The Art of Energizing, Healing and Rejuvenating
By Lino Stanchich
excerpts from Lino's Power Eating Program
(Order a copy via his web site see below)
Power represents our inner life force and the energy
that flows through all things. When used with consciousness
and love, power creates health, happiness, and peace.
Of crucial importance is food. The way you eat affects
you physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually, and
spiritually. The Power Eating Program (PEP) will show
you how to develop your greatest potential, each time
In a German concentration camp during World War II,
my father made a miraculous discovery that enabled him
to survive. After his liberation, he taught me this
revelation that, ironically, much later saved my own
life. My father's simple yet profound lesson is the
foundation of this book.
The goal of the PEP program is to help you become a
healthier and happier person who not only survives-but
thrives! The solutions to life's problems are rarely
mysterious or hidden. The key to health appears right
under our noses, three times a day. When properly practiced,
PEP will help maximize your assimilation of food and
improve your digestion. It will help you eat less and
will boost your body's immune system, increase your
vitality, and may save you money. It may even save your
This is a step-by-step guide to achieving optimum value
from your meal and from your mealtime. How you eat is
as important as what you eat. You will learn when to
eat, how food transforms into energy, and what foods
supply the most healing power. To put PEP in perspective,
I have included abundant data, quotes, and opinions
from renowned experts in the health and personal transformation
For the past twenty years, I have counseled thousands
of people who had tried various health programs and
diets without success. Yet after learning what to eat
and how to eat properly, these people began to improve
and to heal themselves - often of "terminal"
illnesses. Experience shows that healthy people who
practice PEP frequently feel the benefits after just
one meal. Those who eat a macrobiotic, vegetarian, or
Pritikin-type diet will experience the most positive
If we are to nurture our bodies and our planet, we
must change our habits. Stop and reflect on your eating
habits. Consider the changes you want to make in your
life. The time has come to adopt a way of eating that
is ecological, healthful, nonviolent, and balanced and
the only way to absorb such a diet is to eat it properly,
a skill that few of us learned as children.
Health and transformation require discipline and awareness.
PEP will provide you the information and, I hope, the
inspiration to make the changes you want in your life.
You will also discover that eating well is a powerful
way to love ourselves.
Miami, Florida. September 1989
In 1943, during World War II, my father, Antonio Stanchich,
was taken prisoner in Greece and sent to a concentration
camp connected to a German factory, where all the prisoners
were forced into hard labor.
That winter was bitterly cold. The barracks were poorly
heated, clothing inadequate, and the food substandard.
My father told me, "I was cold most of the time
and hungry all the time." In the morning he was
given a cup of chicory coffee and a slice of bread.
For lunch and dinner he had a bowl of soup made of potatoes
and some other vegetable, a grain or bean, and occasionally
a bit of meat. Inmates died of starvation daily. Deaths
from exposure to the elements increased constantly.
Life was a constant fight for survival.
When my father was thirsty, he kept the cold water
in his mouth to warm it and intuitively "chewed"
it for a while, ten to fifteen times, before swallowing.
One day, when the water was especially cold, he chewed
it fifty times! And he discovered something that would
save his life.
Aside from quenching his thirst, the water actually
seemed to give him energy. At first he felt it must
be his imagination. Eventually he realized that chewing
water fifty times or more did indeed give him more energy.
Puzzled, he asked himself how plain water could impart
such a miracle. It took forty years to clarify this
My father experimented by chewing his food fifty times
a mouthful. Then he tried 75, 100, 150, 200, even up
to 300 times or more. He determined that the magical
minimum number of chews was 150 and the more he chewed,
the more energy he had. The morning and noon meals were
restricted in time, but the evening meal was not. In
the evening he could chew water as much as he liked.
My father's technique was simple: Put one tablespoon
of food, either liquid or solid, in the mouth, and count
your chews. Most of his friends scoffed at his discovery.
But two men became interested in these experiments and
joined my father in his chewing sessions, Comparing
notes, they both concluded that this technique did give
them more energy. And they also felt warmer and less
In 1945, after two years in the concentration camp,
the prisoners were liberated by the U.S. Army. In time
my father, skinny but alive, came home to us in Fiume-Rijeka,
formerly part of Italy, now Yugoslavia. Of his crew
of thirty-two from the concentration camp, only three
survived: my father, and the two men who joined him
in his practice of chewing.
The following year, when I was 14, while on a family
picnic, my father told me of his experience. He attributed
his survival exclusively to chewing. He gave me some
important advice, saying: "If you are ever weak,
cold, or sick, chew each mouthful 150 times or more."
I never forgot those words, even though we had plenty
of food and I was in good health.
Nineteen forty-nine found Yugoslavia in political turmoil.
The communist government forbade Italian citizens to
enter Italy. Many who opposed the government tried to
escape Yugoslavia. I was one of them. On March 10, 1949,
I was captured at the border and sentence to two years
of hard labor. Now, at 17, I too became a prisoner.
My prison experience was extremely difficult, if not
as horrible as my father's. The diet was similar to
the one he had described: one bread roll with chicory
coffee in the morning, a bowl of soup, usually with
barley and beans, at noon; and the same in the evening.
Once a week the soup included some meat. If there were
twenty beans in the soup, I considered the meal a good
one. Like my father, I was hungry most of the time.
I was allowed one small package a month from home. Because
parcels often failed to arrive, I asked my mother to
send me raw onions, salt, and dry whole wheat bread.
I reasoned that no one would steal such things, and
sure enough, I received each one.
This supplementation made a big difference. I sliced
the onion into wedges, dunked them in salt, and chewed
them along with some bread. This was followed by one
or two glasses of water, which filled me up. When properly
chewed, the water gave me great energy and a strange
feeling of confidence and courage.
I chewed as my father had taught, 150 times or more,
but I introduced an important feature: I chewed with
my eyes closed. This way I could "escape"
my depressing surroundings. Closing my eyes also internalized
my energy. By not looking outward, my energy went inward,
strengthening me more.
The next year my family was allowed into Italy, and
in 1953 we immigrated to the United States, where food
was so plentiful. I went into the restaurant business
with my brother. Without any fear of starvation, I abandoned
my chewing regime.
The years passed and in 1969, I began to suffer the
effects of my high-stress life. I was startled to realize
that I was digging my own grave with my fork! Nutrition
and health foods became my main interest. I tried many
diets, from raw foods to fruit-only, from high-protein
to lacto-vegetarian. They all worked, but didn't last
long. Then I discovered macrobiotics, which was far
more satisfying, and which I enthusiastically studied
and practiced, and still do to the present day.
POWER EATING PROGRAM
YOU ARE HOW YOU EAT
When people experience imbalances in their health, they
often try counseling, divorce, relocation, pills, herbs,
and surgery. Only as a last resort do they consider
changing their eating habits, in the hopes of regaining
When we eat food in a conscious manner, we may, as Hippocrates,
the Father of Medicine, taught, let food be our medicine,
and medicine be our food. Eating is a primal desire,
the basis of our survival instinct. Eating is a simple
act, yet vastly underestimated as a major influence
on health. If you question the importance of food, try
fasting for several days, or notice the behavior of
a hungry infant. As with all basic human functions,
eating can be a greedy indulgence or a spiritual experience.
How we eat can merely fill us up and comfort us , or
it can heal and transform us.
In many traditions and cultures, eating is considered
a crucial, even sacred act. I was told by Lebanese friend
that a peasant is not required to stop eating even if
a king enters his house. Ancient Jewish law states that
if a piece of food larger than an egg is eaten, one
must sit down and say grace. Eating with a reverent
attitude is recommended in many religious and spiritual
These days, we casually interrupt our meals for the
telephone and a thousand other hectic, chaotic influences
of modern life. While we eat, we jump up and down, talk,
read, scurry around like rats in a maze, grab a bite,
and then grab a digestive tablet. According to Consumer
Spending Report, Americans now spend over $1 billion
on digestive medicines each year Take a good look at
your own lifestyle.
If foods are the building blocks of our health, then
our stressful mealtime habits are causing us to crumble.
Americans are overfed and undernourished. For too many
people, food has become a form of entertainment rather
than the means of nourishment. Grinning clowns sell
high-fat, sugary non-foods. Cartoon characters, film
stars and athletes convince Americans to eat junk food.
Yet a growing number of Americans now are changing their
eating habits. Unfortunately, some who eat a healthy
diet fail to achieve satisfactory results largely because
they focus on what, rather than how to eat. Very few
people I observe know how to glean the full power from
their food. The effects of even the most healthful meal
can be minimized or nullified if eaten improperly.
We each choose what we want for our lives. With PEP,
you will derive the maximum benefits from the foods
you choose to eat. As you begin to take more care with
your food choices, eating manner, breathing, exercise
and contemplation, and as you practice directing your
energies, you will focus your life more swiftly on where
you really want to be.
REALIZE WHY YOU EAT
Develop an awareness of your
motivation for eating. Discover if the reason you are
1. Mechanical: a spontaneous response to hunger
without thought about the quality or effects of food.
"I'm so hungry, I could eat anything." "I
could eat a horse."
2. Sensory: Eating for the taste, texture,
fragrance, visual appeal of the food. "I eat
this because it's delicious."
"The food looks so pretty." "I love
3. Sentimental: Eating motivated by emotions
or memories. "This dish reminds me of childhood,
my homeland, the ethnic foods
I loved." "I want cookies and milk before
4. Intellectual: Influenced by diet, experts,
and scientists. "I eat this because the book
says to." "The speaker
said these foods are low in calories and high in vitamins."
5. Social: Eating while conscious of the earth
and its people, with empathy for others. "I eat
supports the earth and can feed everyone." As
Gandhi said, "I eat simply so that others may
6. Ideological: Eating according to religious
discipline or spiritual teaching, for development
and transformation. "Exercising
discipline and care, I eat the food of my spiritual
7. Supreme: Freedom in eating deriving from
inner wisdom and understanding of self with an awareness
of all seven levels. "I eat to support my dream.
I know the power of food. I eat to live,
not live to eat." (Adapted from George Ohsawa's
Seven Levels of Judgment)
CREATE QUIET MEALTIMES
As a boy on my grandfather's farm in Yugoslavia, as
many as two dozen field workers joined the family at
our main noon meal. After everyone was served, hardly
a word was spoken. The meal lasted an hour and a half,
after which we rested under a tree or in a haystack
until 3:00. Then we resumed work until sundown, and
took our evening meal in the same manner.
There is a reason to practice silence at the meal table.
Talking while eating can send the energy from the mouth
to hour throat or brain, creating a separation of energy
in the body and disrupting the digestion process. When
we expend energy by talking, we receive much less energy
from our food. An Italian saying is "Wuando si
mangia non si parla," which means; "Whenever
you eat, don't talk." Many other cultures ascribe
to the practice of maintaining silence while eating
I observe that people who talk while eating often need
more food and experience more frequent bouts of indigestion.
So it is best to practice silence while eating. Speak
as little as possible between bites. Turn off your television,
telephone, or loud radio when you eat, though soft music
can be relaxing at mealtimes.
If you must talk during social mealtimes, discuss pleasant
topics. Avoid negative conversation because you will
be charging the food with negative thoughts and the
negative energy will digest and go through you. Charge
your food with thoughts of strength, joy, and appreciation,
and you will literally imbibe those very qualities.
INCLUDE GRATITUDE IN YOUR ATTITUDE
We have discussed how to prepare for eating. We have
talked about stretching, cleansing, breathing, posture,
and relaxation. Now, before we begin to eat, we should
give thanks. Does it make a difference? Think about
how you feel when a friend expresses love and gratitude
to you. This is exactly how the food feels.
Food is alive, a blessing from the earth. When food
is unappreciated or wasted, I often become very upset.
It is as though a dear friend were criticized or cast
away. Today Americans have such abundance that many
have lost their reverence for food. To remedy this oversight,
the practice of fasting creates a profound awareness
of the blessings of food.
LINO'S MEALTIME PRAYER
Thank you, Universe, for giving us life, for inspiring
us and guiding us. Thank you for parents, mates, and
friends who share our lives. We deeply thank you for
the food we are about to receive. We thank everyone
who brought the food to us, from the farmer who grew
it, to those who deliver it to us. We especially thank
the cook who prepared this food and now serves it to
us. May this food go inside our bodies and help make
us healthier, better balanced, and happier. May it purify
us, so that we become better human beings with more
awareness, who can make this world more healthy, peaceful,
and happy. Amen.
CHEW ON THIS
Of course chewing is one of the simplest of acts, yet
done with consciousness it can be phenomenally powerfully.
Macrobiotics teaches that chewing is a primary factor
in health and transformation. Chewing is the spark that
lights your inner fire. Throughout my life, I have seen
my theory of chewing proven time after time. In all
my experiences in war refugee camps, the Army, the restaurant
business and in macrobiotic teaching, I have observed
that people who chew more are healthier, stronger, and
Throughout years of research, I found recommendations
for chewing well from yogis, athletic physicians, nutritionists,
beauty experts, a certain British Prime Minister, and
from saints in many traditions, like Jesus, Gandhi,
and Muktananda. I chewed their advice over until, based
on my own experience, I agreed!
Still, I had many questions: "How can one gain
energy exclusively from water?" "Why is it
beneficial to continue chewing after the food has become
liquid in the mouth?" As I searched for more information,
my students and I were experiencing remarkable improvements
My longtime sensei (teacher) Noboru Muramoto imparted
the missing link in his book, Natural Immunity, Insights
on Diet and AIDS, which included research and insights
into the causes of and cures for all kinds of diseases.
An entire chapter is devoted to chewing. When Sensei
Muramoto visited me in Florida, I noticed how well he
chewed his food.
In his book, he cites scientific studies by Dr. Tomozaburo
Ogata of the School of Medicine at the University of
Tokyo that discuss how chewing strengthens our immune
system and promotes rejuvenation. The salivary glands
produce enzymes that begin digesting carbohydrates in
the mouth, a process that is vital to vegetarians. [LINO:
WHY ESPECIALLY VEGETARIANS?] And chewing stimulates
the release of parotin hormones, which encourage the
thymus to create T-cells, the protectors of the immune
system. Parotin hormones are released by the parotid
glands, located on each side of the jaw behind the ears.
All foods, and especially carbohydrates, begin to be
digested in the mouth. Chewing enables the digestive
enzyme ptyalin, found in the saliva, to mix with carbohydrates
and break them down. This begins the dynamic process
of transforming food into energy. Vegetables, moreover,
must be chewed well to break down the tough cellulose
that surrounds the plant's nutritive core.
It is imperative to chew grains well. The stomach cannot
digest carbohydrates! Poorly chewed grains cannot break
down properly and so nutrients, protein and starches
will not separate from the fiber. If grains are swallowed
without proper chewing, the pancreatic enzymes will
not break down the food into its basic components.
When the grains are thus only partially absorbed and
digested, the food particles move to the large intestine,
where intestinal bacteria ferments them. Fermentation
produces excessive carbon dioxide and sometimes methane
(if there is an odor). The result: gas and bloat, heaviness,
discomfort and sluggishness. No diet, especially one
high in complex carbohydrates, will be effective if
you do not want to chew well. And poorly digested food
can produce mental and emotional side effects like irritability,
moodiness, and anger.
The human body is designed to consume grains and vegetables.
Dr. Robert Haas, well-known athletic nutritionist and
president of the American College of Sports Nutrition,
counsels some of humankind's best physical specimens.
Dr. Haas advices in Eat to Win, the Sports Nutrition
Bible, "Chew every mouthful of food until it is
liquefied in your mouth." [Under his influence,]
professional athletes throughout the world are adopting
a powerful diet of whole grains and vegetables.
We can learn much from the animal kingdom. The strongest
animals with the greatest endurance eat vegetables,
which they chew very well. The teeth of carnivorous
animals are designed to tear, and the teeth of herbivores
are designed to grind. We are omnivores who can tear
and grind food. Of our 32 teeth, only four are sharp,
tearing tools. As Jane Brody, nutritionist for the New
York Times, reports in her Nutrition Book, "Our
teeth are more like those of herbivores than of flesh
eaters. Our front teeth are large and sharp good for
biting, our canines are small, our molars are flattened
and our jaws are mobile for grinding food." The
strongest animals-the ox, bull, elephant and buffalo,
for example, are plant eaters who chew very well.
The human intestine is four times as long as those
of carnivorous animals, which means that our digestive
system has plenty of time to digest high-fiber plant
foods. Decaying animal food must exit the body quick.
Because our intensities are so long, animal foods tend
to remain in the body too long, creating putrefaction,
excess wastes and fats, which often leads to cancer.
Countries with low meat consumption have virtually no
We humans have the choice to putrefy or purify our
bodies. We can eat a high-protein diet and take the
consequences, or we can go the vegetarian route and
enjoy the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual
benefits of that diet.
If you do not chew well you will not digest your food
and you will tend to overeat. The more you chew, the
more powerfully you will transform your food into energy.
If you eat macrobiotically to heal yourself but fail
to chew properly and enough times, the diet will be
less effective or may not work at all.
Chewing is like building a fire. You can try this experiment,
which every Boy Scout knows. Build a pile of paper and
put three or four thick logs on top. Light the paper
and see what happens. The paper will flare up, the logs
will become blackened and the fire will go out. No matter
how dry the wood is, the chances are a thousand to one
that the wood will not burn.
Now try chopping the wood very finely, as thin as kindling.
What happens when you try this time? It doesn't matter
how hard the wood is-if you chop it finely enough, you
will be able to start the fire and generate heat and
Chewing food finely enough releases the energy absorbed
by the plants form the sun, the earth, the moon, and
the stars. As you chew these vegetarian foods, the universal
energy is released to provide the power you need to
ignite a healthier, more vital life. Perhaps this is
what Lord Krishna refers to in the Bhagavad Gita: "I
live within you in the form of the digestive fire."
Lino Stanchich is a macrobiotic educator, researcher,
and counselor with over 30 years experience. He is a
respected teacher of the macrobiotic diet, philosophy,
and lifestyle, along with energy exercises (Chi Kung),
shiatsu massage, Do-In self-massage, and special eating
techniques. He is a Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist.
Mr. Stanchich serves on the faculty of the Kushi Institute
and is a member of the Kushi Institute Macrobiotic Educators
Association. A Licensed Nutritionist, Mr. Stanchich
is a multi-lingual educator who has established several
macrobiotic learning centers in the United States.
He has lectured at many major macrobiotic centers throughout
the world, as well as to universities, corporations,
and the United Nations Macrobiotic Organization. Author
of the popular book, Power Eating Program, You Are How
You Eat, creator of "Healing Mealtime Music"
cassette, and the dynamic self-massage and exercise
video "Energize Yourself" and the CD, "Laugh!
For the Health of It", Lino has appeared on a variety
of radio and television shows.
He lives with his wife, Jane, in Asheville, North Carolina,
where they conduct seminars, retreats, and classes.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT LINO STANCHICH AND POWER
VISIT HIS WEBSITE