By Gwen Burton
Brown Rice: When I think about the way that healthy eating has been adopted in our culture over the past few decades, I am struck by how macrobiotics seems to have been such a major player. I can see how it might be encouraging that healthy food options are proliferating and easily accessible, but also frustrating because people seem to believe they don’t have time to cook for themselves and many of these healthy food options employ the “fast food” model. What has it been like to participate in and witness the change in eating in the US over the decades? What is your opinion on where we are today?
EE: Many of the things macrobiotic teachers advocated in the 1960s and 1970s have now become mainstream. Let’s look at several core principles, starting with the concept of “fresh, local, and organic.” I first heard the idea of eating locally in Michio Kushi’s early lectures. Fresh, local, and seasonal foods were touted as the way to achieve sustainability, both in terms of personal health and our relationship to the environment. We went out of our way to support local organic growers and suppliers. We gave classes and published books such as “The Changing Seasons Macrobiotic Cookbook” that explained how to cook with the seasons.
Now, four star restaurants in Manhattan feature fresh, local, and organic produce. Seasonal cooking and shopping at farmer’s markets has become fashionable. Macrobiotics was way ahead of the curve on that.
Let’s take another core principle, the superiority of plant-based diets. When I first read George Ohsawa’s comment that the human body is perfectly equipped to process plant foods directly, without hiring middlemen such as cows or pigs, it made perfect sense. Also that a whole-grain- and vegetable-based diet has many advantages over an animal-based diet. A light bulb also went off when Ohsawa stated that cow’s milk was perfect food, for baby cows! I had been a big milk-drinker up to that time but hearing such common sense was a revelation. As with the other core macrobiotic principles, the notion that plant-based diets are superior has gained traction with leading-edge thinkers in nutrition and public health, including T. Colin Campbell, Neal Barnard, M.D., Dean Ornish, M.D., and the Harvard School of Public Health.
Another core principle that has become obvious today is the idea that whole foods are superior to refined and process foods. The term “whole foods” was actually invented by Michio’s inner circle in Cambridge around 1965. Now it has become part of the culture. Several years ago, the Harvard School of Public Health announced it would start promoting brown rice in place of white rice to stem the rise of diabetes in China. Brown rice is a whole food, white rice is a highly processed food.
Brown Rice: To what extent did the idea of “non-credo” shape the early macrobiotic movement, and do you think that this notion has been forgotten or passed over in the current era of health coaching and commercialized regimens? What is the role of non-credo in developing judgment?
EE: “Non-credo,” or “do not believe,” has always been at the center of macrobiotic philosophy. It always will. The only way to real self-knowledge is through your own practice and discovery. Macrobiotics is about freedom, pure and simple, not following someone else’s ideas.
Brown Rice: I’m curious about the tendencies of the long-term macrobiotic practitioner. Is it natural, in your experience, to want to self-experiment after having achieved a certain degree of mastery in the kitchen and with one’s own condition? It occurs to me that this tendency could either be a way of continuing one’s education in a way that could benefit others in the future, or might possibly be a manifestation of arrogance.
EE: The bottom line is that there is nothing other than self-experiment. It’s the nature of reality and not at all arrogance.
Brown Rice: What are your opinions on veganism? Macrobiotic diets include a small amount of white meat fish and some other seafood, but currently, attaining good-quality seafood is almost impossible. Now that I am vegan, I wonder about the ethical implications of causing the suffering and death of other beings, and I wonder why this might be acceptable according to macrobiotic philosophy, which otherwise seems concerned with facilitating peace on the entire planet through diet.
EE: Eating grains and vegetables means they have to die so that you live. The question is which types of foods make that sacrifice willingly and which resist. It seems to me animals are quite resistant to being killed and eaten as food for humans. Grains and vegetables seem quite willing to become human food. Similarly, billions of microscopic bacteria sacrifice themselves every time you enjoy miso soup, natto, or sauerkraut.
The Chinese character for peace, “Wa,” is made up of images for “cereal grain” and “mouth.” They apparently understood that eating grains and vegetables led to a peaceful mentality.
Brown Rice: There is an exciting project to grow rice in the Berkshires. Have these efforts been successful? I recently heard a rumor that at one point in time, macrobiotic founder George Ohsawa only ate rice immediately after it had been harvested. What does fresh rice taste like? Do you notice a big difference in taste and energy?
EE: Fresh harvest rice is for ceremonial purposes only, not for daily consumption. I’m sure Ohsawa enjoyed it on special occasions. We had the pleasure to enjoy freshly harvested rice from South River Miso on special occasions as well, such as Kushi Institute graduation ceremonies, my 60th birthday celebration, and others.
Check www.VermontRice.com for updates on rice growing in New England. Also look at www.SouthRiverMiso.com for rice growing and local production of miso in Western Mass.
Brown Rice: What is your diet like now? What kinds of foods are you attracted to after decades of macrobiotic practice?
EE: Onigiri (nori rice balls), soba (buckwheat noodles) in broth, natto (fermented soybean) rolls and melt-in-your-mouth salmon sashimi at Bizen, the Japanese macrobiotic restaurant in Great Barrington, Mass., vegan hummus sandwiches at Guido’s in Pittsfield, where I live, and water-sauteed green vegetables with brown rice vinegar or lemon.
Brown Rice: The Kushi Institute operates in MA. Are there any opportunities for NYC residents to learn more about the diet and the practice?
EE: My lectures in NYC offer an opportunity to experience Kushi Macrobiotic Education. Also, we would like to offer more extensive programs, such as Kushi Instititute (KI) Level One Certificate Programs in NYC beginning in the fall of 2014. Also, the Berkshires, where the KI is located, are not far from NYC. Just drive north up the lovely Taconic Parkway or the NY Throughway. We have a very special Summer Conference coming up in August that should be of interest to New Yorkers. Michio Kushi and more than twenty leading macrobiotic teachers will be presenting. The Conference will include vegan macrobiotic meals plus cultural events including the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Tanglewood Music Festival, the South River Miso rice field, and others. Go to KushiInstitute.org for ongoing updates.
The above interview was conducted by Gwen Burton and published in Brown Rice Magazine. Contact www.BrownRiceMagazine.com.
We would like to honor Michio Kushi, macrobiotic educator, natural food pioneer and founder of Kushi Institute. Michio passed away peacefully on December 28, surrounded by his loving wife Midori and sons Norio, Haruo, Phiya, and Hisao. He was 88 years old. On behalf of the students, staff, and faculty of the Kushi Institute, we extend our heartfelt sympathy to the Kushi family.
Michio was actively involved in K.I. planning and development until just prior to his passing. His vision for the institute was to teach, guide, and inspire individuals towards greater personal freedom, health, and happiness. The Kushi Institute plans to assure his teachings and mission will continue.
Click for a more complete list of Michio Kushi’s achievements
As a result of the hard work and dedication of the K.I. staff, the support of our students and participants, and the generosity of our donors, the Institute ended 2014 on a very positive note. We have been successful in reaching the Institute’s goal of establishing the first Annual Fund and have raised sufficient funds contributing to general operating expenses. The work of K.I. counselors and teachers helped contribute to numerous success stories for individuals and families in their quest for better health and well being.
The Institute’s core programs, the Macrobiotic Leadership Training Program and the Way to Health Program were well attended in 2014. The annual Kushi Institute Summer Conference, held for the first time in Becket MA, was a resounding success, and continues to bring in excitement as we plan for the upcoming 2015 event, July 26 thru August 9. The K.I. also launched several exciting new programs designed to help those with specific conditions, including The Macrobiotic Approach to Psoriasis, Controlling Crohn’s and Colitis thru Diet, and The Natural Approach to Breast Cancer. We are now planning to introduce a variety of new workshops and seminars in 2015 to continue in this work.
The K.I. also has ambitious plans for 2015 and beyond. In our last message, we introduced the Macrobiotic Breast Cancer Study. The Kushi Institute is now in discussion with medical researchers at Tufts University and Johns Hopkins University Medical School to begin the first ever randomized clinical trial on the effects of the macrobiotic diet on advanced cancer of the breast. Our hope is that the Macrobiotic Breast Cancer Study will revolutionize the treatment of this disease, so that a natural plant-based diet becomes a standard part of breast cancer treatment and recovery. The Institute has submitted a detailed proposal for a comprehensive macrobiotic care program for study participants. The K.I. hopes to complete the planning phase and move toward implementation this year. Please check kushiinstitute.org for ongoing developments.
To further Michio’s lifetime work of training a new generation of macrobiotic teachers, counselors, and chefs, the K.I. is planning to introduce the Macrobiotic Internship Program in 2015. Qualified participants will have the opportunity to assist K.I. counselors and teachers in personal counseling sessions, lectures, and cooking classes. More details will be announced on this program shortly.
We ask for your support in helping us continue Michio’s vision of health, peace, and sustainability through the macrobiotic way of life. You can support the K.I. by attending a program, recommending the K.I. to friends and family, purchasing high-quality foods and supplies from the Kushi Store, or making a tax-deductible donation the Kushi Institute Annual Fund. We’d like to thank those who have already contributed. It is with much appreciation and gratitude that we will continue the legacy and further the dream of one peaceful world.
On behalf of the staff, faculty, and students of the Kushi Institute, we wish you a healthy and happy New Year.
Let us honor his wonderful life. We invite you to share below.
1 medium-sized blue Hubbard Squash or other hard winter squash of similar size
1 tbsp corn or sesame oil
1 cup onions, deiced
1 cup celery, diced
Pinch of sea salt
8 cups whole wheat or whole wheat sourdough bread cubes, slightly dried out or toasted in a dry skillet until golden brown
2 cups cooked seitan cubed
1 1/2 – 2 cups seitan gravy
Carefully cut out a round section off the top of the squash, just as you would for a jack-o-lantern, and set it aside. Clean out all the seeds and set aside. Heal oil in a skillet and saute the onions for 1-2 minutes. Add the celery and a pinch of salt. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes more. Place this mixture in a large mixing bowl and add the dried or toasted bread cubes and seitan and mix well. Add a small amount of shoyu and mix again. Stuff the hollowed squash completely full. Pour the seitan gravy over the stuffing and let it seep down. Place the top back on the squash. Oil the outside skin of the squash with a small amount of sesame oil. Place the stuffed squash on a baking tray or over roaster and bake at 325 F for about 2 hours. To test for doneness, use a shish kebob stick or chopstick to push the hard skin. When it goes through easily, it is done. Serve with seitan gravy after scooping out the stuffing and squash for each person.
Variation: use sauteed vegetables together with cooked brown rice and wild rice, kasha and vegetables, or millet and vegetables. Add sliced mushrooms, almonds or pine nuts to stuffing.
The Winter holiday season brings potential hangover weather with it. To avoid the pitfalls of lethargy, depression, and nausea after those gatherings with family and loved ones, try a few macrobiotic tips!
1. Get out of the house and get some fresh air!
2. Exercise twenty-one minutes daily to alleviate the depression and raise the oxygen levels depleted by a lack of sleep and too much booze.
3. Bring on the carbohydrates! One half a sourdough whole wheat bagel with tofu cream cheese and chives can lift the blood sugar that has usually tanked from too much ethanol.
4. Have miso soup and a few seaweed nori rolls to help the liver flush out a toxic molecule that gets created when the alcohol is broken down.
5. For dinner, eat a bowl of pasta with lentils, a touch of roasted garlic, chopped parsley, olive oil, and salt and pepper. This will give the body the fuel it needs to push out all the toxic byproducts of alcohol metabolism.
6. To quell the nausea, eat 1/4 teaspoon of umeboshi paste.
7. Besides kukicha tea, the beverage of choice for people in usual good health under these circumstances would be green or black tea because they contain good-guy polyphenols, which enhance a quick recovery. By adding (preferably organic) fresh ginger – peeled, sliced, pounded, chopped, and put into the tea to be eaten after its been drunk – you will only increase the benefits.
Article courtesy of Elizabeth G. Karaman
Meet Jiyoon Kim
Graduate of our Macrobiotic Leadership Program, Levels 1,2, and 3
I discovered macrobiotics 2 years ago. Before I found macrobiotics, I quit my very stressful job. I had been struggling with poor blood circulation, hypoglycemia, and had gained over 10 lbs. I began to feel I could no longer control my condition. These changes in my health were causing me concern because my fathers’ mother had passed away from diabetes. Also, my mother’s father and mother passed away very early from liver cancer and kidney disease respectively. Furthermore, my uncle and aunt are struggling with diabetes presently.
With above concerns, I deeply wanted a new healthy lifestyle for my family and myself. I began doing a lot of Internet research specifically related to cooking, food, and their connection with our health. During my search I was intrigued by a new term I came across, “macrobiotics”. I found the teachings to be rational even though I was not a vegan. I felt that macrobiotic philosophy was very well-founded, and the concepts and principles resonated with me greatly. Searching for further information, Kushi Institute was listed as the first resource for macrobiotic. This is where I would be spending three months of my life bringing myself back to harmony, and opening new experiences.
When I registered for Kushi Institute’s Macrobiotic Leadership program, I expected that I would only be learning about macrobiotic cooking. I was very pleasantly surprised. The learning was much more comprehensive. It included philosophy (the principles of yin and yang), history, shiatsu, and visual diagnosis. Since arriving at the Kushi Institute back in September, I feel so much lighter. My first week here, I lost almost 9 lbs! Moreover, I felt changes happening in my body, and experienced a lot of discharging from all of the bad foods I had been eating. I sense my health has improved immensely.
During the last couple of months I have been learning to balance my diet. I used to be addicted to sweet things. I craved a lot of sugar. After I read some books and learned about macrobiotics, I tried to keep away from sugar. I have successfully replaced standard sweeteners with acceptable macrobiotic substitutes, and I do not miss them! Immersing myself at the Kushi Institute, I acquired a deeper understanding of all the diverse macrobiotic concepts, and felt passionately that this could benefit the entire world. I would love to take part in spreading this wisdom all over the world.
In Korea, macrobiotic instructors are few and far between, and their focus is primarily on cooking. When I took macrobiotic cooking classes in Korea, I felt as though it was not enough. I felt I needed to learn the whole concept. I believe that Kushi Institute provided this missing gap. When I took a quick visit to South Korea 2 weeks ago, my mother was so happy! She looked at me and said, “You look much brighter and healthier.” This confirmed what I have been feeling, and further fueled my determination and practice. Her comments made me realize I am on the right path.
Before coming to Kushi Institute, I was planning to further pursue nutrition, food, and health. Now I want to make a bridge connecting these interests and macrobiotics. I am confident that it could benefit young and old alike to be more aware of their diet and lifestyle choices. For my next step, I’ve made the decision to attend graduate school for Public Health and Nutrition. After, making this decision, I experienced a wonderful feeling of satisfaction. I think this moment is the biggest turning point in my life.
Fish Dumpling Recipe
By Kushi Chef, Alfred Liu
Ingredients for Filling
- White Meat Fish (Haddock)
- Nappa Cabbage
- Arrowroot powder
- Sesame oil
Ingredients for Dough:
- 1 ½ cups Spelt
- 1 ½ cups Pastry Flour
- Pinch of Salt
- Luke Warm Water
- Rolling stick to roll out the dough into proper size.
Directions to Prep Dough: (should be done first)
- Mix all ingredients together with a cup of water to mix thoroughly. Make sure constantly is easy to press and roll out. Not so soft or hard. Set aside.
- After 10 mins knit again. Leave in bowl with wet towel to cover so it does not dry out. Repeat this 3x kneading for 5-8 mins.
Directions to Prep Filling:
- Finely cut nappa cabbage and roughly hack. Pieces do not need to be perfect (approx. 4 cups). Add salt to press and massage. Let rest.
- Grate ginger (approx. 1 tsp). Finely chop leeks (about ¼ cup).
- Soak dried shiitake overnight and drain water (or fresh shiitake can be used). Finely chop and roughly hack similar to cabbage pieces.
- To prepare the fish, wash and cut into fillet slices and mince into meat size. The smaller the pieces the easier to pack into the dough. (approx. 2 cups).
- Add all filler ingredients in bowl with shoyu and sesame oil (roughly 4 tblsp). Make sure filling is moist. Add arrowroot to help bind mixture together (approx. 1 ½ tblsp).
- Let filling sit aside 5-10 minutes.
Directions to Prep Dumpling:
- Bring 3 quarts of Water to a boil.
- Cut dough so you can roll into long pretzel like. Cut the stipe of dough into 1-inch pieces. Press each piece to form round and roll out dough, with a rolling pin, into a flat circle.
- Fill the circle with your filling on one side and flip dough over to make a half circle. Pinch around the dough to seal, making a dumpling-like pinch.
- Placed formed dumpling into boiling water for approx 3-4 mins. When it rises to the surfaces you know it’s ready. Scoop out, let drain.
- Take skillet pan and heat with sesame oil to make pan fried dumplings.
Ume-Sho-Kuzu is the principal medicinal drink for enhancing natural immunity, strengthening the blood, and preventing or relieving infectious conditions, including Ebola. It is made with umeboshi plums, natural soy sauce (shoyu), and kuzu root powder simmered in hot water.
1 tblsp of kuzu
1/4-1/2 an umeboshi plum
few drops of shoyu
Dissolve the kuzu in about 3 tblsps of cold water in a small sauce pan. Add another cup of water and the umeboshi plum and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Stirring prevents the kuzu from clumping. When it comes to a boil, simmer the flame and add a few drops of shoyu. Drink while hot.
The energies of nature and the infinite universe are absorbed through the foods we eat and are transmuted into the thoughts, feelings, words, and deeds that spring from them.
Article by Michio Kushi
with Alex Jack, Edward Esko, and Midori H. Kushi
and the Kushi Institute Research and Faculty Committee
As the 21st century unfolds, there is a growing sense of impending collapse. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, AIDS, and other degeneration and infectious diseases are multiplying, The spread of nuclear weapons and energy, regional conflicts, and terrorism have resulted in widespread fear and uncertainty. Global warming, climate change, and the destruction of the natural environment pose serious threats to the continued survival of many species, including our own. New technologies have given us marvelous computers, cells phones, and other devices that have transformed our lives. But artificial electromagnetic radiation, the mining of rare earth metals and conflict minerals, and the rise of biotechnology entail unrecognized social and environmental costs that imperil personal and planetary health, and in the long run are unsustainable.
Macrobiotics—the way of health and peace through biological and spiritual change and evolution—does not require special foods, supplements, drugs, vaccines, scans, or genetic engineering. Health and peace do not originate from any political party, religious movement, cultural tradition, or social platform. It begins in kitchens and pantries, gardens and backyards, where the primary physical source and vitality of our daily life—whole cereal grains, the staff of life, our daily bread—is produced and developed. From individual hearts and homes, peace radiates out to friends and neighbors, communities, nations, and eventually the world as a whole.
Whoever takes charge of the farming, cooking, and food production is our general, our pilot. We need no weapons, no shields, no offensive and defensive powers, just will and self-reflection. Brown rice, whole wheat, millet, and other whole grains; miso soup; vegetables from land and sea; beans and bean products; fruits, seeds and nuts; and other predominantly plant-based foods are our “weapons” to turn around the entire world. The energies of nature and the infinite universe are absorbed through the foods we eat and are transmuted into the thoughts, feelings, words, and deeds that spring from them. By becoming one with the infinite universe and nature and observing the universal laws of change and harmony—or what can be called the will of God—we are quite capable of restoring balance and order to our planet. Age old problems of war and peace, sickness and health, poverty and wealth, and all other polarities that divide people can be resolved through a balanced, natural way of eating; calm, peaceful mind; and grateful spirit.
Over the years, modern macrobiotics has spearheaded the organic, natural foods movement. It has pioneered dietary research with Harvard Medical School, the National Institutes of Health, and other health care institutions into the cause and prevention of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. We have also successfully worked with HIV/AIDS patients and medical workers in Africa, the United States, and Europe. Following the atomic bombing of Japan, Dr. Tatsuchiro Akizuki, medical director of St. Francis’s Hospital in Nagasaki, saved the lives of his entire staff and patients with a strict macrobiotic diet while throughout the city thousands perished of radiation sickness. In Chelyabinsk, site of Soviet nuclear weapons production, and Chernobyl, site of the nuclear reactor explosion, Russian physicians used macrobiotic quality foods donated by the Kushi Institute, including brown rice and other whole grains, miso soup, sea vegetables, and special condiments such as umeboshi plums, to successfully treat people with leukemia, lymphoma, thyroid cancer, and other malignancies that resulted from exposure to nuclear radiation.
Since the end of World War II, the planet has been beset with a series of grave crises, including the nuclear arms race, chronic and degenerative disease, and climate change. The macrobiotic approach has offered a healthy, peaceful way to resolve each of these challenges. The most recent crisis—the Ebola epidemic raging in West Africa—has now started to spread to the United States and Europe and threatens to become a global pandemic. At the present time, there is no effective medical treatment for Ebola, and no comprehensive dietary guidelines by WHO, CDC, governments, or other bodies.
We offer the following macrobiotic guidelines as a simple, practical, safe, and inexpensive way to treat people suffering from Ebola in Africa or at high risk for the disease in other parts of the world. Together with the medical profession, international relief agencies, and governments, we can join together and eventually stop Ebola from spreading, save many lives, and create a bright, healthy, peaceful future.
- Origin and Cause of Ebola
The primary cause of Ebola is the modern way of farming and eating, especially chemical agriculture and a diet high in sugar, dairy food, heavy animal protein, and other highly processed foods. These create both an external and an internal environment in which the potentially deadly virus thrives.
Both the soil and the blood became too acidic as a result of major agriculture and food consumption patterns that took place following World War II. The macrobiotic approach is to balance this over acidity through natural and organic farming methods and by a balanced natural foods diet that alkalinizes the bloodstream, strengthens the lymph and other bodily fluids, and increases natural immunity to disease.
In the 1980s, I visited Central Africa and made a presentation on the macrobiotic approach to HIV/AIDS to 200 medical doctors, including many traditional folk healers, at a conference convened by the World Health Organization (WHO). I stayed two and a half weeks in the Republic of the Congo and near Brazzaville visited a village for one week and observed what ordinary people ate. The macrobiotic dietary approach helped many people in Africa, the United States, and around the world prevent, relieve, or control HIV/AIDs. As a viral disease originating in Central Africa, Ebola follows a pattern akin to AIDS, but it is much more virulent, acute, and deadly.
3. Dietary Guidelines for Ebola in Africa and Elsewhere during the recovery period, 1-2 weeks, average 10 days.
For Ebola patients or those at high risk for this disease, the following guidelines are suggested:
- A. Basic food, including whole grains, miso soup, condiments, seasonings, and liquids. These may be given daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
1. Whole grain, especially brown rice, is to be consumed as principle food daily. It may be softly prepared, with porridge like consistency, especially if the person is weak and has trouble eating or digesting. The grain should be eaten together with one of the following condiments: umeboshi plum (1/2 to 1 plum), gomashio (1/2 to 1 teaspoon), shiso leaf powder (1/2 to 1 teaspoon), or sea vegetable powder (1/2 to 1 teaspoon).
2. Millet may be used instead of brown rice (if unavailable) or eaten in addition to brown rice. Other whole grains may be substituted if rice or millet is not available, but these two grains are the strongest for healing.
3. Miso soup, 1-2 cups daily, using miso that is at least 6 to 12 months aged and ideally aged 2-years or more. Barley miso is standard, though brown rice or all soybean (hatch) miso may also be used. If none of these misos are available, other misos (such as red, yellow, or white) or instant miso soup may be taken.
4. If the person can eat solid food, a small volume of beans, vegetables, and sea vegetables may also be eaten in addition to the above, especially a one-pot or one-skillet meal made with a variety of vegetables, a strip of kombu or other seaweed or riverweed, and other plant-quality ingredients such as bean products (e.g. tofu or tempeh), roots, and tubers.
5. Kombu powder or other sea vegetable powder also may be used as a condiment. Traditionally, Africans ate river moss and riverweed that gives strength and vitality. It was customarily dried, ground into a powder, and used as a condiment, garnish, or put in soups and other dishes.
6. Organic shoyu, or natural soy sauce, may be used in cooking as a seasoning for vegetable, bean, or sea vegetable dishes instead of sea salt. All soybean products such as shoyu should be organic, as many soy and soy products are genetically modified.
7. Sea Salt should be used in cooking. Rock salt is used in Africa, but there is acid in rock salt and it should be avoided or minimized. Plain white sea salt is best. Avoid grey, yellow, pink, and other sea salts that are high in minerals.
8. For a sweet taste, stewed apples or other cooked fruit may be taken. For an even more concentrated sweet taste, use 1 to 2 tablespoons of rice syrup or barley malt.
9. Spring, well, or filtered water should be used for cooking or drinking. To avoid dehydration, more liquid than usual may need to be taken. Kukicha (also known as bancha twig tea) may be taken as a regular beverage. Roasted barley tea, other grain tea, or non-aromatic, non-stimulant tea may be taken occasionally.
1. Meals in Central and West Africa are often prepared in a single pot or skillet and eaten at the table. They generally include vegetables, cassava, and other plant-quality ingredients, as well as frogs, fish, wild birds, or other animal food. The animal products often originate in muddy or swampy environments that are extremely acidic. All animal food should be strictly avoided temporarily until the crisis has passed.
2. Cassava (also know as tapioca and manioc) is a starchy root that was introduced to Africa several centuries ago from South America. It was traditionally an emergency crop eaten in times of poor grain harvests or famine. Today it has become the main staple in many parts of the region, even though rice, millet, sorghum, and other whole grains are available. A small amount of cassava is fine for people in usual good health as a complement to whole grains, but should be avoided or reduced in the case of Ebola.
3. Sugar, white flour, milk and other dairy, canned foods, chemically grown foods, soft drinks, and other highly processed foods imported from abroad or donated by relief agencies should be avoided.
4. Oil should be temporarily avoided, as it can spread the virus.
5. All strong herbs and spices, especially peppers, curries, and other hot spices, should be avoided. These stimulants can spread the virus.
The following medicinal drinks may be taken:
1. Ume-Sho-Bancha (made with 1/2 to 1 umeboshi plum and several drops to 1 teaspoon of shoyu added to 1 cup of bancha twig tea) or Ume-Sho-Kuzu (made with umeboshi plum and shoyu and dissolved in 1 cup of water with a heaping teaspoon of kudzu root thickener). These are traditional preparations to strengthen the blood, overcome fatigue, and prevent infection. Take 1 to 2 small cups of either drink every morning and evening for up to 10 days.
2. Other medicinal drinks and applications may also be used depending on the individual’s condition.
- D. Recovery Period, average 2 weeks
After the virus has left the body, the patient should continue to eat very simply for two to four weeks, mostly whole grains, miso soup, vegetables, beans, sea vegetables, and condiments. Other foods may gradually be added, including:
1. A small volume of sesame oil may be used in cooking, especially sautéed vegetables. If sesame is not available, other polyunsaturated or monosaturated oils such as corn or olive may be used. Avoid, even when healthy, palm oil and coconut oil, which are saturated and raise cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease.
2. A small volume of herbs or spices may be gradually introduced. But they should be mild and not too hot.
3. A small volume of white-meat fish may be taken during the recovery period and served with lemon or grated radish to aid in digestion. The fish may be steamed, boil, pouched, or cooked in the form of soup or stew with vegetables.
4. After full recovery, the person should follow the standard macrobiotic dietary guidelines for usual good health (Click here for Standard Macrobiotic Guidelines). The following charts illustrate the average type and proportion of food (by weight, not volume) for Central and West Africa:
© 2014 by Michio Kushi and Midori H. Kushi. Copyright and image right protected. This article may be reprinted by nonprofit educational, medical, or humanitarian organizations. For information on commercial reproduction, please contact Kushi Institute, 198 Leland Road, Becket MA 01223. Tel 413-623-5741. Fax 413-623-8827.
- AIDS, Macrobiotics, and Natural Immunity by Michio Kushi with Martha Cottrell, M.D., Japan Publications, 1990. Out of print but available used from Amazon.com.
- Aveline Kushi’s Complete Guide to Macrobiotic Cooking by Aveline Kushi with Alex Jack, Warner Books, 1985. The principal macrobiotic cookbook.
- The Book of Macrobiotics by Michio Kushi with Alex Jack, Square One Publications, 2013. Newly revised edition of the classic book on macrobiotic principles, including dietary guidelines for 10 regions of the world including Africa, summary of scientific-medical research on macrobiotics, and nutrient tables.
- The Cancer Prevention Diet by Michio Kushi with Alex Jack, St Martin’s Press, 2010. The macrobiotic approach to 25 major types of cancer, including menus, recipes, and home cares.
- Diet for a Strong Heart by Michio Kushi with Alex Jack, St. Martin’s Press, 1985. The macrobiotic approach to high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions, including menus, recipes, and home cares.
- Macrobiotic Home Remedies by Michio Kushi with Marc Van Cauwenberghe, M.D., Square One Publications, 2014. Newly revised edition of macrobiotic home cares, including special dishes, foods, and compresses that may be helpful for infectious conditions such as Ebola.
- The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health by Michio Kushi with Alex Jack, Ballantine Books, 2003. A comprehensive guide to preventing and relieving more than 200 chronic and infectious conditions, including menus, recipes, and home cares.
Kushi Institute –www.kushiinstiute.org. The K.I. is the world center for macrobiotic learning and offers year-round residential programs to the general public on macrobiotic principles and practices, including cooking classes; teacher, counselor, and chef training; and the Way to Health Program, a 7-day residential program for preventing and relieving cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and other chronic diseases. Personal macrobiotic dietary and way of life counseling, shiatsu massage, and other individual services are also available. Located on 600 acres in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, K.I. is convenient to many artistic and cultural attractions. For more information, please contact: Kushi Institute, 198 Leland Road, Becket MA 01223. Tel 413-623-5741 or 800-975-8744. Fax 413-623-8827. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/
The CDC is the U.S. government agency coordinating the response to Ebola and other public health issues and emergencies. It presents daily updates and the latest medical advice on the Ebola outbreak in Africa, America, and around the world.
Pumpkin Pie – Just in Time for the Holidays – By Chef Chris Jenkins
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup safflower oil
1/2 cup apple juice
6 cups winter squash, like buttercup, peeled and cubed (or 3 cups pumpkin purée)
1/4 cup barley malt
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup rice syrup
2 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon agar powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of cloves
pinch of sea salt
To make the crust: Preheat oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside. Mix the wet ingredients, and then mix the wet into the dry ingredients. Mix well to make a uniform dough. Let it rest for a few minutes. Sprinkle a little flour onto your work surface, and roll the dough flat with a rolling pin. Put the dough into an oiled pie pan. Poke holes into the bottom of the crust with a fork. You can decoratively shape the rim of the crust if you like. Bake the crust for ten minutes, and then set aside.
To make the filling: Steam or bake the squash until it is very soft. Purée all of the filling ingredients together in a blender or food processor. If the purée is too thick, you can add a 1/4 cup of rice milk.
When the crust is pre-baked and the filling is mixed, put the filling into the crust and level it with a spatula or spoon. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove the pie from the oven, let it cool completely, and then slice and serve.
Makes one ten-inch pie
Check out more RECIPES by Chris Jenkins, a member of Kushi Institute Faculty, by visiting sixflavors.blogspot.com
From Michio Kushi
Michio Kushi and Midori H. Kushi and Alex Jack with all the staff of the Kushi Institute in Becket extend our deepest sympathy and condolences and share the sadness with all of Adelbert Nelissen’s family and all the staff of the Kushi Institute in the Netherlands. We sincerely hope and pray that Adelbert’s dreams and activities over more than fifty years will be developed further by his family members and by other associates and colleagues.
From Alex Jack
Farewell, Dear Adelbert
You were one of the brightest stars in the macrobiotic firmament or sky. You were a pioneer of the natural foods movement, a leading macrobiotic teacher and counselor, and head of a devoted family. At times your manner and expression were very direct, but a warm heart always beat beneath your provocative exterior. You wanted nothing more than to awaken people to their deeper, higher selves. That was your mission and your joy.
Your brilliance shown in many practical and visionary accomplishments—from founding Manna and the East West Center, to launching the Kushi Institute of Europe and Deshima, to conceiving the Ideal Food Pattern and Macropedia—two projects I had the privilege of working on with you in recent years.
Like Daedalus, the architect, master craftsman, and inventor of the Labyrinth in Greek mythology, your most original contribution lay in art, creative expression, and design. Who can ever forget participating in one of your walking tours among the canals, bridges, and historic buildings and sites of Amsterdam in which you wove a vibrant tapestry of yin/yang polarities, spiral ratios, and the convergence of all five stages of transformation in one sublime vista? And like Icarus, Daedalus’s son and dearest creation, you dared to fly too close to the sun.
In 2001, just thirteen years ago this week, you and I set out on a memorable 10-day journey through southern France and northern Italy, visiting rice fields and warning farmers of the dangers of GMO rice. We rented a small car and took a winding course along the Mediterranean Sea. Periodically, you would stop the vehicle, strip off your clothes, and dive into the glistening deep. I would hold my breath, fearful that you would crash on a big rock, but you always emerged unscathed and refreshed.
Whether leading the campaign against the Modern Food Pattern—the Minotaur at the center of the labyrinth of personal and social decline in our time—scaling an Alpine or Himalayan peak, combatting the ignorance and folly of the contemporary medical system, or cycling with your family, you pushed yourself to the limit.
And like Icarus, Daedalus’s son, the warm, caressing rays of the sun ultimately melted your wings, and you fell back to earth. You died as you lived, pursuing your eternal dream.
Dear Adelbert, now your strong, resourceful mind and loving heart are at rest. May your bright, shining spirit travel freely in the world of light. May you be surrounded by love and peace and be uplifted by the prayers and thoughts of all those you left behind. May we be forever one.
Fare thee well, dear Adelbert.
I lost 70 lbs in 70 days on a macrobiotic diet!
Written By Marisa Marinelli
Andre was born and raise in Brazil. At the age of 25, he considered himself a happy young adult who liked to have fun with his friends. After being diagnosed with necrosis of the bone in his femur, he was inspired to try a macrobiotic lifestyle to see if it would help. Not only did he heal his bone, he lost 70 lbs in 70 days! Read his dramatic weight loss interview below:
What was your lifestyle like before you lost the weight?
I used to go out with my friends 3 or 4 times a week to bars where we would drink or eat out at restaurants. We’d stay out really late into evening and it happened a lot. Usually when we go out we would end up eating the food at the bar, a lot of fried things such as pork. A lot of pork is served in Brazil where I lived. Eating and drinking late at night was for sure.
Would you say you were happy with your life during that time?
Yes. Yes I was. Definitely happy.
When did you discover macrobiotics?
The first time I had contact with macrobiotics was in 2004 through a friend. He was giving it a try for a while. In one month (of eating this way) I saw a difference in him. His face looked like he was 2 years younger and he had lost some weight. When I first decided to try macrobiotics it was in 2009. I had a problem with my bone structure. I had necrosis of the bone which means it started to die due to a lack of oxygen. The doctors wanted to cut the femur and put in a metal piece. I did not want to have this procedure done at all. I thought it would be absurd if this was the only option they were offering me. I went to a few doctors to get second opinions but they all said I needed this surgery. The condition was so bad that I walked around with a cane at the age of 25. At this time, I recalled my friend’s experience with macrobiotics and decided to do it for myself. I found a counselor (where I lived) in Brazil and started to work with him.
What changes did you see after adopting macrobiotics into your life?
After that I started to feel very very very well. My happiness increased! I thought I was already happy but I feel so much happier now after macrobiotics.
I lost 70 lbs in 70 days. Since then I have maintained this weight for the last 5 years because I continued to practice macrobiotics. AND my bone healed! [Andre says this as he jumps up and down on one leg]. I did not have any surgery and have not been back to the doctors since. I feel great!
What was the hardest challenge that you had in changing your lifestyle?
Avoiding cravings for old food was my biggest challenge. I was very lucky to have the support of my family and girlfriend at the time. They were very supportive and that helped me a lot to continue what I was doing. I used to eat a lot of pizza and hamburgers before [my diet change] so there were a lot of cravings [for those heavy foods]. The alcohol was never a problem to let go. My friends were okay with me not drinking. I still when out to the bars with them and I would take my kukicha tea with me. When I went out to dinner with my girlfriend I would explain to the restaurant manager that I could not eat this food and they would not have a problem with me bringing my own food. Of course, this was in Brazil.
Do you eat out at restaurants now?
Not yet, not in 5 years. I cook for myself every day. Living here at the K.I. is the first time I’m not cooking for myself, however I know I’m being supported with good healthy food.
What brings you to Kushi Institute in Becket, MA?
I realized that I want to work with macrobiotics. I want it to be the main part of my life. When I discovered this opportunity to study and this was the best place to learn this material, I didn’t even think twice about it. I quit my job and came here to do the [Macrobiotic Leadership Training] Levels. I’m not sure exactly how yet, but I know this is my path.
For more information on Kushi Institute’s macrobiotic approach to weight loss, register today for our Healthy Weight Loss Program.
Upcoming dates posted throughout the year!