Get on the kale train, baby

by: Angelique Hicks

 

Kale, kale everywhere!  Only a few short years ago I didn’t even know what kale was, and quite frankly, I didn’t want to know.  Now this crunchy little guy is all over the place!  Dare I say that I even saw a kale salad on the McDonalds menu???  That is progress!

When my health coach first introduced me to the idea of eating kale,  I was like, awwwwe man…ick.  I was gonna have to force this one down.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a very adventurous eater and usually  I am one to try anything once, but this wasn’t a one time shot she was asking for.  It was a suggestion to add kale into my diet everyday or at least every week.  Seriously??  Why, in all that is good and delicious, would I want to do that?!  Well, let me tell ya….

I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of hearing about people, especially those close to me, coming down with cancer.   Two words: Over. It.  The good news? Kale contains numerous cancer-fighting substances and is loaded with compounds that are believed to have PROTECTIVE effects against cancer.  That’s right, cancer protection in a leaf.  Pretty cool, huh?  I think so.

Kale is THE most nutrient dense food on the planet.  Why is that important?  Most of us are nutrient deficient.  Meaning, we are in the red when it comes to giving our body the proper nutrients to function optimally.  If we aren’t giving our body the necessary items to do it’s thing, the likely hood of disease is higher.  If you want to get into the black, nutritionally speaking, eating kale is a great way to dramatically increase the nutrient content of your diet.

If cancer prevention isn’t enough, kale also aids in weight loss!  Kale is very low in calories, but still provides significant bulk that helps you feel full.  And despite the fact that kale is low in cals, it contains protein and fiber, both considered important nutrients when it comes to losing weight.  A cancer fighter AND a weight loss aid? Kale has it goin on!

But Angelique, how in the heck do I use kale in recipes?  Isn’t it tough and tasteless?  Why, no dear reader, it’s actually neither of those things if prepared properly.  To help you transition into your love of kale, here is a link to my favorite massaged kale caesar salad: http://www.annies-eats.com/2013/04/29/massaged-kale-caesar-salad/.  This is a great recipe that is super easy and amazingly delicious!   This is only a jumping off point though. The possibilities are endless.  You can put kale in your smoothies, soups, salads, stews, eggs, and wraps.  It is versatile and holds up really well in most dishes.

So hop on the kale train and take it for a ride!  You may find that it actually becomes your new favorite vegetable.  I know it did for me!  Toot toot!!

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Gluten free guide to alcohol

by: Ali Brown, RD, LD

 

I like to think of the staff at Feed Your Vitality like a small family. And when someone in your family has a problem, we all band together for a solution. Our problem? We like to enjoy the occasional cocktail (or two… or three), but FYV founder, Ashley Nanney, does not eat gluten. Unfortunately, most types of beer and some spirits are out of the question for her because they are made from ingredients that contain gluten. We simply couldn’t let that stop us, so we did some research and began a hunt for the best gluten free beer and cocktails we could find. We learned a lot of great information that make company parties much more fun! See the results below.

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Spirits
. Most liquor goes through a distillation process that dilutes any gluten that was originally in the product to amounts so small that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers it safe for those with celiac disease! Unfortunately, some people with celiac disease may still experience a reaction when drinking vodka, whiskey or scotch. Luckily for us, Ashley is not a part of those unlucky few. There are also some liquors that do not originate from wheat, and therefore are safe. These include tequila, rum and potato vodka.

Wine. Wine is made from grapes (duh), which are gluten free. Thankfully, wine is safe for all involved. Red wine even has antioxidant properties, which can protect against inflammation (bonus!).

Beer. Heineken is a brand of beer that is available at most bars. Unfortunately, not everyone is the biggest fan of Heineken. For those who prefer a more “classic” beer taste, we have a brand called Omission. They have breweries in Oregon and New Hampshire, but distribute throughout the United States. Omission brews an IPA, Pale Ale and Lager that are all free of gluten.

“Omission beers are brewed just like other great craft beers, with malted barley, hops, water, and yeast. Once the beers are ready for the fermentation tanks, we add a brewing enzyme called Brewers Clarex™ which breaks apart and detoxifies the gluten protein chains. The beers are then packaged in a closed environment to eliminate any cross contamination risk.”

 

As always, if you have celiac disease check the food label to make sure that there is no gluten in any of the alcoholic beverages and/or mixers you choose to drink. And of course, remember to drink responsibly!