A detox, low-carb, fat burning soup recipe that will slim and trim your belly

I made this soup yesterday and it made my body feel so good I knew I had to share the recipe.

Detox is a funny word, agreed, but all I’m talking about is “correcting” or “balancing” the feeling we all get when we have eaten too many bad fats, greasy foods and been careless with our diet. So this is that soup, for when you know you feel gross and want to get back to feeling great.

There’s a “blitz”, “Vogue”, low-carb, fat burning diet that models drink when they want to lose weight or shape up because that’s their profession! I recently noticed that a model in New York City had detoxed with a soup similar to this.

She looked so great, that I did a bit of research. This is what I came up with:

Ingredients:

1/2 head of green cabbage
1 cup broccoli florettes
1 cup cauliflower florettes
1/2 cup diced tomato, green pepper and onion mixture
Virgin olive oil for light frying
1 tablespoon split mixed daal lentils (substitute yellow split peas, split mung beans or small red lentils)
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
10 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 L chicken or vegetable broth
1 L filtered cold water
1 cup raw chopped spinach
1 teaspoon Marmite
Dijon mustard to taste, after serving

Directions:

  1. In large soup pot, fry daal, Ginger, garlic, diced tomatoes, diced onions, diced green pepper and black peppercorns in olive oil until onions are translucent, about seven minutes.
  2. In a separate sauce pan, fry broccoli and cauliflower florettes in olive oil and spice mixture of your choice over medium to high heat, for 5 to 7 minutes. This will bring out the flavor of these cruciferous vegetables.
  3. Add chopped cabbage, water, broccoli and cauliflower sauté & vegetable stock to soup pot, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. If you wish, add more water.
  4. Turn off heat, stirring marmite and chopped raw spinach. Serve. Keep remainder covered. Eat as much as you want until pot is finished.
  5. After serving, stir in a teaspoon Dijon mustard to your bowl a kick of flavour if you wish. Remove black peppercorns if you do not wish to eat them.

This soup was fresh, clean and delicious. The best part was how my body felt after eating it, and nothing else. That is the trick to getting the benefits of this soup. Try and eat this soup as much as you can, before eating other things.

 

I sautéed my broccoli and cauliflower florettes in olive oil and a spice mixture containing salt, red chili, Tumerick, fenugreek seed, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and mutard seed

 

Black peppercorns add a great flavor to the soup. I add them right in the beginning when I am sautéing my lentils, onions, tomatoes, peppers, garlic and ginger.

 

you can add salt to your soup if you wish. I used this vegetable stock, which is high in sodium, so I didn’t add any more salt.

 

marmite is a natural byproduct from fermented brewers yeast. I feel 1 teaspoon of marmite adds depth to the flavor of the soup and richness. The ingredients of marmite are yeast extract, Salt, vegetable extract, niacin, vitamins B1, B2, folic acid and B12.

And there you have it. Healthy, slimming detox type soup that will clean out your body, clear out your eyes and bring you back on a healthy track.

Let me know what you think! What are your favorite “detox” eating ideas? Do you even believe in detox type eating??

xxSerena

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Weight loss: are some carbs good and others bad?

When most people think of carbs they think of rice, bread and pasta. The truth is, there are carbs in so many other foods! No, I’m not talking to those of you who were on a low-carb diet where you are eating less than five carbs a day or something like that.

For the normal folk, are all carbs considered equal? Well, the truth is that some carbs are simple and summer complex. The complex carbs contain more fiber and minerals and vitamins from the simple carbs do.

What are examples of complex carbs? We think of brown breads. Hearty grains, green vegetables or starchy tubers come to mind.


What are bad carbs? These are carbs like cake, donuts or white bread.


Here’s a helpful chart to give you some more tips and information:

Here is a low glycemic index diet list of foods, a rough shopping list, that may help you:


Happy eating !

xxSerena

Healthy food tips for type two diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It affects 90% to 95% of North Americans with diabetes. It’s also possible to regulate with the correct diet and exercise plan.

Maintaining a healthy diet is important for all of us but especially important for people with type 2 diabetes.

Exercise, diet and medicine, when prescribed, can help control your weight and blood sugar level if you have this type of diabetes.

Let’s specifically talk about diet in this blog post.

Carbs

Carbohydrates turn into sugar where is fats or protein do not. Some carbs are simple, like white bread, cakes and pastries. If you have diabetes, don’t eat those things anymore. As your taste buds adjust, you won’t miss them.

Get your carbs from leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, sweet potatoes, beans, rice, yogurt and lots of fruit. More details on specific foods will come from your medical professionals or nutritionist.

So eat this:

Not this:

 

Fiber

You get fiber from plant foods like vegetables, complex grains, nuts, beans, fruits and legumes. Fiber helps with digestion and controls blood sugar.

If you don’t get enough fiber, which you should with a healthy diet, take some psyllium husk dissolved in the liquid of your choice. And then drink lots of water! The psyllium husk will soak in the water, move through your intestines, scrubbing sticky particles along your intestines and clean you out.

Fats

If you are overweight you want to limit saturated fat and trans fat. Go for healthy fats like avocado, olives, coconut oil, almonds, sardines, salmon, mackerel  and tuna.

 

raw spinach topped with tuna, olives and olive oil

Salt

If you have diabetes that increases your risk of getting high blood pressure. Too much salt can add to that risk. Avoid foods in a box, cans, packaged soups, or processed foods. Your meats should not be canned cured or salted.

Choose grass fed meat, local fresh organic produce and fresh fruit instead.


Please take care! Be careful what you put into your body.

xxSerena

Is bone broth the new coffee? Nutrition savvy fitness leaders say it boosts energy more than caffeine and cures insomnia.

I had low energy, the kind that leaves you with headaches and no real desire to do the things you once loved.  The insomnia was bad too. I barely slept.

I needed a solution to low energy and loss of sleep, but caffeine wasn't doing the job.
I needed a solution to low energy and loss of sleep, but caffeine wasn’t doing the job.

I had gone to an accupuncturist and physiotherapist last year who told me that the solution to my problem with “low energy” was to increase the amount of gelatine in my diet.  And not the sugar stuff either. Not Jell-O. He also suggested bone broth.

This year, the latest food trend seemed to be bone broth. What a coincidence that I was already thinking about it and gelatine. NYC fashion models are apparently, putting “stock” (pardon the pun) in the fact that collagen in bone broth will increase the shine of their locks and the quality of their skin. Bone broth bars are popping up in NYC and LA, models are flocking to homemade soup bars and snatching up all the broth so all that’s left is a pile of noodles in the pot!

Is bone broth the new coffee? Fans of the meaty soup say that it boost energy better than caffeine, in addition to curing insomnia!

Why is this happening?

Because drinking bone broth has a multitude of benefits. I’ve managed to scale down all the benefits to three main ones: nutrition, cost and ease. First, let’s talk about nutrition; minerals, antioxidants and amino acids:

  1. Bone broth is rich in glycine. This amino acid protects the kidneys and liver, contains antioxidants that protect against cancer and is used in the synthesis of hemoglobin.

The Paleo Mom talks more about glycine and all the ways it helps our bodies, from reducing stress to good digestion:

“glycine is required for synthesis of DNA, RNA and many proteins in the body.  As such, it plays extensive roles in digestive health, proper functioning of the nervous system and in wound healing.  Glycine aids digestion by helping to regulate the synthesis and of bile salts and secretion of gastric acid.  It is involved in detoxification and is required for production of glutathione, an important antioxidant.  Glycine helps regulate blood sugar levels by controlling gluconeogenesis (the manufacture of glucose from proteins in the liver).  Glycine also enhances muscle repair/growth by increasing levels of creatine and regulating Human Growth Hormone secretion from the pituitary gland.  This wonderful amino acid is also critical for healthy functioning of the central nervous system.  In the brain, it inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters, thus producing a calming effect.  Glycine is also converted into the neurotransmitter serine, which promotes mental alertness, improves memory, boosts mood, and reduces stress.”

Foods rich in glycine are high protein foods such as fish, meat, cheese and dairy.

Protein_3

 

2. Bone broth is cheap and easy to make. All you need are meat bones from a healthy source, clean filtered water, vegetables and spices. I keep the spices simple by using fresh herbs, peppercorns, salt and a few smashed cloves of garlic. You choose your bones, either beef, fish, poultry, lamb, bison or game meat like elk.

marrow-bones_1290

It’s easy to make since all you need to do is sear the bones in the same pot you make the broth in, to increase flavour, add water, vegetables, spices, then cover and simmer on low heat for 2-4 hours. Bones you can use are oxtail, neck, feet or any bone you like. If you want a darker richer stock, you may want to roast the bones in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes before adding to your broth.

If you want, you can make a great bone broth using chicken.

3. You can drink bone broth for a boost of energy instead of coffee or caffeinated soda. It can be refreshing, warm and very flavourful. Meena Hart Duerson from the TODAY show researched the trend and drank bone broth every day for one week. She even made her own. Here’s what happened:

What happened to Meena after drinking bone broth for a week?

You can buy a cup of bone broth and drink it like a green juice or coffee. You can make it at home and put it in a thermos or just buy a cup at a supermarket or shop.

broth to go
Brodo in the East Village in NYC sells a cup of broth for about $4

Have you tried bone broth? Do you think it’s worth making and trying out for yourself? Our grandmothers did, it’s nothing new, really.

But I’ve got to say; I’m going to try it. I can’t say it worked for me last year but now it’s a trend so who knows?!?!  I’ll make a large batch, drink some and freeze the rest. Maybe in ice cube trays in case I want to use it in cooking. I have nothing to lose. It’s cheap, easy and if it heals the body the way some claim, it might be worth picking a bone with. No pun intended.

xxSerena

 

What do you eat post workout?

Everyone’s got different goals. Some people believe that you should get some protein powder in you quick – within an hour – after a workout or even immediately afterward or during!

I never eat during my workout. If I eat before a workout is usually something very light like a banana with peanut butter or some Greek yogurt with berries. I try to drink as much water as I can get in before a workout though.

I’m not one of those people who believes you need to eat immediately after a workout. Intermittent fasting works for me so drinking water immediately after workout is the best thing for my body.

But if I am hungry after a workout you bet I’ll eat! I try listen to my body but keep my fuel choices sensible. Today about 45 minutes after my workout I drink a glass of cold buttermilk. It’s high in protein and tastes like plain yogurt. Why do I drink it? Because I love the taste and I always have. It’s slightly sour and sick and I just love it.

Then I cut up a tomato and basil chicken sausage and fried it in a little bit of olive oil. I added two beaten eggs seasoned with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. I added a splash of cold water, beat the mixture some more and poured onto my browned sausages for a light fluffy frittata. 

 

So today my post workout was packed with fats and protein. Also I drink lots of water! I ate a few pistachios too a little after since I was still hungry.

Everyone eats different things post workout. Every body is different. What do you eat after workout?

Here is some post workout food ideas in case you wanted more information:


I like that they have chocolate milk on the chart. I used to work out, break my fast with chocolate milk and then eat a spinach salad with avocado and chicken breast!

What do you do ?

xxSerena

How to beat belly fat

Everyone wants a flat tummy. From my experience the best way is through consistent exercise and clean eating. 

What does that mean? 

By consistent exercise I mean just that. I think a short amount of time regularly, that means every single day, and nothing crazy long or strenuous. I think a lot of people think if they increase the intensity of the exercise they will get fit faster. What I have seen is that this leads to injuries. I believe in slow consistent exercise with the balance between strength conditioning, preferably using your own bodyweight, flexibility training and cardio. 

For flexibility training I think taking at least one yoga class a week is great. A soothing Hatha or Iyengar yoga class is ideal. Breathing is important. Learning to focus and concentrate is vital. 

Remember, you can’t target belly fat. All you can do is exercise and eat nutrient dense whole foods like vegetables, fruit, whole grains, healthy fats and drink lots of water. If you do this, your belly fat will eventually reduce. But all in good time because usually belly fat is the last fat to go! 

Lean sources of protein include fish, chicken, beans and lentils. Healthy fats are raw nuts, avocado and eggs. Whole Foods should be eaten whole again. No need to be scared of the coconut cream inside of a coconut or the yoke inside of an egg! Eat everything, it all came from the tree, all from nature. Just eat. In moderation, and enjoy every bite. 

As for cardio, light jogs, walking in nature, jump rope or swimming are all great. Here is a cheat sheet that may give you some additional helpful tips:

  

The chart says to avoid soluble fiber such as oatbran, citrus and beans. I disagree. I do not believe cutting out citrus such as lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit is something that you should stop. In fact, I believe the opposite! I believe a grapefruit or orange eaten every day will keep your belly trim and slim! 

I don’t believe everything you read either. A lot of the infographics I post, I think, should be taken with a grain of salt and your own common sense. Listen to your own body. Do what is right for you. Honor yourself!

xxSerena

Homemade hummus guide

Hummus can be made with more than chickpeas. It’s a great snack, high in antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. It’s also inexpensive and easy to make.

You can buy it in a can, prepared in your supermarket, or from a restaurant but I think it’s best to make it is at home. This way, you can control the ingredients to your liking and guarantee the freshness of your hummus dip!

The guide says to use a food processor but if you have a blender or even a Neutri-bullet this can be made in advance and is a great fresh snack.

The more you make this the more comfortable it will be for you to try the different varieties of hummus. It’s versatile because you can eat it with crackers, vegetables or even as a substitute for salad dressing.

Instead of eating salty fat-laden potato chips or processed treats out of the box why not make a batch of your favorite homemade hummus, keep it in a container and eat it throughout the week?

Let me know if you tried one of these hummus combinations and how you liked it!

  

If your hummus is too chunky, increase the amount of lemon juice or olive oil, then mix again.

xxSerena

Food combining 101

I eat according to food combining principles and have been, generally, for over the past decade. I’m not strict about it and will break rules but notice changes in my body when I do.

If those around you aren’t following food combining rules here are some solutions:

fart-air

I say try food combining for a week and feel the change.

What is it?

To simplify a complex process, different food groups are digested by different enzymes in different parts of the digestive track for different periods of time. So when incompatible foods are eaten together, or within a few hours of each other, the wrong enzymes end up trying to digest to the wrong foods for the wrong amount of time.

Why do it?

The first result is of bad food combining is incomplete digestion followed by fermentation and putrification of undigested remains. This then generates toxic poisons, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream, tissues and bones.

The end results over a long period of time directly cause or contribute to a multitude of diverse elements including all gastric elements, skin, allergies, bad breath, obesity, malnutrition, fatigue, high blood pressure, arthritis & general ill health. I don’t want to sound scary but it’s an ailment like any other, so some say cancer is included on the list.

Should you try it?

Here is a four step quick test to determine if bad food combining is affecting you:

  1. Do you, despite chewing your food well, get cramps, heartburn, acidity or indigestion after eating?
  2. Do you, despite eating nutritious foods, suffer from unexplainable elements like allergies or fatigue?
  3. Do you, despite a low calorie diet, gain or retain weight and fail to thrive on high-quality food?
  4. Do you suffer from bad breath, body odor or flatulence?

What are the rules?

Here is a simple food combining chart that you can use as a resource. If you have questions, ask away!


The fruits in that chart on the bottom take two hours to digest completely. The protein takes 12 hours.

What’s an example of food combining?

For example, fish with rice is not an ideal meal. The fish, a protein, requires about 12 hours in an acid stomach medium and the enzyme pepsin is used in digestion. The rice, a starch, requires about five hours in an alkaline medium in your mouth and intestines, using the enzyme amylase and others. So the rice will effectively stop the complete digestion of the fish while the rice is being digested in the stomach. The fish will essentially “rot” in the stomach for hours while the rice is being digested. This increases toxicity in the body, fatigue, indigestion and stinky flatulence!

 

Fish and rice may seem like a delicious idea but is it good for your body?
Basic rules are:

  1. Don’t combine protein, or acid fruits with starch.
  2. Don’t eat sweet desserts after protein.
  3. Do combine starches, green vegetables, fats, sugars. All these require an alkaline medium to digest.
  4. Do combine proteins, fats, acid fruits and green vegetables. All of these require an acid medium.

What do you think about food combining? Let me know, leave a question or comment. 

Eat well lovely readers! 

xxSerena

Six amazing beauty hacks

I like simple do it yourself beauty hacks better easy and that work. I use Vaseline, apple cider vinegar, eggs and fruit when I can for easy beauty hacks because they really work.

Here is a handy chart to help you do it yourself:

 Have you tried any of these?

xxSerena  

$20 food show down: fast food versus healthy food

$20 can buy you quite a bit of food. You have the choice, however, on how to spend it. Billboards, commercials, subliminal messaging all over the media through the Internet or even jingles that enter our head can influence what we put into our mouths. 

Here’s a chart that might make you think about how you spend your money and what you put into your body. 

What may seem like a “deal” may not be when it comes to long-term health.

 
What could you spend $20 on for something quick, delicious and healthy?

xxSerena