There’s no shortcut for getting that elusive summer body, and any cleanse that promises to cut your lifelong sugar cravings and rid you of your long-standing desire for fried chicken after three days and 18 juices is lying to you.
Sure, you’ll lose a few pounds — how could you not when your diet is cut to less than 1,000 calories per day? But the grumpiness that comes with surviving on nothing more than kale and beet juices is enough to leave most of us ready to reach for a super-sized doughnut. Add to that the fact that it’s cold and windy, and the thought of downing that ice cold Almond Mylk holds even less appeal. This brings us to the latest trend in cleansing: the soup cleanse.
While your body is perfectly capable of cleansing itself, there’s unquestionable value in making a conscious decision to be aware of what we’re putting into our bodies, and if cleansing does anything, it brings a heightened sense of awareness. And now, thanks to entrepreneurs like Nicole Chaszar, the founder of The Splendid Spoon, you don’t need to go all-juice to usher in that mind-body-mouth connection. The Splendid Spoon is part of a new crop of soup cleanses for those looking to detox without forgoing food/chewing (the cleanses mix both pureed and non-pureed soups), and while they’re designed to be used as a detox on their own, you can easily use them as a healthy base and add in fresh produce, nuts, seeds and other foods.
To find out more, we spoke with Chaszar about the growing trend.
theFashionSpot: How did the idea for a soup cleanse come about?
Nicole Chaszar: I kept hearing friends talk about juicing and how crummy they felt while doing it. Personally, I didn’t love the ups and downs I felt during juicing, but definitely enjoyed a sense of accomplishment when I completed a cleanse. A cleanse regimen can give your body a needed break from processed foods or animal proteins and I thought, how can I make this experience more enjoyable? Soup is a wonderful medium for a cleanse because gentle cooking helps you absorb nutrients better, the whole vegetables keep you fuller longer and eating a warm bowl of soup means you have to slow down a bit to appreciate each spoonful.
tFS: What’s your take on cleansing as a whole? Do you see soup cleanses being complementary with juice ones or do you prefer one over the other?
NC: My feeling on cleansing as a whole is that it makes us more aware of what we are consuming and I think that’s a good thing. Juicing’s not for me because the sugar content makes me feel pretty loopy throughout the day. The completely liquid aspect of a juice cleanse is tough for me, too — I like having something to chew! Souping is for someone who appreciates the structure of a cleanse, but doesn’t want to forgo food completely. For anyone who is planning a longer juice cleanse, soup is a great way to ease into and out of that experience.
tFS: Can you talk about any nutritional benefits of soup over juice when it comes to cleansing?
NC: Fiber!! We need whole vegetables to benefit from the insoluble fiber that keeps our gastrointestinal system healthy and leaves our tummies full. Soup has all that insoluble fiber that juices eliminate. Cooking improves our ability to absorb plant-based nutrients like carotenoids, which help improve cell function, protect us from damaging free radicals and reduce our risk for cancer.
tFS: What do you say to all the doctors who claim our body is just fine detoxing on its own?
NC: It’s true that the kidneys and liver do a great job to detox our body. However, there is loads of research that shows just how much better our bodies function when we give them more plant-based nutrients. In our chaotic world, it can be really helpful to use a short-term cleanse as a method to revive longer-term, healthy eating habits.
tFS: Can you talk to us about ingredient sourcing? How do you come up with new recipes?
NC: At The Splendid Spoon, we work tirelessly to source vegetables from smaller farms that grow produce with attention to our well-being and the health of the earth. That means organic farming methods and short travel distances whenever possible. This translates to a soup that delivers high nutrient content and wonderful, clean flavors. As for the recipes, I’m often inspired by what I see at the farmers market — I picked up a bunch of collard greens this fall and realized they make an amazing broth that has almost meaty flavors. I incorporated it into a new recipe with root vegetables and it’s one of my new favorites.
tFS: Any ingredients to avoid at all costs?
NC: Delicate greens like arugula, lettuces, pea shoots are all best enjoyed raw. I also avoid white potatoes and fruit in most recipes because of their high glycemic index.