How does time keep flying by and I stay feeling the same? Actually, sometimes I feel young and sometimes I don't. The times when I don't feel so young are when I am not eating right or when I am drinking too much wine or when I don't get enough sleep. This holiday season I was a victim of all three. A victimhah! This was all self induced.
By the time I headed up to Minnesota for Christmas, I felt great! On the road trip up, it was difficult to eat healthy. The restaurants on the interstates are not health conscious. So, I ate chips and dip in the car, nibbled on a few French fries, and ate bagels with cream cheese.
I could feel myself getting heavier with each bite as the days rolled by. We made a quick stop at Sam's Club just as we were getting close to home and I bought the world's largest package of butter. I told Claud, "We'll probably never finish this but I know we need butter and it's the smallest size they have." On the last day, we polished off the last stick. I couldn't believe it. I started to feel like butter. I was turning into a big chunk of butter and it happened so quickly.
Kale drizzled with olive oil
On our way back to Vegas, I thought about the New Year, this article, and resolutions. I wanted my recipe to be an apple.
I'd take a picture of an apple. Then, I would write, "apple. Serves: 1. Time: 1 second. Wash and eat." I felt like I needed to get back to basics and an apple was all I could think of.
Claud told me this wouldn't make a great article.
1 bunch of kale, chopped into one inch pieces
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Juice of half a lemon (or two lemons if you are Daphne)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the kale on a baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the kale. Squeeze on the lemon. Sprinkle everything with salt and pepper. Mix it all together. Place it in the oven for 10 minutes. Then, keep checking it until it is crispy. It is a close call between crispy and burned. So, pay attention.
I felt like the only anecdote to what I had been eating and the way my body felt was to eat fruits and vegetables. I don't even want to worry myself with the weight issue. I just want to feel great. I want too much energy. I want an overabundance of happiness. I know from my experience that when I eat right, I get all of this.
For some reason, when I fit in my clothes, my whole day goes better. I have more confidence every minute. I don't when I have to keep lifting the top of my jeans over my bulgy tummy or keep tugging at my top so it doesn't cling too closely to my belly rolls.
So, my New Year's Resolution is not to concern myself with diets or weight. My resolution is to eat healthy whole foods. I will do my best to find these locally grown and organic. It sort of defeats the purpose if they are covered in chemicals and flown in from Peru.
Furthermore, I read recently that our bodies need to be nourished by the foods that are grown nearby because that is what our body is acclimated to. It makes sense. Whatever climate you are living in is the climate your food should be grown in. Food, because of the pure magic of Mother Nature, is designed to go with your body. We aren't supposed to eat tropical fruit grown in Brazil while our bodies are living in the icy tundra of Minnesota. Tropical fruit is designed to cool us down from the heat of living in the tropics.
This is a challenge for people who live in the Midwest because not much grows nearby in the winter. You just have to be smart and choose the best option. You can choose squashes and root vegetables. You can eat apples because they at least grew nearby not so long ago. Do the best that you can. That's all anyone can do anyway.
If I were to choose a food that I grew to love over the past year and would recommend to anyone to try and learn to love, it is kale. Kale is a staple all across Europe including Denmark, Holland and Sweden. It grows best in colder climates and thrives when grown with a bit of frost. So, it has to be an ideal food for people to eat in the Midwest. Of course, kale is grown all over the United States and I usually find it in the organic section of the store. It is a perfect addition to winter soups and stews. Daphne and I love it best as chips or as it is commonly called, crispy kale. This is by far my favorite way to eat kale.
Just by substituting crispy kale for regular potato chips, you will be doing your body a favor.
In addition to being so tasty, kale is unbelievably nutritious. It is also known as borecole and is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. It belongs to the Brassica family that includes cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Kale's health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K. It really is a food that everyone should incorporate into a weekly routine for the New Year.
There are many different ways to prepare crispy kale. This is a pretty basic version. You can add chili flakes, garlic, and/or paprika. You can get creative and make it according to your taste.
No matter how you make it, you will feel great eating it. I wish you all the happiest and healthiest days for the New Year.