National Soup Month

 

Wouldn't veggie chili be good for lunch? Copyright 2014 by R.A. Robbins
Wouldn’t veggie chili be good for lunch?
Copyright 2014 by R.A. Robbins

January is National Soup Month.  This is great for those of us who are trying to eat healthier this year, especially those of us who live where January is typically cold and snowy.

Soup is a good way to start on the path to healthier eating.  But remember not all soups are created equal.  Some are healthier than others.  I believe the healthiest way to be sure I am eating a healthy soup is to make it myself.  That way I know exactly what is going in the pot and don’t have to worry about something not so good for me slipping by me.

So what are a few ingredients I want to include to make my soup healthier?

Start with a low sodium broth — check the label or make your own.  Don’t forget vegetable broth. You can also use water.

Add lots of veggies.  Try to include some dark green leafy veggies such as broccoli, spinach or kale.  An easy way to include veggies is to use a bag of a frozen blend such as a California blend or stir fry vegetables.  And don’t forget cabbage soup — just don’t overcook the cabbage.

Add whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat groats or barley (barley is not gluten free).

Add beans and lentils for extra fiber.

Make cream soups without cream by adding some pureed pumpkin, squash or carrots.

Watch the garnishes.  Try to slow down on the croutons, sour cream and cheese or replace them with healthier options.

Spice it up.  Herbs and spices are always a good way to add flavor to anything.  If you use packaged blends be sure to read the label for added sugar, salt, gluten, etc.

Start on your path to a healthier way of like with a bowl of nice hot, healthy soup for an easy way to work in those much needed vegetables.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making the Church Fellowship Hour Healthier

Lutherans love coffee hour
Lutherans love coffee hour (Photo credit: Tatiana12)

In many churches Sunday morning fellowship hour means coffee, some sort of sweet drink and doughnuts with nothing for those with special needs.  Stewardship includes keeping our bodies healthy and including people rather than excluding or inadvertently leaving them out.  Keeping this in mind let’s consider these points.

1. It isn’t about food. The purpose of the fellowship hour is to encourage people to talk, get to know each other and welcome visitors.  No one should feel left out. Food and drink are used to encourage interaction.  If food is driving people apart we need to think of other ways to accomplish this.

2. Add healthier foods instead of taking away the doughnuts.  Steer away from having nothing but sweets. Take known special needs into account.  Given choices, fewer people may eat doughnuts.

3. Add pitchers of fresh water.

4. Change may not happen quickly — we are talking about church.   Don’t be demanding, just casually bring it up.  Take a  fruit or veggie plate on your turn to provide food.  Remember we are talking about adding healthy options, not taking away the doughnuts.