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Students Explore Macrobiotics as Key to ‘Big, Full Life’

Phyllis Wise Reynolds talks with students about grain ingredients, around which macrobiotic menus are built, and shows two pasta options.
Phyllis Wise Reynolds talks with students about grain ingredients, around which macrobiotic menus are built, and shows two pasta options.
Wise Reynolds reviews a recipe with student Andrew Scheitle, of Chambersburg.
Wise Reynolds reviews a recipe with student Andrew Scheitle, of Chambersburg.
Student Sarah A. Brunski, of Mount Holly Springs, asks questions before getting started on a pasta recipe.
Student Sarah A. Brunski, of Mount Holly Springs, asks questions before getting started on a pasta recipe.
R. Colby Janowitz, of Westminster, Md., chops vegetables for his group’s macrobiotic dish.
R. Colby Janowitz, of Westminster, Md., chops vegetables for his group’s macrobiotic dish.

Phyllis Wise Reynolds, a local macrobiotic instructor and certified holistic health counselor, visited the Diet Therapy and Applications class of Chef Michael A. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts, on Monday to teach students about macrobiotic cooking. Macrobiotics, she said, means “big life” and centers on food as energy to provide a big, full life. Wise Reynolds turned to macrobiotic eating and cooking when she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, an autoimmune disease. At the time she was diagnosed, she told students, the disease was not well-known, and there was not yet a recommended medical treatment plan, so she turned to her diet. “As I ate more healthfully, my body responded,” she said. She talked about key ingredients and demonstrated several “whole food” recipes before the 16 students prepared them on their own. “I’m hoping more and more (in the restaurant industry) will understand, when we ask you to prepare something with little salt or no salt, we’re not trying to be difficult,” she told the class. “There are some of us that are just trying to get through life.” The Diet Therapy and Applications course provides study and hands-on application of nutrition as it relates to the life cycle, with a concentration on various states of physical health and its effects on nutritional needs. Topics include diet therapy and modification, nutrition interviewing and assessment, care planning, cultural foods and concerns, and state and federal regulations. Institutional feeding is emphasized.