Recommendations for PMS

Posted on by Denny Waxman

PMS is part of a cycle of hormones–expansions and contractions. Being aware of where you are in your cycle, what you’re eating and how you’re feeling as a result can guide you with managing PMS.

 During ovulation, hormones are causing contractions to release an egg.

The other half of the cycle, hormones are building and preparing for the shedding of the uterine lining. When there is an imbalance during the building process, it is largely related to eating foods which interfere with the hormones being produced and secreted.

 

Animal and dairy products interfere as do baked, toasted and salty foods. Non-animal dense protein such as seitan does as well. Over indulgence in sugar, alcohol and chocolate at this time interferes too, despite possible heavy cravings. Cravings(to be discussed in a future post) are sometimes the expression of the cause of our discomfort.

 

Try this regiment in your cycle and see if any of the symptoms associated with PMS are quelled. If results are not immediate, it may take two or three cycles to notice the effects as the body adjusts.

4-5 days before the onset of shedding, eliminate the above foods and focus on foods that are light and refreshing such as:

                        -boiled grains and pasta

-salads, steamed or lightly cooked greens and vegetables

  -light proteins such as beans

-fruits and mild sweets(malted barley, brown rice)

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The China Study and Macrobiotics

Posted on by Denny Waxman

American society has a general notion that we are neither in control of our genes nor the environmental factors which cause disease. Under this assumption, many may be throwing up their hands and wondering: What’s the use of trying to prevent disease when it is inevitable?

 

A current medical assumption is that early detection of a disease in fact prevents disease from killing us. But does it? Unfortunately, this approach in western medicine does not save lives. In my experience, it merely prolongs life of lower quality. A nutritional biochemist, who I both admire and follow, by the name of T. Colin Campbell authored The China Study in 2005, explicating discoveries that could alter our way of life.

 

Two points(there are many!) contained in the book are ones I would like to relay to you most as they give evidence contrary to the current American diet and furthermore provide scientific support for the practice of a macrobiotic way of eating.

 1. Diet can cause, or reverse, the majority of contemporary degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Epigenetics is the study of genetic expression, that is the study of mechanisms outside of our DNA that can cause a particular gene to express itself. The genetic propensity an individual has for a particular disease can, on a chemical level, be “turned on” or “kept off”. How can we control the expression of our genes?

Hopefully, you guessed that we have an enormous amount of personal control with our diets. The China Study proposes that although cancer is a result of many things, including toxic external environmental influences, the cancer gene that we may have in our DNA is likely to be “turned on” as a result of what we eat.

T. Colin Campbell made this discovery through experiments involving rats and the dairy protein casein, concluding that it was a very prevalent and potent carcinogen in our society. When animal and dairy protein comprises 10% or more of our diets, our genetic markers for cancer activate. When our intake of those proteins falls below 10%, those same markers deactivate.

 2. Eating whole foods facilitates the absorption of nutrients, not isolated dietary supplements.

Mr. Campbell’s research shows that while taking a dietary supplement may have an unpredictable effect, a whole food works within the body to foster a better environment in which to absorb nutrients. In the book, he uses a case involving beta-carotene and Vitamin A in relation to lung cancer. It was discovered previously that people with higher levels of these nutrients in their blood were less likely to develop lung cancer, even if they were smokers. The results of a controlled experiment involving supplements with these nutrients shocked many.

Those taking the supplements actually developed lung cancer at a higher rate. This is because we cannot assume to know how the body will take in and distribute nutrients because the body takes care of itself in a healthy digestive system. The conclusion was that when integrating particular vitamins and minerals into one’s diet, a whole food(an example being a vegetable or whole grain) must be eaten to ensure the healthy, balanced absorption of nutrients.

 

 

A conclusion of The China Study is to transition to a whole food, plant-based diet.  It is rare to see mainstream nutritional research promote such healthy habits. T. Colin Campbell’s contribution to the evidence of the efficacy and healthiness of a plant based diet gives so much credence to macrobiotics. Whereas science and research can offer proof or conclude something, there isn’t much in the book guiding people or offering methods of how to switch or change diet and lifestyle.

 

I find it is here where his research and my life work complement each other. If I can’t provide the evidence on why our current diet standards are so imbalanced and unhealthy, The China Study does. And if The China Study does not offer suggestions or guidance to a reader about eating healthy or practicing a healthy lifestyle, I can.

 

As contemporary society, we have a lot to be thankful for and a lot that we have inherited, both culturally and genetically. We have the developments and technologies of modern science that has greatly informed and changed our methods of observing the world around us. We also have a cultural history that spans at least 10,000 years around the globe, which also includes a vast knowledge and history of practicing health, mindfulness and awareness. It behooves me in my own practice to honor the insights given to us by the past as well as to integrate and utilize the techniques that technology offers to insure our health for both today and future generations.

I am interested in hearing your opinions and responses on this topic.

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Trip to Taipei

Posted on by Denny Waxman

The trip to Taipei with Susan was a nice blend of research, vacation and adventure. The adventure began with the flight, when we tried to leave for San Francisco on July 10th; our flight was delayed due to the crash on July 6th– only one runway operational. We were originally supposed to layover at the Tokyo Narita airport, but ended up spending a night there because there was a typhoon. The typhoon was actually a blessing because it cleared the air of the oppressive heat. Imagine our surprise as we were threatened by another typhoon just as we were scheduled to leave! It seemed before the trip started, we were receiving omens, and even as we were departing, the violent storms of the season ruled the roost over the airport. But, they were no omens at all, just the endless joy of trying to get somewhere that is far away.

 

Our view from The Grand Hotel

Our view from The Grand Hotel

We did not stay in the city center, but at The Grand Hotel, in an area analogous to the suburbs here. It is very tropical and humid in Taiwan and the cuisine there reflects that. The leisurely part of our visit and the beautiful hospitality of our hosts made this trip memorable and exciting in learning more about applying macrobiotics internationally. Susan and I enjoyed frequent strolls through the neighborhood and the Night Market and took most of our meals around the area. I can say that although all of the markings of contemporary western diets are prevalent in Taipei—such as McDonald’s and Starbucks, as well as trends favoring meat heavy meals– we experienced some amazing traditional and contemporary cuisine. Furthermore, I observed that eating in a macrobiotic way comes more naturally in Taipei due to the availability of food and the cultural component of a Taiwanese diet.

A humid diet enjoys humid food because the foods insulate you from the environment. For instance, many of the sauteed items had a juicy and watery broth consistency to them. An enormous and outstanding vegetarian buffet offered at our hotel gave us ideas of the range of food, which included many rice and noodle dishes. One day, we breakfasted on rice porridge and oatmeal was often present. I found the oatmeal as quite satisfying and complementary to the climate.

Soups were also included with every meal, not necessarily soy based. We enjoyed noodle and vegetable soups alike. Most dishes prepared in the places we visited used pork fat or vegetable oil; our hosts were vigilant with helping us avoid dishes with pork fat. We tried to find Taiwan’s analogues to common American vegetables and found an array of leafy vegetables. Common staples included scallions, bok choy and watercress; I also remember sweet potato leaves and many types of cabbage. Other vegetables included sweet potato, taro potato, jinenjo(or mountain potato) potato and burdock. When we left, we were given a snack of steamed buns, stuffed with cabbage that were absolutely delicious and could keep for up to two days. We took these with us when we were traveling as well. Of course, there was a lot of fish and shellfish, but there was also warm unsweetened soymilk served with breakfast, not to mention tofu and seitan.

The Night Market

The Night Market

 

The Night Market was where we had to avoid eating. Young people spend much time at the Night Market and the smell of the oils in the food served there was too much. It was nice being a part of the throngs of people that came to the markets, and we spent much time perusing the strange objects we came upon.

Overall, Taipei was a peaceful place for us, save for the zooming scooters that seemed to abide by their own logic! We got to slow down, spend time with our client and each other, and delight in a place and climate where the macrobiotic diet is as natural to practice as is putting on shoes in the morning.

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Causes and Treatments of Allergies

Posted on by Denny Waxman

We hear about allergies often:  casual conversation, the media, and conversation with our doctors.  Although many people are aware of the wide variety of allergies, we still have a misunderstanding as to why they occur.

What is our body trying to tell us?

While allergies are often thought of as something we can not change about ourselves, they are really the body’s attempt to move in the direction of health. Allergies signify a chronic imbalance in our diet and activity level. When our bodies become too overloaded, we can not detoxify or eliminate the excess waste.

In macrobiotics, allergies are considered a blood related issue. What this means is that if our blood chemistry is compromised, we then become more susceptible to experiencing allergies. From my time as a counselor, people with exaggerated emotional sensitivities tend to become more prone to allergies as well. This concept can be linked to the Chinese association that water represents emotion. As blood is mostly aqueous, blood is ruled by water and in turn, affected by our emotional behaviors(and consequently our eating habits as our emotions affect them). A problem with our flow of emotion could in turn cause a a compromise in our blood chemistry.  In order to promote health and prevent allergies, we need an ongoing way to monitor our body’s responses and inputs to somehow create more helathful responses to our food and environment.

 

Allergies are results of imbalances, but what is it about our environment and food that have made our bodies so vulnerable? A major contributing factor is our modern diets. The underlying cause of almost all allergies is an influx of dairy product and fructose. Since the 1980’s nearly all manufactured food has switched from containing natural sugars to the cheaper alternative of high fructose corn syrup. Other leading causes include a diet high in animal-based foods and also the increase of GMO’s, or genetically modified organisms. Other common food allergies include yeast, gluten and soy.  A person that suffers from allergies knows that when we lose the ability to connect with the environment, we lose the ability to properly nourish ourselves.  Our life becomes limited.

 

If you develop a systematic approach, you can overcome allergies. To start, practice a macrobiotic diet that reintroduces natural food so that you can keep track of the irritants.  Begin on a strictly grain and plant-based diet, and as other foods are added one at a time, monitor your body’s reaction.  This requires writing it down.  If you have a strong symptom, chances are you should eliminate the food and try again after a month of eating as a macrobiotic.

 

In order to strengthen the lymph system and digestive organs, replace unhealthy food with these choices:

Millet

Miso soup (every day!)

Saute vegetables with sesame or olive oil

Quick steamed greens (every day!)

Unpasteurized sauerkraut and other naturally fermented foods

 

Another helpful strategy for allergy relief is through the skin and importantly, through the feet.  These parts of us help to flush toxins if you do the right things:

Make a habit of using hot water with a handful of table salt mixed in to soak the feet for 5 to 10 minutes before you go to bed

Rub your body with a wet wash cloth every day, outside of the shower or bath

 

Allergies are warning signs. The same substances and behaviors causing allergies can lead to the development of a more serious degenerative disease.

Please, monitor your allergies and practice these suggestions to improve your relationship with the body’s natural response mechanisms.

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Our Trip to Taiwan

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Susan and I are on our way to Taipei, Taiwan at the invitation of our client. We will be there for about a week to support her on her journey back to health.

We are also going to explore new foods and cooking styles. This will help us to further understand the application of our macrobiotic principles in tropical environments. So many of the vegetables and other foods she has described are so different from the ones we are using to here.

Over the years I had the chance to offer seminars and counseling in many countries, both east and west, north and south. These travels and experiences helped me develop my understanding of the best practice of macrobiotics in each of these regions. Now this opportunity to visit Taiwan will further help Susan and I make our approach to macrobiotics truly international.

We look forward to reporting on our new adventure after we return. Please also check out Susan’s latest travel blog.

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

Breast Cancer Risk Factors

Posted on by Denny Waxman

I’ve written two blogs about breast cancer, both describing what things to do in order to greatly decrease your risk of developing it.  In Shining Light on Breast Cancer Prevention, I explained what lifestyle habits to practice, and in Pertinent Info. about your Health and Breast Cancer, I correlated the spiritual, emotional, and physical factors that contribute to the start of breast cancer.  Today I am giving you the Top 5 Risk Factors in conclusion.  Now you have more concrete tools in working towards avoiding breast cancer:

Top Five Risk Factors:

1) Irregular Menstruation & Constipation or Irregular Bowel Movements

Most women with breast cancer have either or both of these issues.  When the body cannot eliminate excess and detoxify through the kidneys, intestines or reproductive organs, this accumulation may try to eliminate through the lungs or breast.  This can set the stage for the development of cancer. Cancer can be developed through deficiency as well as excess.  To be safe from breast cancer, keep your cycles in your ovaries and bowels on a healthy schedule.

2) Eating Dairy Foods (especially with refined sugar)

Eating diary, and I’m emphasizing yogurt because I see that many people overeat yogurt.  According to Colin Campbell, casein, which is dairy protein, is one of the most potent carcinogens on the planet.

3) Excessive Emotions

The heart chakra regulates energy metabolism and circulation in the chest region.  Excessive emotion creates a pathway for inflammation.  This inflammation can be manifested in the development of cancer.

4) Lack of Emotional Expression

Since the heart chakra regulates energy, when someone shuts down due to grief, loss, and depression allows stagnation to build up in the area.  A person cannot express how they feel, therefore they cannot renew the energy locked up in their chest region.

5) Not walking outside regularly

Walking helps because it settles strengthens digestion, calms the nervous system and rebalances the body on many levels.

If you show signs of these risks factors and harbor deep concern about developing breast cancer, I can help.  Please set up a consultation with me so that I can show you how to dampen your fear of this disease.

DennyWaxman@dennywaxman.com

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Some Photos of our trip. Enjoy :)

Posted on by Denny Waxman

DennySeattleSusanSwaseySusan Seattle DennyandNatashaDennySign Boats CookingClass Food

Photo Credits to my vibrant wife: Susan Waxman.

Again, we appreciate the chance to meet and work with all of you this past month.  Please keep in touch and we hope to see you soon at SHI.

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Sharing the good news of Macrobiotics!

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Susan and I just returned from a trip to San Diego and Seattle. It was my first time in both cities. People have told me that San Diego has a similar relationship to LA as Philadelphia to New York.  I was totally able to relate to this analogy, well except for the beaches and weather of course.

 

In San Diego we got a chance to visit and stay with our two daughters who live there, Natasha and Madeline and our future son-in-law Ivan. That was actually our inspiration for planning our first West coast teaching and counseling tour in years. We had a number of meals and held our classes and counseling at the San Diego Casa de Luz, a macrobiotic restaurant and educational center. We had been to the original Casa de Luz in Austin in the past and it was fun to see their expansion.  A big THANK YOU! goes to Kathy Swasey for her generosity, kindness, and friendship in helping Susan and me.  The trip would not have been the success it was without you.

 

We also had a chance meet and renew some friendships. Gordon Saxe, M.D. is a long-time friend from Baltimore originally. He heads an Integrative Medical Center at UCSD. They have great plans for spreading macrobiotic education and practice. Gordon’s project is truly groundbreaking. As far as I know it is the only hospital based Integrative Medical center based on macrobiotic principles. I was very happy to learn from Gordon the effect that I and macrobiotics had on his medical career. It was also good to reminisce about the Mid-Atlantic Summer Camp that ended in the mid eighty’s.

 

We also had a chance to meet with Jean Richardson, the owner of Gold Mine Natural Foods. It was great to see that she and her business are doing well. Jean also sponsored nine of her employees to attend my lectures and Susan cooking classes. It was rewarding to see a business owner sponsor macrobiotic education for her employees. Jennie, Jean’s daughter assisted Susan in her cooking class and took extensive photos.

 

Our next stop was Seattle, a truly beautiful city. We were totally inspired by the natural beauty within and around Seattle. They told us not to tell anyone that we didn’t see a drop of rain while we were there. I came back with a tan! We were sponsored by our good friends Sophie and Pavel Dolezel in three lectures, two cooking classes, and a packed counseling schedule. We also had a chance to reconnect with some old friends.

 

This was an amazing trip for us to see new cities, make many new friends, and to spread our open and adaptable style of macrobiotic practice. I am excited to see many new people at our seminars at the Strengthening Health Institute.

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Pertinent Info about your Health and Breast Cancer

Posted on by Denny Waxman

In my last post, I was trying to help others understand about Macrobiotics and disease.  The recent news of Angelina Jolie’s preventive double mastectomy concerned me because women look to her and could repeat this procedure.  I hope that someday everyone can understand that there is another way to prevent disease, especially breast cancer.  I see illness as direction, rather than a static state.  Diet and lifestyle lead us towards health or sickness, and as we can see, the modern diet and lifestyle together lead the majority of our population towards sickness.  Breast cancer is becoming an epidemic and effecting younger and younger women, and the same is true for diabetes.  I believe the answer is our open and flexible approach to Macrobiotics, as a lifestyle, not just a dietary change.

Most people who develop serious illness have already made an attempt to improve their diet and lifestyle, which makes it even more shocking that they end up with disease.  I often have the opposite opinion as the mainstream on how behaviors and food contribute to health, and how to prevent problems.  Just about all cancer relates to our diet.  Cancer may lie in our DNA, but it will not activate or express itself unless we tell it to with our diet and lifestyle.  We have the power to increase health IF we know what to do.

Breast cancer is another result of deteriorating health.  From my research and experience, I have listed below what factors contribute to illness in the breast.

Physical Factors:

Irregular menstruation and digestive issues including irregular bowels, indigestion, constipation, and irregular periods.  When we have a healthy hormonal balance, we will eliminate effectively through urination and our bowel movements, and women through menstruation.  In oriental medicine, our body is seen as complimentary systems.  The intestines are complimentary to the lungs (and the breasts).  This is the connection between bowel health and breast cancer.  Making sure that these two systems eliminate excess promotes a positive direction for breast health.

Emotional and Spiritual Factors:

The heart chakra is our center of emotion.  We give and receive feelings from a passionate center in our chest.  Too much passion can be dangerous as well as the lack of emotion and the inability to create expression.  Both can create stagnation and difficulty connecting to emotions.  Many people, especially women, perform their lives under high stress because they do not live a lifestyle that allows for healthy limits of passion.  When we operate on stress, we move in the direction of disease, which can manifest in our body as breast cancer.  When I think about this spiritually, I think of breast cancer as a disease of excess located in the fourth chakra.  Since this is our center of passion, I don’t find it difficult to draw the connection that most of my breast cancer clients tend to over nurture others.

 OK- What can we do about it?

Regular meals are crucial to maintain regularity in the body.  Try to sit down and eat at regular times.  Please stop what you’re doing to allow space for self-reflection.  Eating can help us to readjust our minds in the same way that meditation allows us to create space and become more open.  Also of immense importance: WALK OUTSIDE.  It settles the energy down, balancing both sides of our body, and creating healing vibration through the reproductive and digestive organs.  Spiritually, a steady and comfortable walk allows us to eliminate any energy imbalance we harbor inside.

Other tips: Try rolling a ball on the bottom of your foot and walking barefoot through the grass.  If you can, take a stroll at the edge of the ocean just where the sand and ocean meet.  These habits further allow us to settle our energy down and eliminate what we don’t use.

 *Please remember that if you do the right things for health, your body will naturally respond with health.  This is where a practical understanding of diet, lifestyle, and health becomes important.  Regular meals and walking needs to be an active member is your team of healthcare modalities.

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Upcoming Trips! San Diego & Seattle

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Susan and I will be visiting San Diego and Seattle next week to spread the word on our unique approach to macrobiotics. In teaching about the openness of macrobiotics, we are giving people the best tools to use to maintain healthy bodies and emotions.

I’m also very excited to visit two of my daughters who live in San Diego and see two good friends in Seattle.

In San Diego, I will be at Casa de Luz in at 2920 University Ave on June 4-6, offering two lectures:

Tuesday, June 4th at 6-7:30pm on my book The Great Life Diet (FREE)

Wednesday, June 5th from 6-9pm on Hypoglycemia. This lecture includes a cooking class by Susan from 6-8 on how to make Delicious Summer Salads ($75).

Casa de Luz is an awesome organization, and I’m proud to be working with them. They emphasize macrobiotics and teaching about health.

We’re then moving north to Seattle from June 7-9, hosted by Sophie and Pavel Dolezel. The schedule for Seattle has the same lectures, but with one addition to include health and families.

Friday, June 7th at 6pm on The Great Life Diet at Lake Hills Library in Bellevue, WA. (FREE)

Saturday, June 8th on Hypoglycemia at 10:30am to 3pmat 21 Acres in Woodinville, WA. This lectures includes a catered lunch and a cooking class by Susan on balanced everyday dishes ($70).

Sunday, June 10:30am to 3pm on Family, Health, and Vibrant Children at 21 Acres. This class includes a cooking class on quick family dishes ($70).

We’re looking forward to the travel, but most importantly eager to share our findings and approach to macrobiotics with interested people.

Please Contact me at DennyWaxman@DennyWaxman.com if you’re in the area and would like to schedule a consultation.

 

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