Creating A Waterfall of Real Food, Cooking and Food Education

Creating A Waterfall Of Real Food, Cooking And Food Education

Fri 14 Jun 2013

Story by Lindsey Shifley and Briana Cardone

Food Revolution Day 2013 marked the beginning of an exciting relationship between two fiery Food Ambassadors who are ready to take their communities by storm.

Lindsey Shifley (Mundelein) and Briana Cardone (Long Grove) are ready to bring some simmering sass back into Lake County Illinois' kitchens by joining forces to spread a Food Revolution. On May 17th, they joined in on the global celebration and hosted a free "It's a Real Food Waterfall" themed community picnic event that was all about increasing awareness drop by drop to make simple changes towards more real, whole foods.

Joining the Food Revolution

Last September, Lindsey initiated a bold family food change to see if it could have an impact on her middle child’s performance and behavior in school. Her daughter Abbie was showing classic ADHD and sensory processing issues for almost two years and she had to take action one way or the other. Her blog, started the day she cleaned out her pantry and refrigerator. "I took out artificial colors, artificial preservatives and additives, artificial sweeteners and eventually gluten and dairy. In less than 2 weeks, Abbie became symptom free and our family food change became a permanent one.”

Briana, a local chef and business owner in Lake County says, "I've been wondering for years on how to channel my talents to help others, and when I say others I especially mean children." As former beauty queen who started off with this idea as her platform, Briana was astounded when Lindsey approached her about Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. “It just hit home, I knew right away I wanted to be involved and become an ambassador." Briana over the years has discovered that she and many of her family members have food allergies and intolerances and decided that eating "clean" and "real" food is the way to go. "I really started thinking when my father started spraying his vineyard (Valentino Vineyards) with whole milk as an alternative to chemical fungicides. It made me believe that there has to be better alternatives for everything." Briana's goal is to share as much knowledge as possible and teach people "real" food is the best alternative.

Creating a Community Wide Event for Food Revolution Day

The successful event could not have been pulled together without some very special people, organizations and businesses. Tanya Kotetsky, the marketing and community relations manager at Whole Foods Kildeer was an integral force behind the Food Revolution Day sponsorship. "From our first meeting, Tanya was absolutely amazing and we are so grateful for the signage, frisbees and organic produce that Whole Foods Kildeer donated to help make the day a huge success!" Bananas, clementines and apples were plentiful for all to grab and munch on while playing at the Diamond Lake Sports Complex. The Mundelein Park District site offered fun for everyone with a 9 hole frisbee golf course, bocce ball, shuffle board, bags and walking trails.

The picnic marked the beginning of an exciting relationship with between the ambassadors and Carole Childers, a Certified Nutritionist (C.N.) and a Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist (L.D.N.) in the state of Illinois and owner of All Ways Healthy Natural Foods in Lake Zurich IL. She and her Operations Manager/daughter Courtney Lyons joined the party and spoke to the 200+ crowd at several points throughout the event about her holistic approach to health by sharing tips and her simple, real food philosophy: "Making small changes in the way you live can make a big difference in achieving a happier and healthier life."

Dawn E Morris, an inspiration to all and a certified Personal Trainer shared her personal success story as motivation to the crowd. She herself lost over 98 lbs with her life change that included switching to real food and adding in exercise. Dawn led an uplifting group "Pi-Yo" session that is a hybrid of both Pilates and Yoga while Jay Ward of Genesis Technical Production and Design provided the event's sound and music. After her heart pumping session was officially over, smiles and cheers spread through the crowd as they witnessed many children continuing to mimick the poses shown in the demonstration. The best part? They continued to dance and strike poses to Jay's music while chowing down on their favorite fresh fruit.
Lindsey and Briana created some very special partnerships for the event. The area's local blog, Little Lake County hosted free "green" arts and crafts activities for the children to get their creative juices flowing. The Greater Libertyville Mundelein Junior League (GLM Jaycees) hosted their Bike Safety event. Members of Village Homesteading Mundelein helped to greet participants and spread the word about getting back to the land and family based values with new and greener technologies, conservation, urban farming, gardening, self-sufficiency and responsibility to the community. The other amazing partners who joined in on the fun to offer services, products and fun to the participants were Juice Plus, Wildtree Organics, Young Living Essential Oils, Chiro One Wellness Centers and Countryside Fire Department with their big red fire engine. Last but not least, the artistic eyes and cameras of both Megan Guerrero with Memories by Megan Photography and Talie Davidovitz with Talie Clare Photography captured the event with stunning pictures.

The ambassadors concluded the special evening by inspiring the crowd to use simple, fresh ingredients for everyday cooking. Briana, the co-executive chef and co-owner of Mambo Italiano, Mundelein's most popular Italian restaurant, dazzled the crowd with an amazing real food demonstration with her enthusiastic side-kick Lindsey (aka Vanna White).

Inspiring people to get back into the kitchen to focus on healthier foods is Lindsey and Briana’s mission and they plan on having a ball getting others in on cooking from scratch too. Their dream is to create a “waterfall” of real food that spreads all across Lake County and beyond to bring back the cooking skills our community has lost and reinvigorate food education in our schools. “This isn’t a movement about perfection for us, it’s about each individual, each family making small changes towards cleaner, less processed foods. Our goal is to share as much knowledge and energy as possible to teach people that real food is the best alternative. Let’s get our aprons on and fall in love again with our food!”

About the authors: Lindsey Shifley is a wife, mom of three, blogger and softball coach in Illinois. Lindsey’s Food Revolution started as personal goal to cook cleaner foods for her middle daughter who was having sensory processing issues in school. Having found huge success, she is having a ball learning and inspiring others to cook real food with their kids. Briana Cardone is an executive chef, restaurant owner, wife, mother and ex beauty queen. As a Food Revolution Ambassador, Briana hopes to bring back the passion of cooking into the hearts of the community just as it is in herself.


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