{Mindful Monday}: I Don’t Like Kale — Eek!

What should I eat if I don't like kale?Actually, I do like kale but I have many clients who don’t. They often admit this to me within the first five minute of a conversation. It goes something like this: “I have been trying really hard to eat better– but I don’t like kale”. Then this look of failure washes across their face. Conversely, I usually giggle a bit and them give them a hug. Why? Because it is 100% OKAY to not like kale. Loving kale does not win you a healthy eating gold medal. Not even close.

 

Let’s circle back to one of my favorite nutrition recommendations (you can find more in my Conscious Living 101 article):

  • Variety is key. People often ask me, “What is the best vegetable, nut, seed…” and my answer is always the same, there is no ONE superfood. Each food has its own unique nutrient profile and considering a healthy diet is comprised of a diversity of nutrients it’s a good idea to eat a diversity of ingredients!

This goes for kale and really any food that has been perched on a shiny pedestal. I get really annoyed with the concept of superfoods. Why? Let me tell you. Deeming a food super perpetuates the idea that there is a “magical” food that will guarantee your health. Um. This is totally bogus. Plus, when a food becomes super it often becomes expensive. Great– now you have to deal with the added pressure of affording this so called superfood or you will not be healthy!? Insert feelings of failure and guilt. Yay.

In reality, the genesis of a superfood is no more than a  money making marketing tactic.Take an exotic food with a tantalizing backstory–attach to that a health claim along with an absurd price tag–and, consumers will feel the need to buy it. Lots of it. They will also feel the pressure to eat it and fear sickness if they don’t.

I promise– nothing terrible will happen to you if you don’t eat kale, gogi berries or my personal favorite of late…bee pollen (which I hate). I fell into the superfood trap. It happens to the best of us. I saw these beautiful golden morsels sprinkled onto every food bloggers instagram page–and then, like many consumers, I jumped on the band wagon and purchased some. They were not cheap–at all.

I sprinkled some onto my smoothie bowl, on my yogurt and more. They were disgusting. I tried again. Same result. Vomit. I even pawned them off on my assistant because I felt horrible wasting them. No big surprise…she HATED them too. The cynic in me would like to interview every food blogger that uses them to see if they actually eat them or simply like the looks of them in their photographs…hahaha. I bet it’s the latter.

So, back to the kale. Yes, it is good for you. If you like it–eat it. If you don’t, don’t. The nutrients found in kale are in other veggies as well! Maybe you could give spinach, bok choy, romaine or even Swiss chard  a try.

As for all the other “superfoods” –it’s true–they are nutrient dense–but so are most plant based whole foods which are seriously lacking  on our plates. Instead of beating yourself up for not liking kale or any other “healthy” food, shift your focus to the big picture!  For most of us, incorporating any whole food into our diets would be a healthy upgrade. Heck, just eating more vegetables–any kind–and you are moving in the right direction.

Challenge yourself to read beyond the marketing and nutrition headlines. Be gentle on yourself. Keep your intentions simple and create a plate of food that is nourishing and delicious. Life is too short to torture yourself with a food you don’t like–no matter how healthy it is.

Love your life. Every minute of it!

Katie

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