On my quest to find “conscious food, business, lifestyle, and relationships,” I knew that one of my destinations in California would be Cafe Gratitude. I have one of their cookbooks and I’d read about the owners Matthew & Terces Engelhart who had been through their fair share of challenges in life. Terces write about struggling with eating disorders, abusive relationships, divorces, and scarcity. But she realized that she had made up those “victim stories” and if that was the case, she chose to re-write her story. And make it anything she wanted. She loved food and sharing that joy with others. When Terces discovered raw foods she writes that she began to see the healing that could from creating and sharing WHOLEsome food and began nourishing herself and others on SO many levels.
As I’ve mentioned before, when we start to notice and move forward in ONE our part of our lives that goodness spreads to all areas of our being. That goodness is infectious, if we open our hearts to it. We can literally hand-pick our thoughts and if we choose empowered ones we give ourselves the mentality to live in joy, sharing, creation, and love every moment of our lives. One of my favorite parts about their cafe is how each dish is titled as an affirmation. When you order you actually say, “I am elated,” “I am vibrant,” “I am grateful,” etc. It may sound like a bunch of new-age who-ha. BUT listen for a minute to the affirmations we tell ourselves all day “I am unorganized, dumb, pathetic, not good enough, etc” and how easily we believe that…. What if we changed our beliefs? Maybe our actions, our hearts will follow.
Matthew & Terces now have Cafe Gratitude in 10 different locations around California. They employ over 200 people, work with local farms, and they’ve written severals books including one on conscious relationships, Kindred Spirits, and one on conscious business, Sacred Commerce. I’m seriously loving reading these books, understanding more deeply how business doesn’t have to be “dirty” or “just a job” or “just a way to make money.” The financial aspects of our lives can become a joyous creation, and offering of service if we choose something that we love to do everyday. I’ve heard that said since I was little, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” But I would still get hung up on what was “wrong at work”, or how things weren’t working out “properly”. Learning to communicate and manage people was challenging for me when I wasn’t even sure that I was fully capable of everything I was doing, how could I possibly lead others?
I’m remembering how we are all mirrors for ourselves. I have a lot I can learn from each and every person. BUT they also have things they can learn from me! Leadership has been defined as ““process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.” Surprisingly, I found there is nothing in there about having to be perfect or having super powers. It’s all about bringing people together to accomplish common goals. A “merging” of sorts 😉 Beautiful!
I am having so much fun with the Keyes family. We all went running together yesterday before dinner. I ran 4 miles! They go to a running club 3-4 days a week and all train with a group of kids and parents who are coached. They basically all get their exercise in together and in a way that they can work on positively improving themselves and challenging themselves in a fun way. And then of course we all felt that runner’s high and life just beautiful! Exercise is just way more fun with someone else.
We made a large Italian (live) dinner. Neighbors and friends were popping in and out, and we played around just having fun, not following any recipe, but more of a general concept of what we wanted to make. We had these yummy kept noodles that we used as a “pasta” and then we made a couple sauces for the toppings. I made a simple marinara by blending up some sundried tomato, fresh tomato, basil, pine nuts, olive oil, and Himalayan salt and pepper. Turiya made a creamy pesto with cashews, basil, YUM! And then we made a super delicious garlic bread out of sprouted whole grain manna bread by simply slicing it up and spreading some olive oil, minced garlic and salt on it and then popping it in the dehydrator to warm it up and let it absorb all the flavor.
But I have to say the most fun part of dinner was the dessert! There are three 12-year-old boys in the house here including Turiya’s son Baraka and I was so impressed that they not only ate & wanted the raw food but they were also psyched to make raw dessert. I gave Jordan a general list of raw ingredients to prepare the “cake” part: dates, cacao, pecans, walnuts, salt, cinnamon, vanilla bean… and he really freely tasted and found a balance that he liked. It turned out awesome. And meanwhile I blended up a raspberry citrus sauce (raspberry, lemon, lime, salt, coconut oil, coconut flakes) that we decided to pour into the cakes, making them into little cups. Lastly, I created a chocolate ganache sauce out of cacao, coconut oil, maple syrup, and salt – simply decadent.
We had a blast decorating each one differently with the sauces, pecans and large coconut flakes. And meanwhile Diana, photographer extraordinaire, was snapping away capturing the moments.
It reminded me a lot of spending time with my own family. It’s funny how sometimes it takes stepping away and viewing your own blessings from the outside you realize how good you have it. I can’t wait to get home and hug my loved ones. I am so grateful. I am elated.
What are you grateful for?
For more info on Cafe Gratitude’s vibe & how it’s thriving with LA’s health conscious actors, producers, athletes and executives… check out this article in New York Times: click here.