Every Cancer Has a Silver Lining

Posted on by Denny Waxman

I thought that everyone would be interested in this New York Times piece about Kris Carr and the rebuttal that Jeff Silberman wrote.

“Every Cancer Has a Silver Lining”

I was interested to read Mireille Silcoff’s article on Kris Carr in the New York Times magazine (8/14/11) as my wife had recently cured herself of breast cancer through her macrobiotic practice (medically documented) in roughly six months while being counseled by Denny Waxman, one of the foremost authorities on Macrobiotics, who has been counseling people to health for almost 40 years based upon a science that is almost 3,000 years old.

So I found it curious when Ms. Carr said that she “flirted” with Macrobiotics for a year, which by anybody’s standard is a long time to flirt (many people consummate and end relationships in that period of time), and to use the term “freakier” in the same sentence seemed both disingenuous and disrespectful. Rather than giving kudos to an ancient science and those dedicated practitioners who were happy to share this knowledge with her, she invents a “freaky” drink (almond butter, cucumber, romaine, kale, ginger and two pears?) or two as the cherry on top of a macrobiotic pie and sells the whole thing as her own invention.

Ms. Carr didn’t invent a plan from which to deal with her cancer all on her own. She enrolled in a year long program with Denny and Susan Waxman at their Strengthening Health Institute in Philadelphia. Before that she met with the Godfather of Macrobiotics, Michio Kushi, in Boston. She received macrobiotic counseling from Warren Kramer, ate macrobiotic food prepared by Kezia Snyder in New York City for 6 months (often the period of time it takes for the macrobiotic diet to rid the body of disease) and she was treated by Shiatsu practitioners Patrick Riley and David Sergel.

Ms. Carr interviewed and filmed Mr. Waxman on several occasions for her movie,”Crazy, Sexy Cancer”, but did not include any of his segments when he refused to sign a waiver which would prohibit him from any input on how his segments were edited.

While Ms. Carr is selling (very well I might add) her “sexy” cancer, she is doing so on the backs of those dedicated people who shared with her their time, skills, knowledge, wisdom and compassion and who brought her back from the abyss. She should know that gratitude and appreciation are also basic tenants of health and healing.


Jeff Silberman
Philadelphia PA

1 Comment | Tags: Adjusting Your Diet, Cancer, Macrobiotic Counseling, Macrobiotic Diet, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Macrobiotics, Macrobiotics and Medicine

Summertime and the living is easy

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Many thanks to the many artists who have covered “Summertime” for the inspiration behind this title. For a lot of us, living has not been easy in these past few months. Between the major Japanese earthquake and Fukushima nuclear disaster in March, ravaging tornadoes in northeast, central and southern United States, flooding of the Mississippi River, and the still uncertain economy, the spring season had its fair share of harsh moments. With the summer season almost upon us, we now have the opportunity to take a breather and enjoy a respite, but only if we know how to accurately adapt our diets and lifestyles to the seasonal change.

First, we must understand the energetic impact of this season. The energy of the year peaks in summertime. It is the most yang season, as evidenced by nature – as the energy of spring climbs upward into summer, tree and flower buds slowly grow and then explode into bloom. Our world has become luscious, green and alive overnight.

For most people, this strong, active energy necessitates in eating and living a little more yin and passively to stay in balance with the season and our environment. As always, consider your lifestyle as an individual and how it is best for you personally to adapt to this change in season, but in general:

Dishes need to be cooked less, and more light fresh dishes should be introduced into daily meals.
Enjoy all of the seasonal fresh vegetables and fruit that are commonly grown in your area.
Instead of adding oil early on in cooked dishes, add it at the end.
Avoid eating baked, fried, salty and animal food dishes.
Avoid overindulging in liquids and spices.
Be aware that summer is a sensitive time for both your heart and small intestines.
And make sure you eat at least one sea vegetable dish a week, particularly those using nori.

Overall, this is the time to let your condition get a little more expanded and flexible, but be careful about overdoing it – one easy way to keep your condition balanced in this season is to eat less, but still keep your mealtimes regular every day. “Regular meals regulate all of your body’s cycles — physical, emotional and mental. They make your energy and life more stable.” (From “The Great Life Diet”)

Imagine this season like its 9 Star Ki element – fire: Once a fire is ignited, as long as there is fuel to burn, it will keep its flame alive. Similarly, to produce and prosper in your own life, you do not have push that hard to see projects and relationships flourish this summer. Lay back and relax – allow the energy of the season to work for you.

Summer gives us the opportunity to develop the more peripheral yin aspects of our personalities. It’s also the easiest time to be supported personally by the energy of our environment and nature, so dream big and bring ideas into fruition. Maximize this opportunity by living simply and structured. “Order and structure are what give us vitality, adaptability and creativity, confidence and a zest for life.” (From “The Great Life Diet”)

And of course, take time to explore the outdoors and walk for at least 30 minutes every day. I like to say that walking is “the brown rice of physical activity” because it helps to keep the mind balanced and the body flexible.

I hope you will join me in having a wonderful summer. And please consider visiting us at the Strengthening Health Institute these next couple of months at one of our many programs or at our monthly potluck dinners. http://strengthenhealth.org

No Comments | Tags: 7 Steps, Adjusting Your Diet, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Macrobiotics

Crazy for coconut? Enjoy it – carefully

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Here are my comments about coconut oil in a recent article in the Phildelphia Daily News.

Crazy for coconut? Enjoy it – carefully
April 21, 2011|By Maria Zankey

Coconut Oil and Carrot Cake. DON’T FEEL too guilty as you crack open that coconut-cream Easter egg, though you might want to save half for later. After nearly two decades of being considered “forbidden” in a healthy diet, coconut and products made with it are being viewed in a new light by some scientists, health nuts and chefs.

Coconut – be it oil, meat, water or milk – has gone from being a cholesterol criminal to an antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal “super food.”

Monica Glass, dessert chef at 10 Arts Bistro & Lounge by Eric Ripert in the Ritz-Carlton, said she inadvertently stumbled upon coconut oil as a potential cooking fat when Googling cholesterol-friendly recipes about two years ago.

“Coconut oil was showing up in a lot of gluten-free recipes,” the West Chester native said. “Bad cholesterol runs in my family, so that was really my main reason for trying it.”

Now, Glass said, she frequently uses a tablespoon “here or there” while cooking at home – mainly in granola bars or her favorite gluten-free muffins. “It makes a very good substitute for sautéing carrots or other vegetables, mainly because it can be liquid or sit firmer like butter. If you use enough of it, you can definitely taste the coconut flavor in your baked goods.”

Glass said her next venture in the kitchen with coconut oil will be using it as a key ingredient to conquer a gluten-free pie or tart crust.

But neighbors haven’t been knocking on doors for a cup of coconut for very long.
The public uproar over coconuts, namely coconut oil, began in the mid-’80s when advertising campaigns funded by the American Soybean Association and the National Health Savers Association brought tropical oils’ high levels of saturated fats to light: 86 grams compared with just 36 grams in lard.

The tropical oils terror was further drawn out in the mid-’90s when the Center for Science in the Public Interest released data revealing that most movie theater concession stands popped their corn in coconut oil because of its ability to cook at a high temperature without smoking. A large tub of popcorn popped in coconut oil, the CSPI said, bulged with nearly 1,600 calories and four days’ worth of saturated fat, double that of a serving of fettuccine Alfredo.

But apparently, comparing oils and saturated fats can be like comparing apples and oranges. The refined coconut oil used in those movie theaters in the ’90s is not the same as the unprocessed virgin coconut oil found in health food stores today.

Coconut oil that has been hydrogenated, a process that makes liquid fats solid to increase shelf life, contains trans fats, which can compromise cardiovascular health, according to the American Dietetic Association.

While virgin coconut oil is trans-fat free, it contains high levels of saturated fat. But the saturated fats in coconut oil are composed of as much as 57 percent lauric acid, a component also found to be an immunity booster in breast milk. And while lauric acid saturated fats do raise overall cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins, it’s not significant enough to make an impact, according to a study released by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

In layman’s terms, coconut oil is perfectly safe to use in moderation but perhaps to replace other oils rather than being added to the diet.

Denny Waxman, who co-founded Philly natural food store Essene Market in 1969 and has since moved on to health counseling, has seen similar food “scares” and crazes come and go. His brother Howard Waxman owns the 4th Street store now.

“I just like to sit back and watch any time a new super food comes out,” Denny Waxman said. “We’re always looking for the next ‘wonder food,’ the next thing that’s going to transform us. Whatever it is, it never turns out to be what people thought it was.”

Waxman is a longtime practitioner of macrobiotics, a diet that suggests choosing foods indigenous to your or similar climactic zones yields maximum health benefits. So while Waxman prefers sesame and olive oil, he said, coconut oil is not the health villain it had been made out to be.

And for vegans or gluten-free dieters, coconut oil can be a miracle ingredient. With the ability to take on both liquid and solid states depending on its temperature, it’s been used to replace butter or other trans-fatty oils. It’s also appreciated for its nutty, sweetening flavor.

“The [dietary] purpose of oil is to make food more digestible, absorb minerals, fat-soluble vitamins and calcium,” Waxman said. “Cooking with oil steps up the ability to get more energy from food. But whether you’re using sesame or olive or coconut oil, we should use it more sparingly than liberally.”

No Comments | Tags: Adjusting Your Diet, Articles and Research, Macrobiotics

Concerns Surrounding Recent Events in Japan

Posted on by Denny Waxman

We at the SHI, including my wife, Susan and all of the staff, wish to extend our most sincere prayers of health and healing to the Japanese people, the land and the ocean that has been effected by the devastation of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima power plants.

With regard to the effect of the tragedy on imported macrobiotic staples, namely the quality of present and future Japanese miso, umeboshi, shoyu, wakame and other seaweeds, here are my thoughts. As of the earthquake on March 11th and the subsequent tsunami, nuclear meltdown and radiation release in Northeastern Japan, the most recent shipment of Japanese macrobiotic foods was already at sea before the earthquake hit, according to the suppliers of the SHI. The coming shipment is untainted but as far as future supplies are concerned, seaweed will be most effected by radiation fallout. If you have further concerns, please speak to your favored macrobiotic foods importer.

Shoyu is made in Sendai, as are some misos, such as Onozaki, and they take a long time to make. It takes eighteen months to make shoyu and two years for miso. Hatcho miso comes from Okazaki, nine hours southwest from Fukushima. Ryujin umeboshi plums come from Wakayama Prefecture in south-central Japan and so should remain unaffected. In the end, a big part of the quality of the product depends on the ingredients: wheat, soy beans, salt and waters, as well as the environment in which they are made. We will have to wait and see how the radiation settles, but for now, this might be a good time to start exploring American macrobiotic products, e.g. South River Miso, Miso Master Miso, Maine Coast Seaweed and California-made Umeboshi.

As for the plume of radiation headed for the west-coast of the United States, the radiation levels are very low and most likely will have dispersed to a non-threatening level, according to Scientific American on March 16, 2011. Maintaining a diet that includes brown rice, miso soup, moderate amounts of seaweed and adzuki beans are especially important for keeping blood quality strong. Seaweed also has the unique ability to bind with heavy metals, such as cesium, one of pollutants found in radioactive fallout. However, over-consumption of seaweed creates a mineral imbalance and could lead to thyroid problems and extreme weight loss, due to the high mineral content of sea vegetables.

I recommend an increase in sea vegetable consumption only in a case of heavy exposure to radioactive metals, and not otherwise. The current levels of radiation on the west-coast to not warrant increased seaweed.

In the case of heavy exposure to radioactive metals, foods to avoid include sugar, soft drinks, fruit, juices, chocolate and highly processed foods. It is also important to avoid extreme yang foods such as meat, chicken and eggs. Someone in Sendai or someone who has been exposed to the meltdown in or near Fukushima needs a simple diet of brown rice, adzuki beans, strong miso soup and a bit more seaweed, well cooked vegetables, such as nishimi and kinpira, and drink small amounts of kukicha tea as a beverage. It would also be imperative that all sugar, excess liquids and all extreme yin or yang be avoided.

People living on the west-coast of the United States should maintain a standard macrobiotic practice, making sure to include brown rice, miso soup, adzuki beans and a normal amount of sea vegetables, no more than usual, along with the usual variety of foods. I will keep you updated as more information becomes available.

With continued prayers for Japan,


No Comments | Tags: 7 Steps, Macrobiotic Diet, Macrobiotics, Uncategorized

Year In Dieting: Distraction, Noise Cause Overeating

Posted on by Denny Waxman

There seems to be no stopping America’s expanding waistline, even though diets work when you stick with them. So researchers have a new focus — not what’s going on in our bellies, but what’s going on in our brains. Read article and listen to the story.

No Comments | Tags: 7 Steps, Articles and Research, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Macrobiotics, Macrobiotics and Medicine

Macrobiotics in Florida and Transitioning to Spring

Posted on by Denny Waxman

This week we travelled to Jacksonville, Florida, at the invitation of Marlene Pendley. The group was international, four people from Venezuela and three from Bogota, Columbia. Susan taught two “international” cooking classes and I took these cultures into account in my lectures. It was a great success and very enjoyable.

Two of the students had just completed Anthony Robbins’ seminar, in which a vegan diet was promoted. The students felt our information complemented and refined that introduction very nicely.

We are already looking forward to returning to Florida.

Although it seems like the depth of winter now, the season turns on February fourth. Spring, and a new year, begin then. We can start to get ready in the next couple of weeks to slowly transition our diets. We can gradually lighten our diets, introducing more quick-cooked dishes and pulling back on baked, heavy and dense dishes.

A new group comes to the SHI for the CCP this week for our one-year certificate program. Again we are beginning in a snow storm, so this is an intrepid group. We hope to post a picture of the new class soon.

A reminder: There will be a macrobiotic dinner potluck at the SHI on March 5th. It is free of charge. Please bring a vegan macrobiotic dish to share. All are welcome.

No Comments | Tags: 7 Steps, Adjusting Your Diet, Articles and Research, Macrobiotics

Infertility Recovery Past 40

Posted on by Denny Waxman

At age 43, Nancy Wolfson-Moche wanted to conceive. She was not eligible for “hi-tech” fertility treatments (IVF) due to an elevated FSH level (which western medicine said was normal in a healthy 43-year-old woman). MD’s said the FSH level may fluctuate, but once it goes over 30 it is an indication that the eggs are too old and not viable to conceive a healthy baby. Nancy’s FSH level was as high as 38. Through a macrobiotic diet and lifestyle, and by following the recommendations of Denny Waxman, her FSH went from 38 to 6 over a 12 month period. Two months later she went on a trip around the world and conceived her first child, somewhere between Bhutan and southern Spain, at 44. She gave birth to a full-term, healthy baby girl at age 45. Her second daughter was born when she was 51. read article

1 Comment | Tags: Articles and Research, Macrobiotic Counseling, Macrobiotic Diet, Macrobiotics

Emotions and Blood Quality

Posted on by Denny Waxman

In macrobiotics we look at illness as a developmental progression. The first major stage, which is not really an illness itself in many cases, is our blood starting to become imbalanced. Our blood, which has hemoglobin, iron containing protein at the center, is important for maintaining our direction in life. When our blood quality is strong, it is easier to maintain a good direction. When our blood quality starts to become weaker, it is easier to lose our direction. Also, our sensitivity is affected. Once we have a disorder with our blood, which includes allergies and skin diseases, we become much more emotional than we were before and emotional sensitivity starts to change. We start to become more sensitive, overly sensitive, or start to lack sensitivity in certain areas. It can go from one extreme or the other.

From there, illness passes to the next level, emotional disorders. Here, emotional imbalances, which started on a previous level of blood, start to become more fixed or deeper. This then becomes our state of being, where we have free-floating fears or anxieties and become more depressive or angered. Our view of life or our approach to life starts at this point to be affected, in the area of so-called emotional disorders. Finally, from emotional disorders, we develop organ or gland problems. This is the area where most modern problems fall, heart disease as well as diabetes and chronic hypoglycemia. Intermittent hypoglycemia we can classify on the level of blood.

It is not by accident that emotions are between our blood quality and our organs or gland quality. Emotions play a kind of balancing or harmonizing role in our lives. We will look at this more next week.

2 Comments | Tags: Adjusting Your Diet, Diabetes, Macrobiotic Diet, Macrobiotics, Mental Health

Takashi Yoshikawa Memorial

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Denny Waxman and Takashi Yoshikawa

Denny Waxman and Takashi Yoshikawa

Takashi Yoshikawa passed away recently just before his 82nd birthday. Many of you may not know of him since he never practiced macrobiotics. However, he had a significant impact on our community as a personal advisor to, and teacher of, many people who actively practice macrobiotics. He is, perhaps, best known for his role over the years as the advisor to John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Boy George and Barry Manilow.

Mr. Yoshikawa had a profound impact on my life. He was my teacher, my mentor and my personal friend. He was like a father to me and very caring about my children. To my lasting happiness, he honored my marriage to Susan by attending our wedding. Susan’s grandmother, his senior by 11 years, referred to him as her guru. Whenever we saw her she asked how her guru was doing. Mr. Yoshikawa commanded admiration and respect from everyone with whom he crossed paths.

Takashi Yoshikawa was the world’s foremost authority on what he re-named 9 Ki or The Ki, as opposed to 9 Star Ki. He insisted that there were no stars, only stages of energy. He believed that 9 Star Ki and Four Pillars Chinese Astrology were unnecessarily complicated and set out on a quest to simplify and adapt these teachings to modern life without sacrificing either their wisdom or their meaning.

I first met Mr. Yoshikawa—I continued to use the formal mode of address even after many years of close friendship—around 1990. At that meeting I was as impressed by his appearance, stature, impeccable manners and social graces as I was by his penetrating insights into The Ki. I knew at once that I had met an extraordinary man. Over the years he guided me to an understanding of my own nature; he pointed me toward what I needed in order to develop further; he gave me invaluable and creative insights into the essential nature of each of my children, their strengths and weaknesses. With his help, I was able to be a better father.

He was an unusual advisor in that he would not give advice unless he felt he could guarantee the results. Often his advice was brutally honest and, of course, some clients were unhappy with what he told them. When I questioned him on the subject, he said, “I can’t lie. I have to tell my clients what I see and I recommend that you do the same.”

He told me once that, according to Four Pillars Chinese Astrology, he should not have had a good life. However, by studying and practicing The Ki, that is, by continuously gathering positive energy through good timing and movement, he was able to create a uniquely satisfying life. The few times that I was privileged to travel with him I was amazed to observe that everything went his way from the moment he arrived until the moment he left. For instance, on the second night of his visit to Portugal, he received an invitation to dinner at the home of Amalia Rodrigues, the most famous singer of Fado, the traditional Portuguese music. It was on a par with having dinner with the head of state of Portugal.

We were good friends almost from the beginning. In the first few years, he would often speak to me in Japanese. Though I could understand what he was saying, I had to explain to him that I couldn’t find the words to answer him in Japanese. He would then graciously revert to English.

Around that time, I asked if he would be willing to teach me his approach. He said that he was not a good teacher, but that if I asked him a specific question he would try to answer it. In the beginning he was very open and laid out this incredible framework for me. It turned out that my approach to macrobiotic counseling and to my recommendations was similar to his approach to the Ki. We both looked at things from a number of different angles. He told me he believed this to be the key to penetration and accuracy.

As time passed, there were questions he wouldn’t answer yet, at other times, he would tell me things I had never thought to ask about but that always added another dimension to my understanding. Certain things he refused to tell me. He said that his teacher had refused to tell him and he, in turn, wouldn’t tell me, but often he would point me in a direction to discover the answer. He said that it was because his teacher wouldn’t answer some of his most important questions that he was able to develop his own approach and unique interpretation of 9 Ki. He encouraged me to develop my own interpretation as well. When I asked him about my new discoveries he usually said no, that’s not right, thus forcing me to try to penetrate the Ki even more deeply!

In all the years I knew him, I disagreed with his advice only once. A friend came to see me about someone she had met. She was not completely sure of his date of birth. I told her that without knowing it I couldn’t really advise her but I had a strong feeling that he was not the one for her and I told her to be careful. Later, having learned his date of birth, she went to see Mr. Yoshikawa. He told her that this man was the one for her, that they were a perfect combination. The next time I saw Mr. Yoshikawa he said to me, “Don’t tell people your feelings, just analyze the numbers.” He told me that when he was young he had indeed used his intuition but that now he just analyzed the numbers. I didn’t completely believe him because, on many occasions, I had experienced his powerful intuition. I learned later that the relationship hadn’t worked out, that, in fact, the man had lied about his birthday to my friend.

Even though a couple of months have passed since he left us, I find it hard to believe that Mr. Yoshikawa is gone. He now seems bigger than life. Takashi Yoshikawa was one of those vivid people who inspired awe and wonder about the nature of life itself. I know he will live on in the hearts of all of us who loved him.

Susan Waxman and Takashi Yoshikawa

Susan Waxman and Takashi Yoshikawa

1 Comment | Tags: Macrobiotics, Uncategorized

7 Requirements To Change Sickness Into Health

Posted on by Denny Waxman

1. Cultivate your will and desire to live

Having the will and desire to live is primary and essential to avoiding premature death, be it by accident, sickness or any other method. The desired life that I am talking about here is not the normal day to day living that most people do. I am talking about living an extraordinary life full of passion such that you look forward to and are happy to wake up to every single morning. READ ARTICLE

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