Friday, August 7, 2009

Founder of Whole Foods Market puts KALE in his breakfast smoothies!

Alrighty! According to a recent interview with John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods Market, he makes a smoothie for breakfast every morning using almond, oat, rice, or soy milk, fresh fruit in season, plus fresh kale or spinach leaves!

Oh wow - I like the sound of that!

Although I have been making a soy shake/smoothie for breakfast most mornings since my breast cancer diagnosis in 1995, I only started putting kale in my morning shake a few years ago. I first heard of doing this from a friend who has survived a brain tumor years beyond her doctors' expectations. Her 'secret'? In addition, to surgery, chemo, and radiation, she began drinking my SuperSoy and Phytochemical Shake recipe every morning but with the twist of "2 handfuls of kale leaves" as additional ingredients.

I don't know what 'two handfuls' really means for her. I am content to put in 1-2 leaves (minus the thick stems). I still like to see my smoothie be the color of the fruit and not have an overwhelming vegetable taste. I do not like my smoothies as sweet as most people and often find myself adding frozen unsweetened cranberries or unflavored yogurt to cut some of the sweetness if using sweetened soy milk or sweetened fruit, so having a slightly more veggie flavor as background is just fine with me.

Of course, my friend's account is what is called an anecdote or case study, with only an N=1. Her individual success is not a research study or 'proof' of any kind. However, kale is off the charts when it comes to being loaded with molecules that are both antioxidants and have other health-promoting benefits (including cancer-fighting activity), too.

What's not to like and try? Many thanks to John Mackey and Whole Foods Market for finally getting back to promoting healthy ingredients and food preparation at home as part of ultra-healthy (and enjoyable!) life habits. Purchasing less junk food (even organic junk food) leaves more money for purchasing healthy produce from both Whole Foods Market and local organic growers at your own Farmers' Markets.

Here is my original recipe with the kale leaves added as an optional ingredient, developed back in 1995, even before the word "smoothie" made it to the Midwest. Experiment yourself!

Diana's SuperSoy and Phytochemical Shake


2 1/2 oz. soft or silken tofu (1/6 of a 1 lb. block)
3/4 cup of soy milk (I use unsweetened)
1 large carrot or 6 - 8 baby carrots
3/4 cup of orange juice
3/4 cup fresh or frozen fruit (no sugar added)
1-2 tablespoons of wheat or oat bran
1-2 tablespoons of wheat germ
1-2 tablespoons of ground or whole flax seed
(Kale leaves to taste)

Mix together in a blender for 1-2 minutes, then drink and enjoy! Yes, it makes a lot. I drink this entire recipe for breakfast, which might take me an hour to consume. My boys (now ages 26 and 31) can drink this entire shake in a few minutes and also need cereal or a bagel to fill up for breakfast.

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate or in my blender!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

PS - I found a copy of the full interview with John Mackey at the following URL:, but it is possible that the Wall Street Journal may limit viewing the full article. However, with some searching, I'll bet you can find it on the web somewhere.


Kim said...

This sounds yummy, Diana! Thanks for posting the recipe. ;)

Unknown said...


I think research has turned its head on soy milk - I believe they are now saying soy might actually increase risk for certain cancers. I personally cannot use soy products due to adverse effects on thyroid.

Here is a great kale smoothie recipe that does not call for any milk. I could drink this every morning - you just can feel how healthy it is:


a large handful of kale
a banana (can use frozen banana)
one sliced apple
6 walnuts
apple juice, to desired consistency (I don't use it)

They are SO GOOD!!

To your health!

Diana Dyer said...

Thanks for stopping by. Your smoothie recipe sounds delicious.

Soy foods will likely always be considered controversial to some degree but the most current research does show decreased risk of breast cancer, in particular when consumed by adolescent girls as breast tissue is developing.

I try to stay on top of the soy and cancer topic. If I read something that changes my current eating habits (about 1 serving of organic USA/locally grown soybeans per day), I'll be sure to let my readers know (likely on my blog). :-)