I’ve been reading everywhere lately that September is the new January. If you think about it, it makes sense. Most of us, especially those of us with kids at home this Summer, were totally off our regularly scheduled programs. We threw our routines to the wind for more time at the beach or the pool, we ate out more because, who really wants to cook when its 95 degrees out and now it’s time to get back on track.
I had a friend recently tell me that she was going to start “juicing” in an effort to reset, shed some unwanted weight and feel good in her clothes again. What I told her in response was something that I thought some of you might need to hear too.
Why “juice” when you can “soup”? I said. If you’ve been following me here for a while now you know that my love for soup runs deep. It’s nutritious and filling, it’s full of fiber and it flushes out your system. Basically, “souping” will give your digestive system (and your waistline) a break similar to juicing but it’s unlikely to lead to infamous headaches, energy crashes and weight-gain rebound that juice cleanses are widely known for.
Here are some more reasons why I recommend “souping” over “juicing”:
• While juicing removes your food supply completely, leaving you with only the nutrient-laden water pressed out of whole produce, souping actually involves consuming food so you can go a few days or even a week consuming healthy, whole-food soup meals without feeling starving and deprived.
• Juice lacks fiber! When you’re extracting the juice from its original form, you’re removing all the natural healthy fiber from the fruit that is really crucial to understanding a detox/reset.
• Souping includes vegetables, can include protein sources like legumes, beans and grains and often includes bold spices that make things more flavorful and interesting.
• The ingredients in soup makes soup naturally low in sugar (unlike juice), high in fiber (keeping you fuller longer and helping to flush out your system) and high in complex carbs (the good ones!).
• Studies show that if you start each meal with soup, you’ll actually end up consuming 20% less calories with your meal. That is HUGE!
• Making soup at home is SO easy and fast. Make a big batch and keep it on hand in the fridge at all times. Keeping healthy choices like soup handy is key to keeping your hunger in check!
I always tell my clients and friends that if they really want to lose weight in a healthy, steady way, a diet composed solely of juice or soup is not the way to get there. The real winner is always going to be a nutritious diet filled with whole foods and the proper amount of calories coupled with physical activity.
But, soup incorporated into a healthy diet is a great place to start. An important note regarding soup; homemade is really the only option here. Canned soup is full of preservatives and tons of salt and not healthy at all! It will leave you unfulfilled and bloated; totally counterproductive.
September is for restarting, rebooting and resolutions. Try substituting your current lunch with a bowl of soup and at dinner time, start with a cup of soup before your main entrée. By the time your dinner arrives you’ll feel satiated and not starving and I promise it will help you to not over eat. If you’re dining out, remember that soup at a restaurant may be salty. Ask the right questions and make the right choices.
I’ll leave you today with a soup recipe I made for my family last week. Both Jonathan and Ellis said it was “insane” and requested it again over the weekend. It’s filling and healthy, it’s full of wholesome ingredients and fiber and it’s delicious. Stay balanced and stay well. See you next week! Xx Janine
Creamy (No Cream Added) Zucchini Basil Soup
1 large onion-diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 medium zucchini-chopped
1 large tablespoon garlic-chopped
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon vinegar
Pepper to taste
4 cups water or no salt vegetable stock
1 large cup fresh basil
In a medium to large pot, add the oil and sauté the onions until just a little brown (3-4 minutes).
Add the garlic and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
Add the chopped zucchini, water or stock, coconut aminos, and nutritional yeast and pepper.
Bring the pot to a boil and then simmer for 25 mins on low heat.
When the zucchini looks well cooked, turn off the heat.
Add the basil and vinegar-stir well.
Blend with hand blender until smooth and creamy.