my crush on kale

I was rather dubious when I decided to try kale last year, I love spinach, I love cabbage, I love a variety of greens – but I had heard that kale was bitter.  However since it’s insanely good for you. (packed with Vitamins A & C, and is also rich in beta carotene, potassium, calcium, and phytonutrients that are believed to help fight cancer and repair cells) Kale is like the Hulk of cruciferous vegetables, bulging with nutrients and antioxidant properties… I figured I’d give it a go….. I love it!  I could eat it in every meal. Breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks!

Kale is low in calories, high in fiber and has zero fat.
  • One cup of kale has only approximately 33 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium
Kale is high in Vitamin K.
  • Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and the prevention of blood clotting. Also increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Kale is high in iron 
  • Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more
Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants
Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food
Kale is high in Vitamin A
  • Vitamin A is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.
Kale is high in Vitamin C 
  • 17 times more Vitamin C than carrots and four times more than spinach
Kale is high in calcium
Kale boasts a relatively high protein content for the number of calories it contains. You won’t reach your daily protein needs eating kale, but when you’re running low every little bit counts
There’s more than one variety of Kale
  • Curly is the most common variety of kale and may even be found in mainstream supermarkets – I find this to taste better if softened by cooking, steaming, sautéing, adding to stir-fry or blending in my smoothie (delicious in a wintery type soup or stew)
  • Varieties of curly kale can range in color from a light green to a dark purple, though most common is a dark green leaf

Nero Kale | Lacinato Kale | Tuscan Kale | Black Palm | Dinosaur

  •  oblong shape and deep green bubbly leaves.   Grows in tall long stalks. For raw preparations, like salads, I much prefer Tuscan kale

Red Winter Kale | Red Russian Kale

  • resemble oak leaves with their soft sage color with red vining.  mild tasting and may have hints of sweetness

Today I made Kale Chips (these get devoured the second the kids see them)









POP INTO PREHEATED OVEN (350 degrees) FOR ABOUT 12-15 mins (until edges are browned & kale is crispy)


kale chips

kale chips

Other ways to enjoy kale:  in a salad, in soups, sauteed with garlic, in a stir-fry,  blended into a smoothie, shredded onto pizza … so many options!


Health & Fitness Evaluation… a reality check!

As one of the lucky individuals chosen to be a “Kin’s Green Fighter” I received a health and fitness evaluation.  Boy, did I get a reality check!

Part of being selected as 1 of 13 contestants in this competition meant that I received a very comprehensive health/fitness analysis.  Blood work, Dexa Scan, fitness testing (ECG treadmill stress test, pushups, situps, flexibility….) Lung capacity, grip strength – the works!

Here’s what I learned:

  • I have 47.5% body fat        are you SERIOUS?! I mean I know that I have gained weight, but that made me feel sick How utterly embarrassing! I’m told that the “average woman” should have roughly 25%-33% body fat.

Embarrassment aside, the DEXA Scan was interesting.  You lay on a bed, toes taped together, and a machine scans your body for 6 mins. measuring lean muscle, fat, and bone density.  Apparently I do have a good amount of muscle, it’s just all hidden “under a nice layer of fat” …… sigh

  • my bone density is not that great   (I will now be taking Vitamin D along with a multi-vitamin and Omega 3-6-9)
  • I lasted 9 mins on the treadmill stress test until I got to my target heart rate (I’ll be aiming for longer at my final evaluation after this 13 weeks.  Time to up that cardio and get my heart even healthier)
  • I can do 30 full standardized situps in 1 min (this puts me in the “good” range)
  • I can do 7 standardized “men” pushups (feet together, on your toes … I’m unsure if this is “good” or “bad” as I cannot find a chart for women based on a full pushup, they all seem to be based on doing a pushup from the knees)
  • I can jump, although I’m not exactly sure how high? (I forgot to get that measurement!)
  • my flexibility is decent … there is always room for improvement (more yoga here I come!)
  • I don’t get enough protein (I don’t like milk, I don’t eat much red meat.. I’m a veggies, beans, salad, smoothie and fruit kinda gal)
  • my lung function is fantastic (yay for not smoking!) I met 99%-100% of what was expected
  • my cholesterol level is slightly high (which, even though it’s genetic, it’s very important to me to fix this … healthy heart, healthy body is the goal here!!)

So here I am … can you see all that light pink?  That’s FAT!  All that dark pink, MUSCLE!  I want more dark pink, less light pink

And apparently, according to my eldest daughter I have a small head! (I already knew that thank you!)

All in all, the health and fitness evaluation was very informative!  Now it’s time to GET HEALTHIER!

fat vs muscle vs bone.. BODY COMP SCAN

fat vs muscle vs bone.. BODY COMP SCAN

1 Minute Sit Up Test (Women)

Age 18-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 65+
Excellent >43 >39 >33 >27 >24 >23
Good 37-43 33-39 27-33 22-27 18-24 17-23
Above average 33-36 29-32 23-26 18-21 13-17 14-16
Average 29-32 25-28 19-22 14-17 10-12 11-13
Below Average 25-28 21-24 15-18 10-13 7-9 5-10
Poor 18-24 13-20 7-14 5-9 3-6 2-4
Very Poor <18 <13 <7 <5 <2