Kale- Not Just for Decoration

A few weeks ago, I was having lunch with some friends.  Over our salads, the subject of eating various vegetables came up.  Everyone chimed in on how they just loved spinach and other leafy greens.  One friend buys brussels sprouts on the stalk to engage her children.  Another boils up some beautiful beets and her family enjoys them with salt, pepper, and olive oil right out of the pot!  I chimed in about eating kale chopped raw into a salad, sauteed into a pasta, or roasted with olive oil and mushrooms.  Everyone looked at me with wonder.  The general consensus around the table was that kale looks great ornamentally in outdoor potted arrangements or decorating a plate full of what they’d really like to eat!
 
I felt this way about kale until a few years ago when during my nutrition research I read a series of books by Steven Pratt, MD.  His book, “SuperFoodsRx,” included kale as part of the family of dark green leafy vegetables one should eat every day.  I kept seeing kale in the various publications and websites.  The following are some key points which helped me to include kale in my family’s diet:
 

  1. Kale is loaded with micronutrients and vitamins.  Per cup it has 1327% of vitamin K, 192% of vitamin A, and 88% of vitamin C.
  2. Organosulfur compounds abound in kale!  Sulforaphane inhibits and (in some cases) kills cancer cells.  Some studies have even shown that the expression of cancer-related genes can be influenced by chemopreventive compounds found in cruciferous vegetables like kale.
  3. Kale’s antioxidant profile helps optimize your cells’ detoxification, cleansing ability, and mitigates chronic inflammation.
  4. The lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids act protect eye health and lower cataract risk.  These are plentiful in kale! 
  5. During this cold and flu season, enjoy kale to help support a healthy immune system.
     
    My favorite kale is the red variety at Whole Foods.  There is also good kale at your local veggie market.  Give it a whirl- your cells will love you.
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March is National Nutrition Month

Time for spring cleaning some old food habits and eating more fruits and vegetables!
 
As many of you know, I’ve been doing independent nutrition study for the last few years.  From all my research, the one fundamental that is consistent in disease prevention, feeding children, optimizing athletic performance, and protecting DNA is eating the 7-13 servings of fruits and vegetables the USDA recommends.  Remember when eating five servings a day was an achievement?!?
 
The phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables are vital.  We should be eating kale, beets, broccoli, cranberries, and mangoes every day.  Such a simple idea, but challenging in reality.  I have found a product that helps the kids, Tim, and I get all these foods in our bodies if we fall short.

Juice Plus is 17 fruits and vegetables harvested at the peak of ripeness, cleaned thoroughly, juiced, and encapsulated for adults.  For children there are tasty chewables.  Juice Plus is not a vitamin.  It is actual fruits and vegetables that are absorbed into the blood stream.  Bioavailable to you.
 
Here is a website listing the research on Juice Plus completed at major universities world wide and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.  There is a quick video with Dr. William Sears and many other nationally known physicians describing the imperative of eating whole foods and recommending Juice Plus.  I look at Juice Plus as a safety net and peace of mind- the next best thing to fruits and vegetables.

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Resolution Doesn’t Mean Restriction

Hope you are all enjoying your new year!  As I write this, the kids are home for a long weekend.  Didn’t they just have one?  Lucky littles.
 
As these last couple of months have gone by, there has been lots of talk of resolutions, “new leaves turned over,” and no parking available at the club!  It’s so great that everyone is ready to eat well and be fit. 
 
One thing that I have noticed is a bit of wistfulness and distress about eating well.  Good nutrition isn’t about restriction!  It’s about the wonderful opportunity to eat lots and lots more food.  Fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and all the wonderful plant based yummies can be eaten with reckless abandon.  Crowd out the nutrient deficient white and processed stuff with the wonderful rainbow of nutrient dense salads, stir-fry’s, soups, casseroles, pasta dishes, etc. 
 
In America, we are very fortunate to have such abundance available every day.  Trader Joe’s, Costco, Whole Foods, Jewel, and various vegetable markets are just a 5 to 15 minute drive away for most of us.  Hop in the car and head out with the goal in mind of hitting the produce aisles with joy.  Get something new!  Sick of broccoli?  Try kale.  Carrots not thrilling?  Try sweet potatoes.  Cabbage sounds less than thrilling?  Try bok choy.   Go for it!!!
 
Most of you know that I have been doing independent nutrition research for the last five years.  I recently was certified by the American Fitness Professionals and Associates as a nutrition and wellness counselor.  This certification helped me to organize and deepen my knowledge.  I am not a Registered Dietician which requires a masters degree and focuses on clinical and institutional expertise as well as disease management.  I am available to help regular people be well and feel excellent!

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Hello world!

This is the first post on my brand new blog….

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