The Miracle Soup (La Sopa Milagrosa)

What seems like a hundred years ago, I remember my mother starting a diet called “la sopa milagrosa.” As happens with most memories, I cannot remember this time entirely. My memory is simply highlighted glimpses of what I captured at that time. I remember I was very young, although not sure how old I was. I remember seeing a big pot on the top of the stove boiling contents I was not familiar with. I remember thinking it looked absolutely disgusting and being thankful I was too young to have to be on that diet. And I remember never hearing about that soup again for the rest of my life.

I don’t remember what was in the soup or what the rest of the diet entailed and I don’t remember if my mother ever lost weight as a result of that soup.

Ironically, soups have now become a huge part of my family’s diet. On a regular basis we eat cabbage soups, lentil soups, chicken soup, butternut squash soup, potato-leek soup…we love soups!!!!

A couple of years ago our cousin began eating healthy like we did. She lived in California at the time and she started making soups for herself, mainly because she was only cooking for 1 and soups allowed her to use lots of vegetables and have food for the week without the fear that everything in the fridge would perish quickly. She introduced her soup to her grandparents on one of her trips to Miami and they loved it. They started making the soup and having a bowl every night for dinner without altering anything else from their daily diet. All the sudden they began losing weight and going to the bathroom regularly. They were thrilled. The soup became a staple in their home. Every time we go to their house we eat a huge bowl of it. My kids love it. Its a happy soup…full of good ingredients and love.

Recently I was making the soup at home for my dad (in my never ending quest to get him to eat healthy!). He came over to have some and despite the fact he has no palette for vegetables, he enjoyed the soup. I thought to myself…wow this is una sopa milagrosa (a miracle soup). The thought immediately transcended me to my mother’s kitchen so many years ago. Funny how the name of that soup stuck in my head despite me not liking the smell of the soup or even trying it myself.

It made me wonder what was all the hype of that soup as a diet so many years ago. Luckily for me… we now have google. A 2.5 second search gave me all the answers I was looking for. This is a 7 day diet written in spanish, in which each day during the 7 days you’re told exactly what you can consume in addition to the soup that they have you make. It basically goes like this:

  • day 1 – fruits and soup only
  • day 2- no fruits, only greens including soup
  • day 3- fruits and veggies combo

You get the idea. The diet claims you will lose 8.5 kilos (roughly 18.7 LBS) in just 7 days. That is pretty intense…I have no idea if its true or not but I can definitely see WHY the diet makes this claim. This diet is essentially a cleanse.  The ingredients of the soup are celery, cabbage, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, and chicken stock.

If you eliminate all grains, processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and only consume fruits and green vegetables you will obviously lose weight! Of course the soup is miraculous…its putting nothing but good into your body and eliminating all the bad.

But I have a problem with this diet. My problem is on day 8. Anyone can do this diet, but if you do not like vegetables and fruits, if you are accustomed to eating a certain way, if you are only looking for a quick fix…from day 8 on, you will inevitably revert to your old eating habits and regain the weight you lost.

Although the soup may be excellent for you, the process is so painful that it is unsustainable. Cleanses are super popular these days and heavily promoted. But I don’t think cleanses are for everyone. Cleanses require much will power and can leave you feeling exhausted. Especially in our high stress lives…our brains are not designed to endure so much sacrifice. So essentially even if we make it through the cleanse…we can easily be setting ourselves up for failure.

Eating well should not have to be so hard. Now, if you have 15 days until you have to go out in a bathing suit, you may be willing to make all sorts of sacrifices to lose weight quickly. But these quick fixes come with a price if you’re not careful.

I say Don’t Eat The Marshmallow! Focus less on the instant gratification of weight loss and more on the long term effects of changing your dietary habits.

Did you know that just a 20% change in your dietary habits can have huge long-lasting, weight impacting effects on your body?

So if you’re open to making small changes that make big impacts, try this experiment. Make yourself a big pot of this killer, awesome for you soup (our recipe not la milagrosa recipe). Store it in several individual-sized portion containers -depending on your family size and how many of you will be having some. Keep a couple containers in the fridge for the week and freeze the rest. Then begin eating the soup before dinner, for dinner or for lunch.  If you’re still hungry after you eat the soup, eat a small portion of whatever you want. You can try different combinations. For example, one night you may eat a piece of grilled chicken or a fillet of fish and the soup on the side. Another day you could eat the soup on top of some quinoa.

See how eating this soup regularly affects your digestion, your bowels and your food cravings. I believe that if you commit to doing this for a couple of weeks you will see miraculous things happen. Your brain will naturally start making better choices throughout the day without so much sacrifice. You will like how eating this soup makes you feel. You will notice the difference when you go to the bathroom. You may even shed some weight. If any of the above happen for you, you will inevitably want to start making more changes. The beauty of this experiment is you can do it without any huge expectations or huge sacrifices. There is no pass or fail.

I will reiterate: this relaxed approach to transitioning into a healthy lifestyle may not sit well with someone who has a goal of losing XX IBS in a certain amount of time. But I am not trying to help you meet your goal. I am trying to help you create a system. I am hoping that by eliminating goals and creating systems – we can eliminate this yo-yo way of life that becomes so taxing on our bodies and psyche.

Give yourself this gift…the right to eat healthy and enjoy it without the pressure of a diet. Good luck and have fun.

Stephanie’s Super Veggie Soup

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of cremini mushrooms
  • 1 stock chopped celery
  • 2 boxes of organic vegetable broth
  • 3 chopped carrots
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 3 leaves of kale
  • 3 leaves of collards
  • 1 baby bok choy
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1/2 Daikon
  • 1 sprig of parsley
  • celtic sea salt to taste

Directions

  • Sautee onions, tomatoes, green peppers, red peppers, garlic, celery, and cremini mushrooms in a little bit of coconut oil. You can add a dash of celtic sea salt for seasoning.
  • Once those veggies are soft and aromatic, add 2 boxes of organic vegetable broth (you can buy at the store or make your own whichever you prefer) and bring to a boil
  • Once the broth is boiling add your carrots, cauliflower, and daikon since they take the longest to cook. Reduce broth to medium heat. You can add celtic sea salt to taste, black pepper, kelp, turmeric, or any other spice you enjoy cooking with.
  • After a few minutes when the carrots and cauliflower start to get soft, add your leafy greens and parsley. These should wilt in about 3-4 minutes. Once they have wilted and are still a beautiful green- take the soup off the heat.
  • You can serve and eat as is or you can put the veggies in a blender with a little bit of the broth and blend into a puree. (That is the way I eat it)


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NOTE:  I can’t give you exact quantities of the ingredients because it really all depends how much you make of it. My measurements were estimates and you can put more or less depending on your tastebuds. Also, you do not need to put in every single vegetable I listed. And you can add or replace any of these veggies with your own choice. If you don’t recognize some of these veggies, don’t let that intimidate you. Simply skip them for your first try. Then if you like the soup, you can always look for those later and incorporate them in another soup. And change it up. If you put in and leave out certain ingredients, you will essentially make different soups and avoid getting bored of the same ole recipe every time.

Your options are endless. Put on a little music in the background and let chopping and cleaning these veggies be more therapy than work. Let this be an experience.

To happy cooking. Have a wonderful week.

 

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