At Living Light we are always totally amazed at what our graduates accomplish in the world. They are motivated, resourceful, dedicated, and ready to make a difference! Here is a sample of what two of our students, each of whom has chosen her own way of exploring our curriculum, have been able to accomplish with tools and information they have acquired at our school.
Whether you have completed all of the Gourmet Raw Food Chef Certification™ training and all of the advanced classes, or are just starting out on your raw food journey, we are proud to say that our graduates make healthy living delicious all over the world. We hope to include a regular feature on our graduates accomplishments and inspiring stories in upcoming newsletters and on our website.
Living Light graduate Agathe Mathieu, whose café Tao will open March 9 in Vancouver B.C., is originally from Ile d’Orleans, Quebec. In 2006, newly single and mother of three young children, she found herself suddenly in the job market. Although she had been managing a household and raising her kids, in the eyes of potential employers she wasn’t very marketable. What to do now?!
In the fall of 2003, she had read 12 Steps to Raw Food by Victoria Boutenko, and decided to become raw overnight. “It’s my personality – all or nothing,” she says. “I thought: how hard could it be – fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Victoria is not recommending that I spend thousands of dollars on supplements– and I began eating raw foods the day after I read the book.”
In only three months, Agathe was totally amazed by all of the benefits she received. Her arthritis was totally gone, and troubling skin rashes disappeared. After six months on the diet, she decided to introduce raw foods to her children. She laughs.
“I’d say, ‘dinner is ready’ and have lots of fruits and vegetables on the table. Snack – try it! So they would forage and nibble while I delayed their cooked dinner for ten minutes. Naturally, they started to love the raw food when they ate it every day. Six months later I decided we should all go raw, and the beauty of raw is that we all learned together. My kids were picky – maybe they didn’t like the flavor or the texture, so we all worked on it together, and I learned a lot about making flavorful, delicious raw food from trying to please my children’s palates.”
Her raw family required no doctors, no medication, no pills, and her kids did not suffer from hyperactivity. She started making such delicious food that friends were telling her to get her products on the market. Since she had been a homemaker for many years without marketable skills other than sewing, the jobs she was offered were in the $10 an hour range. “I’ll work for myself!” she thought. She went online and found Living Light Culinary Institute, and in March 2007, she completed her Associate Chef and Instructor certification.
Agathe is looking forward to hosting Cherie, Dan and Martine when they come to North Vancouver in April for the Raw Food Revolution Tour and she’s looking forward to helping prepare for Living Light’s one-day introductory course FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods™. She’s excited to make her café a gathering place for the discovery of a healthier lifestyle, and knows from personal experience that FUNdamentals is a fantastic workshop to introduce the wonder of a raw diet to the public.
She is inspired by what she can do with her new raw food café – “I want it to be a new kind of community – a place where people can come together to meet, to learn, to share, and to heal. While you are healing your body and your emotions with raw food, you are also healing the planet and creating a place of bliss that will become the future for our children.” Agathe realizes that the café will also be a place to educate people. Many people have no reference point for raw food – they know nothing about it. She wants Tao to have an impact on the local community, and hopes to see people use it as a springboard to make it easy for others to adopt the raw food lifestyle and take it to their individual communities.
“One thing I learned from creating my new career in raw food is that fear is a paper tiger. You’ve got to say ‘OK, I’m scared’, but jump in anyway. The Universe is unbelievable – I have faith that when your intention is clear, you are supported in amazing ways.”
On January 3 of this year, just as she was getting ready to set up her café, she broke her wrist. “I’ve definitely had hurdles along the way, but I feel like some of the hurdles are put there as a test to find out how bad you want something. When I broke my wrist, I realized that the Universe was telling me that I need help to create my vision, and so now I have beautiful people helping to create my products – not just me!”
Agathe’s favorite quote is from Amelia Earhart: “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” She wants to return to Living Light to get her Gourmet Raw Food Chef certification and study Pastry Arts – Unbaked! “With my business and responsibilities, I’ll have to come back and take classes in increments, which will be perfect. My friends tell me that they wish I could put my recipe for life in a bottle. I’m inspired and happy that I have chosen the path of raw foods and am excited about life every day!”