|January 29, 2013|
I’m a HUGE True Food Kitchen fan: food made with purpose and with intent that goes beyond flavor. Food that’s rich in nutrients and good for you. A good friend of mine that introduced me to this restaurant invited me to go hear Dr. Andrew Weil (the founder of the restaurant) speak. WHAT? How could I turn that down? Plus, he would be available to sign my copy of his cookbook after the show. Bonus points!
He spoke about so many things at this lecture I don’t even know where to start. It’s almost hard to pick and choose what to write about in this post. So I am going to pin point what had the biggest impact on me or what I personally found most interesting (and of course I will share the secret to his Kale Salad recipe).
Not only is Dr. Weil responsible for True Food Kitchen, he also has written numerous books about health and happiness. Many people in today’s society see happiness as being associated with luck or wealth. He believes “contentment is integral fulfillment.” What I took from this was not that we shouldn’t strive to better ourselves and reach for our goals, but to be able to stop and look our own life and say, “I am happy.” Sure, there are a lot of things I want to do and accomplish that I haven’t done yet, but it doesn’t mean I’m not content. Ultimately, being happy and content with your present state will only help you live a better life physically and mentally helping you to achieve those future goals.
During his seminar, he gave us a breathing technique to help with anxiety and stress. I tried it and it really does have a calming effect. It’s recommended to do no more than 4 sets of the exercise in one sitting.
- Place your feet flat on the floor. Back straight. Your tongue should be touching the roof of your mouth.
- Breath in through the nose for 4 seconds
- Hold for 7 seconds
- Breath out through the mouth (forcefully) for 8 seconds
And finally, I know this last part is random but I can’t help but to point this out. Leaving the lecture, one thing I found funny was the amount of people taking the elevator. After listening to an hour or two of Dr. Weil talk about being healthy and eating and exercising and all this good stuff, you would think that there would be an influx of people opting for the stairs…nope. I know our seats were more than a few flights up the stairs but seriously, such an inspiring speech I would think would make more people consider stairs as an option. Especially because going down is always easier than the climb up.
True Food Kitchen’s Kale Salad (with a few modifications)
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, mashed
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- pinch of red pepper chili flakes
- 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- free range organic eggs (optional)
To prepare the kale, wash very thoroughly in cold water. Seriously, wash it good: One time I got kale from a farmer’s market and you know it was freshly picked when there were these little green bugs in there. Completely safe but still, you don’t want to eat those. Then slice the kale along the stem. The stems can be tough to eat so when eating raw kale, it’s normal to omit the stems from the recipe. Slice the leaves in smaller bites to your preference.
In a salad bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and chili flakes. Add the kale and toss until evenly coated. Let the salad sit at room temperature for 10 – 30 minutes. (That’s right! This is the secret. There’s something about the lemon and salt combo that pulls some of the bitterness out of kale according to Dr. Weil.) Then add the grated cheese and toss again. Serve into individual bowls. True Food Kitchen’s recipe calls for 1 tbs of toasted whole wheat bread crumbs which they tossed in with the cheese. I omitted this to be gluten-free friendly and I also try to avoid extra carbs when they can easily be excluded.
Pan fry an egg using some of the leftover salad dressing. I did mine sunny-side-up but you can prepare yours how you choose. Then slide it out of the pan onto your salad. The egg is something I added to the recipe, not served at True Food Kitchen. I personally like salads as a meal and thought it needed some additional protein (and eggs are my favorite). I am sure hard boiled eggs wouldn’t be half bad either if you are taking this as a packed lunch.
1. Kale is low in calories, high in fiber and very low in fat. One cup of kale has only 34 calories, 5% of your daily fiber and 0.5 grams of fat.
2. Kale is high in iron. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health. Iron deficiency is a leading cause of anemia, common in the vegan and vegetarian communities.
3. Kale is filled with Vitamin K and other antioxidants. Vitamin K and antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.
4. Kale is great for cardiovascular support. Adding more kale to your diet can help lower cholesterol levels.
5. Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk.