Sometimes Ugly is Good for You or My Ugly Smoothies By Lisa Kunkleman

Dang that’s a good one. Not long ago, while chewing my first smoothie I knew something wasn’t quite right. In a valiant attempt to regulate my cholesterol and triglycerides, I added a cartload of new foods to my diet. New, to me at least. Being southern born and fed, I enjoy eating all kinds of greens, like collards, turnips, and kale which lots of folks wouldn’t touch for fifty bucks. Our family even grew them in our garden for a couple of decades. That was before new neighborhoods popped up, the deer became pretty much landlocked on our farm and began munching on our bounty and bushes.


Several months ago, on a nutritionist’s suggestion, I took to drinking my kale. I’ve allotted lots of fridge space to fresh fruits and veggies through the years but it often involved cooking and serving them on a plate or in a bowl. Now, I toss it all in my Oster blender, hit purée and have a half-gallon of funky colored smoothie to graze on all morning. My blender, by the way, does a great job so I’ve yet to invest in a five hundred dollar whopper-chopper. The last juicer I spent oodles of money on was such a pain to clean, so I’ll stick with my rinse and go blender for now.


Lots of foods went into this morning’s breakfast. A year ago, I hardly knew some of these  items were people food: Almond milk, kale, gogi berries, oats, chia seeds, hemp, slivered almonds, pineapple, watermelon, blueberries, vegan protein powder, coconut butter, and avocado. Also, water and crushed ice so I don’t need a spoon to eat my drink. This combination is sweeter than usual because I used up some extra fruits bordering on that dreaded “sell by” date.


I’m a smoothie novice and enjoy trying different combinations but I probably end up drinking too many calories sometimes. I’m scheduled to see another nutritionist recommended by my lipidologist, which means in this case, a cardiologist who specializes in cholesterol management. I didn’t know such a specialty existed. I hope to learn how to improve upon my dump and blend method.


I wish I didn’t have to admit my lab results show my numbers are still out of whack with a severe diet change and it looks like heredity is not in my favor. Statins don’t agree with my knees so I’ll keep working at the diet and exercise approach, especially since the skin on my hands and arms looks less crêpey, my IBS is under control, my knees work better, and I have more energy than I’ve had in years. My concoctions are like ugly, tasty, energy drinks. No Red Bull for me. I’m drinking my kale.

18 thoughts on “Sometimes Ugly is Good for You or My Ugly Smoothies By Lisa Kunkleman

  1. You crack me up, Lisa! Love reading your posts. And we use kale in our smoothies, too.

  2. You’re brave! I love at least two thirds of the ingredients you’ve mentioned, but I prefer them in their original states. There’s something about cold, lumpy sorta semi-drinkable greens that I just can’t handle.

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  4. Well as I binge read your blog I found what you put in your smoothies:)

  5. Reblogged this on Life Stories and Beyond and commented:

    Since posting this in 2016, while I feel much better from the outside in, my cholesterol levels budged only a little. After my miracle worker doctor finally convinced BCBS I was a great candidate for Repatha self-injections twice a month, I’m seeing nearly normal numbers for the first time in about two decades. Hereditary cholesterol issues are a bear to fight but the Repath is working like magic. And no side effects for the girl who hates drugs due to the side effects. If you have lipid issues and have tried everything to fix them, you might consider asking about this. And by the way, nobody is paying me to say this. I wish they were.

  6. I give you so much credit for taking the plunge! I’ve reached a point in life where it has to be clean and healthy 90% of the time or I feel like crap. But it feels so good not to feel like crap. Wishing you a change in those results and health!

  7. What a great title! I had to laugh but kind of grimace also at the color of your smoothie. But if it helps you with your numbers and helps you feel healthy-you are a rockstar!

    • Hi. Thanks for reading. Yep it is ugly. What is helping is a fairly new medicine called Repatha. A twice monthly injection that has changed my world. My numbers are almost perfect. It’s a miracle but took jumping a million hurdles to get approved. Yay. Hope Insurance doesn’t change its mind. Fingers crossed.

  8. Thank you for sharing this post. I have been adding smoothies to my diet more also and sometimes they look down right scary!

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