Archive for April, 2011
A few years ago, if you’d told me to be grateful for what I have to make myself feel better about what I don’t, I’d have rolled my eyes in disgust and written you off. Today, I might give that advice myself. Because it’s true. It’s hard to be in a tail spin of self doubt when focusing on dear friends. I can’t feel deprived for too long when I remember I have a home and a job and some cute clothes. I have two fantastic, smart, healthy children and a boyfriend who’s genuinely fond of me. As my friend and fellow blogger, Kristin, wrote – life is sweet. It really is – we just have to taste it.
We are just about at the end of another Gourmet Raw Food Chef training and you know what that means? Pastry Arts – Unbaked! I love pastry week. The dessert case in the café gets all filled up with delightful treats and sometimes we get samples here in the office. Yum! Although not part of Living Light’s required curriculum for certification, this class is definitely our most popular elective. And you needn’t be a Gourmet graduate to take it. It’s open to Associate Raw Food Chef and Instructors, too. But it normally follows our advanced culinary courses and those students often stay the extra few days to add this class. Pastry Arts is such a fun way for the students to finish up their training. They’ve worked so hard and been away from home for so long. What better way to end things up than with something sweet?
I keep saying this to people who are tired of the rain. We all love flowers and in May the roses should start to bloom as well as the rhododendrons. And we might still have iris and perhaps the daffodils. Our dahlias are growing so soon we will have those as well. Yippee!
Then the fruits and veggies will start. Our peach, cherry, apple, and fig trees are all starting to blossom. Everytime we see a bee, whether one of our mason bees or honeybees, near the trees, Archie goes up to them and points out the other blossoms and gives them directions to the other flowers to pollinate. How cute is that? Next will come the squash, corn, pepper, cucumber and tomato plants. Archie will be a busy man!
Have any of you gone to Living Light’s salad bar lately? Man, it’s great! It starts with fresh mixed lettuce, then romaine, shredded carrots, shredded beets, cucumbers, shredded red cabbage, celery, cherry tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts. And then each day has different selections: cooked and sprouted black or garbanzo beans, steamed rice, sauerkraut, or something extra like a mixed marinated veggie salad. Three or four dressings are available: Dijon Mustard dressing, Ranch, Liquid Gold, or Tomato Basil. I truly gorge on Living Light’s salad bar!
This is the view from the balcony of my brother and sister-in law’s apartment in Nice. I arrived a few days ago and the time is going by so quickly. Weather is perfect 70s every day, what can I say? It’s been 30 years since I’ve seen the blue Mediterranean sea. Many images of beauty everywhere I turn. We strolled to the market a couple of days ago and saw Himalayan crystal salt in big bushels and flavored with vegetables creating beautiful colors. Everyone walks in Europe and the streets are filled with life. I’m still adjusting to the time change, but had a wonderful time in Vence and St-Paul-de-Vence yesterday. Medieval villages with winding stone streets popular with artists and writers like Bonnard, Modigliani, Matisse, Simone de Beauvoir, Sartre, Fitzgerald, and even Greta Garbo. I’ll be glad when I’m feeling totally normal time-wise, but meanwhile c’est fantastique! How can I squeeze enough photos into this blog? More later…gotta walk to Ville Franche – the next town over today!
Do you listen to radio call-in shows? I haven’t in years. Do they still exist? Maybe they do, but I do most of my asking about stuff on the internet. It’s quick and sometimes satisfying. Other times it’s so distracting I forget all about my original question. Anyhow – that’s all good and private but I used to like listening to people call in with all sorts of personal problems and hope to feel better after a couple of minutes of on-the-air therapy. Like Frasier. Anyhow – maybe I’ll search the air-waves this weekend and see if I can’t find one.
If you’d like to call in and get your questions answered by Living Light faculty, you’ll get your chance next Thursday, April 28th. Raw Food Doctors Rick and Karin Dina and internationally renowned author and instructor, Jennifer Cornbleet, will be hosting a teleconference that evening at 5:30p.m. PST. They’ll talk about their upcoming classes and answer all your questions live, via telephone. The Dinas have a full series of Science of Raw Food Nutrition classes coming up and Jenny will be teaching her Advanced Raw Culinary Arts Instructor course for the very first time this July. Call in and find out all about both opportunities direct from the instructors. Check our website for details. It’ll be fun and informative and way more personal than a Google search!
The Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden has long been a favorite place for me and Archie to visit, even before we moved up here. We would take a picnic lunch and go to the cliff house and watch the whales go by. The rhododendrons are so beautiful and last longer at the coast. We have rhodies at our home, but we are inland by a mile so the time is not quite as long. The gardens have so many plants and show so many ways to decorate your yard. We rarely go without buying at least one. The botanical gardens had their annual spring plant sale this past weekend. Being members we were able to go the evening before for goodies, wine, and the real reason: plants. It was so much fun – cold, but fun.
Coming up soon is the Science of Raw Food Nutrition series. This series includes Level I, Level II, the Benefits of Raw Food Nutrition Educator Certification, Level III, and the Advanced Raw Food Nutrition Educator Certification. If you find nutrition interesting, and would like to learn the science behind a raw vegan diet, please contact me and ask for the descriptions of these stellar classes.
After several months knowing that I would be taking a trip to Nice in the south of France, the time has finally arrived. Today, I bid adieu to Fort Bragg and embark on a voyage to “the continent” via Swiss Air. I’ve never flown on the airline before, but I imagine it will be organized and accommodating. I lived in Paris for a year long ago– 30 years to be exact, and this is my first visit back since then. Dare I say yahoo, or is that already taken? I must admit that now that the time has nearly arrived, I’m allowing those little bubbles of excitement to begin to quicken my pulse and excite my endorphins.
One of the great things about embarking on travels is that you don’t know where the road (or jet plane) will take you, exactly. You can’t really even anticipate the feelings, sights, smells, and experiences that await. Travel is one of those things that can change a person. Material possessions may come and go, but the flavor of life that you gain by visiting other places stays with you forever. Shall I be La Belle Dame Sans Merci, dazzling a knight in shining armor? Likely not, but I’ll see the rocky beach at Nice, and the big palm trees, and the luxe pink hotel on the promenade again. How lovely is that?
Meanwhile, back here at Living Light, the beat goes on. Lot’s of wonderful classes lined up, and many new things coming down the pike, including the next Living Light Chef Showcase, Hot Chefs Cool Kitchens, and the next Hot Raw Chef video recipe contest. Stay tuned for bloggers Hilloah and Mary Elizabeth, who will share the latest in my absence. And I’ll probably drop a line or two from my travels, and share the wealth. Bon Voyage to me!
My house is so messy right now and I’m trying to think up something to do on my lunch break other than go tidy up. I’ve spent so much time lately convincing myself that happiness comes from within ; that “home is where the heart is” means that as long as you feel comfortable inside your own heart, you’ll always feel at home – blah, blah, blah. Home is also a physical place and if you don’t feel comfortable there, you’re not going to be happy. And – I’m not going to feel comfortable if the place is a mess. Guess I know what I’ll be doing on my lunch break.
Speaking of home – anyone who’s friends with the Living Light Inn on Facebook has seen, through photos, what a wonderful raw community our students who choose to stay there are able to create. Students can stay at a discount and we also offer the option of shared rooms to make the visit more affordable. Our innkeepers, Kerry and Boo, make sure everything’s working to insure a pleasant, happy stay. Lots of our students come to Living Light for extended periods of time and it’s so important for them to feel cared for. They need to feel comfortable so that they can really be present in class and open up to the knowledge that’s coming their way. They need to feel at home.