It was the spring of 1991. I had a half-year-old child that I fully breastfed. Breastfeeding was no longer enough, and it was necessary to start feeding and giving side dishes. But I didn’t know what. I refused cow’s milk, dairy products, sponge cakes, pastries, and meat, which were recommended, after my experience with my older daughter.
My journey to lifestyle change began at a point—a turning point—a return to health, vitality, and especially to the peace that I missed so much. If it didn’t sound so pathetic, I would call it a moment of enlightenment.
When I visited a small shop, I came across the book Macrobiotics—a Miracle or a Cure by the Czech promoter of macrobiotic diet Jarmila Průchová.
At home, I flipped through it, searching for inspiration, looking at pictures—drawings of the flow of Earth and Heaven’s energy in spirals, connections with the Earth, vegetables, and humans. It seemed esoteric to me, weird—until I saw one picture. There was a human face in it. Triangular shaped with a base at the top, a wide forehead, and pointed chin. The explanation said that this shape is caused by the predominance of rising energy, which expands the area of the forehead. When I was a teenage girl, this shape bothered me. And there was suddenly an explanation! I went back to the previous drawings, and suddenly everything fit together! I had that flow before my eyes. It circulated, changed, and created plants, things, human beings. There was a way to use these phenomena to your advantage, to change the direction of flow in your body, mainly by dietary change.
I was amazed.
Sharing it with someone else was hard. People didn’t understand.
The recipes were unusual at the time. Pretty strict. There was no talk of today’s diversity. Basically, whole grains and almost fat-free vegetables. Some ingredients such as seaweeds were not available in Slovakia, my country. The availability of cereals and vegetables was also very limited.
I told myself that if I ever got very sick, I would know what to do. I didn’t realize I was sick then. High blood pressure during and after pregnancy, borderline blood sugar levels, runny nose constantly, colds several times a year, poor liver tests, candida, and most importantly, constant restlessness and nervousness that haunted me all day and caused me to sleep poorly. Fatigue brought me to the brink of exhaustion when caring for young children. I considered this to be normal—who doesn’t suffer?
Over time, Michio Kushi’s books Natural Healing through Macrobiotics and Oriental Diagnosis also appeared on the market, and I read them almost with bated breath.
But it was only a strong pain, which seized me suddenly and unexpectedly, that forced me to change my diet.
It was the Christmas holiday, and I wanted to make desserts for the family. My favorite was one with whipped cream. I mixed cream with butter, sugar, and whipped cream and cheerfully licked bowls and spoons and finished the leftover edges from the cake pan. I was not overweight, so I thought I could afford it.
The crisis came on the first Christmas holiday (December 25). I felt pressure in my ear, which turned into severe, excruciating pain. It was so strong that it paralyzed me, and I was not able to lie down, stand up, sit down—nothing. I took pain medications that I had previously refused. They helped minimally, mostly not at all.
The next day it got worse, both ears were already sore. I decided to see a specialist the next day. I dropped antibiotic drops in my ears to suppress inflammation. They may have acted from outside, but not inside.
The next day I couldn’t imagine waiting three hours to get to the general practitioner, who was to refer me to another expert, so I went straight to the ear specialist. However, that was a mistake. When the doctor found out that I had no recommendation, she refused to examine me or treat me. Shocked, I was unable to return to the GP. At home, I reached for Natural Healing through Macrobiotics. Mr. Kushi described the condition as the bones of the inner ear clogged with fat and mucus. He said inflammation is caused by their combination with sugar. It suited me exactly—the greasy dessert cream was the last straw that triggered the violent reaction.
It was clear to me that I had to clean the inner ear. Stop eating fat and sugar and include fiber and vegetables and change the blood. At work, I took a vacation and radically changed my diet from day to day.
The supply in the shops was slim. I ate practically only barley groats and whole wheat that I brought from the agricultural company and a few vegetables that were in stores in January.
In 2 weeks, my weight dropped from 63 kg (139 lb.) to 57 kg (126 lb.) at a height of 170 cm (5 ft 7”).
The pain started to subside after about 4 days, then it gradually lessened, and stopped after 3 weeks. I could hear very faintly. I was 34 years old, and people had to shout at me for me to catch what they said. When the music played in the background, I didn’t understand anything at all. I no longer trusted the doctors, and I knew I had to continue to clean the internal environment.
I started shopping in an organic store in the neighboring Czech Republic. I enriched my menus with seaweeds, other types of cereals, and seasonings. I tried to cook better, but I didn’t have any recipes. (At that time the internet wasn’t available yet, nor were there macrobiotic cookbooks).
But even simple macrobiotics started to benefit me. I felt better and better. I was surprised to find that the itching between my toes caused by Candida had stopped. I had a deeper and calmer sleep. In the morning I got up rested, fresh, and in a good mood. Chronic fatigue disappeared, and I felt a surge of energy. The nervousness was gone. Inner calm allowed me to experience ordinary joys. Over time, my hair stopped getting greasy and darkened. It stopped falling out. Suddenly, I was flexible and supple, I walked lightly, and physical work was more pleasant.
Later, during a preventive check-up, the doctor stated that my blood pressure was normal, and blood sugar levels and liver tests were normal.
“How did you treat your liver?” she asked me.
“Through diet,” I answered.
She looked at the records and said nothing.
It’s been almost 30 years since I got my ear problems, and they never came back. In the town, I meet people from the waiting room, whom the doctor was treating at the time. They are either completely deaf or have a hearing aid.
Ing. Emilia Rabcanova, Slovakia