Our First “Experience” on Mightybell!

Check out our new NOURISH Evolution Mightybell Experience — DOUBLE the Amount of Veggies You Eat (While Loving Every Bite).

Click here to join (4 steps | 5 bucks).

WHAT, you may be asking, is Mightybell? Good question … so let me start from the beginning.

A few months ago, my good friend Amy sent an e-mail saying she wanted me to meet some people. Like any good business woman with fingertips and a computer, I Googled those peeps. Turns out I was swapping schedules with the co-founder of Ning social network (ironically, the one I wish we’d built NOURISH Evolution on to begin with), Gina Bianchini and political grass-roots wiz, Peter Slutsky. Within a few minutes, I gathered they were building a revolutionary platform that would galvanize the power of social media to help people change their lives … and the world.

Let’s just say, I’m glad Amy put us together.

As Peter was laying out out their vision for Mightybell, I felt an odd sense of deja vu (or, really, deja pense — already thought). It was as if they’d broken in to my wish list of “what I’d like in a delivery platform for my e-courses.” Breaking big ideas down into doable actions. Creating a system for ONE action to be taken (and accounted for) through each step of the process. Enlisting moral support through social media. Allowing the ability to share with others going through the same experience … by comment, photos or video. It was all THERE.

So when they asked me to be one of a handful of beta testers for their Mightybell experiences, I jumped in.

Here’s what Peter and Gina have to say about Mightybell

  • What is Mightybell?

    Mightybell is a new social software application based on a simple idea: success comes from thinking big, but acting incrementally. We have built what is hopefully a simple, lightweight way for creators, instigators, and, as we like to think about it, everyone’s alpha friend to define and share an organized series of step-by-step, day-by-day actions grouped as “experiences” for others to join and complete.

  • What is a Mightybell Experience?

    A Mightybell Experience is a goal or topic organized as a series of steps for people to do. The difference between Mightybell and making an online video, writing a blog post, or answering a question on a Q&A site is that on Mightybell, when you layout your best plan for, say, a four day survival camping trip to Yosemite Falls with six freshman roommates, it can now be joined, followed, and “done” by another group down the hall or visiting German exchange students. You create the Experience around a goal or a topic. Others do it. It’s that simple.

  • What does it mean to be organized as a series of steps?

    People of action think big and act incrementally. So, on Mightybell, an Experience is organized as a series of steps or actions laid out by you for other people to take and do as a thing. For example, where a how to video online is designed to be watched in one sitting, on Mightybell, Experiences are set up as a series of steps, days, hints, secrets, you name it, so that people drive towards a topic or goal in a series of small chunks over time. You create the Experience as a series of steps. What people choose to do with it is up to them.

  • How do people participate in an Experience?

    The way people join, follow, and do your Mightybell Experience is by completing each step – day-by-day, action-by-action – either alone or together with “fellow travelers,” or similar people in the same Mightybell Experience. At the end of finishing the Experience you set up and guided, not only do your Fellow Travelers have a fantastic trip to Yosemite Falls and a record of what they did, but you can see how they took your recommendations and research and made it their own. As a Creator, you create the Experience for people to do. Then sit back and watch where they take it.

Sound good? Jump in. Click here to join my DOUBLE the Veggies You Eat While Loving Every Bite experience now!

Rancho La Puerta … Take Three

This was my third year returning to Rancho La Puerta Resort and Spa in Mexico to teach at their La Cocina Que Canta cooking school. And, honestly, it gets more blissful every year. I’ll let the pictures and video clips speak for themselves.

The scenery and landscaping is striking, from tiny details to broad vistas. The natural beauty evokes a deep feeling of timelessness, while man-made additions–like sculptures that take your breath away dotted all over the property–drop you into the moment of Here. Now.

There’s a simplicity to the Ranch that instills serenity. Lines of nature are paralleled in various touches that feel as if they’ve been there forever.

And then there’s Tres Estrellas …

Tres Estrellas is the Ranch’s five acre organic garden, presided over by genius gardener Salvador (I actually wrote a poem for Salvador the first year I was there). Spend three minutes with Salvador and you’ll know that you’re with a man who has found his calling. He claws up earth to wax on about healthy soil and beams at rows of healthy eggplant as if he were praising his own children. It’s always a delight and a privilege to take students out into the garden with Salvador before cooking the ingredients he’s harvested for us (you can see a clip of that down below).

… And La Cocina Que Canta

Ah … La Cocina Que Canta. It’s heaven for cooking teachers and students alike. A gorgeous kitchen, incredible staff (that’s Gabby, Celia, Melissa and Alejandro there with me below … and my BFF, Julie, who took these pics and videos!) and all in all an inviting place to be.

Wish you could be there for a class? Watch these videos and you’ll get a taste …

It starts like this …


And then we head out into the garden …


Then I talk through what we’re cooking and give some mini lessons on nourishing principles …


And then we cook! In my classes, the students do most of the work, but here I’m doing a sauteing demo with some gorgeous baby zucchini (blossoms on) that we harvested from the garden.


I’ll see you next year at Rancho La Puerta!


If you’d like to show people the impact they have when they buy from a local farm or join a CSA versus sourcing food solely from the supermarket, here’s a great opportunity. We’ve been talking quite a bit lately about FRESH: The Movie. Now here’s your chance to see it yourself and show it to others. The FRESH folks are offering NOURISH Evolution members a 20% discount on any of the screening prices – that means you pay just $24 to host your own screening at home or $80 for a community gathering. Here’s how it works.

1)   Sign up to host a screening (enter the discount code: nourishnetwork)

2)   Make a plan. If you want to host the screening at home, plan a potluck or themed dinner and send invitations (evite.com and ping.com are great tools). If you want to host it at your church, local theater or other small venue, find out details and set a date.

3)   Get the word out. FRESH’s website has all kinds of ideas and tools on how to promote your screening. Step-by-step social media guidance and downloadable postcards, press releases, posters and web banners are just a few ways FRESH helps you get the word out.

4)   Keep the conversation going. FRESH has a terrific discussion guide for translating the messages in the movie into tangible changes in your own community. And if you have questions or want to share ideas or your own experiences, join the FRESH discussion group here on NOURISH Evolution.

Get your FRESH today!

Thursday Giveaway: The Earthbound Cook

Win a free copy of the new Earthbound Cook!

We love Earthbound Farm. Lia had the pleasure of working closely with owners Drew and Myra Goodman on the last cookbook and found out first-hand that they truly walk the talk. And man their talk is delicious. In this follow-up to Food to Live By, you’ll find 250 more recipes that are good for body and planet (and we love that here at NOURISH Evolution!)–like Truffled Kale Casserole and Coconut-Crusted Salmon–along with advice on things like making smart meat choices and six reasons to protect our oceans.

But, friends, you have to play to win this totally awesome book.

So here’s the deal. Leave a comment here to be entered to win (important: be sure you’re signed in to NOURISH Evolution so we can find you … or sign up, if you haven’t alreadyonly NOURISH Evolution members are eligible to win).

Lia will announce the winner in next Friday’s Friday Digest!

Good luck!

Garlic Parsnip Fries

Let the parsnip stand in for the potato in these healthy oven fries. Parsnips have an earthy sweetness, making them an interesting alternative to same-old, same-old spud fries. These, with sliced garlic and Parmesan, are downright addictive.


Feast Without Frenzy: Keep it Light

No doubt, there are a lot of heavy things that crop up during the holidays. Cookies, roasts, various casseroles . . . your sister-in-law’s confession, Grandma’s harping on your bangs. But there’s nothing saying you can’t mount a counter strategy, for the food at least. Keeping your non-crucial meals lighter will lighten your spirit too (ever notice how grumpy and sluggish you feel when you’ve been eating heavy food day after day)?

Here are ten main course meals that won’t weight you down.

keep-lightPumpkin Curry — Gewurztraminer pairs beautifully with this creamy, spicy, aromatic pumpkin curry. If you have a lime tree, crumple up a leaf and throw it into the curry as it simmers (then discard)—it will perfume the dish much as kaffir lime leaves do.

Asian Turkey Salad — After heavy holiday meals, this bright, fresh salad is a nice, light respite. If you don’t have leftover turkey on hand, it would also be great with shredded chicken.

Barramundi with Chile and Shallots — Barramundi’s meaty yet flaky texture makes it a good pair for dishes with an Asian flair. Like this one, with caramelized shallots and chile and a savory splash of fish sauce. You can find barramundi at many fish counters these days, or in the frozen section of several supermarkets.

Simplest Roast Chicken — I’ll admit it: I’m a lazy chicken roaster. There are techniques that have you rotating the bird every few minutes so that it turns an even brown, but I like to pop it in the oven and not think about it again (aside from swooning over the scent) until the timer goes off for good. And good—very good—is what we’ve found this bird to be. You don’t have to use an organic, free-range chicken, but we’ve found that it pays off in both flavor and juiciness.

Fennel Blood Orange Salad with Miso Vinaigrette — I dare you to attach the word “deprivation” to this salad. The bitter blood orange, the earthy miso, the crunchy fennel, the hit of sweet juice and the bite of arugula all come together in a festival of flavors and textures. Top it with a mound of crab meat to make a gorgeous main course salad, or pair it with Simplest Roast Chicken or Crisp Cornish Game Hens.

Chicken and Mushroom Lettuce Cups — I find that finger food naturally slows down a meal and focuses attention. When you’ve got juice dripping down your wrist and have to reach over your neighbor for the lettuce platter, it’s hard not to have the meal take on a different tenor.

Curried Mussels — I first fell in love with mussels years ago in France. Now, more and more, they’re one of my go-to weeknight foods. Mussels cook up super fast, they produce a flavorful broth with very few added calories, they’re at the top of the A-list in terms of sustainable seafood and, as if that’s not enough, they’re economical too.

Farfalle with Sausage and Arugula PestoRight about now, I get to craving the aromatic bliss of basil. But it’s tough to find in winter, and tends to be somewhat bland–and expensive–if you do. My seasonal secret? I use arugula, which is abundant right now both in my garden and on market shelves. The fresher the arugula, the more pungent the whole experience will be; for even more punch, pound the pesto in a mortar and pestle.

Classic Blackened Catfish — This dish brings back memories of my college days in New Orleans when I used to make it at least once a week. Little did I know then that I was making a sustainable pick! I’ll warn you from experience; your fire alarm will probably go off, so have a towel handy to fan the smoke away.

Crisp Cornish Game Hens with Pomegranate Honey Glaze — Removing the skin from the hens both decreases calories and increases the impact of this vibrant, spicy glaze. If you’ve never cooked with Cornish hens before, you’re in for a treat.