Blog : Confessions of a Dietitian Nutritionist
Updated: Feb 3
By: Elizabeth Ray MS RDN LD
I have a confession. I am involved in an obsessive love affair with the crispy dark-green leafy vegetable kale. Yes, I admit that IF there are leftovers, I hide those leftovers in the back of my refrigerator with hopes that I can get another bite! Crazy as it sounds, I just can’t get enough sautéed kale. It’s kale season and I think I may have a problem. Sorry, not sorry.
Kale has the reputation of being one of the healthiest foods on the planet! Kale is like the Super-Green of the Vegetable League! I laugh at this Super Man, Justice League analogy but it’s true, kale has super powers to heal and keep you healthy! Some of kale’s super powers include:
Kale is has more vitamin C than an orange thus keeping your immune system strong during cold and flu season.
Kale is high in calcium, magnesium, and other vitamins that keep bones healthy and will out pace a glass of milk when is comes to calcium absorption.
Kale is high in several antioxidants that protect from heart disease, eye degeneration and cancer. These antioxidants also keep our brains functioning optimally and guard against depression (even seasonal depression).
Kale is one of the those super foods that because it is so super healthy, we all just inherently know it is good for us. Again, crazy right?!? It’s like kale even has telepathy powers telling us how wonderful life could be if we just ate it!
A note of consideration about kale, if you are taking a blood thinner, like Coumadin or Warfarin, talk to your doctor before adding kale to your everyday diet. Some adjustments may have to occur to your medication before you can fully enjoy kale.
I have a second confession. My relationship with kale hasn’t always been so great. Yup, now you know, I struggled for years to include kale into my diet. I first started dating kale by adding it to my green leafy salads but found it dense, difficult to chew, and bitter in flavor. However with some time, my taste buds got on board, and I began feeling good about going to dinner (…and breakfast…and lunch) with raw kale. Despite my happiness with eating raw kale at any meal, I couldn’t figure out how to cook it and enjoy it. I struggled to find a recipe for cooked kale, and it was embarrassing because I am suppose to a ‘food know-it-all,’ right?!?
My last confession, and probably my most painful confession, I am not a perfect eater. Wow, it feels good say it and for you to know; a dose of vulnerability and transparency are almost as healthy as kale, right?! As a nutrition professional, I strive to be a better eater to stay healthy and reflect a healthy example but I am far from righteousness via eating. I have found that the road to better eating involves some research, lots of courage, and sometimes a little help from our friends.
For example, the kale recipe I enjoy several times a week came from a dear friend, Ivy Jones. You see, I had been searching various recipes for sautéed kale but didn’t have the courage to try one. Then one day, my friend invited me for dinner and she prepared sautéed kale. I watched her intently with hopes to finally find a break through and when it was time to eat I was hooked! It was like she took my hand to gently walk me through the entire wonderful process!
The lessons I learned from my kale journey: we are all picky kids whom won’t eat their vegetables. We know they are good for us, but for some reason we avoid. Perhaps a boost of courage is needed. Or perhaps inspiration from a new recipe will help take you a step forward. Another titbit about kale that may help, kale is super cheap! Yep, it’s only $1-2 per bundle (based on organic kale from grocery and/or Farmer’s Market)! Vitamins can’t even compete with the nutrition density per price of kale!
Kale is calling for you, so take the leap! Enjoy sautéed kale by it self, or use it as a meal staple. For instance, sautéed kale is a fantastic base for main course meat or meat alternative (for vegans or vegetarians). Think of it like the bread, noodles or rice for your favorite burger, fish, stir fry, etc. Kale also pairs nicely with other vegetables of the season, like roasted sweet potatoes and butternut squash. My plates bring sunshine to my day. May your plates bring you sunshine as well, my friend!
If you are looking for a delicious kale recipe, check out mine!
Elizabeth Ray, MS RDN LD works as a registered dietitian nutritionist helping people improve their relationship with food and with themselves. Her Instagram handle is @wholefoodbeliever, and she can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/e3trition. Elizabeth has also has a blog at https://www.wholefoodbeliever.net
For your information only. The statements on this website and/or in this article are opinions. This article/Wholefoodbeliever/#farmersmarketRDN does not provided medical or nutritional advise, treatment, or diagnosis.
This article was created by Elizabeth Ray. If you decide to use the recipe and/or ideas, please give Elizabeth Ray of Wholefoodbeliever & #farmersmarketRDN credit. Thank you!