By Margaret O’Malley
This year, instead of cutting things out of our diets, we’re focusing on what we’re putting in. What’s one of the easiest and satisfying ways to do it? Eating soup! Starting your meal with a bowl of soup has been shown to decrease your total calorie intake and curb cravings. And enjoying it as the main course or starter is a simple way to pack your meals with healthy whole grains and nutrient-rich vegetables.
We’ll be sharing great tips, cooking tricks, and recipes along the way to help you reach your goal. At the end of the challenge, three participants will win a one-year subscription to the Mayo Clinic Diet, worth more than $200.
Here’s what you need to know to get started!
The 10 Soup Challenge Rules
The task is simple: Incorporate 10 delicious and healthy soups into your menu over the next two weeks.
STEP 1: Share the 10 Soup Challenge Badge on Social Media
Download the badge to the left (save it to your phone’s photo library or your desktop), share on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and tag your friends and family. (Think: the Ice Bucket Challenge for healthy eating!) Don’t forget to link to this article and use the #10SoupChallenge hashtag!
STEP 2: Follow the Plan for 2 Weeks
Week 1: Eat one broth-based soup before your largest meal.
If your lunch is the most substantial meal of the day, bring along a broth-based soup to enjoy beforehand. If you’re someone who likes to make dinner your largest meal of the day, serve up a bowl as an appetizer before your main course. Aim for a recipe or packaged variety that is less than 200 calories and no more than 300 milligrams of sodium per serving.
Week 2: Replace one meal a day with a broth-based soup.
This week is all about enjoying heartier, more substantial recipes — replacing one meal a day with a healthy, broth-based soup (chili is in, but creamy chowder is out), which is a simple way to pack in servings of healthy whole grains, nutrient-rich vegetables, and lean protein. Whether you are brown bagging it or enjoying a bowl for dinner, choose a soup that has 450 calories or less and under 600 milligrams of sodium. For a balanced meal, aim for a bowl with at least 4 grams of protein (more protein = feeling full longer) and no more than 25 grams of carbs. But remember, it’s all about packing more nutritious produce into your diet — so use these numbers as a guideline, but don’t get too hung up on the details!
So, who’s with us? It’s time to get cooking! Take an hour or two over the weekend to select a recipe, shop for the ingredients you will need, and prep your soup for the week. If you choose to incorporate soup into your lunch, portion out five servings in Tupperware or Mason jars so you can easily grab and go each morning.
And join us on January 17 at 2pm EST for a our live kickoff on Facebook with Everyday Health’s nutritionist Kelly Kennedy, RD and vegetable noodle genius Ali Maffucci from Inspiralized for some quick and easy ways to make homemade soups a reality when you’re short on time.
Photo: Nadine Greef/Offset.com