Cherry blossom viewing is a popular Japanese event, and during this time of year, many people gather at parks and riversides to have parties, and we had one by the lake yesterday. A great thing about living in the countryside is that it isn’t crowded at all. We didn’t need to save our spot, we just showed up around noon and still could get a perfect location.
In the Ikigai Diet, we encourage people to have occasional feasts because that is the key to health and longevity. In Blue Zones, where many people live long, it is common to have social dinner parties with families, friends or neighbors.
When you are on a particular diet such as the macrobiotic diet or the raw food diet, sometimes it is difficult to socialize with others. You have to find people who have the same diet, and it isn’t often easy.
One of the reasons we don’t set any rules in the Ikigai Diet is not to miss such social occasions. I believe that 70% of what you eat counts, not 100%, therefore even if you eat foods which you are not supposed to from time to time, it doesn’t affect your overall health as long as you have a good diet 70% of the time.
Anyway, people usually bring relatively natural foods to this type of potlucks. You tend to associate with people who have the same wavelength, and they may not follow exactly the same diet as yours, but still, they eat organic food, plant-based food, whole food, and stuff like that. If you can extend your capacity to enjoy natural food in general terms, you can enjoy your social life much more.
It is one of the reasons why I stopped following the macrobiotic diet.
After all, food isn’t everything; having a positive mindset and good relationships with others affect our health, and accepting diversity in people’s values and lifestyles is crucial in developing friendships.
To enjoy eating also helps you continue your diet. If you are too strict on yourself, you might end up rejecting your diet after a few months, but if you give yourself a break sometimes, you can live with your diet much longer and it will give justice to the diet, as well.