I was born and bred in Philadelphia. It remains the place in
which I have chosen to live and work. These days when the average
person thinks of Philadelphia, what may come to mind are cheese
steaks, cream cheese, scrapple, Will Smith, and Rocky Balboa. But
look past these stereotypes and you will enter the arena of Ben
Franklin, of the Liberty Bell, of the Declaration of Independence,
and, in the modern age, of American macrobiotics. Historically,
Philadelphia is known as the birthplace of American democracy, the
place where a group of brilliant, idealistic, passionate, and
politically sophisticated men, known as our founding fathers,
gathered to turn their ideas, their intuitions and their dreams into
a new reality fit for the new world they hoped to build. It should
come as no surprise that, to this day, Philadelphia retains its
place as an incubator for new ideas, a place where intellectuals,
artists, politicians, writers, chefs, musicians, and dreamers still
gather. I am one of those dreamers.
I have been a macrobiotic counselor in Philadelphia since the 1970s.
I am one of the founders of American Macrobiotics. Since then I have
worked tirelessly to change the food narrative in this country by
moving us from a diet dependent primarily on animal and dairy food
to one based primarily on plants. Over the course of my forty-year
immersion in the principles and practices of the global macrobiotic
community, I have developed my own unique approach to macrobiotic
philosophy, healing and diagnostics.
Many of us know of macrobiotics solely as the healing, disease
curing diet that it is. Macrobiotics, however, is a far more
interesting and complex entity. It is a potent way of life that
engages body, mind and spirit. I teach that health is a direction,
not a fixed state of being, and that spiritual health is embodied in
the endless expression of gratitude for all of life. It is this
gratitude that propels us in the direction of mental, emotional and
physical health. We come to understand that health naturally craves
health so that as we develop habits that foster healthier choices,
choosing health becomes effortless and we gradually evolve into our
I founded the Strengthening Health Institute in 2002. The SHI is a
not-for-profit school born of my desire to teach people how to
create lasting health. Macrobiotics represents an orderly approach
to eating and living and the SHI is the place where we can learn at
our own pace to create the healthy habits that characterize this
orderly approach. Together with my wife Susan, we have introduced a
new, more open and flexible macrobiotics appropriate for today’s
I founded Essene Market & Cafe, the first health-foods store in
Philadelphia. In 1969, I began studying with Michio Kushi. In the early
80s, I gained international recognition by helping Dr. Anthony Sattilaro,
a respected physician and CEO of Philadelphia’s Methodist Hospital
recover from terminal prostate cancer. Dr. Sattilaro documented his
recovery in “Recalled By Life,” published in 1982.
In the 1980s I earned directorship of the Kushi Institute and the
Community Health Foundation in London, where I led the development of
public and professional educational programs in macrobiotics as well as
I have appeared most recently on television programs including “The
Incurables” and NBC. My first book published in 1997 entitled “10 Steps
To Strengthening Health” with Ruth Ann Flynn, lead to a 2002 publication
of the immensely accessible “The Great Life Diet.” In January 2015, an
updated and expanded edition will be published as “The Complete
In 1997, I founded The Strengthening Health Institute in Philadelphia.
The SHI, since 2002, continues to be an independent, non-profit school
that integrates my teaching with the work of other like-minded
Susan Waxman has been a macrobiotic teacher and counselor for sixteen years. As co-director of The Strengthening Health Institute (SHI) in Philadelphia, PA. SHI is a center dedicated to macrobiotic education, whose goal is the promotion of personal and planetary health. Susan has devoted herself to the advancement of the macrobiotic way of dietary health, exercise and life style.
Susan’s personal passion is the art of cooking. As executive chef of the Genmai Café she is widely recognized for her culinary expertise, as well as her understanding of the energetic properties of food. Susan’s innovative style and attention to detail shows through in the flavor and healing power of her food.
Susan has a BA in Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh. Before dedicating her life to macrobiotics, she worked in the field of Social Services, primarily with children and young adults.
In addition to sessions offered in Philadelphia, Susan also travels with her husband Denny Waxman offering seminars throughout the U.S. and Europe. Susan can be contacted at www.strengthenhealth.org