I am an ardent National Public Radio (NPR) listener. Big fan. The platform is informative and the stories, programs as well as interviews are inventive, original and compelling. I have grown to look forward to my favored morning voices. The radio station starts my day while the shower is heating up. We have a charming, older house. The Morning Edition program carries me through the daily routine of drying my hair (I turn up the volume), brushing my teeth and getting my ducks in a row.

NPR is my go-to source for morning and evening news during my commutes to and from the office. Anytime I am in the car, 90.7 is on my radio waves. By the time I arrive in the office and begin reviewing the myriad of news sources I follow - outside of the email news alerts and Twitter headers that I read after the alarm sounds and before the lights turn on - I am almost 99% in-the-know for the day.

In addition to the general news, NPR covers and reports on a variety of interesting and engaging stories. I have heard musicians featured, which has prompted me to visit iTunes immediately thereafter. I recently learned that slopestyle snowboarding will make its grand debut at the Olympic Games this February in Sochi, Russia. Last week, we heard of Paris’s last umbrella repair man. Who knew such a trade still existed? I usually toss mine once they’re wrecked, which is often. I suppose they don’t make umbrellas like they used to. While pumping gas one afternoon last fall, I heard a piece on the program All Things Considered about the rising popularity of kale. Giving credit where credit is due.

What followed was an interview with the author, Deb Perelman, of the inspiring blog and cookbook Smitten Kitchen. She spoke to a kale salad she enjoyed at a West Village spot, Barbuto. I know the restaurant well as it is a quick few blocks from my sibling’s old digs on Charles Street and Hudson. In fact, I dined here many moons ago with my dear friend from Virginia who now lives in Brooklyn. The swordfish was sublime. It was winter so the glass garage doors - which are usually open inviting fresh air and sunshine - were closed to keep out the chill.

The author gave the recipe for a Kale Salad that falls into the ‘knock your socks off’ category. This salad pairs well with anything and is best enjoyed the day after, for breakfast. Sometimes, I mix in spinach with the kale. It should be noted that raisins cooked gently in white wine vinegar spruce up any dish – not just kale. They are magical with most things roasted - cauliflower, brussel sprouts, squash. They are marvelous additions to bell peppers stuffed with meat, pine nuts and dill. I even add them to purple cabbage and the bones of a pork shoulder.

Last Thursday, I happened to be in my car at 11.00 am on my way to a lunch appointment and was instantly pulled into the Diane Rehm Show upon hearing the topic of the day: The Latest Research on Intermittent Fasting.  I must admit, the notion of fasting is wholly foreign to me. I know that this is a practice, which has been carried out over the years. For reasons of religion, politics and health. Until last Thursday, I had always assumed that fasting – in the medical sense - equated to no food at all. Sometimes it does. Know thyself. At this stage in the game, I don’t have the mindset to deprive myself of food for a full day lest two or more. Once the conversation began to unfold, the guest speakers outlined what all is involved.

According to the gentlemen discussing the matter, fasting can involve eating. In this case, one significantly cuts calories once a week, a pair of times a week and for some, even five times a week. The guests are proponents of fasting twice a week and normal eating in between. Like most, they agree that the destructive white stuff – sugar, potatoes, white pastas, etc. - are not ideal food sources. They also touted the importance and benefits of regular exercise. A pair of the gentlemen on the program regularly give lunch a miss. The host spoke to her success on the program. Twice weekly, breakfast was a small piece of cheese and coffee. Lunch a yoghurt. Dinner a small piece of fish or chicken and loads of vegetables. She lost 20 lbs without forsaking her nightly champagne – two glasses at that!

As the show continued, they spoke to animal studies involving mice. The results have been encouraging. Means by which to lose weight, lower cholesterol and blood pressure and more importantly perhaps, evade diabetes and possibly dementia. A study was later carried out comprising a group of people who, according to one of the guests, lost a combined weight totaling that of “four large African elephants”. I have been to Africa. I have seen bull elephants. They are massive. Times four is a heck of a lot of pounds. Health benefits extending beyond simple weight loss. My curiosity was officially piqued. 

When visiting the acupuncturist last week, I asked about intermittent fasting. He informed me that once upon a time, one day a week he juiced exclusively. Not a bad idea. I am still deliberating as to whether or not this is for me but the results outlining the benefits are very interesting. Of course, I purchased the book, The FastDiet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting. According to my calculations, it will be arriving via expedited shipping tonight sometime around 8.00 pm. Thanks Amazon. Stay tuned.

Kale Salad
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen


1 head of Tuscan kale - sometimes I add spinach too - finely chopped
1/2 cup of golden raisins
1/2 cup walnuts - toasted and chopped
3 cloves of garlic - chopped
3 TBS white wine vinegar
3 TBS water
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated hard cheese - Parmesan or Pecorino
1 tsp red pepper flakes - more if you like the heat
The juice of 1 lemon
Kosher salt

1. Wash and finely chop your Tuscan kale. Put in a large bowl and set aside.

2. In a small pan, add your white wine vinegar, water and raisins. Let the mixture simmer for around five minutes. You want the raisins to plump up. Set aside.

4. To your leaves, add 2 TBS olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, grated cheese, walnuts and raisins. Now is also a good time to add the red pepper flakes, fresh pepper and salt. Give a leaf a taste. If you want to add some of the vinegar and water mix, go for it. Let everything the salad sit for approximately ten to fifteen minutes. Drizzle with one last TBS of olive oil and another dusting of cheese before serving.

Warning: there will be no leftovers.

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