Heathy Holidays! Living Light, Making Healthy Living Delicious!
Living Light International
Making Healthy Living Delicious!
December 2011
In This Issue
Inspirational Quote
Living Light Cafe
Living Light Marketplace
This Month's Featured Recipe
Testimonials for Living Light
Find us on Facebook!
2012 Course Packages
Living Light Graduate Success Story: Michelle Irwin
Master the Art of Teaching Raw Foods
ANNOUNCING: The Hot Raw Chef Sweet Valentine Video Recipe Contest
Product Spotlight: Green Star Juicer from Triibest
FUNdamentals on the Road 2012
Article Headline
Food Styling for Photography
Best of New Holiday Traditions and DVD Bundles
November Employee of the Month: Roe Robertson
Book Review: John McCabe's Extinction
Recipes from Living Light: Low-Glycemic Strawberry Mesquite macadamia Shortcake with Coconut Cream Topping
Inspirational Quote

"Every decision you make - every decision - is not a decision about what to do. It's a decision about who you are. When you see this, when you understand it, everything changes. You begin to see life in a new way. All events, occurrences, and situations turn into opportunities to do what you came here to do."


- Neale Donald Walsch   

  quoted in John McCabe's book,  

Igniting Your Life  




Living Light Café


Biscotti Sale!




regular $4.50  




regular $7.95


 . . . . . . . . . . . .  

 3 New Hot Soups:

Vegetable Stew Soup

- Winter Vegetable Stew  
- Sprouted Pea with Carrot
- Creamy Potato Leek
. . . . . . . . . . . .


 707-964-2420 ext 22


Living Light Marketplace
Top 10 eco-friendly last minute gifts for the holiday season!

Living Light Marketplace offers a variety of gift ideas for the home chef as well as an extensive display of books, videos and DVDs with information about natural living. Find everything from beautiful bamboo cutting boards and hand-crafted wooden bowls and utensils to earth-friendly products, gifts, organic body care and kitchen equipment, and great gear like juicers, high-speed blenders and dehydrators. We also carry beautiful chef jackets and hats of all types, and everything from beautifully designed Henkels and Kyocera ceramic knives to ceramic mandolins and peelers, specialty food items and green food supplements, organic specialty oils, and an assortment of other unique items.

Our goal when we opened Living Light Marketplace was to carry products not only for the raw food chef, but for anyone who wants to make a difference when they select household items, products, and gifts for family and friends. We've created this simple holiday list of inexpensive items to help you give gifts that are gentle on the planet!

bamboo flatware   
- one of the fastest growing invasive species on the planet (second only to humans). Try bamboo flatware or chopsticks. Cherie's advice: "Use these plants to eat more plants."

Bamboo Bottle
More Bamboo
- the Bamboo Bottle for hot or cold beverages is BPA free, durable, and 1% of sales go back to the planet.

Acacia Bowl
Acacia bowls
- sustainably produced of Hawaiian hardwood are both beautiful and durable.

Dharma glass straw
Glass Dharma Straws
- lifetime guarantee, and made of borosilicate class in Fort Bragg, California, where we live. It's the last straw you'll ever need.

Greenware Stainless steel water bottle
- this stainless steel water bottle is lightweight, BPA free, durable, and 1% of the sales goes back to the planet.

Tote bag
EcoBags Natural Tote
- in durable cotton canvas with Living Light logo - great for shopping, errands and travel.

Nut Milk Bag
Rawsome Creations
Nut Milk Bag
- fair trade, philanthropic, functional, and durable. Make your own nut and seed milks with this simple tool, and drink to your health.

Guatamalan aprons
Guatemalan Aprons
- beautiful striped, hand-woven icats in a palette of rich colors and patterns in long or short styles, with adjustable straps.

Gift Certificate
Culinary Classes
- Students come from more than 50 countries around the planet to study gourmet raw cuisine at Living Light Culinary Institute. Give the precious gift of good health to last a lifetime.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

Low-glycemic Sweetners
- all used in This Month's Featured Recipe

Thai Coconut Sugar
Thai Coconut Sugar
- known also as jaggery, coconut sugar is a world renowned low-glycemic sweetener favored by Mahatma Gandhi
8 oz. $8.49
1.3 lbs. $13.49

- zero calorie, zero glycemic sweetner.

Oiji Mesquite Powder
Ojio Mesquite Powder
- 100% organic wildcrafted Mesquite Powder

for our bargains and best buys. Make YOUR holidays sweet this season with
Living Light Marketplace.



This Month's Featured Recipe:
Testimonials for Living Light Culinary Institute

Thanks to the great and very professional training I received at Living Light I was voted "Most popular Raw Food Chef" in Germany this year!


-Melanie, Berlin  


From September's Associate Chef and Instructor Training class:

"I feel confident that I have the skills to prepare raw food that looks and tastes cooked... I know the basics for preparing many types of raw dishes."  

-Victoria, FL

"The journey was just amazing! I've learned so much, but not only in class - with everyone! It is a life changing experience that brings you much more than what you think it would" 


-Christelle, FL

"I'm amazed at how much I've learned and how far I've come in three weeks!" 


-Eileen, MI

"I could not be happier about the staff and curriculum. It is very easy to learn here and I got exactly what I hoped for! If you have the resources, this is the perfect place to go."  


 -Becca, WA

"This is a definite "must attend" course if you want to elevate yourself to professional status as a chef in the raw food community. I feel so lucky to have been here. You all inspire me, beyond what we learn in the culinary studio.  


 -Janye, UK

"I have learned so many new skills and techniques. I feel very confident that when I go home I will be able to create some awesome nurturing food for myself, my family and my friends. This was an awesome program and i would highly recommend it to anyone who is seriously considering going from conventional food to raw food." 

-Su, CA



From the 2011 Advanced Raw Culinary Arts Instructor Training classes:

"I learned so much more about being a professional raw food instructor. The teaching materials are incredible."    


-Kang, Singapore

"A phenomenal class packed with invaluable tips, coaching and guides for making your mark as a raw food culinary instructor, author or coach." 


-Nadia, CA

"Perfect training for public speaking and demo presentation. Just what I needed - a detailed, informative introduction into social media"  


 -Hanna, Australia

"This class is a great accompaniment to the Associate Chef and Instructor training. I highly recommend taking it as soon as possible after the basic training."   


 -Kathi, FL

"This class is a must in addition to the Associate Chef class if you are serious about a career in teaching raw foods. Jennifer did an amazing job of teaching all aspects of both the chef training and the advanced instructor course." 

-Victoria, FL


"I came out of this class with a clear sense of what I want to do. I love speaking and communicating and want to focus on internet ventures and get into publishing. The class was incredibly valuable because it helped me chart my course and laid so many options on the table."    


-Allysia, Canada

"I feel like I've been to "finishing school." This class will take me to the next level in terms of organization and professionalism and was spot on for me." 


-Jayne, UK

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Earth in hands'Tis the Season of Love and Appreciation!


Living Light would like to extend our heartfelt holiday greetings to all of our students, graduates, and extended "family" all over the world (more than 50 countries so far) - thank you all for sharing your light with us through the years. We are grateful that you make it possible for us to do what we do - be a beacon of light in the world of gourmet raw vegan food. We wouldn't be able to do that without all of you who take the message of abundant health out into all of the corners of the earth.

As 2011 draws to a close, we are delighted to announce many new and exciting projects coming up for 2012. We've got a beautiful class line-up all year long, with deep discounts and bonuses available to all of you who register by December 31. Give the gift of good health - Living Light classes are perfect gifts for someone you love (or for you!) with benefits that last a lifetime. And Living Light Marketplace has a whole list of eco-friendly gifts - they are easy on the pocketbook, and perfect as stocking stuffers or last minute gifts. We're also featuring several low-glycemic sweeteners, just in time for the holidays, and for creating a new recipe for our Hot Raw Chef™ Sweet Valentine Video Recipe Contest!

Our first class of the new year, FUNdamentals OF Raw Living Foods, begins January 7 at our beautiful culinary center here on the Mendocino coast and is a great way to start your path to healthy living! We are also offering FUNdamentals on the Road™ in a variety of locations around the world beginning with January classes in Santa Monica on January 21 and San Diego January 28. We're also very thrilled to announce that Food Styling for Photography will be offered each Sunday during every Raw Culinary Arts Associate Chef and Instructor Certification™ throughout the year, beginning in February, so you can add this incredible new class, taught by Hot Raw Chef™ Grand Prize and People's Choice Award winner Cristina Archila. We are very excited to welcome Cristina as our newest (and very talented) food stylist and chef instructor at Living Light. Please enjoy our newsletter, and don't miss Cherie's delicious recipe and video for Low-Glycemic Strawberry Mesquite Macadamia Shortcake with Coconut Cream in this issue.

Happy Healthy Holidays and a Bountiful New Year!

Kristin Suratt, PR Director and the entire Living Light Team


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2012 Packages: Sessions and Pricing

For the 2012 school year, we have created eight packages, each focusing on a specific personal or professional path. If you are excited about a gourmet raw culinary education, a raw food nutrition educator program or any combination of the two, we now have the perfect solution for your personal or career goals. Each of the packages is now offered with special savings and bonuses, to help you choose the option that works best for you! We've also designed a chart to help you understand all of the components and bonuses for each of the packages. And, you can still choose to take classes like FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods individually, if you prefer.

The special year-end opportunity to save as much as $3,500 goes away December 31...  ACT NOW!

The five-course Associate Chef Package completes the certification that is the foundation for all other culinary programs and provides a supportive environment for students to learn about raw food preparation from A to Z. This program develops confidence in basic chef skills, including flavor balancing and recipe development. This certification program is included in all of our advanced culinary packages.

The six-course Instructor-focused package is offered two times a year and includes both the Raw Culinary Arts Associate Chef and Instructor Certification™ and the Advanced Raw Culinary Arts Instructor Training Certification™. In this career-focused program, you'll discover important tips and tools for becoming a raw food teacher whose services are in demand to an ever expanding audience of raw food enthusiasts. You will also learn how to market your classes using a number of practical skills that will help you create your own successful raw food business.

TiramisuThe seven-course Pastry-focused package is offered four times a year and is comprised of the Raw Culinary Arts Associate Chef and Instructor Training Certification™, Essential Oils, and  Pastry Arts. You will explore the fabulous world of raw desserts and advanced pastry artistry. Discover the secret of making exquisite dairy- and gluten-free raw vegan desserts that taste even better than famous cooked desserts. This package is for the student who wants to learn both gourmet raw vegan savory and sweet cuisine.

The eight-course Gourmet Chef package 
begins with the  Raw Culinary Arts Associate Chef and Instructor Training Certification™, followed by three advanced culinary courses that expand on what you've learned, and provide you with extensive experience in flavor balancing, recipe development, food costing and catering. Students who complete this package will receive two certifications, including the Gourmet Raw Food Chef Certification™ and will be taken to the next level of confidence and expertise.

The eleven- to twelve-course Gourmet Plus package includes the Raw Culinary Arts Associate Chef and Instructor Training Certification™, Gourmet Raw Food Chef Certification™ and more. When you choose the Gourmet Plus Package, you will explore gourmet raw vegan cuisine, recipe development, flavor balancing, catering, essential oils for both culinary and health enhancement and the art of creating gourmet raw desserts. And in the Fall expanded pastry session, Living Light pastry chef instructors provide you with supportive, expert guidance in helping you develop your own delicious dessert recipes.

Living Light students preparing a delicious catered dinner.
Living Light students preparing a delicious catered dinner.

If you are one who wants the very best, the Platinum Package gives you just about everything Living Light has to offer from the best raw vegan culinary education to instructor training to raw food nutrition. Students completing this package will graduate with the Raw Culinary Arts Associate Chef and Instructor Training Certification™, Gourmet Raw Food Chef Certification™, Benefits of Raw Food Nutrition Educator Certification™ and Advanced Raw Food Nutrition Educator Certification™. It is the crème de la crème of our eight chef and nutrition program packages.

Are you a Living Light Associate Chef and Instructor graduate who would like to continue developing your culinary skills and receive your Gourmet Raw Food Chef Certification™? In this four- to five-course Gourmet Completion Plus package,  you will receive advanced gourmet instruction in recipe development, flavor balancing, catering, elegant entertaining, food costing and pastry arts. Upon completion of this package, you will graduate with a certification as a Gourmet Raw Food Chef.

Living Light has teamed up with Drs. Rick and Karin Dina, D.C. to offer a comprehensive series of classes on the science of raw food nutrition. This five-course Nutrition Educator Package includes two certifications: Benefits of Raw Food Nutrition Educator Certification™ and Advanced Raw Food Nutrition Educator Certification™. This package is highly recommended for health educators and raw food chefs who plan to teach the benefits of raw and living foods with scientific-based knowledge and confidence.

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Living Light Graduate Success Story: Michelle Irwin

Michelle IrwinLiving Light graduate Michelle Irwin has just published her first book, Sugar-Free Raw Desserts Sweetened with Stevia. Her journey to raw food has been both challenging and inspirational. She served in the military for nearly 5 years, and left with a medical discharge for an auto immune disease. Doctors did not have a remedy for her condition. In 1996 she didn't really know where to turn. She started doing some cleansing and research into natural healing. In 2003, she discovered raw food. She was intrigued, but not quite ready to take the plunge. In 2010, she and her husband attended Optimum Health Institute in California, and learned more about raw food. Michelle interned at a raw food restaurant, The Green Boheme in Sacramento, where she learned the beginnings of raw food preparation from the owner, Brooke Preston, a Living Light graduate. Brook had planted the seed, and Michelle wanted to learn more about raw food and healing.

In May 2010, Michelle's husband was tragically killed in a bicycle accident. She quit her job to be with her children, Katie (now 8) and Luke (now 3), and found healing in the kitchen. "My husband's death helped me realize how to really live and cherish each moment. I didn't yet have the tools to create a new career, but my time at Living Light has brought me back to life and helped me recapture my joy in doing what I love to do."

Sugar-Free Raw Desserts book In March of 2011, Michelle attended FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods™ which whetted her appetite to learn more. "All I could think about was getting back to Living Light. I appreciated the incredible professionalism and support I received here." She returned in May to finish her Raw Culinary Arts Associate Chef and Instructor Certification™ and in November came back for Pastry Arts - Unbaked!™  "I really believe that the bridge between cooked food and raw is through desserts, which is why my first book is a dessert book - I want to turn people on to raw foods!"

Michelle is amazed at the friendships she has formed at Living Light. She feels that she has found her new family, and has connected very deeply with people from all over the world. She wrote her book last June, and feels that the tools, skills, and confidence she needed to put the book together were provided by her training at Living Light. She is now working with a local bakery in Sacramento developing gluten-free raw desserts. She doesn't know where her raw food path will take her next, but she is very grateful for all that she has learned as a student here. "This is a unique place - it truly changes people's lives forever."


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Master the Art of Teaching Raw Foods 

Advanced Raw Culinary Arts Instructor Certification™ Series


Whether you are already a certified Living Light Chef, or are a complete beginner, you'll love our new Advanced Instructor Certification.

Take the entire 6-class series, or if you are already a Living Light Associate Chef and Instructor graduate, sign up for the new 5-day Advanced Raw Culinary Arts Instructor Training.  Keep reading for more details...


Earn your Advanced Instructor Certification in 2012:  


Entire Series: January 7-February 2 

Advanced Instructor Training only: January 29-February 2


Entire Series: June 16-July 12 

Advanced Instructor Training only: July 8-12


Advanced Raw Culinary Arts Instructor Certification™ Series  


Regular Price for this 6-class series: $6,690

Discounted 10% off Introductory Rate: $6,021 -A $669 savings  

Advanced Instructor Training only: $1,575 


Advanced Raw Culinary Arts Instructor Training Certification™

FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods™   

Sharpen up Your Knife Skills!™  

Essentials of Raw Culinary Arts™   

Science of Raw Food Nutrition I  

Raw Culinary Arts Associate Chef and Instructor Training™  

Advanced Raw Culinary Arts Instructor Training™    


Click here to read a detailed description of this new advanced series! 


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Hot Raw Chef Sweet Valentine Video Recipe contestANNOUNCING:
The Hot Raw Chef
Sweet Valentine Video Recipe Contest

At Living Light, we recognize the growing need for low-glycemic, gluten-free foods, and reduced fat recipes in our daily meals. We also know that we'll always reserve a place on the table for our favorite celebration foods. Who doesn't love chocolate and sweet desserts, or rich and savory patés, dips, or entrées?

We've long been cutting-edge pioneers in creating gourmet health-promoting raw vegan cuisine, and as new products come on the market, we love to use them in new ways to create desserts that are even more delicious than their cooked counterparts. We've always been proud to be creative culinary leaders in making healthy living delicious!

We are continually devising new ways to make our favorite "decadent" treats with considerably less fat and sugar, and yet we don't want to sacrifice flavor, texture, or that divine sensation of indulgence: perfect mouthfeel. Be sure to try Cherie's recipe for Strawberry Macadamia Mesquite Shortcake with Coconut Cream Topping in this newsletter. It's a wonderful low-glycemic and gluten-free dessert that will inspire your creativity. We're definitely looking forward to seeing the amazing low-glycemic, gluten-free recipes created by our contestants. Click here to sign up for 2012 Sweet Valentine Recipe Video contest updates!

We have GREAT prizes for the Hot Raw Chef™ Video Recipe Contest!
  • Grand Prize winner receives a $2,000 scholarship towards any Living Light culinary class, PLUS a Green Star Elite 5000 juicer ($539 Value) Total Prize: $2,539.00!
  • Runner-up receives a $500 scholarship towards any Living Light culinary class, PLUS a Tribest Personal Blender 300 XL: ($99.00 Value) Total Prize: $599.00!
  • People's Choice winner receives a $250 certificate to use in Living Light Café and/or Marketplace, PLUS a Tribest Personal Blender 300 XL Total Prize: $349.00
  • Plus the wonderful marketing value you'll receive as a winner in the Hot Raw Chef™ Video Recipe Contest!
And here are the prizes you can win, just for voting for the next Hot Raw Chef™!
  • First Place Voter raffle winner will receive a Green Star Elite 5000 juicer, $539 Value!
  • Voter raffle winner #2 will receive a Tribest Personal Blender 300 XL, $99 Value!
  • Voter raffle winner #3 will receive a Tribest Personal Blender 300 XL, $99 Value!
Tribest logo
We are very grateful to Tribest,
this year's generous platinum sponsor for our Hot Raw Chef™ Sweet Valentine Video Recipe Contest, and many thanks also to our contributing sponsor Divine Organics. We are proud to have two such wonderful companies as our sponsors and supporters.Divine Organics logo


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Tribest logoProduct Spotlight:
Green Star Juicer from Tribest

Cherie loves the Green Star Juicer!

I never tire of my large green juice and giant salad everyday. A perfect third meal would be a blended soup. I may eat gourmet raw foods and even cooked food when I want it, but I thrive daily on simple foods. Green juice is an important part of my daily health regime and has been for 35 years now. The older I get, the happier I am that I discovered juicing when I did. People are typically amazed when I tell them my age (I'll be 65 in May, 2012). I know that juicing is one of the primary reasons I have been able to maintain my weight and experience excellent health, abundant energy, and a youthful appearance. I think of fresh green juice as my daily health insurance. Juices are also a great tool for appetite suppression, making them a valuable asset for weight loss. The enzymes, vitamins, and minerals in raw juices will help to satisfy appetite, and reduce the desire for sweets. Juices require very little energy to digest, since they have no fiber and are assimilated quickly, so juices are often used as a tool in healing and detoxifying the body. My favorite daily green juice is made from kale and romaine lettuce, made tastier with fresh apples and ginger. Supplementing the diet with fresh juice extracted from raw fruits and vegetables is an enjoyable and effective tool for maintaining good health.

Cherie Soria with Green Start Elite juicerI began my love affair with the Green Power Juicer when I purchased my first one in 1997 and have not recommended another family of juicers since then. Prior to that time, I had owned a number of different juicers because there wasn't one that did everything. So I had three different juicers I used for different purposes: one for fruit and vegetable juices, one for wheat grass juice, and one for leafy green juices. The one I used for leafy greens didn't do a great job on greens like kale, but it was the best option at the time. Once I had my Green Power Juicer, it became my "do-it-all" juicer. My new Green Star Elite is referred to by my staff as The Enterprise, due to its futuristic appearance and functionality. This slow-speed juicer causes less oxidation of fruits and vegetables, and produces more juice than any other type of juicer. It juices grasses and leafy greens better, too!

Juicing Is as Easy as 1-2-3
1. When you get home from shopping, wash all your fruits and vegetables in a sink full of cold water, dry them, and refrigerate immediately.
2. Chop or cut your produce into pieces before inserting it into the chute of the juicer.
3. Always drink fresh juice immediately after it has been made, but be sure to chew it first; making a chewing action when drinking juice gets the digestive juices in the mouth working. Remember that because the cells have been broken down in the juicing process and vitamins are exposed to air, juices not ingested immediately will lose some vitamins from oxidation.

Green Giant Juice
Yield: 3 cups/750 mL (2 servings)
From Raw Food Revolution Diet by Cherie Soria, Brenda Davis, RD, and Vesanto Melina, MS, RD

Nutrition Note:
This powerful, nutrient-dense juice provides 200 mg of calcium per serving, which is as much as 2/3 cup (160 mL) of milk, plus it has 9 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of fat. In fact, the calcium present in kale is twice as available to the body as that in cow's milk!

1 bunch (about 8 ounces/220 g) kale, including stems
1/2 head romaine lettuce
1 cucumber, quartered lengthwise
1 apple
4 stalks celery
1 lemon, peeled

Juice all of the ingredients. Serve immediately.


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FUNdamentals Travels to Southern California
Santa Monica: January 21
San Diego: January 28 

Alicia Ojeda
Alicia Ojeda
Two dynamic raw food chefs - Alicia Ojeda and Brenda Hinton -
are teaming up this January to teach FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods™ in Santa Monica and San Diego. Register now and to learn from the experts how to transform YOUR health!

Over the years, many of you have asked for Living Light classes in your communities.

Brenda Hinton
Brenda Hinton
2012 is t
he year! We'll be taking FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods™ all over the United States, and to Canada, Asia, and the South Pacific! Now is the time to begin your journey to a healthier lifestyle. Since 1998, Living Light Culinary Institute has been widely recognized as the top raw vegan training program in the world. Literally thousands of people from over 50 countries on 6 continents have already taken this flagship introduction to raw living foods.

FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods™ is a one-day intensive course providing comprehensive instruction in raw food cuisine - it's the foundation of all of our curriculum at Living Light, and it is the first class in our Associate Chef and Instructor Certification. Successful completion of the class is the prerequisite for continuing with any of the classes in our chef training series. And the best news is that the class is open to all - novice to professional chef.

Santa Monica
Date: Saturday, January 21, 2012  
Time: 9:00 AM−5:30 PM
City: Santa Monica, California (Venue to be announced)
Tuition: $375 Includes a delicious organic raw vegan buffet lunch
Required Text: Angel Foods: Healthy Recipes for Heavenly Bodies by Cherie Soria

San Diego
Date: Saturday, January 28, 2012
Time: 9:00 AM−5:30 PM
City: San Diego, California (Venue to be announced)
Tuition: $375 Includes a delicious organic raw vegan buffet lunch
Required Text: Angel Foods: Healthy Recipes for Heavenly Bodies by Cherie Soria

To register for either class: Call 707-964-2420 or 800-816-2319,
or visit our website: RawFoodChef.com

NOW! SAVE $30 on either the Santa Monica or the San Diego FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods™ when you register by phone until Wednesday, December 21, 2011.
This savings is not available on the Internet.

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The Glycemic Index 
By Dr. Rick Dina, D.C.

The glycemic index (GI) is generally defined as the effect that 50 grams of a given carbohydrate has on blood sugar (aka glucose) levels for two hours after eating, relative to consuming the same quantity of straight glucose. In contrast, the overall effect that a given carbohydrate has on the blood sugar level of an individual is influenced by many other factors as well, including the amount and types of fats consumed in the diet, the total amount of carbohydrate consumed, amount of body fat, activity level, and what other foods are consumed along with the carbohydrate in question.  

For example, two individuals eating the exact same quantity of the exact same food can have radically different overall blood sugar responses, although the relative effect of that food compared to straight glucose will be similar for each individual, as illustrated below.

Blood Sugar Response Charts

Given what we see on these sample blood sugar response curves, when glucose is given a score of 100, the sample meal gets a relative score (or GI) of about 75. However, the overall blood sugar response of person A is considerably lower than that of person B for both straight glucose and our sample meal. In fact, person A's overall glucose curve is actually lower than person B's lower glycemic sample meal curve.

Sweetener Glycemic Index As we can see though, all else being equal, the glycemic index of a food does have an influence on blood sugar and can help us make wise choices. At right is a list of common sweeteners and their GI scores. Low GI ≤55, Moderate GI 56-70, High GI 71-100.

Eating a large vegetable salad along with the more concentrated holiday food can keep total calories lower while still eating things you enjoy. Additionally, taking a walk with your friends and family is both a nice activity and can help keep everybody's blood sugar lower.

Happy Healthy Holidays!
Dr. Rick Dina, D.C.
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Food Styling for Photography
New one-day workshop debuts in 2012

It is said, "Pictures speak a thousand words" and it's true-well plated and designed food photos can do more to build your business and showcase your talent than the most well written description of your foods possibly can. Now you can learn from the experts how to show off your beautifully presented and photographed raw culinary creations on your website, and in your recipe books and brochures!
Food Photos
This one-day hands-on workshop will focus on the basics of food styling for the media. Students will learn presentation and plating skills, and how to make foods look stunning through the use of color, texture, and contrast. We will explore saucing, building height and movement, how food reacts under the camera, the ins and outs of propping and preparing for a shoot, tricks and techniques for media food, building a portfolio, elements of design for photography, and the importance of negative space.

All materials are provided, except for a camera, which is optional.
There are no prerequisites for this course.

2012 Dates: February 19, March 18, April 15, June 3, July 1, July 29, September 16, and October 14
Time: 9 AM to 5:00 PM (1-hour no host lunch break each day)
Tuition:  $375.00
Location: Living Light Culinary Studio
Recommended text: The Food Stylists Handbook, by Denise Vivaldo
Recommended equipment: chef knife, paring knife, appropriate chef wear, optional camera

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Best of New Holiday Traditions and DVD Bundles
Make a Difference this Holiday Season!

Best of New Holiday TraditionsNovember is the time of year when we remember to count our blessings - to be thankful for friends, family, community, and for the bountiful plenty that Mother Nature offers many of us every day. It's also the time of year when the Living Light family celebrates the Best of New Holiday Traditions. For more than 12 years, we gathered all of our favorite teachers and chefs together and had a three-day celebration with simply wonderful raw vegan dishes - traditional favorites re-imagined for the holiday season. We've now filled our school calendar so completely, that we no longer have room to offer the course, but we've captured the highlights of years of classes together for you to enjoy on DVD! You'll love the wealth of information and expertise we've garnered from an outstanding group of talented Living Light chefs in the Best of New Holiday Traditions Computer DVD Video Course, plus a Bonus DVD Video Course, for a total of 25 culinary video demos! You'll see step-by-step techniques that will inspire you to make your holidays both healthful AND delicious!

Many of us ask the question, "How do I make my holiday gift giving meaningful?" We recommend making gifts, donating to a favorite charity, offering a service to friends, family, or neighbors, or offering the gift of health that will last for years. We've created several gift bundles that include hundreds of video recipes and demos from top chefs at the Living Light Chef Showcase at substantial savings. Click here for all of the details, and enjoy sharing these informative professional gourmet raw video recipes and demos with friends, family, and community. You can make a difference this holiday season!

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November Employee of the Month: Roe Robertson

Roe RobertsonLiving Light is delighted to honor Living Light Assistant Demo Coordinator Roe Robertson as our November Employee of the Month. Roe came to Living Light as a student and received her certification as an Associate Chef and Instructor. She joined the kitchen team in July and proved herself to be meticulous, imaginative and a joy to work with.  

Roe's teammates describe her as a conscientious worker with an outgoing, friendly personality and great sense of humor. Roe would help anyone with anything. She recently opened her home, inviting her co-workers to share the practice of meditation with her.

Roe was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, enjoys playing with food, pottery, reading, yoga, meditating and riding her unicycle. She loves all animals but has to admit, she makes the biggest fool of herself around dogs. Roe takes pleasure in giving of her time in her community and has participated in many volunteer opportunities, including interpreting for the deaf.

Roe's goals are to develop herself in this human experience as much as she can so that she can help others. She would love to be blessed with an over abundance of means to be able to help others realize their dreams. She describes herself as loving, generous and patient. Roe enjoys working at Living Light because of her wonderful colleagues and it is an opportunity to work at the best raw vegan culinary school in the world. She also welcomes the chance to learn and teach.


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Extinction bookBook Review: John McCabe's Extinction, The Death of Waterlife on Planet Earth
By Cherie Soria

According to Extinction, by John McCabe, Earth is now experiencing the Sixth Great Extinction, and it is being caused by one species: Humans. From the depths of the oceans to the tops of the mountains, from remote islands to continental forests, wetlands, grassland meadows, river valleys, and coastal marshes, among the smallest living things to the largest, life is rapidly dying. It goes on to document that the chief cause of environmental degradation is the massive use of fossil fuels. Even knowing this, humans continue digging deeper into and mining vast areas of the planet to extract petroleum, coal, and natural gas. Burning fossil fuels is causing rapid climate change, desertification, the melting of polar ice, and the warming and acidification of the seas.

The number one use of fossil fuels relates to food production, processing, packaging, shipping, refrigeration, marketing, and cooking. The chief components of pollution and environmental destruction relating to food are the breeding of billions of farmed animals, using most of the farmland on every continent to grow the majority of food for those animals, and destroying topsoil, meadows, wetlands, plains, streams, aquifers, and forests to maintain and expand the livestock industry, and the grain industry that feeds it.

The seas are being rapidly depleted of fish, crustaceans, and marine mammals, and this is being caused by overfishing for food and the taking of billions of creatures from the oceans to use as fertilizer to grow food for and to include as protein in the feed given to billions of farmed animals, including farmed fish. All of this is done even though the human dietary need for animal protein is absolute zero; human health degrades into disease when a person consumes large amounts of animal protein; and humans can flourish in health on a vegan diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables.

The book asks, "What role are you playing in the Sixth Great Extinction?"

I recommend this book to everyone who is aligned with the need for us all to be caretakers of the planet in which we live. I recommend people not only read this book, but also give it to others. It is a really eye opener, even for someone like myself who has been involved in the vegan and environmental movement for decades. We have to stop burying our heads in the sand and take action, even if means doing something as simple as sharing this book with friends and associates.


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recipeRecipes from Living Light    


Low-Glycemic Strawberry Mesquite Macadamia Shortcake with Coconut Cream Topping   


By Cherie Soria

Yields 6 servings  

Since they are a naturally sweet nut
with no bitter brown skin, I chose macadamia nuts for the biscuit. I cut the amount of fat in half by using mesquite powder, which has a glycemic index of 25, and is lower than both coconut sugar and agave (each about 35). I added only 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar for all 6 servings. Strawberries are one of the best low-glycemic fruits, and often do not require additional sweetener, especially in season, and frozen strawberries also work well in this recipe. I also added about 1 teaspoon Lakanto (a zero carb sweetener) per serving. For the cream topping, I used young coconut because it is lower in fat than nuts and naturally sweet with a low-glycemic index. Then, I added a just a little more Lacanto to boost the natural sweetness. For each serving, the amount of Lacanto I used was $0.30 and the amount of coconut sugar was about the same, so even though these sweeteners seem expensive, the per-serving price is quite reasonable. I think you'll enjoy this decadent yet low-glycemic dessert!

Low glycemic Strawberry ShortcakeBiscuit 
¾ cup macadamia nuts (or substitute other favorite nuts)
¾ cup mesquite powder
2 tablespoons Thai coconut sugar paste (Divine Organics brand)
2 tablespoons cashew butter (or other nut butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt (my favorite is Royal Himalayan Crystal Salt)

Coconut Cream Topping 
1 cup young coconut meat
1 tablespoon Lakanto (or Thai coconut sugar paste)
1 - 2 tablespoons water, if needed
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups strawberries, sliced or chopped
2 tablespoons Lakanto

1. To make the biscuit, process the macadamia nuts and mesquite powder in a food processor until it is a fine powder. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse again to combine. (Only add the 1-2 tablespoons water, if needed; if the young coconut contains a lot of moisture, no water will be required)
2. Measure ¼ cup of the biscuit mixture and press it firmly into a plastic-lined mold to form firm biscuits.
3. To make the coconut cream topping, blend ingredients in a blender until smooth.
4. Place berries in a large bowl with Lakanto and gently toss. (If the strawberries are ripe and sweet, Lakanto may not be needed.)
5. To serve, place a biscuit on a plate, ladle strawberries over the biscuit and add a dollop of coconut cream topping.
6. Store the biscuits in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks. Store the Coconut Cream in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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