The Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics: A Philosophy for Achieving a Radiant Mind and a Fabulous Body

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Heralded by New York magazine as one of the city's most popular diets, macrobiotics has become the latest trend in dieting, thanks to high-profile supporters like Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow. Speaking to the generation of young women looking to extend their healthy lifestyles beyond yoga and Pilates, macrobiotic chef and instructor Jessica Porter offers fresh, contemporary, and accessible insight into one of the world's oldest, yet most popular, diets. She explains that by eating good quality whole foods, any woman can experience physical, sensory, emotional, and intellectual freedom. The effects of eating a macrobiotic diet can extend beyond basic health to weight loss, beauty, better sex, and peace of mind. Cooking tips and recipes are combined with Jessica's no-nonsense philosophy and witty anecdotes to create a lifestyle book that will inspire women to hit the kitchen with an understanding of how to strengthen their minds and bodies through food.

Customer Reviews:

  • Easy and fun way to go macro
    This book was a godsend for me. I have been interested in macrobiotics since I first became aware of it through Madonna (cheesy, I know, but Jessica Porter talks about her a lot, too!). At that time, I didn't get the philosophy part of it and wasn't willing to cut out dairy and sugar. Well, now I am and was reluctant to get into macrobiotics because I had found the info on it dry and confusing. That is why I loved this book! It helped me understand macro and I also love that the author is very forgiving. Great book! If you are even remotely interested (especially if you're just "remotely" interested) give this book a chance!...more info
  • Buy this book
    Jessica Porter makes macrobiotic eating friendly, allows for fallibility, accepts that all this focus on uber-healthy living can be exhausting and absurd, lets you stray from the 'path,' but always coaxes you back with her humor and fabulous recipes. Even if you don't want to go 'whole hog' into the world of macrobiotics, read it. It's better than Bridget Jones Enlightened But Not Self-Righteous with some ace kitchen/lifestyle tips thrown in....more info
  • Excellent for women starting the macrobiotic diet
    This is an excellent guideline for women starting the diet. It breaks everything down into easy terms so you can start applying immediately. I found it was a great stepping stone and it cleared up some things for me. I was already basically on the diet, I just needed to go more in depth and now I can move onto more complex books....more info
  • Informative and a Great Read
    As a newcomer to the macrobiotic lifestyle, I am always looking for books on the topic. Jessica Porter is awesome - she conveys the information in a succinct, clear and non-condescending manner. Not to mention the fact that she is really funny! Not only did I learn a lot from this book, but I also really enjoyed reading it. ...more info
  • Great book for guys, too
    Guys -- Don't let the title fool you. I got a lot out of reading this book. You can learn both about being conscious of the food you eat, and also get a life lesson into how women think. Ultra-enjoyable book -- for all genders....more info
  • Good book
    This was a very good book and covered more than basic macro principals. It was very well written and added elements to my understanding. I thought it would have more recipes, but that was the only thing that that wasn't PERFECT about this book. I would recommend buying it....more info
  • Amazing!
    Simply one of the best books I've read on macrobiotics! It gives you a good introductory course on how to become macro and how to maintain the philosophy/diet. Jessica's anecdotes are just one of the great reasons to pick this up. Even if you aren't interested in macrobiotics as a lifestyle, there is some great info in here, with some great recipes! I loved her tempura recipe, and I'm going to be trying some more this weekend. This is just great advice for anyone looking to cleanse their bodies and minds or just to eat and feel better. A+...more info
  • Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics
    In the film "Supersize Me", McDonald's fast food is implicated in causing a serious decline in the health of the main character who eats McDonalds three times a day. He is under the care of three physicians who monitor the serious deterioration of his health, which occurs in a matter of weeks. Imagine how one could turn around their health in the opposite direction i.e. becoming healthier by eating the macrobiotic diet as espoused by author Jessica Porter. One would lose weight, have lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, good liver function, etc., etc., etc. It would be great if the author could write a script for a film called MacMe (Macrobiotize Me) to show the healthful benefits of eating this way. We would all be better off if we ate MacRobiotics instead of Big Macs....more info
  • Ok but nothing exceptional
    Although this is rather a 'fun' read it does not provide a compelling reason to follow a macrobiotic diet, after you have finished the book. The author appears to be committed to the macrobiotic diet to a lesser extent than I expected, given that she was writing a book on the topic. Her admissions to still indulging in french fries and other junk food, while at the same time extolling the virtues of giving macrobiotics your all seems contradictory to say the least. Sure, we all fall of the wagon (whatever that means for each of us) at times but Ms. Porter's descriptions of forbidden cravings and lapses seemed a lot more than that.

    I was also dismayed to read that all the nightshade plants are forbidden on this diet, including tomatoes and potatoes. No way could I commit to that.

    Not the worst dietary book I've read but certainly not the best. Try it from the library first, before investing in a copy for yourself, if you are seriously looking for answers re: macrobiotics....more info
  • Approachable introduction to macrobiotics
    I enjoyed this book very much. I didn't read it page by page, but skimmed sections and focused more on the recipes. The chapter on yin and yang is a little long and more information than the average reader probably wants to know. I would though recommend this book to friends and family who want to eat more healthy....more info
  • The Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics
    This book is the most readable book I have thus far read about macrobiotics. It could also be called the Hip Chicks Guide to Being a Healthy Vegan except for the fact that the macrobiotic diet does include some fish. To be a vegan one does not have to necessarily follow a healthy diet i.e. there is no limit on eating refined sugar, flour, preservatives, chemical additives, etc. Being a macrobiotic is taking veganism one step further by removing these foods and adding healthful foods such a whole grains and sea vegetables to the diet.
    For anyone who wants to learn more about macrobiotics, one should start with this well-written, informative, and humorous book. ...more info
  • Inspiring, funny, educational.
    I have read and reread this book many times since purchasing it several years ago. The book is like sitting down with an old girl friend and chatting. It is an easy read, but at the same time, explains macrobiotics very well, as well as giving a good memoir of the author's journey into macrobiotics. The book is peppered with recipes, many of which i have made, and each one of those a success. I often go back to this book and reread sections to keep me on track in my own marobiotic practice. ...more info
  • Easy reading
    This is a wonderful book for anyone considering Macrobiotics. The book is written with wit and humor and is very easy to understand for someone unfamiliar with Macrobiotics. Even if you do not choose to do Macrobiotics you will still find this book enjoyable. I have recommended it to friends, relatives and the occasional stranger.
    There are simple suggestions in the book which will give you a small insight into the possibilities of macrobiotics that do not require a complete lifestyle change or even a purchase -- a way to basically 'test drive' macrobiotics. I was amazed at what a few changes in diet can do....more info
  • Making macrobiotics sound less crazy
    Jessica Porter's light hearted approach to macrobiotics sets this book apart. She doesn't take herself too seriously and admits how nuts it all sounds to someone who has been eating a typical American diet their whole life. It makes the macro philosophy accessible to the most cyncial of us!...more info
  • Funny & Practical
    The book gives a great overview of Macrobiotics. The author is humorous and doesn't take herself too seriously. An easy read through or reference text....more info
  • Fantastic Book!
    This book is FANTASTIC!! Jessica Porter's book is my new best friend! I found the author's wit and knowledge just the right combination for such a drab subject. I laughed out loud so many times! This is definately the book to buy for anyone looking to start macrobiotics. It puts reality into a sometimes difficult way of life with that twist of humor that tickles your funny bone. The way Porter describes her own travels down the road of seaweed and brown rice is hilarious as well as extremely informing.

    Her explainations made sense and gave me an easier understanding of the whole picture. This is a great book. It will leave you feeling infinately smarter, more whole and centered and lighthearted. Jessica Porter is a genius! ...more info
  • A Conforming Macro - Chick !
    I love this book and Jessica Porter really helps you understand the incredible laws of yin and yang. I was introduced to macrobiotics from a long time practitioner of it and it sounded like something I could do. I'm all about holistic nutrition and using healthy food to heal the body. I don't trust doctors and I lean more toward the preventative healthcare. I take kung fu, so this fits my martial arts lifestyle. The book is funny and not overwhelming at all. You will get the full scope of macrobiotics and be entertained, too!...more info
  • Jessica scores bigtime with her AWESOME book!
    Wow...this book was like an all-you can eat buffet of tasty recipes and hip wit. I started studying macrobiotics a few years back and my first reaction to the books and the recipes I first encountered was "WHAT is this stuff...HOW do i pronounce it, let alone know where I can BUY it??? Now I know how the stars can do it so easily...personal chefs!" NO WAY! Not with a guide like this! Jessica's down-to-earth descriptions and storytelling are informative, educational, and make macrobiotics thoroughly accessible. She has provided recipes for macro "comfort food", and even shares her ups and downs with her own macro-ness. The book is worth buying, even if just for her description of succumbing to a McDonalds' filet-o-fish. Score, Jessica! You have a fan here!...more info
  • Should be called the GULLIBLE chick's guide to macrobiotics
    Okay before you all bash me because I didn't love this book, let me state that I was already mostly macrobiotic before reading it -- I'm vegan (other than a couple of tablespoons of milk in the coffee I'm weaning myself off of), my diet consists mostly of whole grains, vegetables, & legumes, I don't eat sugar at all and almost no refined or processed food, and I cook most of what I eat fresh, every day. I'm not reviewing the philosophy or science of macrobiotics, just this book, which I was looking to as just what the title suggests.

    The Positives

    The book is for the most part well-written and the explanation of macrobiotic philosophy is pretty clear. So far so good. You either agree with the notion of the universe as being composed of the fundamental forces of yin and yang, or you don't, but you can't argue with statements such as "in macrobiotics ______ is seen as yin," or with the idea of creating balance or with a clear statement of activities that increase yin or yang (unless you think she is wrong about what macrobiotics means, but I didn't catch any of that). Porter also sets forth great ideas for helping people achieve balance in a general sense as well as a macrobiotic sense.

    The Negatives

    There is no substantiation for most of what Porter says and here I'm talking not about the unsubstantiable (carrots are more yang than celery), but about outright statements such as:

    1. Dairy food leaves snotty, wet deposits in the lungs (p. 114);
    2. Coffee gives you wrinkles (p. 143 -- oh yeah, 1/2 cup a day even? Porter might have just said coffee's a diuretic, but she doesn't, just that it "gives you wrinkles");
    3. It's good to snack on 1/2 sheet of nori every day (p. 151, no explanation why);
    4. Plopping the kids in front of video is a good idea if it frees you up for an hour a day of cooking (p. 167);
    5. More than 15-20 mins. of bathing can leave you weak because after 20 mins. in hot water the body begins to release minerals (p. 178);
    6. Microwave cooking is weakening to the blood (p. 179);
    7. Spinach and chard generally shouldn't be eaten as they are high in oxalic acid (p. 191 -- this is true, but it's the only reference in the book to oxalic acid, so most people will wonder why it's relevant); and
    8. Saturated fat dulls the walls of the vagina (p. 263).

    I'm not saying categorically that these points are inaccurate, just that Porter offers not a shred of evidence for these statements, but puts them forth as facts, not just as macrobiotic philosophy. This casts into doubt everything she says, which is a shame.

    Porter also gives little more than lip service to the possibility (a reality for most people) that cooking all your food at least every other day isn't feasible, and that most people who work have to eat out a lot. More practical advice would have been helpful.

    The Downright Hideous

    Gross overuse of the 'word' "desludging". If you're not sick of it by the end of this book, you have a greater tolerance than I do for lazy writing.

    Porter would probably say that I'm just too yang, and she may be right, but I'm sure that there are books that could do a better job of convincing me. If scientific accuracy isn't that important to you, and if you think, as Porter does, that Madonna and Gwyneth are the epitome of women who have it all and are living ideal lives, you might enjoy this book. But if you need some actual facts before you chuck meat, cheese, pasta, tomatoes, sugar, alcohol and caffeine out the window entirely, or even before you ditch your version of vegetarianism for the macrobiotic one, look elsewhere. This book is not for you....more info
  • energetic understanding
    Wow! After reading this book I could actually understand how this type of cooking affects me energetically. Getting in touch with the yin and yang of food and literally feel it affect me has been an invaluable experience. Ms. Porter expression of macrobiotics is clear enough that I could 'get' it through even just one day of eating macro and now I am hooked. Thank you for your honest, open hearted and enthusiastic guide, I will happily refer to it for a long, long time....more info
  • great intro to macrobiotics!
    This book makes macrobiotics easy to understand and follow, and it is really is funny at times too!

    I think it's great someone wrote a current, real-life application of macrobiotics, because I know some other books can make it seem difficult to do and follow. This takes the pressure off and is a fun read. Recommended for anyone interested in this life and eating philosophy!...more info
  • The Hip chicks got it going on when it comes to macrobiotic cooking
    A fun and easy read full of useful information. Couldn't wait to get started. Waiting for her next book. The author has a great sense of humor and explains the theory behind macrobiotics in a clear and concise way. My husband and I love the fish wraps with asian slaw so much we have them at least once a week....more info
  • Perfect book for macrobiotic novices
    My health concerns lead me to investigate macrobiotics, and Amazon lead me to this book. This book provides the reader with a good, basic understanding of the philosophy behind macrobiotics (Yin/Yang), which to me seemed almost esoteric when I started my research. By that I mean I understood what yin and yang meant, but I did not understand how it applied to food or how it would effect my health. This book is different -- it is easy to read, informative, and at times, hilarious. The author puts it all in simple terms, brings it down to earth, makes it real. And she's got a great sense of humor, and openly describes her personal setbacks, like going temporarily back to the "dark side" of greasy pizza. Macrobiotics can be a bit of a challenge at first because there is a LOT of cooking time involved. The author helps the reader be less overwhelmed by providing a list of macrobiotic foods considered "instant" (soups, hummus, etc.) to stock up on when you don't really feel like cooking. She also provides pages of really tasty recipes, some from other macrobiotic pioneers, and some of her own, as she is a chef. Finally, the author provides a solid resource guide for further investigation. I personally find it hard to maintain a macrobiotic diet 100% of the time, but as the author will tell you, most folks on this diet don't follow it 100%. You still get all the benefits with 90% dedication. I'm such a fan of macrobiotics that I'm imposing my enthusiasm on my friends, family, and co-workers, and if they seem interested I tell them about this book. ...more info
  • Finally - a book that explains it clearly
    I have read many books on macrobiotics, only to toss them to the side in frustration. Macrobiotics always seemed so difficult, so time consuming and restrictive. I could never grasp the meaning of 'yin and yang' regarding food - until now.

    Jessica Porter has written a book that is accessible, easy to understand and very witty! I have a much better understanding of the effects that food has on my body - and this gives me the power to make better choices. I am not a full fledged macrobiotic junkie (and may never be) - but at least now I can lean in that direction with confidence, not confusion! Thanks Jessica, for the best intro to macrobiotics that I have ever read!...more info
  • Great Intro to Macro!
    Very fun and interesting-- Porter writes in a way that is engaging, entertaining and informative. Although the diet itself is quite involved and takes a certain level of discipline and time commitment, she asserts that it can be done one step at a time, little by little, or you can get the benefits of the diet by embodying many of the underlying philosophies of the diet while keeping some of your current habits. She also stresses that no one is perfect and even if you fall off the band wagon (and most everyone does at some point) you can get right back on and no crimes have occurred.

    As a student who also works full time and have not previously done a lot of cooking, it is not realistic for me to go "whole hog" (as Porter calls it) with this diet but I can still follow the guidelines of what to try to eat and what to try to avoid, as well as embody a lot of the philosophies that go along with it. Overall it is a very fascinating and really got me thinking about Eastern philosophy, how much what you eat effects everything about you, and how little we as Americans think about food and its effects on the body, mind and spirit.

    Overall I'm very happy I bought this book-- It is a great read! Highly recommended! ...more info
  • Hip Chicks Unite
    A wonderful approach to eating brown rice, learning about exotic green stuff aka sea vegetables and the universe. Not only does Ms. Porter make her argument for eating mindfully humorous, the recipes are great and the advice about relationships are excellent. Geez, she can write about naked candybars and the universality of love making and gender differences in a way that makes me give broccoli in the produce section a doubletake. 'Hey, did that vegetable just wink at me?' Hilarious and soulful, it feels as though Ms. Porter is sitting next to you holding your hand and explaining it all. A special book that is beyond self-help and recipes. She helps you to think bigger and laugh. ...more info
  • The Hip Chicks Guide to Macrobiotics
    This is the funniest cookbook I have ever read! I started to explore Macrobiotic cooking about a year ago and this cookbook has helped me focus on going deeper and understanding more of what Macrobiotic cooking is! The receipes are also easy and fun to make. ...more info
  • Great for Macro--Virgins
    I'm new to macrobiotics and some of the other stuff I had read scared me off a little. Jessica's writing style and "ease into it" attitude helps make the transition to a macrobiotic diet much easier. A good read indeed. ...more info
  • Stupendous!
    This book takes Macrobiotics to the level of every person's understanding in a non-threatening and humorous way. It's got lots of great info about macrobiotics but more importantly, the author is very persuasive in bringing out the wonderful results of a macrobiotic diet. I highly recommend this book. Plus the recipes are STUPENDOUS!, especially the Mock Tuna and the Brown Rice Crispy Treats!
    ...more info