Do you ever meet or read about someone that just seems really awesome? My person right now is this Friday’s For The Love of Kale feature, Lauren from The Holy Kale. We both have moms that introduced us to a healthy foods and eating as young children so kale was just always around. Plus Lauren is a nutritionist, which was always the job I wanted, but I was too afraid of taking chemistry and math courses to satisfy the requirements. But Lauren did it and now is a successful nutritionist, guiding people in their quest for a healthy lifestyle. This girl just rocks and The Holy Kale is something to check out. Enjoy and bon week-end!
Describe what kale tastes like in one sentence.
It is definitely bitter with a tang – a bit of a cross between collard greens and asparagus.
When did you first try kale? How was it prepared? What did you think?
Wow, now this is a question I have never been asked before! When was the first time I tried kale… to be honest, I cannot even think of it! I grew up in a household where my mother made all of our baby food from scratch, and we only really shopped at an organic co-op, so I can only imagine I was quite young when I first tried it.
While I will say that kale is an acquired taste, once you get hooked there is nothing you do not want to throw kale into! Soups, salads, smoothies, pastas, and homemade crackers… my little cousins even love it with chocolate!
What is your favorite way to eat kale?
My favorite way to eat kale is massaged and seasoned for the base of a salad. Instead of choosing the typical romaine or iceberg lettuce, I use kale as my greens, and then just throw in whatever vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and dried fruit I have on hand.
If you were going to serve kale to a “kale virgin,” how would you prepare it?
I think that I would throw it into a smoothie. There is a lot skepticism about the taste of kale and how healthy it is, so I think if you can mask the taste for the first time it will allow them to get over the idea that it is going to be green and gross. My favorite recipe is throwing a bunch of curly kale in a blender with a frozen banana, a scoop of almond butter, and blending it with almond milk. Then you cannot forget topping it off with some bee pollen! There is no way they will taste the kale in there!
When did you first start eating and cooking natural, healthy foods? What attracted you to this lifestyle?
Like I mentioned before, I got off to a good start, having my mom cook for me all organic, natural foods, but like all young teenagers that finally have their own money and car, I definitely got off tract for a bit that really steered me towards where I am today.
In my late teens I developed a host of random symptoms such as IBS, hives, chronic brain fog, insomnia and hair loss, that led me to changing my diet in hopes of getting relief. Since the western doctors could never figure out what was wrong with me, I took it upon myself to learn everything there was about nutrition and holistic healing modalities. After a couple years I was able to completely free myself of all my symptoms, and now I lead a healthy and holistic lifestyle in order to feel my best and perform at the highest level possible.
Since you live in the States, where/what is your favorite place to eat?
There are so many amazing places to eat in the States! We are so very lucky to have access to raw, vegetarian and vegan places in almost every city, so eating healthy never seems to be much of an issue. Right now I would say my favorite place to eat it is my local farmers market. Living in Southern California, I am at the epicenter of agriculture, and so I can get almost any type of fresh produce almost year round. But the best part is the vendors that sell homemade foods such as Korean, Mediterranean, Pakistani and Italian cuisine. Every week I head over and try a different type of food, and I am never disappointed! As for the rest of the U.S, I have made a list of my top favorite restaurants that I have tried while traveling the US. You can find the list here.
What do you think will be the next “big thing” in the natural food movement?
I believe the next big thing will be to grow your own food. Right now we are in a crisis where the majority of our food supply is either commercially processed or grown with high amounts of pesticides, antibiotics and hormones, and people are getting sicker and sicker. When you cannot rely on the very food you are eating to nourish you – that is a major problem. So I think people are beginning to see the injustice of the system, and realizing that we can no longer rely on businesses and the government to take care of us. As a result, I believe this awareness will lead us back top taking responsibility of our food supply by growing our own food and only shopping locally at farmers markets.
***Lauren Felts is a certified nutritionist and owner of the health and wellness website, The Holy Kale. As an advocate for inspiring others on their quest for health, Lauren specializes in holistic nutrition, cleansing, toxin-free living and utilizing superfoods for beauty by addressing not only the body, but also the mind and soul. You can find her on her website, facebook,twitter, and pinterest for daily recipes, inspiration and fun health tips.
Thank you so much Lauren for supporting the quest to bring the holy kale to Paris!