All Hail The Almighty Kale

Kale Konfession

A few episodes back (Episode 47 to be exact), I mentioned how very obsessed I was with kale. I talked about how I was close to overdoing it with the power green. I had about a two week streak where I would start my day off with an omlette featuring kale. Lunch consisted of a kale salad (bagged salad from Costco that will change you entire life if you let it). For my drive home from work, I would drink a green smoothie-- the "green" being the kale of course. Although I was skipping dinner during that time (which I would never recommend), my evenings always ended with a batch of delectable, crunchy & spicy kale chips. To say that I had a problem may have easily been an understatement.

During that episode, I also mentioned discussing with someone portion size and the contrast between eating "too much" kale as opposed to eating too much of something else, like cookies for instance.  Well, I went ahead and did my research after being highly annoyed with the health expert a.k.a a Beach Body Coach. I decided that I would present you all with the facts!

Benefits of Eating Kale

  • It is high in vitamin k. What that means is that it helps to prevent heart disease.
  • Kale has substances that help to prevent cancer.  Cancer is a disease that has plagued my family, which I strongly believe has a lot to do with diet and the fact that we have always eaten foods that taste good but are not neccessarily good for you.
  • Kale assists in weight loss. Much like most vegetables, kale has high water content and is low in calories. For me this means, I should and can eat it until my heart's content . . .right?
  • Kale is high in fiber and helps the body to naturally detoxify. While this is something that I read, I can attest to it personally because when I consistently incorporate kale into my diet, my body is on automatic detox, which ultimately means my tummy is on flat flat.

Downside of Eating Too Much Kale

On an episode of Dr. Oz, he once highlighted the fact that media had been covering the fact that kale has been linked with some health problems. More specifically, he mentioned hypothyroidism. I thought: What does that even mean? We all have a thyroid gland which is located in our neck. The thyroid gland produces hormones. Too much kale stops the thyroid gland from producing enough hormones. Without the production of sufficient hormones, metabolism is not regulated. This can cause weight gain. (Interesting right?)

Ways To Incorporate Kale on a Daily

Although I have just mentioned the downside of eating too much kale, the fact remains that it is an important green to incorporate into our diets. The idea, however, is that everything be done in moderation. As I'm sure you've heard on several occassions and in several different ways, too much of anything probably isn't the most conducive. (I guess that chick was right.) If you have the desire to start incorporating kale into your diet here are some of my kale recipes:

Kale Salad (not from Costco)

1 bunch of kale

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 clove of garlic chopped or minced

1/2 a teaspoon of red chilli pepper flakes

Toss all of the ingredients in a bowl & you have a yummy and quick salad.

 

Kale Chips

1 bunch of kale

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 teaspoon of garlic salt (I use the Trader Joe's brand)

1 teaspoon of black pepper

1/2 a teaspoon of red chilli pepper flakes

Toss all of the ingredients in a bowl. Afterwards, place them on a baking sheet and put into the oven on 320 degrees for 10-15 minutes (or until the kale has a crunch). Throw it into a bowl to snack and thank me afterwards.

Green Smoothie

1 1/2 cups of kale

1 1/2 cups of water

2 cups of mango

1 cup of pineapple

1 inch chunk of ginger

1 lemon wedge

2 tablespoons of flaxseed

Blend the kale and water together first (to eliminate chewing on the kale while drinking). Afterwards, toss the other ingredients into the blender. Pour into your favorite glass and enjoy. All ingredients in the smoothie have excellend health benefits.

If you happen to try kale and not enjoy it as much as I do, but realize the importance of incorporating greens in your diet, then a lighter option (on the taste buds) is spinach. You can use it in the same way that I use my kale. The moral of the story here, however, is to do you research (and don't hate on my beloved kale)!