Archive for May, 2011
Today is Cherie Soria’s birthday! Cherie is regarded at the “Mother of Gourmet Raw Food”. She started out working with Ann Wigmore who eventually told Cherie to branch out so that others could learn gourmet raw foods - rather than just green drinks and salads. So she did. She began traveling all over the world, teaching people a gourmet raw vegan diet. Finally she settled in California and set up Living Light so that they could come here and learn from her and her staff of excellent instructors.
One of the many avenues that Cherie has developed for raw foodists is her raw recipe contests where anyone can enter an original recipe to win great prizes. This year’s Showcase will have a new twist: 5 in 5 Video Recipe Contest. The recipes must have only five ingredients and take only five minutes (or less) to demonstrate. Which five ingredients would you choose? Only foods that starts with the letter M? Mangos, mulberries, mushrooms, melons, and mustard greens? Umm, maybe not! Whatever you choose, have some fun!
It’s been almost a full year since our last Living Light Chef Showcase: Hot Chefs, Cool Kitchen, and we’re ready to roll again, starting with the launch of this year’s 5 in 5 Hot Raw Chef Video Recipe Contest. But before I talk about how exciting that is going to be, I have to mention two new chef luminaries we’ll have at this year’s showcase. First, there’s Judita Wignall, who has just published her first raw recipe book, Going Raw, which is absolutely scrumptious looking. And Judita was the inspiration for Judy Nails in the video game Guitar Hero. Wow…we’ve had quite a few “rawk stars” in our day, but this may be our first rock star. Judita’s band, The Halo Friendlies, has taken a hiatus so that members can work on their individual creative projects – we’re so glad that Judita has decided to share her culinary creativity at this year’s showcase. Another chef new to the showcase this year is Brian James Lucas aka Chef BeLive. We’ve followed his career over the last few years and are looking forward to seeing him in action. Speaking of action, we are TOTALLY JAZZED about the 5 in 5 Hot Raw Chef Video Recipe Contest. Who will be the next HOT RAW CHEF to add to our roster of celebrities at the showcase? Could it be YOU?
It’s been a long time since I’ve sung the praises of Mila in this blog. My very first one was all about how it changed my life. And seriously, it has. I’m still using it on a regular basis and I’m still essentially pain free. It’s amazing and if you haven’t checked out the miracle seed (it’s a strain of chia) for yourself, I suggest you do. If you’re local, you can do just that at Living Light this Saturday, May 28th at 9:00a.m. There’s going to be a free presentation on the benefits of adding Mila to your life – not only from a health perspective but as a business opportunity. And there’ll be samples of a yummy Mila shake for everyone to try. Why wouldn’t you come?
There are so many benefits to a raw vegan diet. When I eat mostly raw, I feel better. When I eat mostly raw, I look better. But I must say, when I’m following a cruelty-free way of life, I feel a lot more balanced. Not just my body, but my mind and heart. And it’s so easy, really. There are tons of cute vegan shoes and purses and beauty products out there, not to mention food, food, food. I’m finding I’m not all that drawn to vegan cheese and other products that simulate dairy or meat – but I’m a sucker for shoes and found the cutest pair on-line last weekend. Anyhow – I urge you to investigate a raw vegan diet, the power of Mila and Living Light! Our products and classes will make your journey a success.
The mason bees are working. We had seven tubes of them and so far eight new tubes have been filled. We will be having more filled, all for next year. Next year, however, we will wait until May before getting them out of the refrigerator as more flowers are blooming now than in March and April like the booklets suggested.
Our roses have started blooming. The tea trees are still in bloom – red, pink, fancy (double petals) pink and white – and the snap dragons are sill in bloom. Our peach tree seems full of small buds as are our apple and cherry trees. The fig tree has no figs on it, but the leaves are really getting big this year. Our apricot and pear trees are looking good: in the next couple of years we will really be full of fruit – we can hardly wait!
This August we will have many students around at Living Light as well. Some will be here for the Gourmet Raw Food Chef certification some for the Science of Raw Food Nutritional certifications, some for the Chef Showcase, and some for all of it! We are full of gratitude for this, not only for our company, but for the joy of spreading raw food and healthy choices to so many people. Exponentially it will spread even beyond us – WOW!
As with all things in life, the one constant at work is change. Our graphic artist and my cohort in the Marketing Department for the last three years is moving away from our pristine Pacific shore and setting out for new adventures, she knows not where yet. But wherever she lands and whatever she does, the place and the people will be lucky to have her, our darling Inga. We all love her at Living Light, and will miss her so much. And a newer member of the marketing team, “K.C.” Kristin Carr is also moving on to pursue her own dreams of creating a holistic center nearby. Adieu dear ladies, we wish you both every success.
The rest of us will be here at Living Light, working to make a difference as we always do. Sometimes it’s good to do a “check-back,” to see how far you’ve come, so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labors. For twelve years our Living Light graduates have carried the message of the raw food lifestyle hither and yon. So we’re not just working for money, we’re working to create a healthier, more peaceful and harmonious planet. Good to remember. Not to be overly altruistic, because with 4 green businesses in the current economy, we do need to work hard to make our businesses successful and prosperous. AND we have a higher goal to fulfill. Let’s keep on truckin’!
Here at Living Light we’re right in the middle of an Associate Chef and Instructor training and we’ve got students with us from all over the world. The countries represented include Australia, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Peru, Norway, Sweden and Canada. And of course, we’ve got students from the good, old US of A coming from both coasts, the mid, south and north wests and even some locals! It’s quite a bunch, indicative of the global aspect of the raw food revolution!
Living Light has been in existence for over twelve years and in that time we’ve had students from over forty-five countries. Our impact on the raw food movement is immeasurable. Our founder, Cherie Soria, had a vision of making the raw food diet compatible with real life. She wanted followers to be able to take it home with them and embrace it as not only a health and planet-friendly way to eat, but a yummy one as well. She wanted them to be able to successfully introduce it to their family and friends. Her dream was to make the raw food lifestyle possible for anyone willing to learn. She has succeeded –globally – in every sense of the word!
Well, another culinary Associate Chef & Instructor certification has begun at Living Light. It is so exciting to finally meet the people you have been speaking to on the telephone for the last several months.
Some of the students are here for only one or two days to start their culinary adventure, others will be here from FUNdamentals through the Science of Raw Food Nutrition, Level I, a full nine days and come back to finish the Chef program when they get more vacation time. And still others are here for the full three weeks of the Associate Chef and Instructor program. This is one of the reasons our courses are so popular: you can take them as you have the budget of time and money. Once a student has taken the Associate Chef & Instructor course, they then have two years to take the advanced classes and become a Gourmet Raw Food Chef
Soon these very students will be on our website either as a Graduate Success Story or to advertise (for free) as a Raw Empowered Chef. I love going to these sites and seeing that the people I enrolled have become “rawk stars”.
After traveling a long way from the South of France – 14+ hours by plane, and several more driving up from the Bay area, I still find this sleepy little town of Fort Bragg, California a nice place to come home to. Winding through the Anderson Valley and the redwood forests, it is quite a thrill when I first catch a glimpse of the sea. It’s spectacular. Coming back to work takes a little time to get used to…gotta answer that mountain of email, organize tasks, say hello to everyone, and reintegrate into the workaday world after a worldly adventure. Part of the zen of it all is knowing that the present moment is the one that matters. It’s where we get our juice. It’s where we find our deepest happiness. Projecting oneself into the future or dwelling on the past doesn’t make us vibrant, happy human beings. But taking a trip and exploring new horizons certainly does refresh the spirit.
Right now, our enrollment team is out in the hall, welcoming a fresh new group of Living Light students, who are wide-eyed with excitement. Some of them have traveled half way around the world to join us here. I’m glad it’s such a pretty destination. I’m glad that we offer this international group of travelers a great curriculum, supportive teachers and staff, and a whole new world to explore. Right here in Fort Bragg. Sweet!
We have a new group of students coming to Living Light on Saturday to begin an Associate Chef and Instructor training. It’s always exciting to meet them and their anticipation of incorporating work with what they love is infectious. I’m so grateful to have a job that incorporates so many things I love. I get to talk on the phone, write and I have access to fabulous raw desserts. What’s not to love about that? If you don’t love your work, maybe it’s time for reinvention. Even if it’s unrealistic to reinvent your actual job, you can always reinvent your response to it. Practice being grateful for the opportunity to pay your bills, or remember to appreciate the people you work with as individuals. Just like raw food chefs create recipes that reinvent cooked favorites, we can make any situation work for us if we approach it with love.
Speaking of appreciating the people I work with, our own Inga Petersen, graphic designer extraordinaire, is participating in a group show this month at the Mendocino Art Center. My lovely and talented friend, Laura Pope, has some pieces in the show as well. The show is called Work and Love and promises to be super fantastic! I can’t wait to see it this Saturday for the opening reception. Inga’s art is an extension of herself in the true sense – her soul shines through it. Each piece is a work of love. I’m honored to share an office with her. She makes work easy to love.
The community of Westport has a rubber ducky race down a stream to the ocean every Mother’s Day. It is free to attend and you can enter a rubber ducky in the race – bring your own or buy one there. There is judging of the best decorated as well as the fastest ducks.
Our duck, named ARCHIE of course, did better this year. Last year he went from last place to the middle. This year he went all the way to the top fourth of the contestants. I am of the opinion that he would have won, but he stopped to talk along the way with two other ducks. “That’s Archie,” my friend Sandi said, “always talking with friends!”
After the races we went to Cowlicks for home made ice cream. So many things are home made or grown here in Fort Bragg. I have gotten spoiled, for if I cannot find exactly what I want, the creator of the piece of art, jewelry, clothing, garden accessories or whatever lives here and I can go to him or her directly and request what I want. So nice!
At Living Light we do the same in as much as we have four businesses that help the students and angels. We have the Living Light Culinary Institute (the school where we teach you to be a Raw Vegan Chef), the Living Light Inn (accommodations), a Raw Food Café (a place to eat), and the Living Light Marketplace (where we sell the tools to be a chef).