QuestionThirty – Q30

L2L: I made health food with Olivia–Pope and Benson!

Kale or wet hair clump?
Lip tremble pro's: Olivia Pope (actress Kerry Washington) and puppy

Lip tremble pro’s: Olivia Pope (actress Kerry Washington) and puppy

With a Netflixed Olivia Pope paused mid-lip tremble, I took two trays of kale chips out of the oven. I followed the recipe for ‘delicious kale chips’ printed on the back of the bag but the first chip tasted bitter in a way that reminded me of my first beer, skunked after weeks hidden and triple-duffel-bagged at the bottom of my closet. At the time, I was too inexperienced and too proud to ask if beer was supposed to taste like something that comes out of a skunk’s butt (or glands or whatever). But not so about kale. Health-food experts: Is that how kale tastes? And should I really be eating something that appears to have been snaked from the plumbing?

 

Kale or wet hair clump?

Kale chips or wet hair clump?

Paul, lubricated by an evening in the diamond suite at the Nationals game, confirmed, “Yeah, they taste bitter.”

Hovering over the counter, he polished off half of the batch.

Besides toasting nature’s garbage, I spent four hours making smoothies. If I don’t have food pre-made, I tend to just not eat. (If it weren’t for the pesky hypothyroidism that has recently popped up, once again, due to radiation damage, I’d be a dead sexy bobble-head, by now.) But I need to eat! So as part of vitalLife founder, nutritionist and friend Angela Krause’s food/eating schedule/life makeover plan, I’ve been bagging varieties of nuts (that’s what she said), slow cooking steel cut oats (who knew that oats don’t cook instantaneously?), and baking the potato’s runty brother sweet (potato).

Good news is that my insides feel healthier when I actually stick to my new food plan. Despite my bitching about the kale chips, after the first one, they get addictive and start tasting good. The nuts, oatmeal, yogurt, chicken, veggie, and other dishes are actually really tasty too, and it’s not just because I use way more honey than allotted in the directions. I was never a junk food eater but I definitely opted for delivery sandwiches or frozen lasagnas rather than cook dinner on most nights in recent years. Replacing super sugary yogurts with Greek ones slows down my gross hot flashes that the doctors keep blaming on premature menopause–from cancer treatments, as always–but that I’m pretty convinced have to do with my digestion.

Bad news is that on the days when my body hurts like a mofo, I can’t bring myself to prepare or cook anything. I’ve been meaning to do this smoothie blending bonanza for two weeks but it’s just been too hard to stand for long enough to prep fruit, rearrange the freezer, and the other steps I had to get through to eat healthy. I haven’t been consistent at all.

But I’m getting there, one corner of the pantry at a time.

My other Olivia: Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) of "Law and Order: SVU"

My other Olivia: Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) of “Law and Order: SVU”

Motivating tip: Olivia–as in Detective Olivia Benson and/or Olivia Pope esq. (of television shows “Law and Order: SVU” and “Scandal”). During my ice-crushing, fruit pulverizing, vanilla flavored, organic hemp protein powder blending, I’ve been binging, via Netflix, on my besties Olivia and Olivia all day.

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Lauren Sczudlo

am a 30-year-old nap enthusiast, former high school English teacher, world traveling vineyard laborer, and picture book librarian, pursuing her life-long dream of being a ‘real’ writer.

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