Kushi Institute Logo 4
Newsletter December 2011 ..
From Our Executive Director - The Year In Review
The Kushi Institute Experience
The Best Gift - Health!
Movie Review - Forks Over Knives
Preparing For Thanksgiving at Kushi Institute
Making a Difference
Holiday Recipe: Glazed Pears with Raspberry Coulis
Olaf Fischer Kushi Institute Executive Director
Olaf Fisher
Kushi Institute
Executive Director

From Our Executive Director
The Year In Review

Dear Friends,


As another year draws to a close it is a good time to reflect on the year gone by: Did we positively touch the lives of others? Did we help others in need to the best of our ability?  


These are worthy questions to contemplate and I can truly say yes to both, and therefore we fulfilled our mission - 100%! Once again we were able to help and educate hundreds of people this year. Throughout the year, participants learned through our programs how to improve and change their lives forever. It is always rewarding and gratifying when we receive excited calls from participants telling us about all the positive changes in their lives.  


Did we meet all of our financial goals? No, but we met most. The Board of Directors and I have big goals for the future of Kushi Institute, and I am pleased with how much we have been able to accomplish in restructuring this year. Like any small non-profit educational organization we've had our challenges; however, we are ending 2011 in a good place. It has been a successful year.  


To achieve our goals in helping people we are always seeking to improve or  

add programs. This year we added the very popular Way to Health PLUS

hands-on cooking classes; a program offered each month, the success of  

which exceeded our expectations. Additionally, we offered a week-long Women's Retreat, which also received rave reviews, and we will be bringing  

it back this coming year in April and August. 


Participants have also told us how happy they are that along with macrobiotic consultations and shiatsu, in 2011 we added three new private sessions: Personal Menu Planning, therapeutic full-body Restorative Massage, and Feldenkrais Functional Integration®.  


Planning for the development and growth of our educational programs and services is always of primary importance. We continuously work on improving existing programs and introducing new programs that appeal to our clientele and draw new students to macrobiotics. In 2011 we made a great leap initiating the development of our online educational program, which we hope to release in mid-2012.    


Here are some of the 2011 property improvements we accomplished:  

  • To make our lovely Main House lodge (built at the end of the 19th century) more comfortable and energy efficient, we replaced all windows in the second floor rooms (participant bedrooms and bathrooms) and upgraded the heating system. To achieve our goal of close to 100% energy efficiency, more needs to be done on both the Main House and North Hall (a/k/a the Dormitory). We plan on making more progress in this area in 2012.  
  • We replaced the metal fire escape attached to our North Hall building. Along with housing participants, North Hall is the location of our dining room, library, and some of the classrooms.  

Along with these "big item" improvements, many smaller property improvements were made throughout the year. 


As you can see from above, exciting things are happening at Kushi Institute and we invite you to be a part of it; to partner with us to help others recover their health and their lives. I encourage you to please take a look at our fundraising appeal and donate to our worthy cause. Thank you!


We look forward to another great year in 2012, and hope to see you at our lovely campus in Becket, Massachusetts, or at our Summer Conference, which will run from July 19 - 22, 2012 at a new venue, the Dolce Executive Conference Center in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.


All of us here at Kushi Institute wish you a very happy holiday season and a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2012!


In Peace and Health,


Olaf Fischer 


Mirea Ellis
Mirea Ellis
Kushi Institute
Assistant Director


Will The Real Superfoods   

Please Stand Up!     


Over the last few decades there has been quite a  

rise in foods new to the marketplace, which promoters claim to have extraordinary health benefits that put   

them into the category of "superfoods".  


Another term, "functional foods" has taken hold in the natural foods industry, used to indicate a special ingredient has been added to a product, thereby giving the product a new and higher "function" as relates to health promotion or disease prevention.


The functional foods market is divided into three sectors:  

   1.) foods (such as goji berries)

   2.) supplements   

   3.) beverages--currently the fastest growing market segment  

        with a 10.8% compound annual growth rate


With the ever-rising health crisis, huge marketing campaigns promote these often processed and very expensive products to the sick, stressed and  

weary--or those seeking to try to help prevent serious illness-- driving mega  

sales and profits. BCC Research estimates that the global market of the

functional food industry will reach 176.7 billion by 20113.[1]  


You don't need to turn to these specialty items to have great health - there are commonly used and inexpensive foods that provide as much health benefits (and often more) than the flashy and expensive newcomers.  


Super Health Benefits of Dark Green Leafy Vegetables 

kale image

Great examples of what can be considered "true superfoods" are dark leafy green vegetables, especially from the cruciferous vegetable family (including kale, collards, bok choy, watercress, mustard and turnip greens, and many others), and the composite vegetable family (including dandelion greens, endive, and the dark green and red leaf lettuces).

Scientific studies have long shown consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with lower risk of: cancer[8], macular degeneration[7], heart disease[8], and type 2 diabetes[9].


Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer 


Studies have shown specific compounds in cruciferous vegetables:

  • Support detoxification, which in turn helps provide protection against cell mutations, cancer and other harmful effects caused by toxins.   
  • Help deactivate a potent estrogen metabolite that promotes tumor growth, especially in breast, prostate, and other estrogen sensitive cells, and helps prevent cancer cell metastasis.[3] [4] 
Watercress image

Ongoing research continues to bring to light more benefits associated with specific vegetables in the cruciferous family. For example, in 2010, Professor Graham Packham of the University of Southampton, UK, noted in his research on watercress that he found a plant compound (phenylethyl isothiocyanate, or PEITC), that interferes with the function of a protein linked with the development of breast cancer (the most common cancer in women in the western world.)[2] Other studies have found PEITC in more cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli and cabbage, and that it possesses potent anti-cancer properties. Most of this scientific literature focuses on the effects of PEITC in fighting prostate cancer. Unlike chemotherapy, PEITC only thwarts the growth of prostate cancer cells while leaving normal prostate tissue intact.[5]   


Eating a lot of cruciferous vegetables may also provide a survival advantage for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, one of the most aggressive cancers, claiming the lives of 14,000 American women each year. [3]      


Eat More Leafy Greens For More Benefits  


All the studies on the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables, including the leafy green varieties, show that the higher amounts ingested, the greater the benefits. At Kushi Institute we have always recommended eating dark leafy greens three times a day if possible, and serve them in our dining room at breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Lightly Cooked is Best


Compounds that can suppress thyroid function, called "goitrogens" are present in raw cruciferous vegetables as well as some other vegetables, beans and fruits. Lightly cooking leafy greens inactivates these compounds, while retaining high levels of nutrients, and softens vegetable fibers thus allowing more nutrients to be assimilated.[10]   


Not All Leafy Greens are Created Equal


In macrobiotics we recognize that though all vegetables contain valuable nutrients, some vegetables also contain substances that, in excessive amounts, may promote health problems such as pain, inflammation, an overly acidic condition, etc. We therefore recommend regular consumption of the vegetables highest in beneficial nutrients and lowest in substances that could cause adverse effects, and to limit the consumption of vegetables that may cause adverse effects. To learn more about macrobiotic food recommendations click here.


In his popular book, Foods that Fight Pain, Neal Barnard M.D. details the cancer recovery of Anthony Sattilaro, MD. Sattilaro was 46 when he developed aggressive prostate cancer that rapidly metastasized to his bones, causing a great deal of pain, necessitating the use of narcotics. His prognosis was terminal. After starting macrobiotics he soon felt a diminishment of pain. In three weeks his pain was totally gone and he was off the narcotics. You can read more details in Foods That Fight Pain, or read Dr. Sattilaro's autobiography Recalled By Life. Macrobiotics is a comprehensive system. There is no one food that alone can be credited for supporting Dr. Sattilaro's pain relief and recovery from cancer. Anyone seeking to use macrobiotics to support recovery is advised to see a qualified macrobiotic counselor for full dietary and lifestyle adjustments. 


As this article has to do with leafy greens, I'll point out some of the vegetables we recommend limiting or avoiding due to their potential to contribute to certain types of pain and inflammation: spinach, chard, beets and rhubarb. These are all in the "oxalis" family of vegetables and contain relatively high amounts of oxalic acid. Once ingested oxalic acid combines with calcium and iron, drawing these minerals out of the body. The combination of oxalic acid and calcium also form sharp crystals, which rather than exiting the body can land and stick in organs, bones, and cartilage. These crystals are linked to pain (including certain types of arthritis) and kidney stones[6].  


Vary Your Vegetables Using Macrobiotic

"Energetic" Principles

Even though leafy greens are an important part of a healthy diet, to provide the full spectrum of nutrients needed for optimal health, using a variety of vegetables and other healthy organic whole foods is important. One way to choose which vegetables to combine for optimal variety is by using energetic principles. 


For example, we can see an aspect of the energetic nature of a particular vegetable by seeing how it is growing:  

  • Leafy greens (like kale and bok choy) grow in an "upward" direction.
  • Root vegetables (like carrots and daikon) grow in a "downward" direction.  
  • Vegetables like winter and summer squash, turnips, onions, cabbage, cauliflower and others that have "round" shapes. These are considered more of a balance between the upward and downward directions.  

Energetically, when we eat leafy greens we feel lighter and cooler, roots help us feel more grounded and warmer, and the round vegetables help us feel more balanced.  


Taking the study of energetics further, leafy greens have more of an energetic influence on the upper area of our body, roots effect the lower area more, and round vegetables the middle region. If you are interested in learning more I recommend the book, Food Energetics by Steve Gagné, which goes into this subject in great detail. Or join us for a program at Kushi Institute!  


What Makes a Meal "Balanced"?


Just imagine yourself having a meal comprised of a lettuce salad and steamed kale. Not much of a meal, is it? Would you feel unsatisfied? Is it too "light"?


What if you had a meal of only cooked carrots and burdock root? Still unsatisfying, but perhaps you would feel more "grounded" than when you only had raw or lightly cooked leafy greens?    


Macrobiotic Dinner 




To combine foods for  

nutritional and energetic  

balance, we recommend  

daily use of some of each of  

the following ingredients:


  • Whole grain(s) (or a combination of whole grains)
  • Bean(s) (or a bean product like tempeh, or fish)   
  • Leafy vegetable(s)
  • Round vegetable(s)
  • Root vegetable(s)
  • Sea vegetable(s) (like nori, kelp, etc.) 
  • Pickle (like unpasteurized sauerkraut)
  • Condiment (like gomashio)

Other balancing factors include  

  • The five tastes (sweet, sour, pungent/hot, bitter and salty)
  • Various textures (creamy, crunchy, chewy, etc.)
  • Various colors (green, yellow or orange, etc.)
  • Various cooking styles (steamed, sauteed, blanched, pressed, etc.)
  • Some short-cooked (5 minutes or less), and some long-cooked dishes
  • Seasonal variations of ingredients and cooking methods
Balanced meals can be QUICK and delicious    

Does looking at what it takes to prepare a balanced meal make it seem like
you'd be in the kitchen all day? Not so! By preparing whole grains and beans in advance, and using combinations of ingredients in dishes, a delicious dinner
can be prepared in only 15 to 20 minutes. Most people today lead very busy lives, and it takes quick and easy meal prep to make macrobiotics doable. This is why we designed our Way to Health PLUS program, where participants plan and prepare quick balanced meals under the guidance of our cooking faculty. And it's the reason this hands-on program has been such a success. 

In upcoming issues of Kushi Institute Newsletter look for articles detailing nutritional and energetic factors of other foods in a healthy macrobiotic diet, and examples of balanced meal plans that are quick to prepare.    


1. http://www.preparedfoods.com/articles/article-benefiting-beverages-august-2009

2. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100914115240.htm

3. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=45    

4. http://www.naturalnews.com/032988_sulforaphane_cancer_cells.html

5. http://www.examiner.com/medical-technology-in-pittsburgh/it-does-pay-to-eat-your-vegetables-ingesting-high-levels-of-peitc-prevents-prostate-cancer

6. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/Kudiseases/pubs/stonesadults/#oxalate

7. http://www.macular.org/nutrition/index.html

8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=leafy%20greens%20heart%20disease 

9. http://healthland.time.com/2010/08/20/leafy-greens-cut-diabetes-risk/

10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18069785





to attend  

Kushi Institute programs!   



    Gain the knowledge and skills you need for optimal health! No matter  

    what your macrobiotic experience or available time, we have inspiring  

    and informative programs that will suit your interest and work with  

    your schedule!  



    Comprised of some of the most experienced macrobiotic educators and

    counselors in the world, our talented faculty guide you in macrobiotic  

    principles and practice, so you return home with confidence in your  

    macrobiotic knowledge and skills.  



    Share profound learning experiences and make new friends. You'll meet

    like-minded people from all walks of life and all parts of the globe. 



    Feel and see the remarkable benefits our organic, delicious, nourishing

    meals can bring to your health, vitality and appearance. And they are

    included in every day of your stay.



    Located on 600-acres of lovely rolling hills with expansive vistas, clear

    mountain air, and pure, deep well water, our campus is the perfect  

    setting for relaxation, reflection and renewal.  


  WHICH Program is RIGHT
for You?  


Divider Block Image 

IF: You have a health challenge, or simply want to learn how

      powerful healing foods can bring you greater vitality and



Way To Health - Sunday to Saturday 


MINI Way To Health - Thursday to Sunday 


Divider Block Image 


IF: You already know the basics of macrobiotics, you qualify  

      to attend our fully hands-on cooking program:


Way To Health PLUS - Sunday to Saturday 


Divider Block Image  


IF: You'd like a short introductory program that explores the  

      relationship between blood sugar and health, and shows

      you how you can achieve optimal blood sugar levels: 


Thursday to Sunday


Divider Block Image  

IF: You want to drop pounds and stay healthy, and release  

      emotional patterns that may be holding you back:


Healthy Weight Loss Week - Sunday to Saturday

Divider Block Image 


IF: You are looking for the most in-depth and comprehensive
      macrobiotic learning experience available, and are in general
      good health: 

Macrobiotic Leadership Certificate Program   

Choose from one week to three months in a row 


 Divider Block Image


The Best Gift is HEALTH!  

Spring Couple

You know that everything in your
life is affected by how you feel. 


You know you can do more
enjoy more when you have 


So why not give yourself,  

or a loved one, the opportunity

to focus on improving health 

by attending one of our
Way to Health




$100 OFF Way to Health   

Program dates: January 22 to 28, 2012

Only $875 for the full program and meals after all discounts  


$50 OFF Way to Health PLUS  

Program dates: January 29 to February 4, 2012 

Only $525 for the full program and meals after discount

or Only $425 When you attend both Way to Health AND Way to
Health Plus
in January you get an
additional $100 OFF   


$50 OFF MINI Way to Health

Program dates: January 19 to 22, 2012

Only $425 for the full program and meals after discount  



Call or email for more information about the
housing, airport shuttle, or to register


To receive the special discount:

mention discount code GH2012   


Housing is limited, call or email soon!




Forks Over Knives DVD cover
Movie Review: Forks Over Knives 
Forks Over Knives is a film, writes  Roger Ebert that "could save your life."

Eye-opening, its power comes from the relevant studies centering on the findings of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, famed nutritionist who conducted  the largest study on the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease, known as the China Study, and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., renowned surgeon, researcher, and advocate on reversing and eliminating coronary artery disease through a whole-foods, plant-based diet. He is the recipient of the Benjamin Spock Award for Compassion in Medicine, and author of the groundbreaking book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.
Both grew up on farms, eating pasture-fed beef and milk and believing animal protein was essential for one's well-being.  However, their scientific and clinical work altered their perceptions, forcing dramatic changes in their own lives toward better diets and health and labeling them as 'revolutionary,' outside the established medical system. Both are now almost eighty years old. Their advice on following whole foods plant-based nutrition and their definitive criticism on agribusiness, the USDA, and prepared lunches in our school systems are compelling and urgent. 


Forks Over Knives is not a subtle film. It combines a narrative format following several people in their search for better health, including the film's director, and commentaries by Campbell, Esselstyn, and Dr. Neal Barnard. There is precise documentation with animated pictures, graphs, and stats depicting the harmful effects of animal proteins to include, most particularly, dairy. Casein, which is most of the protein in cow's milk, is not only linked to cancer, and in some cases, jump-starts cancer cells, but also triggers Type I diabetes. Additionally, countries with high dairy consumption are evidencing high amounts of osteoporosis. Furthermore, heart disease can be reversed using whole-foods plant-based diets without diary.

These are explosive concepts but they come with massive scientific and clinical evidence [1]. The initial introduction is a mixed collage of personalities, food tidbits, and stats but midway through the film you are hooked, seated on the edge of your chair, bewildered by the business of making people sick, and the plea and proof for the solution.  


Now available on DVD, we have been presenting this outstanding film regularly at Kushi Institute, and highly recommend a viewing (or two or maybe more).  Make it a "must see" on your New Year's list. It can change lives, including your own.

[1] Campbell, Colin T., The China Study, Benbella Books, Dallas, TX. 2005;

Esselstyn, Caldwell B. Jr., Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Penguin, N.Y., 2207;




Preparing for Thanksgiving 2011

photographs by Tasja Keetman  

Mashing PotatoesChopping for Thanksgiving

 Sweet PotatoesBeautiful Vegetables


Chocolate Mousse Glazed Pears

steaming greens


 Fish for ThanksgivingTofu Roll Ups

 Help Make A Real Difference
In Someone's Life
Mother and Daughter 


Each year Kushi Institute provides a significant number of people with scholarships for the Way to Health program, where they learn how to use the macrobiotic approach to health and healing to improve their health.


Most often, these individuals have had a drastic decline in income due to loss of health, and cannot attend the Way to Health program without a scholarship.


We appreciate any size donation!  

Choose one method below to make

your tax-deductible donation and help someone live a better, healthier life!

  • Click here to make a secure credit card donation online.
  • Call us at 1-800-975-8744 and use your credit card.
  • Send a check, payable to Kushi Institute, and mail to:  Kushi Institute Donations, 198 Leland Road, Becket, MA 01223


Open House Image 3   

Programs and Events Calendar

Kushi Institute programs are a life-changing experience!


click on program or event names
or other links for more information



Way to Health    7 days   

The best program for those facing
health challenges, or those that want to optimize their already good health.

Offered every month!  Upcoming dates:

January 22 - 28  

Feburary 19-25

March 18-24 


Way to Health PLUS    7 days  

Our most hands-on cooking program.

You can also combine with the  

Way to Health program for a 2-week stay.

Offered most months. Upcoming dates:

January 29 - February 4  

February 26-March 3 

March 25-April 1


MINI Way to Health    4 days 

Selected classes from Way to Health.

A great introduction to macrobiotics,

or for those who need a shorter program.

Offered most months! Upcoming dates:

January 19 - 22 

February 16-19

March 15-18


Healing Diabetes and Hypoglycemia 4 days

A special program to learn how to optimize your blood sugar levels using macrobiotic principles and meals. 

Offered only twice a year.

March 8-11


Healthy Weight Loss Week

Release emotional eating patterns, gain tools and tips for remarkable health improvement, and melt those pounds away!

Offered only twice a year.

April 1-7  

September 9-15 


Womens' Retreat

Designed by and for women, this is a week of extraordinary renewal and rejuvenation.  

Offered only twice a year.

April 8-14 

September 9-15 


Macrobiotic Leadership
Program (Levels) 

The most in-depth and comprehensive macrobiotic program available!

Attend from one week to three months.

The next series of Levels starts
January 8, and is offered again
starting April 15 and September 16


To see other programs and
the full calendar click here.  

Holiday Dessert Recipe from this year's Thanksgiving Dinner 
from Chef Yukiko Sato


 Glazed Pears with

Raspberry Coulis 


You will need:


For the glazed pears: 

8 seckel pears OR 4 small Bosc pears juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup apple juice

pinch of salt

1 tsp kuzu, mixed with 2 tsp water


For the raspberry coulis: 

one 6-oz package fresh raspberries

2 TBS brown rice syrup

pinch of salt




The glazed pears:  

1. Prepare the pears by peeling the skin from the bottom, leaving the top part unpeeled and the stem intact. Scoop out the seeds and the membrane from the bottom using a peeler with a sharp tip. Dip the pears into lemon juice to prevent discoloration.


2. Put apple juice and a pinch of salt into a pot that is just large enough to hold the pears. Place the pears upright so they fit snugly in the pot.


3. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes (less for seckel pears) or until the pears are tender when pierced. Let the pears cool in the juice.


4. Remove the poached pears carefully from the pot. Thicken the remaining apple juice with kuzu mixed with water. Coat the pears with the glaze. Chill until ready to serve.


The raspberry coulis:  

1. Place everything in a pot and cook on a medium flame until the raspberries start to release their liquid.


2. Purée the mixture in a blender until smooth. Remove the raspberry seeds using a strainer.


To Serve: 

Plate the glazed pears with the raspberry coulis (see picture above) and decorate with mint leaves and lemon zest.


Yukiko Sato
  Yukiko Sato
is a private
and caterer in Pittsfield, MA.    

She shares recipes on her blog

and currently is writing a vegan
sugar-free cookbook, The Peaceful
Dessert Book to be released in
the spring of 2012.  

Registration Office and Main House
Kushi Institute 
198 Leland Road
Becket, MA 01223
Int'l 413-623-6457 
Kushi Store Banner Image
Kushi Store


Int'l 413-623-6679  

Kushi Institute is a federally approved 501-C-3 non-profit educational organization. Discrimination based on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, veteran status, or disability is contrary to the principles and policies of Kushi Institute