A healthy dose of pure energy …
Rebekah Carlyle believes in the powerful energy of healthy organic food. Along with her husband Jason and daughter Bella, the Carbondale native spends her time and energy focusing on her business, Be Life Café and Marketplace in Clarks Summit. A graduate of Baltimore International Culinary School with experience as a personal chef and teaching cooking classes, Carlyle became inspired to teach people about healing with food while serving in Korea with the U.S. Army. She has taken that inspiration and instilled it into the ever-evolving make-up of Be Life. After a year of operation, the Café is entering a transitional phase with the unveiling of a new menu featuring their customer’s favorite staple dishes, hosting even more live entertainment and implementing instructional classes focused on a healthy, happy mind and body. Be Life will host the first in a string of events Thursday, Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. with a Holistic Health and Wellness Seminar. She’s here to help you feel better by filling your belly with healthy eats. Meet Be Life’s Rebekah Carlyle…
Did you focus on the healthier side of cooking while in culinary school?
I always had a focus and love of vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts. Even in my studies, my creative mind was more about the produce than the meat and dairy.
What kind of aspirations did you have?
I always wanted to have a cooking show because I really like the teaching component. There was a television chef, Chef Ming Tsai and I was always drawn to his style of cooking because he had a very French-Vietnamese-fresh-alive-Thai flavor thing going on. That is what we would like to transition into; to be able to offer more classes and bring in people who have the medical background and the holistic education to help people get the full scope of what food is really all about. It’s a mind-body connection that hopes to ground our beings and produce health in our generations.
Was there a particular shift in your life toward organic and healthier foods?
For me, the biggest eye opener in my life was when I was stationed in Korea. I was dropped off in the dead of winter and shipped south and when I arrived, I was baffled by the plethora of uses for everything we normally look at on a different basis. The heart of how Koreans cook is that they don’t waste anything and everything has a medicinal purpose in addition to the flavor components. I learned a lot there. I cooked with Korean women who knew no English and I, at the time, knew very little Korean. I would cook with them for hours. There was no language needed. It was beautiful experience. That was when I realized “Hey! What am I doing? I should be cooking more for the health of it”. It felt like home to me. This is what I had been missing. That’s when the light bulb went on.
Tell me about Be Life Café and Marketplace.
Our mission here is to be a bridge for people no matter where they are in their own lives; to be able to travel one step further to a healthier way of thinking and eating and feeling. If you’re a meat eater, you might enjoy organic chicken. But with that organic chicken are all sorts of other vegetable and live enzymes and flavors and ultimately nutrients. You feel better. I believe in a high live enzyme plant based diet. We have a little bit here for everyone.
What are your goals for Be Life?
A couple things come to mind, such as eating a really nutritious meal. You ingest it and it fills you with high vibrations and good energy or happiness or joy. It translates into a good thing and then that spills out into your life. The more people who begin to appreciate this and find a home here and enjoy this way of eating, then that spills out into their home lives and their health and the community. When the community is healthy, the community is happy. We hope we can be here for people as a place to find like-minded energy, conversation and positivity. The food, the conversation, the live music creates a great energy for people to come in from the craziness of the world and pause.
You also feature live music.
My husband, Jason, is an acoustic guitarist and we have so many musicians that frequent here, we’ve been building a list of musicians that we will eventually structure into our flow.
What are some of your favorite foods to eat?
I love anything coconut and anything made with almond milk. I love chia seeds. These are things that I gravitate toward. Avocados are heaven.
Talk about the Holistic Health and Wellness Seminar you are hosting.
We are bringing in speakers who are trained with credentials and who are living it. Each one of these women has a completely different approach to this style of living. They bring in a wide audience based on their specific areas of expertise and teaching. In the next several months we want to begin to compile ongoing classes and not be limited to holistic education. We will incorporate jewelry making, oil and perfume making and different types of cooking classes.
Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for people looking to make a healthy lifestyle change in the New Year?
There is no better time than now. Our country is in a very poor state of health and there is a lot of deception within the food industry. It’s important that we be aware and we know what we’re putting in our body. We have that blessing to be able to choose what we eat and if we can’t control anything else in our lives, we can control that one thing.
— tom graham
Be Life Café & Marketplace, 639 Northern Blvd. Clarks Summit will host a Holistic Health and Wellness Seminar featuring speakers Denise Abda, Laurie Waskovich, Gail Weinberger and Y. Regina Battaglia. For more information, contact Jason at 926-8045 or visit www.belifeorganics.com.