Bettina - Shanon photo Blueberry hill cafe1.jpg

Upcoming: Summer Conference and Level 1 Culinary Medicine Course webinar- tardy bird special running out soon!

Bettina Zumdick, the founder of the Culinary Medicine School, former senior Kushi Institute teacher and counselor, has helped thousands of people to regain and retain their health and vibrancy.

She has always known that she had an important role to play in the transformation of humanity. Realizing the complex interconnections between mind, body, and spirit through her own healing journey from Lyme disease, Bettina knows it is possible to improve your health, access luminous beauty from within and to deepen the quality of all your experiences in life.

Bettina is a humanitarian, teacher, counselor and author with over 30 years of experience in the field of holistic health, wellness and macrobiotics. BZ: "The key to transforming our world is changing ourselves, living authentically; remembering that the spirit expresses itself in the flesh in a way it cannot otherwise, so keep the garment for the spirit in good order." Read more...

 
 
 

Certificate Culinary Medicine Workshops

Daily food choices have been a key practice for thousands of years – a most powerful medicine.

When joining these courses you build the foundation for becoming a practicing idealist: A Holistic/Macrobiotic/Planetary Health and Wellness Teacher, Chef and eventually a Macrobiotic Counselor.

The Culinary Medicine program is unique in many ways:

  • It is a full spectrum approach to the art of culinary medicine – it joins the knowledge from the west with the wisdom from the east.
  • It offers a host of practices designed to understand what and how you eat impactsyour health physically, as well as your emotions, thoughts and actions.
  • It joins theory with practice showing you how to implement what you just learned.
  • It integrates dietetics, food science and studies of yin and yang, the five transformations, basic understanding of the meridians, basic oriental diagnosis, lifestyle practices and Chi Energy Exercises to provide a truly comprehensive and integral approach.
  • Class size is limited to 6 students, as personalized and individual attention is the key to success.

Certificate Culinary Medicine Level 1 – 4

In this crucial moment in our life, world and universe, we can change the course of our personal lives, our civilization and organizations. We are individuals, and yet each of us forms a part of our world’s reality.

We are intimately connected with all historic events of our time. The ripple effects of any of our individual actions are felt in the world’s play and even transmitted continuously throughout the whole universe.

Individually we can consciously and actively pursue an approach to our life that is reflecting humanity’s golden dream: Peace, Health and Joy with Enough for All, reflecting our good intent and our ideals to our universe.

Be the mapmaker and assist in the change of consciousness that we all know is coming. It is up to us, whether this change is happening elegantly or kicking and screaming – there is still time to make the transition more elegantly.

This course has four core subjects: Cooking based on the macrobiotic principles, oriental visual diagnosis, oriental approach to healing and philosophy and energy exercises/meditation/chanting.


Level 1

Foundations of Health and Happiness workshop $1000  - [webinar($300): lectures, presentations, Q&A, 3-day-hands-on cooking workshop ($700)]

Part A: webinar – Lectures, Presentations and Question & Answer sessions

  • Understanding the concept of yin and yang and extreme foods/Basic understanding of healing foods
  • Lifestyle suggestions for health
  • Understanding and balancing nutritional factors (minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins)
  • Foods for common health conditions (skin conditions, headaches, constipation, back pain, insomnia, acid reflux and others)
  • Cravings and emotional eating
  • Introduction of the 5 transformations according to the seasons, times of the day, organs – supporting and destructive cycles
  • Intro to Oriental diagnosis of constitution/condition and face
  • Intro to Oriental diagnosis of hands and palms
  • Intro to Oriental diagnosis of feet and legs.

Part B: cooking intensive workshop – 3 –day-hands-on cooking workshop (6 cooking classes – lunch and dinner included all three days)

  • Cooking for daily/personal needs:
  • Cooking with Grains
  • Cooking with Beans,
  • Cooking with Vegetables,
  • Cooking with Sea Vegetables
  • Preparing Healthy and Delicious Desserts
  • Home Remedies
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Level 2

Health and Healing workshop $1100 [webinar($350): lectures, presentations, Q&A, 3-day-hands-on cooking workshop ($750)]

Part A: webinar – Lectures, Presentations and Question & Answer sessions

  • Further studies on the 5 transformations regarding cooking
  • Liver and Gallbladder disorders like fatty liver, gallstones, hepatitis (diagnosis and home remedies)
  • Heart and Small Intestine disorders like hardening of the arteries, high or low bloodpressure, etc., Crohn’s disease and home remedies (diagnosis and home remedies)
  • Spleen-Pancreas and Stomach disorders like hypoglycemia, diabetis, ulcers, acid reflux disease, etc. (diagnosis and home remedies)
  • Lung and Large Intestine disorders like constipation, diarrhea, colitis, asthma, lung cancer, etc. (diagnosis and home remedies)
  • Kidney, Bladder, Reproductive organ disorders like kidney stones, UTI’s,  etc. (diagnosis and home remedies)
  • Diagnosis of tongue and posture
  • Diagnosis of dreams and dreams as a doorway to power, love, knowledge, self realization and more

 

Part B: cooking intensive workshop – 3 –day-hands-on cooking workshop (6 cooking classes – lunch and dinner included all three days)

  • Cooking for tree energy/spring
  • Cooking for fire energy/summer
  • Cooking for soil energy/late summer
  • Cooking for metal energy/fall
  • Cooking for water energy/winter
  • Sea-vegetable and Soy Products Cooking cooking
Hijiki Sea Vegetable Salad with Kale and Brown Rice with Lotus Seeds

Level 3

Becoming a Certified Macrobiotic Teacher/ Healer/Mapmaker/Cook for a healthy planet.

Workshop $1200 [webinar($400): lectures, presentations, Q&A, 3-day-hands-on cooking workshop ($800)]

Part A: webinar – Lectures, Presentations and Question & Answer sessions

Millet and Vegetable Soup, for strengthening immune function, stomach, spleen, pancreas and reducing sweet cravings.

Millet and Vegetable Soup, for strengthening immune function, stomach, spleen, pancreas and reducing sweet cravings.

  • Fertility for women
  • Women’s health issues, like breast cancer, endometriosis, herpes, menopause, etc.
  • Healthy Memory and Brain Function/Nervous System
  • Bone and Joint disorders
  • General healing approach to cancer
  • Sound healing/Special Home Remedies
  • Adjusting the cooking to climate and weather conditions
  • Cooking for various weather conditions
  • Case Study/practice consultation
  • Miscellaneous topics

Part B: cooking intensive workshop – 3 –day-hands-on cooking workshop (6 cooking classes – lunch and dinner includedall three days)

  • Cooking for women’s health issues
  • Cooking for healthy brain and nervous system
  • Cooking for bone and joint disorders
  • Cooking for clients with cancer
  • Cooking special Home Remedies
  • Cooking for various weather conditions
     

Program Outline (subject to change) for Certificate Culinary Medicine:
Webinar: Three consecutive Tuesdays from 7 pm - 9 pm EST.
Hands-on-cooking workshop: Three consecutive days (usually Fridays thru Sundays)

Morning Cooking Class: 10 am - 12:30 pm
Lunch: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Afternoon Cooking Class: 2:30 pm - 5 pm
Dinner: 5 pm - 6 pm

Completing all 3 webinars and the cooking workshop of Level 1 Culinary Medicine and makes you eligible for Level 2 of Culinary Medicine. Graduating with a certificate in Level 2, you will be eligible for Level 3 of Culinary Medicine.

Although the teachings offered in this course are priceless, the cost for each complete Level ranges from $1000 to $1200 with meals, handouts and recipes included.

Level 4

Becoming a Certified Macrobiotic Counselor

This level requires the implementation of the information taught in level 1 – 3: homework is required: doing cooking classes, lectures, doing practice consultations live via skype or similar media or taped sessions with the teacher reviewing the information and giving feedback.

Private and group tutoring on various topics and subjects.
Taught by Bettina Zumdick and guest teachers.

Call to make an appointment.

With any certification of Level 1 - 3, you will get 10% off a consultation and other private services.

This is truly the potential to be the education of the future:
In this program you will learn about the many benefits of whole foods, cooking techniques from both the east and the west, all modern tips and tricks and gadgets. You’ll learn about the common mistakes and how to prevent unnecessary hurdles.

You will see how culinary medicine helps with common and serious health issues.
The various workshops will give you a deep understanding that will help you transform your everyday life and the lives of many people around you.

The teaching practices come from proven scientific background and from traditional oriental masters. They also come from my 35 years of personal experience and many years of successfully teaching students worldwide. What you are about to learn has been proven by the east and the west and verified by my own extensive experience.

By the end of this course you’ll have a treasure trove of teachings, skills and techniques to utilize in the world and to do so with confidence and conviction.
Sharing this knowledge, wisdom and understanding about food and health with you has been a lifelong passion of mine.
I can’t wait to share with you all I have learned and to introduce you to a journey into this powerful medicine!

 

Accommodations in Lee: Choose from the many, local bed and breakfasts or inns within
walking distance or combine your stay with a program or stay at Kripalu or Canyon Ranch or the Cranwell Resort (short driving distances).

Apple Gate Inn in Lee – 10 min walk
Chambery Inn in Lee – 15 min walk
Morgan House in Lee – 15 min walk
Crabtree Cottage B&B in Lee– 20 min walk
Devonfield B&B in Lee 25 min walk
Black Swan Inn in Lee – 3 min drive
Cranwell Spa/Resort in Lee – 5 min drive
Pilgrim Inn in Lee– 3 min drive
Kripalu in Lenox– 15 min drive
Canyon Ranch in Lenox – 10 min drive

Tasting in the kitchen

Tasting in the kitchen

Summer Sandwiches

Summer Sandwiches

Looking forward to hearing from you: bettinazumdick@verizon.net - (413) 429-5610

Cancellations

Payments made will be refunded in full (less a $50 processing fee) if you cancel 14 or more days prior to your arrival date. If you cancel between 13 days and 1 day in advance, a nonrefundable credit (less a $50 processing fee) will be held for one year from the date of issue. No credit or refund is available if you cancel on your arrival day, if you do not show up, or if you leave a program or event early.

Bettina Zumdick reserves the right to cancel any program at any time. In this event, you will be given a complete refund.

Sesame Crusted Tofu

Testimonials

"I wanted to let you know you how informative and useful I found Bettina's presentation. I have had multiple Lyme exposures and spent many years suffering. I've researched and read and tried a variety of approaches. I also have studied macrobiotics many years and gone in and out with  the way I eat. Her webinar lined things up in a  unique way. Thank you so much!" KY 5/28/2017

 

"I chose to study Culinary Medicine with Bettina Zumdick because I have been privileged to know Bettina for many years, having taken healing cooking classes with Bettina at the Kushi Institute and at the Reuner Cancer Support House for the Miso Happy Cooking Club.  I have always admired Bettina’s gracefulness, elegance and skills with food preparation, cooking and serving beautiful fresh organic foods that promote health.  I see Bettina as a creative artist with her food preparation and cooking.  Magically, back home, I found myself moving about my kitchen with more grace, focus and intention, just like Bettina.   Using Bettina’s recipes, my cooking at home became more focused, light hearted,  joyous and satisfying.   

There are several reasons that I enrolled in the Culinary Medicine program.  I was getting careless and reckless with my food consumption.  I had gained weight. My doctor told me that I had become obese. I knew that I was losing my focus and my ability to properly nurture myself.  I knew Bettina and admired her character, knowledge and skill.   Bettina offered a very flexible schedule for the modules.  I could put myself in full healing mode to spend Friday morning through Sunday afternoon with Bettina at her Culinary Medicine School.  We would prepare our meals and then enjoy beautiful, artfully served dishes, each dish so delicious.  Each meal so satisfying.  Bettina taught us how to prepare delicious guilt free desserts too.  I enjoyed fascinating conversations with Bettina and my fellow students while cutting vegetables and while eating our meals.  Each day we received take home dinners consisting of the fabulous dishes that we had cooked that day.  Class ended between 3 and 4 pm so there was was plenty of daylight for me to explore nearby Pittsfield and the shopping outlets in Lee.  I was overdue for a vacation and so attending the Culinary Medicine School gave me a much needed and refreshing change of scene and activity.  Staying at a nearby inn on a lake after a fascinating day at Culinary Medicine School and exploring the community made for a perfect vacation for me.

I attended Modules 1, 2 and 3 of the Level One program.  On the last Sunday afternoon Bettina presented me with a beautiful gold embossed Certificate of Completion of Level One of Culinary Medicine.  I wasn’t expecting the certificate.  My, it was beautiful, not ordinary, and a surprise too.  At that moment, I realized that I really did learn so much from Bettina about the macrobiotic approach to health.  I really did earn the Certificate of Completion." Barbara Stemke, 3/23/17 

"Thank you for your excellent webinar on Healthy Memory and Laser-like Focus... very interesting and I enjoyed it. I've appreciated workshops that I've taken with you in the past at the Kushi Institute, and look forward to taking more classes/webinars with you in the future." 3/17/17 Ellen Harris (RDN, LDN, TLC)

"I so enjoyed the webinar.  It is great to be able to keep in touch with you, now that the KI has closed.  And the connection worked much better than I thought it would.  There was really no problem on my end.  I thought the webinar was very informative, and easy to follow.
[..] I am looking forward to more such events." 3/17/17 Elizabeth Moreland

"We were all talking while we were cooking - we remembered how you not only taught us so many important macrobiotic principles and delicious food, but how to carry a calming, peaceful presence in the kitchen that really makes a difference with the food. I learned so much more than I ever anticipated from you! Thank you!" S.S. 1/9/16

“I am amazed – truly amazed.  The remedy – a Probiotic capsule- you recommended has healed every single sore in my mouth and every pain in my jaw.  It is truly remarkable.  I have tried countless over the counter remedies, over the counter vitamins, everything that is out there and only this remedy that you recommended actually worked.
This is no small feat.  I have received consultations from doctors at Dana Farber, Yale, and Sloan… and it is your thoughtful, warm hearted advice that is proving, for me at least,  to be life changing. Profound and whole hearted thanks.”
Kim Czepiga February 2016

“I met with Bettina for my first counseling session this summer while attending the Way to Health program at the Kushi Institute. I actually attended the workshop because I’d heard about Bettina from a good friend who knew of her skill in working with people who’ve had persistent Lyme disease. Her knowledge and experience of Macrobiotics and her personal experience with Lyme disease was my next step toward more fundamental healing, becoming more aware and conscious of food, and its potential healing and medicinal properties.   I’ve been very ill for many years with Lyme disease. I was first infected about ten years ago where I live in southern Vermont and since then my physical and emotional life have been compromised and I’ve been changed in many ways.

I’ve been to specialists of every kind, from rheumatologists, neurologists, orthopedists and naturopaths, physical therapist and more. This has been central in my life, to continue to search out healers who can help define and clarify my condition and symptoms, to find a way to heal myself and return to a more balanced way in my life.

I met with Bettina for my counseling session and was immediately at ease with her. She was warm and strong, and her confidence was comforting to me.   I knew that I was with someone who had a deep understanding of her work. She listened carefully as I told her of my illness with Lyme disease and all the related physical, emotional and spiritual challenges that go along with Lyme and other chronic, long term illnesses. She shared her own experience as it was relevant to mine and then gave me a very clear plan to follow within the Macrobiotic Way. Her counsel was thorough and empathic. She also had a lovely sense of humor, which I certainly needed at the time. It lightened me up and gave me hope that I would be allright and could heal and become healthier. I later had an Energy Healing session with Bettina and the time with her was profound. I could feel the compassion surrounding us and her touch was gentle and light. I had entered the session feeling confused and in a great deal of pain. When I left the pain was relieved, I could walk more easily without discomfort of any kind. Again, I felt some heavy burden lifted and cleared. I felt peaceful and calm and a door opened for me into a lighter and more gentle place; a door into more compassion, understanding and trust in myself. I was grateful. I also took away the strong image of the confidence that Bettina conveyed about the power of eating consciously and intentionally, and how it could change my life.” Evita Cobo – Singer, Teacher, Psychotherapist July 2015

“My sister created a cooking weekend with you on my 60th birthday one year ago in November 2014. Some grace occurred with you that changed my life. I had been trying to be vegetarian and that weekend committed me more fully: the way you arranged and cooked vegetables… Watching you cut with that knife so skillfully and artistically stayed with me. The next day your son helped me pick out a Japanese knife that has transformed my cooking. […] EVERY TIME I CUT MY VEGETA BLES I THINK OF YOU AND SEND YOU A THANK YOU!” Kathleen Dolan June 2015

“I got my extensive Lyme test results today.(…) You are a master diagnostician. You’ve always suspected that something else was at play. I cannot believe that all of these years, I never had an autoimmune disease.” M. Goldman April 2015

“I have attended several programs at the Kushi Institute and found Bettina to be extremely insightful and gifted in her ability to share her vast knowledge and so generous with addressing everyone’s individual concerns in classes.  Having recently done a private consultation and following her suggestions, however,  has brought me to a new level.  Her warmth and caring and dedication are unparalleled.” L. F. Miller February 2015

“You are the best of the best and I have seen many if not most of the cutting edge teachers in your field” E.T. January 2015

“You are an awesome teacher and amazing chef.” A.V. December 2014

“Thank you so much for everything, your wisdom and calmness will stay with me always.” W. S. December 2014

“I am sure you gave me the best teachings and wisdoms of my life ever!” J.L. December 2014

“Bettina, thank you for all that you do. It is appreciated in depth you may not always notice. (…) Your presence heals community and those within it in ways I don’t fully have words for.” K.T. November 2014

 

Culinary Medicine: Luminous Beauty - Aging Gracefully

Daily food choices have been a key practice for thousands of years – a most powerful medicine.

Aging graceful aging, without any age effects on the skin, memory, overall vitality, strength, health and grace - a dream or reality?

It is possible to drastically decrease the effects of aging when tapping into these rejuvenation practices via culinary medicine and simple lifestyle practices. No negative side effects, no toxins, no harm - as opposed to most internal and external beauty products.

Shine with the beauty from within – culinary medicine! Our daily practices of eating, exercising and meditating will show terrific results on our body and our life.

The Culinary Medicine: Luminous Beauty program is unique in many ways:

1) it offers a host of practices designed to understand what and how you eat can restore your natural vitality to the body as a whole and adding glow to the skin, as well as impacting your emotions – balancing your hormones – and improving mind/memory function.

2) it joins theory with practice showing you how to implement what you just learned.

3) it integrates dietetics, food science - the knowledge of the West - with studies of yin and yang, the five transformations, basic understanding of the meridians, basic oriental diagnosis, lifestyle practices and Chi Energy Exercises - the wisdom of the East - to provide a truly comprehensive and integral approach.

You will see how culinary medicine helps with common aging symptoms (insomnia, wrinkles, dark circles under the eyes, etc.) as well as more serious health issues.

The teaching practices come from proven scientific background and from traditional oriental masters. They also come from my 35 years of personal experience and many years of successfully teaching students worldwide. What you are about to learn has been proven by the east and the west and verified by my own extensive experience.

By the end of this course you’ll have a treasure trove of teachings, skills and techniques to bring home and implement in your life and to do so with confidence and conviction.

Sharing this knowledge, wisdom and understanding about food and health with you has been a lifelong passion of mine.
I can’t wait to share with you all I have learned and to introduce you to a journey into this powerful medicine!

Program Objectives and Goals:

As a result of taking this program, the program participants will learn:

•   How to choose and prepare foods to encourage optimal vitality.

•   How to increase overall vitality, luminous and radiant skin, hormonal balance, eliminate brain fog and encourage a stronger memory.

•   Key foods that help to remove and prevent toxins from being absorbed into your system.

•   Significant, yet simple Yoga and Qi Gong practices to improve brain function.

•   How to avoid the damage caused by stress, environmental factors, and poor nutrition.

•   How diet and lifestyle affect the expression of genetic factors

One-day workshops:

9 am - 10 am breakfast
10 am - 12:30 pm cooking class
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm lunch
2 pm - 4 pm lecture and simple yoga/qi gong practices
dinner to go

$295 per person - inquire for dates (413-429-5610) or check the Schedule
 

 

 

2-Day-Personalized Way To Health Workshops

This program is individually tailored to your needs, which is the key to make successful changes in your own life. 

1)  it offers a host of practices designed to understand what and how you eat impactsyour health physically, as well as your emotions, thoughts and actions.

2)  it joins theory with practice showing you how to implement what you just learned.

3)  it integrates dietetics, food science and studies of yin and yang, lifestyle practices and more to provide a truly comprehensive and integral approach.

You will see how culinary medicine helps with common as well as serious health issues or simply as a way to make balance with your lifestyle.

This 2 -day-session will give you a deep understanding that will help you transform your everyday life (and the lives of many people around you). Three-day-sessions are available at request.

The teaching practices come from proven scientific background, from traditional oriental masters and my 35 years of personal experience and many years of successfully teaching students worldwide.

Program - may be adjusted to fit individual needs or requests:
Day 1:
9 – 10 am Breakfast
10 am – 12:30 pm Cooking Class
12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch
2 pm – 4 pm Session #1: Lecture
Dinner-To-Go
Day 2:
9 – 10 am Breakfast
10 am – 12:30 pm Cooking Class
12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch
2 pm – 3 pm Session #2: Questions and Answers

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Although the teachings offered in this course are priceless, the cost for a 2-Day-Personalized Culinary Medicine Program with meals, handouts and recipes included is $599.

Call or email for dates during the week or on weekends – (413)429-5610 – bettinazumdick@verizon.net

Accommodations:

Airbnb at my house in the adjacent apartment, please see my listing and availablity here: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/18214003

Or check out other accommodations in Lee: Choose from the many, local bed and breakfasts or inns within
walking distance or combine your stay with a program or stay at Kripalu or Canyon Ranch or the Cranwell Resort (short driving distances).
Click here to see various options for accommodations!
Apple Gate Inn – 10 min walk
Chambery Inn – 15 min walk
Morgan House – 15 min walk
Crabtree Cottage B&B – 20 min walk
Devonfield B&B 25 min walk
Black Swan Inn – 3 min drive
Cranwell Spa/Resort – 5 min drive
Pilgrim Inn – 3 min drive
Kripalu – 15 min drive
Canyon Ranch – 10 min drive

Looking forward to hearing from you!
bettinazumdick@verizon.net – (413) 429-5610

 

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Private Chef Services:

  • Cooking for Healing:
    • Arthritis
    • Cancer
    • Increasing Mental Clarity and Brain Function
    • Breathing/Lung Problems
    • High Cholesterol
    • Heart Problems
    • Diabetes/Hypogycemia
    • Digestive Problems (including Crohn’s disease, Celiac, Constipation, Diarrhea, and more)
    • Headaches
    • Muscle Aches
    • Infertility
    • Stress
    • Weight Loss
    • Allergies
    • Asthma
    • High Blood Pressure
    • Chronic Fatigue
    • Depression
    • Eating Disorders
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Pregnancy
    • Skin Problems
    • Kidney/Bladder disorders
    • General Wellness
    • and more

       

  • Cooking for General Wellness:

    Bettina Zumdick is a certified natural foods chef, cooking class instructor (culinary medicine), lecturer, author and holistic health counselor with over 30 years of experience committed to bringing real food to the table for sustaining (or regaining) health of body, mind and spirit and our world.

    • All natural whole foods: No high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, food coloring, hormones, additives, preservatives, etc.
    • Local, seasonal, and sustainable and organic (when available) produce and and staple foods (grains, beans, seeds, etc).
    • Food that is nourishing body, mind and spirit.
    • Vegan and fish cuisine – applying highest standards in environmentally sustainable practices.
    • Sugar free, dairy free and when applicable: gluten free cooking.

    Meal Service: Too busy to cook, or tired of mediocre take out? Quality dinners made from scratch using the freshest ingredients cooked right in front of you.

    Cooking Classes: Want to learn how to cook natural foods deliciously and impress your friends? Cooking classes will teach you basic knife skills and culinary techniques and culinary medicine! Bettina will guide and teach you how to prepare dishes that will later be shared together upon completion of the demonstration.

    Inquire for prices: call (413) 429 – 5610 or email bettinazumdick@verizon.net

    Testimonial from a Birthday Dinner Party 9/15/2016:

    “We all LOVED your cooking and enjoyed speaking with you as well. […] Next year, we’ll have you two nights.” M.G. – group of 10 women

 

 

Glossary:

Agar-agar
A white gelatin derived from a sea-vegetable, used in making aspics and jelly.

Amazake
A sweetener or refreshing drink made from sweet rice, millet or oats and koji starter that is allowed to ferment into a thick liquid. Hot amazake is a delicious sweet beverage. It may be referred to as amazake or amasake.

Arrowroot
A starch flour processed from the root of an American native plant. It is used as a thickening agent, similar to cornstarch or kuzu, for making sauces, stews gravies, and desserts.

Azuki bean
A small, dark red bean imported from Japan, but also grown in the United States. Good when cooked with kombu (sea-vegetable).

Bancha tea
Bancha tea is made by steeping the stems and leaves from mature Japanese tea bushes. This tea aids in digestion and contains no chemical dyes. Bancha makes a great breakfast or after-dinner tea.

Black sesame seeds
Small black seeds, occasionally used as a garnish or in black gomashio, a condiment. A different variety of seed from the common tan sesame seed.

Brown rice
Whole, unpolished rice. It is available in three varieties: short, medium and long-grain, and contains an ideal balance of minerals, protein and carbohydrates.

Burdock
A hardy plant that grows wild in the UK. The long, dark burdock root is delicious in soups, stews and sea vegetable dishes or sautéed with carrots. Its is highly valued in macrobiotic cooking for its strengthening qualities.

Daikon
A long, white radish. Besides making a delicious side dish, daikon is a specific aid in dissolving fat and mucus deposits that have accumulated as a result of past animal food in take. Grated daikon aids in the digestion of oily foods.

Flame deflector
A round disc that is place under a pot or pressure cooker to distribute heat evenly and prevent burning.

Gomashio
A condiment made from roasted, ground sesame seeds and sea salt. Gomashio is a rich source of minerals and whole oil and can be sprinkled lightly on rice and other grains.

Ginger
A spice, pungent golden colored root used in cooking and medicinal purposes.
Gomasio- Sesame seed salt made from dry roasting and grinding salt and sesame seeds
and crushing in a mortar.

Hato Mugi or Pearl Barley
This is not the so called “ pearled” barley, a kind of refined
barley. It is not really a barley at all. It is a pearl shaped seed of wild grass, also known as “
Job’s tears”.

Hijiki
A dark brown sea-vegetable that turns black when dried. It has a wiry consistency, may be strong-tasting and is high in calcium and protein.

Hokkaido pumpkin or Kabocha.
There are two varieties of Hokkaido pumpkin (also called Hokkaido Squash): one has a deep orange color and the other has a light or dark green skin. Hokkaido pumpkins taste very sweet when cooked. Kabocha/Hokkaido pumpkin is a hybrid of a New England and Japanese Squash.

Kanten
A jelled fruit dessert made from agar agar.

Kinpira
A style of cooking root vegetables first by sautéing, then adding a little water and simmering, and
seasoning with tamari/ soy sauce at the end of cooking.

Kombu
A wide, thick, dark green sea-vegetable that grows in deep ocean water. Often cooked with vegetables and beans; and used in making condiments and soup stocks. Kombu is rich in essential and trace minerals, antioxidants and iodine.

Kuzu
A white starch made from the root of the wild kuzu plants. Used in making soups, sauces, gravies, desserts and for medicinal purposes.

Lotus root
The root and seeds of a water lily which is brown-skinned with a hollow, chambered with white inside. Very good for the respiratory organs.

Mirin
A wine made from whole grain sweet rice. Used occasionally as a seasoning in vegetable or sea-vegetable dishes.

Millet
A small yellow grain that can be prepared whole, added to soups, salads and vegetable dishes.

Mirin
A sweet cooking wine/sake made from sweet rice.

Miso
A fermented grain or bean paste made from ingredients such as soybeans, chickpeas, barley, rice and salt. There are many varieties of miso now available. Barley (mugi) or soybean (hatcho) miso is usually recommended for daily use. Miso is especially for the circulatory and digestive organs. It is high in protein and Vitamin B12.

Mochi
A rice cake or dumpling made from cooked , pounded sweet rice.

Nishime
Long, slow style of boiling in which vegetables or other ingredients cook primarily in their own juices. It promotes peaceful, slowly building source energy.

Nori
Thin sheets, of dried sea-vegetable that are black or dark purple when dried. Nori is often roasted over a flame until green. It is used as a garnish, wrapped around rice balls in making sushi or cooked with tamari as a condiment. Rich in Vitamin A and protein, nori also contains calcium, iron, Vitamins B1, B2, C, and D and is very good for the nervous system and improving brain function.

Pressed Salad
Salad pressed by pressing finely sliced vegetables with sea salt in a small pickle press or a straight edged container with some weight like a heavy stone or a glass jar filled with water.

Pressure cooker
An airtight pot that cooks food quickly by cooking at very high temperature. Used primarily in macrobiotic cooking for whole grains and beans - rarely for vegetables.

Rice balls
Rice shaped into balls or triangles , usually with a piece of umeboshi in the centre, and wrapped in toasted nori sheets to completely cover. Pickles, seeds, vegetables, fried tofu, and other ingredients can be placed in the center to create a variety of tastes. Rice balls can also be coated with whole or ground sesame seeds.

Rice Syrup
A natural sweetener made from malted brown rice.

Sea Salt
Unrefined, whole salt obtained from the ocean.

Seitan
Wheat gluten cooked in tamari, kombu, and water. Seitan can be made at home or purchased ready-made at many natural food stores. Many people use it as a meat substitute.

Shiitake mushrooms
Fresh or dried shiitake mushroomscan be used in soup stocks or vegetable dishes, and are often used in medicinal preparations. These mushrooms are effective in helping the body to discharge excess salt and animal fats. They have anti-cancerous, anti-viral and immune boosting properties.

Shoyu

A naturally made soy sauce.

Soba Noodles
Noodles made either exclusively from buckwheat flour or buckwheat flour combined with whole wheat.

Suribachi
A serrated, glazed clay mortar. Used with a pestle for grinding and pureeing food.

Tamari
Genuine or real tamari is a soy sauce like seasoning that is by-product of the miso making process. It is stronger then regular shoyu or natural soy sauce.

Tekka
A condiment made from hatcho miso, sesame oil, burdock, lotus root, carrot and ginger root, sautéed on a low flame for several hours.

Tempeh
A dish made from soybeans, water, and fermentation starter bacteria. Tempeh is traditionally eaten/made in Indonesia and Sir Lanka as a staple food. It is available in the refrigerated section of natural food stores.

Tofu
Soybean curd made from soybeans and nigari (Magnesium Chloride). It is a food high in protein and is usually available in rectangular cakes in the refrigerated section of natural health food stores. It may be sliced and cooked in soups, vegetable dishes, salads, sauces, dressings and other many other ways.

Udon Noodles
A Japanese style whole wheat noodle - like linguini noodles.

Umeboshi
A salted pickled plum usually aged for several months to years. Used as a seasoning, in sauces and for medicinal purposes. Umeboshi Plums aid in maintaining an alkaline blood quality.

Umeboshi-vinegar
Also known as ume-su. It is the salty/sour brine that umeboshi plums are aged in. Used for dressings, sauces and making pickles.

Wakame
A long thin green sea-vegetable used in making soups, salads and vegetable dishes. High in protein, iron and magnesium, wakame has a sweet taste and delicate texture and is especially good in miso soup.

 

Miscellaneous:

SEA VEGETABLES

Most of the American population consumes sea vegetables daily without realizing it.
They are present in ice cream, puddings, bottled sauces, and even toothpaste. They are used to thicken products and act as stabilizers.
Unprocessed sea vegetables are a wonderful food to help detoxify and strengthen the body if taken regularly or daily.
Rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein, yet low in calories, sea vegetables are delicious in soups, stews, salads, side dishes, or for making sushi.
Please try: nori, wakame, arame, dulse, hijiki, agar agar

BERRIES

Berries are loaded with vitamin C, folate, fiber and antioxidants.
Indeed, fresh berries contain powerful disease fighting substances.
They are great as a dessert or snack - best eaten separately from other carbohydrate rich foods (like grains). Please try: raspberries, blueberries, sour or sweet cherries, and blackberries and others.

LEAFY GREEN VEGETABLES

Green vegetables such as kale, chard, collard greens, watercress, arugula, bok choy, and dandelion greens are packed with vitamins A and C, iron, folate, beta-carotene, calcium, protein and antioxidants.

They alkalize our system, and create strong blood quality, strong bones, detoxify and strengthen the immune function.

PICKLES

Pickles contribute to the protection of the body against infections and other virus/bacteria borne disease, stimulate the immune system, improve the digestion process by establish a healthy intestinal flora, which allows better absorption of nutrients. They also help to protect against depression.

Please try: sauerkraut, Kim chi and other naturally fermented pickles such as dill pickles

UMEBOSHI PLUM

A salty, sour long fermented plum (actually an apricot) pickled with red shiso leaves(perilla leaf). Often called 'the king of alkaline foods', umeboshi plums are an ancient Japanese health food used to balance and strengthen.

Highly valued for its antibacterial properties, a digestive aid, and also for hangovers or whenever the body feels depleted. Ideal for sushi, dips, sauces, and salad dressings and more.

 

DAIKON RADISH

Native to Asia, these are very large carrot-shaped radishes.
Also called Japanese radishes, they have a white flesh that is juicy and pungent - a little bit stronger
than red radishes but milder than that of black radishes. Daikon Radish helps to dissolve excess fat in the body and is high in Vitamin C.

FERMENTED SOY (MISO AND TEMPEH)

Tempeh
is a fermented food made from soybeans, originating from Indonesia. The fermentation process and its retention of the whole bean give it a higher content of vitamins, phytochemicals, all of the essential amino acids, as well as firmer texture and stronger flavor than tofu.

The soy protein in tempeh becomes more digestible as a result of the fermentation process.
Because tempeh is made from whole beans, it is also a good source of dietary fiber unlike tofu which contains no fiber.

Miso (fermented bean paste) is a concentrated, savory seasoning agent - a paste made from beans - often soybeans - mixed with a grain such as rice, barley, or wheat and a fermentation agent, called koji.

The mixture is aged from one month to several or many years. Using a natural quality miso regularly, but sparingly as a soup seasoning or for dressings and sauces will help to provide us with anti-cancer, anti-viral protection and detox effect for the body, while adding wonderful flavor to foods.

Please try: Barley Miso, Rice Miso, Chickpea Miso, Sweet White Miso and more


WHOLE GRAINS

Whole grains contain complex carbohydrates to keep our blood sugar levels even, fiber, b-Vitamins and a whole storehouse of most valuable antioxidants not found in fruits and vegetables.
They also contain vitamin E, magnesium and iron and fiber. In order to gain access to the antioxidants in whole grains, they need to be soaked before cooking!

Consuming too much wheat and other grains that contain gluten (like barley, rye, spelt, etc.), which can cause bloating, try to eat more gluten free grains such as: quinoa, brown rice, millet, corn, and amaranth.

SARDINES

This slender fish is packed full of important nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and calcium. Cold-water fish, such as sardines, contain the highest amounts of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. One of the world's first canned foods, the sardine is rich in phosphorus, iron, potassium, vitamin B6, and niacin.



EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

Olive oil, a nutritionally impressive fat derived from the olive fruit, is a principal source of dietary fat in the Mediterranean region. Numerous studies have shown that those who consume the traditional Mediterranean diet (compared with people who consume an American style cuisine high in saturated fat), are at decreased risk of developing heart disease and cancer. And epidemiological studies show that they also live longer. Recent data suggests that olive oil has anti-inflammatory benefits.

 

(12.) GREEN TEA

Besides tasting great (unless the tea is steeped in too hot or boiling water, which makes the tea taste bitter) green tea has many benefits. The secret of green tea lies in the fact it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

EGCG is a powerful anti-oxidant: besides inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, it kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue.


 

BEANS

Beans especially are a very good source for lowering cholesterol levels. In addition to lowering cholesterol, black beans' high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.

When combined with whole grains such as brown rice, black beans provide virtually fat-free high quality complete protein.

Please try: aduki, chickpea, pinto, black turtle, kidney, lentil and navy beans.

SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS

Most mushrooms provide a wealth of protein, fiber, B vitamins, and vitamin C, as well as calcium and other minerals.
These medicinal mushrooms have been shown to boost heart health, lower the risk of cancer, promote immune function, ward off viruses, bacteria, reduce inflammation, combat allergies, help balance blood sugar levels, and support the body's detoxification mechanisms.

NUTS

Although nuts are high in fat, studies with almonds and walnuts have both shown a beneficial effect on blood cholesterol levels. Walnuts in particular, are high in omega-3 fatty acids that are protective to the heart and circulation. Nuts are also good sources of dietary fiber, magnesium, copper, folic acid, protein, potassium, and vitamin E.

It is better to buy unsalted raw nuts and toast them yourself at home. The salted nuts at the store are usually too high in sodium and rancid. Store in refrigerator or freezer.

 

 

Publications, Cooking Videos and Recipes

BOOKS:

Free Cooking/Lecture Videos:

Cooking Demo - Leafy Greens Plaster for Pain Relief

 

Brown Rice - Bright Brain
Brain Synergy and Brown Rice

by Bettina Zumdick

The masculine or left-focused-brain is enjoying the Sunday football game on TV, the status quo, with all familiar rituals, while the feminine or right-focused-brain is seeking to stretch the invisible muscles of consciousness with yoga and mind altering practices, seeking some unknowable ‘something more’.
This gross simplification is meant to demonstrate the differences of the two brain hemispheres.

Attaining synergy of the right and left hemispheres of the brain allows us to experience the two ends of a paradox while we rise to a greater perspective, integrating the different aspects of consciousness and thus achieving inner peace and wellbeing. Brain synergy has also been labeled the ability to attain enlightenment. Eating well-prepared Brown Rice and other whole foods may well be the foundation to allow higher brain function to occur.

Brain Synergy allows us to step beyond the masculine/feminine stereotypes, beyond black or white or any dualistic thinking process. These days, many people’s brain function stops short of even reaching the frontal hemispheres of the brain. Stress, environmental and internal toxins, free radicals, poor nutrition, deficient oxygen levels in the blood, hypoglycemia and other contributing factors result in a short circuit or vicious circle in the brain, leaving us in a paradigm of fear, competition and survival of the fittest.

75 percent of a person’s health and longevity is determined by lifestyle factors such as what we eat, how much we exercise, how we love and are loved, whether we deem our life as meaningful and purposeful, whether we meditate, etc. Only 25 percent of a person’s health and longevity is dictated by our genes, according to recent studies[1].
MRI scans have clearly shown how the activation of prefrontal cortex (left and right side) results in being able to remain calm and stress-free, live in peace and experience joy. Prefrontal cortex activity also indicates that the whole body is generally healthy.

In order to understand how to set the stage in the body to attain prefrontal cortex activation or better yet synergy of the brain, we need to look at some of the other, deeper brain areas, as they are fundamental factors in whether we succeed or fail in the achieving of brain synergy.

Let us begin with examining the deep inner brain: part of the limbic brain, in particular the hippocampus and amygdala.

The hippocampus can be compared to a distribution center, compiling information received from the outside via the senses and then directing appropriate responses towards processing to either the amygdala or the cerebral cortex. When the hippocampus perceives something as dangerous, the information is routed to the amygdala. The amygdala’s function is one of ‘fight or flight’ – a more instinctual, older program in the brain of our species. On the other hand, when more sophisticated responses such as solution oriented thinking or perceiving a challenge as an opportunity is called for, the hippocampus routes information to the cerebral cortex.

The hippocampus is a very delicate part of the brain, which can easily break down under the influence of physical and emotional stress and its accompanying hormones (cortisol and adrenaline in particular).  Free radical and chemical damage from toxins in foods, medications or the environment also play roles in wreaking havoc on the sensitive hippocampus.

When our brain, in particular our hippocampus is damaged by hormones, toxins or too many free radicals from various sources, it can no longer serve as a discerning distribution center. The results are most undesirable, as default mechanism sets in and creates a vicious cycle. The default mechanism works by channeling all incoming information through the amygdala. While the hippocampus send all information to the amygdala, a person is stuck in this vicious cycle, perceiving everything, even the most harmless circumstances, as a source of danger. In response to the perception of danger, the amygdala activates the adrenal glands to release cortisol and adrenalin – the stress hormones, further damaging the hippocampus and the vicious circle is complete.

Many people today are living with constant high stress levels - living in a paradigm of competition and survival of the fittest. This mode of being has become the norm among a vast percentage of people living in the US.

In terms of weight, the brain only represents 2.5 percent of the total human body weight. However, it is well known that the brain consumes 20 percent of the energy calories, when the body is at rest.

The energy factories of our body cells, including our brain cells, called mitochondria, use carbohydrates as fuel. Depending on what kind of carbohydrate we are choosing to consume and which – if any - other micro-nutrients are provided along with the carbohydrate of choice, this can make all the difference between breaking the vicious cycle or keeping it going.

While white sugar or other simple sugars, are carbohydrates, brain function and overall function of the body is weakened by this particular expression of a carbohydrate. White sugar is highly processed, and thus devoid of all other micronutrients, such as antioxidants, that act like mitigating factors in the health of the body and brain cells.

Simple sugars as in white sugar, fruit sugar, etc. burn quickly and raise the blood-sugar level dramatically for a short period of time, and then blood-sugar level drops just as dramatically (unless we keep taking sugar non-stop). When abundant antioxidants and other micronutrients are accompanying the sugars you are eating, the damage is not as extensive to the cells of the body, nor the hippocampus cells in particular. However if that is not the case, a vicious cycle is launched: a severe drop in blood-sugar level usually makes us reach for something else to eat, typically a doughnut, candy, soda, etc., in other words processed foods which further damage the hippocampus cells and thus compromise higher brain function.

In the event that we can’t raise our blood-sugar level quickly and hypoglycemia (low-blood-sugar level) sets in, this activates the adrenal glands to release the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. If a person is experiencing hypoglycemia on a daily or weekly basis, even mild forms of hypoglycemia, then the hippocampus cells are harmed and poof - there goes our ability to attain brain synergy and in many cases our ability to use logic and reason, or to use creative learning.

Complex carbohydrates, as in brown rice are essential, as they allow the brain and body to be nourished evenly for a long period of time.

Brown Rice, properly prepared and consumed daily, will provide a much more even level of energy and nourishment, preventing and alleviating hypoglycemia, and thus preventing further damage to brain and other organs of the body.

Furthermore, Brown Rice contains many antioxidants (more than 70) to prevent free radical damage, and in particular one very significant antioxidant: Glutathione, which is the basis for the enzyme glutathione S-transferase. This enzyme is extremely valuable in the detoxification process of cells, repair of DNA, immune enhancement, activation of other enzymes and more. It is deemed a master antioxidant in human physiology.

Glutathione along with another important antioxidant (also found in Brown Rice) called Super Oxidase Dismutase or SOD are able to turn on a genetic switch in our mitochondria, which allow the mitochondria to produce a vast range of antioxidants within the cell that protect the mitochondria and the cells from free radical damage, which is important for our body, brain and especially our sensitive hippocampus. Only when our hippocampus can function, again, will we be able to step out of the paradigm of competition and survival of the fittest.

Brown Rice is one of the whole foods containing Glutathione. It is stored within the Whole Brown Rice Grain in such a way that it does not deteriorate before it gets to the table, unless the grain is broken or moldy. Glutathione stored in many other more rapidly perishable foods loose their Glutathione content quickly – long before it gets to the table. However it is crucial to soak your Brown Rice 12 – 24 hours before cooking it, in order to get the benefit of Glutathione as well as the vast array of other antioxidants[2] (for further information, please read pages 22 – 23 in Authentic Foods by Bettina Zumdick). Phytic Acid and other enzyme inhibitors prevent us from getting the benefits in Brown Rice if eaten without soaking. At the same time, these enzyme inhibitors also ensure the continued availability of these nutrients, which would otherwise decompose.

The complexity of nutrients in Brown Rice work in our favor, in fact they are much more effective than isolated vitamins or other isolated micro-nutrients and supplements, which are not easy to absorb through our digestive system, as they lack the intricacy and networking of their accompanying nutrients.

Other factors, such as daily physical exercise in fresh air, specific substances like sulforaphane, found in the cabbage family vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, collards, etc.), omega 3 fatty acids, and DHA or docosahexaenoic acid producing brown sea vegetables like nori, also help repair damage to the brain and specifically the hippocampus.

And while I have diligently tried to highlight specifics about brain function and micronutrients in this article, I also believe the following, as stated in my book Authentic Foods (p.26): “Scientific studies try to analyze their objects of interest by dissecting them. Unfortunately, this mosaic separation and isolation into specific nutrients looses the greater perspective of the harmoniously orchestrated composition of phytonutrients working together.”

Brown Rice along with the before mentioned factors turn on a genetic dormant switch in the body that allows us to step into a paradigm of compassion, connection and perceiving safety and opportunity rather than fear and danger. This is the basic foundation for attaining brain synergy and stretching the invisible muscles of our consciousness further in logical and creative ways to become the solution oriented people and society that I believe we truly are.

[1] Hum. Genetics 1996, Mar; 97(3):319-23.

The heritability of human longevity: a population-based study of 2872 Danish twin pairs born 1870 – 1900.

Centre for Health and Social Policy, Institute of Community Health, Odense University, Denmark

[2] Before cooking whole grains it is important to soak them for 12 - 24 hours or overnight prior to the cooking process. Dry whole grains contain enzyme inhibitors, such as phytic acid, which allow the grains to remain intact in a dormant state for a very long time, until the outer conditions are suitable for developing into a new plant again. These enzyme inhibitors unfortunately have a suppressing effect on our digestive enzymatic process. We can only partially digest non-soaked grains, with most of the valuable phyto-nutrients being un-available. Soaking will deactivate the enzyme inhibitors resulting in much greater nutritional value and digestibility when eating the soaked and cooked rice.
 

 

Yin and Yang: The Principles of Opposites

The 2 poles, yin (expansion, upward and outward energy) and yang (contraction, downward and inward energy), are complementary and antagonistic. Yin and yin repulse one another, as do yang and yang, but yin and yang attract one another. Yin and yang are phenomena that are described in relation to each other - nothing is solely yin or yang. Understanding the balance between the two is paramount to the maintenance of good health.

Yin Foods, Yang Foods

There are four factors that determine whether a food is yin or yang:
• How the food grows (including speed and direction).
• Where the food was grown (in northern or southern climates).
• The sodium-potassium content and general vitamin and mineral content.
• And the effect the food has on the body (hot or cold effects).

In simplified terms of mineral elements, Yin represents foods rich in potassium, while Yang foods are high in sodium. In general, yin foods are considered more "cooling," have more potassium, and/or grow above soil. Yang foods are "warming" or "hot," contain more sodium, and/or grow below the soil. In addition to eating yin or yang foods, to maintain balance it is helpful to eat seasonally:  eating "cooling" foods when the weather is hot, and "warming" foods when it is cold. In addition to yin and yang, there are five elements or transformations, which must also be balanced. Each element/transformation is associated with a particular food quality and ideally each main meal includes all five.

"Yang is the tendency to gather. Yin is the tendency to disperse."

To embrace the meaning of the symbol is to understand that it represents the vibratory nature of all manifest phenomena, created by the interaction of opposing yet complementary forces the positive and negative, the aggressive and receptive, the masculine and feminine-all existing to encourage balance in the unfolding of life.

The circle, enclosing Yin and Yang, represents the cosmic oneness within which these forces operate - the physical universe. Each facet (Yin and Yang) contains a speck of the other; meaning that there is nothing that is solely yin or yang – each has within itself a perception or an inlet of its opposite.

This presence of opposite aspects also suggests the constant movement of yin and yang, one into the other, stimulated by the physical laws of attraction and repulsion. This movement is what guarantees that change, growth, and evolution will occur as part of the life process.

Human beings are inextricably part of the whole of nature and as such are themselves an expression of the interplay of forces, of Yin and Yang. Our bodies, our breath, the way we work, play, and think all originate from and manifest the interaction of these two forces. Accepting this, the principles of Yin/Yang theory encourage a holistic view of life and suggest it can be lived as a work of art.

By understanding the applications of Yin / Yang theory to all aspects of life, a person can achieve the balance so essential to a sense of well being. Life's activities are never isolated from each other; by con­templating the interaction of Yin/Yang forces within us, we can learn to express ourselves, take care of our bodies, and nourish ourselves in a balanced way.

In applying the Yin/Yang theory to the dynamics of our lives, the "Seven Universal Principles" evolved:

1. There is infinite variety in the world, and it springs all from one Source.

2. Everything changes.

3. Everything interrelates with everything else.

4. No two things are identical.

5. What has a front has a back. This relates to our concept of cause and effect.

6. The bigger the front, the bigger the back.

7. What has a beginning has an end.
Since in the Oriental philosophy or Yin and Yang is a theory of ebb and flow, life is seen as a process. No single answer is correct for everyone, nor for the same person at different times in their life. The pursuit of health thus becomes a path of living in balance with ourselves and all of nature.

 

 

 

 

Yoga, Meditation, Chanting and Qi Gong
 

YOGA

While there is no one thing that fits everyone, you may have heard good things or have experienced the benefits of yoga. It can relax you. It can improve fitness and can be a wonderful support to be able to overcome numerous medical conditions.

Yoga is great for flexibility, for strength, for posture, balance, Yoga has been found to improve quality of life, reduce stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression and back pain. It has also been found to lower heart rate and blood pressure.

But ultimately yoga isn't about building muscle, strength or flexibility (even though these are wonderful side-effects).

Yoga means union. Union of body, mind and spirit. When we are able to stop the movement, the constant chatter, of the mind, we are in Yoga - we are in Union.

While the active part of yoga (the exercise part) is important, to reap the truly beneficial effects, one must include the relaxation part and meditation. Only doing the exercises as vigerously as possible, may or may not be helpful and in some cases when self awareness is subverted by a competitive mind set, people have actually gotten hurt.

One of the primary purposes of a yoga practice is relaxation. Whichever kind of yoga relaxes you and doesn't feel like just vigerous exercise is a excellent choice. Relaxed mindfulness is the goal.

Especially the breathing aspects of yoga can be helpful in so many of our daily life challenges: to help children sleep, reduce anxiety, help with post-traumatic stress disorder, for athma, autism and as support and pain management.

In my experience it has been a great help with both the anxiety and pain levels I experienced during my close encounter with Lyme disease. 

Brain
What seems like a slow start—breathing deeply, in and out—fires up your prefrontal cortex, the brain's think tank. You just got smarter: In one study, people scored higher on cognitive tests after 20 minutes of yoga.

Your intense focus helps quiet your nagging amygdala—a.k.a. your instinctual emotional network: the fight-or-flight stress mechanism. That means more control over feelings such as anger and fear.

Nervous System
The intense focus on breathing, mental focus, and movement ignites the parasympathetic, or "rest and digest," nervous system, the antidote to the fight-or-flight stress response.

The vagus nerve, one of your body's neural highways, carries that chill-out message to all your internal organs. Ahhh!

Lungs and Heart
Memo received: Your lungs expand and contract and the breaths extend to deep abdominal breathing, which gives you a deep internal massage while the body gets oxygenated.

Your heart also benefits. The effect is so strong that a regular yoga practice can lower your resting heart rate— during and after class.

Hormones
The adrenal glands ease back on production of the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to cravings for fatty foods, estrogen dominance, thyroid disorders and much more. Post-yoga, it may be easier to resist snacking and feel more at ease.

Immune System
That vagus nerve may also alert your immune system, which releases a stash of immunity-enhancing cells. You could now be better primed to fight off infections.

Balance and Strength
Yoga—even just twice a week for a month—can improve your balance, fitness and strength.

Easing yourself into positions stretches your muscles, tendons, and connective tissues. Repeating these movements can strengthen your core and limbs. And it will add to your flexibility, protecting your joints and muscles from damage.

 

Meditation

From the medical community to the yoga community, the verdict is out: you need to meditate! Recent studies from Harvard University found what long-term meditators and yogis been teaching for thousands of years: that meditation reduces stress, fosters clear thinking, and increases our capacity for empathy and compassion.

You will experience the benefits of meditation for yourself when you make the time in your daily schedule. However, once you do it regularly, it is like breathing fresh air, you wonder how you ever existed without this daily breath of fresh air and ritual of relaxation! Check out the range of benefits that a regular practice offers:

Physical Benefits of Meditation

When meditating, MRI images have clearly shown a complete change in the brain’s chemistry, which results in a relaxation response in the rest of the body.

When meditating, beta waves, which indicate a state where information is being processed, decrease, and are replaced by alpha waves, which are associated with total brain function integration and smooth working of the brain. The back of the brain, the instinctual older parts of the brain, governing our fight or flight response (stress response) are calmed resulting in calming the nervous system as a whole, and bringing about relaxation and improved functioning of the entire body.

On a physical level, meditation:

  • Lowers high blood pressure
  • Reduces anxiety attacks
  • Decreases tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems
  • Increases serotonin production that improves mood and behavior and reduces stress
  • Improves the immune system
  • Increases the energy level

Mental Benefits of Meditation

As mentioned before, meditation changes the brainwave patterns to a relaxed alpha state. This relaxes the body and mind. These brainwaves allow the body and mind to enter a state of deep rest. Meditation is also a way to connect with the real, the true you. This is important when we wish to make decisions that align with the person's authentic feelings and desires.

On a mental level, meditation:

  • decreases anxiety
  • improves emotional stability
  • increases creativity
  • increases happiness
  • develops our intuition 
  • helps to gain clarity and peace of mind
  • assists in being able to see any obstacle in life as a challenge, rather than seeing it as a threat
  • sharpens the mind by increasing focus and expands the mind through relaxation
  • brings balance of a sharp mind with an expanded consciousness which results in being able to navigate life more elegantly and understanding the the blueprints operating from behind the scenes of our life.

 

Transformational Benefits of Meditation

Ultimately meditation can bring about true access to the greater aspects of our personality (which often remain hidden to us because of the hubbub of our lives), which allows us to live our life more meaningful, more true to ourselves and living life with a sweeter touch.

 

Chanting

Chanting, toning, singing - they are all using sound, breathing and rhythm. It helps to oxygenate the lungs, let the mind relax by focussing on the sounds, massaging all internal organs and gets us ready for meditation. 

There is so much benefit from chanting - it is like a transformation mechanism that once set into motion, it will bring about a change. Depending on what we are chanting, the results may be specific or general, may be applied for physical benefit of the body, may be used to benefit our mind or , emotional bodies, or to improve our intuition and much more.

For more information, feel free to contact me.

 

Qi Gong

Unlike Western aerobic workouts, this Eastern approach to exercise is more holistic. It doesn't just benefit the muscles (and in aerobic exercise it actually contracts the muscles), but it builds the muscles, while the body remains relaxed. This allows the energy to travel freely through the body and build source energy in the body. When contracting muscles via aerobic exercise, it slows down our lymph system, however qi gong will improve the lymph system flow and discharge toxins from the body more quickly. It builds power, while remaining relaxed.

Qi Gong

  • builds muscles and power, while remaining relaxed
  • strengthens all internal organs
  • improves the cardio - vascular system
  • improves lung function and breathing
  • strengthens nerves
  • can be used by anyone and reaping benefits, no matter if it is a seriously ill person or an athlete
  • prevents injury to joints, ligaments and bones
  • speeds recovery time from injuries and surgeries
  • eases stress and balances emotions and mental attitudes
  • benefits sedentary workers and meditators.

Quick Fixes and Short Cuts

Coming Soon....

Private Cooking Class Instruction:
You may wish to learn to cook special dishes or simply enjoy privacy while getting your questions answered.
Please contact me for details: (413) 429 - 5610 or bettinazumdick@verizon.net

Private Cooking Class Instruction:

  • Cooking for Healing:
    • Arthritis
    • Cancer
    • Increasing Mental Clarity and Brain Function
    • Breathing/Lung Problems
    • High Cholesterol
    • Heart Problems
    • Diabetes/Hypoglycemia
    • Digestive Problems (including Crohn’s disease, Celiac, Constipation, Diarrhea, and more)
    • Headaches
    • Muscle Aches
    • Infertility
    • Stress
    • Weight Loss
    • Allergies
    • Asthma
    • High Blood Pressure
    • Chronic Fatigue
    • Depression
    • Eating Disorders
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Pregnancy
    • Skin Problems
    • Kidney/Bladder disorders
    • General Wellness
    • and more

       

  • Cooking for General Wellness:

    Bettina Zumdick is a certified natural foods chef, cooking class instructor (culinary medicine), lecturer, author and holistic health counselor with over 30 years of experience committed to bringing real food to the table for sustaining (or regaining) health of body, mind and spirit and our world.

    • All natural whole foods: No high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, food coloring, hormones, additives, preservatives, etc.
    • Local, seasonal, and sustainable and organic (when available) produce and and staple foods (grains, beans, seeds, etc).
    • Food that is nourishing body, mind and spirit.
    • Vegan and fish cuisine – applying highest standards in environmentally sustainable practices.
    • Sugar free, dairy free and when applicable: gluten free cooking.

     

    Cooking Classes: Want to learn how to cook natural foods deliciously and impress your friends? Cooking classes will teach you basic knife skills and culinary techniques and culinary medicine! Bettina will guide and teach you how to prepare dishes that will later be shared together upon completion of the demonstration.

    Inquire for prices: call (413) 429 – 5610 or email bettinazumdick@verizon.net

 

 

Mentorship Program:

The mentorship program is offered to dedicated students who wish to study more in depth or wish to discuss client diagnosis and recommendations with and experienced counselor. For more info, please call or email Bettina: (413) 429-5610 - bettinazumdick@verizon.net