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: email@example.com
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.
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!
The 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.
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:
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.
Tickets start at $100
Seating is limited. Kindly reserve your seats by Friday, August 8, 2014.
413.623.5741, ext. 102 | firstname.lastname@example.org
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS OR MAKE A CONTRIBUTION
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 | 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.
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.
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS OR MAKE A CONTRIBUTION
Tickets start at $100
Seating is limited. Kindly reserve your seats by Friday, August 8, 2014.
413.623.5741, ext. 102 | email@example.com
Just 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?
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.
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
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.
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.]
Delectable, Nutrient-Rich Winter Squash
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:
•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.
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.