Last Sunday concluded my 10-day session at Brenda Cobb's Living Foods Institute, and it was wonderful!
Her school is in the heart of Atlanta. It's one of the few Raw Institutes that doesn't have a residential component. Students are expected to find their own housing; I stayed at a downtown hotel, which allowed me to see the sights in Atlanta.
Each day started in the kitchen with Yajna as our instructor. With 17 fellow students I learned to prepare living food recipes, right after our morning shot of wheatgrass juice. Each day started with us preparing Energy Soup (green smoothies), which we'd have as our breakfast, and we then went on to prepare our luncheon dishes. Each days' menu became fancier. We learned to prepare veggie kraut, crackers, almond milk, nut cheese, guacamole, salsa, cookies, veggie burgers and hummis (my favorite).
On the first day we were given a 200-page handbook that outlined the program and thoroughly covered the Dr. Ann Wigmore Living Foods lifestyle. As editor of the Raw Living Foods Home Study Program I was quite impressed with Brenda's textbook. Good job.
After our yummy lunches we had an afternoon of classes. Brenda and Jane answered questions that we had from reading the handbook, shared their personal testimonies, and lectured on Essential Oils, herbal medicine, emotional healing and many other aspects of health. We were constantly reminded, in a non-denominational way, that healing is Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual.
A number of outside experts also lectured in the afternoons. We learned about Massage Therapy and kinesology from a Chiropractor, a dentist did a presentation about the proper removal of mercury fillings, and Dr. Gail demonstrated our control over our personal energy fields.
Throughout the day there were a variety of on-site treatment modalities available, including colonics, reflexology, energy therapy, footbaths and chi machine treatments, which we all took advantage of.
Even though I've been teaching others about the Raw Living Foods lifestyle for almost five years, I learned a lot from Brenda and her staff. I especially learned a lot about food preparation. I discovered that most raw food dishes only take a few minutes to make, and that I can make up my meals for three or four days in a few hours. For a bachelor like me, that's great! Before attending the program I was just about living on energy soup; healthy, but monotonous.
Few programs give you hands-on time in the kitchen; Brenda's staff stuffs you into a hair net and plastic gloves, and you go at it. It was a very, very valuable experience for me, and I'm now well on my way to becoming a Raw Gourmet Chef.
Cost? Don't worry about the cost. Brenda will let anyone attend the program, and pay only what they can afford. In my case I paid only for my hotel room, and Brenda gave me a full scholarship to the program. My meals I ate at the Institute. Like so many in the raw foods movement, Brenda does this from her heart, to share with others the lifestyle that saved her life from cancer in '99.
Oh, yes. The police recovered my stolen Blazer and I picked it up just in time for my trip back to the farm last Sunday. Oh, it's in rough shape, having been in two accidents while it was gone, but my small tool box was still in the truck, with just the tools I needed to fix it up enough to get home. More important, my cherished mandolin was still in the truck. Funny, but the loss of the mandolin struck me harder than losing the truck. I learned a good lesson about being attached to material things.
Yep, my trip to Atlanta was quite an adventure, and I came back home RAWfully Inspired! Thank you, Brenda, and please give my love and gratitude to your warm, wonderful staff.
-- Jim Carey
Brenda Cobb's Living Foods Institute: http://livingfoodsinstitute.com/