Newsletter December 2011 ..
|Olaf Fisher|Kushi Institute
From Our Executive Director
The Year In Review
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,
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)
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.
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
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, macular degeneration, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
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. 
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.) 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.
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. 
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.
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.
Vary Your Vegetables Using Macrobiotic
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?
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.
Kushi Institute programs!
1. WHAT YOU LEARN CAN TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE --
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
2. STUDY WITH RENOWNED TEACHERS --
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.
3. MEET WONDERFUL PEOPLE --
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.
4. OUR NOURISHING MACROBIOTIC MEALS --
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.
5. OUR SCENIC CAMPUS --
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
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
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
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
IF: You want to drop pounds and stay healthy, and release
emotional patterns that may be holding you back:
IF: You are looking for the most in-depth and comprehensive
macrobiotic learning experience available, and are in general
Macrobiotic Leadership Certificate Program
Choose from one week to three months in a row
The Best Gift is HEALTH!
You know that everything in your
life is affected by how you feel.
You know you can do more
and 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 programs?
OUR GIFT TO YOU
$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
program, housing, airport shuttle, or to register
To receive the special discount:
mention discount code GH2012
Housing is limited, call or email soon!
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 . 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.
 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
Help Make A Real Difference
In Someone's Life
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
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
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
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.
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.
Designed by and for women, this is a week of extraordinary renewal and rejuvenation.
Offered only twice a year.
Certificate 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
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.
Plate the glazed pears with the raspberry coulis (see picture above) and decorate with mint leaves and lemon zest.
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.
198 Leland Road
Becket, MA 01223
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