Welcome to the United States of Kale, otherwise known as “The Land of the Leafy Green”, which is nowhere near free. Let’s take a moment to bow our heads in silence to pay tribute to The Golden State, Kaleafornia, for pulling the ultimate EUREKA! by resurrecting this prehistoric superfood and making it a staple of US patriotism. If it wasn’t for Kaleafornia, Gwyneth Paltrow, sweatshirts, and the millions of filtered and fabricated Instagram photos endorsing this cruciferous, our country would be deprived of the 7 Wonders of the Kale World – a world consisting of dark, bitter, stiff, pungent, earthy, tough, chewiness.
COULD YOU IMAGINE A LIFE WITHOUT THAT?
As kale became popular, health became popular; and I’ve got one thing to say – IT’S ABOUT FUCKING TIME.
I was lucky to spend the majority of my 20’s in health conscious San Francisco, where fast food chain restaurants virtually did not exist. For the very few that did exist…well, do yourself a favor and stay far, far away. The only thing SF hates more than highly-processed, mass-produced food, is undoubtedly the Dodg, I MEAN…evil corporations! If for some god awful reason you’ve been possessed to even consider chowing down on a deep fried genetically modified pink slim nugget, disguised as McDonalds chicken, you’d have to hop on a bus and trek halfway across the city. THEN, you’d have to find the courage to step foot in the godforsaken establishment, consumed with paranoia and insecurity, as you begin to feel sharp laser beams of judgment piercing through your soul by the eyes of surrounding pedestrians. But, chances are you’re too stoned to commit to that type of adventure, so instead you decide to support local business by ordering pumpkin curry delivery from your neighborhood Indian restaurant.
I was trained to associate fast food restaurants with humiliation, and I will forever thank San Francisco for brainwashing me with that mentality.
When I moved back to Southern California, I was shocked to discover fast food restaurants on every corner of every intersection. I was even more shocked to witness lines of cars wrapped around the streets waiting for their lukewarm, microwaved garbage. On top of that, I gasped at the sight of them EATING THIS SHIT IN PUBLIC…without shame. XXXL Diet Cokes at 7:00 am to kick start the morning work day, and ground beef burgers (made from 15 different disease infested cows, and maybe a horse for good measure) with french fries to finish off the night. ALL IN THE PUBLIC EYE. I couldn’t believe these people weren’t hiding in the backseat of their cars, with the tinted windows rolled up, while parked in a secluded back alley hidden behind an abandoned building. Talk about a “first world problem” culture shock!
But thanks to the trendy kale epidemic, the popularity of clean eating made its way down south and an interest in health foods began to skyrocket. BOOM…like that, kale’s competitors were born and battling for the superfood spotlight, begging for their long overdue infamy.
Let me introduce you to kale’s frenemies:
Chia Seeds: the sweet, pretty in pink girl next door who lives by the quote “Live, Love, Laugh”, but can’t seem to hit 100 thousand Instagram followers, so she gets more Botox
Soy: she was cool until she ended up in one of those Britney Spears circa 2007 meltdowns. Since then, she’s always just the bridesmaid, never the bride. With a little re-branding of her social media pages and the addition of some Balayage highlights, she might be able to make a comeback.
Hemp: the super laid back earthy chick, that’s nice to every single person she knows but is disdainfully hated by the “Make America Great Again” people. They spread rumors that she smokes marijuana cigarettes and is a threat to the children
Kombucha: last seen taking a bong rip while driving her convertible Jeep Wrangler, hair blowing in the wind, while screaming “FUCK YOU” as she cuts off a minivan displaying a bumper sticker that says “Make America Great Again”
Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Rice Milk, Cashew Milk: the group of girls that wear pink on Wednesdays and yelp “You can’t sit with us!”, when in reality they’re secretly plotting each others deaths
I’m almost afraid to admit this as it could potentially lead to my assassination, but to be honest…I am not a fan of kale. In fact, I actually prefer its superfood frenemies. But don’t get me wrong, I eat kale. I eat it as much as I can possibly tolerate it; a handful of times per month. I never buy kale and cook it myself; I purchase meals that contain kale from professional chefs in restaurants, as I trust their ability more than mine to successfully mask its horrendous flavor with various ingredients to achieve satisfactory edibleness.
Whether I like kale or not, I’ll continue to eat it because it’s healthy and nutritious. In fact, I’ll pretty much follow any trend that claims to be healthy and nutritious, much like the rest of this Kalefornia society. We’re a lot like lemmings; one jumps off a cliff and next thing you it’s raining rodents! But much like the lemming, I don’t always execute these health trends with success.
For starters, there’s that time I projectile vomited wheat grass while attempting to show off for one of my coworkers. I was around 19 years old, a college dropout, and working full time at Jamba Juice. I periodically robbed my employer by consuming their smoothies, juices, and shots for free. I’d typically take a 1 ounce shot of wheat grass, but for whatever reason, this day I was feeling extra ballsy. I held my head high as I slammed back a 3 ounce shot of wheat grass, smiling from ear to ear, like the healthy boss ass bitch I was. Within 30 minutes I was PROJECTILE vomiting, spewing green liquid all over the trash can in the back room, while screaming out pangs of agony. I was consumed with the absolute worst feeling of nausea, sweating profusely, and feeling like I was going to faint. My stomach was in knots; it felt like my organs were twisting up and strangling each other. It was quite possibly one of the most painful and disgusting feelings I’ve ever felt. You know that Nickelodeon game show from the 90’s called Figure It Out? Ya…well I figured it out. I literally overdosed on wheat grass and ingested an ungodly amount that my body was intolerant to. It took hours for me to recover from the superfood poison. That was the last day my lips would ever cross paths with wheat grass again. RIP wheat grass.
Then, there was that time I had a psychotic episode during a raw food/juice cleanse. I was the fattest I’d ever been and had just returned home from a one week vacation in Cabo San Lucas where I’d spent 7 days binge eating and drinking. I decided to kick start my fat girl diet with a one week detox, where I’d consume non-cooked “raw” foods for 4-days straight, and then transition into a 3-day juice cleanse to finish off the week. By the end of day 2, I was teetering on the brink of depression. It wasn’t that I was hungry, it was that I was having an extreme emotional response to severe warm food withdrawals.
I did extensive research prior to my detox and decided to follow a meal plan provided by professional raw food eaters. These meals consisted of room temperature “soups” that were basically blended vegetables and water, and salads with cashew dressing. They were fucking disgusting. You never realize how dependent your serotonin levels are to warm and tasty food until you no longer have those thing. Once deprived, happiness just doesn’t exist. On top of that, you also can’t have a social life because you’re incapable of being around other people that are enjoying their warm and scrumptious meals. These 4 days were absolute misery. It got to the point that I had to seriously question my state of mental health and if this detox was worth the risk of potentially jumping out of my 3rd story window. By day 4, I rewarded my continued survival by beating the system and treating myself to a large plate of tuna sashimi. I mean, its raw…so shut it.
The last 3 days of the juice cleanse were actually pretty easy because I was so depressed that I no longer felt any human emotions or sensations, including hunger. I weighed myself on the last day of the detox and found that I lost a total of 7 pounds. That night, my boyfriend took me out to dinner in hopes of bringing back my sanity and identity with the help of Korean BBQ. It worked! Within an hour I was back to my normal self, including the 7 pounds I tortured myself to lose. I underwent a 7 day psychotic breakdown for 7 pounds that I gained back after 1 meal. Awesome.
Lastly, and most recently, was the time I overdosed on chia seeds. This story continues to be a fan favorite at the office, because that’s where I was when I fell victim to that pretty in pink seed. So silent, and so deadly.
The chia seed pudding trend was on the rise and I didn’t skip a beat to jump on the bandwagon. An interesting fact about myself is that I don’t do well with instructions. The reason this is interesting is because I’m a full-fledged Virgo perfectionist, so you’d think I’d want to perfect a recipe. Another interesting fact about myself is that I have zero patience and I don’t fuck with numbers, so this clearly contradicts my extreme need to be perfect. With that being said, I chose not to read the chia seed pudding recipe instructions which resulted in me consuming the ENTIRE batch of chia seed pudding, when I was only suppose to consume 1/4 of the batch. I ate the lethal dose of chia seed pudding as a snack after lunch around 3:00 pm; I didn’t eat again until 28 hours later.
Those itty bitty little seeds transformed into gelatinous meteors that expanded in my stomach like James and the Giant Peach. On top of the spontaneous shooting pains in my abdomen, I was SOOOOO UNBELIEVABLY FULL! I thought I’d never eat again, as I’d consumed enough gelatin fiber to hold me over for the next year. Once again, I’d overdosed on another fucking superfood. Jesus Christ, when will I learn?!
As much as I love a solid health trend, there’s one fad I can attest I will NEVER participate in. The Ukranian Human Barbie Diet, otherwise known as Breatharian; a person who believes that it is possible, through meditation, to reach a level of consciousness where one can obtain all sustenance from the air or sunlight.
The Barbie calls it surviving off “cosmic micro food.”
In the wise words of Simon Cowell, “it’s a no for me.”