On a Brief Relationship with Kale: Parting Ways

The crunching of the curly kale cruciferous, while one of the healthiest choices you can make, is not for the faint of heart. Some claim to enjoy the experience  I have not been so lucky.

But we all must try to love the kale, right? Now that America, or at least several sections of it, appears to be on a mission towards healthy eating, the kale can not be stopped. It is, as they say, blowing up. 

Courtesy of wikipedia.org

Courtesy of wikipedia.org

In response to this health epidemic, fast food joints and soda pop companies are working furiously to reposition their incredibly, almost unbelievably unhealthy, but equally delicious, products as something other than what they will always be.

There's no doubt that almost any fast food item or soda you drink is probably about four to six thousand calories more than you might think it is. And so, maybe it comes as no surprise that this kale revolution seems inevitable.  

I wonder, though, did these fast food joints and soda pop companies have contingency plans in place from years ago?

Think tanks located deep underground, housing the best of the best, research teams of mathematicians, engineers, and doomsday specialists, all hunkered down and responsible for anticipating worst case scenarios, the fate and future of perfected salty fried food everywhere resting on their shoulders. 

What if the one thing they didn't anticipate was the incredibly unexpected cultural shift towards healthy eating? Who saw kale coming?

Nobody. Nobody saw kale coming. It went from decorative shrub to the main course in no time flat. Telling someone you ate kale the previous night is like a badge of honor. Telling someone you made kale chips over the weekend is the equivalent of just punching them in the face simply because you felt like it.  

And so I'm very sorry to say that I dislike kale very, very much. I said it. I wish it weren't the case. I'd gladly prefer to eat kale like it was candy. It's not kale's fault I don't have the stomach for it. This is not personal.   

I tried. 
Several times. 
More than once for sure. 

It's just not working out. I can eat spinach, arugula, other leafy, possibly even organic greens. I've learned to enjoy the salad.

I eat vegetables as the main dish, sometimes. Maybe it was the years of daily fast-food feasting that left my body and taste buds lacking the necessary gusto required to tackle something as healthy as kale.

Maybe that part of me was severed, or worse, never a part of me at all. Too many bacon cheeseburgers? Is that even possible?

Too many chicken nuggets and chili cheese dogs. Too many sodas, french fries, and delicious pieces of sliced pizza pie. Am I a broken man? Can I be fixed? Will I someday be able to consume kale without, in the back of my mind, wanting never ever to have to consume or be near it again?

Do I repel it? 
Or does it repel me?  

I know that I cannot condemn myself to a lifetime of salads only. Nor can I commit solely to the bacon cheeseburgers, although it's tempting. Instead,

I am committed to both, equally, and with the knowledge that sometimes I will lean harder on the bacon cheeseburgers, for support and pure gluttony. I also understand, all too well, that there is so much goodness in that sweet kale: it could clear up my skin, shine my hair, balance my gut.

Courtesy of wikipedia.org

Courtesy of wikipedia.org

It would sweep, wash, vacuum, and buffer my insides and leave a pleasant scent behind where once there was only rubbish and the weird lingering smell of barbecue sauce and ribs. 

But when I try to eat it, even before the first bite has been bitten, before the churning and chewing mechanisms are spinning their wheels, an alert is sent out from somewhere deep inside the command center of my brain.

It says, beware; there be kale a coming, a whole bunch of it. And before I've even had a chance to try and enjoy it I'm already sending out signals to my body with full orders to reject this food by displaying moderate displeasure of the experience through such obvious childhood tactics like silence and the expression of a sad, pouty manner, all while pushing it around the plate, from side to side, until finally I'm excused from the table.

But someday soon, I hope, maybe kale and I can try again.

My taste buds are maturing and the older ones, seasoned by years of grease and bags of sugar, are slowly losing ground to the new taste buds, which are full of hope, a quench for greenery, for farmers' markets and blue skies, and for a Ranch Valley that doesn't serve ranch dressing, but instead, maybe just a light mixture of red vinegar and olive oil, with a drop of honey and mustard for taste.

Courtesy of wikipedia.org

Courtesy of wikipedia.org

So kale, this is not a goodbye, this is a nice try buddy, we almost made it. Let's keep our chins up and maybe someday, maybe, I'll find myself surprised to be enjoying a wonderful, delightful, perfect plate of kale.

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