In December, the men and women of the District joined wonder-woman Cath Skroch and newly launched Peace Meals for a Dinner Party first: cooking class. Our goal? To arm ourselves with know-how and nutrients to heal both mind and body, tackling head-on the low energy, impaired focus, recurring impacts on appetite, and other sordid sensations that often accompany loss.
On the menu: salad with roasted broccoli and goat cheese, a lentil and quinoa combo, walnut-crusted salmon, banana custard and macaroons, and naturally, our staple bottle (or two or several) of fine red.
A few facts discovered over the course of the evening:
* When combined, calcium and magnesium – found in cheese and dark leafy greens, respectively – act as a natural calming agent.
* The complex carbs found in raw vegetables produce serotonin, the “feel-good” neurotransmitter known for easing tension. (Hint: serotonin can also be stimulated with tryptophan, found in walnuts, tofu, dairy and bananas).
* Protein is the natural world’s best long-term fatigue-fighter. Iron (found in figs, quinoa, tahini, and other delectables) packs a fine punch, too.
* Salmon and tofu contain tyrosine, which stimulates dopamine and norepinephrine, which boost energy and mental clarity.
* Egg yolks are a rich source of folic acid, one of the biggest influencers on mood. But you can keep the whites, which are dense with high-quality protein and B vitamins, helping combat stress and maintain a healthy nervous system.
The result? Delicious. The company? Supreme. The conclusion? Before reaching for the vitamin cabinet or the pill-box, we’ll try the stove instead.
“To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art,” said French writer La Rochefoucauld. We couldn’t agree more.
For more, email PeaceMealsDC@gmail.com.