10 Days on Brown Rice – George Ohsawa’s Macrobiotic Diet

As an act of detoxification and cleansing, I have undertaken to complete a 10 day diet of brown rice, sesame seeds and soy sauce.

I first heard of George Ohsawa’s Diet number 7 in Koh Phangan during our Agama Yoga courses. Since then I’ve completed two 10 day regimes and can attest to the positive effects the diet gives.

In addition to cleansing the blood, what I also¬†realised¬†was that if the diet is undertaken with mindfulness and equanimity, it becomes a strong tool for de-addiction from food cravings. Thats good news for my body, as I’ve been going really heavy on gluten, dairy and sugars since coming to USA.

More info on George Ohsawa and the macrobiotic lifestyle here.

(Photo by JapanDave


2 thoughts on “10 Days on Brown Rice – George Ohsawa’s Macrobiotic Diet

  1. I just saw your letter in the March/April issue of Macrobiotics Today. I am very interested in the 10 day brown rice regimen but have found it difficult to get past the first day or two, mainly because of all the thoughts and emotions that come up around eating only brown rice, macrobiotics, and my desire to eat even good quality dairy- and sugar- and egg-free home baked goods. Perhaps all this thinking is part of the discharge process.

    I read that it has helped with your cravings? I would love to be free of my afternoon cravings for such things as my baked goods, dark chocolate, and peanut butter! On rare occasion perhaps these are okay for the healthy person but they shouldn’t be craved.

    Could you share more of your experience? I see that you also include soy? This last time I included gomashio for the couple of days but my counselor Denny Waxman did advise me to stay away from this. Did you and your fiance do anything in the days leading up to the number 7 to prepare yourselves?

    Thank you.


    • Hi Kuwanna,

      Apologies that I hadn’t posted a followup on this diet.

      I’ve done 2 Ohsawa diets now prior to this one. This time round, the diet did not go too well for me. I had developed an unbearable pain behind my eye from an infected sinus and the flu that had dogged me since day 2. I ended up aborting it on day 8 when the pain became so unbearable that I had to concede to painkillers and fruit juice. Not to make excuses for myself, but it was the very first cold winter I spent outside of sunny-all-year Singapore. On top of that, the heater in our house stopped working during the coldest days (some of the water pipes had burst in the frost and I was silly enough to turn off the gas valve thinking it was the water mains, thereby killing the pilot light, resulting in a wait of several days before the gas guy came to relight it). It was a miserable experience!

      That aside, I wholly empathize with your afternoon cravings as I have a sweet tooth myself and its hard for me to do without my Kombuchas, Chais, desserts and the like. Ally calls me a junk food vegetarian =P. Sometimes I feel downright addicted. Its our cravings, compulsions and anxieties after all that bind us to needless habits and behaviors that prevent us from living the liberated life that we owe ourselves.

      In the process of extricating ourselves from these tangled webs, food and sex come foremost as the key compulsions that anchor us to this world. Working on these specific cravings are thus very productive means of developing a sense of clarity. Hence the practice of fasting and celibacy as common spiritual practices across many if not all spiritual disciplines.

      The flip side however, is how difficult it is to work on these powerful cravings!

      What I guess I’m trying to say is that the first few days are normally difficult for me too! An austere diet like No 7 will expose and unearth many voices that will rear their ugly heads when not fed. You are right that it is part of the process.

      The key here is your wherewithal or awareness when the pangs of craving come knocking. Do you try to suppress them or bully yourself into submission? Or do you give in and eat, only to learn once again what a bottomless pit a craving is. Neither act will serve to lessen their grip.

      The key to de-addiction is equanimity, which is both a full acceptance of the craving, and a non reaction to it. It is a sense of relaxation in the face of the compulsion, almost as if you are witnessing it as if the compulsion isn’t yours, and requires a constant vigilance that the mind doesn’t fall into the old habits and patterns.

      In this manner the voices grow weaker and their hold over you decreases.

      I cannot recommend meditation strongly enough as a complimentary practice and as a preparation. We practice Vipassana meditation ourselves. You can learn more about it here, and there will most probably be a meditation center close to your location where you can attend at 10 day residential retreat to pickup the practice, free of charge.

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