|Lentil leek soup|
Since we have been focusing on weight loss this month, I want to summarize some of the tips I've been giving you about how to effectively lose weight. And since one of my favorite ways to accomplish this is to eat lots of filling, healthy soups, I'll share my latest soup recipe with you too!
#1 - Journal
Carry a small notebook and write down EVERYTHING you eat. For extra credit, figure out the calories and other nutrients you are consuming by looking them up at SelfNutritionData. After doing this for a while, you'll learn what foods are good for you and what foods to avoid.
#2 - Drink Water
Upon rising, before you drink your first cup of coffee or tea and before you eat anything, drink one or two cups of water. Also, drink a glass of water before each meal. Besides helping you eat less, this will assist your body in removing toxins that will be released as you burn excess fat.
#3 - Eat Small and Eat Often
Eat three small meals a day and 3 small snacks. Never let yourself get hungry! This blog now has more than 200 healthy recipes for you to choose from.
#4 - Fill up on Hearty, Low Calorie Soups
Make a big pot of Tuscan Bean Soup with Kale and Cannellini Beans , Barley Mushroom Stew , Creamy Cauliflower Soup or today's Lentil Leek Soup recipe. Raw soups, like Raw Split Pea Soup are low in calories yet very filling.
#5 - Don't Drink Empty Calories
Avoid alcohol and soda. These beverages could add tons of calories to your diet resulting in continual weight gain. Even fruit juices are high in calories. It's much better to eat an orange than to have a glass of orange juice.
#6 - EXERCISE!
Restricting calories is just half of the equation. You'll lose weight twice as fast if you burn more calories. Find something you enjoy doing like taking a dance or kick box class. Walk more, take the stairs instead of the elevator, get a pedometer and count your steps! I recently got a Xbox 360 Kinect Dance Central game. It's great exercise and I'm learning all kinds of funky dance steps!
#7 - Eat Lots of Fiber
Fiber is filling and it also keeps your blood sugar stable which will help prevent hunger. Stick to beans, whole grains, raw fruits and vegetables and chia seeds.
#8 - Remove Tempting Foods
Go through your house and throw out the chips, cookies, high fat ice cream, and all the other junk that can sabotage your weight loss program. Don't forget to toss out the candy bars in the desk draw in your office!
#9 - Don't Eat the Kids' Leftovers
Attention moms and dads- when clearing the dishes, don't feel compelled to eat everything that junior left on his or her plate. I know it's tempting, but despite popular belief, calories from other people's plates still count!
#10 - Eat Slowly
It takes a while before your stomach signals your brain and says, "I'm full. Stop eating!". If you chew your food well, savor every bite and give your stomach time to do this, you'll know when to stop eating. I'm a very fast eater and can eat my weight in pasta before my brain even has a clue that I"m full! I really have to make a point of doing this.
Lentil Leek Soup
Here's a hearty, low calorie soup that packs 18 grams of fiber, 14 grams of protein and only half a gram of saturated fat!
|Cut off the top and bottom of the leek and slice in half.|
|Leeks are filled with sand so pull it apart and rinse ever layer.|
|Sauté the leeks, carrots and onions.|
[Makes 4 servings]
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large leek, white part only, rinsed well and sliced, (2 cups)
4 carrots, peeled and sliced, (1 1/2 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced, (1 tablespoon)
One 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 cup brown lentils, picked through and rinsed well
4 cups veggie broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, (more or less to taste)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, (more or less to taste)
Heat oil and sauté leeks, carrots and garlic until the leeks wilt, about 8 minutes.
Add diced tomatoes, bay leaf, lentils, veggie broth, salt and pepper and cook until the lentils reach the desired consistency, about 35 to 45 minutes.
Remove bay leaf and serve.
Per serving: 283.5 calories, 4.0 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 14.4 g protein, 47.3 g carbohydrates and 18 g dietary fiber.