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Kale Challenge

Go Green For St. Patrick's Day: Take the 5-Day Kale Challenge

The following post was written by Teresa Howes, who blogs at Eat Drink & Be Skinny and is part of POPSUGAR Select Fitness.

Photo: Michele Foley

In light of St. Patrick's Day, it's time to go green! Start the five-day kale challenge, and feel more alive and in control before the week is over. The core foundation of happiness stems from better health, and this easy challenge is a simple way to put more of it in your life. In just five days, you can discover how delicious kale is and how easily it can be incorporated into your healthy and happy life.

Why Take the Five-Day Kale Challenge?

Kale is a superfood, and just one cup of this green goddess of vegetables provides health benefits well beyond flavor and satiation. Here are the top five reasons you should take the five-day kale challenge.

  1. Strong antioxidant powers: It's high in vitamin A, C, and K as well as flavonoids and carotenoids.
  2. Great source of essential minerals: It's a good source of calcium and magnesium, and per calorie, it delivers more iron than beef.
  3. High in fiber: Delivering five grams of fiber, kale helps with digestion and makes you feel fuller on fewer calories.
  4. Very low in calories: It's just 36 calories per serving with essentially zero grams of fat.
  5. Anti-inflammatory functions: With omega-3 fatty acids, kale can help fight against arthritis, asthma, and other autoimmune disorders.

How to Start

It's simple: just commit to trying kale five ways, for five days. Kale is great in juices and smoothies, makes a great base for a tasty salad, is a great snack when baked up, and is a health-boosting addition to almost any meal. Below are five simple, easy, and delicious ways to try kale for the next five days.

  • Day One of the Five-Day Kale Challenge: Juice!
    Kale is energy- and nutrient-dense and featured in most popular green juices. If you are preparing yourself, make sure you juice mostly the stalks, as they produce the most liquid, and save the fluffy leaves for the other recipes. Add the stalks to your juicer with a green apple, spinach, ginger, and a cucumber for an alkalizing and energizing green drink.
  • Day Two of the Five-Day Kale Challenge: Smoothie!
    This Kale Me Healthy Smoothie is from the Color Yourself Skinny 21-Day Diet Detox and is surprisingly tasty! Add one cup of chopped kale leaves to the blender with one cup of vanilla almond milk and half a frozen banana. Blending this up early in the morning is a surefire way to start your day off on the right foot!
  • Day Three of the Five-Day Kale Challenge: Salad!
    Kale salads are all over the place these days, but you can easily make the best one of all in your home with just these five easy-to-find ingredients. Simply chop up your kale leaves very small and add 2 ounces of crumbled feta cheese, 1/4 cup chopped cashew halves, two diced green apples, and half an avocado, diced. Dress with a simple vinaigrette made of olive oil, spicy mustard, agave, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  • Day Four of the Five-Day Kale Challenge: Chips!
    Kale chips are a great replacement for potato chips. They are salty and crunchy and can kick any urge to snack to the wayside while supercharging you with their superpowers. Simply preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with foil. Chop up a bunch of kale leaves, spray with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and any other preferred seasoning. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until dry and crunchy.
  • Day Five of the Five-Day Kale Challenge: Health Booster!
    Just add chopped kale to any one of your existing meals this week as a health booster! Was spaghetti on the menu? Great, toss some finely chopped kale into your sauce while heating. How about simple canned soup? Awesome, add some raw, chopped kale as you heat it up. Making a stir-fry or other sautéed veggie? Add some kale to the mix to boost the color, flavor, fiber, and phytochemical superpowers of your favorite meal.

There you have it — the five simplest ways to feel happier and healthier over the next five days and beyond.

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