The Mystic Cookbook, by Denise and Meadow Linn, mother and daughter, offers insight into the secret alchemy of food and provides intuitive recipes that celebrate the energy and healing powers of cuisine. This is not your “traditional” cookbook in the sense that it provides a series of recipes with anecdotes on their origins and photos of finished dishes. The beauty of this recently debuted book is that it explores the spiritual component of eating, infusing wisdom about food’s ability to heal the body, mind and psyche. Denise and Meadow Linn delve into health, nutrition and spiritual rituals, helping the reader understand how eating connects us intimately with nature and ourselves. If we follow the path properly, our relationship with food can bring about a spiritual awakening. By encompassing traditions from all over the world, the authors highlight how meal consumption around the world is seen as a potential gateway to mystical transformation and the food we eat is a powerful pathway to self-renewal. Slow food enthusiasts will rejoice at the message here. It’s all about slowing down, appreciating, acknowledging and enjoying food, sensuously, spiritually and consciously.
In an interview with the author, Meadow Linn describes how her adventures around the world impacted her relationship with food and consciousness. She explains that in graduate school she studied the history and sociology of eating in France and was fascinated by the European culture so unlike her own, a culture that put such an emphasis on not only what to eat, but also how to eat. “There’s a wonderful word in France—’conviviality’—that expresses the unique connection between food, friends, family, culture and community,” said Linn. She loves how the idea of food in France means so much more than simply nutrition and fuel. There’s an art to eating, and a benefit when care and mindfulness is as present as our piqued taste buds.
The authors point out Paul Rozin, a psychologist at University of Pennsylvania, found that Americans think more about the nutritional components of food and how they react in the bloodstream, while the French focus more on the celebration and experience of eating certain foods. Meadow highlights that, “Mindful eating can be a powerful way to open your consciousness and live more deliciously.” LIVE MORE DELICIOUSLY. I love that.
I asked Meadow how we could more easily connect with food and she provided suggestions. One way to eat mindfully is to spend time connecting with our food before eating it. An example Meadow gives is spending time looking at, even gazing into food prior to tasting it, even for as long as 30 seconds. She suggests examining a strawberry before eating it, inhaling its aroma and asking questions like: What does it look like? How does it smell? How does it feel in my hands, on my tongue, and when I chew it? What does it sound like when I bite into it? How does it taste? Sweet? Sour? A bit of both?
GMOs are an area of concern for the authors and the fact that seeds are being patented as intellectual property. They support loving our food no matter where it comes from, adding “Fear, judgment and guilt are not great seasonings.”
The authors’ over-arching message? Love what you eat. Eat what you love.
For a refreshing and healthy summer grilled fish accompaniment, the Mango Salsa is one of my favorite recipes from The Mystic Cookbook. This flavorful recipe includes chilies, tomatoes, onions and fruit juice to create a salty, spicy and sweet mixture that will awaken your taste buds and mind. We have posted the recipe from The Mystic Cookbook below, with the permission of Hay House Publishing. The authors write that this dish and its specific ingredients will open the gateway into a deeper understanding of your own mysteries. They recommend it be served with a fish or shrimp tacos. The orange mango flesh is thought by the authors to stimulate the second chakra which activates pleasure, creativity and joy. My experience with this recipe concurs. I felt happy just looking at the firm, juicy orange flesh, smelling its summery aroma and tasting its vibrant sweetness. I found slowing down during preparation and eating really made a difference in how fully I could embrace the flavors of this and the other dishes I enjoyed it. Slowing down and eating more mindfully does indeed create a more robust experience that is more positive all around for the senses and spirit.
2 cups diced mango (from 1 or 2 mangoes)
2 cups diced Roma tomatoes, seeds removed (from about 5 tomatoes)
1 cup diced white onion (from 1/2 large onion)
3/4 cup finely diced cilantro (from one bunch)
1 serrano pepper, ribs and seeds removed, and then minced (optional)
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)
1 tsp. sea salt