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What’s up with Kale and Juicing?

Good morning from Lubbock, Texas! I thought I arrived in Hell yesterday, it was so hot. A whopping 100! On June 1st, no less! Keep in mind this comes from someone who lives at 7000 feet where mornings are so cool I have to wear my leggings and a blanket to have my tea outside. Going to be a hot summer here in West Texas!

So a friend sent me this opinion piece from the New York Times the other day: Kale? Juicing? Trouble Ahead. Yikes! Kale is the super star of the veggie lover’s world! What’s up with this? As a Certified Health Coach, I know a lot about Kale and other cruciferous vegetables and their potent health benefits; however, I recently began reading about hypothyroidism and these very vegetables. Seems that there can be some side effects to anything that we over indulge in and Kale is no exception.

cruciferous veggies

So here’s the thing: we are not meant to juice on a regular basis. OMG, did I just say that? I will be crucified by the juicing world, but I believe this to be the truth. When veggies and fruit are turned into juice, depending on the juicer, the results are no fiber or very little remaining in that juice you gulp down. This can leave you hungry in a short time and deprives your body of the work it should be doing to retain the miracle of the vegetables and their wonderful fiber, minerals and vitamins. Also, eating a wide variety of vegetables is always in your best interest because we obtain different vitamins and minerals from each.

Here’s the skinny, , taken from the Oregon State University Micronutrient Information Site, on why the kale and cousins have contributed to the hypothyroidism mentioned in the NYT article:

Very high intakes of cruciferous vegetables…have been found to cause hypothyroidism (insufficient thyroid hormone) in animals (68). There has been one case report of an 88-year-old woman developing severe hypothyroidism and coma following consumption of an estimated 1.0 to 1.5 kg/day of raw bok choy for several months. Two mechanisms have been identified to explain this effect. The hydrolysis of some glucosinolates found in cruciferous vegetables (e.g., progoitrin) may yield a compound known as goitrin, which has been found to interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis. The hydrolysis of another class of glucosinolates, known as indole glucosinolates, results in the release of thiocyanate ions, which can compete with iodine for uptake by the thyroid gland. Increased exposure to thiocyanate ions from cruciferous vegetable consumption or, more commonly, from cigarette smoking, does not appear to increase the risk of hypothyroidism unless accompanied by iodine deficiency. One study in humans found that the consumption of 150 g/day (5 oz/day) of cooked Brussels sprouts for four weeks had no adverse effects on thyroid function.

In other words, the amount you eat has more to do with the results you obtain than the veggies themselves. Don’t make a poison out of your medicine. Here’s what to do:

1: Cook cruciferous veggies. Cooking reduces the goitrogenic compounds found in kale and the other cruciferous vegetables, i.e. broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kohlrabi, mustard, rutabaga, turnips, bok choy and Chinese cabbage.

2: Eat a variety of veggies and don’t juice on a daily basis. Super juicing should be reserved for cases of cancer or other disease where high doses are needed to boost your immune system or for an occasional detox.

3. Be sure and get a daily dose of iodine. Iodized salt was introduced to our diets many years ago to help us avoid hypothyroidism. With the demonization of iodized salt, it’s possible you might be lacking if you eat a vegan diet. Add to your daily diet seaweed and/or iodized salt. 1/4 tsp of iodized salt will provide plenty. Check out this source for more on iodine and veganism.


Kale and it’s cruciferous cousins really are super foods and as long as hypothyroidism is not an issue, it can be eaten on a regular basis. The key, as with all good things, is to not overdo it.

•Kale, with it’s high calcium content, supports strong bones.

•Kale boosts the immune system because it is rich in vitamin C.

•Kale helps protect us against cancer because of it’s antioxidant richness.

•Kale is high in iron for blood and energy levels support.

•Kale is packed with fiber and thus is good for digestion.

WOOHOO! Kale can stay!

Kale on my friends!

If you like this post and want to share the news with others, please share. Thanks!

Peace and Joy!

green smoothie

Breakfast in a rush: Green Smoothie

In last week’s post, I shared with you why breakfast is so important, so this week, I want to give you a few breakfast ideas to get your morning going at top notch energy. Today, a smoothie that will fill you up and fuel you up for a productive start to the day.

green smoothie ingredients

This green drink may seem odd, but it is chock full of vitamins and minerals, and if you are looking for nutrient density, this is a good choice, plus, it’s pretty tasty! I have made smoothies for breakfast for several years now and they have evolved as I’ve learned more and more about nutrition and the way our bodies work. Though not as sweet as a fruit filled smoothie, cutting out the fruit keeps the smoothie from pumping up your blood sugar level and is more evenly dispersed in your blood system to keep you feeling full longer.

Measure 1/2 cup of coconut water and 1/2 cup of coconut milk, almond milk or water into a high powered blender. To this add 1/2 tbs. ground flax seed, 2 large handfuls of baby spinach or a combination of spinach and kale, with the hard center stem removed from the kale. Grate a medium to large carrot and throw this in for a little bit of sweetness. Add a 1/2 – 1 tsp of grated fresh ginger and the juice of a small to medium lemon to really punch up the flavors. Spinach needs just a bit of fat to help it unlock all its nutrients, so add 1/4 of a small avocado or 1/2 tsp of coconut oil. Toss in a peeled cucumber. I use the Persian cucumbers, as they are smallish in size. If using a regular cucumber, 1/2 is probably enough. Throw in some micro greens if available. Blend and enjoy.

LOVE with veggies

If you want to boost your smoothie staying power and nutrient density, I add to my smoothies, 2 scoops of Purium L.O.V.E. This is a vegetable protein powder that is all real food ingredients, no supplements or whey of any kind. This helps boost my smoothie to the next level of staying power and nutrient density. You can check out all Purium products here. I also use Purium Joint Flex for my osteo arthritis and love how well it works, much better than other products I have tried.

grated ginger

Never grated fresh ginger before? Peel the hard woody covering off a piece about an inch or two long. Grate on a small holed grater.

green smoothie

Breakfast is a must for keeping your weight in check and your blood sugar level. Let me know if you have questions about this smoothie. I’ll share some additional recipes Thursday and in the Friday Foodie!


Friday Foodie: Southwestern Massaged Kale Salad


Massaged Kale salads are all over the internet, but I haven’t seen one with a southwestern twist and since New Mexican food is my favorite, I decided to spice up the kale. This is now my all time favorite salad. I can’t get enough of it. And the great thing is, I can make it for dinner and have left overs that last two days. The lime keeps the avocado fresh and the salad just gets tastier. This is a super easy salad to make and I promise, you’ll love it!


I bought this huge bunch of kale at the grocery store. When it is this big, the leaves and stems are tougher, but will work nonetheless. I bought some much smaller, baby kale at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago, and the tender small leaves were incredible. I plan to grow my own, which will go in the ground next week. Looking forward to making this salad all summer long and coming up with other variations.


Remove the center stem all the way up the leaf. Then, on a big heavy leaf like this, remove some of the other larger stems as you tear the leaves into bite size pieces.


Wash the kale and if available, run through a salad spinner to remove any excess water, or pat dry.


I used two avocados when making this, as I had already used a third of the kale earlier in the week. When using a big bunch from the grocery, three avocados is appropriate, and the printed recipe indicates this. When I made a salad from the baby kale I bought at the farmer’s market, I used one avocado. Take a look at your proportions to decide and scale down accordingly.


Mash the avocado, or not. This is a regular potato masher, but works well with avocado. You can just use your hands and not bother with a masher or fork, if preferred. I’ve done this both ways and either works well.

Mix avocado and kale

Now the fun part begins! Massage all that wonderful avocado bliss into the kale. Rub vigorously and keep going till all the avocado, lime, garlic and salt are rubbed in and the kale has broken down in total submission. The leaves will feel softer and smoother.

massaged Kale

The kale will decrease in volume and become tender from the massage. Then add


chopped cilantro and


chopped shallots. I slice mine super thin, then chop them into large pieces. If desired, a finely chopped jalapeno is fantastic in this salad. (I forgot a picture of the jalapeno, sorry!)


Toss all of this together and serve with a few chopped nuts on top. I would prefer pinons (pine nuts) but I was out and used walnuts instead. They were good too!

roasting walnuts

Small batches of chopped nuts are easily toasted in a skillet on the stove top. Keep a close eye on them and shake the pan often, until slightly toasted.

massaged kale salad

And VOILA, the tastiest, healthiest salad on the planet! Enjoy!

Here is the recipe. For a printable copy, click on the title.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Friday Foodie: Southwestern Massaged Kale Salad
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 large salads or 6 small salads
Massaged Kale Salad with a New Mexican Twist
  • One large bunch of fresh kale
  • 2 - 3 small ripe avocados, peeled and chopped or mashed
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • juice of ½ a lime
  • ¼ - ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ c chopped cilantro
  • ½ c chopped shallot
  • 1 small jalapeno, finely chopped (optional)
  • ¼ c chopped nuts or pinons (optional)
  1. Remove center stem from kale and any other large stems. Tear into bite size pieces. Rinse and dry.
  2. In a large bowl place avocado, garlic, lime and salt. Add the torn kale leaves and begin to massage the avocado into the kale. Really work it hard. This breaks down the fibers in the leaves and softens them. When all avocado has been incorporated and the leaves are soft and smoother, add the chopped cilantro, shallots and jalapeno if using. Toss and serve. Sprinkle with toasted nuts. This makes three large salads for a meal or six side salads.
Layers of veggies

Friday Foodie: Quinoa Apple Walnut Salad with Mint

Layers of color before tossing. I seem to have failed to take a final picture, but this gives you the essence of this light, tasty, easy to prepare salad.

Layers of veggies

Start with 1 1/2 cups quinoa, prepared according to package instructions. I made mine in the rice cooker on the white rice setting. I made it a day ahead so it would already be cooled.

Sliced Apples

I used already sliced apples and then simply chopped them up into small, bite size pieces.


The walnuts did not need further chopping.

Frozen Corn

I like this frozen roasted corn, as it is easy to throw into any dish. No need to defrost. By the time the salad is ready to be tossed, the corn will be defrosted. If frozen roasted is unavailable, either roast a cob and remove or use any frozen corn. It does not have to be roasted. Do not use canned.


This celery was in the bottom of the drawer on its last leg, but still crunchy and this salad was a good way to use it up. I cut into long strips, as above, then chop.

Tender Young Kale

This kale is quite young and tender. Avoid the big heavy leaves as they will not be as tender. If that is all that is available, cut the amount to 1/4 cup instead of 1/2 and chop into small pieces.

Red Peppers

Aren’t red peppers just beautiful! I love the color and they always seem so juicy.


This is just a few sprigs of the mint leaves I had. Sadly, kind of blurry. The mint adds the refreshing pop that makes this salad so delicious.

This salad was inspired by a salad I ate at the Flying Star a few weeks ago. I almost didn’t order it, as it sounded like such an odd combination, but it truly is delicious. I dressed the salad with pomegranate balsamic, but I have included a recipe for a pomegranate vinaigrette that could be used. I hope you will give this a try. This salad kept nicely for 4-5 days, so it is a great choice to fix ahead and have ready for a sack lunch. Quinoa provides a protein punch that satiates and keeps you feeling full. This could also be served on a bed of mixed greens. Give it a try and enjoy!

Quinoa Apple Walnut Salad in a Pomegranate Balsamic

1 ½ cups quinoa prepared following package instructions
¾ cup chopped apples (use a tart apple, no need to peel)
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup roasted corn kernels (frozen is fine)
½ cup chopped celery
½ – 1 cup chopped baby kale leaves
½ cup chopped red pepper
½ cup chopped mint leaves (or less if preferred)
¼ cup Pomegranate Balsamic

Place all ingredients, except balsamic, in a large salad bowl. Toss until well combined. Pour balsamic across salad and toss until ingredients are moistened.

The mint and apples make this a refreshing salad. This salad could also be dressed with a:

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

1 cup of POM or other 100% pomegranate juice (read the label)
½  tsp of sugar
½ tsp of salt
2 tsps high quality balsamic
1 tsp high quality olive oil (optional)

Bring the juice to a boil. Turn down heat and reduce the liquid to about 1/3 – ½ cup. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining ingredients until sugar and salt are dissolved. Allow to cool. Dress salad with desired amount.

Recipe by Jane Thompson