Today is Sunday. It is the day the Lord gave us to rest. I set the world aside for this day to serve, study, communicate with family and raise the bar on my life a little higher. Today my topic is our bodies. Our body houses our spirit. When I was in Primary at church as a child, we sang a song with these words.
My body is a Temple that needs the greatest care.
It must be clean and wholesome to house my spirit there.
And if I keep this Temple, my body strong and clean,
My mind will be as wholesome, although it can’t be seen.
One would need to be an ostrich with his head in the sand to not see the anxiety, depression, bi-polar and other mental illness around us and those we love. When life gets busy and I get involved in other things, I often forget about the information I have learned, the education I have received and the knowledge I have to share with others to help “our minds be as wholesome”. The reason I got my degree in Holistic Nutrition is because we are a “WHOLE”. The mind, brain, emotions and mental capacities cannot be separated from our physical body. With few acceptations, a plant grows without nourishment. A log cannot burn without heat and oxygen. A car cannot move without gas or electricity. A plant cannot grow without water. The lawnmower will not run without the correct fuel. And so, it is with us.
Our body, mind and soul are inseparably connected. When we experience tragedy, fear, pressure or danger, our body does not want food. The digestive system shuts down. This is fine if we are running from danger but so often, in our lives today, the danger is inside us by the fear and anxiety that we feel and our physical body feels it in lack of eating, illness, reduced immune system, obesity and ends in depression.
Our body is connected. We were created that way so we need to be able to understand how to care for our bodies in that way.
Therapists have large caseloads that they can barely keep up with. When I was working in a behavior health clinic, the therapists were so involved in the care of helping people sort out their feelings. What they discovered is that although the therapy was essential, they needed help from a nutritionist who could help the client change their diet so their body was being fed the proper nutrition to feed the brain, so they, as therapist, could help the brain heal.
Please know that I am not saying that if you eat perfectly, you will not experience emotions that bring you down. There are many reasons for depression and anxiety. But chemical balance of food, hormones and nutrients play a large part in keeping the body stable and healthy mentally and physically.
I read. I read a lot. I study and research and know of the mind-body connection. I know of the importance of feeding the brain. I know of the importance of exercising the body. I know the importance of studying the scriptures and praying. It is a three-legged stool. Physical health, mental health and spiritual health make a complete holistic person.
Many people whisper to me, “Yes. I am depressed. But I am not going to take medication”. Medication has it’s place and I have seen it help many people but I too would prefer another way. I would like to say to those people who do not want medication, “Okay, then let’s work on your food because food is medicine”. This is my love, my passion. I want to help others not feel so down and accomplish it with therapy, encouraging spiritual connections and proper food intake.
When I was growing up, we had the same meal every Sunday. We looked forward to it. It was comforting and easy. We were taught, “Let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart”. We had pot roast. Last year, a friend of mine came to work and said, “I have decided I do not like post roast any more. It has no flavor”. This year my sister said to me, “Why can’t I make my pot roast like mom? It has no taste”. I have a theory. I believe we had much better meat 50 or 60 years ago. It was raised more like the beef cow we have in our pasture today. I also think if we are using the crockpot we sometimes allow it to cook past the “good” stage to the overdone, shoe leather stage.
My mom seared the roast in a Dutch oven and then simmered it for a while and then added carrots, onions and potatoes with some water. She cooked it on low on the top of the stove while we went to church and when we came back it was ready to eat. Every week it was perfect. She used an arm shoulder roast and it had a round circle in the middle of it which was the most tender. That was mom’s piece. I found by research that piece is called a chuck arm roast. I have found a recipe from the website, Beef, It’s what’s for dinner. It is cooked very similar to the way my mom cooked it and as you can tell there is not much fluid on it.
Autumn Pot Roast with Root vegetables
- 1 beef Shoulder Roast, Arm Chuck Roast Boneless or Blade Chuck Roast Boneless (3 to 3-1/2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 8 small red-skinned potatoes, halved
- 2 large carrots, cut into 2-1/2 x 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 large parsnips, cut into 2-1/2 x 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 small leek, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
- 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt and lemon pepper
Combine seasoning ingredients; press onto beef pot roast. Heat oil in stock pot over medium heat until hot. Brown pot roast. Pour off drippings. (I would not pour off drippings and neither did my mom.)
Add 3/4 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 2 hours. Add vegetables; continue cooking, covered, 30 to 45 minutes or until pot roast and vegetables are fork-tender. Remove pot roast and vegetables; keep warm. Mom simmered the roast first and put the vegetables in just before we left for Sunday school which was about an hour.
Skim fat from cooking liquid. Measure and return 2 cups cooking liquid to stock pot. Stir in cornstarch mixture; cook and stir 1 minute or until thickened and bubbly. Carve pot roast. Serve with vegetables and sauce.
Please share your experience with roasts.