Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Vegan Creamy Parsnip Soup and The Power of Whole Foods

I received a call yesterday from my client, Dorothy. I could practically feel the excitement shooting through the phone. You see, Dorothy and I had begun working together after a distressing doctor's visit when she was told her cholesterol was too high. She was on blood pressure medication already, didn't want to take more meds, and wanted to know if there was any way I could help her in the month before her follow-up.

Knowing that only so much can be done in a month but that Dorothy was motivated and at a place in her life when she was ready to make some big dietary changes, we set up weekly cooking classes. Every Sunday I would prep meals for Dorothy for the week, sending her home with my vegetable frittata, quinoa salad, seared chicken with pear sauce, and many more recipes. We were working on calming inflammation, so we talked about eating more fruits and vegetables and decreasing sugar consumption. Although she mentioned weight loss as something she was hoping for, I encouraged her to focus on feeling healthier rather than weight loss. I also encouraged her to eat as much as she needed and not deprive herself, lest she get too hungry and compensate by overeating. The meals we chose were high in fiber, so they naturally filled her up. But they were also whole foods based meals with lots of vegetables, so I knew she could really enjoy herself without worrying about her weight.

After the first week, Dorothy reported feeling less stressed out and more emotionally even keeled.

After the second week, she told me she was feeling lighter and that she couldn't even eat all the food I was sending her home with.

And yesterday she called from the doctor's office.

In the month we had worked together, her blood pressure had gone down to the lowest it has been in years, from 160/105 to 130/90. She had lost 9 pounds, and her doctor said he could see just from looking at her how much healthier and more energetic she was.

She was shocked.

I was thrilled.

I will admit to you that I didn't expect such positive changes in this short amount of time, but just as Dorothy is now, I am even more motivated to help her stay on this new path.

This is it, folks. The power of whole foods. You know it, I know it. The real secret to health lies not in a pill but in how we treat ourselves: what we put into our bodies, what we do with our bodies, and how we care for ourselves emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Let's treat ourselves right. Starting with this whole foods recipe for creamy parsnip soup.

Naturally gluten-free. Naturally vegan. Naturally delicious.

Creamy Parsnip Soup (Vegan, Gluten-Free) 
Print-Friendly Option

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
3 parsnips, diced
3 carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 handful fresh basil, minced
1 handful fresh parsley, minced
4 fresh sage leaves, minced
3 cups water
Sea salt to taste*
Toasted sesame oil (optional)
Chopped chives for garnish (optional)

* Or Braggs Liquid Aminos, Coconut Aminos, or Tamari

  1. Heat a soup pot on medium-low. Add olive oil, then onions and cook for 5 minutes. 
  2. Add the parsnips, carrots, garlic and herbs, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables, about 3 cups. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to a gentle simmer and let cook for 15 minutes. Puree in batches or using an immersion blender. 
  4. Add sea salt to taste. Drizzle with toasted sesame oil and garnish with chopped chives if desired.
Serves 4. 

Check out my easy tips for optimizing digestion at the Wellesse blog! Next week, I'll be hosting a giveaway of their vitamins that you won't want to miss, as well as sharing another simple anti-inflammatory whole foods meal at the Wellesse blog. And for this week, I'm hoping to find time to perfect a recipe for grain-free graham cracker crisps. Just hoping they turn out right this time because I'm almost out of almond flour! And I'm dying to try this recipe for grain-free doughnuts from Kelly at The Spunky Coconut! Just have to find the time...


Anne said...

This looks delicious! My son has a sensitivity to carrots, though, so do you think sweet potato would work?

Iris said...

Anne- Yes, sweet potato would work and would taste amazing!

Cara said...

So with you on the power of whole foods. If we could just get everyone else on board! This soup sounds fantastic - I really like parsnips but never think to cook with them for some reason. Thanks for the reminder!

Ricki said...

Go whole foods! :) I love parsnips and this sounds like such a great way to use them. Congrats on your success to both Dorothy AND you! :) said...

What an awesome healing story. And your soup looks great. Parsnips aren't in rotation yet, but I bet I could swap in cauliflower and leave everything else the same and have a great soup.

The Blissful Chef said...

This soup looks amazing!! And I love the story of healing through whole foods. Food is so powerful and more and more people are discovering a different way.


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