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Feeding the Soul Foundation

Story by guest blogger Michelle Jones. Photos Copyright © Michelle Jones.

Feature Photo: Artwork from local schoolkids expressing the Feed Your Soul message.

SO MUCH OF what I love in this life—music, food, art, yoga, community, social consciousness and people who are just on a higher plane—miraculously comes together as the Feeding the Soul Foundation in Oceanside, California.

In March they hosted yet another beautiful night.

Musicians Avasa & Matty Love just blew my mind. They began the festivities by strolling into the room (in an almost mystical, magical way) singing an affecting version of Sita Ram. Wow. You could feel the power in it.

Then the Makepeace Brothers, the headliners of the night, joined them:

How does all this awesomeness happen?

Well, I’ve been spending my writing time these days at Jitters Coffee Pub, my new favorite coffeehouse hang-out. And Vallie Gilley, love-personified, is the owner.

MMJ-Feed-Your-Soul-2I won’t forget the first time I introduced myself (Vallie left, Michelle right) and we had a lovely conversation about purpose and life and the Foundation, and her response was, “I just want to be of service.” And she really, really lives by this mantra. I’m getting to know Vallie, but nothing says more about a person than the love that surrounds her. And boy-oh-boy, she is in the thick of it. You can tell by the friends and family who walk in the door of Jitters that she is adored.

And she is the Insanely Creative Person behind Feeding the Soul. In the midst of some challenging times, she transformed herself and her life by giving back and bringing together that which she loves: music, food, and giving.

MMJ-Feed-Your-Soul-4Every event combines these elements. Fantastic musicians, healthy organic food, the spirit of love, and community all come together in service. All to give back.

The focus of that outpouring of love this soul-inspiring night was SuperFood Drive. Their mission: to give the Gift of Health by providing nutrient dense non-perishable food items to populations in need.

I know I will definitely be more conscious of what I donate to the local food banks thanks to them.

They made a delicious meal for guests (a salad from their own garden!) and provided recipes to boot. In fact, I made the Nutty Brown Rice the other day. It was SO good and easy and we felt infinitely healthier having eaten it. (See end of post for recipe.)

MMJ-Feed-Your-Soul-5Jason Mraz donated his gifts of talent and time by creating an original work of art that was auctioned off. He also joined the Makepeace Brothers for a song, What Would Love Do? By the end of the night, there was a conga line and I felt like I was on a beach in the Caribbean. The Makepeace Brothers know how to liven things up.

So, What Would Love Do? Just what these people are doing. Right now.

Nutty Brown Rice

I halved the butter and substituted coconut oil (the non-coconut-ty kind), which is so, so good for you, just FYI. See here. And to make it even easier, I used Trader Joe’s frozen organic brown rice.

* 4 cups water
* 1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice
* 3 tbsp unsalted butter
* 1 1/4 cups mixed nuts (i.e. walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds & almonds)
* 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

Bring water to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan. Add rice and 1/4 tsp salt. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until rice is tender, about 40 minutes. Drain.

Heat butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until foam subsides, add nuts and cook, stirring, until butter and nuts are golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add rice and nutmeg to skillet and toss.


MMJ-bio-picMichelle Jones lives in Southern California with her surfer/scientist husband, two little ones and creative, new ideas for her next book. She blogs at The Creative Spark and tweets as @mjcreativespark. “The Creative Spark is about anything and everything that fascinates and inspires me. It can be writing/book related, art, design, photography, nature, music and people. Especially people.”

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  1. Great, energetic post! And I cannot wait to try the recipe, always looking for great veggie recipes!

    • Thank you! There was definitely a lot of energy in that room. We’re going to another one tonight. All for a good cause. The recipe is SO easy––you’ll enjoy it.

  2. What a wonderful tribute to all these folks Michelle! Well done and I love the pictures you provided. It brought nice visuals to your own lively account.

    The recipe sounds yummy. Rice is a favorite of my husband and I think I’ll make some of the Nutty Brown to surprise him.

    I also like to substitute coconut oil whenever I can. It’s great on toast with peanut butter too!

    I just limbered up dancing to the music – I have a second wind!

    Wonderful post…


    • Thank you so much! Yes, the music is fantastic. These are really talented people, for sure. And enjoy the recipe. I usually have leftovers and its great for breakfast with greens and a fried egg on top. Yum.

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