Nourishing Meals for When We Don’t Feel Well

Welcome to Jackson Regenerational Farm!

 

Below you will find our weekend blog update from Farmer Sarah, pictures from the week and links to our limited offering of our organically fed pastured pork box and other regeneratively pastured meat cuts available.

 

We hope you enjoy and if you have any questions along the way – please email Sarah at farm@jacksonregenerationalfarm.com.

Chickens love the hay and bark mulch to stand in! They don't approve of the snow as much...

Nourishing Meals for When You Don't Feel Well

 

I can remember the feeling well…

 

It was around 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Nick was on the road and I had all the kids.  I still had outside chores to do and I hadn’t even thought of what to have for dinner and out of the blue I just started to feel terrible. 

 

As I finished up the animal chores, it continued to get worse – and around 4 o’clock – I tell my older two children – “I’m so sorry I can’t make dinner tonight you’re going to have to make something for yourself and your little brother – I don’t feel well at all.”  

As a mom or parent – if we haven’t thought through a good dinner and have it ready it can feel like a real failure when dinner comes around and we have no idea what to make, we are exhausted or get sick or injured. 

 

The older children pop up excited with the new challenge– and mix up a wonderful batch of scrambled eggs and potato hash browns. Simple, easy and fed!

 

I try to eat a little bit with the children– but nope whatever is happening is not going away with a little food. 

 

Well, the next morning, after a terrible night sleep I still wasn’t feeling well – but now I knew that I needed to be prepared for the evening with plenty of food to feed the crew and not spend a lot of energy to do so.   So, I went into the freezer grabbed a leg of lamb and 2 shanks – put them in a roasting pan with water – salt and a few spices.   I didn’t even have the energy to cut an onion or chop veggies.  Nope.

 

I knew that If I was going to eat anything that night and be able to serve my children nourishing food – I needed the meat and the broth from the meat and bones. 

 

So, I covered it with a lid and put it in the wood cook stove to cook for a few hours on low. 

 

 

From frozen to nourishing – with just a few spices and salt.  Extremely simple – and yet it was everything to me to know that feeding the family was planned out – barring any unknown events. 

 

I knew this meat would last our family days and would sustain us though much needed lunches and dinners. 

 

I didn’t, at this point, know how long I was going to be sick or if anyone else was going to get sick – and cooking enough for days gave us the flexibility we needed to get well and eat well. 

 

I recovered right away – after a day of not feeling well, and a better night sleep, I was back to doing all the things I do – and no one else got sick – yay!

 

Was this because we had nourishing food on hand? No one knows but I do declare I think it made a difference.  

 

 

Food is essential for every single day.

 

It can be wonderful to plan meals for special occasions, holidays and events, to be creative and fun in the kitchen but also, I find the most important role that food can play is to help us feel better.  To sustain, nourish, connect and thrive. 

 

Did I have some judgment to myself about choosing those cuts for a night I was not feeling well – absolutely.  And did I have to check myself and my judgements on what’s really important.  Absolutely.  In my mind – big roasts are for special occasions or at least Sunday dinner.  But what about eating to satiate, to feel better, to get well and live your best life?

 

Is using a roast for a meal that’s not a special occasion OK? 

 

 

Sometimes we wake up and we don’t feel well – Or we injure ourselves – or an unexpected event happens…

 

And we still need to eat and feed the humans in our house. 

 

And if we are sick or injured or stressed we might need MORE food and nourishment as our body needs to heal.  We need our grandmother’s chicken soup – or amazing comfort food to give our bodies all the minerals and nutrients and energy it needs to heal – recover – and thrive.    

 

 

I used to be of the mind – don’t eat as much during sickness.  But after talking with many healing professionals – and experiencing the effect of eating well during sickness – I am fully in line with nourish! Nourish! Nourish! 

 

Your body needs fuel to heal – to get better – to function.

 

Our bodies need energy to heal and food is medicine and energy.  While I grew up learning to starve a fever – I have now switched my thoughts about this and now I feed and nourish – unless things are just not staying down, then I respond accordingly. 

 

I think feeding yourself enough and then some is how you can help your body heal and become resilient.

 

I decided to write this post, for those of us who have ever found ourselves – alone, sick, injured, stressed, ourselves to care for, or others to care for AND food is needed.  This has happened to me many times over the years as I have been pregnant and had children and have farm and business to run.

 

I will say this is where my southern grandmother got it right.   No matter what ails ya – food will heal you – especially nourishing satiating food. 

 

Of course, if you have a bowl full of nourishing stew or soup at hand, or if you have family and friends who will bring you food and help take care you, how amazing! I believe we need more community and sharing and taking care of one another – but since these unplanned events can pop up at any time…

 

What do you do when you find yourself needing to cook and you don’t feel well?

 

 

These idea and recipes do not need to be used only in times of sickness and injury, they can be used for busy times – when you know you will giving off lots of energy and have little time for cooking.  They can be used for times when you know you need the extra nourishment.  Having the supplies on hand for when an unexpected moment hits is important.  I highly recommend having a freezer stocked with all the essentials you may need for an unexpected event. 

 

 

1.     Roast – slow and low –  braised

 

Any roast with a bone will do!!!! I usually pick a roast with a nice sized bone in it.  This helps to bring minerals into the concentrated broth at the bottom of the pan.  The meat cooks in this juice and when you eat even just a little bit you are getting minerals and gelatin and proteins and fat – these will help your body heal and recover faster. 

 

Idea of roasts to use: leg of lamb, shanks, whole chicken, shoulder roast etc.

 

You can take these out of the freezer 100% frozen and put them in a pan. Depending on the size of your pan you will cover with about a quart of water – pour over the meat to moisten it a bit and then sprinkle salt and any spices (like rosemary, sage, thyme, mint etc.) you want to use.  I think of spices like herbal medicine – the phytochemicals in the spices help to heal our body as well making the broth at the bottom like a savory cup of tea to be enjoyed. 

Put this in a crock pot, or a roasting pan with a lid on a low temp – like 275 degrees for 2 – 3 hrs.  Check back in after a few hours – and pull at the meat with a fork – if it pulls apart easily it’s done. 

 

 

2.     Ground Lamb with organ meats – add to broth, pasta, rice, etc. 

 

Ground lamb is extremely versatile – it can be made into anything you want to have for a meal.  And again, it can go from frozen to cooked in a pan with a little salt and spices.

 

 The ground lamb with organs mixed in (heart and liver) is a wonderful way to get extra nourishment.  If you have broth already made – scramble up the meat and add to broth for a quick soup.   

 

Scrambled lamb with organs makes a wonderful addition to rice, mashed potatoes, noodles, or wait for it to defrost and turn it into patties for burgers!

 

 

 

 

3.     Eggs – add to broth, with rice, hash browns, sourdough bread etc.

 

Eggs are one of most nutrient dense easy foods you can get – especially eggs from chickens who go outside, and are pastured! 

 

If I have broth on hand – I will mix some scrambled eggs and as I heat the broth, I stir the egg mix right in for a wonderful egg drop soup.   

 

And eggs are just a wonderful addition to just about anything your mind can create.  I once heard a speaker say if you feel sick, eat an extra egg a day – and I couldn’t agree more. 

 

 

I hope these ideas help the next time an unexpected event happens or you don’t feel well.  And feel free to share back with me what you make when you’re not feeling well. 

 

Lots of love to you!

 

Your farmer,

Sarah

Donkeys and the farm children
The driveway is an iceskating rink! Be careful!

Thank you for joining in on what we do.

Jackson Regenerational Farm making real change in Maine.

Increasing biodiversity – building soil – feeding communities

Farming with Nature

Your Farmers, Sarah Mahan & Nick Jackson

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