I have been asked recently if I endorse the Macrobiotic lifestyle OR the Paleolithic lifestyle.  I froze right there in my tracks.  I honestly did not know how to answer that question.  I love them both, for different reasons.  I have heard miraculous stories from both.  So it sent me on a quest to gather industry experts to help me sort through the confusion.

Today we will hear from Andrea Beaman, an immensely successful Holistic Health Coach and Natural Foods Chef/Advocate, as well as subject matter expert on Macrobiotics.  Andrea has been certified as a Macrobiotics Specialist from the Kushi Institute.  She is an incredible mentor and teacher as well.

Q&A With Andrea Beaman

(Ann Marie DeGregoria) Andrea, both the macro and Paleo followers both believe in eating healthy, natural and unprocessed foods.  However, what do you believe the major differences are between these two lifestyles?

(Andrea Beaman) I think the major difference between these two lifestyles is that one embodies the “hunter/gatherer” perspective and the other embodies the “agriculture/farming” perspective. I think they are both on the extreme sides, and it would be nice to have a balance between the two.

(Ann Marie DeGregoria) Andrea, in your 15+(?) years of experience working with thousands of clients, what has worked for them?  And for you?

(Andrea Beaman) Wow, that’s a BIG question! Different strokes for different folks. Not everything works for all people. But, I do know this… getting off the processed junk and crap that most folks are eating helps them in tremendously. I’ve also found that life is bigger than food. Food is only the beginning – it creates the physical body. For people to effectively heal they need to work on the many layers that make us human (physical, emotional and spiritual).

(Ann Marie DeGregoria) Grains have been a staple in our diet for centuries, as well as “breaking bread”.  Today, grains have such a negative impact on our digestive tract.  In your opinion, is all grain “bad”?  What does GMOs have to do with it, if anything?

(Andrea Beaman) I believe in breaking bread. Only, I prefer it to be naturally raised sourdough bread from non-gmo wheat! I think grains have gotten a bad rap because they are pervasive in our society, and because they are highly refined and lacking in so many nutrients. I also think that most folks eat “whole” grains because they think it’s good for them but they neglect soaking them to release their anti-nutrients, and they also neglect properly processing the grains via chewing! Digestion begins in the mouth, not in the stomach and digestive tract. GMO’s are, in my opinion, part of the reason why so many folks are suffering with autoimmune problems and lots of other not-so-good stuff. Let nature do her job. When we start tinkering around, mixing genes from species that would NEVER mix in life, we are literally manipulating the ecosystem and will eventually cause our own extinction.

(Ann Marie DeGregoria) Paleo followers talk about the anti-nutrients in plant foods.  However, do you think that the increase in pesticides is contributing to an increase in anti-nutrients production within these plant foods?  And that, coupled with GMO tampering of the seeds might be causing the steep rise in acidic foods, intestinal permeability and auto immune conditions that we are seeing?

(Andrea Beaman) Yes, I believe GMO’s is causing a host of auto-immune conditions as well as cancer and other interesting diseases. But, I also do believe there are many anti-nutrients in plant foods, and that’s one of the reasons humans began soaking, sprouting, cooking and fermenting, as well. Some plants are highly toxic. For example, the tomato when first introduced into the human diet was called the “poisoned apple.” It caused a host of problems like acid reflux, mouth ulcers and sores. Humans began cooking the tomato with salt and herbs. And, added dairy (cheese, cream) and it helped reduce the acidic reaction the tomato caused in the human body.

(Ann Marie DeGregoria) What are some of the factors to consider when trying to decide which lifestyle is the best?  Is it one or the other, or is it a combination of both?

(Andrea Beaman) I like a bit of both. But, when it comes to your body, TRY EVERYTHING! Don’t just follow a diet or lifestyle blindly. Check in and see how your body feels. Does it actually feel good? Then keep up the great work! If you are not feeling well, make some adjustments. You’ll get it. Especially, with the help of a great coach to guide you.

ANN MARIE’S SUMMARY: It comes down to Moderation. Both schools of thought believe in taking out the true “culprits” – processed & refined foods, sugars (sugar substitutes), dairy (for the most part), preservatives, artificial flavors, pesticides, and canned food. For a summary on Macrobiotics, visit me next week for part 2!  Followed by a summary of the Paleolithic Diet in part 3!

In the meantime, continue to Eat for Health ~Ann Marie

And remember, all health related “conditions”, no matter how big or small, can benefit greatly from learning how to eat the right foods – “As food is thy Medicine!”

For Holistic Health Coaching, please call (631) 750-1895 OR visit

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  1. Ann Marie, you are my new health hero!

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