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Posts Tagged ‘Seasonal foods’

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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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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I finally – by popular demand – started some raw food classes down here in Vilcabamba. It’s such a sweet and conscious minded community, I

The gang right on task!

am honored to be helping these lovely individuals learn some new skills on their way to optimum health.

Word started getting around town that I was a gourmet raw food chef. Actually I think it was catering the Raw Food World Conference that helped introduce Jan and I to the ex-pat and Ecuadorian community. Once they tasted what we can do, they are ready to listen and learn… one of those idealistic times to teach. I decided a 4-class series would be a good introduction.. and I wanted them to be a celebration, so Friday evening, it was “Raw and Ready” time. Although I have non of my own yet, children are of utmost importance to me. I want to teach them and hopefully change the bad pattern that’s happening all over the world. Children today are a product of the knowledge we grew up on. We thought we were doing right, we thought we could trust that great information was getting past onto us. I now know that wasn’t so.. and still isn’t. If I’ve learned anything on my journey toward optimum health, it’s been think for yourself. Read and investigate all you can, then experiment and settle somewhat on an opinion, with full rights to change at any moment in time. I made sure my clients know that children always come free.  I had many of my friends bring

Casiopia was the best roller in the class

their Ecuadorian friends and employees too. My Spanish is not so good.. but I appreciate the

Fernanda & little bold Amar.. the youngest raw student

challenge and they appreciate my effort. It’s been a couple weeks now worth of classes and I look forward to every one of  them. What a fantastic set of energy that lands in the house every Friday night. All happy, open and loving. Our first week was a quick introduction where I taught my personal favorite breakfast.. a green drink extra-ordinaire. My motto is stick everything and anything you can in your mouth at all times of the day. Seriously, it’s the color of the milenium! It’s the only way to optimum health. I also taught them wonderful nut milk, kale salad and some other goodies.

The next week  I met guests with  challenge of  stuffed mushrooms, wraps and sushi. I honestly only believe in hands-on when it comes to raw food prep. The entire experience is one of texture, feel and balance. Although many people are aware and LOVE wraps, those rice papers and nori sheets can be intimidating and difficult without proper instruction. This is one of the classes I find (more…)

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Leave my organic food alone!

Don’t worry I’m not trying to help absolutely every little creature out on this planet. It’s true, I really try not to kill spiders and moths and such.. but when it comes to my food.. THEY NEED TO STAY OUT! I do my damndest to stay far away from any chemicals and pesticides, so going organic to take care of the bugs in the garden was the only way to go. Sure sounds is if you are in the United States

The magic ingredients

and every type product is at your fingertips.. but here in Ecuador, it’s a different story. So I asked around and found a good concoction to wage a friendly goodbye party to the bugs in the garden!!

It’s quick, easy and simple.. although mind you I did this all with my mediocre Spanish.. but we got the job done :). You take really hot peppers (aji), some garlic (ajo), tobacco leaves(all over the property) and natural soap.. as well as a couple other plants here in Ecuador… like Chamico.. which I believe has a strong odor that bugs don’t like – hee, hee. The natural soap creates a film on the leaves to protect them from any “fliers” in the area, so when it rains, we will have to re-apply.

Jorge – (our gardner down here) and I mixed a bunch up one morning. I can’t tell you how (more…)

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I feel like I’ve been in a time machine, I swear I love the train system here. I can settle into my seat, pull out my computer, or book, or breakfast and just chill. I will never really understand why some people choose to drive to work when the train is right by them and is an easy commute. We US citizens get so attached to our vehicles. That’s why I purposely got rid of mine 1 ½ years ago. Lots think I’m crazy to live in the Los Angeles area without wheels. The truth is I do have wheels, and the motor are my two legs. I would rather ride my bike while running errands, or meeting friends. I know not everyone can do this, but I can and I choose to cut my impact on this world down any way I can. Guess that’s why public transportation in any city doesn’t scare me.

I arrive in Kyoto right on time. The plan is for another raw food teacher is going to meet me, I’ll check into my hotel, then hop another train south to the big

Sweetness in the train station!

city of Osaka to meet with students at Masako’s studio. I’m a bit bummed to finally get to the city I’ve heard so many good things about – then leave it again after 15 minutes… but I’m here to do a job and that job is very important to me. Raw foods is just getting started in Japan and there are lots of young women who are ready to go like gang busters in their country.

How cool - a juice bar in the train station too!

Masako speaks some English, but brought along a translator to make it easier on all of us.

During our train ride I mentioned that I hadn’t yet tried Soba for any of  my meals. I saw their eyes light up – they would introduce me. They took me to a typical Japanese lunch spot and we all ordered our Soba noodles hot (traditionally they should be eaten cold) but it was on the verge of raining and the in wind was blowing and damn it was chilly outside! I know I’m not supposed to be eating wheat.. but these are buckwheat noodles and one big bowl is not going to hurt, right? Yummy,

Hot Soba.. Yummy!

yummy, I did the happy dance in my chair.. I couldn’t help it, it tasted so good. A very light broth and lovely toppings.. one had fresh nori, one had green mountain vegetables, the other had tofu. I got to try all three. Now it is custom and actually expected to make a slurping sound when youeat

The Market

Soba. I know it sounds rude, like something your mom would slap you upside the head for doing, but it IS the way here in Japan… and its fun using all your suction to eat.

We hit the fresh market on the way to her studio and the first thing I noticed is how cheap the prices were. Masako told me it was because it was a neighborhood market and NOT in Tokyo. Plus, she’s lived here all her life and knows where to get the good deals.  We gobbled up (more…)

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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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