Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Kale Smoothies Baby!

Back on the first day of the year, I set my intention to embrace food. We started our day with a smoothie -- nothing like drinking your greens! And eating them too... spinach and chard in our smoothies and salads. Nutritious eats. Delicious eats. But it wasn't long before the high oxolate foods (swiss chard being the worst at 645mg and spinach at 600mg) caught up to my already-prone-to-kidney-stone kidneys. Ugh. So my motivation to eat healthy waned... and I nixed the greens, lost sight of almost all vegetables and fell back into the habit of sugar. Horrible for the rest of my body, but not a high oxalate food. And then came the dark chocolate (daily) and suddenly I'm not only not eating well (because I was avoiding those high oxalate foods) but now I'm not eating well and eating high oxalate foods (chocolate 117mg).

And to give a little bit of perspective: 
'Very high oxalate food' contains more than 90-800mg. 
'High oxalate foods' contain between 26-99mg. 
'Moderate oxalate foods' contain between 10-25mg.
'Low oxalate foods' contain between 0-9mg. 

I have to say it is extremely frustrating when you try to do something healthy and then your body backfires on you. And it sucks even worse to look at a chart that says:

Beets, Chard, Spinach, Almonds, Rhubarb = the worst

Brown rice flour = bad.                              White bread = good.
Granola = bad.                                            Apple Jacks and Frosted Flakes = good.
Lentil Potato Soup = bad.                           Cheese soup = good.
Black Pepper = bad.                                   Corn Syrup = good.
Cinnamon = bad.                                        Ketchup = good.
Tea (black or gren) = bad.                          Pepsi = good. Coca-cola even better.

Right now, I only crave those foods which are bad for my kidneys. But it's due time I get over this bump. There are nutritious and delicious foods I can eat - some of which include: asparagus, avocados, broccoli, cherries, melons, mangos, peaches, fish, eggs, cheese, and most herbal teas. I need to do a bit of detox in my gut as well as the fridge and pantry. I'm back at the gym 3-5 days a week and that feels great. But it's time to quit being punched in the gut by dumb charts and figure out good, healthy, low (to medium) oxalate foods that I can eat and feel good about.  I'm also seeing a holistic nutritionist to help guide me through the process.

So I started with a kale/berry smoothie. Avi loves the blender and it's an easy no stress kitchen adventure we can do together. Kale is moderate at 13mg and so are the berries you see below but they are worth it if I don't overdue it. I can't drink a kale/berry smoothie every morning, but I can once in a while. Any of you have ideas for a green smoothie that is also good for the kidneys?

1 cup strawberries
1 cup blackberries
the rest of the blueberries in the fridge
1 avocado
a bunch of kale from the garden
1 Tbsp flaxseed (we keep ours in the freezer to retain freshness)
1 Tbsp hemp protein
one hungry boy who wants to help!
add ingredients into blender, add water (we fill 1/2 way)
blend, pour, enjoy!!

Avi wanted his in a bowl... and eventually wanted it topped with granola. Check out the first bite (clean pj shirt) to last bite (can you say bath after breakfast?)!!


  1. He enjoyed it with such gusto! I'll have to ask my sister if she know of any green smoothies. She sees a wonderful naturopathic dietician, so she might have some ideas.

    How's work going?

    1. Melissa,

      thanks... he does love his smoothies!! and thanks for the reminder that I need to post about work. but know that it's going well. a good balance.

  2. he is so happy eating that up.
    i had no idea about the oxalate. that is crazy.
    so you put avocado in your smoothie. hmmm sounds interesting. i might have to try that out. i usually put chard, kale and spinach in my smoothies with some sort of fruit and water. sometimes chai seeds as well. i might start adding the avocado. :)

    1. Yes... the avocado is great. and it's a great way to use up the 1/2 of avocado that is browning on the counter. :) let me know what you think.

  3. Awe, love it that Avi enjoys his smoothies so much. Glad to hear you are taking care of yourself, good luck with the nutritionist :)

    1. You were my inspiration. I think if canada and colorado were any closer, I'd be coming to see you!! :)



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