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IN THIS ISSUE - Summer 2004

Summer 2004 – Vol. 4, No. 2

Hello readers! NON CREDO World Macrobiotic News is a publication of the World Macrobiotic Organization, Inc. (“WMO”). The WMO is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (status pending) created for the public education of macrobiotics. Support for this publication is provided solely through donations from you, our readers, to whom we are eternally grateful. Voluntary annual subscription donations of $25 or more help to defray costs, and may be made by personal check (made out to “World Macrobiotic Organization”) or on the WMO website using a credit card. All materials contained within NON CREDO are copyright by and property of the WMO, and/or their authors, unless otherwise indicated. Copying, translation, republication, redistribution of content in another format, or other use of these materials may be done only with written permission from the publisher. Readers are encouraged to print, forward, duplicate, and otherwise share NON CREDO in its original and unaltered Adobe Acrobat PDF format, or printed in its entirety.

NON CREDO Publisher WORLD MACROBIOTIC ORGANIZATION, INC. Editor in Chief, YOGEN KUSHI Art Director, Lead Writer Cover Design YOGEN KUSHI


Online: E-Mail: Mail: 62 Buckminster Road Brookline, MA 02445

IMPORTANT: NON CREDO’s mission is to empower individuals to assume responsibility for their own health and happiness through macrobiotic education. The materials presented in this publication, including, but not limited to, features related to health, diet, lifestyle, spiritual, physical, and other areas, are provided for educational purposes only. While these approaches to lifestyle and diet are based on human traditions and are tested by time, it is advisable for the reader to seek the guidance of a physician or other appropriate health care professional before implementing these methods. It is essential that any reader who has any reason to suspect serious illness contact a physician promptly. Neither this nor any other written material should be used as a substitute for professional medical care or treatment. Affiliates of “NON CREDO” and the World Macrobiotic Organization, Inc., are not responsible or accountable for lifestyle changes inspired by this publication and/or the accompanying website.

I know this has been a slow year for Non Credo publications, with frequency changing from monthly to quarterly, so I have tried to make up for it by packing this issue with articles, news, reviews, and more. At a whopping 25 pages, it breaks the record as the largest issue Non Credo published to date! I’m still experimenting with the whole look and feel, and it’s exciting to see things starting to mature and find its identity. I’ve been doing some identity searching of my own lately. Part of the reason Non Credo has slowed down is because I’ve had to support myself through other means, devoting most of my time to freelance web and graphic design. Finally this summer things came to a point where it seemed I had to find a full-time job in a new career, essentially discontinuing my work with Non Credo, the WMO, and macrobiotics. I felt like I was selling out, and that I didn’t have another choice. But instead I have some good news: starting in August I will be working as a full-time personal assistant to my grandfather, Michio. This means I will be able to stop my freelance work and devote my full attention to being active in macrobiotics. This will allow me to spend more precious time with my grandfather - I just hope I can keep up with his break-neck pace! At the same time, this means I will be reading and writing more, studying more, traveling more, meeting more people involved in macrobiotics, and that I will soon begin teaching again. This will all provide material for more future issues of Non Credo, more updates for the WMO website, and room for articles from people all over the world. Speaking of articles from all over the world, I’m very proud to present Ginat and Sheldon Rice’s amazing paper looking at macrobiotics in Israel. I encourage any other readers in Israel to respond with stories of their own experiences with macrobiotics there. Also check out Leslie Ashburn’s experiences at a unique health retreat in Japan. I am continually looking for insight into macrobiotic practices around the world, and I hope these interest all of you as well.

ON THE COVER: The ginger plant’s flower is captivatingly beautiful, and its roots are treasured for its powerful medicinal qualities. See page 22.

Macrobiotics In Israel

By Ginat and Sheldon Rice ....................... Page 6

Samurai In Training

By Leslie Ashburn .................................... Page 14

Wi-Fi Worries................................. Page 3 News of Note................................. Page 4 On the Web .................................... Page 5 Book in Review .......................... Page 13 Food as Medicine ...................... Page 22 Jack & Yoyo in Erewhon ....... Page 23 Cook’s Corner ............................... Page 24




Enjoy summer!


Wi-Fi Worries Dear Yogen Kushi,

Dear Janet,

Right now, I am very concerned about the Wi- Fi rage (wireless computer access). Actually, it started here at home, when my husband had it installed early in December. When I found out that “radio waves” were going to connect me to the web, intuitive alarms went off! Of course, I was assured that it wasn’t a problem, but I didn’t believe it (“noncredo”!) But I went ahead and used it - no choice. But every time I did, I would notice very subtle funny feelings in my head: the longer the length of stay on the web, the worse the feeling. It was so gradual, it is hard to say when the feeling would “start”, but as it did, it seemed to orginate in the very center of my brain (like in the hypothalamus area and a feeling like tissue swelling), and radiate out, but all so subtle - no well defined bounds, or sharp acute sensations.

With the increase of Wi-Fi hotspots everywhere, and industry indications that wireless coverage will soon be as widespread as cell-phone reception, I’m sure your questions are on many people’s minds. The dazzle of new technologies too easily outshines the question of how safe they really are.

Apple’s new Wi-Fi wonder, Airport Express.

There are so many types of invisible manmade waves out there, for our cell phones, televisions, satellite networks, computer screens, radio stations, and now Wi-Fi zones. Because they are invisible, we often have no idea when or how they are affecting us, and in most cases they are unavoidable, particularly in large cities. How safely can we surf on these wireless waves?

It got to the point that I was starting to feel a tingling sen- Photo: sation in the back of my neck/head (occipital area) while online. Since my computer is down the hall from the “evil” router, I tried going upstairs, and around the corner to use my husband’s computer. After many comparisions between the two As you said, there is little research available on the safety of locations, I did notice that the effects were less when I was on his up- Wi-Fi technology, and until there is we must rely on our inutistairs, compared to mine downstairs, but nontheless, the uncomfort- tion and common sense. Several macrobiotic counselors have able sensation still occurred. been recommending putting plants around the computer area to offset electric radiation and improve oxygen circulation, and After months of consistent pleasantly complaining, I finally got him living plants may also be helpful in decreasing the effects of Wi-Fi to check out hooking up my computer by a direct “physical” cable waves. In addition, plants and pets can be excellent barometers connection, while still leaving his as WI-FI. Sure enough, I don’t expe- of where there is disruptive energy; see how your plants and rience any funny unpleasant sensations any more. goldfish fare in a Wi-Fi area, and if you cat avoids your at-home hotspot. So, that brings me to where I am reading in the paper about WI-FI “hot spots”: 30,000 around the world, and increasing daily. There are I can empathize with your concerns, as I spend plenty of time 6,000 in McDonald’s. Other companies with WI-FI access: Panera creating issues of Non Credo while sitting in wireless cafe locaBread, Starbucks, Borders Books, not to mention hotels, convention tions around Boston. Sometimes I get the same funny midbrain centers, RV parks and truck stops, etc., and apparent plans for WI-FI “sensations” you describe. Whether this is from the Wi-Fi network, service on planes. So, not only would these people be exposing them- overexposure to radiation from my laptop, or the acrid fumes of selves to unnatural wave frequencies, but I would, against my wishes, coffee in the air, I don’t know. In these cases, I find that taking also be exposed, like when I’m sitting next to the guy on the plane. regular breaks and stepping outside for a few minutes helps to clear my head. A couple of months ago I tried searching for the health hazards of WIFI on the web. I didn’t come up with a whole lot. What little pertained Miso has very powerful stabilizing and anti-radiation qualities, to it was outdated, and most sites were quick to point the finger at so a bowl of strong miso soup on days you need to operate in a cell phones being the real problem, since, obviously, the connection Wi-Fi environment may increase your tolerance of these effects. is right up against one’s head with much stronger frequencies (a If you find that you are still feeling strange sensations, try going REAL “NO brainer”! ) back to a wired home network. If your gut instinct tells you that would be safer, by all means follow it. I suppose if a person is strong and healthy, that the effects of WI-FI would be minimal. But with our society full of highly processed, Yogen Kushi chemicalized, genetically engineered, and microwaved food, not to mention other negative environmental factors, that one more If you would like to comment on Wi-Fi effects, or have another question you frequently used negative factor (WI-FI) could be just as deleterious. would like Non Credo to address, send an email to noncredo@worldmacro. Thanks for publishing Non Credo, and thanks for listening.

org. Macrobiotic teachers and counselors are especially encouraged to offer their perspective and experience with Wi-Fi.




“Supersize Me” Spurlock Goes Macro...

...and “The Greatest Athlete” Goes McDonalds

Morgan Spurlock’s film “Supersize Me,” has been making waves of debate all across the US and Europe. In it the director documents himself eating nothing but fast food from McDonald’s for 30 days, with eye-opening results. In an article on the UK’s Telgraph website, Jim White reports that “in a month [Spurlock] put on two stone, his cholesterol doubled and his blood sugar levels went into orbit. His liver turned into paté and his kidneys swelled up like barrage baloons.” To recover his original health, White reports, Spurlock followed a macrobiotic diet for nine months to return to the shape he was in before filming began.

In an ironic twist that can only be an example of Yin and Yang balancing at work, Morgan Spurlock’s neighbor in New York City, “IronMan” tri-athlete Chris Bergland, has gone from macrobiotic to McDonalds. Bergland, a hardened athlete set a world record on April 8th, running 154.76 miles on a treadmill in 24 hours, as part of a promotional event, and then celebrated with a McDonalds meal. Bergland, who used to work at the popular vegetarian restaurant Angelica’s Kitchen in New York, now enjoys a cheeseburger, fries and a diet coke after every major athletic event he completes, reports Nick Schulz for Tech Central Station.

ews N

Source: White, Jim. “McDonald’s scores own goal with supersize spin.” 6/14/2004.

of Note

Hold the Trend – US food panel downplays the carb effect The Boston Globe reported that the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a group of 13 independent scientists advising the federal agriculture and health departments, recommended that Americans should ignore the low-carb craze and cut calories by favoring lean meats, low-fat dairy, and fruits and vegetables. The draft report they are compiling states that “The strategy for weight loss is not to focus on proportions of fat and carbohydrate in the diet.” Instead, less food and more exercise are the essential components of a healthy slimming diet. The panel has also defined a new set of basic food groups that people should eat from, including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, low-fat milk products, and meat alternatives or lean-meat. Taken off the list are foods containing refined starches, such as white bread, along with fatty red meats and whole milk producs. As a whole, the report is consitent with current thinking in academic nutrition circles. When implemented, this set of dietary guidelines will inform the federal government’s vast food assistance program, which feeds 1 in 5 Americans and influences the country’s eating habits. The Bush administration is under fire for ignoring the advice of federal scientific advisory panels such as this one, and some nutritionists worry that heavy lobbying by food companies will lead the administration to alter the guidelines to lessen the economic impact on food makers. After a final review by the panel, the report will be released in June, and the Bush administration is expected to review and issue the new guidelines by the end of the year. Source: Mishra, Raja. “Hold that trendy diet, US food panel says.” 5/27/2004.



“In college I led a stoic, ascetic-monkish life – up at sunrise every day, no sugar, no caffeine, no meat, no dairy,” says Bergland. “I had so many rules and regulations about what was ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in terms of food that I couldn’t eat in normal restaurants or even enjoy holiday meals with my family.” Bergland says that while he worked in Angelica’s Kitchen during college: “I made several observations in that restaurant. So many people were succumbing to same notion that non-macrobiotic food was ‘toxic’ and that their bodies were fragile, weak and vulnerable. I started to reconsider my dietary choice. Somehow seeing my own neurosis in other people made me aware of how neurotic I had become... I didn’t want to give all the power to the food,” he says. Bergland says that “we all need to live as though we are the rulers of our own destiny” and that when we are encouraged to blame others for our problems, “individual responsibility dissolves.” With this realization, “I felt more relaxed and in ‘harmony’ than I did when I was living on twigs and berries,” he says. Bergland’s advice: “Exercise is key. Don’t be afraid of food or live in fear of certain things but use common sense. Figure out why you don’t like to exercise or why you eat too much -- take responsibility, make yourself accountable, take charge and change your behavior.” While some might deride Bergland’s current dietary choices, Non Credo applauds him for breaking free of the rampant dogma surrounding food that imprisons so many people trying to live macrobiotically. Moving towards or away from a macrobiotic diet is pointless, if we are not able to live freely. “Food does not have power over us,” Bergland says. “We have power over ourselves.” Source: Schulz, Nick. “The Greatest Athlete You’ve Never Heard Of.” 6/14/2004.

Find some news you think others should know about? Send a link or the article to! W W W.WORLDMACRO.ORG

On the


Here in the United States it’s not often I find out about a website for our macrobiotic friends in the Arab world. is an Egyptian website that features information about all sorts of alternative health modalities, including a very extensive library of articles related to macrobiotics. The site attempts to provide any information someone surfing the net might be looking for, with the slogan “Hayatna is all you need.” Other sections cover topics that include such broad topics as yoga, crystals, teen sex education, “letterology,” and “hair power.” Although this site has both English and Arabic versions, one section for an Egyptian macro group is in Arabic only. Sheri DeMaris, M. Ed., has been an incredibly active macrobiotic teacher, running wellness seminars and creating programs for students from grade school through college that promote healthy living. Last summer she coordinated the Kushi Institute’s “Fun In The Sun” youth camp in Killington, VT, and she has even spoken before a USDA forum to develop “Healthy School Lunches.” In recent years Sheri created a local TV network cooking show that gained huge popularity in Pennsylvania, where she lives and works. This show has evolved into “Tea With Sheri,” a talk show on Mondays at 5:30pm offering weekly health and beauty tips, diet and nutrition information, suggestions for improving relationships and more. She often interviews well-known speakers and authors in the alternative health field, including Michio Kushi, Christina Pirello, Denny Waxman, Dr. Anthony Bazzan, and many others. Don’t miss the live chat feature, held every Tuesday at 9pm. Check out this great site to find out information about the show and Sheri’s work. She is truly an inspiration! Many wonderful books related to having and raising children macrobiotically are currently out of print and difficult to find. Online, this information is even more scarce. Luckily, longtime macrobiotic cook, teacher, and mother of seven, Melanie Waxman, has created a website to fill this information gap. The site features a cornucopia of articles by Melanie, including such topics as “Nourishing Mother,” “Baby’s First Food,” “Helping Your Child Adjust to a New Baby in the Family,” and “The Importance of the Family Meal.” For anyone raising a child, browsing this site is a must! W W W.WORLDMACRO.ORG



Photo: Guinat (far left) and Israeli friends, by Sheldon Rice


By Sheldon and Ginat Rice

I. Israeli Society Macrobiotics is a way of life encompassing both philosophy and practice. It is best known as a dietary principle based on energetic properties of food, particularly emphasizing whole grains and vegetables. Numerous published studies and anecdotal reports recount the beneficial results of a macrobiotic way of life. 1 The modern application of macrobiotic principles reflects both its Japanese origin and the specific characteristics of its practitioners. Israeli interpretation and implementation of macrobiotics reflect that country’s national character, as one would expect. The 5.3 million Jews, 81% of the 6.5 million people living in Israel, are the focus of this study. As a rule, Jewish Israelis place great value both on intellectual acumen and culinary pursuits, and enjoy a standard of living high




enough to combine the two. This means that they give credence to nutritional theory and ideological constructs. In other words, they pay attention to what they eat and why they eat it. Despite it’s nomenclature as the Fertile Crescent, grains are not naturally abundant in the Middle East. Harvest of indigenous wheat and barley has brought prosperity and failure in its wake. The Biblical Joseph went to Egypt in search of grain and prophesized about stalks of wheat during an extended period of famine. Grain alcohol was so scarce that Jews never developed the habit of alcohol consumption. Wine has long been used for its sacred function much more than its relaxing properties. Most modern day Israelis are not native to the area, and bring with them methods of agriculture and culinary preferences from around the globe. Dietary habits are a mix of Western cuisine, Middle Eastern fare and the indigenous dishes of a melting pot citizenry. Lamb is popular, along with traditional chickpea and sesame products. Fresh fruits and vegetables are common antidotes to long, hot summers, humid along the densely populated coastal plain and dry in Jerusalem’s higher Judean Hills and northern Galilee. Chicken and egg consumption is rampant, as are dairy products and spices.

About the Authors

Cafés are ubiquitous in Israel. Coffee originated in Copeh, Ethiopia, and was brought to Israel in the 1500s by the Turks. Since then, Israelis have not stopped drinking it, accompanied by cigarettes and baked flour products.

The University of South Carolina Staff: Jane Teas, PhD Principal Investigator Joan Cunningham, PhD Andrew Cousins, PhD Puja Verma, MPH


Sheldon and Ginat Rice have been practicing macrobiotics since the early 1980s. They have lived in Israel for most of the past thirty-five years, serving as macrobiotic health consultants there since 1995. In October 2000 they suspended activities to realize their dream of traveling and exploring macrobiotics in the United States by motor home. They returned to Israel early this year and currently offer weeklong seminars in their home outside Jerusalem.


We would like to give special thanks to the wonderful people throughout Israel who have made macrobiotics their own. If we inadvertently misinterpreted information you gave us about yourselves or our community, please contact us. We welcome any and all updates and additions to this information.

Open-air street markets continue to be vibrant centers for daily food purchases where vendors display colorful wares amid jostling crowds. Carrot juice is popularly available at sidewalk kiosks, as are roasted and salted nuts and seeds. Chestnuts are sold on some street corners in the winter and corn on the cob in the summer. Sweets of all kinds are always popular.

II. Judaism and Macrobiotics

Alternative healthcare is widely accepted in Israel, judging from the proliferation of homeopathy, acupuncture, chiropractors, aromatherapy, and many other non-allopathic modalities. Reflexology is an especially popular alternative therapy in Israel, non-invasive and effective. Israelis are open to innovation in all aspects of life, and alternative healing methods are no exception.

To understand macrobiotic practice in Israel it is necessary to examine the role of Judaism in Israeli life. The secular and modern-orthodox populations together comprise the majority of the population, while the ultra-orthodox religious groups are vocal and visible out of proportion to their size. Secular Israeli society is innovative and progressive, akin to that of most European capitals. Modern-orthodox Jews prac-


–Sheldon and Ginat Rice

tice a progressive interpretation of Judaism, preferring to follow the spirit of the law rather than its minutia. Ultra-orthodox religious practice is literal. Very religious Jews subscribe to the letter of Jewish law as well as the spirit. They live independently from mainstream Israeli society with separate educational systems, language, dress, and values. Life is regimented from cradle to grave. Even their calendars are different.



“Macrobiotic philosophy is compatile with Bilical accounts in many ways.”

Pious Jews configure the date according to the creation of the world, calculated Biblically for 2004 as 5,765 years ago. Macrobiotic philosophy is compatible with Biblical accounts in many ways. Daniel in the Lions’ Den is a story of a brave young man who refused the King’s repast of meat and wine and instead requested “pulses.” As a non-carnivore, the lions left Daniel alone. The macrobiotic model of a seven-unit spiral is a cherished concept in Judaism, which bases its calendar on the seven-day creation account, seven-day holidays (Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles, called Sukkoth), seven-week holidays (Pentecost, or Weeks, called Shevuot), and a seven-year growing cycle culminating in a Jubilee year after seven 7-year cycles. The Jewish creation account parallels macrobiotic understanding: There is One Infinity (“Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one”2). This unified field differentiates into seven continuously transforming worlds in an inward-moving spiral of manifestation. Although the order of creation is somewhat different in macrobiotic cosmology than in Judaism, the elements are the same.

Peter Paul Rubens. Daniel in the Lions’ Den. 1615. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA.

Day of Creation

Biblical Account

Macrobiotic Equivalent


Creation of Heaven and Earth as a deep, formless void; Creation of light, called day, out of night, called darkness

Yin and Yang polarization


Creation of a firmament to divide the waters from the waters, called Heaven

Waves of vibrational energy


Separation of water from dry land, creating Earth and Seas; Earth brings forth grass, herbs and fruit trees

Subatomic particles: Electrons, Protons, etc.


Creation of sun, moon and stars

Elements: Soil, water, air


Moving creatures that have life: fowl and whales

Plant life


Cattle and beasts; Man

Animal and human life


Cessation of Creation

One Infinity

III. Discrepancies between Judaism and Macrobiotics Some ultra-observant Jews consider some macrobiotic ideas to be in conflict with their religious belief. A particular complaint is the issue of human evolution, depicted in tandem with the development of food in Michio Kushi’s Book of Macrobiotics.3 The macrobiotic concept is that animal and vegetable kingdoms developed in an interdependent progression from earliest life. Mankind’s upright posture is seen to parallel the proliferation of upward growing grasses and grains in the most recent historical period. This idea is anathema to the devout Jew. Their understanding of creation is God-inspired and Goddependent. Man does not descend from the apes, but was created to rule over them. 8

On a more practical level, macrobiotic dietary strictures may conflict with religious dictate. Jewish law requires that prepared foods be clearly certified as compliant with kosher (literally “fit” or “proper”) regulations. This means that sea vegetables and umeboshi plums from Japan must have official kosher documentation. The modern orthodox and ultra-religious interpret dietary law, a strict and far-reaching compendium of dietary do’s and don’ts, in differing manners. Standard kosher law permits consumption only of herbivorous animals that chew their cud and have split hooves. Livestock acceptable for consumption must be slaughtered in a prescribed manner. Once certified as kosher, the animal food may not be prepared or presented with any dairy products, based on the Biblical passage, “thou shalt not seethe a kid


in his mother’s milk.”4 All government-run institutions including legislative functions, the armed forces, schools, prisons and the national airlines comply with kosher regulations, as do hotels and resorts, which display renewable kosher certificates next to their menus. All religious Jews and many secular Israelis ascribe to these traditional dietary rules. The ultra-religious go further in their interpretation of kosher law. They additionally require that an animal’s lungs be checked after its death to ensure that it was not diseased at the time of slaughter. They wait six hours after eating a morsel of meat before partaking of any dairy products. Different sects of Jews trust different observers to certify their food, and the more stringent the certification the more expensive it is. With large families and W W W.WORLDMACRO.ORG

low incomes the ultra orthodox often limit their food to poor quality, inexpensive fare as long as it is certified as kosher. Of the 613 commandments given to the Jews, kosher observance is one of only three that require martyrdom before transgression. Sabbath observance is another difference between the secular and religious that affects dietary habits. For the religious, all work stops on Shabbat, the Sabbath. Women prepare all day Friday until a siren is sounded near sundown to announce the onset of this sacred evening and day. A detailed category of activities is prohibited until complete darkness on Saturday night, including cooking, baking, steaming, salting, pressing, heating, using fire or electricity, or even tearing open a package. While secular Jews have no compulsion driving to the nearest open restaurant to enjoy a Saturday repast (although most restaurants close on the Sabbath in order to maintain their kosher certification) the religious Jew neither rides nor handles money on the seventh day. All food must be prepared in advance and either kept warm or reheated the next day. By Saturday afternoon a popular dish called cholent (literally “hot,” from the French) has been cooking for almost 24 hours. A second dietary issue is the consumption of insects, strictly forbidden to the Jews, themselves likened to vermin during their exile in Egypt. Only once does the Torah forbid eating pig or camel, but insects are mentioned five times, making the sin of their ingestion that much worse. Numerous books with charts and photographs guide the religious housewife as she hunts for food parasites on each kernel and leaf with a magnifying glass and back lighted board. Varying methods of treatment insure insect removal, including freezing, boiling and salting. All leafy vegetables such as hard leafy greens (only recently found in Israel), parsley or cilantro may house the prohibited crawling creatures. Leeks and scallions must be split lengthwise and examined stalk by stalk. Parasites in some vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cabbage and cauliflower are so difficult to detect that the majority of ultra-orthodox housewives avoid their use altogether. Some shun all grains and greens because they are so difficult to check. Others cook separately only for an ill family member while prepar-

ing conventional food for the rest. Despite the difficulties, many of these women continue this exhausting regimen for years.

I made a lot of calls and I found that if I really wanted to be careful about these things, there are certain procedures I have to do in terms of washing, checking and processing all these grains, beans, vegetables and leafy greens. Maybe because of lack of sufficient knowledge, I go the extra mile to make sure I’m covered. People told me about certain procedures of checking leaves, but when I do it their way I still find some bugs, whether it’s larvae or something else. The procedure I currently have seems to be working for me. Even then, I don’t know if I’m strict enough because I’ve heard some stories about how beans are checked in Israel that they don’t do in the States.

The authors of this report, Sheldon and Ginat Rice, hosted bi-weekly macrobiotic dinners for five years from 1996 to 2000. At their inception, the kosher status of the meals was unquestioned as Sheldon and Ginat were religiously observant. When that changed, several families stopped attending the dinners. Eventually some religious women agreed to take turns ensuring that the food preparation complied with kosher dictates. This satisfied most of the religious community, but not all. Some simply would not eat in the home of a non-observant Jew. Cooking classes were easier to negotiate. A religious client usually took private lessons or shared the session with like-minded friends. They could then spend all the time they needed to check the ingredients for insects and observe preparation methods. Nevertheless, there remained an element of trust that non-kosher food had never entered the kitchen, that imported utensils were baptized in a ritual pool, that pots and pans were not used on the Sabbath, and that soaked grains and beans had been carefully checked for bugs. With all this, some stayed away, knowing that the level of concern was not as great at their own. One religious macrobiotic Jew explains kosher preparation this way: ”I’m a very thorough person. When I do something I try to do it to the hilt. And I’m not shy about calling up the experts and asking them if I’m doing things right. I would find out who is the top expert for checking each particular type of produce and call them to find out procedures.

“Broccoli is something I’ve stayed away from for years because of the florets. They say it is impossible to get all the bugs out. But there’s a Rabbi who has an excellent reputation of being knowledgeable and effective in having certain produce checked for bugs, putting out certification that they are ready to be eaten. I don’t know how it’s possible, but if I’m told it’s okay, I’ll eat it. “In terms of kosher products, it is not easy to find certain things. There are so many kosher symbols that certify something as kosher. I don’t trust all of them. There are certain manufacturers that I can work with. Some of them don’t have the same levels of quality checking that I prescribe to and feel comfortable with.” [Interviewer]: “Have you ever tasted the macrobiotic cooking of anyone else or seen it?” “---Mmmm... no... no--that would be nice.”5

“Food is more than habit or preference to the religious Jew–it is holy.” Photo:




Food is bound with ritual. Macrobiotics places tremendous social burdens on someone who cannot share in communal fare. The Jewish religious community is so tightly knit and focused on food that the hardship becomes acute. Hardly a week goes by without a life passage commemoration among extended families with extensive social networks. The standard fare at these happy occasions is a quarter chicken, oily potatoes, white rice, white bread and cheap wine. It is a mitzvah (literally, commandment) to eat at a festive meal. It is problematic to carry in one’s own food because of the difficulty of ascertaining its kosher status. The Jew is spiritually commanded to eat particular foods at prescribed times. Nowhere is this more apparent than at the weekly Sabbath meal. It traditionally includes meat and/or chicken, gefilte (stuffed) fish prepared with sugar, chopped liver, and numerous other items not found on a macrobiotic plate. It is a sacrifice for a religious person to forgo the blessings he can offer through these foods. Two of the three Sabbath meals begin with benedictions over bread and sweet wine or grape juice. It would be unthinkable for a devout Jew to forego this commandment. Food is more than habit or preference to the religious Jew—it is holy. The same interviewee expressed it this way: “I was not comfortable talking to my Japanese macrobiotic counselor about religious issues. I felt Elaine Nussbaum, having had had a similar background as me, would be easier to talk to on these issues. For example, I was told to have no more alcohol or fruit juice. What I do is a compromise, but you know, Elaine felt that you have to give in a little with macrobiotics at some point. So when I make the blessing over the Sabbath wine, I drink the minimal amount of organic grape juice permissible. I have two to three ounces each week for the Sabbath evening meal and the same again at lunch. Otherwise I don’t have any fruit juice the rest of the week. “At Shabbat lunch each week we have cholent, a long-cooked vegetable stew. My wife puts it on the fire Friday afternoon and it cooks continuously until I have it the next day for lunch. That’s also when I have my fish. We eat this way year-round.”6

A teaching by the renowned Cabbalist Isaac 10

Luria in 17th century Israel forbade meat eating to the common householder for fear of contamination by the animal’s base nature. Only the righteous man was thought able to raise the spark of the animal to human level. This teaching is not emphasized in religious circles. Instead they point to the Code of Jewish Law, compiled a century previously by the Cabbalist Joseph Caro and still meticulously followed today. Caro contended that all Jews are righteous on the Sabbath and hence able to honor the Lord’s Day with animal food. Today every day is the Lord’s Day by that account.

metropolitan Tel Aviv. Northern Israel has one experienced counselor, and the south none. Most people obtain the services they need in these locales or by traveling abroad. Religious Jews naturally prefer the services of someone familiar with their dietary code, particularly when it comes to cooking classes. Health consultants are chosen more for their skill than religious practice. Whereas usually there is no contact between unmarried men and women, a religious patient may be examined and even treated by a health care professional of either sex.

The weeklong holiday of Passover entails kosher laws even more stringent than Shabbat. No wheat, oats, rye, spelt or buckwheat, nor beans or pulses of any type are allowed during this spring holiday, leaving very little on the macrobiotic plate. Eggs are a significant part of the normal Israeli diet, and their consumption mushrooms during the Passover holiday. A board of rabbis can offer a special dispensation for health reasons, but many ultra-orthodox are loathe to accept it. The Ashkenazi Jew of Germanic descent will not eat grain of any kind on Passover lest it inadvertently be contaminated with the forbidden varieties. Sephardi Jews originating from Spain find beans and some grains such as rice acceptable. The difference is one of custom within ultra-Orthodoxy.

Israel does not require licensing of alternative health practitioners. Many professions in the United States that are regulated by careful testing have no corresponding quality control. Most Israeli macrobiotic counselors are self-trained. Israelis look for results more than credentials, and personal recommendations are more respected than a diploma or certificate.

Other holidays link food and custom. Examples include Shavuoth (Weeks), associated with dairy food consumption, and New Years Day, which is traditionally celebrated with apples and honey. The pre-Spring festival of Tu B’Shvat (the 15th day in the Hebrew month of Sh’vat) is marked with dried fruits and nuts. These foods are not generally recommended for those healing from a serious ailment. Despite these difficulties, many ultra-orthodox families adhere to a macrobiotic diet. Their involvement stems frequently from personal recommendations. Once they determine that this is the road to recovery, no sacrifice is too great for health. Their strong sense of discipline and single-minded devotion facilitate strict adherence to a healing diet. Their lack of conceptual appreciation however sometimes results in rejection of their macrobiotic practice once the patient has been “cured.” IV. Macrobiotic Leadership Macrobiotic activity in Israel today is focused mainly in Jerusalem, with some activity in the


Macrobiotic practice began in Israel in the late 1970s with Sherman (Shraga) Goldman. A secular Jew, Sherman was an early Kushi Institute graduate and editor of the East West Journal who brought macrobiotics to his newly adopted country. Sherman’s wife, Malka Friedman, translated Michio Kushi’s Book of Macrobiotics together with Haim Ron. It remains one of the few Hebrew-language resources on macrobiotics in Israel. Betty Berger, a contemporary of Sherman’s in Tel Aviv and today a macrobiotic counselor in St. Louis, recalls that Sherman counseled and taught scores of eager students in his home as he coached his wife and brother through cancer. Betty made tofu and imported rice cakes in Israel in the 1970s in response to the lack of macrobiotic products there. She was also responsible for bringing the woman’s self-help movement to Israel. Both Sherman and Malka fell into hard times and eventually strayed from macrobiotics. An American-born resident of Israel named Karen Fernandez Shachar assisted Malka before Malka eventually succumbed to breast cancer. Alex Jack and Ed Esko rescued Sherman from a homeless shelter several years later. He was brought to a staff home at the Kushi Institute, but a silent stroke required full time care. He now resides in a Massachusetts nursing home, able to recall his earlier days to a limited degree. W W W.WORLDMACRO.ORG

Sherman still remembers one of his early students, Pablo Finkelstein, a native of Argentina. Pablo established Israel’s first macrobiotic center about 1980 in Jerusalem where he hosted speakers and teachers, including Richard and Isabelle Gombin from France. Pablo continues to counsel and teach today, maintaining close affiliation with European and American macrobiotic institutions. He manages a macrobiotic center in Jerusalem that provides family health consultation and follow-up services, cooking lessons, shiatsu massage and weekly introductory lectures. His center also houses a retail outlet for macrobiotic products and books. A Portuguese macrobiotic counselor named Mario Lopez taught in Israel in the mid 1980s before moving on to found a macrobiotic center in Greece and later in Brazil. One of his early students was Daniel Krichmar, an immigrant from Argentina to Israel in 1981. Daniel introduced the art of natto making to Israel. Today he presents his own version of “post-macro” studies combined with traditional Chinese medicine and his recent return to Jewish fundamentalist values. The longest practicing macrobiotic counselor in Israel today is Michel (Meir) Abehsera, a student of Georges Ohsawa. Abehsera blends his Moroccan heritage with macrobiotic philosophy to create an inviting and charming presentation of macrobiotic cooking. His early cookbooks combine childhood reminiscences with cherished recipes. Today Abehsera is an ultra-orthodox Jew who devotes his life to his Hassidic master while continuing macrobiotic pursuits during his frequent visits to the US. When asked about the beginnings of macrobiotics in Israel he quipped, “Macrobiotics still hasn’t arrived. It’s not a household word yet. Not enough people know about it.” He is presently completing a movie about his rabbi/mentor and vowed to renew macrobiotic activities in Israel once it is complete. “I owe it to Ohsawa,” he asserted. Sarah Landau is the only female macrobiotic counselor in Israel who was born into an ultraorthodox family rather than taking up religion later in life. This affords her an extensive social network in her exclusively ultra orthodox town near Tel Aviv. While living in Antwerp Sarah turned to Rik Vermuyten, a well-known macrobiotic counselor in Belgium, to find relief for her husband’s severe intestinal disorders. She studied with Rik extensively and began W W W.WORLDMACRO.ORG

Photo: Sheldon Rice

to share her knowledge when she returned to Israel. She now sponsors Rik in counseling visits to her town. She is the author of a small volume in Hebrew cataloguing home remedies. Today she specializes in foot reflexology as a front door to macrobiotics for her ultra orthodox clientele. Her daughter Yocheved Feldman provides strictly kosher take-out meals for the orthodox macrobiotic community and runs a small health food store with her husband. She offers cooking advice over the phone. Many times one client teaches the rudiments of macrobiotic cooking to another without any formal training. Rik Vermuyten began visiting Israel just after the Gulf War in 1991. He is Israel’s only visiting senior counselor, lecturer and teacher. Rik spends a week in Israel three to four times a year, dividing his time between Jerusalem and Sarah Landau’s religious community. His schedule is usually full despite his high fees. Macrobiotic consulting fees in Israel are much lower than those in Europe or America, corresponding to Israel’s lower per capita income. At $200 per hour, Rik more than doubles the accepted consultation rate. Many people save or borrow from life savings to seek his advice. Occasionally Rik lectures or teaches classes in theory or diagnosis, but many find his services unaffordable. Asher Lazar, a 1978 Kushi Institute graduate and former chef at the Open Sesame restaurant in Boston, recently immigrated to Jerusalem from New York with his wife Raezelle, a compassionate yoga teacher. They are part of the Jerusalem ultra-orthodox community. Asher provides health consultations, takeout food and weekly macro-

“Most Israeli macrobiotic counselors are selftrained. Israelis look for results more than credentials, and personal recommendations are more reected than a diploma or certificate.”

biotic dinners at his home-based Traditional Jewish Health House. He recently began a macrobiotic soup kitchen for Jerusalem’s poor. Asher combines macrobiotic health practice with Torah insights such as suggestions to his clientele that they silently recite Psalms while chewing their food. He notes that the Hebrew word for rice, orez, is comprised of two words, or, meaning light, and raz, meaning golden. Sheldon and Ginat Rice began their macrobiotic practices twenty and twenty-five years ago, respectively. Sheldon went on to cure himself of a deep-seated cancer that had not yet been detected when he adopted macrobiotics. Ginat studied initially at Pablo Finkelstein’s macrobiotic center in Jerusalem. She continued in France with Richard and Isabelle Gombin and then at the Kushi Institute in Boston where she co-owned Satori macrobiotic restaurant. Sheldon and Ginat were macrobiotic leaders in Jerusalem from 1995 to 2000, providing health consultations, live-in programs, lectures series, pot-lucks, bed and breakfast, cooking lessons, take-out meal delivery, gourmet dinners, courses in macrobiotic principles, and both treatments and instruction in shiatsu massage therapy, reflexology and energetic healing. A wide variety of services enabled them to surpass the salary of doctors in the government-run socialized health care system where salaries are a pittance of their American counterparts. Sheldon and Ginat recently returned to Israel after a three-year cross continental trek around North America where they had the opportunity to meet hundreds of macrobi-



otic practitioners. Today they offer weeklong seminars in their home outside Jerusalem for those wishing to initiate or improve their macrobiotic practice. Michael Feinerman, his wife Lois and daughter Aviva are three active participants in the Jerusalem macrobiotic community. Both medical doctors, Michael and Lois now totally espouse a macrobiotic way of life, as a family offering health consultations, Sabbath dinners and cooking classes. Finally, Klara Levine is the untiring moderator of the Macro Lovers of Jerusalem, a dedicated group of macrobiotic friends who meet regularly for mutual support and shared food. Klara hosts a successful chatsite with active participation at MacroloversofJerusalem@

V. Macrobiotic Practitioners and Activities The macrobiotic community of Israel is largely located in Jerusalem. It is more religious than secular, older rather than younger, more female than male, of middle income and

principally English speaking. Most clients come to macrobiotics seeking relief from illness. For many, macrobiotics remains a diet. Relatively few study macrobiotic principles and theories. Rare are those choosing to pursue careers in macrobiotic consulting or cooking. Secular and modern orthodox Jews are prone to accept macrobiotics as a philosophy more than are their ultra-religious counterparts. The former see life as logical and predictable according to patterns referred to in macrobiotic literature as the order of the universe. God is neither vengeful nor forgiving, but just and exact. The food we eat is responsible for both our physical and mental health, and by extension, the health of our society. In the long run, the only real cure for the insanity and imbalance in the world is sane, balanced eating. In contrast, the ultra-orthodox typically approach macrobiotics as a healing diet rather than a belief system. For them macrobiotics is a symptomatic cure to be followed like a doctor’s prescription. It is God’s grace that ultimately heals; their role is to follow the “rules.” Lifelong training in postponed gratification results in adherence to a macrobiotic diet in dispro-

portionate numbers. They seek the precise information they need to know and little more. They have only secondary interest in exploring macrobiotic concepts, joining a group or learning beyond their individual concerns. This makes them compliant if uninformed adherents to the macrobiotic diet, and purposely distinct from the macrobiotic way of life. Few macrobiotic practitioners fully establish a macrobiotic lifestyle. Three to four times a year for over four years the Rices hosted visiting counselor Rik Vermuyten in Israel. During each weeklong stay he proffered advice to fifty or sixty people. Not more than five or six of these followed up his consultation with cooking lessons. The paucity of those willing to embrace a macrobiotic way of life reflects Israeli society, the individual client, the counselor and the follow up services.

VI. Macrobiotic Food Services in Israel Health food stores abound in Israeli cities, towns and villages, well supported by the Israeli public. All of them are small, and most focus on vitamins and supplements. Israel lacks the supermarket style health food chains so popular in US cities. Standard macrobiotic items are readily found in Israeli health food stores. Kibbutz Harduf in the Galilee grows and imports a wide variety of organic grains and beans for sale throughout the country. Although there is less selection than in the US, organic grains such as short grain brown rice is a popular item along with most other staple grains. Of the four basic beans in a macrobiotic diet, lentils, adzuki and chickpeas are abundant along with many other varieties suitable for occasional use. Only black soybeans are hard to obtain. Harduf distributes organic bread and other baked flour products made on the premises. Good quality sourdough bread and wholewheat fruit-sweetened cookies and cakes are popular items.


“The open-air vegetale markets remain popular despite the proliferation of grocery stores and high security tensions.” 12


Readily available macrobiotic products, albeit offered without a choice of brands, include shiitake mushrooms, dried daikon and lotus root, soba and udon noodles, various pastas, packaged condiments, umeboshi plums and paste, kuzu, barley malt and rice syrup, rice and umeboshi vinegars, and tamari soy sauce. Cold pressed oils include sesame, sunflower, safflower, corn and toasted sesame. Sea vegW W W.WORLDMACRO.ORG

etables include sushi nori, kombu, wakame, hiziki and arame. Several types of miso are readily found in Israel, but unfortunately Israeli law requires that they all be pasteurized. Product availability fluctuates with market demand, and something available one day may disappear the next. For example, some packaged pickles and good quality sauerkraut was available in many health food stores and is now non-existant. The same is true for such products as mekabu sea vegetable, fu, amasake concentrate, and barley malt syrup. Mitoku macrobiotic products, known for their reliable kosher certification, are imported from Japan, as are Lima products from Belgium. Japanese imports to Israel cost about the same as in the US, making it 4-5 times for expensive with Israeli currency. US imports obviously cost much more in Israel than in the US. An average Israeli middle class family spends about the same money to maintain a macrobiotic diet as a standard Israeli diet. Americans generally spend about 1⁄4 as much money to sustain a macrobiotic diet as a standard American regime.7 Israel is both blessed and cursed by a lack of Japanese specialty items. On one hand, needed foodstuffs are sometimes missing. For example, there is no medium grain or mixed rice blends, nor specialty grains such as kibi millet, useful in healing the pancreas. Products on the order of tekka, tekuan, and natto are not available. Dulse, sea palm, wild nori and other varieties of sea vegetables are lacking. Prepared foods are hard to come by such as mochi, dried tofu and seitan. Relatives and friends are often imposed upon to bring unattainable products from visits abroad, whether for medicinal use or to please the palate. The advantage of this paucity is that the macrobiotic practitioner in Israel is spared the temptations of the US consumer to indulge in pre-packaged health foods and frozen confections. They learn to be self-sufficient in their macrobiotic practice. Good quality tofu, occasionally organic, is manufactured locally by several small businesses. Tempeh is produced locally, but along with the commercial imports, is generally frozen. The Rices routinely taught classes in the preparation of seitan, bread, mochi and other cottage industry foods.


“Standard macrobiotic items are readily found in Israeli health food stores... Although there is less selection than in the U.S., organic grains such as short grain brown rice is a popular item along with most other staple grains.”

The open-air vegetable markets remain popular despite the proliferation of grocery stores and high security tensions. Colorful fruits and vegetables attract the shopper’s eye, but the organic chef has slim pickings there. The hot summer season, called kayitz, or “end” in Hebrew because of the conclusion of the winter rains, leaves few vegetables available for consumption. Macrobiotic practitioners eat commercially grown kohlrabi, zucchini and lettuce during this time. Israel specializes in organic produce, yet little of it is available on the domestic market. Food exports are a major source of national revenue. Often foreign markets carry Israeli grown organic vegetables unavailable at home. Nevertheless, the display of organic produce is consistently improving in Israel. Where three years ago it was not unusual to see old, withered vegetables for sale on dusty shelves, today, organic carrots are available at health food stores all year round. Organic onions, turnips, cauliflower, radishes, scallions, parsley, green and red cabbage and leeks are available intermittently. Organic Chinese cabbage, broccoli and daikon are found in their season. Organically grown butternut is the only winter squash available. There are essentially no hard leafy greens to be had commercially. Carrot, turnip and daikon tops are removed from their roots for easier shipping to market. Radish tops, cabbage, parsley and cauliflower leaves subW W W.WORLDMACRO.ORG

stitute for greens. Recently local farmers have begun to offer organic produce on a small scale, making hard leafy greens and other previously undreamed of produce available. Kale, collard, mustard and dandelion greens are now grown by small farm holdings under individual agreement. The macrobiotic community has responded enthusiastically to this opportunity, supporting and encouraging these pioneering growers. Much organic produce is out of the question for the religious community because of omnipresent insects. Observant Jews have developed a farming method in an area of the Gaza Strip in southern Israel called Gush Katif where they grow vegetables in sand rather than earth. This highly sprayed produce harbors much fewer parasites, though its quality is greatly compromised by their artificial growing methods. The vegetables are frailer since they lack the natural resistance of the earth as they germinate. There are no macrobiotic restaurants in Israel per se, although a vegan meal can be readily found in many kosher restaurants that separate food into distinct categories of milk, meat and pareve (neutral). Nevertheless, this is not the same as a meal prepared according to macrobiotic principles. There are two health food restaurants in Jerusalem, the Village Green and Belinda’s, where lesser quality macrobiotic foods are available.



VII. Case Studies Health conditions among the secular and modern-orthodox populations of Israel conform to disease patterns in most post-industrial societies. Macrobiotic practitioners in Israel address health concerns ranging from skin rashes to cancer. Multiple sclerosis and similar nervous system disorders are alarmingly common, indicating long-term dietary abuse with heavy chicken consumption. Among the very religious, Sunday morning is the most prevalent time of health complaints. The heavy meals and excesses of the Sabbath regularly take their toll. In general, many religious people suffer from disproportionate sugar consumption and over-eating, a yin response to a life of constriction. The social suppression of personal ambition and the need to publicly conform undoubtedly take their toll. Teenaged brides can become overwhelmed with family concerns in a society where six to twelve children is common and men are encouraged to study rather than work. Overcrowding and impoverishment create tremendous burdens. Families often eat inexpensive and institutional food, and suffer the consequences. Infertility is of particular concern to the religious Jew whose first commandment is to be fruitful and multiply. Inability to conceive necessitates divorce. Once the directors of an assembly hall surreptitiously approached the Rices at a wedding feast. The husband would not even look Ginat in the face as he spoke, gazing over her shoulder as is customary when a male addresses a non-related female. The wife begged for advice to reverse her infertility. Explanations of excessive fat and dairy intake as the cause of the problem were too foreign to be acceptable to this couple. Other more open-minded clients have made the Rices unofficial Godparents many times.

life had changed so dramatically during his recuperation that even on his deathbed he maintained a positive spirit. The hope that macrobiotics provided after his physician told him to settle his affairs had completely rejuvenated his outlook on life. A similar story involves a geography professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The first time we saw him, he was despondent, pale and lifeless from liver cancer. His doctor had given up hope. Something in our explanations caught his attention, and he decided to try macrobiotics. Within a few months his life completely turned around. His cancer went into remission, his mood turned upbeat, and his appearance changed dramatically. Unfortunately the patient’s wife did all the cooking. He was only a passive participate in his own recovery. He neither read about nor studied macrobiotics in order to embrace it as a lifestyle rather than as a diet to cure an illness. Eight months after our initial consultation the patient succumbed to his disease. He had lost his will to live and resorted to old eating patterns. Nevertheless he lived far longer than expected and passed on peacefully. The most encouraging aspect of the Israeli macrobiotic community is the continued interest and dedication of its adherents. Israel is a country where community is paramount, and the growing assembly of macrobiotic friends here is no exception. They are currently preparing for their second annual macrobiotic fall conference, and constantly seek ways to expand their learning and improve their practice. Several members have already, or plan on attending classes at the Kushi Institute, and many travel abroad for summer conferences. In short, the Israeli macrobiotic population is stronger, and getting stronger! n|c

Embracing the macrobiotic way of life has helped many people in Israel. A prime example is Michael Feinerman, MD, who reversed decades of osteoarthritis and avoided the accepted medical alternatives of steroid injections, lifelong use of anti-inflammatory drugs, arthroscopy, or eventual knee replacement surgery after adopting the macrobiotic life-style and diet. Today Michael astounds his personal fitness trainer with his vigor and newfound agility and continually improving flexibility. Jordan Penkower is another macrobiotic success story. Jordan was diagnosed in 1994 with peripheral neuropathy. There is no known treatment for this debilitating disease that entails the loss of various muscles throughout the body. PN causes numbness and tingling in the extremities and the loss of fine-motor skills. Jordan could not write in a normal fashion, button his shirt, or properly hold a fork and knife. He embraced macrobiotics with single-minded determination, including exercise, weight lifting and other alternative modalities in his practice. After 7 years of macrobiotic practice, Jordan recently celebrated the occasion of his niece’s wedding with a rousing saxophone performance, entailing dexterity unknown to him for nine years. Jordan has completely regained his fine motor skills and his sense of touch. His muscle loss has been completely reversed. A different kind of success was a patient who effectively reduced the size of his tumor, but not that of his stressful six and a half day workweek. His cancerous intestines ruptured after six months of successful macrobiotic practice and he died shortly afterwards. The energy and quality of his 14


Endnotes 1. For example: Brown, Virginia. Macrobiotic Miracle. Japan Publications, Tokyo and NY, 1984. Fawcett, Ann and Smith, Cynthia. Cancer-Free: 30 Who Triumphed Over Cancer Naturally. Japan Publications, Tokyo and NY, 1991. Jack, Gale. Promenade Home. Japan Publications, Tokyo and NY, 1988. Kohler, Jean Charles and Mary Alice. Healing Miracles from Macrobiotics. Parker Publishing Co., West Nyack, NY. 1979. Kushi, Michio. The Cancer Prevention Diet. St. Martin’s Press, New York. 1983. Monte, Tom. The Way of Hope. Warner Books, New York, NY. 1989 Nussbaum, Elaine. Recovery from Cancer. Avery Publishing Group. Garden City Park, NY. 1992. Sattilaro, Anthony J., M.D. Recalled By Life. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA. 1982. 2. Deuteronomy 6:4 3. Kushi, Michio. The Book of Macrobiotics. 4. Exodus 23:19 and again Exodus 34:26. 5. Telephone interview with Michael Reiss, January 21, 2002. By permission. 6. Ibid. 7. Kushi, Michio. Lecture, April 5, 2002. Becket, Massachusetts.



“Fresh Pea and Mint Soup”


Recipes To Nurture By Aine McAteer Photography by Bobbi Fabian Ebury Press, London, 2004


here is a new wave of professional macrobiotic chefs courageously pioneering the frontiers of macrobiotic cuisine. Led by the likes of this book’s author, Aine McAteer, as well as Christina Pirello in Pennsylvania, Lee and Darlene Gross in California, and Patricio Garcia de Paredes in Japan, these trailblazing chefs are setting new standards for macrobiotic cooking by inventing dishes that are stunningly beautiful, refreshingly innovative, incredibly delicious, appealing to both macros and non-macros alike, and that still manage to maintain balance and healthfulness. I had the good fortune to meet Aine in person last year at the Fortunate Blessings Foundation’s “The Passage.” While she is small in stature, Aine exudes an aura of powerful presence and her warm demeanour and graceful charm will make anyone feel at home. It was quickly apparent that these same qualities were infused in every meal she created during the week. To taste Aine’s cooking is to discover the very best of contemporary macrobiotic cuisine — worldclass dishes that could grace the tables of the most demanding clientele.

Aine’s employment record reads like a “Who’s Who” of the entertainment industry — she has been a personal chef to Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, Pierce Brosnan, “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening, and Robert Redford. Redford’s accolades subtly grace the cover of the book: “Aine has distilled the creativity and love that goes into preparing her food into the recipes that she shares with us in this wonderful book.” Aine begins the book with a personable introduction, explaining her discovery of macrobiotics and Ayurveda and how it shaped her dietary approach. “I simply believe you are what you eat, and that if nutrient-rich whole foods form the basis of your diet, you will be healthy inside and out,” she writes. She explains how her origins in Ireland and travels around the world have influenced her culinary creations, such as her “Mexican Bean Pie,” “Pineapple Ginger Ice Dream,” a macrobiotic “Shepherd’s Pie,” “Seductive Salmon with Rainbow Salsa,” “Pumpkin Coconut Bisque,” and “Hawaiian Sunset Soup.” The recipes in this book are organized into several sections, including “Food for One,” “Food for Love,” “Healthy Kids,” “Picnic & Finger Foods,” and “Festive Foods.” By addressing these different considerations of the cook, Recipes to Nurture offers dishes for many types of situations and makes it a cookbook to return to for any occasion. Recipes to Nurture is the most beautifully designed cookbook I have ever come across. Bobbi Fabian’s photographs are alluring and seductive, and the elegant typography throughout the book quietly enhances its high-class appeal. It is no surprise that with such delectable recipes and riveting imagery this book won the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook award of “Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World” last year in Barcelona. Macrobiotics is continually dogged by its popular characterization as an ascetic approach for only dietary extremists and the terminally ill. Recipes to Nurture challenges this stigma through its broad variety of mouthwater dishes that can appeal to anyone. “For many people, the idea of ‘healthy food’ doesn’t exactly conjure up images of sensual delights,” Aine writes in her introduction, “It’s my mission in this book to dispel that myth.” n|c -Yogen Kushi < “Chocolate Mousse Cake” (no dairy or sugar... really!) “Bundles of Love” and “Kiss-Me-Quick Risotto”






The InneR

Samurai by Leslie Ashburn

Day 1

I have lived and worked in Kobe, Japan for 2 1/2 years. I first began my macrobiotic practice here, and feel lucky to have this unique opportunity. After my first year, I met Hiroyuki and Mie Naka, my fabulous macrobiotic teachers at Macrobi Garden in Osaka, Japan. They invited my friends and me on a 3-day macrobiotic healing seminar in a Zen temple near Hiroshima, Japan. My journal of this experience follows. 16


We caught the shinkansen (bullet train) from Shin-Osaka at about 10:00 am to nearby Fukuyama station. The group of about 15 Japanese people, 2 Swiss, and me, the American, took a 1.5-hour bus ride to the Zen temple named Saikouji. Along the winding hilly and curvy way, we introduced ourselves (yes, in Japanese) to the people on the bus, saying where we are from, how long we have been macrobiotic and anything else we would like to add. As we do so, a rumor goes whispering around through the trenches that while we are eating, we will have to chew each bite of food 200 times. We arrive at Saikouji at about 1:30 p.m., noting first the laughing Buddha at the entrance, the river drifting lazily by, the many rice fields soaking baby rice plants with water, and the countless insects and butterflies floating peacefully and heavenly around. The bamboo stalks shoot up confidently, the ferns curl happily, caterpillars meander across our paths as they commute to who knows where, and birds sing back and forth to each other, filling our consciousness with the electric beauty of nature, and of spring in particular. I for one, come back to Earth as we lug the bags up the hill to the temple set back in the luscious forest. In full view as we climb the hill is the 600-year-old samurai temple, replete with the traditional shoji doors and tatami mats, surrounded by spring flowers happily greeting our eyes. We throw down all of our bags inside, and have an orientation to the seminar. The first order of business is that we are given a liter-sized PET bottle of water and told that this is all the water we get for 3 days, and we can use it to brush our teeth and wash our faces, but it is not for drinking. What a wonderful concept to be responsible for our consumption of natural resources. We then meet Danjosan, the monk in residence who teaches us some of his personal history as well as the temple’s (an old samurai training and meditation spot), and then have a lecture from both Hiroyuki and Mie about what to expect from the seminar. As stomach feels even emptier, wonder when lunch is.... W W W.WORLDMACRO.ORG

Day 2 By now, the alarms in our stomachs have been ringing for some time, especially when we see that finally, at 3:00 pm, lunch is ready. That is curious... There are 2 brown rice balls sitting atop a lovely leaf and a cup of tea. Is something wrong here? Why so small?? Where is the rest??? Hmmmmm....... Sit down together for our first meal, and learn that the rumor was true. We now learn how to chew each bite of food 200 times. I immediately go into shock, but do my best to reach this goal (and even surpass it with practice). As we close our eyes and chew, we listen to Hiroyuki talk about how to be thankful to all of our relatives. We repeat “ar-i-ga-to-go-u-zai-mas-u”, one syllable for each time we chew. The first 200 times is for our mother, the second 200 times for our father, the third for our mother’s mother, and so on. As we chew 200 times, we savor the sweet taste of this rice in our mouths. I look around and wonder how people can eat two rice balls so slowly. I, for one, am trying to draw out the experience so that I feel like I am actually eating more than what I see sitting in front of me! Chew chew chew chew chew.... Oh dear, what have I gotten myself into? Will I starve for three days? I came for zazen I thought, not for fasting. EEK. Finish “lunch” and return for more macrobiotic lectures into the late evening. The lectures were all in Japanese, way over my head, so I cannot report any amazing revelations from what Hiroyuki taught. I will have to wait for my English macrobiotic classes later. We head outside in the dusky evening for chopstick carving. Danjo takes 300-yearold pieces of bamboo that were previously on the roof of the temple and cuts them in half lengthwise. We take knives and begin whittling the bamboo down to our heart’s desire. After we reach the size and shape we like, we sand them down and rinse them off. Sigh, the perfectionist that I am, I kept looking at others and liking them more than mine. I was taking a long time... a W W W.WORLDMACRO.ORG

very long time... and was the last person to finish. They weren’t “perfect” in my mind’s eye, and so I gave up, feeling slightly frustrated. This frustration amounted to a minor bump in the road.... I was doing my best not to think on it too much. These types of chopsticks sell in the store for 100s of dollars, but we each now have our own, made by our own loving hands. I wondered “What did these pieces of bamboo witness in their lifetimes?” How much positive energy they must have inside of them to have witnessed the samurai praying before battle, and the countless other people doing zazen in this temple, praying for love and peace. How wonderful that I can use these to feed and nourish my body and soul. For the first meal, they feel strange in my hands, but by the end of the few days, they are soft and comfortable, and I accept them as they are, lovely in their imperfection. There is a lesson in this for me. Finish this night by eating a mini dinner. Hiroyuki says eating should be an intentional process, so we take turns choosing which dish we want the group to eat, and again chew 200 times. While each person chews, the person who selected what everyone eats speaks about his or her experiences and impressions for that day. By now, people’s bodies, minds, and emotions are dramatically opening up to the reduced amount of food, the number of times we chew (making our brains active), and the expressions of past experiences, so the tears and laughter flow freely and profusely. We learn that the local residents produce all of the food for the temple, and for our seminar. Everything, including the rice, is grown organically for us. It is fresh, vital, and alive. The vegetables are cut just before we eat them, and they are unbelievably delicious. It is 10:30 pm, and the Japanese students return for more lectures, but by this time, the 3 English speakers are exhausted and cannot cope with linguistic non-understanding and lay out the futons on the tatami floors, close our eyes, and exhausted, fall asleep for the first night.

It is 5 a.m, and people are awake. They are walking through our room to get to the bathroom. Ugh. I give up trying to sleep and join them. All of us are brushing our teeth, washing our faces, and saying “ohayo gozaimasu” (or “good morning”) to each other. It feels like summer camp. The Japanese toilet is an experience in itself. All I can say is, “When you gotta go, you gotta go.” We continue the morning by folding up the futons, stacking them off to the side, and then cleaning the temple inside and out. By now, it is a cheerful, ha ha ha, 6:30 a.m, so we join together first for a walk around the surrounding environs. We traipse between the glorious rice fields, and then return about an hour later to the temple. We have our first do-in session, a type of Chinese martial arts to awaken the body and spirit. We take off our shoes in the crisp morning air, and let the damp earth and prickly pebbles massage the bottoms of our feet. We breathe deeply of the fresh air around us and try to open our minds, bodies, and spirits to the experience. After finishing, we clean off our feet, and put our socks back on. Now that we are waking ourselves up a bit after the walk and the do-in, we begin our first zazen (meditation session). The zabuton pillows get laid out on top of bamboo on the ground, and we face our bodies towards the east. Danjo leads us in this meditation. We do the “Sunshine Meditation” taught to him by Tibetans. We visualize sunshine hitting our bodies and then we send this sunshine back out to others. First, we send it to the temple and the people around us, then we send it to the city of Fukuyama, and then all over Japan, and then outside Japan to different countries, until we have completely covered the whole earth with thoughts of happiness, love, and sunshine. Afterwards, we go inside and chant in Japanese. At last, we are ready to eat breakfast. It is delicious, amazing, wonderful, incredible, fresh, healthy, and healing.



All of my preconceived stereotypes of Japanese people “never showing their true feelings” are erased. We continue saying thanks to people in our families, and we also continue going around the room and speaking about our impressions of the days’ activities. Some of us have been deeply moved by the activities and the emotions flow freely with tears and laughter. People who have never looked at places inside themselves, suddenly have the attention deep within, and work towards healing body mind and soul. This includes me. During the morning meditation, the beauty of life and of nature overcame me. As I express this to everyone, tears surprisingly fly up from seemingly nowhere. We return for more lectures, but I pass out on the floor unable to process anything. The other two take off for a hike and cooking outside over the open fire, learning different histories and traditions from local residents. Wish I hadn’t been so tired, but I needed that time to rest. Lunch ensues, and then more lectures, so the three of us gather around outside, talking again with Danjo, the locals, Mie, and others out and about working. Later that afternoon, we learn dancing from the beautiful Junko Fukuda who comes out into the main room dressed like a fairy princess in shimmering blue sheer fabric. Junko lives on Kyushu, and is a famous spiritual leader in Japan. Without me speaking so much Japanese, I learn that, in a nutshell, she teaches people how to smile and be happy. So we indulge our inner children and become engrossed in her creations called Lotus Paradise, American Cha Cha Cha, and other silly tunes. By the end of the hour, we are all giggling and bouncing up and down. To cool ourselves down and relax for the rest of the evening, not to mention shower since we haven’t done that yet, we head to the onsen. An onsen is a Japanese bathhouse. We head inside and strip naked—no shame! (Men and women are separated into different sections of the bathhouse.) We have a marvelous time soaking in each of the different temperature pools, and then cleanse our bodies even more in the steam room. Two of us have tattoos, which draws a lot of direct 18

attention from our macrobiotic friends. Although it is taboo in this culture to have tattoos, the macro people with open hearts don’t mind at all, and instead, to our amazement poke our bodies here and there in curiosity, asking “What’s this?” or “What does this mean?” “Did it hurt?” Meanwhile, the other Japanese people who are also bathing have their faces plastered to the window and I can hear them ooohing and aaaaahing. It makes me laugh. We come out of the baths weak and noodle-y, squeaky clean, and ready for dinner. Feeling especially honored, I sit together with Danjo, Hiroyuki, and Junko. Danjo turns out to be a fascinating man having gone to school and studied agricultural science in Berkeley in 1970. He plays Spanish classical guitar, as well as classical music on the piano, conducts tea ceremonies, collects gems, is a nature photographer, has met and talked with the Dalai Lama, and travels around the world, to name but a few of his talents. We have nabe mono (leafy greens, mushrooms, and noodles cooked in a pot sitting on the table) for dinner, and laugh our heads off in happiness and festivity. Again, we hear a rumor that Danjo is going to hit us tomorrow morning during zazen with a piece of bamboo if our minds stray from the meditation, or if our bodies move in discomfort. I decide this can’t be true. We didn’t pay to get whacked up on. Our last event of the evening is a fire ceremony. We each receive a piece of paper in the shape of a person. We are instructed to write names on it – it can be names of people we love and want to thank, or it can be names of people we dislike, so that we can heal and move past this part of our lives. We spray Indian sandalwood on each other and stand in a circle. Danjo invokes the Shinto fire god and we listen to him chanting. As he is chanting, we throw our paper people into the flames. We visualize the flames reaching our hearts and intensely burning out the old and outdated unhealthy feelings, and burning in the love and peace. After this ceremony, Junko teaches us another song and dance, and in doing so, we send our love to “Enoki” a 300-year old tree near where we had our fire ceremony.


We can’t help but feel in love with Enoki, with each other, and with every little creature around us big and small. Living in the hustle and bustle of Kobe, Japan, it has been so long since I thought about nature. It feels especially good to send love not just to the people in my life, but to the Earth that gives all of us life. Sleep comes easily again tonight.

Day 3 Well, it is 5:30 a.m., again and surprisingly I have no problem with this. I wake up very chipper and do our early morning routine again cleaning the temple, and then going for a walk. This time, we go to visit the ancient samurai house built 300 years ago, and unfortunately we can’t go inside this time. Typically, the owner is not there, but on this particular day, he is. We return back to the temple for zazen again. We gather the pillows and seat ourselves down. I notice that Danjo is indeed carrying a long bamboo stick with swishes at the end of it. I close my eyes, my heart pounding, and pray as quickly as I can, desperate not to let my mind move from the meditation. I pray to my family, to George my boyfriend, to friends, to people in Iraq, to people who are sick and homeless, and send as much sunshine as I can to everyone in the world. Amazingly, I can see in my mind’s eye, that all of us sitting there meditating really are one – we are linked together in our energies. Meanwhile, I can feel Danjo walking behind me, and I can hear him hitting someone or something. My heart is pounding in my chest, but I decide that he must be hitting his hand with the switch in order to scare us. He must not really be hitting anyone. Finally, I begin to calm down. As I calm down, bubbles of colors start gurgling behind my closed eyes, and I move my focus from praying to others to watching the pretty bubbles. Whack whack. Danjo hits me once on each shoulder. Oh no!!!!!! My ego is bruised, and tears spring to my eyes, but actually, him hitting me was soft and it felt good on my sore muscles. My friend next to me is hit right after me. Thank goodness we finish right after that. I don’t know if I could have brought my mind back for more. W W W.WORLDMACRO.ORG

Now it is time for breakfast, and this time we thank nature as we chew 200 times for each of her beautiful seasons, and we thank our bodies for keeping us alive. We pat our stomachs, hearts, lungs, brains, kidneys, and other organs and tell them thank you for working for us. Thank you for giving us health. We have our last scheduled round of lectures, and while the lectures are going on, the Reni and I go on a walk along the river and railroad tracks, philosophizing about life, macrobiotics, and love. Susan gives shiatsu to Danjo. Time is winding down, so we hurry back to eat lunch, which is the most incredible brown rice sushi. The final event of the seminar is to put one person in chair at the head of the table. We go around the room one by one, and everyone says something nice to the person in the chair. When you are the person sitting in the chair, you are overwhelmed with the positivity and love people express to you. When everyone has finished sharing their positive thoughts, the person in the chair tells his or her hopes and dreams for the future, and we all pray for that to be realized. Finally, we pray for our ancestors. Danjo can’t read our American and Swiss ancestors names, so we have to run to the front of the room to help him. We all laugh, and then finish by chanting the last time. Everyone walks down to the bus. It is time to go. After all the tears cried and secrets told over the past three days, people hug deliriously without boundaries and climb reluctantly onto the bus. We are all so happy and alive. It is now up to us to carry on what we learned from the brief and wonderful healing experience. The three of us English speakers decide to stay there at the temple one final night, and we get invited back to the onsen. Yippee! The onsen is heaven. Later, the Naka’s roll out the red carpet for us. as if they haven’t done so already, and we have a tempura party, with Hiroyuki as the chef. As we munch on the most delicious tempura ever, we listen to Danjo play the guitar, and my two Swiss friends sing all kinds of traditional songs for us. Later, we clean up and head inside. Danjo plays the piano now, and he does a tea ceremony too. Shhhhh...... It’s a secret, but we ate some Swiss chocolate! After a few pieces, we were all practically drunk. We have gone from one day of two tiny brown rice balls and our purified systems, to tea ceremony and chocolate. Wooo hooooo, let’s fly!!!!!!!!!




If that was not enough, Mie and the other women show us how to fold origami. Are we dreaming? We are certainly in heaven.

Day 4 By special invitation only, the Naka’s take us to Izumo Taisha, a special place meant to bring women and men together. We learn the history and traditions from Hiroyuki and Mie, our personal tour guides. They help us buy “thingys” (I cant even begin to recall the actual name) for the rice blessing, where a young man pounds a taiko drum and a virgin dressed in white dances for the rice. During this ceremony, the priest blesses our ancestors inside the Shrine, and he also blesses the rice. This is a very special event that not many Japanese people even get to do in Japan (and now I have been to two of them— unbelievable). Before we leave this particular area, we dash to a noodle shop and eat soba noodles. We jump in the car and take off. Rushing off, we head to Matsue city, a quaint and sleepy traditional town where we receive a guided tour through an old castle. In addition, we enter a samurai house with each room and its contents preserved like a museum. The wind whispers through the trees, and we feel old spirits dancing around.


Mie and Hiroyuki Naka (far left and fourth, next to me) will both be teaching at the Japanese and U.S. Kushi Summer Conferences this year.

hope that when I set out on my own after studying with them, that I can have even half as much of all of these traits to share with others. It surprises me that for a person who used to chew each bite of food maybe 10 times, I now like to chew my food as long as I can! When I sit down for meals, I may not quite make it to 200 each time, but 100 has become an easier mark to hit. It makes all the difference to my peace of mind. Try it if you haven’t already! n|c

At last our time draws to an end, we get on the bus and ride forever in the holiday traffic looking at the countryside rolling by, trying to digest the past few days’ events. We haven’t eaten anything except 2 onigiri rice balls, soba noodles, some chestnuts, onion chips, and one small Japanese dessert with tea. We take whatever we can find onto the bus as snacks (which amounts to nothing) and make it last until we can get to the next destination. By midnight, we finally arrive home, exhausted, spacey, dizzy, and hungry, and for the next two days, stay indoors and rest. We can’t stop talking about everything we have seen and done. We all agree it is our #1 Japanese experience, and maybe even the happiest time in our lives.

Leslie Ashburn grew up in the Pacific Northwest and studied Psychology and ESL in college. After getting her MA in ESL from the University of Hawaii, she moved to Kobe, Japan to teach at Kobe Women’s University. Although the Japanese diet appears macrobiotic to the non-discerning eye, the food is actually laden with sugar and chemicals. Although she loves Japanese food, her health was ailing. A macrobiotic friend of hers moved to Japan, and inspired Leslie to committ to a macrobiotic diet. After learning as much as possible from macrobiotic cookbooks, she then met the Naka’s in Osaka, Japan. Since then, she has been studying with them and partaking in the various spiritual and cultural learning activities they offer.

I for one am overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of Mie and Hiroyuki. I have learned so much from them about the power of giving, patience, devotion, and love and

Have a story you would like to share with the readers of Non Credo? Send your submissions to!



Hiroyuki Naka was born in 1960. When he was 16 years old, he

Mie Naka was born in 1961. She majored in early childhood development and taught in a kindergarten. In addition, she learned firsthand about the many emotional and physical problems many Japanese people are encountering today through a counseling position in Osaka, where she specialized in autogenic hypnotherapy. Her counseling position led her to work in local corporations, where she instructed CEOs and management teams in stress management. She is the author of the book How to Make a Smile. Despite her work in counseling, she could not help but wonder why so many of her clients relapsed or returned to unhealthy patterns of living. In 1994, she met Hiroyuki, and began to practice macrobiotics. Previous to her macrobiotic life, she found herself debilitated with many illnesses. Since then, she has been in excellent health. Not only that, but through her initial macrobiotic studies, she has seen how changing one’s diet is the key factor to change one’s life. When she discovered this, she became dedicated to macrobiotics as her life’s work. She has been teaching Kushi Macrobiotics in Osaka, Japan since 1999. She has about 500 students. Recently, she has been diligently studying English, and in approximately one year, has become a proficient and fluent speaker. Mie’s Teaching Style Mie focuses on delicious traditional Zen Macrobiotic Japanese food (shojin ryori). She obtains ingredients both grown wild in nature, and from local organic farmers and creates dishes that aid spiritual growth and development. She emphasizes the aesthetic beauty of grains and vegetables, utilizing few seasonings to bring out the full flavor and energy of the food. One of Mie’s specialties is brown rice sushi. Typically in Japan, sushi rice is seasoned with chemicals and sugar. However, Mie possesses a healthy and delicious “secret recipe.” Her Japanese dishes are artfully presented, also with a Zen flair. W W W.WORLDMACRO.ORG

worked in a sushi restaurant with the aim of becoming a chef. When he became a full-fledged sushi chef, he went to Boston. In 1981, he began to practice macrobiotics with Michio Kushi, pursuing his studies for 6 years. In 1985, he opened a brown rice sushi restaurant in Boston on Newburry St. From Boston, he went to Hawaii and studied American and Hawaiian culture, as well as business and Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP). NLP combines neurology, linguistics, and observable patterns of behavior. It focuses on how communication is affected by and shapes our experiences. When he returned to Japan, he taught NLP. In 1995, the Great Hanshin Earthquake devastated Kobe, near Osaka, Japan. Hiroyuki had a deep moment of awakening and love for his fellow country people, and feared great ruin for the people of Japan due to an increasing departure from living in harmony with nature. This inspired him to open his own restaurant again, where he met Mie as a customer. She later became his business partner. Their base of customers grew to approximately 200. In 1999, Hiroyuki and Mie contacted Michio and requested that he give a seminar in Osaka. When Michio arrived and saw how many people were interested in learning more about macrobiotics, he approved of their opening a Kushi cooking school. Since 2000, their school has been increasingly growing. Now, Hiroyuki is teaching Kushi Macrobiotics as a certified Kushi counselor in Osaka, Japan and has approximately 500 students. His publications include a cookbook entitled, Watashi no Diet or Our Style of Diet, features in popular magazines, and numerous journal articles in both Ohsawa and Kushi macrobiotic publications. Hiroyuki’s Style of Teaching Hiroyuki specializes in Samurai Macrobiotics. His style has a distinctly spiritual component drawing on the samurai culture from Japan, focusing specifically on the concept that the samurai warrior should protect the lord. The samurai warrior has an important connection with God and the Universe. Applied to macrobiotics, this means the macrobiotic practitioner has a duty to protect not just God, but also nature, and other humans. There is an importance of respect and lifelong relationship with people at all levels, including farmers, God, teachers (in this case, Michio), people who cook the food, one’s wife or husband, and parents. The same respect is paid at the temples and shrines where rice is blessed and wishes made. He takes his students to places with high levels of spiritual energy such as important temples and shrines to pray, give thanks, and to study. Students learn how to cook brown rice in traditional style kitchens from a kamido, (a wood-burning earthenware stove). The literal translation of kamido is god (kami) gate (do), so he feels that the kitchen is the entrance to the world of spirit, and heaven’s energy. When you pray in the shrine and when you cook your food in the kitchen following traditional macrobiotic methods, then god is present. When one looks at photographs of such events, one can see tamayura, or little spirit bubbles, which he describes as happy spirits who are enjoying the high levels of spiritual energy and having fun while people cook and study together. Hiroyuki can typically be found with his samurai sword (traveling chopsticks) and pocket-sized kit of macrobiotic condiments for all types of emergencies. n|c SUMMER 2004 :: NON CREDO WORLD MACROBIOTIC NEWS



Ginger GINGER BODY SCRUB The body scrub helps activate circulation and better energy flow through the entire body. It helps to discharge fat accumulated under the skin and open pores to promote smooth and regular elimination of any excess fat and toxins. It also promotes clean, clear skin. The body scrub can be done once or twice daily, in the morning and/or at night, before or after a shower or bath, but apart from it. The body scrub can also be done with plain hot water, but ginger water has a much stronger effect. 1. Heat about one gallon of water until it is hot but not boiling. 2. Meanwhile, grate enough ginger root to equal the size of a small baseball. 3. When the water becomes hot, reduce heat to low, and place the ginger into a single layer of cheesecloth. Tie with a string and squeeze the ginger juice from the cheesecloth sack into the water. (The water should be just below the boiling point.) 4. Place the sack into the pot and allow it to steep in the water without boiling for about five minutes. 5. Dip a small cotton towel or cloth in hot water. Wring out the excess water. 6. Scrub the whole body, dipping the towel or cloth into hot water again when cool. Be sure to include the hands and feet and each finger and toe. 7. The skin should become pink or slightly red. This result may take a few days to achieve, if the skin is clogged with accumulated fats.



SUMMARY: Ginger is an indispensable part of macrobiotic cooking. It stimulates the appetite, improves circulation and can be used to relieve digestive troubles. It is golden in color and has a knarled knobby shape. Ginger root will keep for a longer period of time if stored in a little container of sand rather than in the refrigerator where it tends to mold after about a week.

COOKING: Ginger can be added to any type of dish from soups to stews to sweet desserts. It has a strong spicy taste, and gives nice warm energy. Only a small amount is needed, usually 1/4 teaspoon or less of grated fresh ginger or a few drops of ginger juice, to garnish a soup, casserole, vegetable, or grain dish. Cooked, ginger also makes a wonderful condiment with kombu seaweed and stimulates the appetite. Ginger is also used in condiments and sometimes as a garnish for soups, broths, and especially with oily and protein-rich foods. This is why ginger pickles are traditionally served alongside sushi, and why grated ginger complements oily stirfries so well.

MEDICINAL USES: Fresh ginger is used “to help break down high-protein foods such as meats and beans and lessen the effects of uric acids in the body from eating these foods,” says Paul Pitchford in Healing With Whole Foods. Ginger’s warming effect on the body makes it popular as a tea, and in ginger snaps or gingerbread in colder weather. Medicinally, ginger can be used internally or externally with similar effects of warming the body, improving circulation, and to balance digestive problems resulting from the consumption of too much fat, protein or oily foods. It will add a warming and stimulating effect to any medicinal drink, if required. Externally, ginger can be used in a hot compress to relieve tension and stagnation in different areas of the body. n|c

SOURCES & RESOURCES: Kushi, Aveline, with Alex Jack. Aveline Kushi’s Complete Guide to Macrobiotic Cooking. New York: Warner Books, 1985. Kushi, Michio. Healing Foods. Alex Jack, ed. Becket, MA: One Peaceful World Press, 1998. Kushi, Michio. Basic Home Remedies. Alex Jack, ed. Becket, MA: One Peaceful World Press, 1994. Pitchford, Paul. Healing With Whole Foods. 3rd ed. North Atlantic Books, 2002.


JACK & YOYO IN EREWHON About “Jack & Yoyo in Erewhon” was originally created in 1953 by George Ohsawa, the “grandfather of modern macrobiotics.” Non Credo is showcasing the restoration and new realization of this story by Yogen Kushi.

The story so far...

Encouraged by their father, Jack and Yoyo have left their home to find a land free from war. After a difficult and adventurous journey, the boys find themselves in a strange country where no one understands the word “war.” Then they meet Alice, who invites them back to her home. On the way, they try to explain to her about war and their home country, but she has trouble understanding...

Story by George Ohsawa, Illustrated by Parfait, New Translation by Marc van Cauwenberghe and Mitsuko Miyami, Restored, Colored, and Edited by Yogen Kushi. The beginning of this story can be found on World Macrobiotics Online at W W W.WORLDMACRO.ORG




Summer Recipes by Melanie Waxman

Fun In The Sun Menu

Fun In The Sun

Somen Noodle Soup Shiso Rice Balls Chinese Style Stew Greens with Takuan and Olives Indian Pudding

Melanie Waxman is a mother of seven and has been living macrobiotically for over 20 years. She is an accomplished macrobiotic chef and teacher, and her work and experiences can be found on her website,

Somen Noodle Soup The fish in this soup is optional. If you wish to leave it out, the soup will still taste delicious. Serves: 4 people


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Preparation time: 15 minutes Ingredients: 1/2 packet somen noodles 2 ears fresh corn with kernels removed 1 sheet toasted nori cut into strips 1 inch piece kombu rinsed 1/2 onion diced 1/4 pound white fish cut into small pieces 2 teaspoons white miso diluted in a little water 2 teaspoons brown rice miso diluted in a little water 4-6 cups spring water 2-3 tablespoons finely minced parsley Utensils: Medium pot Preparation: -Place the water, kombu and corn cobs in a pot. -Cover with a lid and bring to a boil on a medium flame. -Remove the kombu and corn cobs. -Add the onion and simmer for a few minutes. -Add the corn and nori and simmer for about 3 minutes. -Add the noodles and diluted miso and turn the flame to low. -Add the fish and cook for about 5 minutes. -Add the parsley and serve.



Shiso Rice Shapes Serves: 4 people Preparation time: 5 minutes Ingredients: 2 cups leftover rice 1 tablespoon tahini 2 whole shiso leaves Utensils: Small bowl

Photo: Shiso Leaves,

Preparation: -Wet your hands and form a small amount of rice into small balls. Make sure the rice is packed firmly. -Carefully remove a shiso leaf and cut it into 4 strips lengthwise. -Place a small amount of tahini on top of one rice ball and wrap a strip of shiso around the rice ball. -Repeat with the rest of the rice balls and serve. Ideas: The rice balls can be rolled in crushed, toasted almonds after wrapping with the shiso.


COOK’S CORNER Chinese Stew

Greens with Takuan and Olives

Serves: 4-6 people

Serves: 4 people

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Ingredients: 1 block tofu cut into squares 1-2 carrots rinsed and sliced on the angle 2 cups cauliflower rinsed and cut into florets 2 cups broccoli rinsed and cut into florets 2 cloves garlic minced 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger 1-2 tablespoons shoyu 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon mirin, sake or red wine 1-2 tablespoons sesame oil Safflower oil for deep frying 1 scallion finely sliced for garnish 2 cups spring water pinch sea salt

Ingredients: 1 bunch watercress washed and sliced 1 cup broccoli rabe washed and finely sliced 1 cup collards washed and finely sliced 1/2 cup takuan pickle finely sliced in match sticks 1/2 cup black olives pitted and finely sliced 2 cups spring water

Utensils: Large skillet, medium pan, pot for deep frying Preparation: -Place the water into a pan and bring to a boil on a medium flame. -Turn the flame to high and lightly blanch the carrot, followed by the cauliflower and then the broccoli. Blanch each one for about 30 seconds and place on separate plates. -Meanwhile, place the oil for deep frying on a low flame and warm slowly. Before deep frying the tofu, turn the flame to medium. -Test the oil is hot enough by dropping a small piece of tofu into the hot oil. If it sizzles immediately on the surface, the oil is hot enough. -Deep fry the tofu until golden or for about 3 minutes. -Remove and drain on paper bags or paper towels. -Warm the skillet on a medium flame and add the sesame oil. -Add the ginger, garlic and a pinch sea salt and lightly sautÈ for about 20-30 seconds. -Add the carrot and toss for about 1 minute. -Add the cauliflower and toss for 1 minute more. -Add the broccoli and toss for 1 minute. -Add the tofu and mix through the vegetables. -Add the shoyu, vinegar and mirin and about 1/2 cup spring water. -Cover and cook for about 2 minutes. -Mix gently and served garnished with scallions.


Utensils: Medium pan with lid Preparation: -Place the water in a pan. -Cover and bring to a boil on a medium flame. -Turn the flame to high. -Add the collards and blanch for about 30 seconds. -Remove and place on a serving dish. Wait for the water to return to a boil before adding the broccoli rabe. Repeat as for the collards. -Repeat with the watercress. -Gently mix the greens together. -Add the takuan and the olives, mix through the greens and serve.

Indian Pudding Serves: 6 people Preparation time: 15 minutes Ingredients: 1 cup corn grits 4 cups apple juice 1 cup spring water 1/2 cup raisins 2 tablespoons tahini Pinch sea salt Juice and rind of 1 orange 3 tablespoons rice syrup or maple syrup Orange slices for garnish Photo: Pudding,

Utensils: Pot with lid, serving dish, hand whisk Preparation: -Place the apple juice, raisins, tahini and salt in a pot. -Bring to a boil on a medium flame. -Whisk in the corn grits. -Cook with a lid on a low flame for about 5 minutes. -Add the orange juice, rind, water and rice syrup and cook a further 5 minutes. -Mix well and place in a serving dish. -Leave to cool and firm. Decorate with orange slices. SUMMER 2004 :: NON CREDO WORLD MACROBIOTIC NEWS


Non Credo - Summer 2004  

Non Credo World Macrobiotic Newsletter

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