Posts tagged ‘City of Fort Bragg’
When we imagine a new life for ourselves – one that is in alignment with our core values as well as our hopes and dreams, it might seem as though the steps to reaching our goals are steep, if not impossible. The future stretches out; we have our daily round of responsibilities and must do lists. How do we take the first steps to making our dreams a reality? This is a question that comes up every day at Living Light. Our enrollment advisors, Mary Elizabeth and Amanda, talk to eager students from around the globe and hear many fascinating stories. The great part is that we help many of those who call our office find a way to take those first steps to success by attending our school. They are inspired to weave their dreams and plans together and make what seemed like far off possibilities a reality – often very quickly.
Our graduate success stories are truly amazing, and its encouraging to see that even those students who have completed only our first level certification, Raw Culinary Arts Associate Chef and Instructor Training™ are already moving forward with new careers! Next associate chef session begins May 25, and we have a special offer when you bring a friend. Check it out here! Sometimes it’s more fun to take the first steps with someone you know.
It’s beginning to look a lot like winter. First of all, we have quite a storm system blowing through Fort Bragg right now. It’s very wet and although we have sunny skies in between storms, the down pours and winds themselves are quite impressive. If you’re headed our way, be sure and check the roads for closures because there’s been some flooding. I’ve been lucky both here at Living Light and at home as far as power outages – I’ve been all powered up so far. Anyhow – it’s “between storms” right now and it’s a lovely day out. Far out for now!
And secondly, looking forward to the beginning of winter means, of course, the holidays. There’s so much to do every weekend this month! This weekend’s holiday cheer is a benefit concert by Willits Brass (featuring my sweet boyfriend) at the Company Bar (featuring sweet Amanda) for Project Sanctuary. All good fun for a good cause. The weekends coming up will have lighted truck parades and lighted botanical gardens and more parties and gosh – what a whirlwind! Sometimes…. I must admit…. I feel a bit overwhelmed by all of it and kind of wish I could just hide at home and read. But, I always have a good time once I get myself to these things and I have such wonderful friends with whom to do them. The holidays are all about connections – to your community, your family and your friends. I’m feeling so good about the connections in my life right now I just know this winter will be beautiful. As we near the solstice, let’s connect to all those things plus the planet. As we move through these dark days, let’s light our worlds.
Yes, it’s true. Co-blogger Mary Elizabeth and I have definitely begun our holiday blogs in earnest. I’m sitting here writing with my headphones on, listening to holiday music on Pandora, and it’s only two days until we can add snow to the blog! Meanwhile, it is also my son Simon’s birthday, a very special day to me. I was fortunate to be with him recently in the south of France, and he lives far away, up in Prince Rupert, B.C. So, I’ll have to be content with sweet memories of Christmases past as I wrap his gifts to take to the post office. Mary Elizabeth’s kids are younger and still live with her, so they are all together on the holidays – something to be grateful for, especially since both of her children have birthdays close to the holidays, too. Holidays are interesting times. This Thanksgiving Day it was sunny and beautiful here. I went on a four and a half mile walk wearing a bright pink scarf, and every single person I encountered along the way said hello or Happy Thanksgiving. Don’t know if it was the pink scarf, the holiday, or the sunshine, but I hope everyone’s holiday season is filled with such kindness and goodwill. It’s something to keep in mind as we navigate through all the activities and opportunities that happen at this time of year.
Last Friday, Living Light participated in the Fort Bragg Food Bank’s first annual soup and chili cook off. And guess what? We won!! Our Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder beat all others – quite the vegan victory, if you ask me. We were up against some local heavy hitters, too. I’m so proud of Joe and his whole kitchen/café crew, especially Living Light Gourmet Raw Food Chef grad, café employee and chef extraordinaire Elyse who made a most beautiful hostess at the Living Light table. I’m also proud of our own Amanda who planned the event and sits on the food bank’s board of directors. I got to witness this sweet victory from behind the bar, where my boyfriend and I served local beer and wine to the soup-hungry attendees. If you missed the event, you can come in and try this award winning treat in our café – just call ahead and see when we’ll have it available. But be sure and come next year. We’ll be defending our Golden Spoon against all comers and it’s for such a worthy cause – especially at this holiday time of year.
Speaking of the holidays, I think it’s time for fellow blog goddess Kristin and me to start rocking our holiday blogs for 2012. We like to use this time of year to reminisce and share holiday stories and ideas. It’s pretty quiet here at work as the school closes for a few weeks and the new year rush doesn’t usually kick in till after Christmas. It gives us a chance to highlight some of the more personal sides of Living Light and its employees. I bet we’ll have more examples of the role Living Light plays in the local community, too – more reasons to be proud. The Golden Spoon is a great start, though. I can’t wait to see how we’ll top it next year!
Listening to the recent controversy surrounding an NPR story about organics, I was amazed that the “scientific findings” in this particular study seemed to refute the idea that buying organic produce makes a difference to health. And this in spite of a nationwide movement of people who are increasingly choosing farmer’s markets and locally grown organic produce (an even more important distinction, buying local, I think). On a personal level, I definitely notice the vitality of organic foods. In our salad bar, some of the greens are shipped from San Francisco and some are grown right here in Fort Bragg. The local ones look, taste, and feel much “brighter” and healthier. Nearly everyone knows that food picked right out of the garden has more nutritional value than vegetables that have been stored in your refrigerator for a long time. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, I say. Finally, when the United States is coming around to what Europe has realized for decades – that selecting produce grown on small farms, or growing your own with traditional farming methods does make a difference, a respected media outlet like NPR tries to tell us differently. The good news is that the public reaction and comments on the story were largely organic positive, which makes an immense amount of sense. The public is not going to be hornswoggled at this point in time. Sometimes its hard to believe that The Silent Spring by Rachel Carson came out almost exactly 50 years ago, in September 1962. Wake up scientists! You’ve been asleep almost as long as Rip Van Winkle. We all need to wake up to the fact that every choice we make that has to do with organics and supporting sustainable farming in our communities really counts. Whatever decisions we make about these issues will affect future generations and the planet for a long time to come. Which is one of the reasons I’m glad that serving organic food in our school and in our cafe has been Living Light policy from the beginning.
We had some unusually chilly weather here for the first few days of September, but today the sun came out and it is warm and mild, with nary a wind (other than a gentle breeze from the ocean). More like it! Fall is always just gorgeous here on the Mendocino coast – by far the nicest time of the year. More like a real summer than summer is sometimes (unless you’re partial to fog). Did I mention that fall is MY favorite season? Most definitely invigorating and inspiring, too. Fall classes here at Living Light are in full swing, and we’ve got two tours coming up – The Science of Raw Food Nutrition Tour with the Drs. Dina in September and October, and The Raw Food Revolution Tour will head to Florida right after Cherie, Martine Lussier and a group of volunteers wow people who love vegetables with a spectacular Saturday dinner at World Veg Day in Golden Gate Park October sixth. Cherie is featured in two new online magazines – one out this month: VegWorld, and a great interview will be featured in the Nov/Dec issue of a magazine from Australia, Living Foods Magazine. Cherie also blogs once a month on Kevin and Annemarie Gianni’s Renegade Health site; she’s putting the finishing touches on her new book, and has just completed a new e-book for kids. Also, Cherie and her dog Winky just won the look alike contest at our local labor day dog show! Of course, behind every great woman is a supportive man, as you know, and Cherie’s husband Dan Ladermann, tech guy, photographer, dog lover, and Cherie Soria enthusiast, fills that bill nicely, thank you.
Summer is winding down, and although we haven’t suffered a heatwave here on the Mendocino coast, I have to admit I’m glad. All of the grass has turned brown and the flowers are looking a little sleepy and overstressed. The main reason I’m glad though, is because I am crazy about fall. Maybe because I always loved school and the excitement of learning new things, which is why it is inspirational to work at a school. Our students prepared a delightful Mediterranean meal yesterday, and nearly 50 of us enjoyed it complete with white tablecloths and flowers. It’s really lovely to be with the students. When I first came to Living Light I was a teacher, but since then my job in marketing has grown and I now spend all of my time in the office. So it’s an extra special treat not only to taste their food but to see their happy faces – they are proud of their creations! If you’re thinking about going back to school, and you’d like to study gourmet raw vegan foods with a group of inspiring people who gather here from around the globe, this fall we have a great line up of courses including Associate Chef and Instructor training, Gourmet Raw Food Chef training, the complete Science of Raw Food Nutrition Series and Pastry Arts I and II ( II is offered just once a year). Back to school for a new future!
Have you ever felt as though you were right on the brink of all sorts of happiness and balance and goodness? That’s how I’m feeling right now. Things are a little up in the air right at this actual moment, but I can see the horizon and it looks pretty good. I did that internal reset with the twenty eight day cleanse a couple months ago and then my recent vacation was like an external reset so I’m really poised for a new outlook and a new, well, life. I’m thinking about “home” as a concept right now, not only because I was away for so long, but because I’m moving again. I know – too boring to even bring up at this point. I think I’ve moved four times since I started contributing to this blog. Whatever – I’m moving again and apart from the actual, physical act I’m really excited. Although a firm believer in “home is where the heart is”, I have to say I’m looking forward to having my heart in a home of my own.
Speaking of “home”, I’m happy to say the Living Light Inn is full for the next session and very close to it for the one after that. If you’re planning on coming to Living Light in the next year, I suggest you reserve your room earlier rather than later. The inn is a great way to immerse yourself in the raw lifestyle. The communal kitchen allows students to prepare their own raw vegan dishes in the evenings or practice their recipes for school. It’s such a lovely building and the bedding is all organic. Our innkeepers Kristen and Cory are welcoming and knowledgeable and super helpful. We even have a couple of dog friendly rooms. The only down side is the fact that we can’t house all of our students there. So – like I said – be sure and reserve your spot and make the Living Light Inn your home while you’re here. We’ll take good care of you.
Haven’t been able to get a blog in lately, so today’s the day. Had fun seeing a friend who used to work at Living Light – Kari Bernardi was up for a visit from her hometown, sunny Carmel by the Sea. With a great tan, big blue eyes and a huge smile for everybody – she got a warm welcome from all who knew her as a teacher here. She’s doing lots of work with the farmer’s market and sustainability projects in Carmel-true to form! And Meagan Ricks, our former pastry chef has been in town lately, too. One thing about Living Light is that the family just keeps growing – and we’re always happy to see people when they come back “home” for a visit! Same with our students. Some come for a weekend, a week, three weeks or three months, and they nearly always come back to learn more, to be with incredible teachers and fellow students, and to learn how to create the lives they want to live. We’re definitely the “stuff that dreams are made of.” Why not make your dreams real? We have several upcoming certification programs this fall, including the complete gourmet chef series, our pastry arts certification program and the complete science of raw food nutrition certification series. No matter what your interest, we’ll help you get your feet firmly on the path of your choice. Come to Living Light and “make it happen!”