Meanwhile, another healthy eating trend, ‘souping’, has recently hit our shores, hot from LA. If it’s not part of your culinary lexicon yet, you’re right in guessing that ‘souping’ is, on one level, simply making soup. But whereas soup – bought and homemade – can often be high insalt and not particularly high in vegetables, ‘souping’ is all about ’greener’, more wholesome high-fibre, plant-based soups, full of veggies, herbs and spices whizzed together in tasty concoctions that can only do you good. Converts say the healthy habit cleanses their system, supercharges skin health and sends their energy levels rocketing.
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STAY FULL FOR LONGER
Not only is soup the perfect, low-calorie way to get your five a day. Full of fibre, it aids digestion and acts as a natural cleansing aid, clearing your system. And soup also helps you stay full for longer. Even though liquids have often been considered to be less filling than solid foods, research shows that soups may actually be more filling than solid meals containing the same ingredients. Part of the reason is that soups contain all the fibre of the whole vegetables, as well as plenty of liquid. The fibre helps slow the release of sugars into your body, balancing blood sugar and helping you stay full for longer. This ability to fill your stomach and satisfy your hunger is why soup, and particularly ‘souping’ with its focus on soups that pack a big nutritional punch, fits so well into a weight-management diet and particularly the 5:2 diet.
Many 5:2ers already harness the stomach filling benefit of soup on their fast days.But now the two tried and tested weight control methods have come together in one powerful package in The 5:2 Soup Diet (MagBooks. £9.99). The idea is that for two ‘fast’ days a week, you eat soups combined with lean protein, as a super- nutritious way to get your 500-600 calories. Then, for the remaining five days, you consume around 1,700-1,800 calories, eating a combination of nourishing meals and soups. You can expect to lose two to three pounds in a fortnight – or more, if you’re over a stone above your ideal weight. Warming and | comforting, it’s the perfect diet for the new > year. Keep it going for two weeks or longer < and you should look and feel slimmer and | more energised. Even if you don’t want to £ continue the 5:2 diet on an ongoing basis, I incorporating more homemade soups into f your diet will help you stay nourished and | slim. Here’s a sample menu plan from The 8 5:2 Soup Diet to get you started. Good § luck and happy souping!
Pea & coriander soup
SERVES: 2 PER
SERVING: 191 CALORIES
40g small peeled and
1 mashed garlic clove
2 tsp olive oil or rapeseed oil
375g frozen peas
400ml vegetable stock
O Sweat the shallots and garlic in the oil until soft. Add the frozen peas and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
O Remove half the soup add the coriander to it and whizz with a hand blender. Add this half back to the non-blended half and serve.
BREAKFAST: 100g 0% Greek yoghurt with 100g raspberries
1 serving of homemade soup (try the recipe below)
1 serving of homemade soup
3 table water biscuits spread with 30g spreadable soft goats cheese
Prawn and; spinach curry
1 Porridge made with 50g oats and 300ml semi skimmed milk topped with 1 tsp raisins
1 serving of soup
80g olive ciabatta
Handful cherry tomatoes
Prawn and spinach curry (see overleaf), 200g boiled brown basmati rice 1 x 175ml glass red wine
100g Greek yoghurt (full or 0% fat) with chopped or sliced fruit
Prawn and; spinach curry
PER SERVING: 267 CALORIES
2 tbsp groundnut oil
2 red onions, chopped
2.5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled
4 garlic cloves, sliced
% tsp chilli powder
Yi tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
400ml reduced-fat can coconut milk
150g spinach, chopped
425g raw peeled king prawns
1 tbsp toasted flaked almonds
1.Place the tomatoes in a heatproof bowl and pour over boiling water to cover. Leave for one to two minutes, then drain, cut a cross at the stem end of each tomato and peel off the skins and chop.
2.Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan. add the onions, ginger and garlic and stir-fry for two to three minutes. Add the spices and cook for a further two to three minutes, then add the tomatoes.
3.Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Gradually add the spinach, stirring until wilted. Cook for four to five minutes.
4.Stir in the prawns and cook for a further two minutes or until the prawns turn pink. Sprinkle with the almonds before serving. ■
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