Healthy Food Story  >  The Evolving Kale & Chocolate Manifesto

The Evolving Kale & Chocolate Manifesto

Image of Balanced Life & Mind Body Spirit NutritionLately, my entries here on K&C have been a bit more personal. I must admit, I was shy at first. How can I expose my vulnerabilities? Why do they care about the lessons my dog has taught me about life?  Or will it resonate with my readers that I have a hard time not being in control?  But then the response…overwhelmingly supportive.

So before we get into today’s post, I’d like to thank each and every one of you for reading, commenting, and emailing me with your beautiful stories and words on love, life, and letting go. I read and treasure them all.  You are an inspiration!

You may (or may not) have noticed the Kale & Chocolate tagline: FOR A NOURISHED LIFE. Truth be told, when I came up with it, I thought about all the fresh, whole, real foods that bring nourishment to our bodies and help us thrive, heal and strive to “be healthy”.  That was then.

What I now realize is that my perception of nourishment was pretty limited. Don’t get me wrong. I still believe that eating foods that are colorful, natural and delight all the senses are a huge part of the nourishment equation. But there is more…and based on all your feedback and enthusiasm, you get that too.

Together, we’re creating an evolved understanding of what it really means to be nourished, inside and out.  And you know I’m not just talking about a slimmer waistline and a smile - but a truly healthy body, a joyful heart, and a peaceful soul.

So here you go, the new Kale & Chocolate Manifesto: my tried n’ true keys to caring for your body and nurturing your, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life.

Become your own guru: Take responsibility for your health, as well as your life. Release the constant hunt for the next book, the magic number or the newest diet that will “fix it all”. Instead, turn your attention to listening to the messages your body sends you. You’ll discover what truly works for YOU.

Let go of your obsession with the outcome: As a recovering perfectionist, this has been one of my biggest lessons. Release the need to live with a rigid “plan” that does not include space for flexibility. Instead of trying to control every detail to create your desired future, have a little trust that when you do your best, the universe will unfold as it should.

Go play!: Have you been sitting at your desk too long? Or stuck in the car going from one errand to the next? Is the sun shining, and you’re missing out?  Back away from the to-do list and head outside! Not only will you get your daily dose of Vitamin D, but you may also just have plain old fun.  You should enjoy the experience of feeling alive.

Switch things up: While you’re out there playing, be sure to vary your workouts so you target different muscles and prevent your body from acclimating to the same exercise over and over.  Go for an interval workout one day and a more endurance-oriented one the next. Same goes with food and your daily routine. Create experiences that will make you feel refreshed and renewed, not just with your health but also with your true purpose.

Stress less: Easier said than done. This isn’t just great for the mind but the body, too. To enhance digestion and prevent digestive upset, sit and eat in a relaxed state. Your metabolism will work more efficiently, and you’ll enjoy your meal and the ones you share them with more. By reducing stress, you limit the release of cortisol, the hormone that can impact everything from weight to truly being present in your life.

Eat colorfully: When you plan a meal, make sure it includes a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. This way, you’re guaranteed to get a variety of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Sneak them into smoothies, add a handful into soups, and/or build a salad around them. Beautiful. Delicious. Nourishing. Think about ways to live in color beyond the plate, too!

Focus on green: Well, this is Kale & Chocolate so we love those leafy greens and all the feel good benefits you get when they're a part of your repertoire...from clearer skin to abundant energy.  But don’t forget about the chocolate, too, because the ultimate goal is to never feel deprived and understand how to feed your mind and body in ways that are both nutritious and delicious.

Get friendly with fat:  Yep, I said it. You don’t have to be afraid of the “f” word anymore. Healthy fats like seeds, fatty fish, nuts, avocados and certain oils are great for you in moderation, and offer a host of health benefits, from a clearer mind to increased circulation. Eating these fats will also help you feel satiated.  And when you are satisfied in your body, it spills over into other areas of your life as well.

Be grateful for the now: Accept that you will never know what tomorrow will bring. Acknowledge your worries, but let yourself start to release the anxiety uncertainty creates. All we have is this moment, and it won’t be back again. Enjoy it for all it’s worth.

Question of the day: How do you make sure you're connected in mind, body & spirit to feel deep down nourishment? Share your comments & insights below.


  • Beth R says:

    Your first tip really holds true for me. I have learned that I can balance my healthy green drinks with my sweet tooth addiction. For me, I have found that I need to allow myself a treat daily so that my body doesn’t feel deprived. I also have found that my fresh green drink daily has made a huge impact on my energy levels and overall sense of well being. It’s all about finding the right balance

    • Elise says:

      Beth, it sounds like you have figured out what works for YOU so that you have energy and balance. The first tip on learning to become your own guru holds true for me, too. It was so liberating when I stopped relying on books or experts to tell me how to nourish my body.

  • Timna says:

    There are so many amazing points listed in your blog post. I am aware each day that I need to focus on these elements….some come more easily than others, of course. I’m more easily focused on the practice of the “spiritual” suggestions, and find the eating healthy everyday a big challenge. Thank you for the reminder that we are ALL evolving.

    • Elise says:

      Timna, I am so happy that the evolved manifesto resonated with you, especially some of the more spiritual practices. DOn’t be too hard on yourself with the healthy eating. I always say: be mindful not militant.

  • Stella says:

    I so agree with this manifesto… and I so appreciate how clearly you lay it out. I adore your evolving message; your insight on what it *really* takes to be healthy and vibrant hits home. Also, as a long-time fan of the Nourshing Traditions cookbook, I am so glad to hear ya come out on the friend side of fat! It’s something I’ve been crusading for for years. Thank you!

  • Kale and Chocolate. Two of my favorite foods. A big kale salad, followed by raw cacao will definitely evoke a state of alkalized bliss!

  • Nancy says:

    I’m totally with you! My approach to wellness has evolved over the years and so has my way of communicating that. It all began with breast cancer–hey, that kind of diagnosis will really shake you up, especially if the news comes when you’re only 30 years old. I began to put more of myself into my writing, beginning with a book about coping with chemotherapy. Today, as an outdoor fitness instructor, speaker, and book author, I realize that my fitness classes are only partially about the exercise. They are at least in equal measure about the the pleasures of being outdoors in nature, fresh air, and sunlight, and among a group of people who have become friends.

    • Elise says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your story. I am sorry about to hear about your cancer at 30, but sounds like you have used your personal experiences to help and empower others. I love your evolved approach to wellness, too.

  • robert says:

    Always chocolate!

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