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Archive for the ‘Lunch’ Category

Oh my, my, my lovely life!! I’ve been on the road spreading love through raw food creations for more than a month and in two different countries and I feel absolutely blessed to be home in Venice, California. I’m super excited to jump back into life and to promote raw vibrant living foods! I mean, could I ask for a better life? I get to introduce people to something healthy and delicious, to open eyes, to awaken the soul and to help people heal!!!

My beautiful flow continues with the opportunity to reach people locally here in Santa Monica this weekend at the Market at Santa Monica Place. Please come visit me at 2:30pm. I’ll be doing a demo and showing how to make a quick, simple kale salad.. and a lovely raw cacao mousse!! I’m also giving away a free personal raw food class for those in attendance!!! Please check the flyer for more information!!! This Saturday at Santa Monica Place. The demo is in conjunction with the Grand Opening of the Gourmandise School of Savory and Sweets!!!! My how times are changing… you can come take raw food classes from me.. and do a little shop therapy!!!

Love, love, LOVE this life!! Click below for the details of my demo & directions!!!

CookingSchoolDemo

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It’s been a whirlwind week in North Carolina but with amazing experiences and  outcomes. I met so many fabulous like-minded people as I drove the

Teaching an "Experience Raw" class in Cary, NC

state teaching raw food classes – it solidifies my belief that raw food will help us succeed on this planet. I know it sounds so big picture, but that is the way I have to think these days. With some very detrimental months and years approaching where – well life could go any which

Kirsten given Raw in North Carolina

way…. I have to keep the bigger soulful journey as priority number one!

I remember when Jan said she wanted me to come back from Ecuador and that we should tour, North Carolina came jumping to mind. It was my decision to spread the word here. North Carolina will always hold a special place in my heart. I lived in Charlotte for 3 very big years, which brought a lot of change. Big lessons, life lessons. It’s also the place where I first felt I had my community. It’s more of a feeling than an actual location.

I arrived in Charlotte in such style, I couldn’t have dreamed it up myself. Just so happens my really close goddess friend Lori lives in Washington DC and was traveling to Charlotte for the weekend with her family. So from New York City, I caught the Amtrak down to DC and spent a few days hanging out with my gal and her spicy little girl and extremely cool husband. I love those places where I can just melt into someone else’s life, be mommied and I have such great friends who help me balance and slow down, smell the roses, play with their kids, remember what really counts in this world. If you didn’t know it by now, I’m a huge fan of public transportation. Trains are so super smooth, convenient, roomy and quick. I remember being in Japan and riding the bullet train for the first time – wow, that is the way to go. Japan has really paid attention to their public transportation and it is paying off. We on the other hand, at least in the west, haven’t experienced the sheer bliss of

My Soul Sista Kelly and her son

rapid transportation where you can safely multi-task. Europe, wow they have it down too.

It was such a new experience for me traveling with a family on the go. At one time I think both Peter and Lori were on the phone, their daughter was in the back watching a movie on the computer and I had headphones in.  Sure isn’t like they used to do it, playing eye-spy along the road, the ABC game and other made-up time consumers. I was excited to spend time with them all. They are my family and they were taking me to my other family, depositing me at the door of Kelly and Bill and offspring ☺ And two of my favorite sisters were going to meet, kids running all around, a whirlwind of energy as I landed on Willow Oak drive. Lots of hugs and a big sigh – I was back, back to familiar. There’s a different feeling when you return to a place you used to live. I knew the street names and directions. It felt like  nothing had changed.. but everything had changed. It was my first introduction to the newest member of their family – he’s already 3 years old. I couldn’t believe I was meeting him for the first time. I had seen so many pictures of  him, the latest – when he decided he was going to ride his bike – and so he did.  I had the best time hanging with the kids, watching their sleepy rises  every morning, they’re reading time before bed but after bath and the various appointments and practices through the day.  It took know time to get into the swing of things. It’s vital to have friends that allow for you to be fully into it when you are present, but that are ok with weeks of no communication when you are gone. That’s what good friends do for seeking Sagittarius like myself! Then when the reading time was over, Kelly, Bill and I could congregate in the living room with a few cool brewskies and discuss what’s going on in the world and how our opinions have changed the older we get. It felt so familiar like old times, but truly in a new exciting way.

Charlotte was my home base for the raw food classes in North Carolina.. but I spent a good portion

Spreading the Raw Love in the South

of time driving the state. It’s nice for me to drive alone, good time to think. And since I haven’t owned a car for two years and don’t drive in Ecuador, it’s was kind of nice being at the wheel.

First a lovely class in Winston-Salem. Meghan and Noel of New Planet Yoga http://www.newplanetyoga.com/were so lovely. Their studio is very zen with hard wood floors, lots of light and warm colors. They are energetic and present and we could have talked the night away. The group got very active in class – which is how I like it. I truly think they all will follow through with incorporating some of the recipes. I receive one of my biggest compliments. One client called me the food whisperer! She said that she could feel my connection and energy with the food. One of the biggest parts of my class is the re-introduction to food and the wonderful ways to  use natural ingredients for raw creations.

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Winston-Salem kicked my raw tour off in North Carolina with a engaging class at New Planet Yoga http://www.newplanetyoga.com/. The owners Meghan and Noel are absolutely lovely

Getting Raw and Personal in Winston-Salem

human beings with big hearts, curious minds and great arms for hugging! As I walked through the door, I felt a big sigh, a letting go to the zen they’ve manifested in their space. Peaceful, clean and welcoming. We originally had decided to hold the class at a nearby barn which can be used for functions – make it a whole day kind of thing with yoga, raw food and kirtan.. but the third party backed out at the last moment, so Meghan and I decided we’d go for it at the studio. The good thing about raw food is that you only need a sink and electricity, no heat necessary!

The impromptu grocery store

So we set up some tables, threw some table cloths on top and started setting up shop. Now, I’m not your regular teacher. I try to always think “how would I want to take class” and most of the time my gut tells me, hands on baby, always hands on. While the set up at first had me standing in front of a table and chairs set up in a semi-circle, I knew it would only take a matter of minutes before getting everyone up and around the table. One table I use for teaching, the other is for them to work on – complete with cutting boards and knifes. I believe “doing” is the only way to learn! This group – I must say trusted me fully and jumped in with both feet. I hand one person chopping, the other was running the food processor, while yet another was measuring out dry ingredients. Everyone had a (more…)

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All Raw, All Good!

When I moved from New York a couple years ago, I felt like I was escaping the rat race, the concrete jungle felt like it – along with its loud noises – was beating me down. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely LOVE New York.. but you have to understand I’m an outdoorsy gal, who loves to be in nature. True Central Park gave an immediate outlet but you still could hear sirens and such. So my move to California was desperately needed for me to grow and learn more about self-care and my own health. That transformation happened and is still happening in California. Everyone always asks me which I like better NY or CA.. they are apple and

Super Savory and all raw

oranges to me – both beautiful and radiant in their own way.

Being raw and surviving raw is quite easy when you are living in the mecca of health in Santa Monica. Even the Whole foods has one aisle of raw, not to mention whatever pro-biotic drink you’d like. The Coop has “ready to go” raw meals and there are 5 raw restaurants within 5 miles of the beach. Yes, it’s the easy spot. New York however, I knew would be different. New York you can find thousands of tiny restaurants each serving up wonderful specialty items.. and they are all within walking distance. So to get residents of the big apple to stop for just  a second and think about what they are putting in their mouth, well, I knew it would be a challenge.. but you know me, challenge is my middle name!

Promoting Raw at Equinox, New York City

Annie, my wonderful friend who’s been helping get Raw Trips off the ground, had set up demos at Equinox gyms all over manhattan – from early morning until late at night,  I sat behind a table and urged love through smoothies, granola protein bars with goji berries and lovely kale chips. It was a case of human behavior. First the look, the swing wide in their path to the gym, enough to take a gander what was on the table. Then maybe a stop in or a “I’ll come back”. Most always come back. First off, humans in the US never turn down free food. I think everyone works sooo hard, that when they see something for free, whether they want it or not, they jump in as a present. I’m confident enough to know that once they get a taste, they’ll want more. And so it goes. Little by little, questions came, another taste, some more questions – yes – interest is there, especially when you start explaining how raw food gives you raw energy and will take your workouts over the edge! Gyms, I haven’t been in one for years – I’d rather ride bikes, run on the beach, go to yoga studio.. but in NYC I completely believe in them for a good solid workout. There’s way too much traffic and way too many people on the streets to get a good workout in sometimes. Not to mention, New York in August, hot an humid!
The biggest positive reaction came from the Equinox down in SoHo.. I mean they were yearning for information. I have to share this funny story with you. Soooo.. we had a table set up in the lobby… directly across from us was another free sampling of a new Vodka. We couldn’t be more opposites.. almost come to the lights side away from the dark side kind of thing. As soon as I got the table set up – it was swarmed. It did my heart good to look at see so many people at my table and the poor vodka guy was alone. To me, it was another sign from the universe that yes indeed, sharing knowledge about raw food, whole food, natural food in a natural state is part of  my journey. Oh yea, of course I took some yummy raw treats over to the vodka guy.. and he loved them!!!

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Celebrating with Miyumi

Shizouka is one of those cities off the beaten tourist track, but I’m not here to sight see – although I did take an afternoon to go stare at Mt. Fuji (see my “Au Naturel” blog kirstengum.com). I’m here to teach a class for my student and friend Miyumi. Miyumi has a food studio called “Anne Duex”

Food Studio, Shizouka, Japan

where she regularly teaches raw and vegetarian cooking courses. It’s named after her nickname “Anne” which I refused to call her and her cute little pup named “Duex”. Talk about a great facility, this woman has really put some time, effort and money into her studio. A commercial kitchen with two big stainless steal working tables and a cute little reception area. She’s also planning on opening up her own raw food restaurant in Shizouka some time in the spring.

I felt like I was in heaven. Truly I wish I owned a facility like this to teach classes in every week, no

Fantastic Studio to teach in!

more lugging all my ingredients to random places.. just bring the students here – it’s awesome and I’m completely jealous and happy for her at the same time. Miyumi and I decided not to do a dessert course but a recipe quick and easy – and of course healthy. She had a potluck party planned after my demonstration. When we arrived she had two assistants there to help me get prepped… what? help? I’m in heaven!! Students started arriving early so they could prep their own creations for the party.

I taught them (more…)

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The finished product with my friend Sachiko

Christmas is not a big holiday here in Japan. I mean the country is primarily those who believe in Buddism & Shinto,  so although they love the decorations of a tree, snowflakes, reindeer and such, everyone works on Christmas day, just like any other day. The 23rd is big – the Emperor’s Birthday (although it’s not really) and then New Years Day is huge. I fully admit that I forgot it was xmas until about 11 in the morning when my class started. They wished me all a Merry Christmas

Class in Kamakura on Christmas Day

then laughed at my surprise. It happens to me when I travel. I usually always know the date – especially if it is a travel day.. but hardly ever know the day of the week. It really doesn’t matter in my world, I work when I need to work, any place, any time, anywhere. That’s the beauty of being a freelance tv person and a raw food chef. Both really allow me to schedule as I please. To me, it was a no brainer choosing to come to Japan instead of staying home for the holidays. That’s another thing about me, I’m not a really huge holiday person either. I think that stems from always having to work on the holidays. That’s what happens when you are a tv reporter and trying to work your way up the ladder. You move constantly – pretty much every two years which means you are the lacky at the bottom of the totem pole.

Kirsten making Autumn Spiced Carrot Cake

Class was held in a traditional style Japanese meeting room, complete with low tables, cushions on the floor and sliding paper doors between the rooms. It was gorgeous and it really got me into the swing of things. The sun was shining, it was cold and windy outside and warm and cozy inside. If you are a teacher, this is the perfect scenario all you have to do is woo them with  a great dish. I decided to make my Autumn Carrot Cake again since it was such a big hit at the party in Tokyo. I had about 16 students who were on the edges of their seat. (more…)

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