Yummy Carrot Ginger Soup

IMG_5156With Christmas around the corner, I know I need to get my “ducks in a row” to be able to avoid out growing my jeans over the holidays. I love Christmas baking and need to be able to off-set my sweet tooth with some healthy soup.

My three day cleanse soup from The Plan by Lyn-Genet Recitas is Carrot Ginger. The recipe doesn’t give exact amounts and I can honestly say I don’t really enjoy it that much. I decided that I would search for another Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe in hopes of finding something similar, but with better flavour. I found this absolutely delicious recipe on the Food Network. The recipe was submitted by Maxine Bonneau and received rave reviews. Obviously with a 5 star rating, the recipe didn’t require “tweaking”, but I did modify it to make it more similar to the one suggested in The Plan.

Cindy’s Carrot Ginger Soup


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 a zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • Salt and white pepper
  • Sour cream


  1. Melt butter in a large pot. Add onions, carrots, garlic, zucchini and ginger. Sauté the veggies for about 5 minutes to bring out the flavours.
  2. Add the broth, cover with a lid and bring it to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender (or use an immersion blender). Purée until smooth. *Be careful if you use a blender as the pressure in the blender builds up with hot liquids and it can be very dangerous – see note below.
  4. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a dollop sour cream and parsley sprigs.

*When blending hot liquids: Allow the hot liquid to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer it to a blender and fill it no more than halfway. Release one corner of the lid to prevent the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse it a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

Comparing the soups: The differences between the soup recipe suggested on the cleanse and this one are the chicken broth, suggested spices and sour cream. You may want to omit the sour cream, but it really is delicious when stirred in. Maxine’s soup didn’t include garlic or zucchini and I omitted the 1 cup of whipping cream. Although I’m sure it is very good with the cream, in my opinion the sour cream adds enough of a creamy flavour without the extra calories. This marriage of the two recipes makes a healthier version of the delicious Carrot Ginger Soup recipe. I can’t say it has the same properties as the “cleanse” soup, but it is certainly a good alternative for me. I love the soup and seem to have good results using it in place of the recipe I don’t really care for.

Riced Cauliflower: Yay or Nay?

Riced CauliflowerI am not sure about you, but I grew up in a meat and potatoes family. My mom served meat, potatoes and a vegetable for dinner almost every night. It seemed like an unwritten rule that meals were served in three’s. Over the years, we have moved away from this, but I still often feel like something is missing when we only have two dishes instead of our traditional three. One of the things I like to do is serve Riced Cauliflower in lieu of potatoes or rice. We had it last night, but I was still in recovery mode with it only being my first day of holidays and I didn’t even think of taking a picture. This picture was borrowed from another blog with a great post on cauliflower rice that includes thorough instructions and some great cooking tips. Click on the image to visit the site.

Riced Cauliflower:

This really isn’t so much a recipe as an alternative cooking method.

  • Break the cauliflower into florets
  • Drop them in your blender or food processor and chop until the pieces are small and rice like.
  • Sauté in butter or oil. (I like coconut oil.)

What I love about this is that you can spice it up however you want or just serve it plain. We have eaten it with soy sauce just as you would rice or topped with a sauce from the meat, if applicable.  I also love to use it as a bed for a stir fry.

One of our favourites is to chop cabbage and an onion in the blender with the cauliflower. I season it with salt, pepper and lots of dill as it cooks. (I sometimes will add a drop or two of lemon juice, as well.) The finished dish is very much like Lazy Cabbage Rolls, but with cauliflower instead of the rice.

Cauliflower and The Plan:

Now, I can’t feel good about sharing this great idea for reducing the grains in your diet without also sharing that in Lyn-Genet Recitas book, The Plan, she identifies cauliflower as being highly reactive. So, if you are in the midst of trying to lose some weight and you think this is a fabulous alternative to rice, I don’t want to be the one to steer you wrong. In her book, she teaches you how to read your own body and know how your body reacts to different foods. She states how so many people who struggle with weight loss do so because they truly believe they are doing everything right. I have done several posts in which I have referenced her work and I believe it is the key. I don’t think there is any single diet or plan out there that works for everyone because we are all different and the ability to digest foods properly varies from person to person. So many of the foods that have been coined “super foods” or healthy choices do in fact provide the nutrients and benefits they claim, for certain people, but not everyone. So you may read this and say to yourself, “Riced cauliflower, what a great idea!” (like I did), without realizing that there is a good chance that you will fall into the category of those that find cauliflower “reactive” and cause weight gain. Through her practise, she has found that approximately 85% of the population react negatively to cauliflower.  According to Lyn, cauliflower is one of many goitrogenic foods. Foods containing goitrogens have been shown to interfere with thyroid function by blocking enzymes responsible for producing hormones. Although not all people with thyroid issues react to all foods with goitrogens, she does say that raw foods seem to be more problematic.

If you love cauliflower and are looking for some new ideas on how to serve it – go for it. I love riced cauliflower. However, if you are careful about what you eat and/or trying to lose weight, just be aware and watch to see how your body reacts. I know that I sometimes will find a great “healthy” alternative and begin to incorporate it into my diet on a regular basis and it used to take me months to figure out what I was doing wrong. I love how Lyn’s plan taught me how to read my body and determine what foods agree with me and as well as those that don’t, as soon as the next morning. It may seem crazy to weigh yourself everyday, but even the slightest weight gain indicates that my body is reacting to either my sodium intake, my level of water consumption, lack of sleep or a specific food I have eaten. I can look back on the previous day and often determine the culprit right away! Her system really allows you to take control. You can eat what you want, whenever you want and then get right back on track with “friendly foods”.

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Fool Yourself Into Eating Less

This viral video contains some great little weight loss tips…. some of them new and some that you have probably heard before. I am not sure that I would call the tips “amazing”, but I am guessing that if you were to do some or all of them, you would see some results. I know that we switched to smalller plates a few years ago and rarely use our full-sized dinner plates anymore (except to take snap shots of meals for the blog).  So, for all of you who are trying to establish better eating habits in 2014, check-out the video and see if you can pick-up a few ideas to aid in your quest. Most of the tips are psychological and involve playing tricks on yourself.  I do believe that it many cases, it is the little changes that make the most difference.

I have found that drinking adequate amounts of water each day has made a huge difference in managing my weight. Lyn-Genet Recitas (The Plan) recommends dividing your weight (in pounds) by 2 and drinking an equal number of ounces of water.  For example, a 140 pound person would drink 70 ounces of water per day. I stick to this and have been very impressed with the results. I notice a difference on the scale the following morning, if my water intake was either too low or high on the previous day.


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Potato Chips: Naughty or Nice?

With the New Year in sight and a few extra pounds to drop after enjoying too many dainties over the holidays, it is time to get back on track. As you know, I am a big fan of Lyn-Genet Recitas book called The Plan. I have posted about The Plan often, but as I sat on the couch this evening enjoying my little bowl of potato chips, I thought I should share what Lyn has to say about potato chips.

We’ve all been so programmed to believe that we can’t have potato chips and lose weight, but on The Plan, it’s not only allowed – it’s encouraged!

Potassium helps to negate sodium which is an important element of weight loss. Of course, potatoes provide an excellent source of potassium (1081 milligrams) and actually provide more potassium than bananas (460 milligrams) which are also high in both starch and sugar and thus not a great choice when trying to lose weight. Lyn suggests eating 1 ounce of salt-free potato chips for women and 1 to 2 ounces for men, as a healthy snack option. (For more information on Potassium, follow this link.)

Choosing the Right Chips

low sodium chips The key to making potato chips work in your diet, is choosing a salt-free chip. If you choose a salt-free chip, many people can eat a small amount for a snack without any reactivity (weight gain). One ounce would be similar to a small plastic children’s bowl full of chips or about 13 chips. I have tried a few different brands, but find that I like the Kettle brand the best. These are available at Superstore, Wal-Mart and some Safeway stores and are comparable in price to most other chips. They are sometimes found in the snack food aisle, but you can also check the “natural food” section of the store. There is no question that they lack some of the flavour of an “all dressed” or otherwise seasoned chip, but I don’t find much of a difference between a traditional “plain” potato chip and the salt-free. Of course, there is a difference, but for me, knowing that I can eat a few chips on a fairly regular basis without feeling guilty about it, totally makes up for the difference in taste. I quite enjoy them. I like to pack a small ziplock bowl full and leave them in my car for a snack on the drive home from work. This is a satisfying little snack and without the bag there, I am not tempted to have more!

Here is a copy of the Nutrition Facts. You will see there is 1% sodium in a serving of these chips.

low sodium chipsJust for comparison sake, I thought I would include the nutritional information from another name brand potato chip manufacturer. You will notice the staggering amounts of sodium, even in the lightly salted option.nutritional information

So, next time you go shopping and are craving potato chips, try out this healthier option and let me know how you like them. Lyn says that her favourite brand is the Trader Joe’s version. I’ll have to try those out next time we are south of the border. Happy snacking!

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