Did He or Didn’t He? Steve Jobs and Macrobiotics

Posted on by Denny Waxman

In a recent 60 Minutes interview, Walter Isaacson claimed that Steve Jobs tried to heal himself through alternative healing practices, including “various ways of doing it macrobiotically.” As a macrobiotic teacher and counselor for 40 years, I was disturbed by the light in which macrobiotics was presented in this segment. Furthermore, it does not seem that Steve Jobs’ diet or lifestyle were reflective of a macrobiotic practice.
Introduced to the United States by George Ohsawa and Michio Kushi, and advanced by people like myself, macrobiotics has its roots in traditional Oriental medicine. It is an ever-evolving orderly approach to diet and lifestyle, which does not preclude the use of Western medicine. Macrobiotics is not opposed to surgery or other medical treatments when necessary. Unfortunately, there are many diets that claim to have the efficacy of macrobiotics, but show a true lack of understanding of macrobiotic principles, and therefore often fail. I disagree with Isaacson’s use of the adjective “macrobiotic” in describing Steve Jobs’ diet, as there is no evidence that Steve Jobs sought macrobiotic counseling or practiced a macrobiotic lifestyle.
It is reported that Dr. Dean Ornish advised Mr. Jobs during his illness. While I applaud Dr. Ornish for his holistic approach to health, which includes a low-fat, mostly vegan diet and regular exercise, his plan is not the same as a macrobiotic approach. Macrobiotics is similar to the Ornish plan in that one eats brown rice and vegetables in both diets. However, there are many differences beyond that.

To properly heal oneself of a terminal illness through macrobiotic practice, one must take responsibility for one’s own health, learn the principles, and adapt one’s diet and lifestyle to allow healing to take place. There are no short cuts and everyone has to discover their own path to health. It is also extremely important to seek the guidance of an experienced macrobiotic counselor who will be able to understand your health condition and make proper recommendations.

Regardless of the path chosen, there are no guarantees, and so for Mr. Isaacson to imply that Mr. Jobs would still be alive had he chosen surgery earlier is pure speculation for which there is little or no basis.

Steve Jobs decided on a course of healing that ultimately failed him. Macrobiotics however, did not, as he neither studied nor practiced it.

No Comments | Tags: Adjusting Your Diet, Events, Macrobiotic Diet, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Macrobiotics, Macrobiotics and Medicine, Press

More On Japan

Posted on by Denny Waxman

This week I want to share my thoughts on the question of Imported food from Japan following the disaster as well as some thoughts on the direction Macrobiotics would do well to go in now.

Regarding Japanese food and radiation, it seems to be worse than we thought. No-one knows how long this will go on or how bad it will get. I am sure that the major macrobiotic food companies will keep us updated on the situation and availability of macrobiotic foods.

Before the disaster in Japan, we at SHI chose for the April Advanced Training Seminar the topic of Adapting Macrobiotics to World Traditions. It is time to honor all of the world’s longstanding cultures and their uniqueness of the cuisines, including but not limited to Japan. Though it is difficult to touch the flexibility and adaptability of Japanese foods, such as miso, umeboshi and shoyu, there are also unique additions from other world cultures. Hopefully, new sources will appear for some Japanese foods. The nature of macrobiotics enables us to embrace and honor European, Middle Eastern and Indian food, among many other kinds.

I, personally, set out several years ago to explore sea vegetables from the coast of Maine, Now more than ever it is time to support and nourish local industry and common traditions.

But just as in Strengthening Health Macrobiotics, it is what we do, not what we don’t do, which brings health, here again we can add the understanding and principles of traditional foods from many cultures, not only Japan. This will only strengthen macrobiotic practice. We can keep asking, “What can we add?” so as not to be exclusive. At the same time, we are endlessly grateful for all that we receive and have received from Japan.

No Comments | Tags: Adjusting Your Diet, Press

New at SHI

Posted on by Denny Waxman

We have a new employee at the SHI. We are very pleased to welcome Briel Driscoll, a recent graduate of Temple University. Briel has been working and volunteering here for a while and now will be working with Susan and I and with Garrett, in the office. 

As her first project, Briel introduces the SHI monthly potluck. These will be held on the first Saturday of every month, beginning Saturday, March 5th. They will start at five-thirty and end at nine-thirty. Please bring a macrobiotic, vegan dish to share and some friends. This event is free.

Other new activities will be introduced before long. 

We began a Strengthening Health Intensive yesterday, for intrepid students who don’t mind the snowstorm.

January 21-24, in Jacksonville, Florida, we will be giving a seminar and cooking classes. These are sponsored by Marlene Pendley, a graduate of the CCP. 

As for our house: nabe is always delicious in a snowstorm!

No Comments | Tags: Macrobiotic Diet, Press, SHI Happenings

Susan Waxman makes healthy organic snacks for the cast of Standing Ovation

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Please visit the Standing Ovation movie website for more information on the film.

No Comments | Tags: Macrobiotic Diet, Press, SHI Happenings

The Rise Of The Power Vegans

Posted on by Denny Waxman

It used to be easy for moguls to flaunt their power. All they had to do was renovate the chalet in St. Moritz, buy the latest Gulfstream (GD) jet, lay off 5,000 employees, or marry a much younger Asian woman. By now, though, they’ve used up all the easy ways to distinguish themselves from the rest of us–which may be why a growing number of America’s most powerful bosses have become vegan. Steve Wynn, Mort Zuckerman, Russell Simmons, and Bill Clinton are now using tempeh to assert their superiority. As are Ford Executive Chairman of the Board Bill Ford (F), Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, venture capitalist Joi Ito, Whole Foods Market (WFMI) Chief Executive Officer John Mackey, and Mike Tyson. Yes, Mike Tyson, a man who once chewed on human ear, is now vegan. His dietary habit isn’t nearly as impressive as that of Alec Baldwin, though, who has found a way to be both vegan and fat at the same time.
Read article

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Anorexia and Bulimia

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Christina Campion suffered from chronic alternating anorexia and bulimia throughout her entire life. By age 30, at 5′ 7″ and weighing only 75lbs, it was clear to her that she had to change her life drastically if she were to stay alive. She went to see various Macrobiotic counselors in the US and in the UK but their guidance did not seem to help her.

Christina finally had the good fortune to meet renowned Senior Macrobiotic Counselor, Denny Waxman, on one of his trips to London. Denny was the first counselor to accurately diagnose her condition of Hypoglycemia. read article and listen to audio

No Comments | Tags: Articles and Research, Macrobiotic Counseling, Macrobiotic Diet, Press, Weight

Standing Ovation

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Check out Standing Ovation! It was made at the Jersey shore and Susan provided macrobiotic snacks and lunches for the cast and crew.

Through original songs and dance numbers, Standing Ovation delivers an optimistic tale of perseverance and passion that inspires the American dream in all of us. The film showcases a talented cast of kids as they learn the importance of friendship and family on a journey to fulfilling their dreams.

Read more about Susan and Denny Waxman with executive producer James Brolin on the set of the film “Standing Ovation.”

Standing Ovation

No Comments | Tags: Events, Macrobiotic Diet, Press, SHI Happenings

Susan and Denny Waxman with James Brolin

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Denny and Susan Waxman with James BrolinSusan and Denny with James Brolin, (Executive Producer) on the set of the film “Standing Ovation” which was shot in Philly, New York and New Jersey. Susan prepared macrobiotic meals and snacks for the Hollywood cast and crew while they were in the area. The crew of the film, which includes many young rising stars, wanted healthy food and Diane and Susan fulfilled this request with flair and life-giving energy. When you see the movie you’ll know how important that energy was.

Film Producer Diane Kirman and Director Stewart Raffill were knowledgeable about macrobiotics and its health enhancing benefits from Denny and Susan helping their father overcome vocal cord cancer in the past. Susan continues to cater for Diane and her parents in Cape May and Denny still supports them in macrobiotic counseling.

No Comments | Tags: Events, Macrobiotic Diet, Macrobiotics, Press, SHI Happenings

Dear Al Gore

Posted on by Denny Waxman

June 4, 2006

Dear Al Gore,

As a fellow baby boomer, I am writing you because I believe we have something very important in common, deep concern over the future of our planet. I hope you will take time to read and consider this letter.

As I watched your film, An Inconvenient Truth, I felt that our lives, thoughts and experiences have paralleled each other in so many ways, yet our paths have been very different. When you know a truth and can see the future with precision and this truth falls on deaf ears, even though it is presented clearly, accurately and logically, it is a frustration so deep and strong that it cannot be voiced. You almost lost your son and it changed the way you see and experience life. I lost my son, at almost age thirteen, and it changed my life forever. We both know that what we hold dear cannot be taken for granted.

When you compared gold and our planet I felt as if the same words have come out of my mouth many times. It is evident that if our planet becomes uninhabitable, money and power are useless, except for those who have it for a short period of time. Is not the same also true about individual health? What if we manage to save the environment and people of the world are not healthy enough to enjoy it and live naturally?

The crisis at hand is two-fold, personal and planetary health. These two are inseparable because one reflects the other. Healthy people want a healthy world and value health and life over all else.

I admire your determination and tenacity to take your message from state to state and person to person. This is the story of my life as well. My focus, since I was seventeen, has been to educate people on how to create lasting health through a natural diet and lifestyle. This lifestyle supports communities, local economies and ecological systems. It is the least polluting and destructive way of life for our environment. I have spent most of my life traveling and teaching these principles here in the US and throughout Europe. I know firsthand how information can be withheld and twisted in the media.

If you have an interest in discussing how we can help each other and work together to better achieve our common goals, I would be honored to meet with you at the time and place of your choosing. A two-sided approach of personal and planetary health is the most effective and dynamic way of creating change.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

With deep respect and wishing you the greatest success in your endeavors,

Denny Waxman

No Comments | Tags: Adjusting Your Diet, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Press