Kushi Institute Logo 4
Newsletter March 2012..
Seeking Participants for Clinical Research Study
Welcome Kushi Institute New Managers
Promote Good Health with Pickles
The Importance of Sleep
Raffle Winners!
Programs and Events Calendar
What People Are Saying ...
About Umeboshi Plum and Vinegar
Recipes from the Levels: Pickles
The Kushi Institute Experience
Making a Difference

From Our Executive Director --   


Olaf Fischer Kushi Institute Executive Director  

Seeking Participants  

for Kushi Institute  

Clinical Research Study    




Dear Friends,


At the end of last year I talked about how we are setting up a small study to examine the effect of the Macrobiotic diet on gene expressions of patients with malignant melanoma or breast cancer. We have seen many phenomenal successes with people improving and recovering their health using the Macrobiotic approach to healing and are always welcoming the opportunity to have science back up our teachings.


Our study has been approved by all pertinent regulatory authorities and is ready to move forward. Presently we are seeking three participants for the study.  


If you know of anyone who qualifies for this study and is willing to participate, please forward the authorized recruitment notice (see below) to them and have them contact us.  


We are thrilled to be able to conduct this study and look forward to exciting results.


In Peace and Health,

 Olaf clear 



Olaf Fischer



Clinical Research Study  


Kushi Institute is conducting a pilot clinical research study designed to determine the effect of the Macrobiotic diet on a particular gene expression. Studies have shown that Caloric Restricted, CR, diets may affect particular gene expression.

We are studying the effect of CR on gene expression of patients with malignant melanoma or breast cancer.


Seeking Participants  


Kushi Institute of Macrobiotics is seeking three participants, meeting at least

the following requirements:


A) Newly diagnosed with melanoma or breast cancer with residual skin lesions of disease, and have had no previous treatment and do not elect conventional treatment.   


B) Patients who have been diagnosed with melanoma or breast cancer with residual skin lesions of disease and received conventional treatment such as chemo therapy, radiation, and surgery; however, the treatments failed and they are now electing to use nutritional intervention as their only treatment of cancer.


C) Patients must be active and have good performance measurements. They must be able to eat, walk and be able to travel.


Researchers will study gene expression before and after a 6 month period. Participants will undergo a skin biopsy of their lesion and have a blood sample collected twice during the study.


The tissue will be sent to a research lab at the University of California/Riverside. Laboratory research staff will analyze gene expression from baseline and another analysis after 6 months to determine if there are any changes after following a Macrobiotic CR diet.


During the six month period participants will follow a Macrobiotic diet plan designed for them by Kushi Institute counselors. In the initial study period of one week at Kushi Institute, candidates will learn how to follow the counselor's recommendations at home. To assure compliance to the diet, Kushi Institute research staff will monitor each candidate on a weekly basis. The staff will also check for any adverse reactions.


Participation in the study is voluntary and participants will not be compensated. Participants may discontinue from the study at anytime.


This study does not include medical drugs of any kind.


For more information on the study,
or to apply to be one of the study participants, 
please call Olaf Fischer at 413-623-5741 x 160
 or email Olaf@kushiinstitute.org
Welcome Kushi Institute New Department Managers
Amber Maisano


Amber Maisano is the Kushi Institute's new kitchen manager, responsible for food ordering, menu design, kitchen scheduling, meal preparation, and training kitchen staff and volunteers. 


A graduate of the Kushi Institute Macrobiotic Leadership program (also known as the Levels), Amber has been a head chef and cooking class assistant at Kushi Institute since 2008. Additionally, she has experience as a personal chef and caterer.   


She has covered many aspects in the Summer Conference kitchens, initially as volunteer, then on staff assignments as team leader for the café, and finally as co-team leader for many of the cooking classes, assisting macrobiotic chefs Christina Pirello, Patricio Garcia de Paredes, Mie Naka, Susan Waxman, and Jane Stancich. 


"I feel blessed," states Amber, "that I'm a person who knows I can choose and live a natural lifestyle ... I love macrobiotic food and have literally salivated at the smell of freshly prepared brown rice!"   


Also active in macrobiotic education outside her Kushi Institute activities, Amber recently taught a class at the Miso Happy Cooking Club,  a section of  the Herbert H. and Sophia P. Reuner Oncology Support Program in Kingston, NY, where she prepared and served macrobiotic dishes as part of their regular (but unique) wellness program.  


Amber has a strong interest in sustainability, with its emphasis on organic farming and consumption, and plays an activist part in local agricultural events.  

Promote Good Health with Pickles 

Fork with pickle


Nourish your intestinal flora, skin, hair, and muscle tone, and boost natural immunity from disease!


Every culture and civilization throughout history has included some kind of fermented food as part of their regular diet. It has been said that there are a thousand varieties of pickles and hundreds of techniques to make them (1).   


In macrobiotic diets, fermented foods play a prominent role, with products recommended for daily use including miso, shoyu, and pickles. Sauerkraut can be purchased or, as with quick pickles, can easily be made at home. Other fermented food that can be used frequently include amasake (a sweet fermented rice drink), tempeh, and natto (made from soy beans). 


To obtain their outstanding health benefits, choose fermented foods that have been traditionally processed and unpasteurized to retain the natural beneficial live probiotics, enzymes, vitamins, and other nutrients that can be destroyed by heat or modern food processing. Also choose products made with organic ingredients (2).  


All of these types of fermented foods:

  • encourage healthy functioning of the intestine and the immune system
  • promote production of large amounts of probiotic microorganisms
  • increase beneficial lactobacilli bacteria
  • assist pancreatic enzymes to convert dextrin (a carbohydrate found in grains) into simple sugars
  • help synthesize B and K vitamins  

Some pickled foods have different health benefits than the same vegetables eaten raw or cooked. Cabbages and other cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, brussel sprouts, and turnip greens) are valuable examples of this. The phytochemicals found in these pickled vegetables can stimulate enzymes in the body to detoxify carcinogens before they begin to damage cells (3).


Pickles and Digestion 


Proper digestion of foods required a delicate balance of various digestive enzymes plus a healthy ratio of various probiotic organisms (bacteria and yeast).  


When enzymes and probiotics are out of balance, due to the modern diet, antibiotics, or other factors, undigested and stagnating food matter stays in the intestines longer, giving greater opportunity for autointoxication - i.e. putrefying food remnants which continue into the bloodstream and settle into the tissues (4, 5). This can cause the beginning of many diseases.


To help maintain good digestion, healthy probiotic activity and balance is crucial, and good-quality pickles and other fermented foods contribute to this.  


A person in good health might carry more than 2 pounds of good intestinal flora in their body to manage and process digestion."We have more microorganisms inside our digestive system than we have cells in our body," states Daemon Jones, ND. "The probiotics in fermented foods actually reproduce themselves in the digestive tract, crowding out the bad bacteria" (6).


Michio Kuchio recommends eating up to a tablespoon of homemade pickles for daily as a digestive aid (7). Macrobiotic home-made quick pickles are one of the easiest fermented food types to make, use simple ingredients, and some types can be ready to eat in as little as one to three days. You'll see recipes for quick pickles in the right column.  


You can also purchase sauerkraut, but make sure it's made from organic ingredients and sea salt, and found in the store's refrigerated section. Sauerkraut found on a regular store shelf (not refrigerated) has been pasteurized, which means the beneficial probiotics have been destroyed.    


Along with great health benefits, fermented foods provide a wonderful variety of delicious tastes, colors, and textures for your daily meals.   



(2) Katz, Sandor, Wild Fermentation, Chelsea Green Publishing Co. White River Junction, VT. 2003.





(6) Roberts, Gretchen,  "Fermented Food Fest"  Natural Solutions, Jul-Aug 2008, 42.

(7) Kushi, Michio and Jack, Alex, The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health, Ballantine Books, NY., 2003; 9, 12, 405-06, 438-39.  

The Importance of Sleep
By John Kozinski, Senior Macrobiotic Teacher and Counselor

John Kozinski 

There are many ways within our lifestyle to give our mind a break. Less entertainment from television, the internet, and video games would help. Learning meditation is also a great rest for the mind. I believe these suggestions would help everyone. The greatest rest, though, comes from our daily sound and deep sleep.


Scientific research has indicated the following symptoms can arise from a lack of  sleep; attention deficit like symptoms, depression, decreased mental activity, and concentration, lower immune function, dizziness, general confusion, high blood pressure, memory loss and weight gain.      

In traditional oriental medicine, which modern systems of macrobiotics draws upon, the balance of opposites is known as yin and yang. Rest and activity is one expression of this balance in day to day life. Simply put, activity of the body and mind is yang (an active state) while rest is yin (the quiet state). Both are necessary for good health.


During sleep our body enters into the greatest resting and rejuvenating state. This occurs because of the part of your autonomic nervous system known as the parasympathetic nervous system.  


This system, when active, as it is during sleep, causes the body to conserve energy and absorb nutrition. Under the parasympathetic influence, our body rebuilds itself. Over a period of days, weeks, months and years, all the cells of the body are replaced. This happens while we are sleeping.


In the evening as the sun retreats, the atmosphere is flooded with negative ions. Negative ions stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system into action.  The parasympathetic nervous system causes your body to go into the rebuilding and cleansing mode. All the tissues of the body are rebuilt while you sleep. Most of the toxins that our body makes and we take from foods are cleansed from the body.


Going to bed earlier causes your parasympathetic system to work better at building and cleansing. This happens because the body is exposed to more of the negative ions when you sleep in the dark.


To read the complete article, follow this link

 Raffle Winners!  
From our annual
donation appeal
Lynne Forbes   

R&R for 2 people for 2 nights WINNER:
Margarita Lupi    

Ariko Moriya   

Congratulations to the winners!
And our heartfelt thanks to all who
supported Kushi Institute programs and activities through donations to our annual fund drive.


Open House Image 3   

Programs and Events Calendar

Kushi Institute programs are a life-changing experience!


click on program name
 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:

April 29 - May 5   

May 27 - June 2

June 24 - 30  


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:

May 6 -  12   

June 3 - 9 

July 1-7 


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:

April 26 - 29  

May 24 - 27

June 21 - 24


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 

August 19-15 


Macrobiotic Leadership
Program (Levels) 

The most in-depth and comprehensive macrobiotic program available!

Attend from one week to three months.

The next series of full Levels starts
April 15 or September 16  

Level A&B also offered August 5  


Open House

Come learn about our natural approach to health and healing. FREE mini classes, snacks, tours and  much more!

May 19

October 20   

See schedule here 


Bill Shugrue


Bill Shugrue is the new manager of Kushi Store, the products division of Kushi Institute, with an on-campus retail store in addition to an on-line mail-order department that ships macrobiotic goods throughout the U.S. and to other countries.  


In this position Bill is responsible for managing a multitude of activities including product ordering, inventory control, updating and responding to our online Kushi Store website (which he also designed), directing staff, and generating financial reports.   


Bill has been in retail management for over a decade, predominately in stores specializing in electronics and electronic media.   


Initially, Bill joined us as one of our volunteers, having an interest in learning how to prepare macrobiotic dishes, meals and menu plans, then became one of our permanent store staff. 


Now that he is the manager of Kushi Store, Bill is planning on expanding the store's present selection of organic foods to include a wider range of organically grown domestic products. Additionally, Bill is culling through our entire audio, video, and book selections and updating content. Look for some upcoming great sales, already beginning, at the Kushi Store website!  Sales are also listed on Kushi Store Facebook page.   

What People are Saying ..
Start Quotation Mark

"When I left Kushi Institute after a
two week program, I had lost 12
pounds already!   


With macrobiotics, I can eat as
much food as I want! It is now
February of 2012, nine months
since I first started macrobiotics,
and I have lost 48 pounds thus
far! I began at 186 pounds, and
am now at 138 pounds!"     


       Margarita Lupi 


To read more inspiring stories from
people who have been helped to reach their health and healing goals through Kushi Institute programs and following a macrobiotic diet, click here.

 About Umeboshi Plums 


Umeboshi plum

Umeboshi plum is   a traditionally processed pickle made from a particular species of apricot.  



To create umeboshi the "plums" are packed in barrels with crude sea salt and shiso leaves (which give the plums their brilliant red color), and left for a minimum of six months to several years. During this time, natural bacteria, enzymes, and organic acids (especially citric and phosphoric) transform this food into a powerhouse of alkaline properties. Its sour, salty taste stimulates production of saliva and stomach acids, helping the body to break down and assimilate nutrients from food. (1)      


During Japan's samurai period, an umeboshi plum was a warrior's most important field ration, flavoring rice and vegetables, purifying water, and reducing battle fatigue (similar to the pickles packed for the armies of the Roman Empire and Napoleon's French legionnaires)


Today umeboshi plums or paste are commonly used throughout northern Asia for its health-promoting properties. It is a natural antibiotic, digestive aid, and helps create a more alkaline condition of the blood.


Have you ever experienced nausea or food poisoning? Thy this natural solution: remove the pit from an umeboshi plum, then finely chop the plum and simmer for a few minutes in either hot water or hot kukicha tea, then, drink the liquid and eat the plum. A little bit of shoyu (to taste) and a piece of ginger can also be added. This promotes the elimination of toxins and can quickly neutralize an acute condition (3).  


Umeboshi plum is also excellent for vertigo, colds or flu relief and headaches (either internally or used as a plaster) (4). Additionally known for its soothing, anti-inflammatory properties, umeboshi's alkalinity can help reduce arthritis pain (5).   

Though not as "medicinal' as the plums, umeboshi paste is less expensive than the plums and can be substituted for the plums, especially in non-medicinal applications..  


Delicious and versatile as a seasoning, umeboshi plums or paste can be used for flavoring just about any dish. A surprising favorite macrobiotic way of using umeboshi is to rub a little over freshly cooked corn on the cob. As umeboshi contains salt, when you use it for seasoning don't add additional salt.   


It is important to buy only traditionally processed umeboshi plums; in many Asian markets umeboshi plums may been fermented with regular salt and have chemical additives and food coloring.  Productionof high quality, traditionally processed, umeboshi plums and paste from Japan is made in Honshu, in Wakayama Prefecture, under the stewardship of Mitoku Company's Yoshio and  Eriko Sogawa, both who suffered from serious illnesses and credit their recovery to eating a macrobiotic diet (6).     


To see the Kushi Store's selection of umeboshi plums and paste click here. 


ume vinegar 

Add Ume Vinegar 


This familiar ingredient in macrobiotic dishes is in fact not a true vinegar, but the brine strained from the fermenting umeboshi plums (7).  


Already containing sea salt, using umeboshi vinegar as a seasoning or creating your own home-made pickes often eliminates the use of  additional salt. The brine intensifies the color of red cabbage, beets, or red radishes beyond their normal hue to an electrifying, vivid fuchsia.     


Esteemed in 10th century Japan as a disinfectant due to its citric acidity, umeboshi has medicinal properties and its harmonious balance of yin and yang factors continue to be well recognized, and deemed outstanding for strengthening the intestines (8).   


To buy umeboshi vinegar from Kushi Store click here


Though you can use umeboshi plums, paste or vinegar on a regular basis, please remember even healthy products over-used can have detrimental effects. You only need a little umeboshi to experience the wonderful benefits. Due to the salt content. it is recommended to use only a quarter of a plum, 2 to 3 times per week, or a teaspoon of umeboshi vinegar as seasoning a few times a week. 



(3) Ushio, Moriyasu Dr., The Ume Plum's Secrets, Happiness Press, Magalia, CA,1988.  

(4) Ibid 

(5) www.mitoku.com/products/umeboshi/healthbenefits
(6) www.mitoku.com/products/umeboshi

(7) www. Edenfoods.com/faqs   

(8) Belleme, John & Jan, Japanese Foods that Heal, Tuttle, Rutland, Vt., 2007, 110.


Pickle Recipes  

from the Macrobiotic Certificate Program (Levels)   


 Cabbage, radish, cauliflower pickle


Quick Pickles
with Umeboshi Vinegar

  • ¼ head Chinese cabbage or green cabbage, cored and cut into thin shavings (option: use red cabbage instead) 
  • ½ stalk of celery, thinly sliced in half moons
  • red radish (thinly sliced), and/or cauliflower (in partial florets)
  • ¾ cup umeboshi vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • (optional) sliced onions or scallions as garnish  
  1. Place vegetables in large, clear, clean jar.
  2. In bowl, combine umeboshi vinegar with water.
  3. Pour this liquid over cut vegetables.
  4. Cover top of vegetables with a piece of cabbage so they are all below the liquid's surface.
  5. Cover the opening top of the jar with a small piece of cheesecloth and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours.
  6. After 24 hours remove some of the vegetables and serve up to 1 tablespoon per person per day, garnishing with onions or tops.
  7. Pickles can be stored 3-4 days in the refrigerator.


Ginger Pickles

Great for indigestion, grounding and warming    

  • ½ cup peeled, young, organic ginger, sliced in paper-thin rounds or in kinpira-stye slivers  
  • 2 tsp umeboshi vinegar
  • ½ tbs sea salt
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs + 1 tsp mirin or 1t rice syrup

1. Sprinkle salt on ginger slices and let sit 1-2 hours.

2. Drop slices into boiling water (without rinsing) to blanch quickly and drain well. 3. Mix remaining ingredients together, add to ginger and keep covered and refrigerated.   

4. Ready the following day. Will keep for several weeks. 

 PROGRAMS that can Change Your LIFE!   


WHICH Program is RIGHT for YOU? 


IF: You have a health challenge, or simply want to learn how powerful healing foods can bring you greater vitality and well-being:  

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 want to drop pounds and stay healthy, and release    emotional patterns that may be holding you back:

Healthy Weight Loss Week - Sunday to Saturday  

You are wishing to bond with other like-minded women, have a wonderful rejuvenating week, and explore your potential for health, creativity and empowerment:
Womens' Retreat- 

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

Choose from one week

to three months in a row 

Check out our exceptional fee discounts for the Macrobiotic Leadership Program. ONLY for programs starting April 15th, 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  

on Facebook 
 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 and Way To Health PLUS programs 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 these life-altering programs without Kushi Institute sponsorship with reduced-fee assistance.


We appreciate any size donation!  

Choose one method below to make you our 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
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 
Join Our Mailing List