Glorious green soup - it'll make you glow from the inside out
After what was probably one of the most indulgent months of the year it’s tempting to buy into all the hype. New year, new you…a couple weeks juicing detox, raw food diet or fasting to flush your system of all the toxins and that extra few kilos will be gone in no time.
The diet industry makes me so mad!
Bold statement given that arguably this is the industry that I’m competing within, but, there are so many reasons why fad diets are a bad idea. None of what I’m about to say is new news, but when you’re feeling rubbish because you’ve put on a bit of weight over Christmas it’s easy to forget it all and needlessly punish yourself regardless.
So, here's my top four reasons to say NO to fad diets…
- Your skin, gut, liver and kidneys continually ‘detoxify’ your body by responding to your hormones and removing waste products. ‘Superfoods’, or indeed lack of food isn’t going to magically transform this process. True, fruit and veg are fantastic sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibres, but this doesn’t mean you have to cut everything else out.
- Yes, you are likely to lose weight quickly by detoxing, but it will be largely water and glycogen (the body’s carbohydrate stores), not fat. So, whilst the scales might make for pleasant reading, weigh yourself a week later and they’ll probably be right back to where they were before you started, if not a little higher because your body has gone into starvation mode.
- Your energy intake is much lower when you are following an extreme detox programme, therefore understandably you won’t have the necessary fuel to get active and workout, which, let’s face it is just as important to your wellbeing as a balanced diet.
- And this is the clincher for me…it’s not sustainable! For any ‘diet’ to work it has to be something that you can see yourself buying into for the long haul. We’re all different, different lifestyles, different priorities, different tastes, so it’s important to find a way of eating that makes you feel good and importantly, doesn’t feel like a chore.
So please, no matter how much you wish you didn’t polish off that last box of chocolates, bottle of wine or stuffing sandwich…or all of the above!?!, starving yourself is not the answer.
Instead nourish your body with plant-based foods. Naturally low in calories so it is good for shifting those extra kilos, but also packed full of essential nutrients that will leave you feeling energised and motivated rather than 'hangry' and depressed.
Here is a super healthy soup that is packed with goodness and makes me feel like I’m giving my body a little high five without having to hold my nose and gulp it down!
Glorious green soup – it’ll make you glow from the inside out
1 litre vegetable stock
½ cup cashews
1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium leeks
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 large broccoli, florets and stalk (diced)
1 cup frozen peas
6 packed cups of kale or spinach
½ cup flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Blend the broth and cashews together until they are smooth.
- Warm the oil in a pan over a medium heat and sauté the chopped leeks & crushed garlic for 3-4 minutes until they are soft.
- Add the thyme, broccoli, peas and the vegetable stock & cashew mixture. Bring to the boil then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the kale or spinach and chopped parsley, simmer for another 2-3 minutes, just long enough for the greens to wilt.
- Remove from heat, add lemon juice, season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Blend until smooth.
- Serve and garnish with finely sliced radish, if you’re feeling fancy. Or, just chuck it in a mug and wrap your hands around it to keep you cosy as well.
Here's to a nutritious, delicious and sustainable January!