Forever a culprit of modern society’s overbearing influence to be thin, I’ve been on some form of low-carb diet since college. I eat normally for a while, then end up loading up on sugar, regret how that makes me look and feel, and end up eating nothing but protein shakes and salami until my pants fit. I’m not saying this is a responsible way to live. It’s just the pattern that has emerged. One day my son was like “why do you like salads so much” and my response was “it’s complicated.” I don’t want to give my children body image issues by saying “I eat greens not for my health but so I can fit into that tight Michael Kors dress.”
But today, I had enough. I’m so tired of eating grilled vegetables (no carrots or corn! Low glycemic index!) that I just craved things. Strawberries, blueberries, YOGURT. So I dusted off my Vitamix and determined that my body would, in fact, survive the sugar impact of a fruit smoothie with honey. Also, I remembered that I had a bunch of almost-rotten kale in the refrigerator.
I buy kale from time to time when I go the grocery store in the morning, fueled with coffee and optimism, when I think “I’ll make kale chips! My children will love it! I’ll whip up some creamed kale with hatch chilies sprinkled with cheese!” It sounds legitimate at the time, but you must realize I’m drugged on morning happiness and espresso. When the caffeine high recedes I’m like Oh crap. What do I do with all this kale. No one in my family eats it. No one likes it. I get blank stares from my kids followed by “why aren’t we having broccoli” and “what are we having for dessert.”
So I dig this wilted kale from my crisper and decide it will be barely recognizable in my smoothie, the one I’m having with no protein powder, filled with things like DAIRY and FRUIT and ALL THE FORBIDDEN THINGS. I stuff a big wad of this lettuce-like substance in the blender with wild abandon. Because I have this imaginary world that exists, promoted in part by Whole Foods, that says my body is very unhappy with cheese and hummus, and yet fresh salads and things like beets and heirloom tomatoes cause my inner organs to moan with joy. The blood will flow better! The heart will beat longer! The brain cells will fire faster! And when you eat cheeseburgers all your inner organs are depressed as hell and want to just die.
I know this is dumb. I blame Jessica Alba.
So I drink this smoothie filled with three-day old kale, and realize that something keeps sticking in my teeth similar to the texture of homemade paper. I’m concurrently picking out seeds with one hand and bits of green paperkale in the other. I am not sure if my body is all jazzed up about this. My mouth actually whispered “what happened to you eating eggs. I liked the eggs you cook with butter.”
“Whatever, mouth,” I say. “Butter is for losers. It was my brain’s turn, and it choose this strangely viscous papery smoothed-together fruit concoction made with Greek yogurt, because the yogurt from Israel was taken.”
But who are we kidding. Yes the honey and strawberries are nice, but at what cost? I think the moral of this story is to not eat kale. Just walk past it in the grocery store. Do not believe your fake energetic morning voice that says you will roast it with oil and seasoning. Do not think if you put it in your blender it will mesh into the almond milk and become unnoticeable.
Let my story be a lesson to you. Walk away from kale.