Monday, November 5, 2012

Holiday Special Offer

Learn to practice 7 EASY Steps to lifelong physical, 
emotional and spiritual health.

    SAVE $700, if registered by November 9th.   
    SAVE $500, if registered by November 16th.  

  SAVE $175, if registered by November 9th.

Call 215.238.9212 or email today to receive these special savings.

With the holidays right around the corner, it is the perfect time to pave the path towards feeling great! What could be a better time to refine your culinary skills and build the foundations for a life of balance and gratification? Our courses take students to higher levels of well-being, and closer to their personal goals, whatever form those may take. By taking our classes you can expect to feel rejuvenated and uplifted, equipped with the tools necessary to live a healthy, enriched life filled with the warmth and happiness that is so important to share with the world. But don’t take our word for it, read what other people have to say about our programs:

“The food makes me feel wonderful and energetic, it nourishes my creativity! Thank you for opening me up to many possibilities.” -Daphne Darpoh. Allentown, PA. 
“My expectations for the Intensive Seminar were were exceeded! Denny and Susan are clearly well-versed and skilled in their teaching - truly inspiring, creative and intuitive! I can now see myself eating & living macrobiotically for many years in the future.” - Martha Jones. Austin, TX.

Call 215.238.9212 or email today to receive these special savings.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Creating Order out of Chaos

After Superstorm Sandy has slammed the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, it is hard to imagine that nature alone is responsible. Even if you deny that there is global warming and that we are at least part of the cause, it is hard to miss the fact that the severity of storms and earthquakes is steadily increasing. The five most expensive natural disasters in history have occurred in the the last 18 years, since 1994. Two of these disasters have been in the U.S. It is still too soon to say which number Hurricane Sandy will be on the list.

It seems evident to me that our excessive diet and lifestyle, together with our complete disregard for nature are strong contributing factors to the recent changes in weather. Some people think that the weather is a reflection of our inner feelings, thoughts and turmoil. Everyone knows that a happy person brightens a room when they enter and that happiness and laughter are infectious. The opposite is also true when someone who is upset or tormented shows up. We influence our environment in the same way that our environment influences us. We usually feel more uplifted on a bright, sunny day.

They say that people with a green thumb talk to their plants. I know my wife does and we have a house full of beautiful, happy plants. It stands to reason that nature is a reflection of our overall health, including our innermost thoughts and feelings. From this subtle to a more gross reality, our daily choices of what and how we eat can have an enormous impact on the health of soil, waterways, ecosystems and the global climate.  Part of one whole, it is not a coincidence that the general public and environment simultaneously face ill-health on catastrophic and pandemic proportions.   

In health, our energy, thoughts and emotions go through a range of ups and downs that are not overly extreme. Some days are better than others but we generally feel and act okay. As we start to loose our health, these physical, emotional and mental extremes start to increase. We experience more physical, emotional and mental ups and downs. Nature is loosing it’s health and these extremes between hot and cold, floods and droughts are increasing worldwide. These extremes are also causing storms and earthquakes to become more severe. 

As nature looses it’s healthy order it is increasingly more important to bring order into our daily life. Order and chaos balance each other. Try to keep you mealtimes, daily activities, rising and sleeping times as regular as you can. Go outside for a walk, meditate or do your yoga at the same time each day. Try to be as regular and consistent as you can in a comfortable way. Life pulls us in different directions so it is not always possible to be as consistent as we would like, but having an intention of such a routine will always pull us in the right direction.

At the Strengthening Health Institute we teach people how to create lasting health and personal fulfillment through order in diet, eating habits and lifestyle practices. I am always amazed to see the power of these simple practices as I watch people transform each day of our seminars and into their daily lives. I hope to see you here soon to help bring some order to the mounting chaos around us.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Getting Ready For the Fall

Now that Labor Day has passed and summer is practically over, it is time to get ready for the fall. Even though Autumn does not officially begin for a few weeks on the equinox, nature’s energy has already started to change and settle down for the winter. At this time we start to think and feel that the summer is over. Summer is actually over energetically when we start to have these thoughts, wondering what happened to the summer? How did it disappear so quickly? These changes usually happen around mid-August.
When we eat a cooked, plant-based diet we naturally feel more connected with the cycles of nature. We feel a connection to the moon phases, weather and seasonal change. Through our plant-based diet we start to make a direct contact with nature. 
This connection happens because a plant-based diet provides us with direct, rather than indirect nourishment. We get our nutrients directly from the source rather than second hand. Animals eat and digest plant foods and convert it into their bodies. When we get our protein from animals it is second hand and inferior to the protein from grains, beans and vegetables. Cows eat grass and concentrate the calcium from the earth in their milk. In the same way, this calcium is inferior to the calcium we get from eating green leafy vegetables that obtain their calcium directly from the earth.
Our direct connection to the earth through a plant-based diet makes it much easier to adjust to seasonal change. It is better to adjust to the changing season gradually and to begin when we start to experience these thoughts and feeling that summer is nearly over.
It is important to start adjusting our diet and cooking before the weather actually changes. The most important changes are to cut back on cold liquids and foods of any kind. Start to reduce or avoid iced drinks, iced coffee, ice cream, yogurt, soy milk, orange juice and even cold water melon. Once we start to experience the chill of the autumn weather, these cold foods and drinks will effect us more strongly and make us more susceptible to colds and flu’s.
At the same time, gradually start to increase well cooked foods. Slowly increase whole grains over cracked grains and pasta. Bring back the more hearty, warming soups as the weather cools. Increase well cooked vegetable dishes and cut back on salads slightly. Think about adding dishes that feel warming and comforting in the colder weather.
 The change of each season can help us to align with nature more strongly. Over time this process becomes second nature.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thoughts on Japanese Foods

As part of the macrobiotic way of life, we have enjoyed a rich cultural, philosophical and spiritual heritage from Japan. This heritage has guided many aspects of our life from our approach to cooking and eating to our overall view of life. Some aspects of this way of life, from futons to tofu and miso soup, have become mainstream. Many of the ingredients we use such as miso, shoyu and umeboshi enable a moderate to good cook to produce outstanding meals. 
We also have the challenge of developing a local practice of macrobiotics by reconnecting with our local foods and traditions. I think that many people within macrobiotics have been moving towards a more local practice over the years. At the same time, local food processing and seaweed harvesting have been increasing and great strides have been made in quality and taste. This is a natural progression that is necessary for us to grow and develop our capabilities more fully. It is also necessary if we want to align with the basic premise of macrobiotics that we are one with our environment.
In my experience, some of the foods produced in Japan still have a greater healing ability than the ones we produce here. I am confident that over time that will change. Many years ago, a long-time Japanese friend told me that America has already conquered Japan in terms of tofu. He thought that American made tofu was the best. What he said rang true for me. However, we can adjust the quality of tofu day by day. Miso, shoyu and umeboshi are a different story. It takes months or years to adjust them. The time it will take to perfect these products is much longer than for tofu. After all, these foods have been perfected over hundreds or even thousands of years in the Orient. 
I find the contrast between the delicacy in taste and nourishing and strengthening qualities of many of the foods from Japan amazing. It is ironic that these same foods also give us the greatest protection from radiation and other environmental pollutants. These foods, including brown rice, Azuki beans, miso, umeboshi, seaweed and kukicha tea are truly unique and amazing in terms of taste, nourishment and health benefits.
I have always understood macrobiotics as a process of redefining and reinterpreting traditional practices to see if they are appropriate and beneficial for the present andfuture. This approach gives us the ability to take what is best from the past and develop it further for the present and future. It has been my long-time dream to preserve traditional food processing from both east and west. It would be wonderful to have some of these people in Japan, who have become masters of their craft, guide us in the production of these traditional foods on our own soil. I think that this collaboration and cooperation could lead to even more unique foods over time.
Because of a lack of accurate reporting from the media on both sides of the ocean, we do not really know the degree of pollution in our foods, land or water. I think it would be a big mistake to over-react and avoid foods coming from Japan completely. It is possible that we could be going from bad to worse by doing that. I have come to rely on certain people for high quality and safe foods in the same way that people rely on me to guide their health and that of their families. I am also trying to share this information openly so that we can all make informed choices.
I am not endorsing any one person or company. I am trying to keep an open mind and I will continue to study and research this situation. After regular conversations with my brother Howard Waxman of Essene, we have decided to continue to use both Japanese and local products. I have also been in contact with Michael Potter of Eden Foods. Please read the wonderful NY Times article about him and review the link to the Eden website for further information about Japanese food safety.
We know from this wonderful philosophy we have inherited that all challenges are opportunities. It is my hope that people with understanding and integrity will join together to maneuver through these difficult times. I firmly believe that an open and informed dialogue is the best approach to guide us into the future.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Celebrate the New Year with The Strengthening Health Institute!

We invite everyone to join us for a delicious gourmet dinner at The Strengthening Health Institute on February 4, 2012, specially prepared by Executive Chef Susan Waxman and Garrett Brood. Following dinner, Denny Waxman will give his predictions for the new year, which will be followed by a dance party!

The Strengthening Health Institute
1149 N. 3rd Street 1st Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19123