It’s National Kale Day & I’m Training for a Secret Marathon!

One of my favorite dishes: Sautéed kale and scrambled with eggs and black beans, topped with ketchup. All organic—natch!
One of my favorite dishes: Sautéed kale and scrambled eggs with black beans, topped with ketchup. All organic—natch!

What does National Kale Day have to do with marathon training? Honestly, nothing. But if you keep reading, I’m sure I’ll be able to come up with some clever connection.

I’ve been a lazy runner lately. My butt started acting up again this summer, so I didn’t sign up for any fall races, and recently I’ve only been running when I feel like it, usually no more than 3 miles in any given stint. This year, running just hasn’t felt as important to me. Like any relationship, the one I have with running ebbs and flows; there are times of intense passion and moments when I take the love for granted.

When I lived in New York City running was my escape from the stress of work and living with a bazillion people. The 6-mile loop in Central Park served as a refuge, a place where I could feel alone (though I never had the park all to myself—I was living with a bazillion people!). Today, my life appears to be 180-degrees different. I’m often alone. I work from home and set my own schedule, and I’ve never had so much space in my life. There are wide-open parks everywhere in the Bay Area, and Californian’s are so much more relaxed than New Yorkers—no one ever seems to be in a hurry to get anywhere or do anything.

As if I need another marathon medal. OK, most of these belong to Michael K. Farrell… But still. I don’t run for the hardware, I run for the love.
As if I need another race medal. OK, most of these belong to Michael K. Farrell… But still. I don’t run for the hardware, I run for the love.

I still want to get faster, that’s always been my back-of-mind running goal, and I still tend to push myself on those easy 3-milers. But my endurance has really tanked and I want to get that back—I miss the mind space of a long run, and the feeling of accomplishment, so I’ve put myself on a marathon training program. I have my sights set on a race that I haven’t registered for yet, and I’ve decided to “decide later” on whether or not I will actually line up for the start. If I do, it will simply be to complete. I just want to have fun and go long.

Now, back to kale. Part of the reason for the lull in my running relationship has to do with my focus on food lately. After graduating from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition earlier this year, I’ve attempted to gain traction as a health coach. I’ve set up a private practice, read a bazillion books on diets, and started consulting with a start-up (so very Silicon Valley of me!) that’s teaching people how to eat better. I’m so consumed with healthy eating, there are days I forget to make myself lunch. It’s not a surprise that I forget to run, too.

My brain has turned to kale. And while kale seems to be getting more than its 15 minutes of fame, I’m still a big fan of the green stuff and I’m so happy there’s a group of people who love it as much as I do (if not more!).  I hope you all have big plans to celebrate National Kale Day! Be sure to raise a fork to me and wish me well as I train for my secret marathon.

What’s your favorite kale recipe? And what are you training for now?

Greens Are Still Good For You—Just Wash Them First

Take a peek at my produce.
Take a peek at my produce.

There’s a lot of buzz in the health world about a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that finds produce, including leafy vegetables, responsible for making more than 4 million people sick each year. Nutritionists everywhere are concerned this kind of news will scare you away from putting fruits and veggies on your plate.

Listeria, salmonella, norovirus, and e. coli, are all pathogens that can wreak havoc on your digestive track—causing stomach pains, vomiting, gas, diarrhea, and in really severe cases death. They’re worthy of being feared, and they’ve all been found on your favorite fresh foods, including cantaloupe, spinach, and peanuts.

One snapshot inside my refrigerator proves those nutritionists don’t have to worry about me. Still, the thought of spending the night in the bathroom after enjoying a big salad isn’t exactly appealing. So you can imagine my elation upon discovering a super-secret, super-easy way to cut the risk of food-borne illness: Wash everything before it goes into your mouth.

It’s really that simple. Soap up your own hands first. Then take a few minutes to soak and rinse your veggies in cool water. (Even the “pre-washed” stuff!) Wipe them down with a clean cloth and you’re good to go. Now, who wants kale for dinner?

Are you afraid veggies will make you sick? You’re planning to eat them anyway, right?