Kale. How many of you actually love kale? And how many of you usually try to mask the presence of kale in a smoothie with lots of sweet yummy fruits? It has a serious flavour that can be rather strong if you are new to kale. If you are a seasoned kale consumer, then you’ve grown accustomed to it’s very green flavour. I happen to love it when it is jazzed up a little but you wouldn’t just find me nibbling on a big branch of it. But I know what’s good for me and I have grown to really love it in the last few years for it’s powerful nutrient content that can change your life if you let it. Anyone that suffers from a calcium deficiency would benefit from a daily dose of kale. It is action packed with nutrients galore. Chlorophyll is one of my faves as it is the blood of plants that closely resembles our blood thus it is most easily assimilated by our cells as the only molecular difference is the nucleus which is magnesium in kale and is iron in our blood. I enjoy kale most in my juices, smoothies and as kale chips but I haven’t played with it as a salad, yet when I am at a healthy restaurant I gravitate to their kale salad concoctions that I always enjoy. So as I was making my kale chips today I thought I’d give something a try, so here I have this delicious idea for you. Kale can be a hearty tough kinda green, but can also be more on the tender side if it is picked young. This Ceasar is great for the curly tough stuff as it will soften up if you let it stand for 10 mins or so. I realized this as I was coating the leaves of my kale chip mixture and was called away from my task. Upon returning I decided to give the mix a taste and it was love at first bite! The Kale Chipotle Caesar Salad was born! So much for the kale chips! I did a small batch of kale and enjoyed a salad as well.
Now are you enjoying this autumn season that is upon us? Or perhaps you are enjoying spring on the other side of the globe-lucky you, I’m a spring baby so I’m envious-though I truly enjoy the show that autumn puts on for us with vivid colours surfacing daily. I’m not a big orange person, but in small doses and especially in nature I really appreciate it’s beauty-like these shiny plump rose hips or intensely bright pumpkins or the yellow-orange maples that are so distracting as I drive the kids to school. Mother nature is pretty amazing.
As much as I love spring, with out fall we wouldn’t have abundant winter kale to enjoy. A friend of mine, Brittany, is a serious kale lover and recently shared a post on her inspiring blog dedicated to kale here. She also shares a link to this wonderful site that is all about kale and it’s cousins, with nutritional info and recipes. Brittany has completely turned her health around (she suffered from painful GI tract issues) with an alkaline lifestyle that I was able to inspire her with and has become very passionate about sharing with others who want to take charge of their health, so take a leap to her site for further inspiration, she’s a great writer.
Take peek at this gorgeous kale below, I snapped this shot with my iPhone at a local community garden-love community gardens-isn’t it gorgeous, and the pretty chard in behind! I love veggies, I really do and I love taking photos of them cuz they are so gorgeous and sooo healthy for you!
The great thing about this Kale Caesar is that’s it’s two recipes in one. If you double it, wash & tear up a load of kale, coat it all, toss most of it in the dehydrator, you will have chips and a salad. Bonus!! I love a regular Caesar salad some days but using kale instead of romaine lettuce significantly increases your nutrient intake, ten fold.
Kale Chipotle Caesar Salad
Yield: Salad for 4
1 very large bunch of curly Kale, or two small
1 cup sunflower seeds (save a few for a garnish if desired)
1/3 cup hemp nuts
1/8 tsp chipotle powder or to you liking-it’s spicy
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves
1 1/4 cups filtered water
1 1/2 tsp agave syrup
1/2 tsp sea salt
Wash and pat dry kale leaves, removing center membrane just up to where it thins out, tearing kale leaf into bite size pieces. Place in a very large bowl. Measure remaining ingredients into blender and combine until creamy and smooth. Pour half the mixture over the kale leaves. Using two spoons or your hands, toss kale to coat, adding remaining mixture and ensuring that leaves are coated in folds and curls,working the mixture thru the leaves really well. Allow to stand for 10 minutes to tenderize the kale leaves. Plate the greens and sprinkle with sunflower seeds if desired.
Chipotle Kale Chips
Place coated kale leaves (I like the leaves to be larger for chips cuz they shrink) on teflex sheets on dehydrator trays and dehydrate for 8 hours or until crisp. Alternatively, set oven on lowest setting and leave door cracked open and dry until crispy, approx 3-4 hrs, but do watch it if this is your first attempt. Store in air tight container or ziploc-and then hide them for movie night!
As for my studies at IHN this past week, we wrapped up with the chemicals that surround us, not just in our food as additives and contaminants that I have already outlined here and here but from other manufactured sources that we are hard pressed to eliminate our exposure to unless we really make a concerted effort. If we could just turn the hands of time back to the pre-industrial era we would see that our incident of cancer and many of today’s diseases don’t really exist.
Our final assignment was to find some of the deadliest chemicals that we have present in our home in personal products, cleaning products or other household chemicals perhaps in the garage, or the garden shed. I was most concerned about the things we use every single day from the dishwasher detergent (which contains some of the most lethal chemicals in the entire house) to our personal body care products. In the last 2 years I have been weeding out what I thought were some of the worst offenders, researching with what time I had, thru a sea of info on the internet, often having a difficult time clearly pin pointing the dangers.
My findings for three personal care products are here-
Titanium Dioxide (TD)- found in most liquid make up foundations as a tint to create the colour and hiding aspect of the product. Initially it was considered quite safe for use but it’s changed just a ‘minute’ amount. I mean the molecules have gotten smaller in order perhaps to make a smoother, better product. New nanotechnology or nano ingredients recently made the Titanium Dioxide into smaller particles, meaning perhaps a smoother more appealing finish on our skin. But this means that they can find their way deep into our bodies and cause a multitude of problems from oxidative stress (a malfunction of our immune systems ability to attack and kill pathogens), DNA mutation, serious skin damage or cell toxicity, and produce free radicals or even cell death. All this from an innocent tube of skin tone balancing cream. Who knew? I thought I was fine with TD until embarking on this little research project. Worse yet I discovered that it is also in loose powders, that when ingested while fluffing pretty powder on our cheeks, can become serious irritants to our lungs, and is near impossible to flush from our lungs. Honestly, in the name of beauty who wants to give up our precious face products? Well I do if I can find a suitable replacement, then I’ll feel fine about slathering it on every single day of my life. If I only used it a few times a month I wouldn’t fuss but really it’s a daily thing for most women and sometimes 2-3 times with touch ups thru the day. That’s a lot! I found this company and I am currently testing their products including shampoo, conditioner, cleanser and a foundation. I’ll let you know how I like the products but do check out their site as there is a good chemical data base for researching chemicals that may be in your own personal care products.
Cocomide MEA or monoethanolamine-this is in the Axe body product that my 19 yr old son was using. Marketing of Axe has made it one of the number one chosen body products for his age group cuz “girls love it”! It has a score of 1.4 out of 10 for it’s safety as a body product, pretty bad score huh! It’s cancer proven, cancer linked, has reproductive toxins, is a penetrative agent to your skin (our largest organ) full of many harmful toxins, contains untested chemicals, is a fragrance allergen, contains 2 deadly chemicals- Propylene Glycol & EXT DC Violet 2-a colourant and violates safety standards and has misleading advertising. The Cocomide MEA is hormone disrupting, increases risk of liver and kidney cancer, is corrosive and very harmful if swallowed. I knew Axe had to be bad because of the lingering offensive fragrance but I just about flipped out when I realized how lethal it is.
I also researched a bar of pretty soap that was a gift for my daughter that was unknowingly given as a childrens’ gift but labelled as “not suitable for children” on the reverse in microscopic font that contains unbelievable toxins for children that are also not even suitable for adults. It contained Propylene Glycol which is meant for counter sprays, perhaps to cut grease, not a bar of soap, as it causes liver abnormalities, nausea, headaches, is a central nervous system depressor, and is a cause for kidney damage. This chemical is routinely found in shampoo, soaps, deodorant, detangler, styling mousse, mascara, skin cream, bubble bath, degreasers, and stain removers. And this was a pretty soap that anyone would assume was completely fine to bathe in!!
Now one would hope that our government would “keep us safe” from all these chemicals, don’t you think? Unfortunately, this industry is un-regulated with guidelines for manufacturing corporations that are loosey goosey with suggestions of “use what you only need” to create your product-flabbergasting isn’t it?
This week a rather scary illustration has been revealed to us from a few instructors now, that I feel compelled to share. I too was utterly stunned. You may not believe it and might decide that it’s just a bit too much to digest but here it goes…..eeek…. are you ready???
Company X manufactures chemicals for use as pesticides, herbicides etc. but cannot dispose of the yielding waste chemicals as they are too damaging to the environment- Toluene, Xylene and Benzene. Instead they find a use for them in personal body care products as is or chemically manipulated and have convinced personal care product manufactures that all of these chemicals are useful and need to be in their products. These products cause cancer and Company X knows this, so it will in turn lead to cancer patients needing chemo drugs from their sister Chemical Company! Shocking or what!
And to top it all off, much of the funds that are raised by sincere people wanting to cure cancer are forwarded to sister Chemical Company for drug research and development (R&D) which gives the corporation more money to to create and produce chemo drugs, so essentially WE who donate are paying for the drugs since the mark up on chemo drugs is something like 300,000 x’s! It’s obscene! I was so incredibly saddened by this since sooo many, many people are passionate about finding and supporting the search for ‘the cure’ after losing a loved one or surviving cancer themselves, it’s therapeutic, since they feel as though they are making a difference by handing over all this money for ‘the cure’. If they only knew the real truth, perhaps they’d spend their time sharing how to prevent cancer in the first place by avoiding chemical exposure and living a healthy lifestyle with whole pure foods. I do not donate to the cure any more for this reason. However, I do understand that there is legitimate study and research happening on cancer itself, it’s patterns, types, what perpetuates it’s growth or stops it’s spread and this is very valuable information but there is very little or no money spent on researching prevention and sharing holistic ways to avoid cancer. It’s people like me and other self motivated individuals writing books on the subject that make up the bodies of influence that are struggling to get the words of truth out to the people. I hope that you too will join the force and share.
Now if this is just too much to swallow, just sit with it for a while and do some of your own digging to see if you can prove this model wrong. Monsanto is one such chemical manufacturer that is in the middle of this entire scheme, and essentially ruling the economies of chemicals, GMO’s, seed distribution, pesticides and herbicides and pharmaceuticals and owns or is a sister company with Eli Lilly, a big pharma drug company. It’s all about the profit and manipulating the public-that’s us! -causing us to become sick and then convincing us-scaring us- to think we can’t survive without cancer treatment drugs and other unnecessary drugs. There are other ways and we can also avoid cancer in the first place if we eliminate all of these darn chemicals that they produce and live healthy lifestyles with pure wholesome food. I know this is a pipe dream for our place in time right now but we have to return to this or our entire species will be wiped out! No amount of chemicals in our food, water, personal products or environment is okay. They are all poison and are slowly killing us all. Of course there are a few big pharma drugs that serve our society and that have saved lives that we should all be grateful for but this is getting out of hand.
Sorry for all the doom and gloom but honestly when I learned this I was down right angry and I feel utterly compelled to share with any of you who are open to seeing the truth in our crazy world. We need to begin changing how we accept and expect that everything is fine and WE won’t get cancer or any other nasty disease from these chemicals cuz there’s enough evidence to prove that we will.
On a lighter note, lets be grateful for where we are in the world today and appreciate the advances that have been helpful to our many lives yet find ways to bring our journey back in alignment with healthy living and a vibrant society here on earth. Choose wisely and be open to learning and sharing as this will create a movement of positive change.
I hope you have a great week and I apologize if I just messed up your day or your mind. Try to be solution oriented versus dwelling and brooding over all that you can’t do and think of what you CAN do.
Here’s a few ideas;
-begin assessing your chemical exposure and replace products with healthier options, go at your own pace
-read labels on any new purchases
-don’t be fooled by ‘green labels’ from companies that also make toxic products, they can’t be trusted
-research before you head to the store, and perhaps shop at a health food store and ask lots of questions
-stop supporting the companies that make toxic products in every department from laundry soap, to paint, to make up and food-everything
-change your mindset to believing that all this IS worth the extra bit of time that it takes, and the extra cost, as your health is seriously at stake
-tell two friends about what you are doing and maybe they’ll tell two more
Talk to you next week:)