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.

2 Comments | Tags: Cancer, Uncategorized

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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Shining Light on Breast Cancer Prevention

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Dr. John McDougall recently posted a blog about Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy.  Immediately after reading, I was so inspired to elaborate on some of his ideas.  I admire Dr. McDougall because he presents research in understandable terms, but in experience with my clients I have seen that there are other necessary dietary recommendations that he failed to elaborate upon.  He is rightfully one of the medical superstars in our popular culture.

I am aligned with him in thinking that although problems such as breast cancer are large and terrifying, and the solution can be far less difficult and far more enjoyable than it seems.  My experience, through my business as a healthcare practitioner, is that health is natural.  The body wants to be healthy.  We need good food, good activity, and a good attitude, but people don’t know what this means.  Too much information and too much unqualified instruction exists.  I went back and found a testimonial from a client and remembered how much impact concise and correct information can do.  After consulting with me about/for her diagnosis of breast cancer, her medical records now conclude she has had an unexplainable disappearance of cancer.  This is why Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy concerns me.  Woman make these types of decisions to drastically alter their body in order to prevent cancer.  But according to the ground breaking research by T. Collin Campbell, there is another option.  He proved that nutrition controls the nature of our health.

Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, proves that nutrition controls the way that genes express themselves by demonstrating that diet activates gene markers.  In essence, we turn on the cancer genes by eating unhealthful foods.  He even discovered an upper limit for animal and dairy protein as well, which is ten percent of the diet.  When less than ten percent of the protein in our diet is animal and dairy based, we turn off our cancer genes.  The confusion lies in, “What is healthy?”  Most people think they are eating well, but they’re not practicing the right behavior to cultivate health.

Some of the foods that most consider harmful, are actually helpful.  Traditional soy products such as miso, tofu and tempeh protect against harmful estrogen.  Japanese woman have the one of the lowest rates of breast cancer in the world…What do they eat regularly?  Tofu and miso soup.

The main culprit that turns on the genes necessary for breast cancer: cow’s dairy.  This includes milk, cheese, butter, ice cream and especially yogurt which is so popular theses days. As infants we need our mother’s milk to promote growth, but as adults we’re not trying to grow at a rapid rate.  Dairy confuses our system.  From your own experience, you can probably relate to how dairy contributes to the severity of skin problems and allergies.  When you stop eating dairy within a short time, you feel better.

In macrobiotics, we discuss emotional health as it parallels to nutrition.  In my practice, the breast cancer victims have a commonality in that their underlying philosophy is to over nurture others at their own expense. Cancer is a disease of overdevelopment, not deficiency.  So, this makes sense that the breast, an organ used for nurturing, would house cancer in over nurturing people.  Alarm bells go off in my head when I hear parents say, “I need to do this for my children.”  I help them to understand that the most lovable thing they can do it nurture themselves too.  I tell them to put on their own oxygen mask FIRST.

People who take the time to nurture themselves through food and lifestyle become happier.  I think this is because they experience control over their health.

So here are my suggestions on how gain some control back in preventing and recovering from breast cancer:

  1. Eat at regular times without skipping meals.  Regular meals regulate all the body’s function, including the hormonal system.
  2. Center your diet on whole grain products, beans, vegetables, soups and other plant based foods.  They nourish our body and mind properly on all levels.  Humanity evolved through eating grains and plant based foods, why stop now?
  3. Lastly, eat local foods.  Turn off your cancer genes by embracing your natural environment.  If you live in a temperate climatic zone, then eat fruits that originate in this zone.  For example: apples, peaches, pears, berries and melons.

One sidenote: If you are worried about developing breast cancer, avoid night shades like potatoes and tomatoes because they are highly acidifying.  Acid weakens our blood, lymph system, and our ability to absorb nutrients.

Other foods and activity that are particularly helpful:

Eat our two most important grains: brown rice and millet.  Try quickly steamed greens like kale, broccoli, and bok choy served with a squeeze of fresh lemon.  Eat miso soup every day (even instant miso soup is great if you can’t find real miso easily).  And be sure to walk outside.  Walking is great for helping the body eradicate upper body complications. All natural and life-related exercise is helpful including gardening, cleaning and yoga. Begin this practice everyday: Rub the wrist, hands and fingers; feet, ankles and toes; face and neck. Use a warm cloth to activate the circulation and improve the movement of lymph.  Peripheral stimulation activates lymph, so gently do this on your skin for at least ten minutes a day.

I’ve helped woman gain their health back after breast cancer.  If you are interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email at dennywaxman@dennywaxman.com.  In the subject write

Your Name: Nutrition to Yield breast health.

Please also check out Susan Waxman’s blog for recipes and more information on breast health.

2 Comments | Tags: Cancer, Macrobiotic Counseling, Macrobiotic Diet

Dead Food

Posted on by Denny Waxman

I just watched an alarming video about a hamburger that is older than some people’s pets.  It hasn’t changed shape, grown mold, or even rotted after ten years.  This is just an example of how our modern food industry doesn’t prepare food because change should be a property of food.  Age can enhance the quality of foods; think about cheese, wine, and miso.  Also, the way in which food is prepared can provide different nourishment.  Sauerkraut is more than just cabbage and sea salt because fermentation magnifies the bioavailabilty of the nutrients to our bodies.  Pickling, sun drying, cold storage, smoking are other examples of processes that bring a unique aspect to the food we eat.

Modern food processing, which was developed during WWII, takes away the enhanced quality that food could contain.  During WWII, we tried to create foods that would last indefinitely for soldiers overseas, but now we have a problem because we’ve continued on dead-food-track.  Modern food creation destroys enzymes, bacteria, oxidation, or other changes that should naturally occur within food.  To take it a step farther, the fast food industry has mastered this art of food preservation, as shown in the video, to create food that may outlive cockroaches.

In complete food, we have three types of nourishment: physical, energetic, and spiritual.

1. Physical nourishment is the gross nutrients: minerals, protein, carbs, vitamins, fats, etc.

2. Energetic nourishment is the quality of the soil and seed, how it was grown, how it was harvested, processed, stored, and prepared.

3. Spiritual nourishment means the health, attitude, and care of the person preparing the food.

All three types of nourishment are linked of course.  You cannot ingest nutrients without combining other aspects such as how the food grew, and how you received it.  When our manufactured food is created from genetically modified organisms (GMO), in unnatural soil, and prepared by a person that does not like his or her job, we are not properly nourishing ourselves.  Even though on paper the gross nutrients of our food may be the same as a meal prepared with our family, it is not the same.

Ask yourself which type of nourishment gives you the greatest satisfaction through food.

 

Most people respond knowing that spiritual nourishment leaves them most satisfied.

Meal

 This is real food, prepared by my lovely, hardworking, and brilliant wife: Susan Waxman.

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Metabolism Basics

Posted on by Denny Waxman

This article in the Huffington Post struck my interest.  The time is now for macrobiotics because as this articles explains, people are exposed to obesity for longer periods of time. Simply stated, westerners are becoming fatter, earlier in life.

My definition of metabolism is the ability to digest food, absorb nutrients, and eliminate waste.  Two factors control metabolism: what we eat and when we eat it.  What we eat is obviously important, but when?  Why is that a key factor?

The digestive system, contrary to most beliefs, is not “on call” for all hours of the day and night.  It has highest capabilities in the mornings between 5am and 8am, 11am to 1pm, and in the evenings between 5pm and 7:30pm.  These are meal times:  breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  If you eat the right foods at the right times, it activates your metabolism.  Remember that one component of metabolism is elimination of waste.  If you give yourself nutrition at these meal times, you can most effectively get rid of what you don’t need.  If you eat the right foods at the right time, your body processes what you will use and then can detox the rest.  Weight cannot build up on the body.

Think of it like this: In a three bedroom house, you have ten people and everyone must leave.  People grab their stuff and go out the door easily.  Bump that number to 100 people, and it gets tougher to leave the house.  And then, what about 500 people?  If you’re in the back, you’ll be waiting a long time until you see the door.

Obese people have a slow metabolism and experience this sort of back up with their food intake.  But there is hope because everyone, even the morbidly obese, has the ability to improve their metabolism.  The health of the western world concerns me greatly, and I’ve been thinking about what caused this epidemic of obesity in the first place.  Generally speaking, the contributing factors that changed are food quality, adherence to meal times, and activities that connect us to our natural surroundings.

Through the industrial revolution and the aftermath of World War II, our food quality diminished with pesticides and modern food preservation.  Fast food restaurants, two working-parent households, children uneducated in proper nutrition, and many more factors have lead to what is now an eradication of regular meal times.  Lastly, activities that connect us to our natural surroundings are not mainstream either.  Working on a computer and staying seated all day can not be undone through scheduled exercise.  Higher levels of outside activity would prevent this obesity problem for the majority of people that suffer from this condition.

Here are my simple rules to activate metabolism:

  1. Eat exclusively when you sit down.  Pay attention to the food that you put in your body.  Make sure you’re not doing anything else because you won’t remember you ate and will want to eat again.
  2. Never skip breakfast or lunch.  It will be answered with weight gain.  Within these time frames, your metabolism can be activated, so you don’t want to miss it.
  3. Eat a comfortable amount of grains and vegetables and a variety of other plant-based foods at your meals.  Hold no restrictions to how much healthy food you want to eat.

DennyW

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Macrobiotics and Seasonal Health

Posted on by Denny Waxman

I recently read a blog called “A Season Pattern to Mental Health.”

Macrobiotics plays a large role in this pattern for a couple of reasons:

Our blood sugar follows the suns movement, thus it follows the seasons as well.  As humans, blood sugar should slowly start to rise after midnight so that we can wake up early in the morning ready for activity.  Gradually, it should start to fall shortly after lunch around 2pm so that we can fall sleep.

Unfortunately, the natural cycles seems uncommon.  The opposite of healthy blood sugar is called hypoglycemia.  In a hypoglycemic situation (hypo means low), our blood sugar doesn’t rise early enough so that we can get up and go in the mornings.  We need caffeine and sugar to wake us up.  Most often, eating too much sugar is an overreaction to our lower level of blood sugar in the mornings.  Our pancreas secretes insulin and once it is processed, our blood sugar falls rapidly so that we become useless in the afternoon.  We suffer from sleepiness, low energy, and slow thinking.  As blood sugar dips, we feel anxious and irritable until sometimes we reach a level of anger.  When this anger erupts, we can feel our heart rate rise which contributes to a  sudden spike in blood sugar.  After any sudden spike, we experience a drastic decline.  It is very common that blood sugar will fall so low that we feel restless.  At this stage, we actually need to raise it to be able go to reach a state of sleep.  Overnight we secrete insulin to lower our blood sugar, and when the sun rises we’re not ready to wake up.  The pattern goes on and on.

We all know we feel better in the summer, physically, mentally, and emotionally.  When the sun is out and the days are bright, it is much easier to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level. When the days are shorter and darker, it makes it harder for our blood sugar to come up in the morning.  In the winters, to sustain healthier blood sugar, eating more cooked foods will ward off the urge to raise and lower blood sugar in an effort to gain energy.

In reference to the blog: Certain diseases and problems are much more common in the winter.  Depression, anxiety, and chronic pain have been documented as more prevalent during these darker  and shorter days.  This is exacerbated by a poor diet and chaotic eating habits.

The remedy to this blood sugar problem is simple: Eat quality food in an organized timely manner.  The most important meal in reseting this cycle is lunch.  Eat lunch every day between 12 and 1pm.  It resets the biological clock.  Also, walking outside can have this effect as well.  Get outside and enjoy yourself as often as possible, even in darker or gloomier days.  When these habits become part of your life, it will not take long to notice the change.  You’ll feel better physically, feel things deeper, and be more present in your life.   

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Cooking Friend or Foe?

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Food is a touchy and personal subject. It affects us in so many ways and we often feel threatened by changes in our food choices and preparation. I hope to express these ideas with openness, curiosity and respect, as food is at the very core of our health and life.

We have grown up with so many mythologies surrounding food. Thanks to T. Collin Campbell and his ground breaking book, The China Study, it is finally becoming more widely known that plant protein is superior to animal and dairy protein in every way. I was so happy to find The China Study as it confirmed everything that I wrote in my book, The Great Life Diet.

Modern education about the importance of animal and dairy proteins has created far more harm than good throughout the world. Yet, most people still ask, “Where’s the protein?” The correct answer is that it is in all plant-based foods including grains, beans, vegetables, seeds, nuts and fruits, and not just animal and dairy foods.

At the same time we have been brought up to think that cooking destroys nutrition. That idea is also not completely accurate. It is far more accurate to say that cooking has the ability change nutrition for better or worse. Cooking can increase or decrease nutrients and their digestibility depending on the food, cooking style and length of cooking. Cooking also increases the taste and enjoyment of our food as well as giving us the ability to preserve it for long periods of time.

I have the greatest respect and appreciation for all plant based ways of eating and living. There is no doubt that these are all the way to a healthier future. At the same time I find Richard Wrangham’s research about the effects of cooking on nutrition compelling as it confirms my many years of macrobiotic practice, study and personal experience. Through my macrobiotic counseling practice, I have seen repeatedly that learning how to cook well is of central importance to creating long-lasting health and fulfillment.

The relationship between food choices, cooking and health has become my lifelong study since living in London from 1981 to 1983. At that time I was the director and main instructor of the Kushi Institute and had the experience of meeting so many people from all over eastern and western Europe that came to study there. The more that I talked with these people about their food traditions the more I began to realize that their food choices and cooking were the key to not only health but the uniqueness of the varying cultures and environments that they were from.

I like to refer to all methods of food preparation including raw, pickling and fermentation as cooking since they are all done with a specific purpose in mind. Skillful cooking has a number of advantages. It makes food more delicious and digestible. Cooking actually increases the bio-available nutrition in our foods. It also increases the energetic level of the food and provides more physical and mental energy. Think about eating a raw salad, steamed greens or a stir fry. The raw salad is the most relaxing, the steamed greens more soothing or settling and the stir fry is the most energizing.
Cooking also increases our ability to adapt to our environment by increasing our ability to disperse or maintain heat. Think about the differences of the cuisine from different parts of the world. Just compare Indian, Japanese, Mediterranean, British and German cuisine. It is easy to see that the cuisine of India is much more cooling than the cuisine of a colder climate such as Germany.

I find it interesting that most plant based approaches to eating and living are separating and polarizing rather than aligning these days. To me, the way to a healthier future personally, socially and environmentally will be fostered by combining raw foods, sprouting and juicing with a wide variety of cooked foods according our environment, desires and individual needs.

I will expand on this topic in my next blog including the use of oil in our foods.

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

A Good Night’s Sleep

Posted on by Denny Waxman

We all know the value of a good nights sleep. We are told about it from when we were young and the value of a good nights sleep just appeals to our common sense. Unfortunately, an ever increasing number of people have difficulty sleeping, difficulty waking up and getting out of bed or just not feeling refreshed and ready for the day upon waking. There is mounting evidence that our diet affects our sleep.

A lack of sleep is associated with an increased number of accidents while driving or at work, chronic degenerative illnesses and obesity. When we feel tired even our food does not taste the same and we are likely to eat foods that we would not think of eating when we are well rested. When we feel tired our memory is not as sharp, we get irritated more easily and often do not experience the same degree of appreciation for life as we usually do. Sleep affects all aspects of our life and well-being.

In Oriental medicine and diagnosis, which is the basis of my macrobiotic counseling practice for more than 40 years, opposites show each other. The day shows the night and the night shows the day. In other words, the combination of our diet and eating habits during the day regulate the quality of our sleep at night. One of the most common things that I hear from my clients is how much better they are sleeping from following my recommendations. They also report on better energy, mood and a sense of well-being.

Please follow these steps to steadily improve the quality of your sleep and overall well-being.
Eat at regular times without skipping meals. See my previous blog.
Stop eating three hours before getting into bed.
Eat a plant based diet including a variety of unrefined grains and grain products, beans, vegetables, soups and other foods. This will help even if your diet is not exclusively plant based.
Walk outside for at least a half hour a day. It can be a combined half hour. All outdoor activity is helpful especially when surrounded by nature.
If you have a sedentary job, take regular breaks from sitting to walk around and stretch.
Keep green plants in your bedroom.

Even small steps can start to make a difference in your sleep. Just get a start in the areas you are comfortable with.

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