Archive / Healthy Living

Happy National Kale Day!

WTK with Asulia brand

Seems like Kale’s been in our lives forever! It’s hard to imagine, but there was life before kale (“B.K.”). We didn’t try to put other leafy green vegetables in everything–we kept our lettuce strictly in the salad bowl, not in our nail polish, donuts, or soda just to name a few odd finds. Take romaine lettuce, for instance: its high water content and crunchy texture makes it a great lettuce for almost any salad, but baking it into a chip isn’t an option. No one was running to blend romaine into cocktails or desperately trying to add it to sauces, spreads, or soups. Another example: arugula is delicious, but it has a slightly bitter and spicy taste which rules it out of even the most creative dessert recipes (see: kale fudge pops–they’re definitely a thing).

The rise of kale has other vegetables seeing green, so much so that Portlandia filmed an episode on the “Celery Incident”. Steve Buscemi’s character paces restlessly across his living room after stammering to come up with fresh celery ideas at a board meeting of successful vegetable salesmen (heirloom tomatoes, brussel sprouts)–”WHY DON’T PEOPLE LIKE CELERY?” He bellows, throwing the bunch of fibrous stalks he has in his hands on the floor and sinking down in a helpless heap.

Which brings us to life after kale (“A.K.”), or are we really A.K.? Everywhere we look, we still seem to be under this superfood’s super spell. It’s in our lemonade, our guacamole, even our waffles! We don’t see other vegetable superfoods being put in the national spotlight–artichokes aren’t making their way onto t-shirts and tote bags, pureed broccoli isn’t being served up with a swizzle stick. No, it seems kale is here to stay and I, for one, welcome our nutrient-dense, leafy overlord.

Though kale has been grown for over 2000 years, its mindboggling popularity in the U.S. and its many devotees has been a relatively recent development. Talk about rags to riches: despite packing 134% of your daily Vitamin C needs, 684% of your daily Vitamin K needs, and 204% of your Vitamin A needs, for a long time kale’s status in the States was about equal to that of the flimsy, fake, cutout grass you find in supermarket sushi boxes–a forgettable garnish. Before 2013, Pizza Hut was the largest consumer of kale. They used it as decoration for their salad bar! Fast forward to the 2000s and we have kale being the toast of daytime television and celebrity lifestyle blogs–salad has never been so hip.

It’s only natural, with this veggie royalty’s meteoric rise, that we’re celebrating the second annual National Kale Day! The Kale Day team is working towards making the celebration official, but in the meantime, the first Wednesday of October has been set aside to bring awareness to not only how this veggie packs a healthy punch, but also its culinary versatility and ways to build communities around a shared love for this superfood.

Today and always, we ask WTK “Where’s the Kale?” And don’t forget to share your love of kale loud and proud today, whether it’s with #KaleDay2014 on Twitter or making your family and friends some kale dishes they won’t soon forget.

Kale is the new kale.

 

Drink your way to healthy and lean

asulia blog drink your way to healthy and lean

A Simple Detox

You know that sluggish, gross feeling you get when you eat foods that you know are not good for you? I’ve been feeling it recently, even though I’m obsessed with vegetables and eating healthy. I’m constantly running around between events and sometimes find it  hard to eat well. I love all kinds of food and I work in the food world, so it’s hard for me to say no when I’m short on time and there’s food front and center. Especially if it’s free and already ready to eat!

When I feel like this, I know it’s time to clean it up. How am I doing that, you ask? Lemon and apple cider vinegar water. I start my morning with fresh juiced lemon water. I love switching between this and apple cider vinegar water. The taste took me some time to get used to, but now I miss it when I don’t  have it. After you consistently do this for 1-2 weeks, you’ll notice that you’ll feel better, your skin will glow and your appetite is suppressed. I love it so much, I try to drink lemon and apple cider vinegar water everyday now.

While both lemons and apple cider are acidic, they actually help to balance the PH levels in your body. The more alkaline your body is, the more readily it can absorb nutrients, process what we eat and flush out the not so good things. I also have acid reflux and ever since I started my lemon and apple cider vinegar regime, I haven’t any flare ups. This can also help you shed unwanted pounds along with other amazing benefits. I’ve been doing this for the last few weeks, and my fellow startup friends I see regularly at MassChallenge have noticed I look slimmer and my clothes are telling me the same!

I’m bootstrapping a startup. In addition to being simple, this is also economical and budget-friendly. Save money on fancy detox plans and prepackaged juice cleanses and get yourself some lemons and a bottle of  Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, which still has the mother in it. Make sure to gentle shake the bottle before you use it though!

Tips:

  • Apple cider vinegar: Use cold or room temp water with 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Or take a swig straight up without diluting it with water. Just don’t use hot water. The heat will eliminate all the live natural properties of the apple cider vinegar.
  • Lemons: Use a regular lemon or Meyer lemon for a little natural sweetness. Use hot, cold or warm water. I use about ¼ to ½  a lemon for each drink.
  • Keep lemons and a bottle of Bragg’s apple cider at work with you for a quick refresher during the day.
  • Fill up bottles ahead of time and stash them in your fridge so you can grab and go in the morning.

Happy detoxing friends! Stay tuned for more healthy living posts to come.

 

Quick Breakfast Smoothies

Asulia blog quick breakfast smoothies

Photo Sarah Britton

Chances are your mornings are rushed like mine. Whether it’s not remembering if I’ve already shampooed my hair, stuffing last night’s leftovers into a mason jar, or frantically making coffee, there never seems to be enough time in the morning!

If you didn’t start your overnight steel-cut oatmeal  last night (I know I didn’t), you could try something that’s faster to prepare: a breakfast smoothie! Super nutritious, ridiculously easy, surprisingly filling, and requires only two things: a blender and a container you love – I like a glass mason jar.

All smoothies more or less follow the same basic formula (adapted).  You need liquid (i.e. water, juice, almond milk), a textured ‘base’ (i.e. banana, avocado, peanut butter), fruits and/or veggies (fresh or frozen), and extras (spices, oils, grains, sweetener).

Here are some smoothies we love!

Banana Avocado Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk

Place all the ingredients in a blender for about 30 seconds and adjust taste to your liking.

If you don’t have time to use a blender, mash the avocado and banana in a mason jar. You can also add in flaxseed, nuts or differnt seed butters, chia seeds or other.

Banana Bread Super Foods Smoothie

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • ⅓ cup cooked quinoa or buckwheat
  • 1 tablespoon raw walnuts or hemp seeds
  • 2 teaspoon cold-pressed flax oil
  • 1 medjool date, pitted
  • flesh from 1 vanilla bean or ½ teaspoon alcohol-free pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch allspice
  • extra walnuts and ground cinnamon for topping

Place all the ingredients in a blender for about 30 seconds and adjust taste to your liking. Pour into a mason jar and top with additional walnuts and ground cinnamon.

Mojito Smoothie

  • 1 ½ cups nut milk or coconut water
  • 3 Tbsp. hulled hemp seeds
  • ½-1 tsp. spirulina (whatever you can handle)
  • 4 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 dates, pitted
  • handful fresh mint leaves (20-25 leaves)

Place all the ingredients in a blender for about 30 seconds and adjust taste to your liking.

Avocado Kale Superfood Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana, chopped in small chunks
  • 1/2 cup blueberry soy yogurt
  • 1 cup kale (or spinach) leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

Place all the ingredients in a blender for about 30 seconds and adjust taste to your liking.

Sue’s Kale-full Smoothie

  • 1 cup packed, chopped kale
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 1 wedge of lemon
  • 1/2  an apple
  • 1 scoop of original vega or pea protein
  • 1/4 cup mango juice or berries
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp flaxseed