Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Updated Energy Soup Recipe and Beck, Day 4, Give Yourself Credit

For those that are participating, how are you all doing with keeping up with reading your response cards and sitting down to eat? I did pretty good with sitting down, better than I have in a long time, but I totally lost it on a grocery shopping trip at Whole Foods with my three kids at 4:30 in the afternoon. I was really hungry, so were they after a long day at camp, and I had gotten all of them a treat (vegan of course, but full of sugar nonetheless).

I proceeded to eat, as I walked around Whole Foods, a full half of one of their treats AND a mess of pretzels that were available for the pickin'.

The old me would have beat myself to hell, figured I could never stick to Eat to Live, and continue for however many days to eat whatever came my way. But the massive problem with that is the stress it causes us. So much stress that we never see the situation for what it is, a learning opportunity. We need to free ourselves of the hate talk and instead, take a deep breath and think about how, next time, things could go differently.

Next time, I can bring apples for all of us to eat before we go into the market. Or maybe there just shouldn't be a next time.

And instead of dwelling on the negatives from yesterday, I can focus on the positives, just like Beck insists that we do. We need to give ourselves credit, in our head, every time we make a good food decision, resist unplanned eating or overeating. Like this, "Wow, Wendy, that was awesome that you resisted eating the &#^$%@ on the kitchen table at work just now! Good going!"

Here's the reason I schlepped my kids to Whole Foods after work and before dinner: I needed mushrooms. I wanted to make a big batch of my Energy Soup. It has been a major weapon in my weight loss arsenal and I cannot remember the last time I made it. For real, that is not winning behavior. But I fixed that yesterday. Credit!

Healthy Girl's Energy Soup
makes 10 servings (2 cups of soup per serving)

Printable Recipe

1 very large yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves if garlic, smashed
vegetable broth for sauteing
8 cups vegetable broth (2 boxes)
6 medium sized zucchini, cut into cubes
1 package mushrooms, cut into chunks if mushrooms are large
3 big handfuls kale, washed and rough chopped
1 bag fresh spinach or 3 big handfuls fresh spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
Other seasoning to taste
12 ounces frozen butternut squash, defrosted

Saute the onion over medium heat in a large soup pot in a few tablespoons of vegetable broth, until translucent and slightly soft. Add more broth as necessary to prevent burning. Add garlic and saute for a few more minutes.

Add the 8 cups of broth, zucchini, and mushrooms. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes or zucchini are soft.

Stir in kale and let it wilt. When kale is wilted, stir in fresh spinach, it will wilt immediately.

Using a hand (immersion) blender, puree the onion-garlic-zucchini-mushroom-spinach mixture until soup reaches your desired consistency. Some will like it completely smooth, others will like to puree about 50% and leave a lot of chunks and texture. It is delicious both ways!

Add the defrosted butternut squash and stir until it is incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and ANY other seasonings you like, to taste. (I use a Southwest spice blend and you can use whatever spice blend you like, there are so many on the market now. My husband likes everything spicy, so we add hot sauce to his.)

How are you going to remember to give yourself credit? I'm going to create a credit account right here, on the right side of my blog. At least once a day, I will edit what is in there and fill it with the good choices that I have made that day.

Here's why giving ourselves credit is so important. Ultimately, if you do it consistently and you never stop doing it, it ends the struggle over eating food that is off plan. You start to feel really, REALLY great (like a natural high) about staying on your plan. Way better than if you gave in and ate the junk. I know it sounds hard to believe, but this happened for me, and I was able to walk right by the stuff I didn't want to eat and feel so great about doing it.

It's a very important skill to master. So how are you going to remember to give yourself credit throughout the day?

What have you done today that you can give yourself credit for?


Mikebtal said...


The recipe looks great. One question,
the salt content in the 1 box of Trader Joes Organic broth is almost the daily requirement. Do you know of any low salt vegetable broth?


Healthy Girl said...

Mike-I get the low sodium TJ's veggie broth. 140 my sodium per serving.

Laura said...

Butternut squash is such a fantastic way to bulk up a soup. Yours sounds great!

I'm giving myself credit for posting the leg workout I promised last week. Better late than never! :)

Lani said...

How many people does this serve and what is the portion size?

Heather said...

This series came at such a perfect time for me. I found your blog through your green recovery story on Gena's blog and you gave me some feedback through the comments on your journey. I had mentioned I was following WW and had been successful but was getting off track & tired of the pts tracking and how bad it made me feel when I didn't stick to it. I have been away on vacation and put on a few lbs and Monday I was panicking and feeling like I should go back on the WW system which I really didn't want to do. I just picked up the Beck diet solution yesterday and am trying to follow along on your blog. Not going back to WW for the same reasons you mentioned it not working for you and am going to get myself back on track. Thanks for the inspiration!

The Collage Experience said...

Nothin' spells lovin' like Wendy's food from the oven! (or, I should say, stove top) (or, better yet: beautiful new kitchen). Recipe looks great, thanks!!!

Wendy said...

Lani-this makes a lot of soup. I usually eat 2 cups at a time (a nice big bowlful) and this recipe will make at least 10 2 cup servings. You can freeze it if that is too much for you or halve the recipe.

Ginger said...

Dr. F recommends pureeing onions before cooking now.

I've been working on the idea of no negative self-talk. Good Post.

Amy said...

I actually started my day off great with a great green smoothie and a 4 mile walk/run. The rest of the day wasn't perfect, but I did have 2 great parts of my day where I made great choices, where in the past I wouldn't have. I pushed myslef on the walk/run instead of just giving in and thinking I couldn't handle it and I ended up feeling pretty good with how I did! I gave up my coffee and bagle that I wanted this morning in favor of the green smoothie so I am going to focus on what I did right instead of what I didn't! Thanks again for these posts!

Lani said...

Curious as to which specific spice you used. My soup ended up looking like a giant green smoothie but had no real flavor. I kept adding lemon, dill,pepper etc but it still tasted bland. I need your help on this one!! I may have put in too many greens..?

Bumme said...

would also like to know the name (and make) of the spices you used. I'm not great at coming up with adding my own (I end up just adding cracked pepper!)

I'd also love some ideas on what I could substitute for the butternut squash. My hubby isn't a fan and I'm not crazy about it either, but I'm sure it adds to the bulk. Suggestions?

Shannon said...

I give myself credit today for Planning nad following through with it. We just started football here in Az and that means that dinner in particular is hard for us, but everybody had something healthy and I stuck to my plan. So, I give myself credit for that. I'm going to keep a list so I can see all the good things I'm doing.

Anonymous said...

I haven't commented in a while, but it doesn't mean I haven't been following your adventures. Love your new kitchen (envious doesn't even come close to describing my first reaction, but I'm so happy for you!), and I admire that you've gone public with such a private struggle. It takes a very confident, grounded woman to admit to the world she needs a little help with something so personal as weight loss. Thanks for being "real" and and relatable!

You took me back in time when you described schlepping the kids through the store, especially at that hour of the day. Not one of my favorite memories from the past, but I did have to smile! Funny, I was at my own Whole Foods yesterday on my lunch hour, feeling famished, racing through the aisles to get what I needed to restock my pantry and fridge, and I also stopped at the salad bar to make something good to take back to work. I purposely went to WF for the inspiration to stay on track (I've been following your Beck journey, and trying it out as well). It would have been so much easier to go to the deli next door to my office and get the prepared Cobb salad, thinking I was doing the right thing. NOT!

Thanks for your posts. I give myself credit each day for checking in with you. You rock!

Healthy Girl said...

Here is a link to the place in Arizona that makes the Southwest Seasoning Blend that I have fallen in love with. I think I bought 6 bottles and gave a few away as gifts-it's too much even for me. Of course, if you find yourself in Arizona, you can just pick up one bottle! http://www.zemanswo.com/chef.html

As far as a replacement for the butternut squash-I would use a large white potato or two medium ones, peeled, rough chopped, and put into the pot along with the zucchini and mushrooms. That would be a great variation on this soup. The purpose is to add a little creaminess to an otherwise really light soup. It works magic and makes the soup very hearty without the calories and fat.

Healthy Girl said...

Lani-I do put a little bit of salt in the soup--probably about 2 tsp for the entire pot. That may be the thing that bringss out all of the flavor in the spices. But if you cannot do that, get more aggressive with your spices!

Anonymous said...

From Marcia: I checked the Beck book out of the library. I love it. The author is smart, experienced, and straightforward. She keeps saying things that I never gave much thought to. One is that if you sit down and see your meal, you are visually satisfied. I've often sat down to a healthy meal and heard myself say, "This is such a beautiful plate." I did that last night when I sat down to a pottery bowl filled with polenta, red onion, chard from my friend's garden, and a poached egg on top. I like paying attention to the physical beauty of food. Now tell me, is fast food pretty? :)

Anonymous said...

Hi the soup was wonderful! I halved the recipe and added thyme, cumin, crushed red pepper and a dash of Braggs Liquid Aminos....yummy!! Thanks for such a great recipe.

cody said...

I love this soup, it's super fast and great! I used all my broccoli stems in here and it was really good.

Shane Stevens said...

Fitting easy gourmet recipe for a busy woman like me... I your soup and thanks for the share

Michelle Snyder said...

This would definitely boost me out of those morning cobwebs! I'll soon try it out... Can I share it in my blog at http://foodsuncovered.wordpress.com/

Violette Webb said...

This turned out great the first time! Next time I'll tweak by adding more spinach and going a little lighter on the fresh herbs. Thanks for sharing this idea of vegetable soup recipe.

stellagirl said...

Is Trader Joe's veggie broth better than Imagine's and Pacific's, because I do not like the taste of either but don't feel like making my own veggie broth.

kd8cbv said...

The best veggie stock I have ever found is Kitchen Basics Unsalted Vegetable Cooking Stock. It isn't organic, but they use all natural ingredients and no additives. The sodium content is derived from the ingredients alone, with no salt added. This stuff is amazing. I usually make my own, but always keep some Kitchen Basics on hand.

Wendy said...

I do really like the low sodium veggie broth from Trader Joe's, but I don't have a good basis of comparison. I do remember thinking that it was the best of all of the ones that I had tried, and I stopped using any other brand years ago! So Stellagirl, it's at least worth a try, right?

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