Today I have for you a simple, and I mean seriously simple, soup recipe for these frigid days. This takes 30 minutes, one pot and you can easily substitue ingredients. And it could not be any healthier.
It's for one of those nights after a weekend of eating delicious meals out at restaurants, popping open multiple bottles of wine, and enjoying stacks of pancakes at long brunches. It's for when you just want a night in, to eat something cleansing and purely good for you, and chill the heck out.
All you have to do is grab a large pot, fill it with mostly water and a couple of cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth, then add in a full head of cauliflower broken into pieces (even use the greens!), a few chopped carrots, a diced sweet potato, a block of chopped tofu, and some spices. Bring it all to a boil, then let it simmer for about 25 minutes. I made brown rice on the side (but you can just make it in the soup itself if you want), and added loads of it into the soup. I like it hearty!
This soup warms the soul. Mmm Hmmm :)
Tofu- Veggie- Brown Rice Soup
(makes about 6 servings)
1. Add the water and broth to a large pot. Crank up the heat.
2. Dice up the cauliflower, carrots, sweet potato and block of tofu.
3. Add veggies and tofu to the pot.
4. Add spices, bring everything to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally.
5. Simmer for about 25 minutes or until veggies are soft.
6. Add brown rice to your liking, depending on how hearty you want it. (if you want to make the brown rice in the soup, just add the dry brown rice at the beginning at the same time you add everything else).
This is so easy to change up depending on what ingredients you have. Just add whatever veggies you want, some chicken (a rotisserie chicken maybe? easy to pick up at the grocery store), beans, quinoa, etc. Go crazaay!
I think that I was Italian in another life. I can eat pizza and pasta most nights of the week and be perfectly content. With some wine, of course.
I made two kinds of pizza last week: Simple Grilled Vegetable Pizza and then a Chunky Chicken/Grilled Vegetable Pizza. Both were thin crust, crispy, and delicious.
I started off grilling some veggies on a grill pan. Us New Yorkers don't really have access to grills, so grill pan it is.
Above you see an eggplant, a few bell peppers, and a zucchini. I didn't even use any oil or anything on the pan-- just simply grilled these babies up!
I rolled out my whole wheat dough, which took some considerable arm strength I might add, and then topped it with some basic sauce.
For the vegetable pizza, I just layered on the veggies whole:
Topped with some mozzarella:
In the oven and back out again:
Literally couldn't stop taking pictures.
And for the chicken/veggie pizza, I decided to dice up the grilled veggies and add baked chicken (I had baked this a few days prior and had it frozen). Otherwise, it was the same process. Dough, sauce, topped with the same veggies and chicken, shredded mozzarella on top.
I hope you enjoy this as a healthy dinner (what? we've got some whole wheat carbs, veggies, chicken, cheese... pizza can be healthy!), lunch or even a slice as a snack. It's a pretty well rounded meal if you ask me.
If you haven't seen my posts yet about Intuitive Eating and the 21 Day Intuitive Eating Challenge I'm hosting starting Feb 1, check them out here! Would love to have you join.
Grilled Vegetable Pizza
1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. Slice your veggies and get them grilling on the grill pan. After a few minutes, turn them, so that they are cooked on both sides. If you keep your heat on high, the whole grilling process should only take about 5 minutes per batch (I had to do a few batches because my grill pan is small).
3. Work the dough into pizza form, using flour to help you from it sticking to your hands. Use a rolling pin if you have one. Once it is formed, sprinkle a baking pan with cornmeal. Add dough to the baking pan.
4. Add sauce. Top with grilled veggies and mozzarella.
5. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes, until the edges of the crust start to brown.
Grilled Vegetable and Chicken Pizza
4. Add sauce. Chop grilled veggies and chicken, and add to the pizza. Top with mozzarella.
I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was filled with a lot of hangin' around, catching up with friends, good food, frisbee (yes, frisbee!) and relaxing.
Today I have a workout for you that I did this morning. My body was begging me to move a little today, and I wanted to be outside. 15 degrees or not, I would prefer an outdoor workout to the gym any day.
I wanted to come up with some sort of fun bootcamp style workout to do in the park. My New Years resolution is to strength train more, and I thought it would be a fun little challenge to come up with a workout using just objects in the park. This workout just required a bench.... simplicity at it's finest, I like it!
I walked for about 15 minutes before I did the circuit, did the circuit twice, and then walked about 15 minutes home. The strength training part itself took about 20 minutes.
I hope this gives you some inspiration to get outside during these brutally cold days. Once you're two minutes in, I promise you'll be warmed up!
Another Intuitive Eating post today. I have to say, I have been blown away and so touched by some of the emails you've sent me about Intuitive Eating and your interest in the 21 Day Intuitive Eating Challenge. So many of you are tired of the diets, want a new approach and are open to this concept. I was already excited about the challenge, but now I just can't wait to get it started.
I'll be formally announcing the details of the challenge sometime next week, but you can continue to email me at [email protected] with the subject line "IE Challenge" to get signed up.
Forging onward! I feel like the next step is to outline the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating (taken directly from the book, Intuitive Eating) and my interpretation of each one. This lays the groundwork for the concept as a whole and the challenge as well.
So here we go:
Principle 1: Reject the Diet Mentality
This one is huge. In order to let IE in, and use our body as our guide, we have to let the idea that "there is a diet out there for us" go. Diets provide us with an amazing sense of control which can be empowering at first, but ultimately defeating when we get fed up with following some plan or we "fail". And by the way, it's not our fault that we fail at diets. We fail because most diets go against what our bodies actually want, and that inherently feels wrong.
I'll be honest: you will probably get annoyed or fed up with IE at some point and resort back to a diet for a few days. IE takes longer, you have to be patient. It's about the journey, learning about yourself and what works for you and what doesn't. There is no "plan" to follow. In the past 4 or 5 years, I have had moments of "this is way too hard, I just need a diet, a plan, someone else to tell me what to do". And I've gone back to diets. But overtime, I learned that they just kept not working for me, and IE was always what I came back to. Now, diets aren't even an option.
Principle 2: Honor Your Hunger
We should be eating when we're hungry to keep our metabolisms going. Hunger is GOOD. I love being hungry, because then I eat! This principle is all about trying to level out the periods of restriction followed by overeating. Keeping yourself fueled throughout the day with foods you want and love is essential.
Principle 3: Make Peace with Food
This one is fun but scary. Making peace with food means giving yourself permission to eat what you actually want and crave. You know those lists you have of "good food" and "bad food". Say goodbye! :) There is no such thing.
A common question I get about this one is… but if I eat whatever I want, then I'll just eat junk all the time and I'll blow up (or in the case of my Dad, he is convinced he would just eat hotdogs and cheeseburgers all day, everyday). To that I say… yes, you definitely may eat a lot of "junk" (higher fat, sugar, calorie) food at first, but over time you'll learn that you body just wants to feel good, and feeling good will come from incorporating nutritious food into your diet too.
A friend told me a story recently about someone she knew who started following Intuitive Eating several years ago. She started eating 6 Dairy Queen Blizzards every single day, because that is what she had been depriving herself of for years. Eventually, she needed less and less ice cream, and her body finally said "Enough of this, I need real food".
I went through this too, and I'll be sharing some of my experiences with this during the 21 Day Challenge.
Principle 4: Challenge the Food Police
Release the guilt that you've associated with eating "bad food". As the book mentions, the food police is ingrained deep into our psyche. This principle is about controlling your thoughts and not letting in those thoughts that say you are making a bad choice. Just let it be. You are experimenting, you are learning, and you're listening to you.
Principle 5: Feel Your Fullness
Another huge one! This is about learning what it feels like to feel full and stopping when you're full. I know this is a tough one for all of us, because… sometimes we just want to keep eating! The food is so good. I'll also be addressing this in the 21 Day Challenge.
Principle 6: Discover the Satisfaction Factor
This is one of my favorite principles. As I just wrote in an email to someone today "you deserve to enjoy every single thing you eat". The motto that the IE book has is:
"If you don't love it, don't eat it, and if you love it, savor it"
We don't need to be eating things we don't like. As you've probably seen, I eat a lot of vegetables but I make them in a way that I love. I used to eat them in a really boring and unsatisfying way, but what's the fun in that? I also eat a lot of chocolate, carbs, fats, and my fair share of ice cream and wine. This is a key principle. Pleasure and enjoyment are crucial! :)
Principle 7: Cope With Your Emotions Without Using Food
Okay, so, this one is a doozy. It really is. If there is one principle that I think is the hardest, it's this one. Honestly, I wish the book spent more time going through this, because I think this was a missing piece for me for a while after I started trying to incorporate IE into my life. It wasn't until I focused here (which took me a long time), that everything kind of came together for me.
This is tough… so many of us eat because we are bored, or we are distracting ourselves from a long day of work, or we are stressed out or overwhelmed. Or we are at a dinner and the conversation is boring so we just keep finishing our plate even though we are no longer hungry.
It's essential to develop strategies and tools to deal with this outside of food. I'm going to go over some things that worked for me in the 21 Day Challenge, but I would just say that this is a part of Intuitive Eating not to discount. From my experience, I've found it to be really important to focus on developing these coping skills.
Principle 8: Respect Your Body
Phew. This is another big one, and one I have a lot to say about. But here is the gist: this principle is all about self care. It doesn't matter how overweight you are, how badly you've treated your body in the past, or how far away you think you are from your goals, you deserve to treat your body with respect NOW.
This means feeding it with delicious food, dressing in clothes you love and that are comfortable, moving your body in a way that feels energizing, looking in the mirror and only allowing yourself to tell yourself positive things (even if you aren't where you want to be yet), and stopping comparing yourself to other people.
The book mentions:
"Body image expert and psychologist Judith Rodin notes in her book Body Traps, "You don't need to lose weight first in order to take care of yourself. In fact, the process actually happens quite in the reverse!""
Principle 9: Exercise- Feel the Difference
Move your body in a way that you love. Walk if you like it better than running. Dance, do yoga, and if you don't want to go to the gym, just put on some tunes and dance around your apartment. Just move in a way that feels good.
Principle 10: Honor Your Health-- Gentle Nutrition
This one is important to go over because I think a common misconception about Intuitive Eating (from my experience in talking about it with people) is that you ignore all nutrition guidelines. It's really not the case. In fact, to me, IE is all about doing what feels best for me. And what's best is often times really nutritious food. However, it took me a long time to get here. I had to go through letting go of the "bad food" judgement first and letting myself eat exactly what I wanted and when I wanted it. Overtime, things level out and our bodies just naturally want a mix of high nutrition food and food that may be lower in nutritional value but that we just enjoy. The leveling out does take time and from my experience, it's important to go through the process to get there.
And that's that. There is SO much more in the book about each principle and the authors do a great job of incorporating real life scenarios throughout the book. I could also say so much more about each principle and how it has played into my own experience with Intuitive Eating. In the next week or two, you will hear from a couple of my friends and people I've worked with who either practice the IE concept or have given it a shot, and then in the challenge, you'll hear several tips and pieces of advice that I have for practically incorporating IE into your life.
Have an awesome day and if you get nothing else from this post, I hope you at least give yourself permission to eat something today that you absolutely love :)
These days, I am still fond of my pasta and butter combo. Some things don't change...I knew what was up as a youngin'.
There's just something about real butter, you know? It's not necessarily the healthiest thing you can eat, but it's so delicious. And we all deserve deliciousness.
Real butter goes a long way. The plate you see only has half a tablespoon of butter, just enough...and totally necessary.
The whole wheat pasta, sweet potato, peas and spinach provide wholesome nourishment, and the butter gives you that closed-eyed "mmmm" feeling of richness.
Simply seasoned with some salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes for a little kick, and you've got yourself a comforting winter meal.
Topped with parm... what more could you want?
The little kid inside of me was so happy with this meal. She even got some extra nutrition today with all the veggies. Win-Win.
Simple Winter Pasta in a Light Coat of Butter
(serves 1 or 2)
Mix all together in a pot over low heat. Enjoy the taste of real butter.
P.S. If you're interested in participating in my 21 Day Intuitive Eating Challenge starting Feb 1st, (more info at the end of this post), remember to email me at [email protected] to get signed up!