The Purple Apron & Prozac Doesn’t Come In Cherry

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A Welcome by Dor

This is my first blog post. Those of you who know me may be suspicious since I’m not on social media. I do have an accomplice; her name is Allie O’Brien. Allie and I will be doing some weekly blogging together — me, sharing my experiences and thoughts; she, creating beautiful dishes to accompany stories and to inspire our readers to start or continue cooking for themselves.
I understand younger people go to the Internet to find the solutions to their problems. The Internet can be a scary place for people who are trying to identify the probable causes for their symptoms. There is nothing scary about this blog. For years I have run a local non-profit called Suppers. We are an organization dedicated to helping people make good matches between their health problems and their lifestyle solutions. Allow us to welcome you to our virtual Suppers meeting here, where you may share with us your experiments on finding the right or wrong foods for you, if you let us share with you our stories of success, failure, and kitchen dreams and nightmares. Our first story begins now!
The holidays present a special challenge for many of us because precisely the foods that give us joy are the foods that drive depression and anxiety. Here is Cindy, one of our members who, after decades of chronic depression and severe headaches, found her real solution when she started eating the food her brain was starving for.

Cindy’s Story – Prozac Doesn’t Come in Cherry

I remember many years ago when my kids were little their dad and I noticed how all the kids’ vitamins and medicines came in different flavors. We were jealous that our vitamins and meds didn’t come in yummy flavors too. Yes, those liquid cold medicines we used years ago came in flavors, but none of the other things we were taking did.

We started joking around and imagining how great it would be if medicines tasted like real food. He wanted his to taste like spaghetti, his favorite “comfort” food. I wanted mine to taste like beef stew, something we didn’t have that often that I loved. Little did I know that that dream was going to become my reality years later when I found the Suppers Programs!

Before Suppers I suffered from chronic depression and anxiety. I had no normal sleep cycle and labeled myself a “night-owl”. I used to eat and drink whatever I pleased and never had any idea how my feeling sluggish, moody, wired and tired all the time was related to what I ate and drank. All that changed when I started my Suppers journey. After doing the Suppers breakfast challenge, I discovered my own personal antidepressant in a bowl of breakfast chili. That day changed my whole life for the better. I learned how to cook a few different things that could stabilize my moods while increasing my energy levels. In the first few years I used to rotate those foods. But for the last four years or so I have been eating my absolute favorite ground turkey stew day after day, week after week, year after year. I LOVE this stew! Breakfast is now my favorite meal of the day. I look forward to it and feel disappointed if I travel and can’t take some with me!

When people hear how I eat every day, the reaction is the same. Shock.  Confusion.  Judgement.  I don’t judge others for how they deal with their depression; I would like to be not judged for I how I deal with mine.  Food is an antidepressant too. The simplest way for me to explain why I eat this breakfast every day is to say, “Prozac doesn’t come in cherry”. No it doesn’t. It also does NOT come in yummy flavors like Turkey Stew.

I am on the receiving end of labeling, comparing and judging for eating habits that others find boring.  Oh well, at least I’m resilient because I have a belly full of my personal antidepressant.  I am forever grateful to Suppers for opening the door to my early-adult fantasy that meds could come in my favorite flavor.

Cooking Cindy’s Stew, by Allie

Hi everyone!  So I made Cindy’s delicious, super simple stew this morning.  It took me about an hour but THAT’S because in the middle I realized that I didn’t have any veggie stock (and in my family we have some dietary restrictions–some folks avoid meat, others cherish it) so I had to make it on the fly.

The good news is that because of my inability to think ahead, as well as my amazing cooking prowess and huge, huge brain, I’ll give you a quick veggie stock tip.  Also I forgot to add the peas and I’m just remembering that now and that explains why it looks so monochromatic…oopsies…

Let’s begin!

Step One: Prep yo veggies and make a huge mess.

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Step Two: Knife Tips

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Cut carrots in coins OR owl’s eyes for different mouth texture.
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Cut all of your stalks of celery in one shot but remember to tuck that thumb in! Bear claw people!

Step Three: Stare at carrot slices and liken them to an owl’s face staring at you. Take pictures and post on Instagram. Think about owls. (This won’t take long if you’re me and don’t know much about owls.)

 

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Step Four: SAVE ALL YOUR VEGGIE SCRAPS (except cabbage) FOR VEGGIE STOCK. To make veggie stock flying, throw scraps in a pot, (It was only like four cups of scraps for me to make 7 cups stock) add water, bring to a simmer, and simmer as long as you can (max 45 minutes). Throw in fresh herbs in the last five minutes if you have them. Note: “veggie stock flying” is restaurant speak for “really fast”. Don’t throw veggie stock. It’s hot and it can burn someone.

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Step Five: I thought we were supposed to be cooking?

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Step Six: Oh yeah, we were cooking the whole time. It was a blast.

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Brunswick Stew, Suppers Style

Ingredients

olive or coconut oil (enough to coat pot)
1 1⁄2 pounds ground turkey (see alternatives below)
2 onions (chopped)
5 carrots (sliced)
2 parsnips (diced)
5 celery stalks (sliced)
1 small head of cabbage (shredded)
6 cups broth (using the rice will require 2 additional cups)
1 can beans (like garbanzo or cannellini)
1 cup brown rice (optional; not for carb watchers)
1 bag frozen peas (small bag)
salt, pepper, and hot sauce (to taste)

Instructions

Coat the bottom of a soup pot with oil and put on high heat. Add the meat and brown slightly on all sides. Stir in each vegetable and keep the heat on high as you add. Add the broth, beans and rice. Turn down heat to a simmer until the rice is done, then add the peas and simmer a few minutes more. Season to taste with salt, pepper and hot sauce.

Alternatives and options: You can use chunks of other meat or fowl, ground meats and even tofu, all of which would be added at the end. We have also used chopped tomatoes and Italian seasonings; a 2-inch piece of ginger minced, with ground lamb and curry spices; chopped green beans, turnips, potatoes, corn, and greens. At Suppers we regularly use small quantities of any of the following fats as long as we can get high quality, fresh versions: extra virgin olive oil, unrefined coconut oil, organic butter, and the rendered fat of healthy animals, like duck fat.

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