A Soup It Up
When winter descends across the country, the “it’s too cold”, or “it’s too wet” to exercise excuses come out.
If you ever find yourself struggling with exercising in winter (you know you could always join a gym or buy or rent a treadmill, or buy an exercise DVD or two and exercise at home), then it really is vitally important to focus on your food.
During winter, we tend to let our diet slip as our body’s crave comfort food and our warm, loose fitting clothes make it harder to notice the kilo creep that many of us experience during the colder months of the year.
But cold weather doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your diet or weight loss plans, in fact if you enjoy the right foods, you can easily maintain your weight or continue to lose weight during this time. And the foods that you can enjoy during these months can be delicious, tasty, easy to prepare and very satisfying.
Root vegetables are at their best during the colder seasons of the year, and can be combined with lean meats in delicious casseroles, stews, roasts and hearty soups. What’s even better, many of these can be prepared easily in single pots or a slow cooker.
What’s particularly appealing about hearty soups is that they are very filling and therefore make it easy to stick to appropriate portions sizes for weight loss, even when enjoyed with a small slice of wholegrain bread.
The best soups have good amounts of all the macronutrients (protein, carbs and healthy fats) and have less than 300 calories per serve (there are many great soups in our soup recipes section with 100 calories or less per serve!).
In addition to soups being typically simple to make, one of the other great things about them is that most of them can be frozen in individual portions, saving you time and effort later. This is one reason soups make a great lunch option for work, where microwave ovens are commonly available for staff to use.
One of the most popular soups at our weight loss retreat is a Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup, which we’ve listed the recipe for below. We hope you’ll try this recipe and hope you enjoy it as much as we and visitors to our retreat do.
Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup (serves 4):
- 1.25L (5 cups) chicken stock (low salt)
- 2 (about 700g) orange sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2cm cubes
- 1 large red onion, halved, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, quartered
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 small (about 300g) single chicken breast fillets
- 1 bunch fresh continental parsley
- 250ml (1 cup) full-fat soy milk
- Bring the chicken stock to the boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the sweet potato, onion, garlic, thyme and oregano. Season with pepper and bring to the boil. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender. Remove from heat. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool.
- While soup is cooking, cut chicken into 1cm pieces. Coarsely chop parsley to make 1/4 cup, loosely packed. Set aside. Place one-quarter of soup in the jug of a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a clean saucepan. Repeat with remaining soup in three more batches.
- Bring soup to the boil over medium heat. Add chicken and parsley and cook for 3 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
- Remove from heat. Stir in soy milk and season with pepper.
© Copyright Ultimate Weightloss.
This article was written by Tanya Whitfield.
Tanya is the Retreat Director at OnTrack Weight Loss & Fitness Retreats, Australia's No.1 Weight Loss Retreat. Get fit & healthy in 2015 at OnTrack’s Australian health retreats in NSW & Victoria.
To get a free info pack, visit www.OnTrackRetreats.com.au or call 1300 949 144.