Kale? No thanks! I’ll stick to my coffee… 110



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As I gulp down the foul tasting smoothie which reminds me of pulverised green tree frog or toxic algae bloom, I try to ignore more bad news on what is ‘supposedly’ meant to be good for me. For example, kale was the new superfood, until we found out that eaten raw it will build up your oxalic acid intake (which is bad) apparently we are meant to lightly cook it first. If the experts think Im going to lightly steam my kale first at 7am they have another think coming.

So I swallow the stuff, consisting of kale, ginger, turmeric, half a banana, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, almonds, iodine, chia seeds, flax seeds, goji berries, hemp seeds, spirulina and a dollop of coconut oil for good measure. I whizz it all up in the Nutribullet with filtered water and gurgle it down. I do this most mornings, and supposedly I look young, vital and have a spring in my step. The truth is that I’m knackered by 11am and ready for some seriously restorative coffee drinking along with a toxic tim tam.

We hear about these brilliant super foods which will give us energy, longevity and better health, and then a few weeks/months/years later we find out that it is toxic and we shouldn’t be consuming it. Remember when we all went on the low fat bandwagon. It had to be good for us, the ‘experts’ said so, didn’t they? And the experts cant be wrong, can they? And they’re not wrong, that is for the period of time that they are ‘right’ and we all follow them like browns cows. Then suddenly the diet myths are debunked. Margarine is a chemical cocktail of horror, low fat yogurt is made palatable by large amounts of sugar so no wonder I wasn’t loosing any weight.

So we return to good old great tasting butter with relish and the skim milk is out the window. Then I read the next findings, milk is considered to be bad for us and actually leaches the calcium that we need from our bones? Is this true or true for the next few weeks? And then we have the poor old cattle which bring us our steak. Are they grass fed or fed with GMO/chemical laden grain? Apparently the grass fed beasts produce less ‘stressed’ meat. I feel stressed just thinking about it. We are encouraged to eat strange sounding foods like quinoa, gluten free flour and macca powder. Nothing is safe. Even chocolate must be 90% cacao and fair trade derived with no palm oil from deforested palm oil trees and homeless orang-utans.

Free range eggs from chooks that have got their claws and beaks into some dust, insects and grass and looked up to see the sunlight before going off to bed. Sow stall free bacon from pigs that have not been forcibly mated, imported berries that have not been grown in Chinese sewerage, food miles on massive articulated trucks, mercury laden deep sea fish, GMO’s, chemical spraying, organic or local grown, food combining, eek the list just goes on and on. The buzz words become the ‘why bother’ words. Its just all too hard.

Once upon a time we got some veg from the garden or the shops and had spuds, peas, carrots and a few nice grilled chops for dinner. We had some nice ice-cream and jelly for desert and didn’t worry that the tinned fruit came from a BPA lined tin or that the jelly came from horse’s hooves. Our cuppa wasn’t made from organic, unbleached trade aid tea bags and our coffee just came from granules in a jar. Our bread was white and bouncy, and our jam was fruit and berries with a whole lot of white sugar. Cakes were flour, sugar and eggs and we had one slice for afternoon tea as we were all pretty active so didn’t put on weight. Yet insidiously chemical catastrophes have inveigled themselves into our food and when I look at obese young women loading their trollies with soft drink, frozen pizza and convenience foods I admit I am saddened by this as their overweight and undernourished kids listlessly hang from the trolly or squirm with chemical induced energy. Is it too late to get back to sensible, well balanced eating which does not require a degree in chemistry to understand or a bank heist to afford.

Alas, it is all just a bit too hard for this over sixty year old. I will keep drinking the pond slime as it’s a sort of insurance that might stave off some of the ills of ageing, but it’s going to take some restraint to refrain from the flat white and caramel slice which just might be my afternoon tea if I’m lucky.

Karen Jones

Born in New Zealand, Karen now happily lives in the mid-north coast of New South Wales. She retired early due to ill health and now focuses on her love of walking, writing, reading and spending time with her grandchildren. With a degree in writing, Karen became a blogger and book reviewer for Starts at 60, which has enabled her passions to become enjoyable pastimes. Her recipe for bliss is a well made flat white, a friendly cat and a sea view.

  1. Ha ha “pond slime”-makes me feel so much better about ignoring some of the more outrageous dietary advice being promoted on social media.

  2. Absolutely hilarious, so well written, and contains a good dollop of truth. Thanks so much Karen.

  3. M old Nanna lived to 93 and ate a little of what she liked. It kept her fit and health till her last few days. That will do me.

  4. To hell with diets, just eat what you like in moderation, been there done that with the pond slime and it didn’t make me feel any better for it.

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  5. Any dietician worth their salt won’t say “don’t eat that but do eat this”. They’ll say “eat a little more of this and a little less of that”.

  6. Tried Kale once, never again

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    • I agree, disgusting stuff.

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      • Yuk! Tough tasteless. Have you ever seen kale with holes in it? No…… neither have I. Reason being it’s sprayed several times with insecticide, which gradually leaches through the leaves. Washing it doesn’t do much.

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        • I make smoothie with kale (home grown), carrots Apple/grapes/kiwi fruit or what ever other fruit I may have. Plus some seeds etc. with almond or and coconut milk/water. Love it. The protein and fibre keep me going for hours. No sugar highs or lows. I also go along with any and everything in moderation.

  7. Kale is revolting i have been through this i eat as plain asi can veg fruit cereal i am over low fat glutin free and skim milk it all tastes terrible i am sick of everyone tellingme change your diet i think i will go have another coffee

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  8. Cynical me but when you see the interviewee on TV pushing a new super berry is the president of the super berry growers association I am left unconvinced. Put aside the superfoods, eat what you like, genetics, activity and luck often determines your health more than anything that you eat. Just limit all the junk, keep to as natural a food as you can you’ll do just as well as the kale consuming super berry munchers of the world.

  9. mostly your body knows best – there are non toxic light salads and kale that tastes better cooked with spices (not being toxic then) – now and then i drink milk and magnesium cell salt DOES help when you have leg cramps…my husbands grandmother lived to be 96 – she had coffee and coffee cake every day – frikadeller and potatoes – sometimes red cabbage with a lot of sugar…

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    • Stop! Her diet is making me hungry! Love all those foods and intend to continue eating them till the end, just like Mum. She was nearly 89.

    • its all in the genes too sometimes and I say if you cant enjoy life and just don’t over indulge every day, whats it all about anyway…

  10. Kale is wonderful in Colcannon and in one pot savory dishes. Have never ever been tempted to make or consume ‘drinks’ with a zillion ingredients as I love clean, clear flavours. Always run with my dad’s mantra – a little of what you fancy does you good. Am doing well so far!

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