Fri | Dec 14, 2018

A Taste of Open, By Natalie Murray and Robert Casserly

Published:Thursday | December 6, 2018 | 12:00 AMNatalia Oh/ Contributor
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A Taste of Open is a book of second chances. The result of a partnership between trained architect and designer Robert Casserly and holistic health coach and spinning instructor Natalie Murray, it is a unique take on a cookbook - they don't just walk you through delicious recipes; they weave their stories in and ask you to write yours, too. That's right; A Taste of Open is 'peppered' with a series of journal pages where the authors ask you to go on an introspective food and health journey of your own.

In her practice as a health coach, Natalie has helped many clients lose weight, reset their metabolisms, infuse their lives with energy and vitality, and alleviated their 'dis-eases' caused by either a lack of nutrients or the ingestion of harmful substances present in typical convenience foods.

"I believe we (as a society) have strayed so far from the kitchen due to our busy lives, but the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house!" she says. "We cook to provide nourishment for our loved ones. Through this cookbook, we seek to inspire you to get back into the kitchen to make real food and to enjoy the process as well as the outcome."

On the journal pages, Natalie and Robert ask you varying pointed questions about yourself and what's keeping you from being the best you can be, from a food-related perspective. They also ask you about the way you approach respect for and taking care of your body. An entire chapter is called 'gratitude is the attitude' and this, in a nutshell, sums it up about what fuels their passions.

Robert shares, "I see diet as what you listen to, look at, read and eventually what you decide to eat.

"We weave our story with your story, we share recipes, and the recipes are divided into breakfast, smoothies, and soups, salads, entrees, side dishes and kid-friendly meals, each with eight recipes, and two thank-you recipes in the end."

The recipes are highly plant-based but not vegetarian, so you get to eat more vegetables without giving up all the things you love to eat. If you are vegetarian or vegan, they are also adaptable to fit your needs. Most recipes have 'open notes' that readers can use to write down their variations.

The recipes are simple, tasty, good for you and designed to get you in and out of the kitchen in no time. The ingredients are easily accessible in Jamaica and add taste texture and quality nutrition to help fuel your body to its full potential.

"We had a lot of fun writing this cookbook together because we have a lot of fun in the kitchen," said Natalie. "Our hope is that with this cookbook, the reader will get back in the kitchen, cooking as a family together again."

Eating clean for us isn't about weight loss, it's about being able to feel energetically amazing. When we eat clean, everything falls into place ... we're happier, more relaxed, and we manifest and create with surprising ease. Food is energy - it vibrates - so it's important to eat healthy in order to live your best life, and the recipes in this book are perfect for that. We are also both very busy entrepreneurs and not great cooks, which is another reason we love this book so much. The recipes are not just super healthy but super easy to follow, too.

- Tamara [Mara] Harding, founder and creative director of Mara Made Designs, and Zachary Harding, president of Hyperion Equity LLC.

"This is so much more than a cookbook. It is a chance to change your life for the better from the inside out. It encourages you to cleanse your body and home of toxins and make a switch to a more holistic lifestyle and you know what? It's actually really easy. This book tells you how.

- Dr Melody-Ann Isaacs, consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care