The leader in online macrobiotic education & training since 1999



Macrobiotics America/Macrobiotics Global Online Counselor Training Program
Guest Faculty

Teacher Biographies

Christina Pirello
is the Emmy Award winning host of the National Public Television series, Christina Cooks. The pivotal point in her life came at age 26, when after being diagnosed with terminal leukemia, she decided to forgo conventional medical therapies and turned to a nutritional approach – macrobiotic whole foods – and cured herself.  For the last nineteen years, Christina has been teaching whole foods cooking classes, and conducting lifestyle seminars and lecturing on the power of food in our lives nationwide, in a variety of settings… from natural food stores to corporate boardrooms. She is the author of the five  books, including the best-selling, Cooking the Whole Foods Way. Christina has recently founded the ‘Christina Pirello Health Education Initiative,’ a non-profit dedicated to changing the health of America, one meal at a time. Go to see more. Christina holds both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Fine Arts from the University of Miami and was awarded a Masters Degree in Food Nutrition from Drexel University.

Verne Varona is known as one of the most energetic and dynamic health educators in the country. During the past 25 years, his lectures and media appearances have motivated thousands of people to take better and more conscious care of their health. For four  years, Verne was the Nutritional Consultant of a popular Beverly Hills Medical Group organized by Joshua Leichteberg, M.D., who was the originator of Bio-Slim Formulas. Verne’s clientele has featured numerous well-known entertainment and sports professionals.  He is the author of the best-selling Nature’s Cancer-Fighting Foods – Prevent And Reverse The Most Common Forms Of Cancer Using The Proven Power Of Great Food And Easy Recipes and  Macrobiotics for Dummies.He is currently working on film documentaries through his production company, Exceptional Films. For decades Verne has been a regular guest teacher at macrobiotic events, including the French Meadows Summer Camp, Kushi Institute Summer Conference, and a regular contributor to Macrobiotics Today magazine. He is one of the most sought after macrobiotic counselors, with over 35 years experience of helping thousands of people.

Dr. Betty Edmond is a physician and administrative executive with leadership experience at a tertiary healthcare organization and medical practice experience in academics and private practice. Her experience includes serving 11 years as Vice President of Medical Affairs/Medical Director of Children’s Hospital of Austin, now Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, and 16 years of research, teaching and practice in Pediatric Infectious Diseases. Throughout her career, Dr. Edmond has been interested in nutrition and integrative care management. In 2008, she completed a 2 year training program at the Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts in Austin where she studied culinary arts and health management, to include supportive food and lifestyle practices for individuals interested in learning about disease prevention and health management. In 2007-2008, she provided executive leadership in creating GoodHealth Commons (Seton Medical Center Williamson), the first integrative care center on a healthcare campus in Central Texas. Dr. Edmond serves on both the Board of Governors for the Academy of Oriental Medicine of Austin and the Strategic Development Advisory Council of GoodHealth Commons. She is currently pursuing various healthcare endeavors committed to the education of individuals on healthy dietary choices and the vital role food plays in creation of health and prevention of disease.

Alex Jack grew up in the Chicago and New York metropolitan areas and graduated from Oberlin College with a degree in philosophy. He has served as a reporter in Vietnam in the 1960s, editor-in-chief of the East West Journal in the 1970s, director of the Kushi Institute, and director of the One Peaceful World Society in the 1990s. He has taught around the world, including the kushi Institute, the Zen Temple in Beijing, the Cardiology Center in Leningrad, and conferences in Europe and Japan. He is the author or co-author of thirty-five books, including The Cancer Prevention Diet (with Michio Kushi), Complete Guide to Macrobiotic Cooking (with Aveline Kushi), Let Food Be Thy Medicine, and The Mozart Effect (with Don Campbell). Alex has been providing macrobiotic counseling and guidance through his lectures and writings for over 30 years. He is the president of Planetary Health/Amber Waves. Alex lives with his family in Becket, Massachusetts.

William Spear is an original Kushi Institute faculty member, senior macrobiotic counselor, and internationally known educator and consultant on health, environmental issues, feng shui, I Ching, 9 Star Ki, end-of-life care and personal transformation. At the heart of Spear’s work is the five-day experiential workshop, The Passage: A Journey that Transforms Life, which he has conducted since 1987. The workshop draws on years of work in bio-energetics, in-depth training with the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Center, Tibetan lama Sogyal Rinpoche and three decades of assisting people face unresolved issues, illness, life challenges, and whatever inhibits a person from experiencing life fully in the present moment. His recently revised popular book, Feng Shui Made Easy, was hailed by the New York Times as “the most user-friendly explanation of feng shui for American audiences.” Soon to be published will be Recovering Original Ability about the nature of consciousness and achieving a lasting personal peace from the inside out. His dedication to the relief of human suffering has taken him around the world, where he has brought his special style of “inner restoration” to the victims of natural disasters such as the tsunami-devastated Sri Lanka and the earthquakes of Java and Samoa. To learn more about William Spear or

Lawrence H. Kushi, ScD is the associate director for Etiology and Prevention Research at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research. Prior to joining the Division of Research, Dr. Kushi was at Columbia University, where he held the Ella McCollum Vahlteich Chair in Human Nutrition in the Department of Health and Behavior Studies, Teachers College; and he was a member of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. Dr. Kushi is internationally recognized for his expertise in nutritional epidemiology, and his research interests focus on the role of diet and nutrition in the etiology of coronary artery disease and breast and other cancers. He serves on a grant review committee for the American Cancer Society and has served on various American Cancer Society committees to develop guidelines for the dietary prevention and management of cancer. Dr. Kushi has also served on review committees for the Epidemiology and Disease Control Study Section of the National Institutes of Health, and the Integration Panel of the Breast Cancer Research Program of the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. He was formerly the chair of the Food and Nutrition Section of the American Public Health Association; on the executive committee of the American Society of Preventive Oncology; and has worked at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Dr. Kushi graduated from Amherst College and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Gordon Saxe is Assistant Adjunct Professor of Family & Preventive Medicine and the Cancer Prevention & Control Program of the Moore’s Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego. Dr. Saxe’s research focuses on the role of diet and lifestyle in cancer prevention and treatment, specifically whether dietary modification (increased whole cereal grains and vegetables, decreased saturated fat), reinforced by stress management training, can attenuate progression of biochemically recurrent prostate cancer. A physician and clinical researcher, he explores the roles of diet and lifestyle in the prevention and treatment of cancer from the lenses of both Eastern and Western medicine. Dr. Saxe has been a guest speaker at numerous health events, including The Health Classic and The Kushi Institute Summer Conference.


 Anthony Dissen, RD is a registered dietitian focusing in plant-based nutrition and integrative health promotion and disease prevention. Anthony first discovered macrobiotics in 2003 as a means of reversing a chronic, inflammatory skin condition. This experience forever changed the direction of his life and lead him to the study of plant-based nutrition and clinical dietetics in addition to macrobiotic philosophy and health theory. Anthony completed his Bachelors of Science in Dietetics at Rutgers University and his supervised clinical practice in dietetics at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.  Anthony is a graduate of the Macrobiotics America/Macrobiotics Global Counselor Training program and began private macrobiotic health counseling in 2011.  Anthony has worked as the Outpatient and Community Education Dietitian at University Medical Center of Princeton, and as a plant-based chef and health coach at the Whole Foods Market Princeton Wellness Club.  In addition, he has taught plant-based and macrobiotic cooking and nutritional education at the YWCA Princeton Breast Cancer Resource Center and Middlesex County College.  Anthony is a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, Certified Hypnotherapist, and a Meditation and Qi Gong Instructor. Anthony is also a graduate student in Georgian Court University’s Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies program.



Susan Krieger, L. Ac., M.S., is a Licensed Acupuncturist, Nationally Certified Diplomate of Acupuncture and Shiatsu-Asian Bodywork from the NCCAOM-National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine-a Certified Shiatsu Instructor of the AOBTA, a Certified Health and Nutritional Counselor, a member of The Executive Committee of The China Cancer TCM Humanitarian Outreach Health Initiative. She has been in private practice for over 30 years, helping many people maintain and regain their health. She is also well known for her classes, lectures and workshops-see Classes page- which are offered throughout the New York City area, the USA and Europe. She presents lectures and workshops for the United Nations, universities, hospitals, health, macrobiotic, gay and wellness centers, acupuncture, bodywork and massage schools, cancer centers, corporations, women’s organizations and private events. She has been a regular guest teacher at macrobiotic events, including The Health Classic and The Kushi Institute Summer Conference.

Kaare Bursell has been practicing macrobiotics and anthroposophy since the mid-seventies. He turned to these two practical approaches to the problem of illness and health, which complement one another, after a seven year career as a practicing veterinary surgeon and clinician showed him that modern science has no answer for these. Kaare is known for his forthright and provocative teachings and his skill in macrobiotic diagnosis, developed over 30 years.  He is well-known for bringing awareness to the importance of healing the intestinal tract as a means of reaching deeper and fuller health. Kaare is the author of The End of Medicine. He is married to his wife of over 20 years and has two sons. He currently makes his home in Carson City, NV. To learn more about Kaare, go to his web site at


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