Archive for May, 2012
There’s nothing like early summer – my niece Stella’s favorite time of year. Here in California we’ve got lots of blooming plants already and my all time favorites are roses – might be because I hark from the City of Roses, Portland, Oregon. The ones in my yard (I moved last fall) have been neglected for a few years, so I’m carefully picking off all the leaves that have black spot and trying to get them to feel better. As beautiful as they are, roses aren’t the easiest to take care of, and yet they are kind of resilient at the same time. Like people, they respond to care and attention. I made a promise to myself to stop and smell the summer roses this year. We’re still plenty busy at Living Light, what with the Raw Food Revolution Tour heading East and Drs. Rick and Karin Dina beginning their Science of Raw Food Nutrition Tour in just a couple of weeks, but this is the first time in the seven years I’ve been at Living Light that we don’t have a MAJOR EVENT like a Vibrant Living Expo or a Chef Showcase at the end of August. I have a little more breathing room, and a bit more freedom to balance my life and remember that it’s important to enjoy the long days of summer. Mmmmmm – smell the roses! This weekend I’m going to the Mendocino Film Festival. What are you doing this summer?
Today is the start of the Memorial Day weekend. I’m not sure what that means for me other than lots of yard sales and the permission to wear white clothes. Although, a Google search of the holiday informed me that fewer and fewer people are following the white clothes rule and are “wearing white throughout the year”. Well fine – go ahead, if you really want to. Anyhow – it talked a bit about honoring those who gave their lives serving our country but basically called it the beginning of the summer season. It’s interesting how things change. Oh well. The only veteran I know really well is my dad and he’s still alive and so has to wait to be honored until Veterans’ Day, when I put my white clothes away again, by the way. Anyhow – it’s a three day weekend for most of us Americans and that’s always nice. It isn’t one here at Living Light, but that’s okay – we’re having one of our fun potlucks in the Admin. Office on Monday and that’s always nice, too! So I guess, basically, I’m going to try and be mindful of our country’s history and the personal sacrifices that went along with it. And – I’m going to rock my white pants on Monday.
Our students will be starting their Associate Chef and Instructor Training on Monday. This two week course fine tunes their raw culinary skills and also empowers them to teach others to make their own raw food. And that’s really what the light in Living Light is all about: sharing the possibilities of a raw, plant based and cruelty free way of eating with the world. As our Culinary Programs Manager, Martine Lussier, says, “Peace begins in the kitchen”. Hey – what a great focus point for Memorial Day! Have a deliciously peaceful weekend!
Hard to believe that Dan and Cherie are actually taking off for a vacation. I’ve worked here seven years, and although they’ve gone on trips before, they usually are working as they travel. This time they are going to some rather remote locations. Cherie is planning to spend sunrise of her 65th birthday May 31 on top of Machu Picchu, then on to Lake Titicaca and the Galapagos Islands. They definitely deserve a “real” vacation, and I hope they enjoy every minute of the trip. Because they’ve been so dedicated to the business of Living Light, they’ve skimped a bit on that personal time so essential for “filling up the well” of creativity. Both Dan and Cherie are creative visionaries, and I imagine that as they open to these new experiences, breathe deep the pristine air, and enjoy the sights, sounds, culture and people they encounter in these extraordinary places, they will explore new depths of understanding the mission they have chosen. Fare thee well, safe journey and have an absolutely extraordinary rich and beautiful experience Dan and Cherie! We look forward to hearing all about it when you get back.
Cherie, Dan and Martine are finally home here at Living Light after their super successful tour of Canada, Washington and Oregon. Now our own raw food Doctors Rick and Karin Dina are taking their fabulous Science of Raw Food Nutrition I class on the road as well. They will be in Vancouver, BC on June 17th and Portland, Oregon on July 14th. I finally took this class myself last session and I have to say, it was so informative and interesting and well presented. And the Doctors Dina really walk the walk, too. Not only have they researched the nutritional science behind a raw vegan diet, they are glowing, living proof that it works. I highly recommend it.
Speaking of glowing, living proof of the benefits of a raw vegan diet – I’m on the second to last day of a twenty-eight day cleanse and I can hardly believe it. I’m not going to say there weren’t times when I thought it was never going to end. There were. But now that it’s really and truly done, it seems like it went pretty fast. Or – more like I can’t believe the results that have been achieved in such a short time. I feel amazing and so much healthier than I did twenty seven days ago. I feel more clear and confident than I have maybe ever before, too. My darling daughter Bridget and fellow enrollment goddess Amanda have done it, too. I’m so proud of all of us. And we were led by Living Light Instructor Gina Hudson. She made it doable and yummy and was so supportive. So – what’s next? Well – some pastry, for sure – I’m still me. But I hope this will kick off a new lifestyle, a new relationship to food, and a new energy. If you want to change your life, change your diet for a while. You’ll be amazed, I promise.
Sometimes the funniest things happen when we least expect it. I moved into a new place last September. One of the tasks I’ve left undone is replacing the shower head with a water filter version. Yet something has held me back – fear of plumbing? When I finally decided to tackle the “project”, it was as easy as twisting off the old shower head and replacing with the new - I did the job with my bare hands! Hmmm…just goes to show you that sometimes our slightest fears can hold us back from something we really want to do. Which reminded me of something Cherie mentioned a few days ago. When she gives inspirational talks, she asks people what is holding them back from living their dreams. Many people raise their hands when she mentions time or money. And then she always says – don’t let time or money (and I might add fear) hold you back from what you really want to do. A favorite quote of mine is “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!” Would you like to live YOUR dream and be among our Living Light graduate success stories? What’s holding you back?
Today, Living Light graduated its first Gourmet Raw Food Chefs of 2012. I’m always so amazed by our students. Some of them come so far and they all leave their homes to spend six weeks (sometimes longer) with us to learn how to prepare raw vegan gourmet food. It’s a huge commitment of both time and money, not to mention how focused and ready to be taught they have to be. It really is a labor of love. Anyhow – I’m so proud of them and excited to see what they go off into the world to do with their new culinary greatness. They are leaving us with a whole new way of looking at food, ready to take that knowledge home and recreate their lives. What an adventure.
Everyday life can get monotonous. It can get real routine and stale. But I’ve found that I’m better able to get out of that reality and into a more adventurous one pretty simply these days. I’m trying to focus on myself in a positive way. I’m enjoying my kids for who they are and am overwhelmed by the wonderful individuals they are growing into. I’m actually remembering to be grateful for all sorts of things every day. I’m trying to relax and trust the universe to provide the things I think I need in its own time. I’m trying to relax and trust the people in my life to be whom and what they present themselves to be. I guess, basically, I’m just not wasting my time worrying. And you know what? Every day is an opportunity to recreate ourselves. Everyday life can be an adventure, too.
I’m on day twelve of a twenty eight day cleanse. Last week was just juice. This week is juice and smoothies. Sometimes I’m hungry. Sometimes I’m completely satisfied. Sometimes I’m pretty cranky, but even girls who’ve just polished off blueberry muffins get cranky. Sometimes I lose track of why I thought this would be a good idea. But – it is. Sometimes it’s good to make a radical change. As I’ve said before, wishing doesn’t make one healthy and thin. And bad habits won’t go away by themselves. Any kind of improvement takes work – usually hard work. And there’s half of me that knows that and just wants to rebel. Who likes self discipline and being conscious about stuff? Fortunately – the other half of me does! The sense of accomplishment and pride that comes from succeeding at a personal challenge is a wonderful thing. Nothing feels quite so satisfying. And I always find that focusing really hard on one area of my life frees up my mind and heart to see some of the others in a new light. Being all-consumed with this cleanse has given the rest of my life a chance to just fall into place. Obsessing on juice has allowed me to realize that a lot of what I’ve been all twisted about lately just doesn’t matter that much. What matters is taking care of myself, loving the people in my life and watching the clock till the next juice time. This whole experience is a gift.
Speaking of gifts, why not treat yourself to our Pastry Focused Package here at Living Light this month. You’ll come out of it with two certifications and a life changing relationship to food. You’ll also come out of it having saved some cash because our founder, Cherie, is turning sixty five this month and to honor this milestone, we’re offering $65 off each class! Pretty cool and it adds up, believe me. If memory serves, I love pastry. If you do too, you should check out this offer.
It’s been a busy week here at Living Light. Some of our key players, namely Cherie, Dan and Martine are having a wonderful experience taking FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods on the road. They’ve been to Vancouver, B.C. and Toronto -they are now in Seattle. Next stop: Portland. All in all, it sounds like a very rewarding trip. Great people, lots of appreciation, and a way to connect with new communities in person. Takes us back to the days when Living Light was a “gypsy school” setting up in retreat centers in the Northwest, California, Hawaii, and other exotic locations. Also reminds me of the early days of the International Festival of Raw and Living Foods. I was on the board then, and for five years from 2000 to 2004 we put on raw food festivals in Portland, Oregon. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work at the same time. Some of the big name raw foodists were just getting started then, and Cherie was generally in charge of organizing the culinary demos. Little did we know then that the “movement” would grow to what it is today – dozens of recipe books, YouTube videos, e-books, blogs, and businesses later, we can hardly recognize ourselves. So many of us have worked hard for years to bring awareness of the raw food lifestyle to the public. We can do what is called a “checkback” and pat ourselves on the back for work well done. In the busyness of everyday life, that’s always a good thing to remember!