Cleansing Chicken Soup: Welcoming a Year of Health

Whoo!!! All that holiday food was DEEEE-licious! However, if you are like me after the holidays, you feel ever so slightly like, well…let’s see, how can I explain it? Death. Haha. Or chubby. Or like nothing actually tastes that good any more because of over indulgence. Or even if you have escaped all of those symptoms…you probably can feel the heart burn or lethargy!!

Now you know me, I do not oppose to the occasional treat! But most of us probably had a few too many, not-so-occasional treats. That being the truth for Mr. Rodgers and I…and wanting to start the year off on the right foot so I can meet my health goals and he can shed those stubborn pounds…we decided to do a cleanse. And not just any cleanse, the Maker’s Diet Cleanse. If you have been with me from the beginning, you will remember that most of my first recipes came from adapting Maker’s Diet meals. It has been the system that has worked for us the best. It is not strictly about limiting calories or eating less (in fact when we followed it to the T we ate more often than normal!)…and it is DEFINITELY NOT about losing weight while still eating whatever you want. (Don’t get me started…biggest peeve ever!) It is about making HEALTH the goal, not a number…with the belief that if you educate yourself, eat what will heal your body and make it flourish…that your body will find it’s perfect weight and you will live with energy and real LIFE!

If you want more information about the exact system of the cleanse, then check out The Maker’s Diet.  There are specifics of how many bowls of soup to eat on each day, specific salads, what days you can add in nuts, etc…  For now, however, I am just going to give you the Rodger’s Family version of the Maker’s Diet Cleansing Chicken Soup…(basically we just added a couple veggies for varitie’s sake ;))

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Whole Chicken (Free Range) OR if you are like me and bones completely freak you out…about 6 Free Range Breasts
  • 3-4 Quarts Filtered Water
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4 onions, Diced
  • 8 Carrots, Sliced
  • 6 Stalks Celery, Sliced
  • 2 Zucchini, Chopped
  • 1 lb Green Beans
  • 1 Small Bag Frozen Green Peas
  • 1 Carton Brussels Sprouts, Trimmed and Halved
  • 1 Bunch Broccoli, Chopped
  • 4 Inches Ginger, Grated
  • 4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (Confession…I forgot this!)
  • 6 Garlic Cloves
  • 2-4 Tbsp Sea Salt
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Bunch Parsley, Chopped

And here is how you do it:

  1. First, you are either going to need one GIANT pot.  I’m talking like Iron Chef sized.  Or you will need two normal sized pots.  I used my one soup pot and my large crock pot.
  2. Prep all your veggies as directed.
  3. Place chicken in the bottom of your pot (Or pots.  If you are using two pots, just split everything evenly between the two.)
  4. Toss in all of your veggies and seasonings except parsley.
  5. Pour in as much water as you can fit…at least to just cover the veggies.
  6. Let stand for 10 minutes.  Bring to a boil and remove the scum layer that rises to the top.  Then reduce the heat and simmer 8 – 12 hours.  The point here is to cook it as long as possible, because we want this to be as easy to digest as possible.  Add parsley 15 minutes before serving.

And there you go!!  A wonderfully cleansing soup!  Perfect for this weather…I heard today that 90% of the United States is frozen!!  Crazy!!  I haven’t worked in two days because most of my town is shut down…which is a big deal for the North Country I must say!

Mr. Rodgers and I are day 7 into our cleanse.  (It is a 10 day cleanse, soup 4 times a day with a salad at the end of the day).  I must say, I am really surprised at how I feel!  Usually when I take a stark 180* toward health, I get headaches, confusion, dizziness.  I have had one light headed moment, but for the most part…I FEEL AWESOME!  No heart burn, plenty of energy and motivation…it’s been great!! It’s been a little harder on Mr. Rodgers since he requires a larger calorie intake.  But I am so proud of us, and other than a few handfuls of fruit and nuts to get us through a lack of soup because of being snowed in we have really stuck to it!  Figured it was best not to starve ourselves haha.  I am so excited to start out CLEAN.  My insides feel so good!!  If you want to feel good too…look up the Maker’s Diet and make this amazing soup!  Cleansing is FAR from easy, but so worth it.  Let me know how it goes for you!

 

Here is one of my pots!

Photo (10)

Add your chicken!

Photo (11)

Add everything but the parsley…

Photo (12)

Fill with water.  Bring to a boil, clean scum off the top, simmer for 8-12 hours.  Add parsley 15 minutes before serving.

 

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Flavorful Navy Bean Soup (Sick Day Comforts!)

Seeing as I am on a roll with super simple recipes, I decided to take it a step farther and pull this guy from the archives.  Soup and I have a growing relationship; our love only deepens with time.  Now usually I cram whatever I can into my poor overflowing pot when I make soup (much like I do with stir fry, as you learned in my Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry post!)  However, in the beginning of our journey to health, we strictly followed recipes straight from the website perfectweightamerica.com.  I found this recipe and didn’t stray from it hardly at all.  I wasn’t too hopeful about the outcome.  I mean, how good could it be?  It was just beans and onions after all!  HA!  Well.  Boy was my paradigm rocked!

Apparently you don’t have to cram your whole pantry into the pot for soup to rock your world.

It was easy.  Really easy.

It was tasty.  So tasty.

It was comforting, especially for my man that was curled up in bed sick all day.

It was cheap.  Have you priced dry beans?!

To sum it up, for the night we were having, it was perfection.

Let me share this perfection with you:

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb Navy Beans
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Onions
  • 6 C Chicken Stock
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Parsley to Garnish

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Soak your beans over night…or at least 8 hours.  Seriously…beans are so cheap…go for the dry ones!
  2. Peel and dice your onions.
  3. Melt the butter in your soup pot over medium heat, and caramelize your onions.  Basically, you are just going sauté those guys for 25-30 minutes till they’re golden brown and have a fantastic rich flavor.
  4. Add your navy beans, stir, and cook for about 3 minutes.
  5. Pour in the chicken stock, stir, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for two hours.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. If you want a creamier texture, take a few cups of the beans and stock and blend it till smooth, then stir it back in.
  8. Garnish with parsley and sprinkle in some red pepper flakes if you like heat.  I liked the heat.  And the flavor it added was perfect!  Enjoy!

 

Navy Bean 1Yummyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!

Navy Bean Soup 2

And this is my poor sick man, curled up in blankies watching Clone Wars.  The soup was perfect to help him feel better!!!

 

Raspberry Peach Hunger Suppressing Smoothie

This is for y’all that got excited about my Green Apple Smoothie post!!  Apparently smoothies are all the rage!!!  I guess it makes sense in the “health” circle…cause since my decision to turn around my eating habits (I type this as I shove a handful of Cheez-Its into my mouth.  I’m not perfect, okay?  I’m sick.  I gave in 😦 ) I have had smoothies almost daily.  They fill up my tummy, fight my cravings, and are so delish!  This one was pretty good, so I figured I must share!  Yummy.  It is a base that you can feel free to play with…smoothies are one of those foods that you can use as a canvas!  Be inspired and go create your own 🙂

Raspberry Peach Hunger Supressing Smoothie

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1-2 ripe peaches, seeded and sliced
  • 1 handful raspberries
  • 1 handful ice (I can’t stand lukewarm smoothies!)
  • 4 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • Unsweetened Coconut Milk, start with 1/2 C and keep going till you get desired consistency
  • 1 Scoop Creamy Vanilla Perfect Meal powder*
  • 1 Tbsp honey or agave, optional

For other fun options, you can add:

  • A glug of vanilla
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon
  • A Tbsp of Almond Butter

 

*Did you miss my notes about Perfect Meal Powder from my Green Apple Smoothie?  In a nutshell, it is a product from the author of The Maker’s Diet, Dr. Jordan Rubin.  It is a protein packed powder that you can use as a healthy snack (unlike most protein powders, it has none of the crap ingredients that strip away the nutritional value) or even a meal replacement.  With smoothies, it adds a nice creamy texture.  And my favorite, it expands in your tummy and makes you feel SO full!  It can be found at most health food stores, but if you go that route you are going to be paying almost $50 for a big jug.  We purchase ours at this website, where we can get it for almost half price!  Also, if you leave me some love in a comment and give me an email, we can send you an invite, which in turn will get both of us a small discount!  Yeah baby!

 

Here’s how you do it!

  1. Do I even need to put directions here?  I feel like it would be insulting your intelligence 😉  Toss in blender.  Blend.  Enjoy 🙂  

 

Good bye tummy grumblies!!!

Raspberry Peach Hunger Supressing Smoothie 2