Living Light Graduate Elisabeth Gard

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.

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Elisabeth Gard

The summer when I was 14 years old, I worked as a milkmaid on a mountain pasture with my best friend Marianne. In the pasture was a calf and I immediately became fond of him. He was so cute, with a light coat and beautiful big round eyes. He followed his mother everywhere as she grazed in the fields. During the following weeks, I spent a lot of time with him, and our bond grew strong.

One day, as the summer holiday was coming to an end, the farmer’s wife told me that the calf was going to be slaughtered in the autumn. I could not believe what she was saying. It was so heartbreaking and incomprehensible to me. The calf was just born and they were going to slaughter him? A healthy and happy calf who just wanted to enjoy his life? I had become so fond of this little calf that it was incredibly painful to hear and I felt despair knowing that there was nothing I could do to help him.

When autumn came, the calf was on my mind every morning as soon as I woke. Will they slaughter him today? I wondered, or tomorrow? My grief for him was endless, as I thought of what awaited him at the slaughterhouse. Then, one day in late autumn, I was filled with peace, intuitively knowing that it was over, and that he was free. My experience with this dear little calf put me on the path to becoming a vegetarian, but I’ve always enjoyed eating fruit and vegetables. I was first introduced to raw food as a teenager, when some family members started to explore the raw food diet. From the first moment, I loved visiting them and tasting all the wonderful vegetable juices, sesame milk, nuts and seeds. My deep love for animals gradually led me to become a vegan and today I flourish on a diet of primarily raw, organic plant food. I have a Bachelors Degree in Nutrition and I’m a certified Raw Food Chef and Instructor from Living Light Culinary Institute. At the moment, I am living on a beautiful hillside in Norway, surrounded by nature. I love skiing and being outdoors. During the wintertime, I work as a ski-instructor for children - a wonderfully inspiring and refreshing occupation.

Last Spring, I decided to take a raw food course. Luckily, intuition guided me to study at Living Light. So, after having some great email consultations (with Mary Elizabeth in enrollment) from my home in Norway, I made reservations at Living Light Inn and booked my flight. I was very excited. Travelling on the bus from Santa Rosa, I was suddenly surrounded by other Living Light students on the same journey. It was so much fun, and right away we started talking and laughing like good friends. We came from all over the world—Norway and Sweden, North America, Peru and Malaysia. If it’s true that we live several lives, we certainly meet our friends again at Living Light! Coming from Scandinavia after a long flight, it was wonderful to settle into Tranquility, my favorite room at Living Light Inn.

Then, the next morning, the real fun began. Many of the other students had taken other courses and knew how to use the special equipment in a raw food kitchen, but I had never seen a Green Star juicer or a Blendtec, nor had I heard of many of the unique ingredients. Most all of the information was new for me, so it was wonderful to have fellow students who shared their knowledge and experience with me. The dishes we learned to make were varied and colorful. Whenever I think about my time at Living Light, I remember enjoying all of the delicious, healthy recipes and having lots of fun with an amazing group of new friends.

When I returned home, I continued to enjoy my raw food, and I love to start each day with fresh vegetables and juice. I am so happy with being able to choose from all of the beautiful organic food that is available in my country. I eat primarily fresh vegetables and fruits at home, along with pates and other simple dishes. When sailing with my boyfriend or meeting friends for lunch, I sometimes enjoy healthful cooked dishes. For me, it feels good to be flexible and enjoy meals with friends as long as my primary diet is raw.

Some of the people I met at Living Light will be lifelong friends, and we all help each other in a variety of ways. Sarah from Canada has done a beautiful job editing my English website, Butterfly Nutrition. Sparkling Debbie from Colorado is another wonderful new friend in my life—we had both chosen the same delicate peach-colored chef coats that we wore, so we felt like twins! In October, I am going to visit Debbie and together we will travel to Australia and visit another graduate from Living Light and our class. I am so looking forward to the journey. What a pleasure meeting lovely friends who I can enjoy making delicious raw food dishes with while we travel the world—in addition to all the fun we will have! I am so happy with my experience at Living Light, and want to send my warmest greetings to all the students and staff from last Spring.

One thing that I have learned in my life is that it is a wonderful idea to make a list of all your dreams that you want to come true. Even without realizing it, most of the things you have in your life today once started as a hopeful dream – so if your dream is to attend Living Light and learn how to prepare beautiful, healthy raw food, your dream can definitely come true!


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