Over the last couple of weeks I have been inundated with emails about some new ideas on what to eat now that the temperatures are dropping and it is getting darker earlier. In my opinion, this is a great time to start making and consuming homemade soup on a regular basis.
Building the Perfect Soup
When made with the optimum ingredients, soup can provide carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants to improve your health, wellness and ultimately your performance. The good news is you can make nutritionally dense soup with whatever is in your kitchen and have it ready to consume within 30 minutes. Create your own power soup by following these five steps, choosing among the fresh, frozen, and leftover ingredients you have on hand from the list below:
Step 1: Aromatics
Optimum Choices: onion, garlic, celery, carrots, dried sage, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, rosemary, cumin, cinnamon, chili powder
Health Benefits: they add anti-inflammatory compounds that fight soreness.
Step 2: Liquids
Optimum Choices: vegetables, chicken, beef and fish stock; tomato puree and juice
Health Benefits: liquids keep you hydrated in the winter and relieve congestion
Step 3: Vegetables
Optimum Choices: kale, carrots, peppers, bok choy, cabbage, tomatoes, mushrooms, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes
Health Benefits: vegetables are loaded in antioxidant vitamins and minerals
Step 4: Proteins
Optimum Choices: beans (any kind), chicken, beef, fish, shrimp, tofu, edamame, lentils
Health Benefits: lean protein repairs muscles and provides iron – an imperative mineral needed to carry hemoglobin (a carrier for oxygen in the blood)
Step 5: Carbohydrates
Optimum Choices: cooked whole grains (brown, black or wild rice, faro, quinoa and barley; whole-wheat pasta; potatoes
Health Benefits: carbohydrates replenish depleted stored sugar levels within your liver (to feed the brain) and the muscles (fuel movement), provide B vitamins which are imperative for the production of energy
Learning how to feed your nutritional needs for building muscle, burning fat and improving endurance, another tool for Working Smart, Not Hard!
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