My story begins long before thoughts of retirement. When I was nineteen, I had my gall bladder and appendix removed, and that is when all the trouble started. My doctors said I could continue to eat normally and that it would be alright to eat fats and oils as before. They recommended no change in my diet. Without direction, and since I had many weight issues (fluctuating 20-25 lbs.), I tried a lot of diets over the years, including a diet of only meat and cheese.
I grew up in the United States but have now called France home for over 30 years. When I saw a homeopathic doctor there, he said that I should have been more careful and steered away from fats and oils because they were taxing my liver. I then proceeded to get off meat. I was trying to be careful about oils, but I still did not know how to balance my diet.
Around the year 2000 I was experiencing chronic fatigue. I had no energy, I was urinating frequently, and I was depressed because I was not working. I stopped smoking but still could not understand the cause of my problems. I had some blood tests because I thought I was anemic, but the results did not show any abnormalities. Also, I had a history of being depressed. I became desperate.
I saw a poster for a macrobiotic cooking class and decided to go. After the cooking class I immediately had a macrobiotic consultation. The macrobiotic counselor told me that I could feel better in a month, so I followed exactly what she told me to do. In ten days I had so much energy that I practically flew out of bed in the mornings.
My whole person improved. Before starting the macrobiotic diet I was so confused about what I wanted to do with my life. After one month on the macrobiotic diet, my thinking was so clear I decided to open an organic catering company. At this point I had the energy to do it. This I attributed to being on the macrobiotic diet. I was able to make a good living with my catering company.
After a couple of years of being on the macrobiotic diet I started to sway. Then I developed osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and weak kidneys, and I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. I was on my feet all the time with work, sometimes working 14-16 hours. I had a small business and was doing everything myself. This caused an osteoarthritis attack in my feet, and I had trouble walking for 3 months.
I decided to retire earlier instead of waiting until I was 67. I retired and went back on a strict macrobiotic diet. I got my health back plus ten times more energy again.
Since returning to the macrobiotic diet, I have never had a depressive episode. Even when I had major family problems, I was able to deal with them head on. I now walk for hours most days, and I can manage all my conditions without any medications.
The feeling of joy and vitality I now have I attribute to the macrobiotic diet and lifestyle.
Macrobiotics has done so much to change my life that I grew a desire to go to the Kushi Institute and study more so that I could help others. I am retired now and still have plenty of energy so I traveled all the way from France to the Kushi Institute in the Becket, MA. I completed Level 1 at the Kushi Institute in Europe ten years ago, and ever since that time, I have wanted to continue with Levels 2 and 3 as well as the first week of Level 4 to gain an advanced understanding useful for counseling others.
I mentioned I am pursuing this in my retirement and so I would like to speak a little bit about retirement itself. Getting old does not have to mean getting sick. Getting old is not something to fear if you have vitality and your health. People are in fear all day about getting old because they think their future is drugs, doctor’s visits and nursing homes. Through the macrobiotic way, I alone determine my health through proper eating habits and lifestyle choices. Retirement is greater if I have my health and I can determine the quality of my life. I choose, it is my choice!
At the time of publication, Marty is half way through the first week of Level 4 at the Kushi Institute.
Meet Sommer White, MD, Emergency Medicine from California
Since I was a child, I wanted to become a physician so that I could help others. I specifically chose Emergency Medicine because I felt like it was a place where I could immediately help people and feel like I was making an significant difference in their lives. The ability to relieve someone’s acute physical pain and make them feel comfortable is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.
I wanted to learn the macrobiotic diet because I was looking for a cure for my illnesses, a way to feel better without taking medications that would merely mask the symptoms. I had been chronically fatigued for years and had dark circles around my eyes. I suffered from frequent urination and could never sleep through the night because I would get up to urinate 3-4 times. I was also irritable, anxious and would frequently break out in cold sores. Working in the emergency department, I kept odd hours, and would sometimes stay awake for long periods. Even when I wasn’t working the night shift, I would stay up late and sleep late the following morning. I felt like I couldn’t get enough sleep.
Macrobiotics has been a part of my life since I was a child. My mother practiced macrobiotics on and off for years, and used it to overcome breast cancer when she was 48 years old. She had always talked about studying at the Kushi Institute and encouraged me to do so as well.
I have been practicing macrobiotics for about a year and a half. Overall, my fatigue has greatly diminished. I no longer need caffeine to wake up in the morning, and my nighttime urination has improved. My body feels strong and healthy, and my mind is calmer. I am adjusting my lifestyle to be physically and emotionally healthier. I try to go to sleep and get up earlier, which makes my days feel much longer and more fulfilling. I now wake up rested.
Practicing macrobiotics has given me focus, clarity, fulfillment, and direction for my new path as a holistic practitioner. It has given me joy in the kitchen and connection to the food I am preparing. I always wanted to be able to make myself a nice lunch, and now I have the skills to do that! I love being able to go the refrigerator, take out fresh ingredients and make a meal that is delicious, satisfying and healthy. Macrobiotics has taught me to care for myself on all levels–physically, emotionally, and spiritually. My studies at the Kushi Institute have taken my practice to a deeper level, and they are teaching me what it truly means to be a holistic practitioner. I’m starting to understand the human body and mind differently and really believe that we can cure our illnesses with diet and lifestyle. The medical system as we know it today is broken. The complexities that surround the attitudes of doctors and patients combined with our fast-paced lifestyles have caused us to look for quick fixes instead of slowing down and really focusing on the root causes of the problems. We fail to see how our diets, lifestyles and emotions impact our health, and more importantly how changing them can cure our illnesses.
“Macrobiotics has shown me how to take my health into my own hands and to facilitate healing. I can only hope that it does this for many others, for this is the power of the practice, and the answer to our broken system.”
After eating macrobiotic food for a short time, I began to feel my body and mind changing. I knew I wanted to learn more about what was happening. I made a decision to enroll in the Kushi Institute’s Macrobiotic Leadership Program, Level 1. During the first two weeks of Level 1, I started to grasp the basic concepts of yin and yang and understand how food affects our bodies. By the end of Level 1, I felt a stronger understanding of the basic concepts, and started to understand why people refer to it as a spiritual diet. I felt such an appreciation for what I was learning and what I was eating. My studies at the Kushi Institute are invaluable and exciting, and I look forward to beginning Level 2 in the fall. My goal is to finish all four levels.
Masumi began healing from the symptoms of a painful autoimmune illness after attending Kushi Institute’s February 2012 Way to Health program. After eating and living in accordance with macrobiotic principals and philosophy for over two years, her life has changed dramatically. Masumi lives without medications, has minimized the occurrence of painful flare-ups, and is now allergy free—an unexpected bonus of adopting a macrobiotic lifestyle. Over the course of the past year, she has also become certified to teach yoga, launched a website with a friend and business partner www.twofitmoms.com, has an impressive following on her Instagram site of over 99,000, and was featured in the June 2014 Yoga Journal magazine. We are honored to have Masumi join Kushi Institute’s 2014 Summer Conference Festival faculty.
“I was very fortunate to be born and raised in a macrobiotic home for the first 18 years of my life. I had a really healthy childhood. I was rarely sick, and never took any medications.
When I left for college, my eating habits began to change. Although I still ate plenty of fruits and vegetables, I started eating a standard American diet including processed foods and dairy (pizza, bagels, cereal, yogurt, etc.) It was also in my early 20’s that I developed incapacitating seasonal allergies. I did not make the connection at the time, but in retrospect, it is crystal clear that these allergies were associated with the dietary and lifestyle changes that commenced with my leaving the nest.
In the fall of 2011, I began having terrible pain in my hips and feet. Exercising (jogging in particular) was a big part of my life, so I assumed the pain was from running on a daily basis. Even walking became a painful activity! The aching in my heels was intense, and the burning sensation in my hip joints was so severe that I couldn’t fall asleep at night. I stopped running, sold my treadmill, and sought the opinion of a medical professional. After receiving orthotic inserts for my shoes and spending weeks in physical therapy with no improvement, my doctor ordered blood tests. I always thought of myself as a very healthy individual, so I was very surprised to learn that the blood work showed abnormalities.
Some of my results were consistent with rheumatoid arthritis, but because my disease featured very acute flare ups (versus gradual onset) that were not isolated to my joints, I was not diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. My doctor told me that I had my very own variation of an autoimmune disease that affects joints AND ligaments. I was then told that the drugs that are traditionally used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and similar illnesses were harsh and could have side effects that were worse than the disease symptoms themselves!
Rather than taking drugs, I told my doctor that I knew of something else that could potentially help. I immediately enrolled in the Kushi Institute’s Way to Health program in February 2012. I decided that it was time to return to my macrobiotic roots. I even scheduled a private consultation with a macrobiotic counselor, Bettina Zumdick. Bettina assured me that if I followed all of her suggestions for diet and lifestyle changes, my pain would disappear. She also explained that in the process, as a side effect, my seasonal allergies would be gone by next Spring. Although I turned to macrobiotics to solely tend to my autoimmune illness, I was relieved and excited to learn that my new healing diet could help me with hay fever symptoms. My seasonal allergies had become so severe that I dreaded being outdoors between April and June. Even with allergy medication, my symptoms could not be controlled. I avoided being outside, I lived with my windows shut, and I showered often to remove pollen from my hair and skin. ”
“Since my return to macrobiotics in February 2012, I have been able to manage my autoimmune illness with food and lifestyle, rather than drugs, and the seasonal allergies that plagued me from 1996-2013 are gone!”
Masumi tries to spread knowledge of general wellness – fitness, yoga, macrobiotic healthy living/eating – by sharing her lifestyle on social media platforms to empower others to take charge of their own health and well-being.
My reason for coming to the Kushi Institute was to find the right foods (healing foods) to help my mother with breast cancer and to help my patients. I wanted to research and investigate if foods caused cancer or illness. But mostly, I wanted to research if foods can affect your health and the possibilities of reserving cancer, since my mother passed away.
My educational background did not include nutrition or a clear association between food and illness.
By doing my own research on nutrition relating to illness I found the Kushi Institute on the Internet. I decided to come here to get the knowledge for all my patients. I came here in September 2013 for the first week of the Macrobiotic Leadership Program, Level 1, Module A. I wanted to get the education to help my patients so I could combine Allopathic Medicine with the needed medical treatment and healthy lifestyle practice. In medical school, they always taught us that we should live healthy, but how we do this is the BIG question. The Kushi Institute has a great mission in teaching everyone how to cook for healthy eating, but they also teach you how to do the basics: low impact exercise to relax yourself, to disconnect yourself from one’s own stress, how to visualize yourself in an environment that is in harmony with your inner spirit, etc. From the very first day I learned this. In general, they teach you how to live in harmony and in balance within yourself and with your environment on a daily basis.
I’m back for my second and third week of the Macrobiotic Leadership Program, Level 1 Module B & C, for a deeper understanding and learning of the macrobiotic philosophy and lifestyle. Also I am getting more cooking experience. The more I learn and know, the more fascinated I get and it motivates me to come back and keep learning. Now I am understanding how my body works; how my body feels bad with some foods and feels good with other foods. Before macro, I would eat hamburgers with cheese, French fries, and sodas. Now I understand why I felt constipated, bloated, sleepy, and weak. Now that I am practicing the macrobiotic lifestyle, I feel more energetic, I have regular bowel movements, clear thinking, and I feel great in general.
The Kushi Institute has become a vacation and retreat for me to get away from my busy practice, a time for self-reflection and to think about my patient’s diseases. I have been taught visual diagnosis; I am learning that just by looking at the face and body of a person, I can get the diagnosis even without asking them a question. These diagnosis courses will help me to do additional diagnosis with my patients when I go home to my practice. Now I know that just by looking at the lower lid of the eye, I can tell how the large intestines and kidneys are doing. I can tell if they are constipated or not. Also I can look at their lower lip and can diagnose constipation. I have taken shiatsu, yoga, meditation, visualization, diagnosis, macrobiotic cooking classes, learned Traditional Chinese Medicine – the principles of Yin and Yang, remedies and compresses. I have had excellent cooking teachers that are accessible and open to answering my questions. They are very knowledgeable. But most importantly to me, they are examples of health in mind, body, and spirit.
The campus is beautiful, surrounded by 600 acres of nature. You can feel the energy coming from nature and you are surrounded by people that have a passion to learn more about nutrition and lifestyle changes in a peaceful environment.
To other doctors out there, when I feel exhausted, I know I need to go to the Kushi Institute to rejuvenate and get my own energy back. I was suffering from vertigo back in Puerto Rico before I came here. Not only am I recovering from my own physical symptoms, I am simultaneously learning about alternative treatments for my patients, it’s a win-win situation. Kushi Institute has a Way To Health program and other programs that can help your patients regain their health. Of course, you don’t have to be a physician to come here. In fact, I am the only doctor from Puerto Rico to come here, but now I know I can send my family and patients here too! I will be not only treating patients but also potentially rescuing them from illness and death.
Ingredients and Prep:
1 part raw buckwheat grain
1 part fresh daikon radish (diced into fine pieces)
1 part fresh daikon radish greens tops (cut thinly)
2 parts bean sprouts, mung bean or alfalfa (cut finely into small pieces)
2 parts scallion (cut finely into small pieces)
1 part dried shiitake mushrom (soaked 10 minutes in a little water, chop finely, add soaking water to mixture)
5 parts water
A ‘part’ can be any amount as long as it is kept in appropriate proportion. Ex: if 1 part is 1/8 cup then 2 part would be 1/4 cup.
For correct amount of water, if your total parts of ingredients equals 2 cups then 5 times that amount would be 10 cups of water.
Pre-cook the buckwheat grain for 15 minutes in 5 times the total amount of water. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium.
Add the vegetables to the grain and simmer for 15 minutes longer.
Drink Tea while still hot.
Drink 1 cup every day for 7 days in a row.
This will help to detoxify those heavy winter foods that we accumulated for the cold weather. It will also help release stagnate energy making us feel lighter. A lighter liver is a happy liver.
(Photo credit: Sachi Kato)
Tofu Cheese Cake With Carob Ganache
Crust: (From Scratch)
4 Cups Rolled Oats
½ Cup Nuts Or Seeds Of Choice (Example: Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, Sunflower Seeds)
¼ Tablespoon Cinnamon Powder
½ Cup Sunflower Oil
½ Cup Maple Syrup
Preheat Oven To 350 Degrees. Combine Dry Ingredients In Mixing Bowl. Transfer To Well Oiled Baking Sheet. Bake For ½ Hour Stirring At 15 Minute Interval. Remove From Oven And Allow To Cool For 15 Minutes Or So. Add Dry Ingredients To Food Processor And Drizzle Wet Ingredients In As You Coarsely Pulse. Loosely Press The Crust Into The Base Of A 9 Inch Spring form Cake Pan.
Tofu Cheesecake Filling
2 Pounds Firm Or Extra Firm Silk Tofu
1 Cup Brown Rice Syrup
2 Cups Maple Syrup
3 Tablespoons Tahini
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
½ Tablespoon Almond Extract
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
2 Tablespoons Arrowroot
2 Tablespoons Agar Agar (Flakes)
1/2 Cup Milk Of Choice (Example: Soy Milk, Rice Milk, Almond Milk, Hemp Milk, Coconut Milk, Oat Milk)
Continue To Preheat Oven To 350 Degrees. Add Tofu, Tahini, Arrowroot, Agar Agar, and Sea Salt To Food Processor. Pulse a Few Times. Add Remaining Wet Ingredients And Continue to Blend Until Smooth And Creamy. Adjust Sweetness and Thickness – The Mixture Should Be On The Verge Of Too Thick To Pour. Spoon – Pour Mixture Over The Crust Being Careful Not To Disturb The Crust. Bake For 45 – 50 Minutes
Allow to Cool And Set Before Topping With Carob Ganache or Your Choice Of Topping.
1 Bag Grain Sweetened Dairy-free Carob
¼ Cup Grain Coffee
½ Cup Carob Powder
1 CupMilk Of Choice (Example: Soy Milk, Rice Milk, Almond Milk, Hemp Milk, Coconut Milk, Oat Milk)|
½ Cup Brown Rice Syrup Or Maple Syrup Or Half Of Each
1 Teaspoon Orange Extract (Optional)
Heat Milk In Large Sauce Pan Until Ready To Boil. Turn Down To Low Simmer. Wisk The Grain Coffee And Carob Powder In Until Fully Dissolved. Add Additional Carob Powder To Achieve a Thick But Stir Able Consistency. Add The Sweetener Mixing Until Blended. Turn Off Heat Completely. Add The Carob Chips And Wisk Until Smooth. Add Orange Extract If Desired. Allow To Cool Until Luke Warm. Spoon a ¼ To ½ Inch Layer Of Ganache Over Cooled Cheesecake. Leave Cake In Pan And Refrigerate. Allow Entire Cake To Set Completely – About 2 Hours Minimum.
When Cake Is Fully Cooled, Place On Serving Platter, Remove Outer Ring Of Cake Pan, Serve, And Enjoy!
Recipe and Photo By, Kushi Level Graduate, Gayle Stolove
Applicants who can volunteer for a year will be preferred (three CRV sessions), after which, the volunteer will receive Levels 1 through 3 as a benefit.
Front Office Receptionist
· Greeting and assisting patrons
· Creating folders/files/name tags
· Entering data into database
· 40 hours per week, generally 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (with one hour lunch break),
· Weekend hours are required.
· Eligibility to attend Macrobiotic Leadership Program Levels 1, 2 & 3 upon completion of 3 CRV sessions.
· May attend most Kushi Institute classes when not on duty
· Room and all meals included
· Ability to work well with others and follow management direction
· Pleasant personality
· Good organizational skills
· Basic computer skills – knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel helpful
· Detail oriented and high level of accuracy
· Multi-tasking abilities
· Sense of humor a plus
Sesame Seed Dressing
A rich slightly salty dressing delicious on cooked vegetables and raw salads (and pretty much anything.)
- 1.5 cups toasted sesame seeds
- 2 bunches scallions
- 1/2 cup of umeboshi vinegar
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1. Add the following ingredients into the blender - vinegar, scallions, and water.
- 2. Blend to liquid and taste for flavor.
- 3. Add sesame seeds and water as needed for texture.
- 4. Taste for flavor and add more vinegar and scallions as needed.
- The sesame seeds need to be toasted prior to making the dressing. It's helpful to prepare these in larger amounts to save time, and keep them in a glass container. Toast them in a pan or in the oven, and use for them for different dishes, and as a garnish.
- The umeboshi vinegar acts as the salt flavoring for this dish, and it's very nice for dressings because it's already a liquid salt. It has a distinct flavor, and carries quite a significant amount of saltiness, so taste as you go.
Kushi Institute http://www.kushiinstitute.org/