Local cookbook author Dyan Garris learned how to cook the old-fashioned way. She didn't attend classes, follow recipes or read about cooking. Instead, she stood by her Greek grandmother's side and watched. In so doing, she learned about an important ingredient in cooking: intuition.
"My grandmother never measured a thing," recalls Garris. "She was very focused and concentrated on the food. I'd ask, 'How much?' and she would look at me and say, 'Some.' I learned the heart of intuitive cooking. ... It's engaging in an intuitive process with what your body wants. It's not about not measuring. You can change the recipe to what your intuition tells you is healthy for you. You can step outside the box and understand that you won't ruin anything."
It's not unusual for Garris to talk to her food, asking how it wants to nourish her. It's a way to get in touch with the body, which speaks in its own fashion.
"Your body tells you what it needs, if you listen. Your body is not telling you to eat a bunch of chemicals. ... At a base level, you're not craving a McDonald's hamburger. You are craving meat. You can make the hamburger yourself and reduce it to the base element."
By listening to what your body needs, "You can transfer the base, survival energy (of food) and transform it and make it nourishing to your mind, body and spirit," says Garris.
Nourishing all the parts of ourselves and blending them together is something that many of us are not doing, she says.
"We all need to come back into alignment. We hear the words 'mind, body and spirit,' but we are not integrating them. ... The goal in life is to be in balance. Intuitive cooking is an easy way to integrate the mind, body and spirit."
Garris' book, Voice of the Angels Cookbook: Talk to Your Food!—Intuitive Cooking, illustrates this integration. There are more than 100 recipes for salads, appetizers, entrées, desserts and more. There are also 12 channeled messages—or life lessons—and several "intuitively speaking" paragraphs which "prompt you how to make the recipe in your own way."
The lamb stew recipe (for the body) is next to a lesson about patience (for the mind and spirit): When we are patient, we allow the flow of synchronicity to unfold in our lives. Like a savory stew, things that simmer together for a while and have time to completely blend end up tasting better, ultimately. Allow yourself to be patient and enjoy the actual process of the delicious flavors of your life melding together in a special symphony. The aroma of that lingers far longer in the heart and home than something that is schlocked together in 10 minutes or less.
The word "schlocked" denotes an important point in how we view food.
"Food has become very different from what it used to be. With the advent of fast food, we are mindlessly eating and are away from our intuition and who we are at a base level. ... We have more chemicals than before and don't have a healthy relationship with food. ... When we start being mindful of what we are ingesting, we are going to be a lot happier."
Helping people achieve a happier relationship with food is only one ingredient in Garris' work. She is a spiritual counselor, author, psychic and musician. She's written several books, and her instrumental music—which she writes and performs—is used for multiple purposes, including relaxation and healing. She also created "The Spiritual Toolbox," which offers "multiple integrative products, which are all designed to work together to help a person easily and enjoyably move forward on the spiritual path."
It may all sound New Age, but Garris provides a down-to-earth explanation for why some popular spiritual techniques—such as the law of attraction—are not working. She says trying to manifest something with only our minds doesn't work. Instead, we need to integrate all parts of ourselves.
"Feed the mind; feed the body; feed the spirit," says Garris. "Unless you connect those, you are not living at your highest and best. The integration is the foundation for manifesting. It's connecting the dots of your life."
As Oprah would say, that's an aha! moment.
Garris will appear at a local psychic fair on Sunday, Feb. 28. Visit www.voiceoftheangels.com for more information.