Thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow, green juices are out and soups are in.
Since the healthy lifestyle queen declared her love of soup cleanses, women have been swapping out sugar-heavy juicing for all-soup diets packed with vegetables and complex carbs. These liquid, drinkable soups have a high fiber content, making them a much healthier way to reset.
Nicole Chaszar, CEO and founder of Splendid Spoon, created a plant-based wellness plan in 2011 as a way to get her daily dose of whole veggies. Souping is a way to ensure you're eating well and don't rush to grab takeout.
For someone who could eat crab and lobster bisque every day of the week, this new health trend sounded like the wave. I could use more veggies in my diet and gain more energy to stop yawning throughout the work day. But, there's a catch: Souping is a bit more complicated than just eating a bowl of my favorite clam chowder all day.
First of all, there's an actual method to this souping madness. Splendid Spoon recommends a five-minute meditation (I did 10 minutes just for good measure) before consuming soup and no more than a two-hour window between soups. There's also a no-alcohol rule, and they suggest a light workout if you make it to the gym.
Once I received the brand's one-day cleanse, which includes five vegan, gluten-free soups, I knew drinking all day wouldn't be a breeze. Little did I know that souping would bring out an inner monster I never knew existed.
Breakfast tasted like punishment.
I cracked open the Cauliflower Coconut soup at 9:30 am, excited to binge on soups for the day. But, the optimism I had post-meditation was thwarted by the aftertaste of navy beans and yellow onions.
Don't get me wrong, this soup is chock full of good stuff like healthy fat and protein, but I just couldn't finish it.
First of all, I drank it cold, since I couldn't wrap my mind around sipping spoonfuls of warm mush. Instead, I did what any adult would do: I held my nose as I gulped it down. I don't even hold my nose to take shots, but I couldn't get past the consistency of the blended soup.
Lunch was a lot like the Master Cleanse.
By noon, I was still full from "breakfast." You're only allowed about two hours between each soup, so I had to press on to the lunch soup, Carrot Turmeric Elixir.
The citrus taste and cayenne pepper reminded me of the Master Cleanse A-listers made popular a few years ago. As I sipped, a pounding headache came along with it. Seeing my co-workers dive into slices of pizza didn't help, either.
I took a break from my soup to drink a glass of room temperature water in hopes I'd shake my headache. Was this punishment for not finishing the first soup? The anti-inflammatory properties of the second drink are supposed to "heal" cells and keep me hydrated, but it felt a lot like my body was shutting down because I wasn't eating enough. Still, I kept drinking and felt some relief halfway through the bottle.
Though my headache was subsiding, my mood was way out of whack. Blame the scent of greasy cheese pizza or the fact that these soups didn't taste like a bacon cheeseburger, but I was starting to regret this detox.
I chugged as much of it as I could before passing the rest off to my health-conscious co-worker, who happily drank it. She thought the taste was delightful, so go figure.
My mid-afternoon snack was the only treat.
After work, I hightailed it home, fleeing the scent of greasy pizza. On my way, I noticed every Chick-fil-A bag and Dunkin' Donuts cup. My body was telling me to stop this health charade and give in to something more delicious.
By this point, I was a grumpy girl on a mission to eat anything that tasted remotely pleasurable. I was seconds away from cheating before I tried the Pumpkin Pear Hempseed soup. If I ate a chocolate-covered donut and no one saw me, did it even happen?
Luckily, I made it home without f*cking up my all-soup diet, and I must say it was the highlight of my sad, soupy day.
The mid-afternoon snack gave me a jolt of energy and actually tasted like a treat. Spiked with cinnamon and cardamom, the soup tasted more like dessert than a detox. This sweet-ish snackable soup put me back on track.
Dinner was tasty but unsatisfying.
Though the mid-afternoon snack was a refreshing break from the norm, by nighttime I was over it again.
I wanted nothing more than to catch up on "Vanderpump Rules" over a glass of chardonnay and grilled salmon. But, all I had was Red Lentil Dal to keep me company as I watched Stassi recap her meltdowns.
I have to say, the warm soup was the heartiest of the day and wasn't bad compared to breakfast. However, it just wasn't what my body wanted. I didn't have that euphoric feeling people talk about when they fast all day. No, I was frustrated by everything and ready to call it quits.
Sipping the broth more than munching on the carrots, I ate most of my dinner before giving up and calling it a night. As for the fifth and final soup, Vegan Bone Broth, it's still resting peacefully in my fridge for any of my health-nut friends who want it.
I'd recommend souping to anyone looking for a one-day reset from binge-drinking. It does, in fact, give you more energy and stands as a healthier option to green apple and strawberry juices. I still love soup, but I prefer mine with crab, lobster and more sodium.