Peninsula Macrobiotic Network Newsletter
Number 110            February / March 2005            Peninsula Macrobiotic Community

to the
of the
Peninsula Macrobiotic Community
in Palo Alto,

For information on our organization, click on About Us.

green onions
     Note how happy and satisfied everyone is.
Photo taken after Gourmet Vegetarian Dinner. Note how happy and satisfied everyone is.

Frequently Asked Questions, Special Event
Valentine's Day Dinner and
Lecture by Dr. T. Colin Campbell on February 14
This section is for the benefit of those new to the Monday Dinners. To skip to the beginning of the newsletter, click here. You can quickly navigate this webpage using the links in the blue column to the right.

Click on a question.

What is the schedule for Monday, February 14?

Who is Dr. T. Colin Campbell and what will he speak about?

Do I need to attend both Dinner and Lecture?

Do I need to make a reservation for the Dinner at 6:30 PM?

Do you accept credit cards or checks?

Can I make Dinner reservations by email or through your website?

If I cannot honor a Dinner reservation that I've made, should I let you know?

Do I need to make a reservation for the lecture at 8:00 PM?

Where will the Dinner and Lecture take place? Can you provide a map?

Where do I park?

What if I have further questions?

What is the schedule for Monday, February 14?

6:30 PM - Valentine's Day Dinner. Cost is $15 if staying for lecture, $16 for dinner only. Reservations required by February 14, 9:30 AM, call 650 599-3320; early reservations recommended as we may sell out. If reserving before our February 7 dinner, please specify that your reservation is for February 14 so that there is no confusion about the date.

8:00 PM - lecture by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. Challenging the Status Quo. The Misunderstood Role of Nutrition in Health, Medicine, and Society. Suggested donation of $5-10, reservations not required.

Valentine's Day Dinner, Chef Gary Alinder
Sparkling Juice
Creamy Mushroom Soup
Garlic Bread
Linguine with Tempeh Bolognese
Balsamic-Glazed Roasted Veggies
Romaine, Radicchio, Endive Salad
Sweetheart Chocolate Cake with Tofu Creme and Raspberry Sauce
Grain Coffee and Herbal Teas
Who is Dr. T. Colin Campbell and what will he speak about?

Dr. Campbell is Project Director of the China Study, the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted. Dr. Campbell's work details the connection between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and also its ability to reduce or reverse the risk or effects of these deadly illnesses. Click on After-Dinner Events to see information on Dr. Campbell and his presentation below.
Do I need to attend both Dinner and Lecture?

You can attend the Dinner at 6:30 PM or the Lecture at 8:00 PM, or both.

The sponsoring nonprofit organization, the Peninsula Macrobiotic Community, hopes that you will join us for our Valentine's Day Dinner (newcomers easily fit in) and become a regular diner with us in the future. Many friendships have started at the Monday Dinners (see photo above), and are renewed every week. Many who attend have the same health concerns that you may have.

Every Monday for the past 17-1/2 years (since 1987), we have enjoyed plant-based meals prepared in a Gourmet Vegetarian style by expert Natural Foods Chef Gary Alinder, and we've formed an extraordinary community of friends around them. See Community Connection below for an example of someone who benefited from the Monday Dinners.

In addition to serving dinner, we also serve as a resource for those of us trying to take greater responsibility for our own health. It's a real pleasure for us to host Dr. Campbell on February 14.
Do I need to make a reservation for the Dinner at 6:30 PM?

Yes. If you show up without a dinner reservation, we may not be able to serve you, especially if there is a large crowd as expected.

To reserve, call 650 599-3320 to hear our recorded message and record your reservation. Please make your dinner reservation by February 14, 9:30 AM; note that we may sell out for this event, so it is best to reserve well in advance. We are monitoring reservations for February 14; if the number of sitdown diners reaches the capacity of Fellowship Hall (about 100), we will stop accepting reservations and mention it in our recorded message.

If reserving before our February 7 dinner, please specify that your reservation is for February 14 so that there is no confusion about the date.

Leaving a message is sufficient to make a reservation. You can leave a call back number, but we will call you back only if there is a problem.

We will serve a special Valentine's Day Dinner on February 14; price is $15 if staying for the lecture (just mention it when paying--we rely on your honesty), $16 for dinner alone. Our normal dinner price is $13.

To see our menus, click on Current Menu above.
Do you accept credit cards or checks?

No. We do not accept credit cards or checks--bad checks have been a problem for us. Please pay with cash.
Can I make Dinner reservations by email or through your website?

No. Please make reservations by telephone, call 650 599-3320.
If I cannot honor a Dinner reservation that I've made, should I let you know?

Yes. Please call 650 599-3320 to let us know as soon as possible, so we can transfer your reservation to another interested party. Reservations that are not honored increase our costs.
Do I need to make a reservation for the lecture at 8:00 PM?

It is not necessary to make a reservation for the lecture by Dr. Campbell.

Note that we have a pass-the-hat policy for our After-Dinner Events; we suggest a donation of $5-10. All money collected goes to the speaker, Dr. Campbell.

Also note that the suggested donation is separate from the Dinner price. If attending both dinner and lecture, total cost will be $15 (dinner) + $5-10 (suggested donation) = $20-25.

If coming for the lecture only, it is best to arrive before the start time of 8:00 PM--we will start promptly. Past events have not come close to the hall's capacity of about 100 (as not everyone who dines with us stays for the lecture), but this event could be the first. (We are a small organization run largely by volunteers, so we are not equipped to take reservations for the lecture.)
Where will the Dinner and Lecture take place? Can you provide a map?

The First Baptist Church, 305 North California Avenue at Bryant (click for map), 1/4 mile east of Alma, Palo Alto, CA. There are two buildings on the church grounds, the main church and a smaller building (Fellowship Hall) next to it. We meet in Fellowship Hall.
Where do I park?

There is ample street parking available. The church is in a quiet residential neighborhood; please be considerate of the neighbors and do not block driveways.

The church requests that you do not park in a church parking space alongside Fellowship Hall, even if open spaces are available.
What if I have further questions?

Contact the Newsletter Editor Gerard T. Lum at 650 903-0447.
How do I attend the Gourmet Vegetarian Dinners?
Chef Gary Alinder, since 1987
Every Monday, 6:30 PM
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto
305 North California Avenue
at Bryant
1/4 mile East of Alma
Sit Down or Take-out, $13
Reservations Required:
Call 650 599-3320 by
Monday 9:30 AM.

Open to everyone. Communal seating--new people easily integrate into our friendly group, which includes many singles.

Make new friends on Mondays!
News and Announcements
Thank You to the many who have contributed to our Fundraising Drive! We collected enough to get us through this year and into the next!

On Valentine's Day, February 14, we will serve a special dinner ($16), and host Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Project Director of the China Study, the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted. If staying for Dr. Campbell's presentation (see After-Dinner Events, suggested donation of $5-10), dinner will be discounted to $15, just mention it when paying. This would be an ideal time to bring newcomers to the Monday Dinners!

Macrobiotic Counselor and Licensed Acupuncturist Michael Rossoff will do health consultations in Woodside from Sunday, March 13 through Tuesday, March 15, call 650 366-4285 for information and appointments.

Monthly Vegan Potlucks! Sunday, February 20, 6:30 PM, hosted by Brett Garrett in Redwood City, call 650 599-9678 to let him know you're coming and to get directions. Also on Sunday, March 20, 6:30 PM, hosted by Harold Stephenson and John Cabrera in Palo Alto, call 650 856-1125. To host a fun potluck in your home, call Diane Wohler at 650 369-1858 or Harold.

Apartment to share, master bedroom with view and bath available, must be perfume-free. San Carlos, $750, 650 592-2139.

A Taste of Health and Healing Lifestyles & Spas present Holistic Holiday at Sea II. Cruise for 7 nights on the breathtaking Costa Mediterranea to San Juan, St. Thomas/St. John, Catalina Island, Casa de Campa, Dominican Republic and Nassau, beginning February 27, 2005 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Teachers include Michio Kushi, Yogi Amrit Desai, Ohashi, Master C.K.Chu, Sherry Rogers, M.D., Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, PhD, Christina Pirello, Verne Varona, Denny Waxman, Patrick McCarty, Lino Stanchich and Jane Quincannon Stanchich. Rates from $1095. Call 800 496-0989 or visit
Cooking and Classes
Chuck Collison, Assistant Chef of the Monday Dinners, is a personal chef and runs a meal service in Marin. Call 415 258-0528.

James Holloway, frequent Guest Chef at the Monday Dinners, does personal home cooking in Palo Alto, in macrobiotic and classical styles, call 650 852-9182.

Anne Mark does takeout meals and lifestyle recommendations, and teaches macrobiotic cooking in Palo Alto, call 650 843-0255.

Cookbook Author Meredith McCarty teaches a cooking class (Soups, Whole Grain Breads and Spreads) on Feb 5, 10 AM - 12:30 PM, in Mill Valley, $50. She also offers tours of Whole Foods Market and the Farmers Market, and other related activities; call 415 381-1735 or visit

Carolyn Peters is a private chef and caterer for creative healthy cuisine in San Francisco. Call 415 810-3496.
Coming Events
Monday, February 14
T. Colin Campbell, PhD, speaks on Challenging the Status Quo. The Misunderstood Role of Nutrition in Health, Medicine, and Society.
Monday, March 14
Michael Rossoff speaks on Growing Older in Good Health.

After-Dinner Events
Speakers receive a gratuity from the audience; please show your support and appreciation with a donation ($5-10 suggested).

On February 14, T. Colin Campbell, PhD will speak on Challenging the Status Quo. The Misunderstood Role of Nutrition in Health, Medicine, and Society. Dr. Campbell will draw on his numerous experiences to critique the way nutrition is corrupted by special interests and largely ignored by the health establishment, despite the fact that nutrition, if practiced and taught correctly, has unmatched potential to correct our troubling health trends.

Dr. Campbell, with his son Tom, is the author of the recently published book The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health (see The New York Times has recognized the study (known formally as the China-Oxford-Cornell Diet and Health Project, a 20 year partnership which surveyed diseases and lifestyle factors in rural China and Taiwan) as the "Grand Prix of epidemiology." In The China Study, Dr. Campbell details the connection between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and also its ability to reduce or reverse the risk or effects of these deadly illnesses. Click here to view an excerpt from the Introduction to The China Study (requires the Adobe Acrobat reader).
Dr. Campbell's book, The China Study, is a moving and insightful history of the struggle, still ongoing, to understand and explain the vital connection between our health and what we eat. Dr. Campbell knows this subject from the inside: he has pioneered the investigation of the diet-cancer link since the days of the seminal "China Study," the 1982 NAS report, "Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer," and American Institute for Cancer Research's expert panel report, "Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective."

Consequently, he is able to illuminate every aspect of this question. Today, AICR advocates a predominantly plant-based diet for lower cancer risk because of the great work Dr. Campbell and just a few other visionaries began 25 years ago.

Marilyn Gentry, President, American Institute for Cancer Research

For more than 40 years, Dr. Campbell has been active in experimental nutrition research and policy development, has authored more than 300 research papers, and has participated in many national and international diet and health policy reports. Dr. Campbell is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, and Project Director of the China Study.

On March 14, Macrobiotic Counselor and Licensed Acupuncturist Michael Rossoff will speak on Growing Older In Good Health. Maturity has its advantages over youth. But to many people in our culture the idea or reality of becoming older is difficult to accept. Underlying this view is the fear of aging, with the expected loss of physical and mental powers, as well as the decline of overall health. This lecture explores the greater possibilities of aging with grace, vitality, wise consciousness and sustainable health. Learn the keys to this successful approach. And the younger you are, the greater its long-term benefits will be!

Michael has been involved in macrobiotics, acupuncture, and Chinese medicine for 35 years. He studied macrobiotics with Michio Kushi in the '60s and '70s. In addition to teaching and counseling, he directed various macrobiotic centers in the Washington, D.C. area for 20 years, and published the macrobiotic magazine MacroMuse for seven years in the 1980s.

Michael studied acupuncture in England in the 1970s, and began practicing in 1978. He was the academic dean and a core teacher for three years at Atlantic University of Chinese Medicine, near his current residence of Asheville, North Carolina. Michael has counseled many thousands of people in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Israel. Visit his website at
Valentine's Day Dinner
February 14, 2005

Sparkling Juice

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Garlic Bread

Linguine with
Tempeh Bolognese

Balsamic Glazed
Roasted Veggies

Romaine, Radicchio,
Endive Salad

Sweetheart Chocolate Cake
with Tofu Creme
and Raspberry Sauce

Grain Coffee and Herbal Teas


More Dinner Menus...

Satisfy Yourself with Fish Soup
This recipe is very versatile and can be adjusted in many ways. Use a flat fish such as flounder or sole and you'll have a more chowder-like soup. Or add leftover fish to a vegetable soup. Fish soup is very satisfying, very nourishing. I often mix in leftover rice at the last minute. Or serve with toast or a chunk of whole grain peasant bread.

  • 3/4 to 1-1/4 lb. fish such as scrod or halibut (boned)
  • olive oil
  • 1 leek and/or sweet onions
  • 1 or 2 carrots
  • 2 or 3 other vegetables (for example: celery, tender cabbage, summer squash, fresh corn)
  • sea salt & Herbamare (organic herb seasoning salt)
  • fresh ground pepper (optional)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons white wine (optional) or squeeze of lemon
1.  Soup stock is optional. Suggested soup stock ingredients: dried shiitake, soaked 1 to several hours (optional); teaspoon of wakame flakes; 1 small/medium garlic clove, crushed; couple of sprigs fresh thyme; sprig of parsley with leafy part; leek parts (if using). Do not use broccoli, cauliflower or cabbage in soup stock since these will lend an unpleasant taste. Put stock ingredients and water, approximately 6 cups, into a stock pan and bring to a simmer. Add a pinch of salt and simmer 30 minutes to 1 hour.

2.  Rinse fish quickly and pat dry with paper towel. Cut into 1 to 2 inch chunks. Sprinkle lightly with Herbamare. Put fish in flat casserole and cover with mat or sheet of wax paper while preparing the soup.

3.  Assemble and wash vegetables. In another pot, heat olive oil gently while slicing or dicing the onion and/or leek. Sauté at very gentle heat while slicing other vegetables into medium sized pieces. Add other vegetables and turn up the heat to medium. After a few minutes cover pot with lid. Check or stir every few minutes for about 10 minutes.

4.  Add soup stock to vegetables and add about 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Add a generous pinch of Herbamare and take a spoonful of soup out to taste.

5.  As long as you are almost ready to serve your meal, go ahead and add the fish pieces. They will cook within a few minutes. Do not over cook. Add more seasoning as needed. More Herbamare or a little light miso can work well.

by Caren Bakkum

Caren Bakkum lives with Michael Rossoff in Asheville, N.C., where she works for a national book distributor. She taught natural foods cooking for many years in the 80s and 90s and now enjoys cooking at home.
The artistic world of Diane Wohler: painting and flowers.
The artistic world
of Diane Wohler:
painting and flowers.
Community Connection
Life Really Does Begin at 40!
An Interview with Diane Wohler
              by Denise Huajardo Springer

Diane appears on my doorstep wearing a red, sporty raincoat. Brown curls spill out over her shoulders. She is trim and energetic. We settle at the dining room table. Diane has a lot to say about her current career and studies in floral design, and about her past. In her presence it is difficult to imagine that just two years ago, before a series of wake-up calls, before macrobiotics, before healing, Diane weighed almost 200 pounds.

Diane had been married 12-1/2 years when her husband left her. "I didn't see it coming and at first was devastated and very depressed but then I realized that I was suffering from depression for a lot of years without really realizing it." I finally "realized that he did me a favor and did something that the old me wouldn't have had the guts to do." She took 3 weeks off work and moved out to an apartment in East Palo Alto. "It was a huge traumatic change for me." Six months later, Diane was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

"It was really terrifying and scary but it also did some amazing things for me. It let me really see myself and my life very clearly-and be brutally honest with myself-and let my ex-husband and that life go-just sort of in an instant. It's amazing how quickly your life-when you hear that diagnosis-in the space of a day-can change your outlook on life. When I got my diagnosis, I realized that there were two ways that I could go: I could sink further into depression or I could use this to change my life and find myself again and be happy. And I just realized that I didn't want to waste my life anymore being depressed. God, life is short! And I don't want to waste it being depressed and not doing what I want to be doing, not doing things that make me happy."
Diane's mother, Jennie Wohler, introduced her to the Monday Night Dinners about ten years ago. Diane's voice gets animated when she described her first experience. "I went this one time and thought, 'This is vegetarian!'" The seitan stew tasted like lamb to her. She really liked the food. "It didn't change my life at that point but I started to look at food differently, look at health a little bit differently."

Diane met people who had healed themselves from cancer and who had refused chemotherapy and surgery and were cancer-free after ten years. "So as soon as I got my diagnosis I found a macrobiotic counselor," who prescribed a very strict diet specifically for cervical cancer, addressing the hormonal issues involved. As a result, "I threw everything out of my house-all my body products, all my food. I completely changed my life."

Because she had hormone-related cancer, she and her counselor decided to eliminate soy, getting protein from three or four different kinds of fish. To make her system more alkaline, she ate quinoa and barley, which are more alkalizing than brown rice. She followed a list of foods from her counselor, divided into three categories of consumption: regular, occasional, and not at all. She filtered water for cooking and drinking with a solid block filter. She ate organic foods, changed to organic body care products, and took organic supplements. Diane was meticulous for at least six months. Shiatsu, acupuncture and talk therapy were also part of her healing.

In June of 2002, Diane had a modified radical hysterectomy. She had met women who had refused surgery, but she said, "I'm afraid [that] when I was told I had to have surgery-when I was told I had cancer-I wasn't that brave." After the surgery, she stayed with her mother for a week and took six weeks medical disability leave.

"It's amazing how much changing my diet has helped my overall health. A lot of problems that I had before my surgery, irritable bowel syndrome and other health problems, are gone. It has just been amazing. That's what I credit for having as much energy as I do." The change in diet, side-effects of the surgery, exercise and how long it took to chew thoroughly with braces contributed to Diane's loss of 60 pounds-one-third her body weight.
Incredibly, there were more disruptions to come-four days after returning to work, her company sent all employees home, permanently, because it was going bankrupt. She had been there for seven years and her job was her income, her stability, and her independence. Diane quickly added "It was also my crutch." She had income, a long administrative career and health benefits, but, "It was also keeping me from doing what I wanted to do." Since graduating from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1988 with a degree in Art, Diane had struggled to develop a creative career. She studied Interior Design intermittently at Cañada College. She even rented a studio where she returned to painting large canvases with oil paints. But she was not able to generate enough income with her creative work.

After the lay off and all the other changes, Diane decided to pursue floral design. She realized that people buy flowers even in poor economic times and that she could start a career more quickly and easily in floral design than interior design. She is halfway through a two-year program in Floristry at College of San Mateo and she works part-time at Nature's Alley, a florist in Palo Alto. She has started DW Floral Designs out of her mother's garage. Ultimately, Diane says, "Flowers make me happy. I've always loved flowers."

In April of 2004, she gave up her apartment and moved in with her mother. She had used up most of her savings after she lost her job and realized that she could live rent-free while she got her business going. She now says, "I really need to be in my own place again and have my own garage space. So that's my goal for next year in addition to growing my businesses."

With the improvements to her health, Diane has broadened her food choices, describing her diet as primarily vegan with occasional organic animal products. She can ignore the ice cream in her mother's refrigerator. She has a harder time eating healthfully at parties and restaurants.

When she first changed her diet, she attended the Monday Dinners regularly and got to know people better. It's "just a really wonderful group of people and so that really helped me, too, in my new life." She learned how much she valued community.

I thanked her for sharing her journey. She replied, "Well, it's definitely still a journey. But I know that I will never be that same person. I will never go back to that old life." Diane paused to reflect. "I've really been enjoying life even after all these sort of bad things have happened. I'm so much happier now than I've ever been in my life. I have more energy."

Diane recently celebrated her 40th birthday with a dinner at the BayLeaf Café in Palo Alto. At that dinner she said, "Life, for me, definitely begins at 40."

Denise Huajardo Springer attends the Monday Dinners with her husband Kim and young son Nathan.
From The Editor
Email Notification of Newsletter: To receive an email notification each time the Newsletter and Dinner Menus are published on this site (every two months), .
Mailing List Policy: To get a printed copy of the Newsletter and Dinner Menus delivered by postal mail, or call the phone number below. To offset the expense of producing the Newsletter and Menus, we suggest a contribution of $10/year or more. The date and amount of your last newsletter contribution appears on your mailing label. Write checks to "Peninsula Macrobiotic Community", and mail to Gerard Lum, 101 E. Middlefield Road #9, Mountain View, CA 94043, 650 903-0447.

We periodically review our mailing list. Those who have not made a recent contribution are subject to removal.

Tax-Deductible Contributions: We welcome and can use additional contributions to the Peninsula Macrobiotic Community, as income from the Dinners does not pay all of our expenses. We are a nonprofit organization, so additional contributions are fully tax-deductible. Send contributions to the address in Mailing List Policy above.

Back Issues of the Newsletter and Menus: Click here.

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