What makes you tired?
The kind of tired that makes your mind go blank and you lose the will to move…. Unless it's to move chocolate to the lips.
For me there are two kinds of tired – the good kind and the exhausting kind.
The good kind of tired is how I feel after a brisk four-hour walk, uphill all the way or an all day bicycle ride along the back roads or even after a good ride on the stationary bike followed by 30 or 40 minutes of weight training.
My muscles are tired but my brain is sharp.
Actually, any of those activities seems to put my brain into overdrive, and, at the end of the exercise, I'm brimming with new ideas, new projects to tackle and old problems solved. I'm full of energy and ready to take on the world…. Or, at least, the puppies.
The other kind of tired, the exhausting kind, is how I feel after driving for six hours on the motorway or having a four-hour lunch or doing the weekly shopping.
It doesn't take me long to do the shopping, my usual store is only 30 minutes away and I'm rarely inside for more than an hour. Of course, there is another 30 minutes at home unpacking and putting everything away…..
At no time does my pulse rate go up, my breathing get any more rapid or a single muscle have to strain or stretch.
And yet,when I'm finished I'm exhausted…. I have no energy to do anything. We even have a tradition of giving the dogs big chewies when I come home from the store – just so I don't have to deal with them, either.
I sit down at the computer, poise my fingertips over the keyboard, and become still as a statue.
Nothing is flowing from the brain to the keyboard. All the synapses have quit firing. There is nothing but a vast emptiness.
I have no idea what it is that makes such a mundane, common task so debilitating… I just know it does, and try to plan my day accordingly.
Maybe I should try riding my bike to the store…..
Of course, I'd have to pull a trailer behind to carry the shopping….
It didn't make me the least bit fatigued to meander over to the neighboring farm to buy some venison last fall. I was thrilled when she managed to find the last package of filet mignon (after assuring me she had none left).
Venison is a lean, red meat, and if not over-cooked, is tender with a wonderful flavor.
Rumor has it that over-cooking can lead to a gamey taste.
I can't say if that's true – these steaks we cooked to medium-rare and they were perfect. But I also use less tender cuts in long-cooking stews and medium-cooking stroganoffs, both with excellent results.
I fixed them simply, finished with just a bit of sauce…. Nothing too strong or too complex, letting the venison be the star.
1 venison filet mignon / tenderloin
1 tbs olive oil
1/3 cup (3oz, 90ml) red wine
1/3 cup (3oz, 90ml) beef stock
1 tsp tomato paste
Slice the venison into 1" (2.5cm) thick slices. Heat oil in a large skillet until very hot. Add steaks and sauté quickly, 1 – 2 minutes per side. Season with salt, pepper, remove and keep warm.
Add red wine, beef stock and boil quickly, until reduced by half. Add tomato paste and stir well.
Spoon sauce onto a platter, top with steaks and serve.
What is it that makes you tired?