Whole Foods Massaged Kale and Avocado Slaw Lunch

I promise you foodie eye-candy in the form of a salad I picked up from Whole Foods the other day that involves two of my most favorite foods– kale and avocado.  But, before that, I think I owe you a brief update on my. . .

Intestines! Because I figure you just must be dying to know!

** I was going to insert a picture here of human intestines, but then I realized that might just be a tad too much for a family friendly food and fitness blog! 

Anyway, I have been eating a vegan, higher raw, and mostly gluten-free (meaning the only gluten I have consumed has been possibly hidden gluten in restaurant dishes that I assume are gluten-free, but didn’t ask) for over three months now in the hopes of easing some of my intestinal inflammation.  Though my doctor never instructed me to make such changes, my intestinal conditions are chronic, so I can safely assume I will have to treat them in some way (medications mostly) for the rest of my life.  Therefore, I have been seeking natural ways to improve my inflammation in efforts to prevent the worsening of my condition and ease some of the painful and uncomfortable symptoms.  In an ideal world, medication would no longer be needed, as a vegan, low-gluten diet would just heal my gut.  Realistically, I know that is unlikely, but I do believe a whole-foods, plant-based, and lower-gluten diet will help me out in the long run.

With that being said, I just wanted to provide a quick update on how I have been feeling lately when it comes to the gut.  Well, let’s just say, I feel better.  It is noticeable in how my body is digesting food– I have less bloatation, cramping, and pain.  Before, I used to have a stomach ache almost every day at some point, whereas now, I have an upset stomach maybe once or twice a week, and it is usually when I exercise after school because I didn’t have enough time to digest my lunch.  Before, my stomach area was tender to the touch all of the time; now, I don’t feel as much soreness when I press down on my belly.  I have also lost a few pounds, and if you know me at all, you can immediately tell where those pounds came from:  my belly is so much less distended, that I literally think all of those lost pounds were simply the bloat caused from an overly-inflamed gastrointestinal tract.  Even my husband, who is pretty straightforward about this stuff, has pointed out that my stomach no longer looks like it hurts anymore!  He always felt bad about my stomach area when it was super-distended because he thought it even looked painful from the outside!

Like I said, I feel better– but I am not completely healed by any means.  I still have some pain, some bloating, and just don’t feel quite right.  However, I think I am making progress, which is all I can hope for.  The way I do feel in terms of improvement is all the motivation I need to continue on this higher raw, vegan, and mostly gluten-free path.  I will keep you posted, so in about a month or so, look out for another hopefully positive update!

Now, let’s move on to the latest lunch-food find I scored when grocery shopping, shall we?

In the midst of all the goodies displayed  on the cold case shelves of Whole Foods, I spotted this beauty– a container of raw kale and avocado “slaw,” which is basically their version of a massaged kale salad.  Now, I understand I can easily make this salad myself (and I have– recipe here!), but sometimes, a girl gets lazy and just wants something fast and easy, especially as an option for a healthy work lunch.
IMG_3976  Whole Foods Massaged Kale Salad
The ingredient list is clean and simple, but packed with flavorful elements.  If I recall correctly, it was just kale, avocado, onion, red bell pepper, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  And yes, I recalled correctly because I just noticed that is what the ingredient list printed on the above label says– duh.

Moving on, I decided to stretch this out into two portions by taking half of the kale salad and topping it with other raw veggies, like sprouts, daikon, and shredded carrots.  I know the below pic hides the kale salad pretty well, but trust me, it is buried beneath all of those sprouts!
IMG_3977  My salad with Whole Foods massaged kale salad

I decided to pack it up alongside a piece of Twin Cakes Bakery’s raw kale hemp flatbread.  I took the bread out of the package so you can see how gorgeous it is, but I ended up placing it right back in there because it was my last piece, and I figured carrying it to work in the package creates less waste than wrapping it up separately, right?  I am telling you this because a co-worker of mine noticed the bag on my desk at school, and was intrigued to see a bread made out of kale!  She asked me about it, so I explained a bit about how raw breads can be made through a dehydration process.  It’s so fun to discuss things like this with co-workers who are otherwise unfamiliar with some staples of a raw food diet– I love sharing with interested friends about my dietary choices and path!
IMG_3978  raw flatbread with kale salad
No good lunch is complete without dessert, so I also brought some grapes, blueberries, and strawberries to satisfy my sweet tooth.
IMG_3979 fruit for lunch
All in all, this was one of the best raw lunches I have had in a while!  The kale salad was fantastic– it had so few ingredients but it was packed with so much flavor.  There was a time (oh, I don’t know, only two months ago!) when I never, ever ate an avocado except for the occasional guacamole on top of a pile of nachos.  Due to my recent shift to more raw foods, avocado has become one of my staples, and I eat at least one every two days!  I still marvel at how versatile it is– it can be utilized in both sweet, creamy puddings or as a lovely coating/dressing for salads.  I am kind of obsessed with avocados right now– they are just so perfect!

My favorite way to eat them as I will chop up half of one, and add it to a huge veggie salad, along with generous amounts of pico de gallo.  Then, I close the container, and give it a good shake– the entire salad gets coated in salsa and avocado, such that you’ve created a salad drenched in guacamole without actually going through a whole separate process of making guacamole!

Alright, this was a doozy of a post, so I will sign off now.  Have a great day!

What’s your favorite way to consume avocado?

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