Surely I keep a schedule that is similar to most—full time work with two kids. Add that to a brain that rarely shuts off and it can be a recipe for disaster. Over the years I have realized that if I don’t get the best nourishment and effectively manage my time to create the necessary space in my days to recharge my weary “thinker” (and body) I am useless.
Admittedly the other day was a doozy. And my poor 9-year-old Jack suffered the consequences of my foggy noggin. After a fairly sleepless night and a long day of work my boys arrived home from school at each other’s throats. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to break up the banter, it just doesn’t stop—this was one of those times. But still, I had to help them get homework done, prepare dinner, be the “bath-time and brush-teeth cheerleader”, then muster more energy to read a bedtime story to my little one knowing that I had yet another hour of homework helper activities with my eldest.
Finally by 8:30pm the boys were resting in their room and I lay my weary body and throbbing head in bed feeling as though I had just climbed Mt. Everest. As is typical, Jack came barreling in complaining that he couldn’t sleep—this time it was an aching groin. Totally legit as he had an intense ice hockey practice the day before, I peeled myself out of bed to grab arnica for his painful parts. But instead I gave him Badger Balm—one of those super spicy sore muscle rubs. Needless to say, he came tearing back into my room this time screaming in pain. After 20 minutes of trying to figure out how to ease his seared skin (ice seemed to be the trick) I dropped myself in bed, feeling all around terrible, and passed out.
Coincidentally, the next morning I had an apropos e mail from my dear friend and colleague Rebecca Katz sharing the great news that her new book, The Healthy Mind Cookbook was available for pre-order (with a little brain-boosting gift) and less than a month away from release. I was lucky enough to get an electronic advanced copy and this is what I zoned in on—from Rebecca’s mouth to my ears:
“Depression, ADHD, memory loss, agitation, brain fog: These may seem like inevitable byproducts of our modern lives, spent multitasking, not getting enough sleep, and digital overload.
The science regarding food and its impact on mind, mood, and, yes, memory, has exploded. Put simply, what we put on the end of our fork definitely affects the brain in a myriad of ways. For me, this notion is incredibly liberating. Is it a cure-all? Maybe yes, maybe no: time, as they say, will tell. But I’m an optimist by nature, and I believe the science suggests that food may well be nature’s answer to the host of brain maladies that affects so many of us.
This book is all about giving your brain the right fuel to do the job you want it to do. Now here’s the fun part: You can do it with walnuts. You can do it with blueberries. You can do it with wild salmon. You can do it with kale. You can do it eighty-five different ways (actually far more; eighty-five refers to the number of ingredients in this book, but the number of combinations is exponential). We’re talking ingredients with oodles of taste and flavor in addition to the nutrients the brain craves. I’ve come to see this book as a way to help you make friends with your brain, turning it into a trusted ally instead of a capricious companion.”
Need I say more? If you don’t know Rebecca and her incredible battery of book babies, you need to! There is not one person I know who understands food, its function and how to marry the nutritious with delicious the way this culinary nutrition goddess does. In then end, if it has flavor you will eat it—and Rebecca’s food is a symphony of nourishment.
But back to my brain and the timing of The Healthy Mind Cookbook alert. Evidently I was on overload that day but did I consume enough brain food? The funny thing is that I can’t remember! But I will be sure to overdose on more mind foods using Rebecca’s book as a guide so there are no more Badger Balm incidents in our home.
And compliments of Rebecca, a brain booster recipe from her fabulous book…
Wild Salmon Scramble
MAKES 4 SERVINGS • PREP TIME: 10 minutes • COOK TIME: ABOUT 5 minutes
2 ripe red tomatoes, sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
4 pasture-raised eggs
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1½ ounces goat cheese
2 ounces smoked wild sockeye salmon, broken into ½-inch pieces
1 tablespoon minced scallion, both green and white parts
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives, for garnish
Set out 4 plates and put two slices of tomato in the center of each plate. Sprinkle each serving with a small pinch of salt and a grind of pepper.
In a bowl, combine the eggs, salt, pepper and dried dill, if using, then whisk until frothy. Heat the olive oil in an 8- to 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, until hot. Add the eggs and decrease the heat to low. Using a spatula, fold the eggs, pulling them off the side of the skillet toward the center, about a minute. When halfway set, add in the goat cheese and stir it in. When nearly set, but still wet, turn off the heat and fold in the salmon, fresh dill if using, and some of the scallion.
Evenly divide the eggs and salmon and mound them on top of the tomatoes slices. Garnish with the chives and the remaining scallions and serve immediately.
Stirring the Pot will be re-running weekly through January on WPPB 88.3 FM so don’t forget to tune in Thursdays at 5:30pm (with an encore Saturdays at 7am). This week it’s Radical Remission and surely check out the Weekly Yum Recipe.