If You Think Your Kale Is Ice Cream You Should Taste It


Why is it that some days I barely think about diabetes at all, and others, it seems like the straw that threatens to break my back? I’m having a bit of the latter: I’m feeling down to begin with, and after a fun dip to 45 mg/dl earlier this morning, my blood sugar rebounded to 200 mg/dl and is staying put.

It all started with a kale smoothie. Yes, you read that right. I had a free session with a nutritionist at my gym and she recommended that I deal with the wilting kale in my refrigerator by blending it into a smoothie. It wasn’t the first time I’ve heard this advice — I’ve read numerous health articles that suggest dropping a leaf or two into an otherwise smooth smoothie, all with the same promise: “You won’t even taste it.” It seemed like a bold statement, but the articles were so emphatic that I had to believe them. It would just blend in, they implied, leaving behind nothing but a slight green tinge and a guarantee of better health.

Having tried this myself, I now recognize that to “not even taste” the kale would be nothing short of miraculous. And don’t get me wrong: I like kale. A lot. I will voluntarily buy kale and cook it with dinner, usually with onions and olive oil, for a long time over low heat. But I have never had it raw and for breakfast, let alone blended with plain yogurt, maple syrup, and frozen blueberries. And I don’t know that I ever will again.

My first mistake was to not blend it long enough. This resulted in a substance that looked liquid, but quickly broke down in my mouth into actual smoothie and, perhaps unsurprisingly, bits of chopped up kale. I was willing to experiment with my breakfast drink, but I also didn’t want to have to chew it. So I bumped my blender up to the equivalent of “pulverize” and let it run until I could smell the motor.

The result was smoother, yes, but still grainy. And as I sat down at my table to sip it, there was no avoiding the taste of the kale. It was there, and it wanted to be acknowledged. Hello, it said, I am ground up kale. And if you don’t like me, I’m going to mess some shit up.

I didn’t really like the kale, partially because no sooner had I swallowed it than I started to feel sick. My stomach doesn’t always respond well to smoothies to begin with, let alone when they’re accompanied by Symlin, but dude, the kale is doing something weird. I ate breakfast about five hours ago and I still feel disgusting from it.

What’s more, it messed up my blood sugars. When I eat the ingredients that went into the smoothie whole, it usually takes me five or so units to cover them. I knew I was going to physical therapy, so I dropped it to four, and did an extended wave bolus. I went to PT. My blood sugar dropped to 45.

A half hour and several glucose tablets later, my blood sugar shot up to 200, where it is now, with no intentions of coming down despite correction boluses. I still feel a little pukey. And, especially combined with an overall feeling of malaise (I live in a city where I have no friends, I have a career that pays like shit, I have little to no interaction during my day), my crappy diabetes morning is just really bringing me down.

On the upside, I did just get to write a blog post that includes a play on one of my beloved grandmother’s favorite expressions, delivered any time she thought someone was getting a bit big for his britches. Simultaneously knitting and sucking on hard candy, she would look up and say, “If he thinks his shit is ice cream, he should taste it.”

Ditto the kale.


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Jessica Apple
11 years ago

Who better than you to know that all your smoothie needed was a little yacon to make it perfect? https://asweetlife.org/a-sweet-life-staff/featured/yacon-the-root-of-sweetness/3227/.
A great post.  Very funny.

11 years ago

“Hello.  I am ground up kale” had me ROTFLMAO!  I’m sorry you had such a crappy experience but honestly this was one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time!

…obviously you need waaay more maple syrup in that smoothie in order to not taste the “healthy” bits..which is kind of counterproductive ;)

Hope your day goes better – and by the way your grandmother sounds awesome!

Michelle Page-Alswager
11 years ago

Excellent laugh out loud (LOL) at the end.
Kale smoothie? Honestly, it took some faith to make that.

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