We’ll be honest, however much we would like to be those people who treat their bodies as a temple for 365 days of the year, the truth is that every now and then we need to balance out the inevitable indulgences with a few days of saintliness. The signs are clear when our trousers feel tight and somehow we always seem to feel hungry, fancying every cake or pastry that we see.
Our bodies get used to eating and wanting more rather too quickly – why it doesn’t seem to happen very often the other way round seems to us to be one of life’s little cruel ironies. But if we can gather our collective willpower and fill our cupboards with delicious ingredients for making quick and easy healthy recipes that we actually enjoy eating, then we give ourselves the best chance for getting off to a fresh new start.
I lost 2 1/2 stone 5 years ago and after getting married last summer I have just begun to let it creep back, so it’s the perfect time for me to get back into balance, too, and I find soup a really nourishing way to do this. So these are the goals we had in mind as we put our Soup Cleanse recipes together:
- Losing Weight
- Waking Up With Energy
- Feeling Less Bloated
- A Better Night’s Sleep
- Less Stress
- Feeling Clearheaded
- Falling Back In Love With Your Body
Our philosophy is very simple: to eat a wide variety of natural, healthful and seasonal foods and to cook them all from scratch.
It might not happen all at once; it’s often a good idea to make one small change at a time that is really possible and to use that as a catalyst to make other sorts of tweaks and improvements. We kid ourselves that there are people out there who are somehow perfect in every way – they never eat a chocolate, they do meditation and yoga every morning before the rest of us are even awake and putting the kettle on. Perfection is highly overrated, because in reality it’s impossible and living that way would probably be pretty boring. We are all imperfect, but wonderful as we are.
We have therefore designed this soup cleanse in such a way that you can start simply with a 2-day cleanse over a weekend or, if you’d like to commit for longer, we have a variety of 5- and 7-day cleanses. We hope the recipes offer inspiration as much as guidance and that they are a catalyst for falling in love with the healthy side of you, the one that might even like kale and tofu (we promise!). For us, a cleanse is simply a way to bring ourselves back into balance.
SIGNS THAT YOU MIGHT BENEFIT FROM A CLEANSE:
- Decreased energy
- Feeling tired after eating
- Suffering from constipation, loose stools or irregular bowel movements
- Having a foggy brain
- Having trouble sleeping or finding it hard to wake up
- Feeling anxious or stressed lots of the time
- Having cravings for specific foods or feeling a dependence on certain foods
- Feeling bloated
- Experiencing weight gain
- Feeling generally ‘off’ your game.
WHAT A CLEANSE AIMS FOR:
- A renewed sense of vitality and clarity
- Support towards achieving a sustained healthy weight
- Promoting deep and restorative sleep
- Regular, healthy bowel movements
- Energy throughout the day
- Positive, balanced relationship with food
- Feeling revitalised and enthusiastic about life.
Bone-based broths have been used for centuries and across cultures as healing remedies, and chicken soup is worthy of a book of its own. Soup has long been used by various traditional medicines. In Ayurveda, a soup (kitchari) cleanse is undertaken to help restore your digestive ‘fire’, which is not only related to how our body digests the food we eat but also all our thoughts and emotions. Supporting the health of this fire, or ‘agni’, is a way of supporting our overall health. In Chinese medicine, it has been thought for thousands of years that consuming a bowl of soup before each meal is beneficial to one’s health, and now research also suggests that this practice leads to eating on average fewer calories over the course of the day.
We know that juice cleanses are really popular at this time of the year, but it’s also worth bearing in mind how overstretched our digestion systems have often become during December, and that warming soups are a great way to gently stoke our digestive fire while giving our bodies’ a well earned little break.
- Carrot, Ginger and Tangerine
- Harissa Cauliflower and Corn
- Corn, Kale and Avocado
- Red lentil and tamarind
- Beetroot and Caraway
- Sesame Chicken
- Barley Bone Broth
- Squash and Almond Butter
- Soup Jars