I promised myself that if there was a second lockdown, I’d do the soup only diet or “souping” that I often recommend to clients with an angry gut, as the first step on their gut healing journey.
Symptoms of an angry gut:
Souping can help:
give the digestive system a break
Since I don't have gut issues, I thought 10 days would be a good period for me to eat the soups, as it's not too long or too short. I wanted to video myself doing the diet to motivate current and potential clients on their gut healing journey. You’d do the soup diet from 1 to 2 weeks depending on the severity of your symptoms. I don’t always recommend the soup diet as every case is different and we are all unique. Souping isn't suitable for individuals with eating disorders or if you stress a lot about food. I'll decide in the initial consultation what the best approach is for you.
Souping can be the initial stage in the elimination diet process after which we’d focus on gradually reintroducing foods, tracking symptoms and using gut healing supplements. Sleep, exercise and lowering stress are also major players in any gut healing journey.
The whole process can take from 3 months to a year depending on:
how you respond to the measures
how compliant you are
So far it hasn’t taken a client of mine longer than 6 months to heal their gut, however patience and maintenance are key aspects.
Souping is a form of elimination diet as we are taking out everything that may be a trigger or cause an adverse gut reaction, such as:
sugar/ refined carbs
high FODMAP foods
FODMAPS are short chain carbohydrates that are not easily digested in the small intestine and can ferment in the colon causing gut issues. Some high FODMAP foods include: onions, leeks, garlic and asparagus. These vegetables are high in fibre helping to keep a person regular. Eliminating these foods long-term isn’t healthy as the body needs a variety of fibrous foods. Whilst doing the soup diet, it is important not to be constipated, the body needs to get rid of toxins and excess hormones through the stool. If you experience constipation in the initial stages, I recommend psyllium husks. Flax seeds, which are in some of the soups, can also help you go. Being on the soup diet did not affect my bowels and regularity.
The soup recipes are also balanced with protein, healthy carbs and fats keeping you fuller for longer. Every soup has a green leafie vegetable to maximise nutrients. Taking out meat and dairy can also help lower inflammation, one of the main causes of gut problems. Eliminating sugar will help starve out the bad gut bacteria in your colon, who thrive on sugar and refined foods. Your health is dependent on the abundance and diversity of bacteria in your colon. This bacteria is responsible for immune health, making nutrients and protecting against disease causing bacteria.
I started the soup diet on Tuesday the 10th of November. At first it was hard since I don’t normally eat soup and I felt hungry. I took it easy for the first few days, only doing moderate walking and light yoga to conserve energy. The body is used to burning glucose for energy. If you’re not consuming a lot of carbs your body will start using the glucose stores called glycogen for energy. Then it will resort to burning fat, which is more difficult to breakdown and therefore keeps you fuller for longer. So, once you get past that initial hurdle, where your body is craving the carbs for energy, you’ll notice that you’re not so hungry anymore. It took me a couple of days to get to that point. If you eat a lot of sugar and refined carbs, it may take you a bit longer.
Souping gave me more:
less cravings & hunger
fewer inches on my waist (this is not the purpose)
a lean feeling
better sleep, early rising
My favourite soups were:
Tomato and basil, always a winner
Butternut, kept me full
Sweet potato, just yum
Red pepper and nuts, tasted like pesto
Note: Basil and mint can over power the taste of the soup.
After a couple of days, I started experimenting, trying different combinations of the ingredients, but always remembering to have fats (olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds) and protein (bone broth, nuts, seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds) with the veg to keep the soups balanced. I bought all the ingredients on day one and made soups according to what might perish first. No food wastage here.
If you would like help with your gut issues or if you just want to lose a bit of weight, improve your skin or boost energy we can have a quick, free, no obligations chat. Email me.
Key things to remember:
Souping isn’t for everyone
It isn't for the long-term
It is not a weight loss strategy
It should not be attempted without the guidance of a qualified practitioner
It isn’t suitable for individuals with eating disorders or anxiety around food
You won’t necessarily be “cured” of your gut issues after the diet, it is the possible first step in the process