THE CURSE OF KALE

kaleBy Suzanne Sparrow Watson

Have you noticed that we are surrounded by diet tips this time of year? No matter where I’ve turned lately, someone is telling me how I can expend calories, lower my BMI or lose weight. Frankly, I don’t think my weight is any of their damn business.

Usually I enjoy reading USA Today – the articles exactly match the (short) length of my attention span. And there are pictures – lots of pictures. But this past week even they bombarded me with diet and exercise tips. The Main news section went into an agonizing description of every diet and which medical group endorses it. Blah, blah, blah. Then the Money section dissected the cost of the various diet plans. Sports calculated the calories used during simple everyday tasks like mowing the lawn, chopping wood, and rock climbing. Clearly they’ve not taken into consideration people such as myself. I need to know the net calorie count of sitting on the couch eating popcorn while watching “Downton Abbey”. Finally, the Life section had real life stories of people who had lost 100 pounds. I don’t care what they say, you just know these people are miserable. And most of them gain it all back in a Bacchanalia of Domino’s pizza and grape slurpees.

I blame a lot of this diet craze on the recent assent of kale. Who had even heard of kale five years ago? Now it’s in everything. Restaurants feature kale salad, which is basically kale and then a lot of things mixed with it to mask the taste of kale. There are recipes in magazines for kale chips, kale smoothies, and I even saw one for kale ice cream. The kale craze really hit the Rubicon when one famous, do-gooder, skinny-as-a-rail chef suggested putting kale in a chocolate cake recipe. That is one step too far. Not on my watch will something like kale ruin a perfectly delicious confection of sugar and butter.

So for me, I’m going to cut out the middle man this year and not even start a diet. And I’m certainly not going to add freaking kale to my meals. I’m sticking with the triple chocolate cake from Costco (minus any kale, thank you very much) and I’m guessing that I will end up weighing the same at the end of 2013 as I do today. And I won’t have had the humiliation of kale stuck to my teeth.

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