Archive for February, 2011
It’s the last day of February, and that means March is coming up. Spring renewal, spring cleaning, a fresh start, and new beginnings are in order. After the short days of winter, it is great to look forward to what’s on the horizon and to include more green in our days in a variety of ways.
Green is definitely our favorite color here at Living Light! And to get you started, here’s one of our favorite recipes for Garden Blend Soup!
Over and over again we hear from our students that taking the leap towards a new life is possible with raw foods. It is definitely a life changing experience to come here to Living Light and experience the wealth of information and expertise offered by our teaching staff and the gourmet raw foods curriculum we’ve been perfecting for more than 14 years.
Spring is the ideal time to clean not only our physical houses, but our emotional and spiritual houses as well. Over many years, I’ve been hearing from people that as they improve their diets, they find that their spirits are lifted, they experience more mental clarity, a positive outlook on life, and renewed hope for the future. Remarkable benefits available to everyone, no matter where they’re starting from on the path.
We’re delighted to offer several upcoming class sessions to support your fresh start. Whether you’d like to learn how to make great, healthy raw foods for family and friends, or you are ready to jump start a career, we encourage you to start here at Living Light. We promise your creations will be magically delicious! There are still a few more spots in both our Essentials of Raw Living Foods session beginning March 5 and our Gourmet Raw Foods Chef training beginning March 19th. Get your green on!
I don’t remember if I ever really followed up on Bridget’s and my raw food adventure last month. Probably not, because to be perfectly frank, we were pretty much over it by the end. In fact, we’re still a little leery of the food processor. Physically, it was a big fat success, though. Besides my shiny hair, my daughter’s skin was glowing and clear, we may have lost a little weight (well…she did…), and we felt great! It was a fantastic experience and we’re planning to do it again – just not immediately. In the mean time, we’re trying to integrate more raw into our day to day menus, and we’re sneaking up on veganism. If you really want to put your eating habits into perspective, I suggest you go raw for a month. And if you do, may I also suggest you keep within reach of the Living Light pastry case.
Speaking of pastry, yesterday was the last day of Pastry Arts – Unbaked! And that, dear reader, is a good day to work at Living Light. We were treated to samples of all kinds of goodies the students had made in class – very generously. I brought mine home to share with my daughter. It was a yummy delight. Living Light’s about to begin another Gourmet Raw Food Chef series next month, complete with another pastry class at the end, but we don’t have many spaces left. So – if you’re considering coming, I suggest you register sooner rather than later as your next chance isn’t until July. Give me a call!
Weekends are so precious! Sometimes they are full of chores at home, events with friends, and then getting ready for the work week. This last weekend I had nothing planned, which felt great on the Friday before. So how did I fill in the time?
On Saturday Archie and I had the bottle of champagne he bought me for Valentine’s Day. A few weeks ago I read an article in AARP about a woman who got in shape “accidently” by walking on her lunch hour. So I started to briskly walk for 20 minutes a day Monday and Friday and enjoyed it.
That started me to thinking about a book I had heard about a few years ago. This book was about getting into shape mentally, physically, and if you wished, spiritually. It advocated that you add or take away one thing a week to help you towards your goal. Walking is what I’ve added so far. Stay tuned next week for the take away!
Meanwhile, back at work, The first Gourmet Raw Food Chef Certification is over and now we are heading for the Science of Raw Food Nutrition series. I have taken Level I and was very impressed by Rick and Karin Dina the instructors of the series. In that class you learn where to get your proteins, calcium, vitamin B12, those essential amino acids, and so much more. Too many people become vegetarians, vegans, or raw foodists without a thought about a balance of foods to serve our needs. Did you know that a head of romaine lettuce has 44% of your daily requirements? Not only that but it is a complete protein – it has the amino acids that are so important for our health ! Awesome!
Okay, I have to take a survey…how many of you have noticed that out there in cyberspace the posts that seem to generate the most comments have to do with what one is eating, preparing, about to eat, or has just eaten? I’ve politely tried not to notice, but you know, it’s such a trend that I think it deserves some attention. At first, I thought –well, maybe it is just raw foodists, vegans, and vegetarians, since I work with that group of individuals on a regular basis.
It had started to become rather disconcerting to me, not to mention alarming, that while someone would post something meaningful about art, global warming, or political opinion and get a couple of likes, and maybe a straggling comment, someone else would write about what they just ate and get about 39 zillion comments. And then I started asking around and found out that even my friend’s 13 year old daughter’s skateboard cyberpal posted what he ate for lunch and got TONS of comments. And of course, even Oprah is getting into the act these days, with a week long vegan diet for her whole staff of nearly 400 people. We’ve been wanting her to notice raw foods and veganism for a long time (and maybe even send an emissary to our school to learn the skinny on raw). Speaking of skinny, I remember hearing once that Audrey Hepburn allowed herself to eat one piece of chocolate cake a year.
And on the subject of food (gulp!), did you know that you can learn to make guilt free chocolate cake right here at Living Light? And we’ve got a great sale on classes for our March 5-14 session? Just call one of our enrollment specialists for details. And be sure to tell her what you had for lunch.
Seriously – you’re not going to believe this, but I missed the Hot Raw Chef voting – again. It seems impossible. I mean, I really, truly and in all honesty thought I had until the 12th, but it turns out I only had until the 9th which many of you probably knew because you read our literature including this blog. I mean, I’d watched and was all ready to vote. I thought I’d do it on the 10th – which still would have given me a couple days lee way, and that totally constitutes voting early in my world. Oh well. The winners have been announced and the contest was a whopping success. There were over forty entries and thousands of people actually voted. And you can still watch the videos – just for fun – like I did!
I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I just love it when Vinnette Thompson is here. That woman can create food. And – you can really taste the love she puts into each creation. We at Living Light are so lucky to have her. I’m a huge fan and you would be, too, given the opportunity to study under her in our advanced culinary classes. If you can’t come for a whole gourmet series, though – why not come for just a few classes. We have a little, short series beginning next month and it’s super discounted. So give me a call and I’ll tell you all about it.
I never thought this day would come; but, well – we have bees in our refrigerator. For those of you who are vegan and wouldn’t want to have bees that produce honey, Mason Bees are a great solution. They are great pollinators but do not produce honey. With all our of our gardens, Archie and I truly need pollinators, and these bees will not live in our fridge forever. In the Spring we’ll release them to begin their adventures with flowers. Another great thing is that Mason bees will not attract bears into our part of the forest (neck of the woods-LOL). The Mason bee’s main lot in life is to procreate. They gather pollen, then go back to a tube, deposit the pollen, lay an egg, partition it off with mud, and start all over again. One tube can hold six to eight eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the liners can be taken out and clean new ones inserted into the tubes. You need at least two nests as the hatchlings do not go back to the one in which they were born, but want a different nest. Another good thing about Mason bees is that they are virtually non-stinging; great for those gardeners who are allergic to bee stings.
Speaking of Spring, this early March for the first and only time Living Light Culinary Institute is offering a “mini series” with a savings of up to $460.00 for four classes, and an option of three nights free when you stay 7 nights at Living Light Inn. So many people do not have the time to come for three weeks, so here is your chance to come for nine days, take the first four courses needed for the Associate Chef & Instructor Certification and at a discounted price. Yahoo!
We would like to extend our thanks to each and every contestant who entered the Hot Raw Chef Sweet Valentine Video Recipe Contest. We had 44 entries, and over 5,000 voters. It’s very exciting to us to provide a forum for a group of new chefs who delight us with their talents and recipes. Stay tuned on Valentine’s Day, February 14 for the announcement of the winners!
Meantime, as a special valentine to those who have dreamed of becoming Living Light students, we’ve added an extra session in early March, with love-ly discounts! The special discounts are for the March 5-11 session only, and you can take one, two, three or four of our core classes: FUNdamentals, Knife Skills, Essentials, and Science I. I’m using abbreviations, but you can find the full class titles and all the details here. The special discounts are not available online though, so pick up the phone and talk to one of our sweet and spicy enrollment specialists today!
The early March session is especially good for students who want to get started, but can’t break away from their family or personal obligations for a longer session just yet. Now is the time to follow your heart,–to Living Light! And who knows, with all you learn here at Living Light, you just might be a Hot Raw Chef before you know it!
If you don’t mind wind, March is a lovely time to come to Fort Bragg. The air is clear and fresh and the rains have pretty much stopped. It’s not warm enough inland for it to get foggy yet, either, so the ocean views are open and beautiful. It’s also time for the whales to migrate back up north and you can see them if you’re lucky. We have three weekends worth of whale festivals in March, too. These are community events centered around the whale watching opportunities and include fun stuff like wine tasting, arts and craft fairs and guided walks at the state parks. The Point Cabrillo Light House is a very windy but great place to see the whales and they usually have activities for kids as well as the usual exhibits and gift shop. The light house itself is an historic treasure and fun to see. I lived here for years before I actually saw a whale, and then one year I brought my kids out to the lighthouse and saw tons! It was amazing, really. Anyhow – like I said – as long as you really and truly don’t mind wind, March is a great time to come to Fort Bragg.
This March is a great time to come to Living Light, too. We have two opportunities to take FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods, which is always on a Saturday and would put you here for one of the whale watching weekends. And, we’re offering a short series in the beginning of the month which would get you here for two of the fun weekends. It would also get all your prerequisites taken care of so you’d not only be super ready to go home and set up an awesome home raw kitchen, you’d be poised to come back some day and complete your certification as a raw food chef. So think about it – maybe it’s time to move ahead. Maybe it’s time to begin an education in raw culinary arts. And maybe you’ll get to see some whales, too.
In March we at Living Light are having a “mini series”. We’re offering the first four classes of the Associate Chef and Instructor certification series. It begins with FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods and our Knife Skills Intensive. The next five days are spent in Essentials of Raw Culinary Arts. After a much deserved Saturday off, students will spend the next two days in the Science of Raw Food Nutrition. This is a great opportunity for those who cannot spend three weeks away from home at one time, or for people who are mainly interested in learning raw culinary arts for their home kitchen. Check it out!
We received a great Christmas present this last year from our friends Joe & Sandi: a membership to FOG – Friends of the Gardens. We went to our first meeting last week. We did not know what to expect, except for appetizers and wine. (One of the enticements!) I discovered that they are preparing an “Adventure Walk” for children aged 4 to 8, but it sounds like so much fun that I think many adults will want to walk the path too. There will be a teepee to sit in, a large nest with concrete eggs to sit upon, and vegetables to pick from the garden and eat. Who wouldn’t want to go? Next month they are having a lecture series on “Victory Gardens”. I love our local botanical gardens!
Well, I voted for the Hot Raw Chef Sweet Valentine Video Recipe Contest, have you? It was fun looking at the videos: some were funny, some were serious and the food looks so very good – I will enjoy the eBook of recipes!
Speaking of Goddesses, Persephone and the legend of the Pomegranate has long been a favorite of mine. It even got me a job once, when I had to repeat the legend for a prospective employer. On a personal level, it seems that nearly every winter I have to go my “Persephone place,” or the dark aspect of my psyche and dwell there for a little while before re-emerging, as Persephone did, into the light of Spring and fertility. Aspects of my personality and creativity need to go dormant for awhile, as part of my yearly renewal. Much like Persephone’s journey, it’s not always pleasant or fun, but I’ve learned through the years that it is better to embrace it than to resist.
And what of the jewel- like fruit that tempted Persephone and (in myth at least) causes the world to experience winter each year? It’s red like the berries on the winter trees, and also reminds me of life’s sweetness. The fruit is hard to release from its membranes, and unique in both taste and texture. Sometimes the sweetness of life is hard to release and embrace, especially when we resist its shadow side. On the raw food side of things, pomegranates are also extremely high in vitamin C, B5 and other important nutritients and antioxidents.
Red is also the color of the Valentine hearts we celebrate each February. And we’ve got only a few days to go to HotRawChef and finish watching all the videos and cast our votes for our talented chefs. I wonder if anyone has a recipe using pomegranates. Gives me yet another reason to check out the videos. If not this year, than definitely next…a sexy recipe using the sweet tartness of the inimitable pomegranate!