Good Bye to Pokeberry Hill...


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Veg-et-a-ble Soup , Mood & Food

I've been reading a bit about depression and food, sort of refreshing my memory on mood and food. I came up with a list of things that are recommended for eating/drinking when depressed. A caution though-- these things should not be used for 'pigging out' but consumed in moderation like a proper semi-frugal person would do--even a 'semi-depressed' person needs to eat in moderation.

Here's the list--from various sources I've been reading:

Omega 3 oil sources:
salmon, walnuts, flax, *I keep a big bag of walnuts in the freezer so I can grab a handful for a snack--I like them with a little bowl of cottage cheese--which is also a good depression food.

Dairy products:
milk,butter, cheese

Vices That Can Be Virtuous in Moderation:
coffee 3 cups in the morning is good for you!,chocolate, small amounts of alcohol--like a glass of red wine-Granny's Rheumatiz Medicine.

Other good nuts:
brazil nuts, almonds

Leafy Greens:
Spinach!-- Popeye knew a thing or two!

Comfort Foods:
Carbs--Mom's mashed potatoes, pasta, whole grain breads, homemade soups--like Gramma's!

Things didn't go so well today, I ended up getting sick to my stomach and not making it in to work. Sort of a double whammy when you already are not at the top of your game and on top of it you feel sick. I've been napping and am sitting in a recliner now with my trusty laptop doing some research and relaxing. Later this fall I am going to begin some food allergy testing. I was told it would be a good idea after a biopsy of some inflammation in my esophagus during an endoscopy. I was relieved the diagnosis pointed to food allergies because there's always something else you worry about when you have extensive tests. Relief aside, I've still been dealing with symptoms for a while and knowing they are not going to kill me doesn't make them go away. The flare up today was pretty strong. I'm hoping this will be in the past soon when I learn what it is that may be triggering it.

Anyhoo.. since I'm a bit under the weather, I wanted something convenient for dinner and it needed to be both light and comforting. I chose a canned minestroni soup.

My Polish gramma used to call one of her homemade soups "veg-et'-a-ble soup". She would pronounce each syllable carefully in her quirky accent. Gramma had been a champion speller in 8th grade and never stopped enunciating her syllables or doing her crossword puzzles, all the way through her life. She was the smartest 8th grade graduate I ever met. You could not beat her in scrabble, that's for sure. I know college grads that are not so sharp at 30 as she was at 90.

Gramma had a little garden and cooked some pretty basic stuff. Meat and potatoes mainly,lots of veggies-- like kohlrabis and beans. She cooked Polish style with a depression era twist. She married during the depression and she had some super frugal habits. Always you could smell what was cooking when you came up the clean painted back stairs to her converted attic apartment. I remember so clearly the little hallway like the rest of her 3 room apartment was spotless clean, simply decorated and always smelled like food cooking. On Saturday I think it was almost always something with cabbage. Maybe a sausage and sauerkraut dish or meaty stew with tomatoes and cabbage and potatoes..yum...

I just had a hankering for something like that today, you know? Sort of a 'make me feel better' craving. I wished I'd made soup lately so I could just pull it out of the fridge--but who makes soup its 80-90 degrees out? Happily I do have a fairly well stocked pantry which usually has some canned goodies hiding in it that were picked up on sale.

Anyhow I got a big bowl of lots of good veggies and warm spicy broth and some pasta and beans-- both good for me and comforting. Better than reaching for another convenience food--say a bag of chips.

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