Making Life Delicious!

Archive for April, 2012

Young and Delicious

We are in beautiful Toronto, Ontario, Canada preparing for one of our favorite yearly events, the Total Health Show. There are 60 different presenters here from all over the world speaking on a variety of topics related to health. My main focus this year is on Raw Foods for Health, Beauty, and Longevity as well as Staying Young Longer – topics that now I am completing my 65th year, I can say I have experience with!

I love telling people I am going to be 65 in May and watching the look on their faces! They look at each other in disbelief; ask each other if they heard that right; mouths drop open and heads shake (no, can’t be!) As I tell my audience, “The older I get, the bigger the payoff is from switching to a plant based, high raw diet.” But anyone, no matter how old they are, can benefit from changing their eating habits.

Start eating more raw fruits and vegetables today and you will most likely begin to feel better right away. You can be young and delicious at any age!

My book, The Raw Food Revolution Diet, will help you get started.  It includes tips about how to prepare yourself mentally, emotionally and physically if you have never eaten a primarily plant-based diet, and provides menus and great recipes that will nurture your spirit as well as nourish your body.  You’ll find everything you need to get started from A to Z, including nutritional information to ease your fears about not getting enough protein and calcium; how to know what a healthy body weight is for your body type, and even how to set up your kitchen and fill your pantry.

I’m so happy I wrote this book with my coauthors, Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis, two of the most knowledgeable dieticians in the world on the subject of the raw vegan diet. They researched this book thoroughly, using only peer reviewed studies to prove that the raw vegan diet is superior to other ways of eating.

If you can’t make it to Toronto, you can go to our online store and buy (a signed copy) of the book and start today – why wait to reinvent yourself? Get the book, then sign up for the nearest FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods. We’ll be offering four more in the next month. Check out RawFoodChef.com and find one near you.

Raw foods isn’t just roots and shoots anymore! It can be as delicious and comforting as any cooked foods you have eaten and we can show you how to make it easy. Our motto at Living Light is “Making Healthy Living Delicious” and no one does it better!

So, if you are interested in nurturing your spirit while nourishing your body, we can show you how! Check out our website, RawFoodChef.com and learn about all our classes.

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Appreciating Each New Day

Some people start their day with meditation; others with prayer; some mumble and get out of bed grudgingly. I begin everyday with appreciation. There are so many things to be grateful for! Even if I am experiencing challenges in areas of my personal or business life, there are still things I can appreciate if I focus on the good things in my life. Since I started this daily practice, I find it much easier to tackle problems when they arise, as they are bound to do. The problems don’t seem as difficult if I have started my day focusing on things I am grateful for. It just kind of keeps things in perspective.Today I am expecially grateful for all the wonderful people I met at our FUNdamentals class yesterday, and for the appreciation they expressed to us for the work we are doing. I’m also grateful to Martine Lussier, Living Light Culinary Programs Manager, who is on tour with Dan and I.  She manages my demos and co-teaches FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods with me when we are on the road. It’s a tremendous job and she is AMAZING, as the attendees of our class yesterday will attest!

I’m also grateful to our generous host, Agathe Mathieu, a Living Light graduate, and the owner of Tao Organics,Vancouver’s newest raw food restaurant. She closed her restaurant for a day to host the class and worked so hard to help make the event a raging success. Three other Living Light grads joined us, too: Jim Maurice, who is producing a first-ever raw food event in Salt Spring, called Raw on the Rawk;  Chantale Roy who teaches popular classes at a University in Vancouver, and Stephanie, who was so gracious and willing to help in any way she could.

I’m also extremely grateful to our Living Light team at home in Fort Bragg, for supporting us and taking care of business while we are away — making it possible for us to bring FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods to the people of Vancouver, Toronto, Seattle, and Portland. Teamwork makes the dream work!

And, finally, I am grateful to the people who attended the class and made us feel SO appreciated. We came a long way to share this class and having people so grateful really validates our efforts. Most of them said they can’t wait to come to California to attend more classes at Living Light and to us, that says it all.

I wrote a book, which I have not yet published, that contains 365 little rhyming couplets that are affirmations of what I want to create in my life. One of those is something that is well embedded in the core of my being and is supported by my daily practice of appreciation:

I wake up early everyday, feeling GREAT in every way.

Next stop, Toronto!

The Spring of Life

Eight hundred and forty-five miles after leaving Fort Bragg, we made it to Vancouver, BC. What a trip it’s been! Wednesday it rained all day, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the incredible scenery and abundant natural beauty along the way. After all, abundant water is what makes it so beautiful here.

Seeing the beauty that results from so much water reminds me how important water is to our own health. I’m going to be speaking about Raw Foods for Health, Beauty and Longevity while I’m in Canada and one of the things that is very underrated in many studies on aging is the lack of adequate hydration. Very few people get enough water.

When food is cooked, the moisture in it evaporates, so we need to drink more water to make up for it. But instead of drinking pure fresh water, many people drink coffee, soft drinks and alcohol. And, by the time we are thirsty, we are dehydrated. This causes premature aging and is another good reason to eat whole fresh, high water content foods and drink juices!  We brought juice with us on the trip and drank lots of water so we had to visit a rest stop every couple of hours.

One rest stop had a 1,000 year-old Red Cedar tree that was hollowed out in a fire over 100 years ago and still stands, albeit held together by rebar.

 Another time we stopped to “rest” and hoola hooped 20120412-193351.jpgto add some fun and movement to the trip. Those who know me, know I love to play with the hoops! It brings out the kid in me!

We visited with one of our graduates, Becca Palm, who is hosting us for a talk and demo in her beautiful Seattle home when we return the first week of May. Then we’ll teach FUNdamentals of Raw Living Food that weekend, before going on to Portland to shower them with raw food love there.

When we arrived in Vancouver, we went to the home of our host, Agat Mathieu. She is one of our graduates and the owner of a new restaurant in North Vancouver, Tao Organics, where our FUN class will be held. Martine is staying in her adorable little cobb house with a labyrinth in front and a creek in back.

Dan and I are staying in an apartment nearby and we found out from the owner that  bears come up the creek into the old growth forest in back of Martine’s cabin, so she needs to make a bit of racket at night when she goes outside, because the bears are just waking up from their winter hibernation. Alrighty-then! I think Martine will be hanging out at our place a lot!

It’s not too late to register for one of the upcoming FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods classes (Vancouver on Saturday, April 14  followed by Toronto, Seattle, Portland and finally back home in Fort Bragg). We’ll also be doing  a lot of talks along the way, as well as appearing at the Total Health Show in Toronto for talks and a special seminar. You can get more details about the tour at http://rawfoodchef.com/TOUR.html

On the Road Again

I love living in the Northwest! Early this morning, as we left Fort Bragg on our road trip to Vancouver BC. Dan, Martine and I drove through majestic forests of old growth redwood trees. Funny how something can be in your backyard and you rarely take advantage of it. We go the the ocean nearly everyday and we have redwoods at the Living Light Inn, but to visit these grandfather redwoods (many over 1000 years old), one must drive an hour or so north, and we rarely do that!

As  we left Fort Bragg, we drove north past the sand dunes and the magical rock formations to Westport, before turning east to Highway 101 and the redwood forests. Along the way, we saw owls and hawks, as well as raging rivers and waterfalls that were so beautiful, it brought tears to your eyes.  It was cloudy and we knew there was a good probability of rain on the way, but the weather held out for us and we enjoyed the drive north through Portland, Oregon, finally arriving, after a 12 hour drive to a beautiful sunset.

I lived in Bend, Oregon in the 70’s and early 80’s, so I feel at home here and I’m looking forward to coming back in a few weeks to teach our FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods Class here. First, we will hit Vancouver BC, offering FUNdamentals there, then we will fly to Toronto for FUN in Toronto, then, on to Seattle for some FUN there, before we end with our last FUN class in Portland, before going home for FUN in Fort Bragg! That’s 5 FUNdamentals classes in 5 weeks! We are taking it to the people! In 14 years of teaching that class to thousands of people from over 50 countries and 6 continents, no one has ever voiced discontent. On the contrary — they tell us it was far more than they expected or even hoped for! There really isn’t any other entry-level raw foods class that can compare to FUNdamentals. It covers everything from A to Z ! I guarantee, you will be happy you made the decision to join us!

How Raw Am I?

I get this question all the time: How raw am I? People comment that I appear to be the picture of health and they assume that means I eat only raw vegan foods. I do have a tremendous amount of energy, yet I am not 100% raw 100% of the time: I am mostly raw all the time.

I find when I eat a very high raw diet I sleep better, need less sleep, have more energy throughout out the day, experience more mental clarity and at age 65 (coming up May 31) I am still as active as ever. On the other hand, not all raw food is better than all cooked food. For example, steamed collard greens are more health producing than the best raw vegan cheesecake (don’t get me wrong, I eat cheesecake from time-to-time).

Even athletes, who need lots of calories and protein, are better off eating steamed quinoa than a bunch of nuts due to the high fat content of nuts. The problem with cooked foods is that they are very addictive – it’s easy to get sucked back into eating foods that are quick and easy. And, the more cooked food one eats, the less aware they are of how their body reacts to food; robbing it of energy, requiring more sleep, being forgetful, feeling bloated and experiencing other problems that one might normally blame on age. I have fallen into that trap, so I know. I find that the more cooked food I eat the more I want, even though it robs me of energy. Fortunately, I know how good raw food makes me feel and of course I am a gourmet raw food chef, so I make great tasting food! It’s pretty easy for me to make the choice to be raw. But food has to taste good. If it doesn’t, people won’t eat it. They would rather die that eat foods that they don’t like; so instead of learning how to make great raw food dishes, they reach for unhealthy choices. I want to continue to live a long healthy productive life, so I have to make choices that will take me there and a raw food diet seems to work for me. I can both nourish my body and nurture my spirit with raw food.

If you are interested in learning to make amazingly delicous raw vegan comfort foods that emcourage you to stay raw while you feast, lose weight, gain energy, and feel young longer, join us at Living Light International for chef training and nutritional classes for novices and professionals alike. Classes start as low as $365. What are you wating for? It’s never too late to get healthy and be happy!

It’s Going To Be A FUN Tour

We are packing up and preparing to leave for the northwest and Canada next week for our second Raw Food Revolution Tour! It takes a tremendous amount of planning to take our classes on the road but we always love bringing FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods™ to the people! We know there are thousands of eager raw food enthusiasts who can not make the trip here to Living Light and they so appreciate when we come to them! We’ve been teaching this class for nearly 14 years and it runs like a well-oiled machine even when it is taught in a different city every weekend!

Dan, Martine Lussier (Living Light Culinary Programs Manager) and I will be loading up our Toyota Sienna Van and heading north to Vancouver, BC, where will we offer free talks around town and teach our flagship class, FUNdamentals. Then we’ll fly to Toronto for more free talks and events, plus presentations at one of my favorite events, the Total Health Show, where I will also offer a special 3-hour evening seminar. We’ll stay in Toronto through the following weekend so we can offer another great FUNdamentals class to those anxiously awaiting it, before returning to Vancouver to pick up our van and drive to one of my favorite cities, Seattle, Washington.

There we will offer more free events, book signings and another FUNdamentals class before driving to Portland, Oregon where we already have a great group of raw food enthusiasts waiting for us. They know that FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods  is the most comprehensive one-day course in raw food preparation in the industry—no other one-day class in raw food preparation can compare. After all, we started the gourmet raw food revolution, so who better to learn from?

During this introductory workshop, students will learn how to create a wide variety of delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes, including appetizers, fruit smoothies, soups, green juices, simple entrées, patés,  wraps and rolls,  nut milks and luscious nondairy cheeses,  crunchy crackers and other dehydrated goodies, amazing desserts, fermented foods, sprouting and kitchen gardening, essential equipment and supplies used in a raw kitchen…and much more!

Here is our list of cities and dates:
April 14 in Vancouver
April 28 in Toronto
May 5 in Seattle (Area), Washington
May 12 in Portland, Oregon

It’s going to be a FUN tour, so join us—we’d love to meet you and show you how to make healthy living Delicious!

For more information regarding the Raw Food Revolution Tour please visit here.

Foods for Health and Beauty

The older I get (65 on my birthday, May 31) the more grateful I am that I started eating a health promoting diet at a young age. It is really paying off. In fact, the older I get, the bigger the payoff!

When people ask me what’s the first thing they can do to get started creating a healthier lifestyle, I usually tell them to clear out the pantry and get rid of all those foods that they find tempting which are health destroying.
Once those are gone, fill up the fridge and pantry with foods that will support your goal of crating a healthy lifestyle. Here is a list of the top ten of the health destroyers and the foods I recommend.

Top 10 Enemies of Health and Beauty

Soda, milkshakes, and alcohol, coffee with sugar and cream

  1. Deep Fried Foods such as French fries, onion rings, fried meals
  2. Fatty meats like hamburger, bacon and processed meats
  3. Dairy products
  4. Salty convenience foods
  5. Processed foods with hydrogenated fats, like cookies and crackers
  6. Refined sugar products like white sugar, brown sugar, and any other processed concentrated sweetener
  7. Dehydration
  8. Lack of fresh plant foods (see list below)
  9. Emotional eating (when under stress, in front of the TV, eating when not hungry or in between meals).

Top 10 Raw Food Categories for Health and Beauty

  1. Deeply colored foods high in phytonutrients and antioxidants that combat free-radical damage and promote eye health. Examples include blue or purple foods such as blueberries, blackberries, black mission figs and beets
  2. Leafy greens like collard greens, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, dandelion greens, beet greens, bok choy, many lettuces, broccoli, and Napa cabbage
  3. Yellow-orange fruits and vegetables such as squash, peaches, sweet potatoes, carrots; and red bell peppers.
  4. Grasses and algaes, such as wheat grass, barley grass, leafy green sprouts, blue green algae from Klamath Lake, spirulina and chlorella.
  5. Foods high in vitamin C, such as lemons, oranges, grapefruit, peaches, strawberries, pineapples, mangoes, papaya, kiwi, cantaloupe, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, bell peppers, romaine lettuce, kale, and mustard greens.
  6. Foods containing omega 3 fatty acids, such as chia, flax, and hemp seeds and dark green leafy vegetables like kale, romaine, and dandelion greens.
  7. Foods containing selenium, particularly Brazil nuts.
  8. Foods containing zinc, such as pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, cashews, and lentils.
  9. Foods containing iodine, such as kelp and dulse.
  10. Hydrating foods, such as juicy fruits, high-water-content vegetables, and of course good quality pure water.

If you want to learn more about foods for health and beauty, I highly recommend taking the Living Light Science of Raw Food Nutrition certification courses with Drs. Rick and Karin Dina D.C. Basic class is only 2 days or stay for three weeks and receive certification as a raw food nutrition educator. And, learn how to transform fresh organic foods for health and beauty into amazing gourmet raw vegan cuisine at Living Light Culinary Institute. Classes are as short as 1 day or take an entire series and be certified as a Living Light Chef and Instructor.

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