I just can’t get enough kale these days… it’s my new obsession (I fall into those sometimes. Thankfully, they’re all pretty healthy.) I’m loving all greens really, though Kale is my favorite. When I eat it, I have a bit of a super hero response, like I’m pretty sure if I spin around really fast, I might magically find myself in a satin cape, able to deflect bullets and all that… (That childhood fantasy is still there!)
Greens can be the food that people respond to with, “I should eat them more, but…” and, “I know they’re good for me, but…” yet most folks simply just don’t get enough.
In a TedxTalk on “Minding your Mitochondria,” Dr. Terry Wahls talks about how necessary relatively massive amounts of greens are for the myelin protecting our nerves, for our brain cells, for our mitochondria, and of course for the rest of our bodies.
Greens are rich in vitamins B, A, C, and K, as well as minerals. And Kale–my favorite! –has the most nutrition per calorie of any plant.
And knowing that… some of us still struggle, right?
What is it about greens that has us shying away, even in adulthood? too much limp, brown-tinted spinach as kids? Whatever the cause, it’s time to develop a love relationship with everything GREEN!
Here are a few ideas:
Thanks to my friend Erica, who shared with me the somewhat therapeutic practice of “massaging” greens, I’ve come to use this technique almost every time I eat them! It’s a great way to maintain all of the nutrition and still create a soft texture to chopped greens which can often have a tougher texture than other lettuce greens.
The idea is to chop the greens, put them into a large enough bowl that you can really get your hands into, add in whatever dressing, oil, or other complimentary items to, and dig in! …with you hands. Squeeze, rub, work your way into softening the texture of the greens. It really can be a wonderful sensory experience, along with creating a great nutrient-rich dish.
Here’s one of my favorites:
1 bunch of fresh, organic Kale, chopped
About 3 Green onions, chopped
One large handful of raw pine nuts
One large handful of Goji Berries
salt and pepper to taste
About 1/4 cup Tessemae’s All Natural Lemonette Dressing (Found at Whole Foods).
A bit more Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and fresh lemon (just squeeze over the top to taste)
Massage the above together for a good 5-10 minutes
1/2 Avocado, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 “cutie-sized” orange, sectioned and cut into bite-sized pieces
(optional: 1 serving chicken, cut into bite sized pieces)
(Note: Chicken can be added prior to massaging, if you prefer your chicken to have an almost “shredded” texture, or added after, to enjoy more whole chunks)
Another way to enjoy greens is to put them into fresh smoothies. I’ve seen a lot of recipes lately for green smoothies, detox drinks, and the like. Here’s one I’ve tried that is so fresh, a little tart, and starts my day out beautifully!
1 bunch of fresh organic kale
1/2 of a fresh lemon, peeled
1/2 of a lime, peeled
1/2 of a “cutie sized” orange, peeled
1 Whole Organic Banana
1/2-1 Cup organic plain (no sugar added) Cranberry Juice
Blend together… if you have a powerful blender (like a Blendtec) you’ll get a smooth consistency fairly easily. If not, you might need to add a bit more water, and pulse on and off for a bit).
I’ve also added a handful of fresh, organic strawberries to this mix for a bit more “sweetness.”
Citrus fruits are full of phytonutrients that support not only our immune response, protecting us from a host of potential diseases, they are good for our skin and our other organs, and help keep all of our systems working smoothly.
The thing is…. we need to nourish our bodies–we need to Eat to Live, not Live to Eat. And when we choose to nourish through the consistent use of healthy, whole foods, our bodies begin to crave those. The “reward centers” in the brain become activated, and that feels good!
So plant some greens, eat some greens, LOVE some greens… and then ask your body how it feels!
For the Love of Your Life!