Peninsula Macrobiotic Network Newsletter  
Number 113 August / September 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
A shy, elusive leprechaun spins melodies on a Celtic instrument, the tin whistle, among the trees and rocks that overlook the creek at French Meadows Summer Camp. Also a macrobiotic counselor, Denny Waxman commented that this camp has a unity unlike any other macrobiotic event.

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!

Coming Events
Monday, August 22
Joe Deisher speaks on Balancing Your Life with Diet, Exercise, Social Connection, and Introspection.
Monday, September 5
Labor Day, No Dinner.
Monday, September 19
Carla Ison, Ph.D. speaks on Tapping Into the Wisdom of Your Dreams.
Sunday, September 25
World Vegetarian Day Celebration at the San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park, Lincoln & 9th Avenue, 10 AM - 6 PM.
Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven.
Yiddish Proverb
There is no way to peace;
peace is the way.
A. J. Muste
If you have only two pennies left in the world, with the first penny, you should buy rice to feed your family. With the second penny, you should buy a lily.
Japanese Proverb
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
Carl Gustav Jung
News and Announcements
Publication of this issue was delayed by attendance at the French Meadows Summer Camp, which ran through July 24. The camp features exceptional meals, lectures, cooking classes, shiatsu, Do-in, yoga, Qigong, chanting, hikes, variety shows, and more, shared with many who become lifelong friends, in the magnificent Tahoe National Forest. Those of us who find and embrace such magic in our lives are truly fortunate!

The Sixth International Feng Shui Conference, sponsored by international teacher Roger Green, takes place August 4-8 (main events August 5-7) in San Diego at the Hilton Resort. Hear and experience over 50 speakers from across the planet on a wide variety of topics. $350 for main 3-day conference, or $120/day. Visit conference2005.htm or call 917 969-9989.

The San Francisco Vegetarian Society celebrates World Vegetarian Day 2005 on Sunday, September 25 from 10 AM to 6 PM, at the San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park, Lincoln & 9th Avenue, next to the Arboretum. Speakers include Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. John McDougall, Howard Lyman--The Mad Cowboy, Ingrid Newkirk from PETA, and Julia Butterfly Hill. Also included are an outdoor café featuring international vegan cuisine, healthy food demos, a catered vegan dinner at 6:30 PM, a children's corner, and an organic athlete forum. $5 suggested donation; free for kids, students, and seniors with ID; free for everyone until 10:30 AM. For info, see or call 415 273-5481.

Monthly Vegan Potlucks! Sunday, August 21, 6:30 PM, hosted by Sylvia Pollak in Palo Alto, call 650 462-1046 to let her know you're coming and to get directions. Also on Sunday, September 25, 6:30 PM, hosted by Sairus Patel in Palo Alto, call 650 320-0090. To host a fun potluck in your home, call Diane Wohler at 650 853-0636 or Brett Garrett at 650 599-9678.

Give your life new direction! Monday Dinner Regular Al Lampell, an instructor in A Course In Miracles, leads the Ninth Annual Relationship Seminar for singles and couples, September 2-4 at Asilomar near Pacific Grove and Monterey. If you find yourself getting married as a result of the seminar, Al will do the marriage ceremony for free--so far he has done three marriages! $280/person (double occupancy) or $360 (single), includes lodging, meals, and seminar. Contact Al at 408 296-0567 or .

A Taste of Health presents Holistic Holiday at Sea III, February 26 - March 5, 2006. Cruise the Western Caribbean on the Italian luxury liner Costa Magica, and dine on organic, natural, macrobiotic foods. Includes lectures and workshops by Michio Kushi, Patrick McCarty, Denny Waxman, and many others. From $1145 per person. Visit or call 828 749-9537.

Hike to Picayune Falls
Caught in a time warp, last year's
camp is like yesterday's treat
we pick up where we left off
without missing a beat.

We attend the lectures
to learn about health
and discover for ourselves
the key to true wealth.

Camping out in nature
shaded by the tall trees
we discover that the best things in life
are really and truly free.

Away from work and routine
more than once in a while
our grumpiness disappears
and we genuinely smile.

Caught in the heat
some of us strip naked
to cool and refresh ourselves
and maybe remain sacred.

Expert musicians
agree on a key
then start the flow
of chords, rhythm, and harmony.

Connected to the universe
blockages disappear
love and creativity flow
we start to feel and hear.

Sharing, friendship, and love
we do much more than connect
is it really possible
our lives to redirect?

Filled with activities
summer camp zips by
before we know it the end is upon us
time really does fly.

We wish each other a great year
when we finally depart
we hug and we cry
and try not to break our hearts.

by Gerard Lum


A Taste of France
August 22, 2005
Summer Veggie Broth with Herbed Noodles

Provençal Rice Salad

French Lentil Salad

Cauliflower "Chicken" Salad with
Whole Wheat French Bread

Mixed Greens with Cucumber,
Tomato and Red Onion

Pecan Lace Cookies

Iced Tea

More Dinner Menus...

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 takeouts and life style recommendations, Palo Alto, 650 843-0255.

Carolyn Peters is a private chef and caterer for creative healthy cuisine in San Francisco. Call 415 810-3496.

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

On August 22, Joe Deisher, Master Teacher of QiGong and Tai Chi Chuan, will speak on Balancing Your Life with Diet, Exercise, Social Connection, and Introspection. His presentation will include some gentle QiGong exercises that we can all participate in.

Joe Deisher went to Japan in the 1960s to study the game of Go, learn Aikido, and study Japanese, eventually becoming fluent in the language. Through his studies in Aikido he met and began study with Chang I-Chung, a Chinese teacher of Tai Chi who was then living and teaching in Japan. Chang's teachings included attention to diet, very similar to macrobiotics. Joe has continued his studies of TaiChi Chuan and QiGong in this country, and teaches. For information on classes with him in the Palo Alto area, call 650 494-7345.

Every night, we sleep and dream. Are the dreams just passing fantasies, or is there really something to them? Can we interpret our dreams? On September 19, Clinical Psychologist Carla Ison, Ph.D. will speak on Tapping Into the Wisdom of Your Dreams. Dr. Ison will describe dreams and their significance, from the Jungian perspective that she has trained in. She will give examples of some fascinating dreams, and how interpreting them has been beneficial. Finally, she will show us how to tap into our own dreams, to benefit our lives both personally and professionally.

Very passionate about the value of dreams, Dr. Ison is presenting this lecture as a service to our community with no gratuity expected--she hopes to benefit as many people as possible! Bring your friends!
Hiziki, Fresh Corn and Tofu Salad
on a bed of Arugula with Toasted Sesame Dressing
Makes 4 to 6 servings or 3 cups. This refreshing summer salad features a flavorful combination of fresh summer corn and hiziki seaweed, which is rich in minerals.

  • 1/4 cup hiziki seaweed, about 1/2 ounce
  • 3 cups water (1 cup to soak hiziki, 2 cups to cook)
  • kernels of 2 large ears of yellow or bi-color corn
  • 1/2 pound tofu, fresh and firm, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 to 4 cups (2 ounces) arugula cut in 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
Toasted Sesame Vinaigrette (makes 1/3 cup):
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons natural soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (Japanese sweet rice cooking wine)
  1. Soak hiziki in 1 cup water for 1/2 hour. Drain, reserving mineral-rich water for plants. Bring 2 cups water to boil and add corn and tofu to cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain, reserving broth to return to pot. Add hiziki to cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Drain. Cut hiziki in bite-size pieces if strands are very long. Makes 3/4 cup hiziki.
  2. Mix salad ingredients. Mix dressing ingredients and toss with salad. Serve on a bed of arugula. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
Substitute watercress or shredded lettuce for arugula.

  recipe by Meredith McCarty 
Ken Becker
Once you have a basic understanding, the real way you learn is by applying it in your own life and experiencing it.
Community Connection
 Ken Becker
on Macrobiotics
  Part One
Ken Becker, a founder and the President of the Peninsula Macrobiotic Community, which puts on the Monday Night Dinners, has studied and practiced macrobiotics since the 1970s. He studied intensively with Michio Kushi and Michael Rossoff, and became a macrobiotic teacher and counselor himself. He is a lawyer and, as a businessman, was one of the owners of Imagine Foods. He used macrobiotics to recover from his own serious health conditions, and therefore is in a unique position to discuss macrobiotics.

Denise Huajardo Springer (DHS): Who started macrobiotics?

Ken Becker (KB): George Ohsawa was a pacifist in World War II in Japan. He developed tuberculosis and cured himself using diet. He wrote something over 100 books and traveled the world.
DHS: Are there specific books you'd recommend?

KB: If you want to read a George Ohsawa book, a good one is probably You Are All Sanpaku, but the problem with books is that macrobiotics is a very fluid and dynamic system. As soon as you write something down on paper it takes a very solid form, so there's a lot of misunderstanding that comes from books. Really, the truth is nobody can really tell you what you should be doing, only you can really make that choice on your own. The ultimate goal of macrobiotic teachers is to develop your own judgment and your own understanding and your own ability to make those decisions yourself, however you have to start out by learning from something else. In the original macrobiotic texts there was a principle called non credo which means: don't believe. Anybody can tell you anything, but you shouldn't believe it; you should find out for yourself whether it has validity for you.

DHS: Would you give an example?

KB: When I first started macrobiotics, I was just enthralled with the philosophy and the system. It made logical sense to me, but I was a skeptic. I tried to apply the principles. One of my first experiences was when I had a splitting headache. I sat there analyzing, "Okay, is this a yin (expansive) headache or a yang (contractive) headache?" I thought back on some classes I had taken and thought, "Okay a yang headache is more in the front of the head and very, very heavy. A yin headache is more diffuse and fills out the entire head. A headache where your eyes hurt is usually a yang headache; it's in the front." So I decided that this was a yang headache that I needed to balance with yin. So I ate half an orange and in five minutes the headache was gone.

When that happens you say, "Wow! This is amazing. This really can work." Then you just keep on doing that. Let's say, it hadn't worked, then I would've said, "It didn't work, it must have been a yin headache." Then I would've tried something else and if that worked then I'd understand better. And you go through that day in and day out for years and you develop an understanding. At this point, I don't even think about it; I just can feel what's right. On the other hand, when I came to macrobiotics, I took intensive classes. I took every class that my teacher, Michael Rossoff, could give and then I was in an eight-month-intensive healing class: three nights a week, three hours each night for eight months.
DHS: What's hardest about macrobiotics?

KB: People like to have solid, simple, concrete, black-and-white things. If you have this illness, you take this pill. If you have this symptom, you use this. That's not what macrobiotics is. Even though that's the teaching it takes a long time to really understand that. For example, if you ask somebody about a macrobiotic diet they'll say, "Well, you're not supposed to eat ice cream." But I've used ice cream as a healing tool. I don't eat ice cream because it is a very extreme food but sometimes you need extremes to balance extreme imbalances. It's hard to make simple statements about it because everything about macrobiotics is relative. Even yin and yang are relative.

DHS: To each other?

KB: Right. Let's just look at food. A carrot is a relatively yang vegetable compared to a yellow squash (a yellow squash is yin compared to the carrot) but a yellow squash is yang compared to a fruit. A carrot is yang compared to a squash but it's yin compared to brown rice. The question is, "Compared to what?"

DHS: What resources do you suggest for people who want to learn more about macrobiotics?

KB: The best way to learn is to have a teacher, take classes, go to talks (like those after the Monday Night Dinners), and get personal consultations from people who can help you understand. Once you have a basic understanding, the real way you learn is by applying it in your own life and experiencing it.

DHS: What is a macrobiotic counselor?

KB: A macrobiotic counselor is someone who can meet with people and give them advice about how to practice macrobiotics. A really good macrobiotic counselor will address, not only dietary and physical health issues, but emotional, spiritual, community and family issues, and not just deal with food. Psychologists can function as macrobiotic counselors because they're trying to balance emotional issues, but they don't think of themselves that way.
DHS: Is there an organization that certifies macrobiotic counselors?

KB: Unfortunately, there are no standards for who's a macrobiotic counselor. There was an attempt to do that years ago by Michio Kushi and the East West Foundation. (It became the Kushi Institute.) There were certified counselors, so from that there might be some people out there who call themselves certified, macrobiotic counselors. I really don't know how active that is anymore. There's not some diploma that you can put on the wall and say that you're a good counselor. On the other hand, even a doctor who's got a degree and is practicing medicine can be a good doctor or a bad doctor.

DHS: After using these principles for a long time, have you found that your pleasure-oriented food choices have shifted?

KB: Absolutely. Your choices change dramatically. A lot of people who start macrobiotics say, "The food is so bland." That's because they're used to eating heavy meat taste, heavy dairy taste, lots of sugar, lots of spices, lots of various things. When you go to more of a vegetable and grain-based diet, it seems more bland. It is more bland. As you stop eating those more extreme foods, your whole body starts shifting and changing, including your taste buds. Your taste buds start getting more and more subtle and getting more and more pleasure out of food. For me now, the difference between broccoli and cauliflower is huge. I look at what I'm going to cook and say, "I really feel like broccoli. I don't feel like cauliflower." And I eat that because it has that type of satisfaction for me. Whereas when I started macrobiotics, I couldn't have told much difference and gotten much pleasure out of either one. If people stop putting a lot of salt and spices and sauces and butter on vegetables, their taste buds will adjust.

DHS: That's a huge transformation. Would you recommend some books for those starting out, who may not have access to other resources?

KB: There are two slim volumes: An Introduction to Macrobiotics by Carolyn Heidenry (95 pages) and Making the Transition to a Macrobiotic Diet (67 pages). Those are good general books. [Editor's note: These books are available from the George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation on the internet at and (800) 232-2372.]

DHS: Do you have any overall advice for learning about macrobiotics?

KB: It's a very, very simple system but it's very, very different so it's not easy to learn. It's simple but it's not easy, if that makes any sense. The learning of the fundamentals and the basics is a good starting point.

Part Two will appear in the next issue.

Denise Huajardo Springer is a freelance writer who attends the Monday Dinners with her husband Kim and young son Nathan.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Monday Dinners
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.

To reserve, call 650 599-3320 to hear our recorded message and record your reservation. Please make your dinner reservation by Monday morning at 9:30 AM. For our special dinners which may sell out, such as the Anniversary in May or Thanksgiving Theme Dinner in November, early reservations are advised.

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.

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, on evenings featuring a lecture?

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

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.

Also note that the suggested donation is separate from the Dinner price. If attending both dinner and lecture, total cost will be $13 (dinner) + $5-10 (suggested donation) = $18-23.
Where does the Dinner 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.
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. - free web hosting. Free hosting with no banners.
This website uses the Georgia and Verdana fonts, designed for legibility on the computer screen.  Download them free for the PC or Mac from Simply the Best.