Archive for October, 2012
Halloween is next week and I just love Halloween! A couple years ago I wrote about it being the second largest commercial holiday here in the good old U.S. of A. and I think that’s great. I mean, there aren’t any gifts involved or anything – it’s just decorating and dressing up and candy, candy, candy. Anyhow – if we insist on making our holidays big, commercial blood baths, I’m glad this one is right up there at the top. There’s a far less commercially successful holiday right on Halloween’s heels, though, and I’m just crazy about that one, too – maybe even a little bit more so. It’s All Souls Day, or Dia de los Muertos. This is a day to remember those who’ve gone before us and honor their memory. You can do this with an altar or just in your own heart, of course. I’m pretty much hard wired for this kind of activity every day, what with my obsession with saints. But – I love this special day and I love the whole altar making ritual. We have two here at Living Light every year. We are all encouraged to bring in items or pictures that represent some one we admire or want to honor or just miss. Once the items are collected, we set up the altars and decorate them in the traditional style. The altars are on display in our Café and Marketplace and it’s such fun to see what people bring in, and so interesting, too. The altars are so pretty with colored cloths and tissue paper flowers. We decorate with beads and fruits, too, and those little electronic candles. Come on in next week and check them out! You’ll just love them, I promise.
I am on the last day of a five day juice fast. I’m really glad it’s the last day, but also really glad I did it. Remember the last one? This was nothing in comparison, but still significant and so worth while. I feel great. And fasting is sort of a spiritual fast forward – it brings clarity, it slows you down, it forces focus. I can get so wound up and frantic or just distracted, really, from what’s actually important and right and necessary. Not always in a bad way, either. Just distracted. Anyhow – juice fasting, like nothing else, brings me down a notch and helps me remember who I am and what I’m supposed to be doing. I like that. I like how it makes my body feel, too. There’s nothing about it I don’t like, actually – especially on the last day.
If you want to do some juice fasting of your own, we have everything you need to succeed. If you want your juices made for you, come into our Café. We have wheat grass, green juice and red – just perfect! Or if you’d like to make your own, come into our Marketplace. We have lots of books on juicing so you can find all sorts of yummy recipes and tips. We also have all the tools – like juicers! Plus we have everything you could think of to prepare your fruits and vegetables. And of course, you could take a class. We don’t have a class just for juicing, but you’ll learn all about it the FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods. I really can’t recommend a juice fast highly enough – so come to Living Light to learn all about it!
So – I always say that “the holidays” start at Halloween and go to Valentines Day. At least as far as tempting foods are concerned. But that was a bit off. The tempting foods are already here and I am not doing all that well at resisting. First of all, everything – EVERYTHING – is pumpkin pie flavored right now and I absolutely love pumpkin pie. And I don’t just mean out in the cold cruel world of cooked things. We have a version of pumpkin pie right here at Living Light which is beautiful and the crust is one of my top ten favorite things to eat of all time. So – there’s really no escape. I’m not one to deny myself a whole lot. I’m good at cleanses and things like that where I have to be accountable. But normally – if I want a piece of pumpkin pie, I’m going to eat one. I just have to be careful to pace myself and readjust to this new holiday frenzy of tempting treats. Seriously – there’s temptation around every corner and there will be for months!
Our Living Light students are learning to make lots of healthy, happy choices right now. They are half way through their Associate Chef and Instructor training. Some really beautiful pictures are coming out of the culinary studio. Many of these students will be leaving us after next week, but some of them will be with us until Thanksgiving and beyond, learning all about how to create and serve their own fabulous dishes. I think this is a great time of year to come and study here because it gives you all kinds of support and fresh ideas and tools to get through the tempting months ahead. How do you get through these holiday months happy but healthy?
Not long until I’ll be winging my way to France – next Thursday to be exact. And since it IS Friday, I thought I’d bring out that old French phrase we all know and love: “Grace à Dieu c’est Vendredi! Thank God it’s Friday – what a Friday it is, indeed.
We just got Joe, our Marketplace manager, and Dan Ladermann off to San Francisco this AM , driving “Gracie” our Living Light mobile home and pulling “Gratitude” our refrigerated mini- kitchen packed with supplies for World Veg Day in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. They are in Petaluma with a flat tire, but we know all will be well, and for that we are thankful.
Martine Lussier and Cherie followed this afternoon, and will be the divas who cater a beautiful raw vegan meal for 150+ people on Saturday night. Speaking of thanks – we are delighted that Martine and Cherie will be assisted by several able and talented Living Light graduates (more on that later). We know who is well-trained! (Sigh of relief). It’s not only the 13th Annual World Vegetarian Day, but it’s the 40th Annual International Vegetarian Conference. It’s held all over the world and this year in California, so the gathering in Golden Gate Park this weekend should be especially memorable. Our whole staff has been busy for weeks preparing for the event. For those attending – have a great time, and be sure to report back on the festivities!
For whatever reason, I’m having a hard time coming up with what to write about this week. It’s not that I’m in a bad space, or can’t think of anything interesting to say about work. I’m actually having a hard time motivating myself to write any words. This is odd, because writing is just like talking and I’ve spent about four speechless minutes in my whole life. So, I guess it’s time to re-test the theory about pictures speaking words and post some from our last Food Styling class. They really are amazing. Wouldn’t you like your food to look this pretty? It can, you know. We have one more chance this year to take this super fun class. And guess what? You don’t need any prerequisites. So it’s a great way to come and get your feet wet at Living Light. You get to work up in the culinary studio and meet some of our wonderful instructors. You can eat a yummy raw lunch in our café and pick up some fun kitchen stuff in our marketplace. What a perfect way to spend a Sunday.