Making Life Delicious!

Archive for the ‘Spirit’ Category

For Father’s Day

fred

My Dad, My Hero: Fred Soria

Here is a list of Dadisms. Things he often told my sister and me.

 1.  Don’t be a hypocrite. Stand for your beliefs.

2.  The bigger mistake is that you didn’t learn from your first mistake.

3.  Always dress according to the occasion.

4.  Stay away from crooks and thieves.

5.  A nickel is a nickel.

6.  When someone knows better, they do better.

7.  Don’t loan money unless you are prepared to never see it again.

8.  Be kind to all animals.

9.  Always do the right thing without expecting a thank you because the thank you may never come.  What is more important is that you did the right thing.

10. Learn to cook. It is the most important skill.

11. Nothing can replace the truth.

12. There is nothing sweeter than the fruits from our own trees.

13. If you leave your spouse be sure it is for good reason.

14. You will see that I am right about this.

15. Credit cards are a trap.

16. Sewing and typing…they come in handy.

17. If I don’t have cash to pay for it then I don’t need it that badly.

18. Most bullies are full of hot air.

19. It’s always smart to buy a small, practical car that is good on gas and repairs.

20. True friendships endure all.

21. Education is freedom.

22. Respect people.

23. If you have time to do it over again, you have time to do it right the first time.

24. When your gas tank gets down to 1/4 of a tank, fill it up.

25. Bright colors are a luxury that even a poor man can afford.

26. The truth is always easier to remember.

27. Never leave home without a dime in your pocket for a phone call.

28. I raised you with a good foundation…now you are on your own.

29. Thanks for listening.

 

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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!
Love,
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!

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!

Dad’s Garden

Today I brought some calla lilies into Living Light for the administration staff. They are so dedicated to supporting our students in meeting their goals and making sure they are happy with the programs they choose and I wanted them to know how much I appreciate them. This gift of flowers is particularly meaningful to them, because the flowers are from my Dad’s Garden. He transformed our yard into a flower garden that blooms year round. He wanted to make sure that I always had fresh cut flowers for the students when they arrive at the school.

Dad loved to garden. He lived in the garden city of Santa Barbara all his life and we had an acre of fruits trees with several varieties of avocados, every type of citrus imaginable, varieties of figs, peaches and apricots—just to name a few.  He had flowers, too, Birds of paradise and gardenias were my favorites, but fruit was really his thing. After he retired, he used to work in his garden everyday, picking fruit, washing it, and delivering it to a long list of organizations like orphanages, homes for the elderly, schools, juvenile hall and so forth. They loved seeing my Dad, the fruit man. He always had a smile on his face and they all gave him hugs – the only payment he would allow.

When Dad moved here to Fort Bragg in his later years to be near Dan and I, growing flowers for the school became his passion. He worked at least 4 hours every day, 6 days a week, either in our garden or at the Living Light Inn He enjoyed meeting the students who stay there from all over the world, and he delighted in seeing how they enjoyed the garden.

Dad passed away 16 months ago at the age of 91 but his garden will live on and he will certainly live on in the hearts and minds of people who knew and loved him, like our Living Light family. And every time I cut flowers for the school or for our staff I think of him. Thanks, Dad.

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A Journey of Recovery: It’s all in the mind

I didn’t expect that a week after my ill fated 10K race (see my post, “A Case of Pride)” I would still be limping around, unable to practice karate or even walk on the beach!  I was starting to feel sorry for myself and even caught myself making light of it by calling myself a “cripple” – YIKES! I don’t want to own that thought form! Now I have reformed that negative statement that was so telling about how I was feeling about myself into a more positive self identity as an “athlete recovering from an injury” (it’s all in how you hold it.)

 In February of 1983 (I’ll never forget that date) I was in a very serious airplane crash and the doctors told me I would never again be able to do the things I loved like karate, tennis, skiing, running, and maybe even walking! I had so many injuries; the only thing that didn’t seem to hurt was my left shoulder! I was hospitalized for a week and bedridden for a couple of months; my pelvic region was all fractured and I had super flexion of the spine, multiple broken bones, back and neck injuries that took years to heal, and my sits bones (the bones you sit on) were broken, so I couldn’t stand, sit, or even lie comfortably. It’s a long story I’ll go into another time, but the point is, I am totally convinced that my complete healing is a result of the fact that I never allowed myself to feel that I was a victim and never thought I would be crippled forever.  I always visualized myself doing all the things I loved and would not allow my friends to feel sorry for me.  I needed their strength, not their sympathy! I used only natural healing methods and refused surgery and drugs (even for pain). I found self hypnosis to be really helpful for pain and visualization techniques helped me direct my healing. I actually imagined my bones and soft tissue (ligaments and cartilage) healing. And I did, miraculously heal of my injuries 100% in spite of what the doctors told me.

 I was not the model patient; I refused all traditional treatment (other than a cast to immobilize a broken leg). I questioned everything and listened to what they had to say, but never really felt they were talking about me – I knew I was different and refused to buy their prognosis. Instead, I became my own doctor guiding other health care practitioners: I had a variety of body work modalities: massage, physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, and guided imagery.  I recall the day I had my cast removed, the doctor was amazed to see that my leg, after being in a cast for 6 weeks, had not experienced any atrophy. He didn’t understand how that could be, since some amount of atrophy with a complete plaster cast was inevitable. I told him I was having massage everyday and when the therapist massaged the leg that was not in a cast, I concentrated on exactly how it felt, so when he went to other leg the and massaged it, I visualized how that felt to be massaged, even though it was in a cast (that’s right, I asked him to treat the injured leg, even though it was in a cast, the same way he treated the other leg). Sounds crazy, but our minds are much more powerful than we give credit and I wanted my mind to direct healing into that injured leg and not just ignore it.

 Having a case of “runners knee” is helping to remind me about the incredible power of conscious creative thought and how amazing our bodies and minds are.  We can not separate our bodies and our minds. We will manifest what we think we are, so why not consciously create what we want — rather than what we fear or what others tell us we are or will become.  Of course, taking other steps to manifest healing is important too. Eating the right foods, using essential oils and supplements, having body work and physical therapy all have been important in my personal healing journey. And, perhaps some of their power comes for our willingness to accept that it will help. How much of it is the power of the mind and how much is the body being activated to heal as a result of the other influences? Who knows, I just do it all and it is all an affirmation of the power of the body to heal itself given the right tools.

 My good friend and essential oils guru diva, Amy Bacheller, gave me some great advice about which Young Living essential oils to use to speed recovery from my knee injury.  She recommends:

  • Valor on the soles of the feet for grounding and alignment, 2x/day
  • PanAway layered with Peppermint diluted with a massage oil (could be olive oil) rubbed ALL over both knees. Do this at least 2x/day but more would be better. Helps with pain, inflammation and healing.
  • Try alternating PanAway and Peppermint oil with Idaho Balsam Fir oil layered with Copaiba oil. They are both wonderful anti-inflammatories. 

I will definitely take her advice, since she has been very helpful to me in the past. And, yes I am using Arnica gel and RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), and I plan to get acupuncture – I’ll do all that AND perhaps even more important, I will believe that they all are working toAmy Bacheller heal my knee completely!

Go to RawFoodChef.com to purchase Young Living Essential Oils. Register for the next Essential Oils class at Living Light International with Amy Bacheller. See RawFoodChef.com for schedule or call 707-964-2420 and speak with one of our helpful enrollment advisors.RawFoodChef.com

 

 

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