Go to kale?

On Tuesday, it sure seemed like the universe was conspiring to get me to try kale.

Not only did I put a feature about kale-based salads on the paper’s food page, I read Tina’s blog post about the coconut-kale smoothie she loved. And when I chatted on Facebook with a friend I hadn’t talked to in months, her favorite kale recipe came up.

So after work, I ran to the store to pick up a couple bunches of kale. I was eager to try both the smoothie and the kale with bacon and worcestershire sauce.

But when I got home and started to prep the kale, I realized I’d misread Tina’s recipe. It included a banana — way more carbs than I wanted to consume. I turned to banana extract instead, but had to wait until I made a Walmart run to get some. (I thought we had some in the pantry, but couldn’t find it.)

Low-carb Coconut-Kale smoothie

I did that Wednesday night after work, so Thursday morning, after my Best Body Bootcamp workout, I whipped up my first modified kale-coconut smoothie.

In the mix:

  • 1 cup frozen chopped kale
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
  • 1 tbsp Splenda
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 tsp banana extract
  • 10 ice cubes

Pretty color, no?

At first I worried that the kale wouldn’t blend … and then that my smoothie wouldn’t be as vibrant a green. But it turned out pretty well in that regard.

The flavor was delicious — but if I make it again, I’ll probably cut the amount of banana extract and boost the coconut extract.

I’m not sure I’ll make it again, though. Because even though it seems like a healthy, low-carb recipe, looks are deceiving.

I assumed that kale is like romaine lettuce or spinach, with less than one gram of carbs per half cup. Not so. A cup of raw, chopped kale has 5.4 net carbs per serving.

Color me surprised!

As a result, my nice, healthy smoothie had nearly 7 grams of carbs. I guess that’s not awful, considering it was the first thing I’d eaten all day. Still, if I’m going to consume 7 carbs’ worth of food, I’d rather it not be in liquid form.

Take-away lesson? Not all leafy greens are created equal. Don’t ask me what I’m going to do with the two bunches of kale hanging out in my fridge now, because I think I’ll make my next smoothie a Coconut-Spinach one instead.

Thursday meant dodging trash cans during my cardio workout.

It was a cardio day for bootcamp, so I walked around my neighborhood. I’m getting to be a pro at dodging trash cans. Today, I picked up my pace between cans. I probably looked like a nutter, but I didn’t care. All that mattered was getting in a great workout.

Before the eight weeks are over, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m dashing from can to can.

A girl can dream, right?

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