased about his dandruff that he decided to take up cooking too. Although this did have a rather strange effect on Mum. . .
It wasn't just us that changed. The house changed too. Dad had the house filled with plants, because they help clean the air and provide lots of oxygen for us to breathe. Mum had read that doing daily yoga breathing exercises was excellent for purifying the blood. . . she got quite carried away sometimes. . .
The next time we went to the doctor's he was off sick, but the lady who was replacing him gave us some wonderful news.
We were all very happy!
Mum even said that she was glad she had got the cancer because thanks to her illness she was able to change lots of negative things in her life.
She sometimes says to me, ' Just think Lucy, if I hadn't got cancer your Dad would never have got rid of his dandruff!' And then she laughs a lot. . . although I don't exactly know why.
I'm pleased because I learnt a new big word. That wasn't a snake after all in the doctor's office. It's what they use to hear people's hearts and lungs.