The Time To Cleanse is Upon Us!

Yawn, stretch, yawn.  Hibernation is over.  The budding trees outside remind me spring has indeed sprung.  And like earth is doing right now, so should we be doing: CLEANSING!  Cleansing is a dirty, intimidating word to a lot of people that makes them be like:

But I assure you, if you do a cleanse that works with your body, you will discover the absolute necessity of cleansing throughout the year, (ideally quarterly).

First thing to note when considering a cleanse: THERE IS NO RIGHT CLEANSE FOR EVERYONE.   The age old cayenne pepper and lemon juice cleanse may be great for some constitutions, while it may kill other constitutions.  So I would choose a cleanse that is suitable to:

  • A) your will-power.  Do not choose a cleanse you know you cannot follow.  This is just setting yourself up for failure. 
  • B) Your lifestyle.  Think realistically about what you can do without completely disrupting your day to day life.  A cleanse will require you to sacrifice a bit of your time and perhaps social events (as most social events revolve around food)  but it’s only for a few weeks of your life.  It’s worth it and you owe it to yourself. 
  • C) Your Current Level of Health.  If you are a health nut already and eat a lot of raw foods, you may want to look at doing a deep colon cleanse using the aide of herbs.  If fruits and veggies are foreign to your diet, a more basic cleanse may be a good way to start. 

Regardless of your current eating patterns your body NEEDS to cleanse.  There are so many benefits to cleansing.  To further convince you to do a cleanse, I will highlight the more catchy reasons:

WEIGHTLOSS   If you follow your cleanse, you will notice pounds dripping off, for two reasons: 1) you won’t be eating junky foods    2)You will be giving your body a break from the hard work of digesting foods like dairy, carbs, processed foods, excess proteins, so it can focus on cleansing and eliminating the built up gunk in your system.  That gunk really packs a punch and can EASILY add an extra 5-15 pounds on the scale.  Once you begin to cleanse, that gunk caked to the sides of your intestinal tract will be released which will aid to weight and inches lost, primarily around the abdominal area.  Have I convinced you that a cleanse is a good idea yet?

ENERGY INCREASE   Just as I demonstrated in the first three words of this entry, people tend to feel sluggish as they come out of their winter hibernation, but are eager to shed their winter “coats”.  A cleanse is a great way to aide this process.  Cleansing will actually give you energy because you will be eating HIGH QUALITY FOODS, and the built up gunk (I suppose I’ll stick with the same, non-technical verbiage) will not be around to weigh you down.   REMEMBER:  it is possible to have long lasting energy without eating breads and animal products, both of which should be avoided while on any decent cleanse. 

DISEASE PREVENTION  Cancer, Candida, Hypo/hyperthyroidism, specific organ diseases, diverticulitis, allergies, Celiac, IBS are all diseases/conditions caused by poor digestion, caused by the standard American diet.   Just like teeth, our bodies produce plaque/mucus when we eat, as a defense mechanism to protect itself from chemicals, unnatural ingredients in our food.  There are over  12 organs involved in the digestion process, all with an estimated surface area to be the size of a football field!   That’s a lot of organs exposed to the foods we eat, both good and bad.   Cleansing allows your body to catch up on digestion, and clean the mucussey-hard to reach places inside the digestive tract where diseases like the ones listed above thrive.  Plaque/mucus build up is the perfect breeding ground for disease.  Similar to our teeth, we should schedule cleanings every 3-6 months for our bodies.  It only makes sense.

If you are unsure which cleanse you want to try, or don’t want to take the time to look around, might I offer a suggestion? 

For two weeks eat a diet composed only of fruits and veggies. This is not meant to be a two week period of starvation.  You should feel full at the end of every meal.  Your day should go something like this:

  • Eat as many fruits as you need to feel full throughout the morning.
  • Enjoy a huge DEEP LEAFY GREEN salad for lunch with as many veggies, nuts/seeds as you want
  • If you get the munchies throughout the afternoon, snack on raw almonds, or carrots
  • Eat a huge DEEP LEAFY GREEN salad for dinner with as many veggies, nuts/seeds as you want.
  • If you are craving sweets, figs will be your best friend. They are loaded with natural sugars and fiber.
  • If you’re absolutely dying from cravings and you feel your only options are to fall off your cleanse or eat chocolate, BUY CACAO NIBS

The deep leafy greens such as chard, kale, or spinach will act as a scrub brush throughout your digestive tract and are the best thing to help you rock your cleanse. The more you can eat the better.  DRINK TONS OF WATER  (tons meaning at LEAST 8 cups)

  

THINGS TO AVOID

  • Any beverage except water
  • Breads in any form
  • Pasta
  • Processed food
  • Baked goods
  • Animal Products
  • Dairy
  • Sweets

If you are looking for a deep cleanse, which I would HIGHLY recommend, I would trust no one else besides Vicki Talmage.  She is a life-saver, literally.  She will change your life and help you to view health in a way that you never have before. 

These are the organs associated with the digestive tract

I’m telling you, cleanses are great.  They will improve your health drastically.  Not gonna lie, you’re going to be crabby the first few days because you’ll realize how much you rely on food for entertainment, happiness, or comfort.  But cleansing will let you test your strength.  After the first week, you’ll be feeling pretty good about your health and it may be easy to justify stopping.  Don’t.  Tell yourself good job and keep cleansing.  If you think there’s nothing left to cleanse, keep cleansing.  The longer you can cleanse the better.  You owe it to yourself to at least give it a try.

 

 

PS I apologize for the annoying “text enhance” popups throughout this post.  Thank you WordPress.  Anyone know how to get them to stop?!?!

Kale and Chocolate was Sooooooo Last Season

If you are reading this, congratulations.  You have successfully made your way through the cyber headache of blogs, blogs, and more blogs, and have landed smack dab at the beginning of my second attempted blog.  Why the change?  Why not. Change is good.  I like WordPress, I like to keep things fresh, and most importantly, I wanted to change the name of my blog to reflect my business endeavor: Kale and Cocoa.  So remember: kaleandcocoa.  No more Chocolate.

As for other announcements: be sure to read the post right under this, written by my first ever guest blogger, Natalie, she knows her stuff.

Lastly, Kaleandcocoa is spreading its wings in the small but strong Utah Kale community (even I chuckle when reading that).  KC (me) made a friend at the SLC farmers market, a fellow kale enthusiast, even more so than me: Emily, with the Kale Effect.  Whilst talking at the market, she introduced me to her website, and was even kind enough to quote me on it. In all my honesty I spilled my guts to her by saying: “I love kale. Well actually, I hate kale, but I’m trying to love it.”  It true.  Last week I could hardly stomach kale.  But this week I’m turning over a new leaf…ha!  Kale and I shall be reunited again!  If you are looking for new recipes, the Kale Effect is a great way to find them.

Anyway, that’ll do it for announcements.  Welcome again to my new blog, I’m pretty excited about it.  As always, spread the word. I welcome suggestions, and if you want to email me about health coach sessions and/or anything else relating to this blog, feel free: kristen@kaleandcocoa.com.

Farmers Market Time!

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“I love the rain the most, when it stops”, sings the sultry Joe Purdy.  I couldn’t disagree with him more.  I adore the rain.  However, these rainy days are soon to fly the coop for good.  And we will be left to greet the sunshine and summer solstice with open arms and pale skin. 
When I think of summer, one of the first things that comes to mind, are farmers markets.  I get excited just thinking about the food to be sampled, live music to listen to, jewelry to ogle, and meals to be made from their ingredients!  Utah has an abundance of farmers markets, which have gained quite a bit of momentum in the past five years.  To find one near you, check out this website.
For those of you in the Salt Lake area, the downtown farmers market starts TOMORROW from 8:00-1:00!  So gather  your cash and reusable bags and head on down to enjoy the sunshine, delicious food, and local vendors.  They are held weekly at Pioneer Park: 300 South 300 West, SLC.  Street parking is limited. However there is a parking garage directly across from the park on the west side of the street, that a lot of people overlook.   It’s the building with the large “Parking” sign on the front.
Farmers markets are great for so many reasons:
–           They are fun and entertaining for people of all ages, with great homemade foods, activities for kids, live music, and occasional hoola hooping father-daughter duet
–           They allow us to shop locally, which is a great way to keep our community’s economy  nice and healthy
–           They allow us to eat fresh, locally grown food.  When food is shipped from around the country (or world) it loses both freshness and nutrients, so the closer we are to where our food is grown, the better off we’ll be
–           They give us the opportunity to talk with the growers/farmers face to face and ask questions regarding growing techniques of their produce and/or meat.  This is a great way to foster relationships and help us realize where food actually does come from.  It’s easy to think it just comes from a grocery store.  Talking with people who actually grow food is a great way to get rid of that ignorance
–           They allow us to be involved with our communities, meet new people, and try new things
–           They are a great way to network, whether it’s for recipes, a business venture, gardening tips, crafting, or simply a weekend date, you’ll surely meet someone looking to do the same at a farmers market
–          They are a great way to support local entrepreneurs 
Here’s kind of a guide to what you can expect to see at the markets, depending on the month:
·         May; bedding plants, greens
·         June; strawberries, greens, lettuce, green onions, carrots
·         July; raspberries, tomatoes, assorted veggies
·         August; raspberries, peaches, assorted veggies, corn
·         September; watermelons, cantaloupes; assorted veggies; blackberries
·         October; gourds, squash, late melons, pumpkins, greens
See you all there!

Kale and Chocolate Combined at Last!

 

Since starting this blog, I have been challenged to find a recipe, which combines my two favorite ingredients to form something nummy.  I am pleased to say I have done just that:
I can’t say the idea came straight from my own culinary creative mind.  Rather, I was recently inspired while perusing a cookbook published by one of my all time favorite actresses, Gwyneth Paltrow.  As it turns out she is a zealous kale fan as well (which in discovering, only increased my level of nerdy fan-ness, first nurtured by her performance in Emma).
In the book I was pleased to find a handful of kale recipes, including a simple recipe for kale chips.  I have to admit, I did a double take at the thought of this.  But at second glance,  I was pleasantly surprised with the idea: a homemade, healthy, preservative-free, chip!  This is a GREAT recipe to help cut calories that are usually wasted on normal potato chips.  The best part?  You can actually pronounce all of the ingredients in these chips, unlike 80% of packaged chips.  So give it a try.  It’s FAST, CHEAP, EASY, HEALTHY, and DELICIOUS!    Not to mention, this may be the BEST way to introduce your kids and/or spouse, to kale.  It’s something they (and perhaps you) will want to eat as opposed to have to eat.   
KALE CHIPS
Ingredients
1 bunch kale (I like curly kale. It crispifies even better, to give that authentic potato chip crunch)
1 tablespoon olive oil (don’t be too generous otherwise the leaves will become soggy.  No one likes a soggy chip!)
Sea salt, to taste  (If you’re not used to the taste of kale I’d recommend using a seasoning salt/herb mixture to match what your mind says a “chip” should taste like)
1/4 c melted dark chocolate
Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2.  Remove the leaves from the thick stems  and tear into chip size pieces. Wash and completely dry the kale.
3.  Toss kale with olive oil in a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt.
4.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until crisp.
And now for the best part:
5.  Drizzle melted chocolate atop the kale chips. Sprinkle with additional salt, or if you’re feeling particularly spicy, a dash of chili powder.
If you opt to use seasoning salt rather than sea salt, probably best not to drizzle with chocolate.  I’d say either/or, but not both.
Try it, enjoy, and feel free to let me know what you think. 

Happy, Healthy Easter

 

I know it’s over a week past, but this Easter was too great not to share:
Upon arriving home for the holiday, I was greeted by none other than, the East “R” man!! Sure, the Easter bunny may go to most homes, but at my house, the East “R” man comes to visit.
Okay, actually, the East “R” man, fashioned in old fishing waiters, a nice canvas coat, swimming flippers, Coke-bottle glasses,  homemade tootoo, 1990’s ball cap, holiday lights, and kazoo lips, was a Christmas creation by our dear family friends, the Savages.  So in keeping with the tradition of exchanging one of a kind, quality presents, Dad decided to doll up the “R” man, and pay the Savage’s an Easter visit.

Rosie (the puppy) is terrified of him, and was glad to see him go.

 

Easter Basket Coconut cupcakes made
 with cream cheese frosting, dyed coconut,
jelly bellies and coconut milk. 
They tasted even better than they look!

 

A staple of every Child Easter dinner, deviled eggs; compliments of the hens in the backyard.

 

All I can say, is the Easter bunny knows me well. An Easter basket of kale and chocolate! 
Also included in the basket were baby carrots,squash, zucchini, eggplant…..and lots of chocolate of course.
And to end this post with some sort of nutritional advice:
What NOT to eat: PEEPS!!!!

 

What TO eat:  FRUIT!!!!!
                                  Substantial nutritional posts soon to follow!