Meet Diane Avoli
In the early 70s when Joe, my husband, and I first heard of Macrobiotics, we were exploring natural healing paths for his epilepsy. We attended a Macrobiotic dinner, a lecture and one cooking class, but really embraced macrobiotics when I was hospitalized with internal gangrene from a rotten appendix. The doctors gave me a 30% chance of survival and very limited options. Joe snuck lentils and brown rice into the hospital for me to eat, and in a few weeks I was on my feet, demanding to be let out of the hospital. The doctors were astounded and amazed, and we knew that we were on to something special.
A college friend told us about the Kushis, so we went to their place and were introduced to a way of life that has lasted for more than 40 years. We moved to Massachusetts from upstate New York to study with the East West Foundation. I scribed for Michio Kushi and learned a lot about the love and art of cooking from Aveline Kushi, Cornelia Aihara and Lima Ohsawa.
We began teaching macrobiotics to others, not only because we loved the way we felt, but also to share our experiences as a family and help other parents avoid making mistakes. We really were a macrobiotic family at that point. Would you believe it, our second daughter’s first word was soy sauce!
We had to be resourceful in those times when many specialty foods were difficult to find and access to nutrition information was limited. This was also before the modern healthy eating concept had really entered the cultural mainstream.
We were active in the community and our kids lives, and sometimes had to find ways to encourage peaceful compromises. It was always easier to make friends first rather than push our views loudly. We donated fruit, apple cider, natural jellies and rice cakes to our children’s schools and requested that teachers replace candy treats with boxes of raisins. They were generally fine with it, especially when we gave enough for the whole class.
We started our own study house and teaching center, and as our family grew (we have 7 daughters and a son), we became more aware of the importance of teaching by example and educating our children to be able to make independent choices. With strong constitutions, healthy bodies and endless energy, they became our best ambassadors.
Working for the Kushi Foundation and the Kushi Institute, I have had the opportunity to teach hundreds of people how healthy cooking and eating can be enjoyable and pleasurable, respectful of our bodies and the environment, and supportive of individual lifestyles and activity levels. My practical approach to teaching helps people understand how macrobiotics can fit into their lives.
This way of life has shown me that we can make a difference in our health and the lives of our families and communities by the choices we make, including the food we eat, how we cook it , and the appreciation and love that we put into it. My love of teaching and counseling has led me around the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, and Australia.
By starting people on the macrobiotic path, I look forward to helping them improve their overall physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health and to see them grow and maintain a successful and autonomous practice.
As a mother, a teacher and a woman I’m thankful to macrobiotics for giving me tools to accept and learn from the challenges and rewards of finding balance in life.