PEPTalks About Super Foods for Superior Health: Kale!

     Get out your toothpicks.  There’s going to be some greens pickin’ going on!  As a motivational speaker on healthy lifestyle, there is never a presentation I do that doesn’t include information on eating leafy greens.  I feel that they are THAT important to our health.  You want me to speak on heart health?  Leafy greens is on the list.  Energy for exercise?  Leafy greens works.  Finding the fun in life?  Leafy greens helps with eye health so we can see fun all around us!  I fit it in by golly.  Here’s why:

There are scores of studies demonstrating that a diet rich in vegetables and fruits reduces the risk of dying from all the Western diseases.  In countries where people eat a pound or more of vegetables and fruits a day, the rate of cancer is half what it is in the United States!  Also, by eating a diet that is primarily plant based, you’ll be consuming far fewer calories, since plant foods (excluding nuts and seeds) are typically less “energy dense” than the other things you eat.  And consuming fewer calories protects against many chronic diseases.

While every single natural food has its own magic cocktail of nutrients that benefit our health, there is one group of vegetables that tops the list for its nutritional density:  LEAFY GREENS.

The ones scoring the highest are Kale, Collards, Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens, Watercress and Parsley.

Second runner-ups are: Spinach, Bok Choy, Swiss Chard, Broccoli Rabe, Chinese or Napa Cabbage and Arugula

Here’s yet another bullet-point list of the reasons why these greens support our health:

  • Antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin (can you say that?) protect against age-related eye diseases.
  • Isothiocyanates – help purge the body of potential carcinogens (cancer causing elements)
  • Apigenin + Luteolin = Neuro-protective properties that may fight diseases like Alzheimer’s
  • Chlorophyll may decrease the risk of liver cancer

I promise I won’t quiz you on the specific names of the multi-syllabic antioxidants but I’ll be willing to bet you can already tell me the diseases that they may help prevent!!!  Liver cancer, Eye diseases and Alzheimer’s.   Are you kidding me???  Of course you will find a way to include any or all of these leafy greens in your diet!!!

A reminder of my previous post that OKs the use of frozen vegetables so you can stock up AND have convenience!

Here’s one of my favorite Kale recipes (that can be used for any of the greens)

1 Bunch Kale, washed and chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

1 tablespoon Tamari (good quality soy sauce)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Throw in the greens and allow to boil until desired degree of tenderness (anywhere from 2 minutes to 12 minutes).  Drain in a colander.  In same pot heat the olive oil.  Add garlic and red pepper flakes and continually stir until garlic starts to turn a light brown around the edges (1 minute).  Add drained kale and toss to coat.  Add Tamari and toss to coat again. Serve immediately.

I love these greens with broiled or grilled fish, boiled or roasted beets, corn on the cob (or cornbread) and sliced vine ripe tomatoes!  (My mom’s from Mosheim, Tennessee!)

Thus endeth my weeks’ worth of PEPTalks about Super Foods for Superior Health.  Even if you are inspired to add ONE of the suggested super foods to your menu I’ll be so pleased.  And so will your body!

In Health,

Polly Pitchford, your motivational speaker who can’t “leaf it alone”!



Motivational Speaker Polly Pitchford didn’t always know the phytochemical benefits of kale, in fact, those words weren’t even in her vocabulary 30 years ago. Neither did she see any reason to do jumping jacks on a cement surface for an hour. But all it took was a chance vegetarian cooking class and some high-energy music to open her eyes upon a whole new world of healthy living. For 30 years Polly has practiced, studied, taught, educated and lived a healthy lifestyle that makes her such a powerful speaker.

Polly’s down-to-Earth and humorous approach mirrors her own lifelong journey to lasting, positive changes. The audience walks away with tangible plans for improving their health and their lives through food, fitness and fun.
To book Motivational Speaker Polly Pitchford, call 941-685-7725 or visit her at

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  1. Polly, this motivational speaker loves spinach but so do my teeth at this age. Have to be careful when I smile :-).

  2. Thanks Polly, I knew that kale was good for me… I just didn’t realize how good. My kids will certainly appreciate your recipe as they’re so bored with consuming their weekly dose of kale blended into their fruit smoothies.

  3. Hey Polly – Frenchie just made me a Kale salad yesterday.  So glad we’re on the same page as you!  Thanks for the important information.

  4. Wowee Zowee.  I do get kale in my diet by doing what Paul suggests, putting it in my smoothies, but for some reason I don’t ever COOK it!  John did a couple of times (sauteed apples and walnuts in it!) but I haven’t.  So thank you!  I WILL do this now!!!!

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