Monday, April 25, 2011

Denny Waxman Comments on Coconut Oil

In a recent article on, Denny Waxman was interviewed on the subject of Coconut Oil (Trans Fats).

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."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"It's chilly in Philly."

It was "chilly in Philly" Susan Waxman said to the kitchen staff during out April CCP seminar. Drawing inspiration from the cold the kitchen staff constructed a snowman to display on the serving table out of polenta, a matchstick carrot, black sesame seeds, a radish sliver, sunflower seeds and other vegetable matter. 

The students seemed to welcome this creative addition to the meal. Hopefully we can continue creating works of art at many seminars to come!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Refreshing Spring Rain and Summer Sunshine: Cooking Classes for you!

It is raining this morning in Philadelphia. The rain coupled with the most warm air is a sure sign of spring! I hope you all take a walk in the refreshing outdoors on this beautiful day. 

With spring in the air we at SHI are happy to announce that we have some cooking classes coming up in the next few months. The first cooking class will be taught by Carlotta Lala on April 30th from 1:30-4:30 PM. She is teaching a class entitled: "Conscious Cooking and Thoughtful Eating". This class is sure to jump start your macrobiotic practice and boost your April spring cleaning with delicious intentional macrobiotic dishes. 

Before long we will have a heat wave sweeping over the city of Philadelphia, leading us into many bright and sunny summer days. For your summer dietary needs Debbie Albanese will be teaching a class entitled: "Its Summer Time and Living is Easy!". The date/time of this class is TBA but we are aiming to put it on our calendars sometime near the summer solstice. This class will surely prepare you for the warm summer months by giving you dishes/tips to change your dietary direction to beat the heat. It will also focus on simplicity and quick dishes to reduce kitchen time so you can spend extra time in the sun.

Both of these classes are $30 if you register in advance and $35 at the door. We hope you can join us for these exciting events! Please call 215-238-9212 or email to register or with any questions.

Enjoy this refreshing day!
Your friends at the Strengthening Health Institute 

Monday, April 4, 2011

SHI update: Another Successful Potluck and upcoming ATS

We are thankful to say that we hosted another successful potluck here at SHI this past Saturday. We had about 25 people attend the potluck and bring delicious and healing food to share. We had everything from spring rolls and sweet potato samosas to brown rice. It was a delicious experience full of inspired conversation and good support. We hope you can join us for the next potluck which is scheduled for May 7th at 5:30 pm. The event is free, just bring a macrobiotic vegan dish to share with the group. Also, in order to minimize our environmental impact we are asking that everyone brings a reusable plate and utensils to the event.

We also have an exciting seminar coming up this weekend, April 8th - April 10th. An advanced training seminar entitled "Towards a More Western Macrobiotics". This seminar is filling up quickly, but we still have a few seats left if you are interested in attending.

Enjoy the rest of this beautiful day.