This past Saturday I attended an Adrenal Fatigue Workshop. Overall, it was very disappointing so I don’t have much to share about that, but if you would like some good information on this important topic please click here or here (excellent posts by Modern Alternative Mama and The Healthy Home Economist). (Update on 2/1/2011: Another informative post by Keeper of the Home can be found here.) The young lady running the workshop was very sweet, but in trying to stick to the basics (I suppose) she made it very generic, and could have been talking about any disorder, or just eating vaguely well in general. During the ‘Solutions’ portion, she missed some of the most important changes one can make (such as swapping table salt for mineral-rich sea salt).
Beyond my disappointment with the workshop, though, was my disappointment with the attendees. Of course, most people who attend this sort of workshop are pretty interested in nutrition and its effects on the body. And I learned about this workshop through my local ‘Whole Foods Nutrition Meetup Group,’ so I’m assuming many people were a part of that, as well. So we all know a bit about food. But the arrogance displayed was just amazing!
At one point, Erin, the workshop presenter, explained about proper meal planning. She likened it to a fire, which has both kindling (which burns off quickly) and logs (which sustain the fire). She said carbs are the kindling, and spoke briefly about healthier carbs, and that proteins and fats are the logs. She then asked us to brainstorm and ‘build some fires.’ OK, it’s a little corny but a good mental picture for meal construction. As we set to work on our ‘fire’ plans, two women in the front began chit-chatting away. Not only were they not doing the exercise (pretty rude when you’re in the front row), but they didn’t care that anyone else was! There was another point when we were asked to write down as many names for sugar as we could, and they talked so much (again, not participating) that I couldn’t concentrate and only came up with about six! (There were about thirty. And it was a contest – with a prize!)
So, back to the meal planning. Erin very wisely called on the two Chatty Cathys first thing (they were still talking) and after looking at each other as if they were perturbed that we’d interrupted their Coffee Clutch with our dumb seminar, one of them said smugly, “Our diets are EXEMPLARY.” (“Yes, EXEMPLARY,” murmured the other.) Um… OK, so what are your meal plans? Erin pressed them a bit, and the loud(er) one began to go into an entire theory lesson straight from the Weston A. Price Foundation website. No example meal. No simple idea to pass on for another to use. No quick recipe (from their repertoire which must be, of course, exemplary). They just wanted to show that they already knew it all, and couldn’t be helped by the likes of young Erin.
Now, as I said, I was a bit disappointed by the seminar. But since I was there, and opted to stay, I participated. I took what I could and I added what I thought might help others. And I certainly didn’t feel the need to undermine the workshop leader.
Then there were the ‘MY issue – even though it’s completely unique to me and there’s no one else here who would be helped by this question – must be answered in its entirety before you move on’ camp. I can’t believe how self-absorbed people can be. They think nothing of taking up huge chunks of time, not to mention completely interrupting the flow of the presentation, with their completely ‘out-there’ questions. Closely related are those who are mad that the seminar is not specifically aimed at their particular group (vegetarian, food allergies, etc.). Come on, people!
Can’t we just be nice? Can’t we think outside of ourselves? Can’t we all just help one another along this journey?
So, helping each other along – that was my segue! I’m going to share one of meals I suggested as my ‘fire.’ And I look forward to hearing what you share as this blog grows!
1/2 of a 14-16oz. bag organic frozen mixed veggies
1 large organic yellow onion, diced
1 rib organic celery, diced
1 lb. organic or biologically raised, grass-fed ground beef
2 Tbs. flour
1 large clove organic garlic, pressed
1 cup beef broth, organic or homemade
1 cup diced organic tomatoes (if canned, undrained)
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1-1/2 tsp. organic Worcestershire sauce
Sea salt to taste
Leftover mashed potatoes*
1 to 1-1/2 cups organic cheese (cheddar, Mexican blend, etc.)
Place frozen veggies in colander and rinse with warm water to thaw. Drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In large skillet, melt about 2 Tbs. butter. Add onion and celery. Saute until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add in ground beef; brown.
Sprinkle in flour and garlic; mix well. Add in broth and diced tomatoes, followed by the spices and Worcestershire. Add in veggies. Simmer until slightly thickened and veggies are heated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Butter a 13×9** glass or stone baking dish. Pour beef mixture in. Top with warmed leftover mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired. Bake on center rack for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and meal is hot and bubbly. Let sit for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
*Whenever I make mashed potatoes I always, always make too much. When I have leftovers I know it’s Shepherd’s Pie time. If you don’t have leftover mashed potatoes, here’s a quick recipe: Wash 4-5 organic red skin potatoes, and cut into 1-1/2″ pieces, uniform in size. Put in large pot and cover with cold water. Cover pot and bring to boil. Lower heat when boiling, and after about 10 minutes, check every minute or so with a fork. When fork goes in easily (you don’t want it to fall apart), remove from heat and drain well. Shake pot from side to side to begin breaking potatoes down. Pop in some organic grass-fed butter (I use lots…) and milk, cream, sour cream – whatever you have. Mash with potato masher until desired taste and consistency. Salt, and, if desired, add white or black pepper.
**For our family of four, I usually divide this into two meals. One goes in my 8×8 glass baking dish and I bake and eat it that night, and one goes in my round casserole dish and gets wrapped and put it the freezer. This reheats very well. If possible, put in the refrigerator the day before to thaw, and then remove from the fridge a half hour or so before baking. Bake as directed above!
This post was shared for Real Food Wednesday!
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