#boise #idaho #spirit #mindfulness
Nicole Pisani, the head chef at Yotam Ottolenghi’s NOPI in central London and Kate Adams, the health publisher at Penguin Books, have just released The Magic Soup Diet as an e-book, priced £4.99.
Adams, who set up The Flat Tummy Club website, had the idea after discovering that her soup consumption – which was packed with vegetables, protein and complex carbohydrates – had inadvertently made her lose weight. When she revealed the fact to Pisani, the two of them collaborated to write the book.
Here at HuffPost UK we love soup, but we are sceptical of diets that have the word ‘magic’ in them, as we believe the path to weight loss or maintenance is eating a variety of foodstuffs, not just one particular type. We caught up with the duo to find out more about it…
What is the Magic Soup diet all about?
We wanted to show how losing weight could be simple, delicious and something that would wake up our healthy lifestyle for good, rather than ‘going on a diet’ for a few weeks only to then return back to our old ways.
When you eat a really good bowl of soup, you feel good and you know you’re being healthy too. So we thought why not reclaim the idea of the ‘soup diet’ but give readers a bit more than soggy cabbage! Why not give them chicken soup for the soul, comfort cauliflower and cinnamon squash? The idea is so simple: swap your boring old sandwiches for soup.
How can you make soup filling?
We often add protein, so chicken, salmon, crumbled feta or natural yoghurt
Beans are a great filling addition
We also add grains or noodles to quite a few of our soups
Nicole says to close your eyes and imaging everything you need nutritionally in a bowl, and then make soup!
Roasted cherry tomato soup
How does soup make you lose weight?
It works in a few ways: soup has been shown to be more filling per calorie because of the water content. Soup has been shown by researchers to keep us full for longer per calorie compared with eating the same foods ‘dry’. It is because in a soup form the foods simply take up more room in the stomach, which turns off the appetite or ‘hungry’ hormone more quickly than a salad would.
Speaking of calories, even a big bowl of soup usually won’t set you back more than 300 calories, so it’s a great way to eat a little less without feeling like you are depriving yourself. It’s a great way to cut down on refined carbohydrates like bread or pasta. Having soup makes you instantly feel more healthy, so you will tend to set up a positive cycle of eating well and also having more energy throughout the day
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What gave you the idea for it?
When I was in Mauritius with a friend they told us about ‘magic soup’, which was really just a brilliant way to describe a simple vegetable soup, packed with goodness, that women would eat after having a baby. It would give them lots of nutrition while also helping them to gently get their figure back too.
They are an amazingly healthy island of people and I just loved the phrase ‘magic soup’, so it became the seed idea for our book, as well as the fact that it was soup that helped me personally lose 2 and a half stone a couple of years ago, and I haven’t looked back. Nicole has a passion for creating ‘bowls of goodness’ – she used to cook for the homeless and would always think how she could get a whole day’s nutrition into one bowl. Combine that with ‘magic soup’ and we thought we should go for it and write the book.
Why is soup nutritious? What about fibre?
Soup is packed with nutrients. Vegetable based soups are an excellent source of soluble fibre, while soups with grains like barley, brown rice and quinoa provide insoluble fibre, both of which are very helpful for healthy digestion.
Soups are naturally low in fat. It is easy to add good quality protein to soup, like chicken, salmon or tofu. Likewise you can easily add good carbohydrates to soup – these are the slow-releasing kinds like brown rice, oats, leafy vegetables and root vegetables.
How does it work and is it healthy?
We have included the Flat Tummy Club 10-point-plan at the beginning of the book which gives the reader all the information they need to eat healthily throughout the day. Then all they need to do is swap one of their meals, lunch or dinner, for a delicious soup (not out of a packet!).
It’s very simple, but that makes it really easy to follow. I (Kate Adams) lost 7lbs in 7 days and so we say ‘up to 7lbs in a week’ because this depends on how much excess water you are carrying. On average a person might lose up to 3lbs of fat, so the rest would be water retention, which we release when we stop eating food that’s not good for us and eat natural, whole foods and drink plenty of water and herbal tea. In terms of being healthy, the whole book is aimed to inspire readers to cook delicious healthy food, and after all, you can’t put a pie in soup!
Would you advocate it as a long term weight loss plan?
We would advocate soup as part of a healthy long term weight loss plan because it changes your mindset about the way you eat, cook and live.
It is the perfect way to clean up your diet and also become adventurous with tastes and ingredients. As we answer these questions we are about to cook a new soup for lunch, ‘lentil, lemon and sumac’. And if you are ever in the need for a health kick, then soup is the answer, especially in the colder months of the year.
We shock our systems with raw salad or juice detoxes, when our digestion needs warmth just as our our whole body does. Soup is much easier on the digestion and so much more likely to make a real, long-term difference.
Does it involve a lot of forward planning?
We like to think that if you incorporate the planning part into a healthy lifestyle then it’s really enjoyable, finding the freshest vegetables, looking for interesting new spices to try. At the beginning it is best to whip up a big batch of soup on the weekend and then you only need to re-heat it.
Leftovers make wonderful soup, especially roast chicken or roast vegetable. And there are a few soups included in the book that need no planning, just a good store cupboard – for example you can make an ‘instant’ soup with miso paste, noodles, shallots, ginger, chilli and baby spinach.
Apple cider beetroot soup
4 large or 6 small whole beetroot
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
300-400ml chicken or vegetable stock (depending on consistency you like)
Preheat the oven to Gas 6/200 C
1. Wash the beetroot and cut away all but an inch of stalk.
2. Place in a roasting tray and then add water to about halfway up plus the vinegar.
3. Bake for 40-45 minutes until soft.
4. Allow to cool and then rub away the skin with kitchen paper.
5. Roughly chop the beetroot and then blend with heated stock and chopped dill (leave a little for serving) Enjoy warm or cold with sour cream.
If you haven’t yet given to Civil Eats, you should. Their Kickstarter campaign ends Friday at 4:51 Pacific. If they don’t raise the $100,000 that editors Naomi Starkman and Paula Crossfield – neither of whom has ever been paid for their work on Civil Eats – are seeking to be able to pay their writers, the site may shut down in 2014. They’ve already raised more than half that amount, but have just a few days left to raise the rest.
Here are some of the kinds of people who have an interest in Civil Eats’ future, whether they realize it or not:
People who care about farmers.
People who care about public and environmental health.
People who care about food safety.
People who care about food justice.
People who eat. (That would seem to cover all of us.)
The past few decades have made Swiss cheese of the media industry, leaving holes where once there were trusted sources, even on topics as vital as food. Social media and citizen journalism has filled some of those gaps, but reporting in this area is more important than ever – even as the good food movement has gained traction (evidenced by the rise in farmers’ markets and community garden projects as well as a surge of interest in cooking, farming and food politics, too) a handful of the largest players in the food industry continue to dwarf the growth of small producers. And they dominate information about food, too – in the midst of the rapidly changing media landscape, food marketers are spending more than ever to reach us and our kids on every electronic device we own to convince us that everything is cool, that their products are healthy for us as well as the planet.
Civil Eats hosts the storytellers who’ve stepped in to fill the media gap – the nonprofit experts, the hungry new food journalists, the clear-eyed social entrepreneurs – who are in most cases the same people who are also trying to improve our food system.
Five years ago, Naomi Starkman and Paula Crossfield – witnessing a dearth of quality food and agriculture reporting in the mainstream media and a stream of quality content coming out of advocacy groups and independent writers, founded Civil Eats. Since then, hundreds of good food advocates (including this author and her colleagues) have worked with Starkman and Crossfield to craft their stories, learn valuable writing and editing skills, find their voices and post or cross-post their work there, collectively earning millions of page views on the site. Today, around 100k visitors visit Civil Eats each month to read quality information about the food they eat and its social and environmental impacts.
”Civil Eats has become the hub for the good food movement,” says Starkman. “We like to think of it as a ‘Community Supported Blog,’ because we offer a platform to myriad voices who care about the intersection of food and politics. Today, we continue to identify writers and ideas and stay ahead of the news, to bring important information to a growing public who are hungry for these issues.”
Civil Eats wasn’t an entirely new idea – Bay Area-based Bonnie Powell’s Ethicurean ruled the scene when I started blogging, along with its East Coast counterpart, Kerry Trueman’s Eating Liberally. Both food politics blogs ran guest posts from other writers and the Ethicurean in particular had several regular contributors, but even at that, over time Bonnie and Kerry and their cohorts couldn’t keep pouring in the hours (running a blog is time consuming, people!) without getting paid for it. The question of how to do quality journalism and make a living is one of the biggest of our time, and nobody has a clear sense of how to make it work, but Civil Eats has proven itself to be a winning new media model. $100,000 would buy them not only a fulltime paid editor and a DC correspondent, it would buy them a year to figure out how to make this model sustainable.
The campaign is a do-or-die moment for Civil Eats. With the $100,000 from the Kickstarter endeavor, Starkman and Crossfield hope to attract further funding from foundations and a membership program they’re developing. So either they make the money now and take the site to the next level now or they shut it down next year, because they simply cannot continue to support it as a labor of love, or expect their contributors to do so, either.
I sincerely hope Civil Eats gets the funding it needs and deserves, because I think its founders are onto something, because it’s a simple but grand experiment in new media, and because it’s such a solid source for good quality information about one of the most important things to human existence – the food we eat and the systems by which it is produced. Everyone has an interest in this one.
If you can’t afford to give to Civil Eats, please consider sharing their Kickstarter appeal via email, Facebook, Twitter or by any other means you can.
Originally published at Ecocentric.