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I first learned about “blended salad” from Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  If you don’t know who Dr. Fuhrman is, be sure to click the link!  In my opinion, his book “Eat to Live” is one of the best books on nutrition.  I love his “nutritarian” approach to health.  It’s all about nutrient density.

A blended salad is basically another type of green smoothie.  My morning green smoothie contains a lot of fruit.  My evening blended salad contains mostly vegetables.

Here’s what I put in my blended salad last night (serves 2):

Parsley, spinach, zucchini, carrot, cucumber, apple, red pepper and lemon juice (frozen).

Blended Salad Ingredients - IMG_2216

PREPARATION

These are tips for preparing lots of vegetables ahead of time.  This cuts down on the amount of work involved.  If it’s too much work, then you probably won’t make blended salads regularly.  Not good!

1.  Buy several bunches of parsley.  Discard the thickest stems. (I don’t need that much fiber!)  Rinse, spin dry, and freeze on parchment paper.  Store in a freezer container.

2.  Have dark leafy greens in your fridge at ALL times.  Rotate through kale, spinach, chard, collards, etc.  Rinse the leaves and remove the tough stem.  Most of the time I throw the stem away, but sometimes I mince it up for soup.

3.  Buy a large variety of vegetables and apples.  Wash, chop (2″ pieces) and freeze most of it.  Always save some of everything for the fridge.  Don’t forget about tomatoes, celery, and avocado.  Keep the tomatoes and avocado fresh.

4.  Use a citrus reamer to juice a whole bunch of lemons at once.  Freeze the juice in ice cube trays.

5.  If you have a juicer, you can also juice some of the vegetables and freeze the juice in ice cube trays.  Using some vegetable juice instead of all whole veggies will cut down on some of the fiber (if getting too much fiber is an issue.)  Save your carrot pulp for other uses (like these muffins).

5.  Blend everything in a high-powered blender like a Vitamix.  Add at least a cup of water per serving.

Blended Salad - IMG_2218

It’s interesting to read nutrition charts showing the percentage of protein, carbohydrate, and fat found in fruits and vegetables.  People are surprised to learn that fruits contain protein and vegetables contain fat.

Please repeat after me:

ALL PLANTS CONTAIN PROTEIN.

PARSLEY:  27% protein, 57% carb, 16% fat

SPINACH:  39% protein, 49% carb, 12% fat

ZUCCHINI:  25% protein, 67% carb, 8% fat

CARROT:  8% protein, 87% carb, 5% fat

CUCUMBER:  19% protein, 69% carb, 12% fat

APPLE:  2% protein, 95% carb, 3% fat

RED PEPPER:  13% protein, 78% carb, 9% fat

LEMON:  7% protein, 90% carb, 3% fat

(Protein, carb, and fat percentages are from the book, “Becoming Raw:  The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets,” by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina.  This is another excellent book on nutrition.  You don’t need to be “raw” to read it.)

Happy blending!

Smiling Veg - IMG_9118

Every day that I go to work, I nearly go crazy…and here’s why…

Chicken Lasagna with Creamy White Sauce

The food. Nursing home food. It’s the same everywhere, so I‘m not picking on my employer. In my 15-year career as an Occupational Therapist, I’ve worked in at least a couple dozen Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF).  Hospital food is no different- I’ve worked in plenty of them, too.

The food at all of these places for sick and functionally impaired folks is abysmal.  Can we really call it food?  Make no mistake- this is a system-wide “healthcare” (i.e.- “keep you sick”) problem.  Shall we thank our government and the USDA?

Here is an average diagnosis list for the typical patient I see in rehabilitation every day:  HTN (high blood pressure), Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), CAD (coronary artery disease), DM (diabetes), OA (osteoarthritis), and dementia.

Many have a history of CVA (stroke) and/or cancer.  Also, recurrent “antibiotic resistant” urinary tract infections are all too common ( MRSA – Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus).

This week I met a relatively rare specimen.  She’s a “younger” woman (i.e. 70 years old) who fractured her leg while pruning a garden tree.  She said to me, “I eat organic.  I juice my vegetables.  I eat kale.”  She was “horrified” (her words) to have been served a hot dog and french fries for dinner on her first evening (with cake for dessert!)  I truly felt her pain.

Now, let’s say you were admitted to the SNF with a CABG x 4 (a four-vessel Coronary Artery Bypass Graft) at mid-morning that same day.  What did your nurse’s aide bring you for lunch?

“Beef Pot Roast, Baked Potato with Sour Cream, Green Beans and Strawberry Bavarian Cream with Whipped Topping.”

Translation?

Lunch:  beef, white potato, dairy, vegetable, white flour, sugar/HFCS, and oil/trans fats.

Dinner:  high-sodium/high-fat/high-Nitrite animal trimmings, fried white potato, refined flour, and refined sugar.

The menu comes from “Dietician Consulting Service.”  I guess these would be the Dieticians who promote chronic illness and death?  Gee whiz, I must be naive to assume that a Dietician’s JOB is to develop menu plans with good nutrition.

I still have a menu from last summer, when the residents/patients were served grilled cheeseburger, french fries, and a root beer float for lunch, and then 3-cheese macaroni and cheese, peas, dinner roll with margarine, and an ice cream bar for dinner.  I kid you not!

Can you believe that the daily meal plans consist primarily of meat, dairy, refined flour, white potatoes, refined sugar, unhealthy fats, and a very little vegetative matter?  This is a healthy, balanced diet?

Not according to my lady patient with the lower leg cast.  She must go out of her way to secure her own nourishing food.  Your new coronary artery graft doesn’t have a prayer.  There’s a very good chance you’ll become “vegetative” if you eat these non-nutritive substances.

Got fiber?  Nope.  Add your pain medications into the mix, and you’ve got some serious constipation.  (No problem- you can rely on Milk of Magnesia, enemas, and/or manual fecal extraction.)

Veggies- WHERE ARE YOU?!?

The “Dietician Consulting Service” menu is devoid of nutrient density.  It’s critically low in whole fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, beans, whole grains, and nuts/seeds. It’s critically low in fiber, phytochemicals (“phyto” means plant), anti-oxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds. It’s disease-promoting and death-promoting.

I haven’t even mentioned the fact that the animals eaten every morning, noon and evening of every day, of every week, for every meal on this menu come from the worst of the very worst of the Hell holes called factory farms.

Now…are you surprised that going to work makes me nearly go crazy?

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

“Every time you purchase animal products you pay assassins to murder sentient beings for you.”

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"My purpose is not to offend you, it is to provoke you to think." Unknown

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