Kale Power!

by Naila Sheikh


 What a non-stop, exhausting, never ending day!  The kids are finally asleep and the every inch of my body hurts of exhaustion and soreness from exercising on Jillian Michael's Abs workouts. Oh my. This was my second day working out in the living room since going to the gym seems impossible right now with Imaad's constant need for mommy. I like being home taking care of my children IF you don't catch me wanting to pull my hair out. There's days like today where I feel awfully burdened and sorry for myself, where I soothe myself by taking in the moment that "YES, this too shall pass...", however, the kisses and hugs make up for every single frustration and it's all worth it at the end. I kid you not. It is. 

 

My overactive kids, left me no choice to seek immediate interest in Fitness and becoming stronger. I do wonder where I muster up all this strength on a sleep deprived, non-stop schedule where every second of the day my 3 year old and 11 month old are demanding attention, but as all mommies know and must agree with me on this; it's that crazy motherly, unconditional love that keeps you going day in day out. When Imaad was 3 months old, I was experiencing severe migraine headaches in the afternoons. For three consecutive days, I would take tylenol for some relief, but my resentment for pills forced me to the gym and exercise. Within a week, I had noticed a substantial difference in my energy level which miraculously resulted in a headache-free life. 

 

I was addicted. And to continue my addiction to this feel-good adrenaline rush, I had to adjust my diet and get out of 'pregnancy mode'. I started juicing vegetables and fruits. Slowly, yet steadily, my confidence and energy rose to an all-time high and I felt very good about myself which started showing when I had gotten back to my original clothing size! Lots of hard work, focus and dedication can make all the difference! And making the right decisions! 

Three years and two pregnancies later, I can finally say that I've learned to respect my body and my existence. 

 

Today, my quick trip to the grocery store had me wanting to look for Greek Yogurt, Kale and Mango. In the back of my head, I knew a Kale Salad would go great with pieces of mango and so when I arrived home, my online search for mango and kale combined in salad resulted in this awesome recipe that I came across. Make sure to thinly cut the kale. I had kind of chopped the kale and when eating it, I felt like a rabbit eating forest-y green leafs! This super food is definitely a required taste.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale (black kale is especially good), stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 mango, diced small (about 1 cup)
  • Small handful toasted pumpkin seeds, about 2 rounded tablespoons

Directions

In large serving bowl, add the kale, half of lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little kosher salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with the honey and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the 1/4 cup of oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes.

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Pour the dressing over the kale, and add the mango and pumpkin seeds. Toss and serve.

I didn't have pumpkin seeds on hand, but I remembered my newly bought pumpkin bread! There you have it:

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