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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Be Plant Strong to Thine Ownself

I figured it out. There's a part of me that is hearing my mother's voice...saying something like, "Mind your own business." Or, don't be part of the crowd...if everyone else jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge...would you? (I have often wondered, like if you live in, say, San Francisco, do mothers make reference to the Golden Gate or Oakland-Bay Bridges, like mine did for the Brooklyn Bridge?).

So, it's about seeing others not follow their self-prescribed vegan path, then deviate to animal based food. It has NADA, ZIP, ZERO to do with me, and I only need to focus on my own food choices, food journal entries, etc. What a relief for me. Nothing to worry about, only myself.

And, the next part of this? Well, this is B-I-G. I was chatting with someone and listening to their food choices. I realized that whatever they can handle is their business and not mine. I can't handle all foods, some show no moderation for me. So, I steer clear. If Jane or Susie can eat corn chips with salsa, brava for them. I can't do it. Just can't.

If I have offended anyone with my strong pant-based opinions, I extend an apology. Sometimes, passion wears a disguise.

I'm going to finish my kale smoothie (my dessert), grab a shower. Then, head to bed.

Does this entry all make sense?

Love all. Count your blessings.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Biggest Loser...and a Great Salsa Recipe!

I can't miss the "Biggest Loser," (BL). It is better than any tele-novela I have ever seen. This group seems to have a strong fellowship of love and respect, and that is what really appeals to me this season. It pleases my heart to see such a caring group of people who genuinely care about one another. Other seasons have been so cut throat. Oh, wait, there was Melissa...

Still, I lament that I worry about the food that Koli, Sam, et al, eat. Shay is going to get $1000 per pound from "Subway" for every pound she loses. I am guessing that the "Kale Council" doesn't exactly have the same budget as "Subway," or maybe "Extra" gum. Actually, there isn't even a thing called the "Kale Council." But, if there was, I'd be the CEO.

I just wish that there was a "Plant Strong" version of the Biggest Loser, or that maybe, just maybe, they'd invite Rip Esselstyn to visit the Ranch and do his thang with Bob and Jillian. One week of plant based eating would be the best thing that ever happened at the ranch. The progress of someone like, say, O'Neal, has been wonderful, but, I think his progress would have a higher pitched quality if he were plant based. Just my opinion.

With "Cinco de Mayo" around the "rincon," I thought that I would share a simple recipe for "Pico de Gallo." This phrase translates to "beak/bite of the rooster," and it has a kick to it. Of course, I have added kale to this, very finely minced kale.

"Pico de Gallo"
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, seeded, pulp removed, finely chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced (I like to grate the garlic)
  • 2/3 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, finely diced
  • 4 tablspoons of finely minced kale (you can snip it with shears)
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves
  • 3 or 4 fresh serrano chiles, seeded, very finely chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • salt to taste (if you need it, but who does)
Mix tomatoes, onion, garlic, cucumber, kale, cilantro, chiles. Sprinkle lime juice over all. Add salt to taste. I have a "Chopping Wizard" and it takes two seconds to make this. This is great on rice, in a salad, mixed with corn. It has endless possibilities!

You can make your own tortilla chips by merely cutting corn tortillas into 1/8's. Then, spread them on a cookie sheet and place them in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. No added fat in these and they taste great.

Best if refrigerated, covered, for at least 1 hour, and served the same day made. Makes about 3 cups.

Thanks for the great feedback. Tell your friends to visit me here and share their thoughts. Have a wonderful day.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's Not Always Sunny in Philadelphia...

I don't follow a lunar calendar, but I would guess that there is a full moon or something. Or, maybe, just maybe, the reality of being back in the real world has hit me in the head like a ton of tofu since returning from my Engine 2 Immersion.

What I am feeling is real. Not everyone in the world wants to be vegan. Not everyone wants to avoid eating cholesterol heavy foods. And not everyone gives a hoot about getting healthy. Staying strong. And, while I try, really try, to NOT take the inventory of others, I can't help it.

And really, the world couldn't give a damn about your strong convictions in staying vegan and getting healthier. So, here's what went down.

It's been a special week of fun at work, and there has been more food on parade than there is on the Food Network, and not all of it has been plant strong. I had to preserve my resentment, and I had to be proactive and pack a great plant strong lunch everyday. No biggie, really.

Seeing your vegan pals eat meat is like learning that your best friend's husband is cheating. A friend at work who is vegan, has been snorting meat, cheese, cake, and other foods all week. And the funny part, as I would enter a room, this friend would be in the kitchen eating pizza in record time. Inhaling it, in fact. Through the corner of my eye, I would see the embarrassment, but I realized one thing. You might make the decision for the first bite, but after that, you really have no control...cognitive, affective, or otherwise. That physical SNAP is loud and it hurts. That snap can set you into a tailspin. One is always too many. With that first bite, I am convinced that it is laced with a binge.

Seeing my friend surrender his vegan domain left me feeling isolated. I felt alone. And I felt betrayed. Sounds silly, right? It reinforced, for me, that being vegan is the best thing I have ever done for myself. And in reality, I do not need to be consumed about others and their actions.

I've had a rough week at work. I think I handled all the curve balls well. And, I ducked when I needed to. And, I did not solve the problem with food. I solved it with thought provoking actions, and I tried my best. And I kept my mouth shut, in more ways than one. I didn't eat AND I didn't voice my opinion. My lips were sutured with iron thread.

I am posting a great recipe from the Whole Foods Market website...one that I have tried...and tweaked to suit my favorite flavors (I like freshly grated garlic, what can I say?).

Have a nice day. Continue to breathe deeply and count ALL of your blessings.

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Serves 1

This quick and easy meal is a testament to the satisfaction of a good main course salad and is just one example of how to include healthy, protein-packed beans in a warm-weather menu. It's simple to double this recipe for two, or increase further to serve even more. Maybe it will become the summer potluck dish you're famous for! Serve with pita chips or warm pita bread on the side.


5 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 small zucchini or yellow squash, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
4 pitted black olives, such as Kalamata, halved
2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley
1 tablespoon prepared balsamic vinaigrette or Italian dressing
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Ground black pepper to taste
2 or 3 lettuce leaves, torn into large bite-size pieces


Toss together all ingredients, except lettuce, in a large bowl. Arrange lettuce on a dinner plate and top with bean mixture.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bloomingdale's and Beans...

I can remember as a very young child, seeing the big "B" on Queens Blvd. It was the site of Bloomingdale's and where I got a pair of navy blue PF Flyers. When we went there to shop, my mother or grandmother would make certain that we were nattily attired for the trip, I think we even wore our Sunday best. Far cry from today when people shop in gym attire and eat Cinnabon as they peruse the racks. But, in my mind, I still see the big, cursive letter "B." It is a happy memory.

I am headed to Bloomingdale's tomorrow to do a demo on "Plant Strong" eating. They had called me several weeks ago and wanted to know if I could come and do a demo for Earth Month. Everyone loves Whole Foods Market, but even more so in April. They were thinking cleaning solutions made from scratch. And I was thinking plant strong, carbon footprint, organic food, etc. So tomorrow, I and a colleague are headed there for a two hour class. We are cooking up a plant strong storm with recipes from my new favorite book, "The Engine Two Diet." I love to cook, and I love to teach. And I also love the components to E2. I can now walk the walk, talk the talk, and cook the speak.

What's funny about this is that I went to the Bloomingdale's website to see how they had promoted the class. And they have me listed as a "chef" from Whole Foods Market. I silently laughed, but also thought that my grandfather, who was a master chef and owner of several restaurants in his lifetime, would have been so proud. When other four year olds were playing in the sand box, I was working in the kitchen of Luigi's, his restaurant. So, grandpa would be very proud. I am hardly a chef, but I do love to cook. I especially love to make Italian food, which is hard to do without cheese. However, take a look at this recipe where I have recreated a sausage flavor with beans. I am not a fan of the tofu, nor do I want to eat processed "meat crumbles."

Lentil "Sausage" Recipe

This is really delicious and can be used to make a "meatloaf," lasagne, or anything where beans are kicking a high step of culinary enjoyment.

Make a whole bag of lentils. Cook as the package suggests, but use about 1/4 cup less water. I like to add a bay leaf or two for flavor. When done, as the package recommends, drain, if needed. I prefer to then squeeze the juice of one robust lemon into the lentils. Let them cool. Don't forget to remove the bay leaves.

Once cooled, you can mash them into a coarse paste. I don't like putting this in the food processor, because it looks to "mealy." Now add:

1/4 teaspoon of sea salt (I am not a fan of salt, so you don't even need this)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
5 tablespoons fresh, minced Italian (broadleaf) parsley
4 tablespoons crushed fennel seeds
3 garlic cloves, minced (I grate this on a planer)

Mix well by hand. You can either make them into a "patty" or use it as filler for a casserole, lasagne, etc. If you want, add about 1/2 cup of instant oatmeal to the mixture to use if you want that "veggie burger" like consistency.

If you love being plant strong and also appreciate Italian food, this is a great recipe for the flavor and texture of freshly made, and delicious, Italian food. I wonder how you say "Plant Strong" in Italian?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rocky Balboa Likes Kale (in my mind)...

I took this picture when I was at the red light at the Philadelphia Art Museum yesterday. I spotted the other love of my life, Rocky Balboa. I love him. When "Rocky" came out in 1976, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Brasil. And when the film came to my town, I went to the cinema every night to see this movie of inspiration. Yes, inspiration. There's something about the blaring trumpet's of Bill Conti's theme that makes me want to reach for the stars. The theme music is on my iPod. And, there's something about hearing those mellifluous words, "Yo, Adrian."

I've lived in Philadelphia for more than thirty years, and I embarrass myself when I say, "Yo, Bobby," or "Yo, Jackie." It just comes out. People don't expect a sixty year old to say, "Yo." But, I do. I think I say it with endearment.

But, Rocky is my inspiration to never give up. Anytime I have crossed a finish line of a marathon, Rocky's theme song has been on my iPod (or its precursor, the "Walkman"). When I am on Kelly Drive and doing a workout, I relive scenes from the movie, especially at mile one. I have the miles marked in "Rocky Miles." Sadly, "Rocky Mile" three on Kelly Drive is where Adrian is buried. I know, sad, right?

My real connection with Rocky Balboa (face it, how can you NOT love a guy whose turtles are called "Cuff" and "Link?") is the tenacity required to get healthier. The boldness to be "Plant Strong" and to focus on the daily actions needed to be healthy. In this case, I am determined, like Rocky running up the Art Museum steps, to get thin, and have a body that matches my mind. And, the side effects of being healthier are so rewarding. Nothing to do with smaller sized clothing, it's all about feeling calmer, happier, self-fulfilled...being taken differently by others. Really. I have been so harsh on myself for so long, and I know that the harshness has trickled over into other aspects of my life, and for this, I offer amends.

So, yesterday when I was waving to Rocky's statue (yes, I was, Yo, Rocky!), I was wondering about dinner. What would I make? This is a salsa that is delish, And yes, it has kale in it. It can be your main course.

I think if there was a remake of "Rocky," he'd be making a kale shake instead of eating raw eggs.

Let me know how you like this.

Bean and Kale Salsa

Can of black beans, washed, drained
One cup of fresh tomato, chopped (I actually like mini Heirlooms cut in half)
One avocado, diced
1/2 onion, finely diced
One garlic clove (I grate it on a zester)
1 red pepper diced (you can use any color pepper, I just like red)
One cup of finely minced cilantro
One cup of very finely minced raw kale
Juice of 1-2 lemons or limes

Mix all of the ingredients together, adding the lemon juice, last. Remember to roll the lemon before cutting in half-it'll be much juicier.

You can serve the salsa on whole Romaine Leaves, corn tortillas, steamed collards. Or, on a bed of lettuce.

This is my favorite dish.

I think Rocky would approve and say, "Yo, Charlene..." Live PLANT STRONG.

Thought for the Day:

If there is a "Plant Strong" version of "Pay it Forward," what will you do to help others learn about the benefits of eating foods that are plant based?

Friday, April 9, 2010

SKYPING with Rip Esselstyn...Plant Strong People...

In this picture: J.R. Rudberg, Char Nolan, Abe Heller, Rich Root

What a glorious day.

A few weeks ago, one of my store leaders wrote a reference letter for me, and had remembered that I once told him that I would work for Whole Foods Market for free...that's just how much I love what I do. When lay people ask me what it is that I do at WFM, I tell them this: I am like the mayor of a small village. And since work becomes a community, I guess I am really like a mayor. I do not have any political aspirations, but being the mayor here just suits me fine. Everyday, I feel as though I am riding on the back of a 1957 Chevy just like Nancy Pelosi would do at a community parade. Only, I am not wearing a designer suit and pearls...more like jeans and a WFM vest.

So what juiced me up today?

Today, about fifteen team members assembled to attend a PLANT STRONG POTLUCK (I think I like the word buffet better). Awesome and delicious Plant Strong Food...then, came the entertainment. No dancing girls. No rock stars. Not even a talk show host. Better. Totally better!

We SKYPED with Rip Esselstyn, the author of the "Engine 2 Diet." This guy is something else. Like if you see him on YOU TUBE and watch his videos, you scratch your head and say, "Is this dude for real?" And the answer, hands down, is YES! Rip got introduced to every Team Member, he asked their names, was endearing to some (to Evelyn he said, "Hello Darling" and she's been like a charmed school girl since then), answered questions, all with a genuine heart. Everyone's heart was filled with a dose of Rip's reality and goodness...hard to put into words. Sort of like, you had to be there. Rip is a catalyst for change--he hasn't peaked yet, his work has barely begun.

As my store leader, Abe, said, "This was a home run, we hit it out of the park with Rip." It wasn't just that, it was like a Grand Slam in game seven of the World Series, bottom of the ninth, tied score. We won with Rip. Everyone can win with Rip's program, "The Engine Two Diet." In my head, though, it is the "Engine Two Program" or the "Engine Two Formula." The word diet makes me nervous.

Today, there was another highlight. One of the participants of my "E2 Immersion" came and SURPRISED me. Was it great to see him. His name is J.R. Lovely. Pure. Funny. The father of two young boys. Being Plant Strong should give him the license to enjoy every moment of his children's lives. I noticed in him that being Plant Strong carries no regrets. When I saw him and how differently he looked in three weeks, he said, "Really, you think?" I know, J.R. Seeing him today gave me a slice of our Immersion, and all I could do was smile.

But back to baseball and hitting it out of the park...for me, that is what LIVING PLANT STRONG is doing. If you know someone who is struggling with weight, moodiness, chronic illness, the answer to a cure is in the produce aisle of your local grocery store (which I hope is a Whole Foods Market). When I tell you that my professional dieting career has taken me everywhere, it has. And now, I know that being plant strong is the answer. I used to think that I had a character flaw because I couldn't manage my food. But, now I know that the right foods, like those that are plant strong, are working for me. I am calmer, more relaxed, more energetic. I even feel kinder and more loving.

Before I thank my team members for a great day, I wanted to share a quick story. A shopper whom I have known for years stopped and said, "Hey, how was your Immersion?" And in the middle of our conversation, she stopped talking and said to me, "Oh my God, what are you using on your skin? It is marvelous. Take me to Whole Body and show me!!"

So, I took her to the "Kale Section" and pointed to my new best friend, Kale. I told her to come in 3-4 times a week and pick up some kale. Then, we walked over to the Health Starts Here section, and she bought a copy of the "Engine 2 Diet." I assured her that putting good things in your body was more everlasting than putting good things on your body.

And, so, to the FABULOUS team members at the Whole Foods Market, Devon, THANKS for having our Club Vedge become a reality. We had delicious food. Delicious fun. Delicious conversation...and everyone was touched by the wisdom and valid practice of Rip Esselstyn. To my new friend, J.R. Rudberg, you were a great fit to the Devon Team, and we LOVED having you here with us! Your role as a father has the blue print of a Plant Strong future.

Lastly, my ASTL, Abe Heller is moving on to another store. And, I realized yesterday, that I will really miss him. He is one plant strong leader.

And let's remember the Kale...

If you use a jar of bottled tomato sauce (the fat free WFM 365 organic is best), put it in your blender. Add about a cup of raw kale leaves. Then, blend, blend, blend. In the Vita-Mix, the kale becomes invisible and you have a more nutrient dense sauce to splash on a pizza, pasta, or veggies. Enjoy.

And, a reminder...Count your blessings.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Questions for Natala...What's the Buzz?

I met Natala at my Engine 2 Immersion. Did she ever have a story to tell. Listening to her, I felt like I was Oprah, because I was deeply engrossed in Natala's every word. When she would talk, I would nod my head in understanding, and to affirm that I was listening. Just like my girl, Oprah does. At about five feet tall, this human dynamo, Natala Constantine, has lost about 150 pounds, and she is still shedding, and as she does, she is gaining wisdom and insight. Nice trade-off, Nat.

My Immersion was three weeks ago, and I still feel very Plant Strong/Plant Savvy/Plant Bold/Plant Terrific. Natala sent out a questionnaire today, and I thought I would list my answers here, sort of a cathartic activity for me. And maybe, you'll find something useful for yourself.

Natala's Questions

1. Tell me why you decided to sign up for the Engine 2 Immersion. It signed up for me. We had a choice as to what program we might be able to attend. I had been following "Eat to Live" by Joel Fuhrman, but had also read "Engine 2." At the time, E2 didn't totally appeal to me because it used the word, "diet." I filled out my application, and my great fortune is that I was selected to Engine 2. The BEST thing that ever happened to me (out side of being a wife and mother)

2. What were you expecting from the Immersion? You know, I went with a very open mind and heart. Any Whole Foods Market organized team build, meeting, etc, is always very well planned. So, I knew that it would be structured, fun, informative, and beneficial. I didn't think it would be filled with so much emotion and feeling.

3. What did you think the hardest part would be? That didn't even enter my mind. I'd been plant strong for six months, had lost forty plus pounds, so the word "hard" didn't really enter my mind.

4. What surprised you the most about your experience? Nothing surprised me, either. I had studied the itinerary before hand and had a grasp about the program and its content. Oh,wait...not having TV for a week was going to be difficult, but I quickly learned that not having TV wasn't awful. I had used TV as background noise, what I learned is that TV is really a distraction, even as background noise. Since being back, the TV is only on at certain times.

5. What was the biggest thing you took away from the experience? I ate greens, but not nearly enough. Now, I eat kale, collards, brocolini, chard, etc. three times a day. I did clean my food up a great deal, and knocked out anything processed. I am a very "black and white" person, so eating foods from the ground has suited me best. Eating kale, moving, reading labels, and reversing heart disease were big on my list. The biggest thing, though, was the emotional intensity. The sense that I work for an amazing company, that I have a wonderful life, and that I am really blessed.

6. Did you experience any health changes in that week or since then? Weight loss continues nicely. I looked good on paper, and had no health problems. I have 100 more pounds to lose, so I am just waiting for it to melt off. Oh, I had to get new bras. I went from a size 42DD to a 40D. (I know, it sounds like the answer to an algebra problem).

7. What has it been like to be back home? Well, I got a Vita-Mix, have bought a Tiffin, got lots of containers, and have re-organized my kitchen. I cook plant strong for the everyone, and if my family doesn't like what I have made, they have an option to pay for their own take-out. This week at work, a shopper asked me, "What are you using on your skin? It looks awesome!" So, I took her to the KALE section of produce and said, "This is my new secret!" We laughed.

8. Do you have a favorite meal now? I make a bean salsa in lettuce leaves that I love. I do not, though, have a favorite meal. I cook in batches and keep lots of selections at hand. Oh, and I do enjoy the "Mighty Muffin."

9. How do you think your life has changed because of what you have learned? Simple. I am less harsh on myself. I thought that I had a character flaw because I couldn't manage my food intake. What I know now is that I was making the WRONG selections. I would crave and think about food ALL the time. Now, I am calm about food, no worries. If I had deviated from the eating plan of the day, it would have given me permission to binge. I haven't binged in six months. I think my blood sugar is stabilized and I no longer crave any foods. Living plant strong has balanced out my life.

10. Why should others have hope about being plant strong? Well, I am not sure if those not living plant strong can have hope because they may not be able to surrender what they perceive as "foods I love." My own sense of hope comes from a deep belief that this is the right thing to do, for me. And although someone at work told I was dogmatic about being "plant strong," I do not think that is the case. I learned this week that when people speak ill of something, someone, or a belief, that they are really telling you alot more about themselves.

I am waiting for that day that when I tell someone I am a marathon walker that they say, "WOW!" instead, "You walk marathons?" When that happens, I know I will have reached the mountain top. And in a smaller bra, too!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bye, Bye Betty Crocker Brownies and Hola Frijoles

I've been a maniac in the kitchen. I've been organizing and re-organizing the 100 square feet that is my "studio." Lettuce spinners, mandolins, that Vita-Mix...all need shelf space. Plus, I have several new vegan cook books. And, not enough storage for everything.

I had a recipe for "Black Bean Brownies" and there are several on the Internet, but not all are vegan. Some called for eggs and butter. This one of from my "Engine Two Immersion." I tweaked it a little, and it was still good. You need to think outside the box (of brownie mix), and think about the positives of living PLANT STRONG.

A sidebar here is my strong opinion about the lady on Oprah today...

In 2002 she lost 175 pounds and was the picture of health. Oprah and Bob (Greene) were singing her praises. But, years later, she gained 150 pounds back. She voiced her shame and self-resentment. She kept a wide variety of clothing sizes from a 10-28. I felt a very kindred spirit with her. Her words brought me to tears, because her well chosen words were my unspoken thoughts.

The seduction of food is awful if you are not plant strong. For me, the cleansing of your body through living plant strong is the key to eating better and not being drawn to the ills of "bad" eating, or making the wrong food choices. Really, I thought I had a character flaw because I couldn't manage food, but now, I see that a plant strong way of eating removes any cravings that would normally twirl themselves into my life. A nibble here, and nibble there...and then there would have been the downward spiral in storming through the kitchen. I haven't done that in almost seven months.

Back to the brownies...here you go folks. Oh, but wait, one last thought. And, it has to do with allowing yourself to be plant strong for just 28 days...just 28 days...less than a month. Engine 2 is there for you...take what you want and leave the rest behind. And most of all, believe in yourself and knowing that you have the tools to make this work for you! Something for you, and only you. When was the last time you did something just for yourself?

And now, the BROWNIES. Ta-dum...

One can of black beans, drained and rinsed well
1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup of water
1 T of vanilla extract (the pure stuff)
1/2 cup of date sugar or date paste (about 6 dates, pureed will also do)

Put these in your blender and go, go, go! You'll get a nice paste.


1/2 cup of good quality cacao powder
1 t. of cinnamon
1/2 of instant oatmeal
2 T of instant espresso coffee (I used Roma, a cereal "coffee," and it worked fine)

Grind this into a nice powder. Add 1 t. of baking powder.

Mix the dry and wet together by hand. Do not over mix.

Get a piece of parchment paper and line a square pan. Pour the batter in. Garnish with ground walnuts. Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 45 minutes. You can tell they're done when there is no "bounce-back." Let cool. Remove from pan, and cut into squares. Store in an air-tight container. I ran a "calorie" count on these on Spark People, and they calculate at about 80 calories each.

You'll eat one and say, "This is good." One will be enough, you will feel full, these babies are so rich in fiber. Really, they're good. And the next time we are invited somewhere, I am taking these as my dessert contribution.

Thought of the Day: Get honest with your relationship with conventional foods...then, seek the vistas in living plant strong. You will feel better, so much better. Spread the word...eat a vegan brownie. Give yourself 28 days to test drive a plant strong life, too.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Kale, Kale, The Gang's All Here

Earlier this week, I ventured out to visit an MD whose practice is based on nutritional sciences. It was an interesting visit and a mixture of the allopathic world meeting nutrition. One of the tests that the doctor carried out was measuring the amount of phytochemicals in my body. Anything above 70,000 was considered excellent. So, as I put my hand over the machine (it seemed very Star Wars to me), you could see the machine recording. I was rooting for the kale measure in my body to put me into the Olympic Zone. I was hoping for a gold medal.

Finally, the machine finishes measuring, and I score a 75,000! What it said to me was that K-A-L-E, one of the richest nutrient dense foods was doing its "thang." Kale has gotten a bad rap, for years, it was a garnish, along with a wedge of fresh pineapple, say, on a deli platter. And, now, it has the premiere spot on my dish, the spotlight, the center stage. My new favorite food. I mix it in salads, put it into everything, even put it in my oatmeal! And, I love it.

Perhaps you are new to kale. And a great way to "get into it" is to shake your groove thing and make a Kale Shake. Here are two (2) different types of Kale Shakes...try them both.

By the way, the easiest way to make your shake portable is to use an old 32 ounce glass jar. You recycle, reuse, and the shake just seems to taste better in glass. Really.

Kale and Banana Shake

8 ounces of Almond Milk (unsweetened)
One very ripened frozen banana
One cup of kale (any kind)

I keep bananas in the freezer so that when I make them into a shake, a thickness is created from the frozen banana. Just throw everything into your blender, and blend until the kale is almost invisible. You'll have a beautiful and healthy green shake.

Kale and Carrot/Orange Juice Smoothie

Four ounces, each, of Carrot and Orange Juices
1/2 frozen banana
One cup of kale (any kind)

Throw everything into your blender. Blend until super smooth. This is VERY refreshing.

Tip of the Day: It's easier to smile and say "yes" to someone, even if you do not agree with them. Saves loads of energy, and you'll feel better, really. Go eat some Kale!