Web MD tells us that "Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a substance similar to a vitamin. It is found in every cell of the body. Your body makes CoQ10, and your cells use it to produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. It also functions as an antioxidant, which protects the body from damage caused by harmful molecules."
I remembered the heart in the freezer. I know, it sounds like a terrible mashup of Edgar Allen Poe with a murder mystery. Says You on NPR sometimes has a segment like that of mashed up titles like, "The Telltale Heart in San Francisco."
As a vegetarian for 27 years, when I look at the abundance in my freezer of specially ordered pastured meat, I joke that it looks like the freezer is full of body parts after a crime.
Truthfully, the freezer is full of body parts, and these body parts were specifically chosen for their ability to nourish, heal, and sustain. Many of our teachers on nutrition and mental health such as Leslie Korn PhD, author of Nutrition Essentials for Mental Health, with whom I studied for a day again recently, speak to the benefits of high-quality animal protein for brain health. Bloggers such as medical biophysicist Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D. at the Paleo Mom encourage the consumption of traditionally esteemed organ meats for healing digestive and autoimmune conditions.
As Rosa Schnyer and Bob Flaws say in Curing Depression Naturally with Chinese Medicine, "It is said that flesh foods are very "compassionate" to the human body. This word recognizes the fact that the animal's life has had to be sacrificed to produce this type of food. It also recognizes that, because such food is so close to the human body itself, it is especially nutritious. Therefore, when people suffer from… depression, eating some animal products usually is helpful and sometimes is downright necessary." For years before I agreed to eat meat, my acupuncturist would remind me that in Chinese medicine, you eat the body part that is hurting you.
A little internet research reveals that beef hearts may be high in CoQ10, iron, and L-leucine. I wondered how heart could help people travel to a mountain. It makes intuitive sense that to give our brain more oxygen at elevation, a heart could possibly be a direct route.
This is a good place to remind you that I am not a doctor and this blog is not medical advice. I also trust that you will find your own journey about if and when to include animal in your food.
Et voilà, a recipe for heart soup.
With All Your Heart Elevation Soup
The title "with all your heart" comes from a Jewish prayer called the Sh'ma, or Listen!, found in Deuteronomy 6: 4-9, which encourages us to love the holy "with all your heart," "b'kol l'vavcha." "L'vavcha," your heart, contains the word "lev," heart, with a doubling, which is found in certain ancient Hebrew words, of the letter V . The B and the V sounds are spoken in a similar place in the lips and are very close in many languages, including Spanish and Hebrew. "L'vavcha," your heart, sounds like the beating of a heart, L-vav, l'bub, l'bub.
Based on a recipe for Crock Pot Beef Heart from Paleo in Comparison.
Defrost a pastured, organic beef heart in the fridge for 24 hours, in a bowl in case the package leaks.
2-3 tablespoons tallow (beef fat), unrefined coconut oil, or a combination
one diced leek, green part only
one bunch diced green onion, green part only
one diced fennel bulb
one bunch carrots, about 6, cut into 4 pieces each
1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon, other dry red wine, or water
1 cup beef bone broth or water
Himalayan salt or sea salt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons finely diced fresh herbs, which could include Italian parsley, cilantro, and basil
The ingredients are compatible with the #SCD (Simple Carbohydrate Diet), #Low FODMAPs, #SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth), and #Autoimmune Protocol Diets, which are healing food plans for people healing from IBS, digestive conditions including post-travel, constipation, and autoimmune conditions.
Cooking is a very creative, intuitive practice once you become comfortable with it. This recipe is flavored with my intuitive approach, and the amounts may not be exacting, so feel free to change it as you like.
Melt a combination of tallow and coconut oil in a pan large enough for the whole heart. I prefer the smell of coconut oil so added it to the tallow. Sear the heart at medium-high to high heat, turning with tongs so the sides brown, a couple of minutes per side. Pick up the whole heart with tongs and set it into a slow cooker or Instant Pot.
Dice the green part of the bunch of green onions into pieces, about a fourth to half inch long.
Dice the green part of the leek into pieces, about half inch to an inch long.
Dice the fennel bulb into pieces, about half inch to an inch long.
Fry the onion, leek, and fennel in the remaining tallow and coconut oil, adding more fat as necessary.
Chop the carrots in about four pieces the long way.
Add the carrots, fennel stalks, and the fried vegetables to the slow cooker.
Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, a teaspoon of Himalayan salt, a cup of Cabernet, and a cup of bone broth to the slow cooker. Add more filtered water to cover the heart and vegetables.
Cook for 8-10 hours on low, while you sleep, work, or rest. I imagine an Instant Pot would be much faster but I haven't tried it.
Discard the fennel stalks from the soup. Take the heart out with tongs and set it in a large bowl with a flat bottom. One side of the heart has a silvery, tough, somewhat translucent type of skin. Cut the heart into 4-5 chunks with a knife and fork. Slice the silvery skin off each of these chunks, as possible. Cut the heart into bite-sized pieces, and return the pieces to the soup.
Dice the parsley, cilantro, and basil.
Serve hot soup garnished with diced herbs.
Makes about 6 cups, about four full or 8 small servings.
Eat a few times in preparation for travel to altitude or high elevation, the Sierra Mountains, Denver, Machu Picchu, or the Himalayas.
Eat with mindful reverence, with gratitude for the heart of the animal coming into contact with your heart.
Notice how you feel at your usual level, and notice how you feel when you travel to elevation. Or eat at sea level and elevate your awareness.