National Kale Day!

Happy National Kale Day!

I wanted to take today to tell you a little about my love for kale. I will be honest and say that I don’t venture much outside of smoothies made with kale, but that’s just because I get scared in the kitchen sometimes.  I have had a delicious kale salad that a friend has made, but I haven’t actually ventured out and done anything besides rip it leaf from limb in my Vitamix.

I have been having kale smoothies on and off for about a year now and daily for a month and a half.  I am normally oblivious to the benefits that I get from changing around my diet (noun, not verb) for the better, but adding kale has led to some results that I can easily observe.  What I have noticed since adding kale every day:

– increased energy level (like whoa)
– hair and nails grow faster
– more, ahem, regular
– actually craving more kale!
Those are only the observable benefits of kale that I’ve experienced.  Check out all the benefits you can’t see:
– vitamin C
– vitamin A
– vitamin K
– iron
– omega-3
– calcium and iron source
– anti inflammatory
– flavonoids (potential cancer prevention)
– blood sugar regulation
– low calorie
– high fiber
– detoxifies
-weight management 
Also be sure to check out World’s Healthiest Foods write-up on kale. You can find it here.
I am a creature of habit, so once I find something that I like I tend not to mess with it.  I have this same smoothie every morning:
– 2 leaves kales
– 1 spear pineapple
– 1/2 peach
– 2 Tbsp chia seeds
– ice and water

If you make your smoothies with kale, remember to only use the leaves and remove the thick “rib” that runs down the middle. This can lead to very bitter tasting smoothies!

Today is the inaugural National Kale Day. Started by Dr. Drew Ramsey, this annual event “celebrates kale’s incredible health benefits, highlights kale’s culinary versatility, and promotes eating, growing, and sharing kale throughout America.” (source).  I think this is an awesome cause and I didn’t realize it was so involved until I looked into it some more.

Another program that has recently caught my attention is the 100 Million Dollar Project being implemented by Project Raw. They have recently started a green smoothie program at local homeless shelters and have served over 10,000 to San Diego’s food insecure population (those people who do not have regular access to healthy and nutrient dense foods).  The best part is that the ingredients for these smoothies are donated from local sources and what would have normally gone to waste is now used to help those who are unable to help themselves.

Although the first Wednesday in October is being celebrated and promoted as National Kale Day, it still does not have official government recognition. You can help change that by signing this petition to make today a national holiday.  Hopefully this can counter the National Donut Day that we currently celebrate in this country.  Why is obesity a problem again?

Please check out the National Kale Day website for loads of valuable information on kale, ways to help and spread the word, and delicious recipes.

Here are some more Kale Day links I came across this morning:
Celebrate National Kale Day (Huffington Post)
Love Me Some Kale (Kath Eats Real Food)
Question of the day: What is your favorite way to eat kale?

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