Making Life Delicious!

Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Fun at Au Lac and Yummy Culinary Class

au lacTraffic is something we just don’t have in Fort Bragg, so I wasn’t prepared for the congestion on the LA freeways!  But it is all worth it when we have the opportunity to meet great people like the ones at Au Lac in Fountain Valley on Friday night.  Many of them told us they have wanted to attendLiving Light for years and some decided tonight that they aren’t going to wait any longer — after all, money sometimes manifests out of nowhere for other things, why not for something as important and life altering as this!  After all, nothing is as important as our health!  And, if food doesn’t taste great, forget it — we would rather die than eat food we don’t like!  It isn’t enough for it to be healthy — it has to taste good.  Nothing like great tasting food to get people inspired!

It was also wonderful seeing Chef Ito again!  Ito graduated from Living Light 12 years ago and has become one the the best chefs in the world.  His restaurant is one of my favorites — you can really taste the LOVE.  Thanks, Chef Ito, for spreading the love and light one bite at a time!

Next stop is Yummy: Vegan Culinary Classes in Pasadena.

Yummy’s vegan culinary class on Saturday was a yummy experience for all concerned.  Dan and Iyumies had a great time showing attendees (some not even vegan, but curious) how to make Raw Food for Cooked Food Lovers — they were blown away!  Even the raw food enthusiasts in attendance said they had no idea raw foods could be so exciting and delicious.  I love big bold flavors and it comes through in my style of cuisine and the recipes in our book, Raw Food for Dummies, as well as what we teach at Living Light.   Lot’s of people said they want to attend the school, even if only for our weekend entree level classes, FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods and Sharpen-Up Your Knife Skills.  Others said they were ready to do as our graduate Michael Miller told them he did — and start a new rewarding career as a teacher and chef.

big gracieThe next stop in our solar-powered RV (better known as Gracie) is La Jolla; then on to San Diego and back to LA before returning to the Bay Area.  Looking forward to meeting more great people interested in making healthy living delicious!

Check out ourtour schedule to see where you can meet us.


Raw Chef on the Road

refugioOur fifteen city tour of California has begun!  We spent Saturday night camping in our solar-powered RV, Gracie ( we travel in grace), at Refugio State Park, a beach park north of Santa Barbara.  I  used to visit this park with my family when I was a kid.  This has so many wonderful memories of childhood for me, since I was born and raised in Santa Barbara!  As we were driving in, the park attendant asked about our license plate, Raw Chef.  He wondered, as many people do, if it meant sushi.  We explained about raw foods and rangertold him we are on a 15-city California tour, educating people about the health benefits of raw food and how to make it easy and delicious.  He became very excited about it and bought a copy of our new book, Raw Food For Dummies!  The next morning, he told us that the whole family is reading the book, and they love it!  He said he thinks this could change everything for them!  It just shows that all of us can make a difference in people’s lives when we are least expecting it!
dan and cherieOur experience at Ninaya and Daniel’s house in Goleta (a few minutes north of Santa Barbara) on Sunday afternoon was delightful!  We spent the day with the local meetup group, friends and family, enjoying food together before Dan and I talked about Raw Food for Smart Busy People (fashioned after our newest book, Raw Food For Dummies), then I gave a class in flavor dynamics and flavor balancing and showed how to create big bold favors without depending on oil or sugar.  We answered questions about food, kitchen equipment, and lots of questions about Living Light classes. They were surprised to learn that we re the ONLY state licensed raw vegan  culinary school (and voted Best Raw Chef Training Program!) there is.
One of our graduates, Amy Bacheller, was there (so great to see her and her husband, Glen!).  She got up and encouraged everyone to attend the school, even if they have no interest in becoming a chef.  She told everyone to stay at the Living Light Inn and experience the love and support of the Living Light staff — it is an experience you will never regret or forget!  Thanks Amy!
We’ll stay in Santa Barbara for a couple more days before going to LA to share our years of experience (over 35 between Dan and I) with folks there!  Looking forward to meeting more people eager to thrive on a high raw diet of fresh ripe raw organic foods that are delicious and easy to prepare!  My only concern is where to park our 26-foot RV, Gracie, in LA, even though she isn’t that big (1 1/2 parking spaces).  Big cities are not very RV friendly and sleeping in them is prohibited. Well, we are doing good work for the planet, so I trust we will be supported on our journey and everything will work out!
Cherie and Dan

Avocado Love

I grew up surrounded by avocado trees.  There were seventy-five of them on our heavenly acre of orchard in Santa Barbara, California.  I’m told avocados were my first solid food – and believe me, it was love at first bite!  These friendly fat fruits are a mainstay of my diet and belong on the top shelf of any raw pantry.  In Dan’s and my new book, Raw Food for Dummies, I cover all sorts of information about avocados as well as some fabulous recipes, two of which are reproduced here.  Avocados have so many health benefits; the fact that they’re so delicious is almost a side note to why we should eat them.  But – like so much else on our beautiful planet – they make healthy living delicious!

The typical avocado is about 250 calories, 75% of which are fat calories.  But wait – almost all of an avocado’s fat is monounsaturated – the kind we need to process the other less desirable kinds.  In fact, avocados are proven to decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (helpful cholesterol).  Did you know avocados have more potassium than bananas do? And extracts of avocado are being researched as aiding in the reversal of hypertension and diabetes mellitus.  And a new study out of Japan suggests that avocados may have an antibacterial component.  Avocados are truly amazing.  Here is one of my favorite avocado recipes (also featured on page 128 of Raw Food for Dummies, along with easy to follow instructions on how to pit and peel them):Vitality Soup

Vitality Soup

Yield: 2 servings

1 cup orange juice

2 cups stemmed and chopped kale or other dark leafy greens

1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped

1⁄4 cup fresh parsley, basil, or dill weed

1 tablespoon light miso

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1⁄2 teaspoon garlic, crushed (1 clove)

1⁄2 green onion, chopped

1⁄2 avocado, peeled and pitted

Filtered water as needed for desired consistency

1 Combine the orange juice, kale, cucumber, herbs, miso, lemon juice, garlic, and green onion. Blend the mixture until smooth.

2 Add the avocado and blend again — no more than 1 minute — until smooth.

The avocado originates in Mexico, the earliest reference to which dates around 10,000 BC.  The avocado tree also has a long history of cultivation in both Central and South America, with an avocado shaped urn found near the pre-Incan city of Chan Chan dating from 900 AD.  The domesticated avocado tree we know today is descended from these ancient roots and provides us with this irresistible treat.  Beside being a creamy, delicious alternative to dairy foods like sour cream and butter, not to mention making a wonderful base for chocolaty raw treats, the avocado is perhaps best know for its place in south of the border style cuisine.  One of my favorite avocado recipes of this sort is Avocado-Pineapple Salsa found in Raw Food for Dummies on page 198:

Avocado-Pineapple Salsa-7450Avocado-Pineapple Salsa

Yield: 3 servings

 1⁄2 cup diced pineapple

2 Roma tomatoes, finely diced

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1⁄4-inch cubes

1⁄2 cup peeled, seeded, and finely diced cucumber

1⁄4 cup packed chopped cilantro

1 green onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1⁄2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

1 1⁄2 teaspoons lime juice

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1 Put all the ingredients into a bowl and stir to mix.

Avocados are so special to me.  My history with them is so close to my heart when I remember mycherie and fred childhood and my father’s avocado trees.  And I love all the ways I can incorporate them – my first food – into so many delicious raw dishes.  Avocados are so satisfying and such a sensual food.  They are truly one of the best, most comforting and healthy things we get to keep with us as we embark on our raw journey.  Enjoy!

Release by Cherie Soria

EatSmart (2)My husband Dan and I are so excited our new book Raw Food For Dummies, which was  released on December 12th . When Wiley Publishing first approached us about doing a book, I admit I was hesitant.  I wasn’t familiar with the “Dummies” books and didn’t like the connotation of the word, “dummies.” But once we started reading Dummies books, we realized why they are so popular! These books are not for Dummies! They are for smart, busy people who want to learn as much as they can in the shortest possible time. They are filled with facts that are readable and empowering. Once we decided to do the book, we had to dig deep to remember what it was like for us when we started on our individual raw food paths, so we could capture not only where we are now, but where we started from.

No matter where you are on your raw journey, there will be something in this book you can use.  It was good for Dan and I to get back to the basics and it’ll be good for you, too. As raw food enthusiasts, we need to support one another and sometimes, the most supportive things are the things we tend to take for granted once we’ve been raw for a while. That’s why, in addition to great recipes and food preparation tips, we included important information about what raw food is and what the benefits are; how cooking harms food; which foods are harmed most and which are harmed least. We shared things like how to set-up your raw food kitchen, how to shop, and how to plan menus. We even included how to connect with other raw food enthusiasts and of course, I shared my techniques for making raw food for cooked food lovers!

With a book of this magnitude and its potential to reach so many peopled new to raw foods, we haddan and cherie to make each word count. The tips, the recipes, the practical strategies are all based on our years of experience. None of these recipes are experiments concocted just for this book. Dan and I have been eating this way for decades and  have helped thousands of others “go raw” successfully and deliciously. We were new to raw once, too, and we know the pitfalls and challenges that can come up for the newly raw. We’re confident that this book will equip anyone to begin their raw journey well prepared. Our combined years of experience “walking the walk” make us excellent guides.

.As we look back on all the work we put into this book, we realize what an honor it was to work together to create this culmination of our knowledge and experience. And we couldn’t have done it without the dedicated support of our staff at Living Light. What a team! I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished together and can’t wait for all of you to see it. We think you’ll be as pleased with it as we are!

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.

Tag Cloud