Following on from my last post on how to easily “detox” without the need to deprive or starve yourself, I wanted to share with you one of my favourite soup recipes that is not only highly “detoxing” but also super nourishing and yummy. Writing-up this recipe also reminded me of some easy to follow food resolutions I made myself a long time ago – they’re so simple to follow, and so I thought they could be useful for you lovely mamas!
My love for soups all began when I read the book French Women Don’t Get Fat – this book is must read for all you Sassy Mamas who try to juggle everything, including pulling off an enviable figure at the same time as enjoying the odd croissant every now and again (so most of us then). This quirky and funny book is described as the ultimate non-diet book, which could radically change the way you think, and it actually did change the way I think. The book is built around the idea that French women don’t get fat, even though they enjoy eating all sorts of “bad” foods such as, wine, bread, and fatty foods. “Cest non possible?” you might be thinking. So was I.
I’m not saying that this book made me re-think my line of work as raw food chef and health coach, actually, surprisingly, quite the contrary. What the book made me realize was that the French way of eating has very similar values to my own “philosophy”. You see mamas, it’s all about moderation, balance and REAL FOOD.
Without giving the “story” away too much, as I do think the book is a good read and would hate to spoil the fun for you, however, in summary what you will find out is that French women (and I realise this is a generalisation, but you get the point):
Eat in moderation
French mamas don’t sit around all day eating croissants! It’s a 1-2 times a week indulgence and they can afford to enjoy it without the guilt, as they apply a 80 / 20 or 90 / 10 rule – eat “healthy” most of the time while leaving some room for treats.
Eat real food
And this is KEY – even the buttery croissant, the rich cheeses, the crusty fresh bread and the deep dark chocolates – its’ all still REAL FOOD. In most areas of France, you would still buy your bread fresh from the bakers who have used local ingredients to lovingly bake the bread to perfection. The cheeses are made locally without a bunch of E-numbers and preservatives – the cows are probably grazing freely in open air without the use of antibiotics to keep them from getting sick or losing weight. And the chocolate, well, only the finest ingredients will do and chocolatiers most likely sell single gorgeous portions with each handpicked by its buyers, as opposed to pre-packaged 500g mass produced chocolate bars. Chocolate indulgence in a French woman’s life is not Saturday night chowing a Mars-Bar. It would more likely be eating 2-3 delicate artisanal truffles enjoyed with a glass of wine shared with friends.
Do you see the difference? It’s all homemade, you know what’s in it, fresh, and simply just real food! Food made lovingly, thoughtfully and carefully, not mass produced and over preserved so that it becomes a farce. Quality food to be enjoyed (in moderation) savored and eaten without guilt.
Eat in balance
Even beautiful Parisian supermodels slip off the bandwagon and eat more than they should every now and again. However rather than “give-up”, they simply re-balance with a super light meal or menu the next day – it’s all about balance. The book talks about a leek soup that is apparently a “secret weapon” in the Sassy French woman’s slimming tool-box, but I think you can replace this with just about any nutritious and rebalancing soup, which is where the recipe below comes in, and why I include nutritious soups as part of my own balanced menu every week.
And mamas, these lessons I took away are very relevant not only to us as adults, but also to our little ones. I am now reading a book called French Kids Eat Everything which talks about helping children to enjoy and appreciate food, simply by leading by example, i.e. the lessons above – balance, moderation and eating real food. I’ll let you know how I get on with this in the near future…
By the way, I’m not French; I just like to borrow little health tips from lots of cultures because they all (mostly) have something interesting to say. And now for my soup recipe…
Easy Peasy Re-Balance “Detox” Soup
Serves 4, side dish / soup
- 1 cup carrots, washed and sliced
- 2 cups mushrooms (button works well – finely slice)
- 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 cup kale or other green leaves (leave out of the soup until last minute)
- 1/2 cup cabbage (white ideally)
- 1 sweet onion – finely sliced
- 3 cloves garlic – crushed
- 5 litres veg or chicken stock
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 TBS miso
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 3 TBS coconut oil
- 3 torn nori sheets
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- lemon juice to taste /dress
- Melt the coconut oil on a light heat and gently simmer the onions and garlic until soft.
- Add in the carrots, broccoli and mushrooms and lightly sauté for 5 minutes
- Add in the rest of the veggies (not the green leaves just yet) and sprinkle on the seasoning – simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the stock and gently boil and then simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Leave out the green leaves until almost ready to serve and then add to the soup last minute to maintain the quality of the nutrients.
- Serve with a wedge of lemon.
- Enjoy! It will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days if kept in an airtight container.