Check it out my girl Nely Galan is up to something good, she has set out to fulfill dreams and I’m all about supporting one another! If you didn’t know I also run princessknowitall.com in Spanish laprincesasabelotodo.com and Nely’s program can connect the two sites via our hearts! Check out the details below and pass this on to folks you know!
“Coca-Cola has partnered with Latina inspirational speaker and media entrepreneur Nely Galán (“Celebrity Apprentice” “The Swan”) and Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence (CMI) to create the Coca-Cola Tour: Adelante, a digital community and series of forums intended to empower Hispanic women by providing them with the tools and information to reach their goals. The community launches on Facebook in mid-November and to kick off the Tour, Coca-Cola is hosting a day-long forum for Latinas in Los Angeles on Saturday December 3. The Forum – which is free of charge – will take place in Santa Monica. Latinas must apply online at www.CocaColaTourAdelante.com. Only 300 women will be invited to attend.
“The Coca-Cola Tour: Adelante is meant to create a movement that informs, mentors and inspires Latinas to take action by providing them with the right tools to make their dreams come true,” said Nely Galán.
Something has been happening in my life..my garden is growing.
Our Organic Farm
When I last left y’all I’d just finished cooking on the NBC morning show in Nashville and I was gearing up for the Noble Food Makeover. Gearing up is right ’cause we packed the house!!!!!!! Holy cow did folks show up, and this is telling – PEOPLE want to take their kitchens back, they want to feel empowered and own their choices.
I first started the NFM out of a desire to share what I’d learned - food is for supporting our bodies, it’s not expensive to cook real food, it’s really simple to do and finally that not only can we prevent illness, boost our immune systems but also heal our lives on many levels by seeing ourselves and owning our choices. I’d been alone with my illness, alone with my fear and alone in my kitchen the first year of doing this – I wanted to swap my lonely table to full seated down home kitchen, with others that were too taking their power back, learning what they didn’t know and healing their lives. Many years ago the kitchen is where people went for support, momma’s, grand daddy’s, children, aunts and uncles and neighbors gathered in the kitchen as it took time to prepare our daily meals. This time was spent laughing, crying, loving and sharing – sharing remedies and recipes for what ailed us. The folks running the kitchens were almost never CHEFS, they were regular folks that had been trained by the best – women who KNEW what to do.
Once I was standing on my own two feet I did just this, creating a community table where we can all be supported in our lifestyle changes – the most important beauty makeover ever is one that comes from the inside out. How ever this makeover a special person, one who recognizes their value and the value of their loved ones.
In Nashville I cook at the Integrative Life Center on Music Row, there is only a tiny kitchen, therefore I set up 5 recipe stations that include, table, butane burner, cutting boards, knives and the ingredients needed for each tables recipe. Cooking this way shows people how little they need to cook a full meal with nothing processed – that a fancy kitchen and high dollar ingredients and utensils are unnecessary. I know from my own experience before learning to cook, I’d watch most of the cooking shows and I’d think to myself – he or she is a trained chef of course they can do it, or look at that fabulous kitchen of course they can cook like that. the NFM brings it all back into perspective – simple food, simple kitchens – real people.
Everyone walks in grabs a seat we chat a bit about the giant WHY we want to eat this food – example Butternut Squash is a fall POWER food, packed with vitamin A, Vitamin C, Fiber and beta carotene making it a super immune booster – who knew? Then we all get to work, cooking, chopping, peeling and preparing – yep, it’s a bit chaotic, funny and fun – much like preparing a Holiday Meal with people you really like. It takes about an hour to cook it all then we clear the tables, pull out the table clothes and sit together as a community. I love all parts of these events but the sitting together is my favorite part; as we discuss our relationship with food, our health concerns, parenting and rehash the craziness that just went down.
This past Nashville NFM left me speechless as I looked around the room watching everyone work together. This journey started out with just me cooking away, cleaning away, begging people to try real food, and now it’s grown to close to 40 and a core group of 10 people that basically help make it happen, each time we do it the core group expands – this ain’t no longer a MEE thing but a WE thing. I watched as my D.F.F. forgot about the pain in her liver as her focus shifted to being a part of something greater. Mary Alice ran the Millet Mash table and the all mighty Fred jumped from situation to situation. Jane Ellen and her kids, chopped, swept and organized and Diana stood washing greens from my garden in the tiny sink – all along I heard whispers as people shared tips and tid bits. Empowering on all levels is all I can say.
Boarding that plane for LA I questioned what we are all doing in LA. I love being a person of value, I love having something to share with my community and I appreciate belonging, our farm and cattle ranch is a pillar in the community, Lee does his share of participation there too and the core values of the people are the finest for my children to learn from- Nashville holds my heart. The entire plane ride I spun with questions, searching to get it right and get it tight with my own personal intention, ’cause fo’ sho shawty life follows what we desire.
Once I landed I was in full NFM swing as there were just a few days left to prepare for the first one to be held in Malibu – I was nervous, my “crew of Nashville NFM folks” weren’t here to do this with me, I didn’t know if being in a completely different demographic was going to make it tough. I also didn’t know how much west coast folks already know – there is nothing worse than telling people what they already know and boring them. Then of course my self judgement tried to take over, “Hi I’m Not Enough”
after all I’m just a regular lady who learned to cook food that heals – is this enough in such a fabulous place like Malibu? Are people out here going to enjoy an evening reminiscent of a country kitchen gathering? Ooh, I was NERVOUS!
To make matters worse, the babysitter I’d hired was a NO SHOW and Lee was in Nashville for the weekend! Luckily a friend helped out her sitter cancelled too so she wasn’t going to be able to make it, she offered to keep the girls and I took her up on it.
Malibu NFM Crew
Location: The California Ocean of Learning Preschool, I made it in time and immediately got to prepping. At 5:30pm folks started arriving and I put them to work. The kitchen was absolutely perfect a nice gas stove, a long wooden table for chopping and chatting – game on!
Within 2.5 hours I taught them to make Butternut Squash soup w/carrot apple & ginger, millet pilaf, millet croquettes and millet mash with Kuzu gravy! Yep, we started with one grain and I showed them what you can do with it from start to left over finish. (click her for recipes).
We had a blast, a TON of laughs and then we too sat together, as I looked down the long family style table I felt this wave of gushy love overcome me – I understood what the Noble Food Makeover is really about – creating a space where we can all gain confidence to learn and try what we don’t know. I have now done this project cooking in every type of kitchen, from a predominately African American community in the south, to music row, to the finest homes in Nashville as a private teacher to now Malibu – one of the wealthiest communities in world and y’all wanna know what? Money, fame, location and even higher education do not separate us – we are all lost in the journey of what is actually healthy, how to cook it, where to buy and how to feed it to our families; the thread that binds us is the understanding that Food Desert’s are happening not only in low income households but at times more often then not in some of the wealthiest. This is not a battle for the government but a CHOICE for the people. The Noble Food Makeover is bringing back personal Nobility, one table at a time and hopefully one day it will come to yours. (peep this video & meet the Malibu Crew!
I returned to my house and crawled into bed – fulfilled drifting off to sleep nestled in deep and wrapped in a blanket of value, belonging and appreciation – my world is big and by the grace of God I have many places to call home, I guess planting seeds can deliver more than just greens – it can also feed communities the desire to expand. Malibu you too inspire Mee to grow.
San Antonio is glowing below me. I’m headed home and leaving home simultaneously. That song by The Steve Miller Band fills the background of my memory, “Big old jet airliner, don’t carry me too far away.” My inner world is full of reflection – storyboard like scenes move through my mind as I recall the events of the past 10 days.
I left Malibu Saturday morning, only after having cooked enough food to fill my families belly for the weekend ahead. Lee remained home with the girls and Mr. Mom’d it big time. Of course I felt torn leaving my girls, but what I KNOW is that they NEED time alone with their Daddy, they need to KNOW he is capable, they also need to learn as sisters to take care of each other. You see I have another character inside of me, her name is “HI I CAN DO IT ALL”, she takes over and runs it, micro manages every detail and works until she is bone exhausted and never says NO, not asking for help, and of course slowly acquiring resentment. This week was fantastic to witness from afar, Lee jumped in – taking the girls to the park, organizing snacks and lunches, responding to emails from the school and tending to Lola as she caught a bug. The bottom line is little girls’ need a strong relationship with their daddy’s and mommies need breaks from mommy hood. With that said I can’t get home fast enough, I have missed all of “Those People” so very much.
It was strange to return to Nashville with out them, Lee had always been the reason that we ever traveled to Nashville – we’d go back to the ranch to spend time and then we’d moved there full time thinking we needed to be closer to our businesses and to support Lee – Funny thing is we moved back for Mee.
Landing in Nashville and driving to Ginza my favorite sushi spot to meet Mary Alice (my person) and Jane Ellen (she is my right hand on the Ranch, my dear friend and confidant) I had an epiphany – I was returning HOME to WORK on a project I created – holy cow, Nashville had become my home and my place of value. That’s the amazing part of trusting the unknown – if you do trust the most amazing experience can grow from it’s seed – of course this trust takes letting go of control making it super tough on “Hi I Can Do It All”.
After dinner we all went back to M.A.’s house where we had a yummy tea party, dancing around her kitchen to Pistol Annie’s (my favorite new band) and giggling like mad. We decided we’d not done a proper ceremony surrounding my book. So in the cool fall air we hiked down to the little creek that runs alongside of M.A.’s property. Suddenly I was paralyzed with fear, POSSUMS!
I have Possum issues, you’ll have to read my book The Queen Of The Doublewides to get the reason – but this fear runs deep. Jane Ellen pulled on my hand and M.A. spoke loudly, her Jersey accent booming in through the cool southern night, “There is no Possums down here, besides Possums don’t hurt people.” I whispered back in a haunted voice, “Don’t say their names or they will come!” Jane Ellen tugged on me some more, “Come on little goose, if you were a farm animal you’d be a goose ‘cause you sure do squawk at everything in the barnyard – ALARMING the others.” Begrudgingly I bent down picked up one of the green monkey balls that had fallen from the tree and headed down to the creeks edge; I’ve never been one to allow my fear to rule my outcome. “OK, I’ll use the Possum fear as a metaphor for my fear to release my truth into the world, not hiding from judgment or allowing self doubt to take the wheel of my big old life.” I looked down the creek, beyond the creek and into the next phase of my life tossing my monkey ball, my childhood flashed before me – I was 9 years old and throwing monkey balls around our yard in Clark Court Apartments. My book is about the first part of my life; it was appropriate I set it sailing into the next with a monkey ball from my past – serious RELEASE. Jane Ellen and M.A. threw theirs too in support of my accomplishment. However, once that ball was floating I got to steppin’ out of possum land and ran for the house – SQUAWKIN’ like mad!
M.A. set up an air mattress and I slept in her healing room (she is a true wizard, a body alignment practitioner, aligning people with themselves and their higher selves) I’ve NEVER met another person with her capabilities. Getting on her table is like traveling through the closest of ones self that we never seem to have the time to organize so we just avoid them the clutter seems until it creeps into our daily life – throwing off our chi, rhythm and groove. I knew I was gonna have big dreaming and shawty – did I ever. In fact I had about 20 dreams but the last one was something. I dreamed that I’d picked up Lola’s entire kindergarten class; we were at a park outside of a church. I needed to use the phone inside to call one of the momma’s of the children. When I went into the church I got lost, I asked the preacher how to get back to the kids, he pointed to a room when I entered it I jumped back and screeched (like a goose) there was a giant rattle snake and he was coming for me. Suddenly a dog appeared – a little Jack Russell. He was trying to scare the snake but was clearly not wanting to kill it but the snake was relentless his attention was hooked on me. The dog would distract him and then the snake would find his way closer to me. Suddenly I knew what it was that he wanted, my red coat that I was wearing. I quickly took it off, shedding it like skin throwing it at him. He quickly crawled on top settling into it as if it where his den he’d been looking for. I looked away from the snake, catching a glimpse of the dog happily wagging his tongue.
When M.A. awoke she made me a great breakfast of MEE food and a fresh carrot beet ginger juice. We talked about the dream and she told me about the meaning of the snake, transformation – welcoming it is welcoming change. The dog is loyalty, as dogs are here to serve man in our quest for self and spiritual growth. As she spoke I remembered the red coat I kept in my closet for at least 10 years. My momma loved red coats, she’d bought me a red coat my freshman year in college – the last gift she ever gave me, she died wearing her most favorite red coat. When I went to the car she’d wrecked in to gather her personal items I found her red coat thrown in the passengers seat, the emergency crew that found her had cut it off. It was covered in blood and glass and I put in a bag and moved it around with me, leaving it in my aunt and uncles closet for at least 10 years.
Throwing the monkey ball had triggered my memory, and I was shedding my own personal red coat – the fear of failure, welcoming success, trusting the unknown and moving into the next. Book one of my life was done, and just that a STORY no longer the present moment, no longer able to haunt me or cause me suffering – only a tale to share.
Sunday I met up with my D.F.F (dear family friend – if you’ve just joined us now she and I grew up together, she’s been healing her body with food from Hodgkin’s B – 8 months later she is 70% better!) She’d driven down from Ohio to resume our once monthly cooking marathons and to help with the Noble Food Makeover. We headed out to our ranch in Hickman County – an hour west of Nashville. Our farm house we’ve been rebuilding from the 1,000 Year Flood, is still NOT done – UGHHH…tough managing contractors from California.
So we booked ourselves into Jane Cantrells’ – she has a farm that rubs up next to our ranch that her family has owned since before the Civil War. She rents out a super cute little guesthouse. D.F.F and I settled in and got cookin’ – let me tell you we get down, and all this cooking is mixed with laughing; the best adult slumber party ever.
All went well and then I hit the streets as I had a TON of errands to run, folks to see and people to meet with and Tylor (my nephew a freshman at Lipscomb University) birthday to celebrate. By the time we made it back to the farm I was totally exhausted and got in the kitchen – yep we cooked some more.
This plane is fixin’ to land so I’ve got to stop don’t worry there is more to come..To be continued later this week.
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