Even though Kale is one more of the most nutritious products in the grocery store, it often has a pretty boring rep. As a Nutrition Designer, I know the benefits this dark leafy vegetable offers, and as a Parsons School of Design graduate, I show my clients how to make greens glamorous. So, to spice up this great-for-me leaf into baby-you-are-fabulous, here are a few simple tricks.
First, let's take a look at why Kale is so fabulous:
1. It has the highest ANDI score, meaning that it gives you the most nutrition for the least amount of calories. Compare it to spinach for example - Kale gets 1000 and Spinach gets 739
2. It is high in chlorophyll that helps purify your blood
3. It is anti-inflammatory and can help fight again auto-immune disorders as well as aiments that end on "itis" such as arthritis.
4. It is high in vitamin K that helps prevent blood clotting
5. It is high in calcium, helping you build stronger bones
6. It is high in antioxidants that fight free radicals and help you prevent cancer and slow down the aging process
7. It's high fiber content helps you clean our your digestive system and aids in detox.
How do we use Kale? I prefer to eat raw Kale because when you heat up your veggies vital digestive enzymes and vitamins can be destroyed. So, use your kale raw or put it into dehydrator for the maximum of 105 degrees. That way you will get 100% benefits from this superfood. Why settle for less?
Protect Your Manicure. Forget about cutting knifes, use your food processor to shred your kale! Roll up the leaves and push them down the processor to be cut with the Julienne Disk. It will take about 1 minute to get your kale shredded to perfection. I am all about easy and quick recipes.
Dress up your Kale. Think of Kale as a simple cotton t-shirt. It looks and feels great, but it is pretty boring. Use fancy accessories, a silk skirt and a fabulous pair of heels, and voila, you are ready for a party. Same with food. Dress up your kale with fun ingredients and then serve them in unexpected ways, such as Margarita glasses, Ice-cream glasses or a fine china.
And finally, here are some of my favorite recipes and a video. You can Sip Kale, Slurp or Savor it. The choice is yours!
The best way to start a detox is with a SuperFood Smoothie that features the following:
Banana (for potassium to regulate water in your body)
Papaya (for digestive enzymes)
Raspberries & Strawberries (for vitamin C and fiber)
Broccoli (vitamin C and fiber)
Spirulina and Chlorella (to remove toxins from your body and get more protein)
Ground flax seeds (for protein, fiber and Omega 3 that reduces inflammation. This will also hold the smoothie together and keep it from separating
Ice (To boost metabolism)
Put all of the ingredients in the vitamix, pour in a big glass and enjoy!
Lunch and Dinner will be veggie juices. Snacks are Young Thai Coconut Water and Kombucha. If you get very hungry, have an apple or another high-fiber piece of fruit.
If you don't want to do juice fasts, do a smoothie cleanse. Just make extra servings of them and keep in air-tight containers, such as Ball Jars ($9 for 12 at a grocery store) Flaxseeds will keep the smoothie looking good :)
Cheers to your health!
As America is getting ready for the super bowl, many of my clients are concerned about the damage party foods may do to their bodies. I think life is about enjoyment, not deprivation and kicking back with your friends and having a great time is a part of life. However, there are small things you can do to minimize the nutritional damage SuperBowl snacks may do. Here are a few simple tricks and recipes that can help you do just that.
1. To boost your metabolism, do interval cardio (20 seconds very fast, 10 seconds slow) on Friday and Sunday and do weight training on Saturday.
2. Practice dry skin brushing in the morning to stimulate your lymphatic system and decrease bloating.
3. Have a half of a grapefruit before the party.
4. Take a vegetarian Digestive Enzyme to help you digest cooked food. Non-vegetarian enzymes have strange ingredients you may not want to have in your body.
5. If you are going to a party, bring your own food to contribute to the pot luck. That way you will know exactly what you are eating.
Below are two recipes that are full of fiber that will help your digestive system.
Pizza Party Buffet
1 Jar of Organic Pizza Sauce
1 Jar of roasted peppers
1 Jar of marinated artichokes
1 Package of Crimini Mushrooms
1 Package of Daiya Cheese (www.daiyafoods.com) or Low Fat Organic Cheese
Organic (Vegan preferably) Pepperoni
High Fiber English Muffins
Toast the English Muffins for a few minutes first. Then top them with your favorite toppings and heat up in the toaster oven to melt the cheese. Enjoy!
Easiest Chili Ever!
16 oz Can of Marinated Bean Salad (I love Trader Joe's Brand)
12 oz Jar of Salsa
1 packet of vegetarian meat crumbles (Will be healthy and delicious)
Vegan or Low Fat Organic Cheese optional
Put them all together in a pan and sautee for about 15 minutes. Drizzle with cheese if you'd like. Enjoy! Your guests won't tell a difference.
I LOVE GREEN JUICE. There. I just said it. If you are wondering why, I have a few reasons:
1. It gives me lots of energy to last through the day
2. It has tons of nutrition to nourish my body (I don't want to bore you with the details on the nutritional content, but as a health counselor I know quite a few)
3. It eliminates cravings for coffee, chocolate or anything else sweet
4. It saves me calories that I would have spent on sweets, so weight loss is a good benefit
5. It saves me money that I would have spent on sweets, so I can buy other things
6. It takes 6 mins to make (including prep and clean-up). It's just as long as it takes to make coffee.
7. It costs about $2 (it did cost me about $5 for the first two months, since I bought a $200 juicer, still better than Starbucks!)
I think that's pretty good, right? So, the question is -- Why doesn't everyone drink green juice? The two answers I have heard are:
1. It is difficult and time consuming to make
2. It doesn't taste good!
To address the first point, refer to answer #6 as to why I love green juice. And as for the second point, think about this:
Do you drink Vodka and Tequila shots? Most people do.
Do they taste good? Of course not!
Why do people drink Vodka and Tequila shots? To feel good! Well... then here is your answer to why you should drink Green Juice -- To feel good! That and looking good will be a nice side-effect too after you make green juice a habit :)
But if you are still not convinced, ask yourself this: Do you like the taste of mixed drinks like Cosmopolitan Martinis and Margaritas? Most likely you do, because they are delicious! But... Their base is usually the yucky-tasting vodka or tequila! So, here is the answer to the green juice dilemma -- sweeten it up with your favorite fruit juice! No need to squeeze the fruit (it does take longer to clean up the pulp), just buy a bottle, add to the green drink and enjoy! Just make sure to drink it in the morning, so that you will set yourself up for the whole day on the right note.
It may take some time getting used to, just like most of us had to get used to the taste of alcohol and dark chocolate, but the results are worth the health and energy you deserve!
SIMPLE GREEN JUICE RECIPE
A few sprigs of parsley
1 stalk of celery
1/2 of cucumber
1 leaf of Kale
1 Romaine lettuce leaf
1/4 of an apple
1/4 cup orange or apple juice
Cheers to your health!
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