*The Sunshine Vitamin: Vitamin D and You *Only 3 Registrations Remaining - Make Your Own Fermented Foods Course, October 6-10
*Student Chef's Creative Food Slideshow
*E-X-P-A-N-D Your Macrobiotic Cooking Skills Hands-On Course, November 9-13
* Macrobiotic Counselor & Chef Training Courses, Starting September 15
Check out the slideshow of dishes prepared by the creative student chefs in our Online Macrobiotic Chef Training. Next course starting soon! See below.
ABOUT CYNTHIA VANN: Cynthia is a respected member of the macrobiotic community. She is a dedicated long-time researcher, historian and archivist of macrobiotics. Cynthia attended the levels at the Kushi Institute and is a graduate from Macrobiotics America’s Counselor Training Program. She is currently enrolled in our Macrobiotic Chef Training Program. She is a macrobiotic counselor as well as consultant in iridology and sclerology. Cynthia compiled a 4-booklet series, Best of East West, containing many of the most popular seasonal recipes published in the East West Journal during the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. She is also an avid nature and hiking enthusiast.
In Here Comes the Sun, Part 1, we looked at how we are "solar powered." Humans can’t directly capture the sun’s energy like plants; we are dependent upon the plant world to do that for us. Plants photosynthesize sunlight and store it primarily as carbohydrate. We then ingest plants, and through digestion unlock plant sourced solar energy to fuel our very existence. Sun exposure is a different, yet essential way in which we “ingest” sunlight - not through food consumption and digestion, but through our skin. By exposing our skin to sunlight, we are nourished by transmuting the sun's energy into Vitamin D. Here in Part 2, I present an interview with Cynthia Vann, who shares her personal experience and long-time research of Vit D.
CB: Cynthia, what first led you to study Vit D?
CV: We were camping and hiking, about 8 miles in. On the last day I was enjoying a beautiful hike up the mountainside when I slipped on some loose shale. Reflexively, I broke the fall with my hand and heard a cracking sound. My companions helped me with the climb back down to camp and put a cast on it. I slept there overnight. The next day, I walked the 8 miles out. The injury was OK as long as I didn’t move it a certain way. After 2 days, I went to the ER and they patched it up. Well, that piqued my curiosity. I hadn’t had any prior breaks for decades, really. I’d recently had a bone density test that came out great. So I was surprised.
Then I went to visit a friend, Mark Sorenson, who owns a spa. He had been studying Vit D quite extensively and had even written a book about it. He was giving lectures on the subject at hisspa. I had never considered Vit D to factor into my bone health and had never had my Vit D levels tested. He suggested that I get tested when I got home.
Also, there was a woman staying at the spa, who had been diagnosed with osteopenia. She had brittle bones and marked depression, as well as other bothersome symptoms. Her Vit D level was at 6 ng/ml and it’s supposed to be at 40. She did a series of supplemental treatments and a sunbathing regime and raised her levels up to 40. Well, I was very impressed and my curiosity drove me to do extensive reading and research.
CB: So, the lady who did the sunbathing, how much of her skin was exposed and how long was her sunbath?
CV: She went out in a bikini. The length of time for sun exposure depends on your skin type. She was fairly light skinned. For pale skin, you don’t have to be out very long, maybe 5 minutes on each side. You don’t want to burn. The danger of sun tanning is not from tanning, it’s from burning. You learn how long you can sunbathe before you start to burn. That’s generally the amount of time it’s safe.
CB: Would you say that when less skin is exposed, you should stay out longer?
CV: No, you can’t make up for skin surface. It’s better to have more skin exposed. However, if you can’t have the skin exposed, by all means, still go out and get some sun.
For babies, Dr. Jym Moon said that the cheeks and the hands are enough for a baby. Just take care not to let the baby's skin burn.
CB: I remember after my first delivery, the baby was slightly jaundiced. It was winter, and the midwife recommended having the baby lie naked on a blanket by a window with the sun coming through. Is the liver involved in Vit D production or storage?
CV:Yes, organ-wise, the liver is crucial along the pathway of Vit D production as well as the kidneys. Vit D is currently believed to be made by all the cells of the body, and not just bone cells, as previously believed. It’s very beneficial for all the organs. Each cell in our body has a Vit D receptor. Vit D deficiency can harm the DNA function.
CB: In that case, since our body replaces 40-50 billion cells per day, Vit D is consequential for healing and cell regeneration. Simple things like bruises or cuts would take longer to heal if Vit D levels are low.
Plan now to attend October 9-13, 2019! Make Your Own Fermented Foods & Non-Fermented Specialty Foods
It's been 8 years since we have offered this course! You won't want to miss this unique opportunity!
Tempehis a versatile savory soybean cake with a “mushroom-like” fragrance and delicious umami flavor. Great for vegan reuben sandwiches, stir fried veggies or as an addition to succulent nishime-cooked vegetables.
Naturally leavened rice breaduses natural air-born yeast in your kitchen to leaven this bread. We love it steamed! It has a unique, complrx and gently sweet flavor.
Nattocan be eaten as an accompaniment to rice or used to make delicious spreads. Natto is celebrated for heart health and for the prevention, and even reversal of blood clots and clogged arteries. Natto is a vegan source of B12.
Chickpea misois surprisingly easy to make and the rewards are unequaled in taste and quality, as well as easy on the pocketbook
Tekkais a flavor-packed traditional condiment renowned for strengthening the blood, reversing anemia and as an energy tonic. Tekka keeps for years without spoiling.
Amasakeis a koji ferment that transforms complex carbohydrate into a sweet disaccharide. It is delicious as a sweetener for puddings or as a blended creamy “milkshake-like” drink.
Salt kojiis a ferment that can be used for pickling or as a seasoning. It breaks down amino acids to release that special umami flavor.
Takuanis a special daikon pickle, fermented in rice bran. It is so tasty. Not only is a single slice loaded with good microbes, it also benefits from over 500 nutrients absorbed from the rice bran pickling medium.
Rice bran cultured pickling medium– You will learn how to create and maintain your own rice bran pickling starter. Once established, it’s so easy to make refreshing pickled vegetables in just a few hours.
NEW! Brown rice syrupis a versatile sweetener great for making cakes, cookies and desserts. And yes, you can make it in your own kitchen!
Pickle varietywill be presented in an easy and manageable way. Regular consumption of a variety of homemade pickles will boost your microbiiome diversity and give meals that tasty spark. To fully benefit from the fiber-rich whole grains consumed in a macrobiotic diet, regular consumption of pickled vegetables is significant for digesting whole grains and fiber-rich foods, for good gut health and improved immune system.
PLUS...We'll be making together some non-fermented specialty foods like Mochi, Tofu & Seitan!
Tofuis a staple vegan protein that you can make in your own kitchen. Learn how to make tofu and how to use this versatile food in some easy and satisfying new ways.
Seitan, also known as “wheat meat” offers a delicious substitute for meat or as an alternative to “beans, beans and beans again”. Learn our simplified shortcut method for making delicious, succulent seitan in less time and with less effort.
Mochiis an amazing product that melts like cheese, is gooey and satisfying and can be used in so many delicious ways. Commercially-available mochi is currently hard to find in the US, and it is very expensive to purchase imported mochi. Learn how to make a batch of mochi, either plain or seasoned (cinnamon raisin, eg.), how to package it and keep on hand in your freezer for use throughout the year.
Nowhere else can one learn how to make such variety of fermented foods and special home crafted foods in one 5-day hands-on intensive!