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Soup of the day

By Sonia Salfity , Family Flavours - Jan 08,2023 - Last updated at Jan 08,2023

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

One of the many challenges we face as desperate dieters is overeating during the winter. 

The colder weather makes it too easy to overeat especially for those who suffer seasonal depression. Being aware of this helps us to prepare ourselves both mentally and physically for the emotional toll this can take on us.


Comforting and nutritious


Soup is one of the best selections to keep us satisfied without going over our daily caloric limit. It’s also one of the easiest ways to incorporate healthy veggies as well as lentils and legumes into our menu. It’s comforting and nutritious which is a very powerful combo. When we combine good nutrition with comfort, we are more apt to enjoy those selections more often. Here are a few key strategies I’ve learned to make a healthier life style a daily reality instead of a far-fetched dream.

Having the ingredients on hand. Every time I go to the grocery store I make sure to buy fresh veggies as well as some frozen ones to ensure that I won’t run out.

Frozen spinach is one of my favourites to purchase because spinach freezes well and can be added to stir fries as well as soups and stews. I also take advantage of garden vegetables that friends share with me as they taste amazing no matter how you cook them.

The other items I try to keep in my pantry are garlic and onions, chicken broth and tomato paste. I try to be mindful about purchasing items lower in sodium and I make sure to add enough herbs and spices to jazz my veggies up. By the time you add chopped onions, garlic and herbs to your soup, you will have made it so flavourful that no one will miss the lack of high sodium.

Using leftovers to create new soup recipes. You can cut up leftover chicken or beef and add onions, garlic and quinoa or lentils and create an entire meal that is filling and very satisfying. It’s also an easy ‘all in one’ meal to pack with you for lunch at work the next day. You can prep, divide and freeze soups and meals to grab on the go to ensure you eat healthy even on your busiest of days.

Don’t fall into the fast food trap that we’ve all fallen into as desperate dieters. Just because we are busy people, it doesn’t mean we have to eat unhealthy “fast foods” that taste delicious while robbing us of the necessary nutrients our bodies desperately need.

I don’t know about you, but on cold winter days when I’m very busy at work, it is so tempting to just stop somewhere to pick up the foods that I love to eat. Fast food is one of the reasons we got into this mess, so let’s not fall for that anymore. I’m not saying we should aim for perfection and that we never ever taste a juicy burger and French fries ever again. But I am saying that we should aim to avoid them.

Aim for improvement not perfection. That improvement will look different for each of us. For some, it will mean eating at home more often and taking the time to prepare our meals from scratch and not always going for the easy, processed meals. Yet, for others it will mean having a cup of soup before their meal and skipping dessert entirely.

Maybe for some it means taking one or two bites of dessert instead of finishing every crumb on the plate. For some, having even one bite of a dessert will do them in by sending them on that vicious cycle of a downward spiral where their body continues to crave sweets and salty foods.

Never quit! Whatever your improvement looks like, remember to give yourself credit for the days you get it right and forgive yourself for the days you don’t. Learn to encourage yourself when there are no positive people around you. This is a skill that we all need to practice so let’s do it together. Let’s build each other up to be stronger in our quest to get a handle on our food issues. Sometimes we take one step forward and two steps back, but this doesn’t mean that we should quit. It just means that we should get that pot out and make our favourite soup, loaded with the nutrients our bodies need and help ourselves to get back on track.

Here’s to curling up with a good book and a hot cup of soup on these cold winter days!


Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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