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2014 Gala Fundraiser Dinner

Picture 2The 2014 Kushi Institute Fundraiser Gala Dinner will be held in an outdoor tent on the beautiful grounds of Kushi Institute on Friday, August 15, 2014, during the 30th Annual Summer Conference. Dinner begins at six o’clock. Live music, entertainment and dancing to follow. Remarks by the Kushis and special guests.
Formal Summer Attire Requested

 

 This will be a very special evening to support the Kushi Foundation.  As a 501(c) 3 non-profit, proceeds go towards supporting the annual fund which makes up the short fall between operations expenses and tuition. This money will be used towards Educational Scholarship Funds, normal routine maintenance, support for the volunteer program and other special projects that keep our unique Institute operating and serving our community each year.

avelinekimono 

This year’s Gala Dinner will honor Aveline Kushi as it follows the Peace Park Dedication and present the 2014 Aveline Awards.

  
The 2014 Aveline Award Recipients are:

RICHARD BOURDON
ROD HOUSE
WOODWARD and FLORENCE JOHNSON

The Peace Park Dedication will begin at 4:30 pm in the north field.

 

Dinner and Awards will follow at 6:00 pm in the tent.

 

Dancing to follow into the evening.

 

Gala dinner has been specially designed and prepared by guest chefs
Sanae Suzuki and Eric Lechasseur

 

RSVP
Tickets start at $100

Seating is limited. Kindly reserve your seats by Friday, August 8, 2014.
413.623.5741, ext. 102 | marisa@kushiinstitute.org

 

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS OR MAKE A CONTRIBUTION

 

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eric-lechasseur
Eric Lechasseur | Gala Chef
Eric Lechasseur trained as a classical French chef in Canada, France and Japan and then was the Executive Chef at various resorts around the world. In 1993, Eric began his vegan macrobiotic journey to help his wife, Sanae, recover from ovarian cancer. He soon discovered that vegan macrobiotics was effective for treating his own very serious allergies. Hence, Eric’s interest in vegan macrobiotic cuisine developed and when combined with his classical French training, his creations of exquisite vegan macrobiotic cuisine were born. Soon after, his reputation caught on and he became a sought after celebrity chef extraordinaire. Some celebrities Eric has cooked for include: Oprah, Madonna, Tobey Maguire, Jim Carey, Leonardo DiCaprio and Sting.

 

sanae-suzuki
Sana
e Suzuki | Gala Chef
Sanae Suzuki was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and later sustained a nearly fatal car accident. This profound experience inspired her to learn about macrobiotics as a path to healing. She progressed from student to teacher and graduated from the Kushi Institute completing their highest certification: Level 4 – Advanced Certification. Sanae has become a distinguished macrobiotic counselor for people and pets, a Bach Foundation International registered practitioner of flower essences, an author, and an international culinary instructor of macrobiotics. She has taught extensively throughout the USA, Japan, Caribbean, Europe and is a returning instructor at the Holistic Holiday at Sea.

 

 

Cookbooks:
Eric is the author of love, eric, a cookbook of gourmet vegan macrobiotic pastries. In collaboration with his wife, Sanae, they published love, eric & sanae, featuring extraordinary seasonal vegan macrobiotic cuisine. Sanae’s second cookbook, love, sanae, features more than 120 healing vegan macrobiotic recipes. Eric and Sanae have an organic vegan macrobiotic restaurant, Seed Kitchen, in Venice, California.

 

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CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS OR MAKE A CONTRIBUTION

 

RSVP
Tickets start at $100

Seating is limited. Kindly reserve your seats by Friday, August 8, 2014.
413.623.5741, ext. 102 | marisa@kushiinstitute.org

 

 

 

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Where Are They Now? Kushi Institute Level 3 Graduate Andrea Beaudoin

Where Are They Now? Kushi Institute Level 3 Graduate Andrea Beaudoin

1d1d96cJust over a year ago, KI Level 3 Graduate
Andrea Beaudoin opened her food truck Hearty Eats. This spring, she added a permanent restaurant in Shelburne Falls, Mass. Now, she’s heading back to Kushi for the first ever Local Berkshire Food Fair on Sunday, August 10. We caught up with her to talk about then and now as well as her continuing vision for the future.

 

 

How did you discover Macrobiotics?
I was working in Boston when I started having health issues. I was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of HPV, so I was trying to understand my health better. A friend introduced me to macrobiotics, and I launched into my own process of discovery through books. I changed my diet and ate really narrowly for a little while so my body could start detoxing and healing. I also quit smoking. Eight months later, I conceded to having a cold knife cone biopsy, which looks for deeper cancerous development, but there was no evidence of cancer or even a sign that there had ever been a problem. So, I really believed in what I was doing.

 

 

When did you decide to start the Level Program at KI?
Basically, I decided that if I was going to live this way, I needed to understand it on a deeper level. I took the first week of Level 1 to get a taste of it while I was still working in the corporate world back in Boston. In January 2013, I left my job and completed the program through Level 3. I was getting an in-depth understanding plus time for healing and changing the direction my life was heading. I didn’t come from the food industry, but I knew I would use what I learned from Kushi for the rest of my life, whether I made a career out of it or not.

 

 

Why a food truck?Truck_Border
Even before I left my job, I was racking my brain: “What am I going to do? What am I going to do?” I spent a lot of time reflecting on who I am, what’s important to me, what the world could benefit from and how to succeed in doing what you love while paying bills – because there’s a balance there. I had always wanted accessible healthy food while I was working in the city. So I ended up buying a food truck with no solid plan.

 

 

Can you let us in on the name “Hearty Eats”?
Hearty Eats is a joke. The name came while laughing over the health food/fast food/drive thru concept with friends. We imagined the golden arches bending further, turning into a green heart. So “Hearty Eats” comes from that ongoing joke. Also, the food is hearty. A lot of people think health food is salads. I think what’s really key about Macrobiotics is the food is hearty. It’s not leaving you hungry. It’s healing, nourishing food. Heart health is another. I just couldn’t get away from the name because of all of the meaning in it.

 

 

What was the initial response to a Macro-friendly food truck?
We put clean, digestible, balanced food out into the world without a label. Macrobiotic, vegan, gluten-free – our food is all these things yet it’s presented in a format regular people relate to. We soak our rice and use kombu. We pick high-quality fresh ingredients. Everything is from scratch. People know it when they taste it and they comment all of the time that it’s the “best” or the “cleanest” or the “healthiest” food without us telling them. So we don’t scream “Gluten-free!” We don’t scream “Vegan!” We don’t scream “Macrobiotic!” Instead, we’re saying, “Why can’t this just be the norm?” At our first event it was just us and three BBQ trucks, and we had a line all day.

 

 

Other than the upcoming Local Berkshire Food Fair at Kushi Institute on August 10th, where can people generally find Hearty Eats?
As for the truck, we’ve been doing music festivals, the Brimfield Antique Show, Wanderlust VT, etc. Increasingly, we’re sticking to local events in our area, especially daytime events centering around lunch. We just opened a restaurant in Shelburne Falls, Mass. at 24 Bridge Street.

 

Restaurant_Border

 What’s next for Hearty Eats?
There’s nothing static about our vision. Our plan is to evolve as things make sense. We hadn’t planned on a restaurant just a year after the truck. It came together with the good response to our food and the timing of the Shelburne Falls space. We’d like multiple locations. Long term, we’d like drive thrus. Healthy fast food is not the solution to the world’s problems, but it’s a place to start. If you’re too idealistic, you can’t reach the people. We’d also like to add fish to the menu and get through the winter on exclusively New England produce.

 

 
What’s next for you?
Farming is a huge passion of mine. I am extremely energized by time spent in nature and in the garden. My partner, Colin Bargeron, and I live on seven acres, and we’ve been growing rice. We have two little paddies now, planted from the rice we grew last year with the help of Christian Elwell at South River Miso. As time goes on, we’d like to start supplying produce for Hearty Eats. When it comes to all of these personal and professional pursuits, Colin and I have accomplished them together. Before we really got going with the restaurant setup this spring, we took the winter to man a sailboat from Los Angeles to Guatemala.

 

 

Looking back, what has guided you through this time of expansion?
My greatest inspiration from macrobiotics is that everything is always seeking balance. The middle is a constantly moving point, so being awake and open and clear enough to realize where that point is and maintain it is an everyday undertaking. It’s my intention with each dish.

 

 

Find Hearty Eats at Facebook.com/HeartyEats

 

 

 

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Rx for Retirement: Marty Pardoll

Rx for Retirement: Marty Pardoll

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.

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Series: Doctors Discover Nutrition: Meet Sommer White, MD

Series: Doctors Discover Nutrition:  Meet Sommer White, MD

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.”

 

  sommer white4

 

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.

 

 

 

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Eat, Play, Yoga – Meet Masumi Goldman

Eat, Play, Yoga – Meet Masumi Goldman

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.

Masumi Before and AfterIn 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.

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Doctors Discover Nutrition: Nancy Santini, MD, Internal Medicine, Puerto Rico

Doctors Discover Nutrition:     Nancy Santini, MD, Internal Medicine, Puerto Rico

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.

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The Healing Properties of Lotus Seeds

Lotus_Seeds Lotus Seeds
Ancient Wisdom
The beautiful blooms of the lotus flower produces an edible seed, which, in traditional Chinese medicine is said to be beneficial for the heart, tone the spleen and kidneys, prevent insomnia, and calm the nerves. Lotus seeds have astringent properties, which makes them helpful in relieving the symptoms of diarrhea and improving appetite. In Buddhist traditions, the “Sacred Lotus” is a symbol of vitality and purity.

Research Indicates Lotus Seeds Have Remarkable Anti-Aging Compounds

In a UCLA study conducted by plant physiologist Jane Shen-Miller, an ancient Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) seed germinated after lying dormant for 1,200 years; the oldest seed ever found. The seed was discovered in the 1920s in a deposit of Lotus fruits in a dry lake bed at Pulantien, China. It is “the oldest demonstrably viable and directly dated seed ever reported,” according to the report in the American Journal of Botany. The seedling has been growing since March 1994, and continues to demonstrate “robust” growth.

L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (MT), an important enzyme that participates in the repair of age-damaged proteins, is present in all lotus seeds, and was found to be present in this ancient seed. The enzyme, the shape and physiological characteristics of lotus fruits, and the oxygen-free environment of the sedimentary strata in which the lotus fruits had been preserved, all contributed to the exceptional longevity of the seeds, the authors concluded.

Because of the potent anti-aging enzyme in lotus seeds, researchers have been finding ways to use lotus seeds in modern cosmetic anti-aging products.

We suggest you enjoy their benefits by using these tasty seeds in dishes like the macro “deviled egg” recipe above, or when you make brown rice, try substituting about a quarter of the amount of rice with lotus seeds and cook as you would for brown rice. Remember to always take out the bitter green sprout before cooking.

[Shen-Miller, J., Mary Beth Mudgett, J. William Schopf, Steven Clarke, and Rainer Berger. 1995. Exceptional Seed Longevity and Robust Growth: Ancient Sacred Lotus From China. American Journal of Botany, 82(11):1367-1380.

Chang, Kenneth. November 18, 1995. Ancient lotus seeds may hold anti-aging secrets. Austin American Statesman, A22.]

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The Healing Properties of Winter Squash

 

winter_squash
Winter Squash

Delectable, Nutrient-Rich Winter Squash

Nutritional Benefits

The deliciously sweet taste, comfortingly smooth texture, and lovely deep orange or yellow colors are reasons enough to enjoy winter squash, but this nutrient-dense food also provides a wealth of health benefits.

The lovely, deep orange color shows how rich winter squash is in carotenoid compounds. Carotenoids (also called provitamin A), are the types of Vitamin A compounds found in vegetables. Retinol (also called preformed vitamin A), is the form of vitamin A that is found in animals. When we eat carotenoids our body turns them into retinol.

Vitamin A is crucially important for healthy vision; cell division and differentiation; the immune, intestinal and respiratory systems; and the urinary tract. It has been shown to play a role in blood sugar regulation, and to have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Recent research has linked vitamin A to reduced risk of colon and lung cancer, and reduced severity of asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin A deficiency is linked to many illnesses.

The liver can store up to a year’s supply of vitamin A; but this store becomes depleted if a person is sick or has inflammation, or if they smoke. Vitamin A deficiency has been linked to emphysema.

One cup of baked winter squash gives you 145% of your RDA for Vitamin A. It is also high in vitamin C, Folate, Potassium, Manganese and dietary fiber.

Ancient Wisdom: A Good Food for the Season

In the 5,000 year old Asian system called The 5 Element Theory, or The 5 Transformations (the term we use at Kushi Institute), natural cyclical changes such as the seasons effect various aspects of human health. Understanding and using this system can bring greater health and vitality.

Here are some of the associations with the season we have just entered, which is called “early autumn” in The 5 Transformations:

•Element: Soil
•Energy Direction: Downward
•Organs: Stomach, spleen and pancreas
•Taste: Naturally Sweet, like winter squash
•Color: Yellow and Orange
•Vegetables: Winter Squash and other sweet orange and yellow vegetables which ripen in the Fall

This is only a small amount of information on a very deep study. As we move into each season the Kushi Institute Newsletter will include more information on the 5 Transformations for that time of year.

The 5 Transformations are one of the key subjects in the Kushi Institute’s Level 2 program.

References

Baybutt RC, Hu L, Molteni A. Vitamin A deficiency injures lung and liver parenchyma and impairs function of rat type II pneumocytes. J Nutr. 2000 May;130(5):1159-65. PMID:10801913.

Li T, Molteni A, Latkovich P, Castellani W, Baybutt RC. Vitamin A depletion induced by cigarette smoke is associated with the development of emphysema in rats. J Nutr. 2003 Aug;133(8):2629-34. PMID:12888649.

Suzuki K, Ito Y, Nakamura S et al. Relationship between serum carotenoids and hyperglycemia: a population- based cross-sectional study. J Epidemiol 2002 Sep;12(5):357-66 2002.

Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988. PMID:15220.

Ylonen K, Alfthan G, Groop, L et al. Dietary intakes and plasma concentrations of carotenoids and tocopherols in relation to glucose metabolism in subjects at high risk of type 2 diabetes: the Botnia Dietary Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jun; 77(6):1434-41 2003.

Yuan JM, Stram DO, Arakawa K, Lee HP, Yu MC. Dietary cryptoxanthin and reduced risk of lung cancer: the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2003 Sep;12(9):890-8.

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World Poverty and Hunger

In less industrial societies, modern food and agriculture have proved disruptive on an even larger scale than in industrial areas.

Cattle-grazing, use of marginal lands, and the export of cash crops have overturned patterns of farming and cultural life extending back thousands of years. In the wake of monocropping-growing one major crop or livestock for foreign export such as coffee, bananas, sugar, tomatoes, cattle, or sheep-tens of millions of families, uprooted from their ancestral lands, flocked to urban metropolitan centers such as San Paulo, Cairo, or Calcutta in quest of employment and opportunity. The vast urban slums created by this exodus from the land offer only poverty, hunger, and emergency relief consisting of infant formula, refined foods, and artificial birth control devices and artificial immunizations that further contribute to disease and destitution.

Growing grain directly for human consumption, meanwhile, would result in greater utilization of land and a more abundant food supply. At the present time it takes from five to ten times as much land to raise beef, pork, lamb, and dairy cattle as it does grains and vegetables. An international economy based on whole foods and organic agriculture would reverse the trend toward concentration of farmland in fewer hands. Hundreds of millions of families living in squalor would return to the lands from which they were driven off and find food, shelter, and meaningful employment. World hunger and poverty, largely the result of modern agricultural dislocations and changing patterns of food consumption, would end and tensions among states, aggravated by competing cash crops for foreign export, would diminish as local communities and regions became more self-sustaining. World population would also stabilize at much lower natural levels as high birth rates-largely a survival mechanism, common to other threatened species as well as humans-returned to normal.

Meanwhile, a few emergency relief agencies, including the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization and the International Red Cross have begun to distribute brown rice and other whole grains rather than refined grains in selected refugee camps around the world. These and other positive interim measures should be encouraged until more basic solutions can be achieved.

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On Natural Healing

Once I was visited by a young woman who was experiencing irregularities with her menstruation, along with a persistent, growing pain in her lower back, and facial blemishes. A medical examination revealed that she had an ovarian cyst, about the size of an orange, in one of her ovaries. Her doctor had advised exploratory surgery, with the likelihood that the tumor, and possibly the ovary itself, would be removed.

I felt that the problem was caused by improper balance in her daily diet, especially the consumption of milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy foods. During her visit, I recommended that she begin the macrobiotic diet, together with several basic home remedies. She followed my instructions. To her surprise, the cyst was no longer detectable after six weeks of practicing a macrobiotic regime. Her physician, a well-known gynecologist, remarked that in all her years of practice, she had never seen a case like that.

During my years studying and practicing macrobiotics, I have witnessed hundreds of cases, involving a wide range of illnesess, with a similar outcome. My own experience with macrobiotic healing began in the late 1960s when I was a student at Temple University in Philadelphia. It was at that time that I started seeking a deeper understanding of life through the study of Oriental philosophy.

My search began with Vedanta, the traditional wisdom of India, proceeded through Taoism and Chinese philosophy, and then led to Buddhism and Shintoism. I discovered the macrobiotic teachings of George Ohsawa at that time, and realized that macrobiotics offered the means to transform humanity’s timeless spiritual wisdom into a living reality. Through macrobiotics, I came to understand that the spiritual knowledge I had been searching for was within myself and that my day to day eating played a pivotal role in the development of spiritual consciousness.

As I adopted the macrobiotic lifestyle, allergies and other minor health problems began to disappear, I lost excessive weight, and my outlook grew more active and positive.

In 1972, I moved from Philadelphia to Boston in order to study with Michio Kushi. In 1973, I began a five-year period of work at the East West Foundation, a non-profit educational and cultural organization started by the Kushis. During that period, I studied intensively with Mr. Kushi, and began to give basic lectures on various aspects of the macrobiotic way of life. I edited numerous publications dealing with macrobiotics and natural healing. I also gave personal advice on the macrobiotic way of life to hundreds of people.

Through these experiences, I came to realize that health, happiness, and freedom are actually the natural human condition. My observations and experiences with the effects of food on our physical and mental health have convinced me that the most fundamental way to achieve health and happiness is to begin selecting, preparing, and eating our daily food in accordance with the law of nature. This universal, common sense method is available to everyone. All that is required is a desire to enjoy a life free from sickness and unhappiness and the wish to claim the human birthright of a happy, free, and healthy life.

The age of dietary anarchy now prevails throughout modern society. Traditional patterns of eating–based around whole cereal grains and cooked vegetables as the staple foods–which were followed for thousands of years have been abandoned. The modern diet consists of large quantities of animal food, heavily refined and processed flour and grain, refined sugar, dairy products, fruits and spices imported from great distances, chemicalized, industrialized, and artificial foods, and powerful drugs and medications. Not only is the modern way of eating widespread in the industrial nations in both East and West, but it is being exported at an increasingly rapid rate throughout the world. As a result, in spite of great prosperity brought on by technological advances, we are in the midst of a biological Noah’s Flood which is reflected in the increasing worldwide incidence of degenerative disease and social breakdown.

Before the Second World War, Dr. Alexis Carrel, a Nobel Prize-winning physiologist at the Rockefeller Institute, foresaw our current situation and in his book, Man the Unknown, proposed a complete re-evaluation of our modern understanding of life, nature, and ourselves. In the preface to his book he stated:

•Before beginning this work the author realized its difficulty, its almost impossibility. He undertook it merely because somebody had to undertake it, because men cannot follow modern civilization along its present course, because they are degenerating. They have been fascinated by the beauty of the science of inert matter. They have not understood that their body and consciousness are subjected to natural laws, more obscure than, but as inexorable as, the laws of the sidereal world. Neither have they understood that they cannot transgress these laws without being punished. They must, therefore, learn the necessary relations of the cosmic universe, of their fellow men, and of their inner selves, also those of their tissues and their mind. Indeed, man stands above all things. Should he degenerate, the beauty of civilization, and even the grandeur of the physical universe, would vanish. For these reasons this book was written.

The natural laws of which Dr. Carrel wrote are expressed in macrobiotics as the principle of dualistic monism: yin changes into yang, and yang changes into yin, everywhere and forever. The most grandiose civilizations have all experienced eventual decline and decay. Nothing is exempt from this fundamental law. At the same time, however, within the decline of modern civilization, the seeds of the biological, psychological, and spiritual restoration of humanity are beginning to grow, just as the depth of winter produces spring, and the peak of night leads to dawn.

During the 20th century, the most fundamental way to achieve the restoration of humanity has been taught throughout the world as the understanding and practice of macrobiotics. When Michio Kushi graduated from Tokyo University after the Second World War, prior to coming to the United States for graduate studies at Columbia, his interest in world peace through world government led him to investigate the work of George Ohsawa. Mr. Ohsawa proposed that only with the biological reconstruction of humanity on an individual basis through the means of daily life and diet, could world peace be established. Observation of the human condition for over half a century had led Mr. Ohsawa to such a simple but profound insight. His conclusions are contain in three works available in English: Zen Macrobiotics, The Book of Judgment, and The Macrobiotic Guidebook to Living. (George Ohsawa’s basic writings have recently been compiled in the book, Essential Ohsawa, published by Avery Publishing Group, 1994.)

Inspired by the macrobiotic view of life, Michio Kushi has been teaching, writing, and lecturing throughout the world in order to further the understanding and practical application of the macrobiotic way of life. Many of his conclusions are presented in The Book of Macrobiotics: The Universal Way of Health, Happiness, and Peace, published by Japan Publications, Inc. He is the author of more than a dozen books on macrobiotic philosophy, health care, and way of life.

The aim of macrobiotic healing extends beyond the relief of individual symptoms to the eventual realization of a healthy and peaceful world. The goal of planetary health and peace, toward which so many of history’s greatest personalities have dedicated their lives, can at last be realized as increasing numbers of people begin to apply the order of nature to their daily lives. A healthy nation is composed of healthy communities, which are, in turn, the product of strong and healthy families. The basis of family health is the understanding and ability of each member to take responsibility for and successfully manage his or her own health.

Health is a natural result of maintaining dynamic balance between the two primary forces in the universe. Thus, with a simple scale used for measuring weight, balance is achieved by placing equal amounts of material on either side. If one side contains less weight, it will begin to rise, as the heavier side sinks. The side that falls does so as a result of the influence of downward, or centripetal force, while the other side rises because of the influence of centrifugal, or expanding force.

These two forces, known in the Orient as yin and yang, are universal tendencies that govern all things. For example, on the earth we are constantly receiving an incoming, downward force from the sun, stars, planets, and constellations that pushes everything onto the surface of the planet and causes the earth to turn and revolve around the sun. At the same time, the earth, because of its rotation, generates an opposite, expanding or outgoing force. The interplay between these two forces –centripetality, or yang, and centrifugality, or yin– creates all things on our planet and throughout the universe.

Each force creates respective physical tendencies. Centripetal or yang force creates contraction, density, heaviness, rapid motion, and high temperature. Centrifugal, or yin force creates expansion, diffusion, lightness, slower motion, and low temperature. At their extreme, each force changes into its opposite, as high temperature causes expansion and low temperature results in contraction. Yin and yang are not static conditions but rather tendencies that cycle continuously or change into each other as is obvious in the sequence of day changing into night and then night giving way to the day. The progression from winter to summer and then back to winter is another example of the interplay of opposites that governs life.

Health is the natural result of maintaining a dynamic balance of yin and yang in our daily eating and way of life. An understanding of the laws that govern these two antagonistic, yet complementary tendencies can unlock the secrets of life and health. It can lead to an understanding of our origin and destiny as human beings. My hope is that, through the practice of a macrobiotic way of life, all people can come to will discover the wonderful order of nature and realize health, happiness, and infinite freedom.

Source: This essay is from the Introduction to The Macrobiotic Way of Natural Healing, East West Foundation, Boston, Mass., 1978 ©, all rights reserved.

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