Friday, February 28, 2014

The Cabbage Soup Diet

Have you heard of this?

I remember my brother years ago when needing to suck weight for a military fitness test, would go on this diet for a week before a weigh in.  My sister-in-law would cook it for him.  I never tried it for some reason, I just have a difficult time eating the same food 2 days in row, so 7 days in a row is out of the question, until now.  :)

My husband is facing the same issue with a weigh in, so I decided that we needed to do something a little more extreme than just the salads we have been eating.  Last Wednesday he showed me a Facebook post.  "Think we should try it?"  The picture of the soup looked robust and full of vegetables and then I told him about my brother's success with it back in the day.  I did some research that night and found a recipe and a 7 day plan.

So Thursday I went shopping, and Friday we started.

I followed the recipe from Divas Can Cook as well as a few others. I tend to wing it and throw ingredients in a pot until it tastes good.  :)  Link!  The 7 day diet part is adapted from here!  I started reading through the comments and everyone seemed to lose weight.  So this is the plan that we went with.

Here is my adapted recipe since I was cooking for 2:

Whole cabbage
3 celery stalks
1 medium sized onion
Large package of mushrooms
3 carrots
1 green pepper
2 small zucchinis
2 small yellow squash
10-12 oz package of frozen green beans
1 can of rinsed kidney beans
1 can of rinsed black beans (added after 2nd day, due to feeling of weakness)
6 cloves of garlic
2 16 oz containers of chicken stock
2 14 oz cans of Italian flavored diced tomatoes
1 bottle of V-8 juice (64 fl oz)
oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, paprika, pepper, and a limited amount of salt to taste.
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast (because I put it on everything, including popcorn!)

1. Chop up all veggies into bite sized pieces.
2.  Heat up large stock pot, drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil and sauté vegetables until softened.  Season with any of the above spices or whatever you have on hand.
3. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Be careful not to burn the garlic.
4.  Pour in canned tomatoes, chicken stock, V-8.
5.  Add 1/4 of nutritional yeast and any other additional seasoning.  Try to limit the salt!
6.  Cook for 1 hour.

You can even throw this is the crock pot if you wanted.  Portions of the soup can be frozen for later use as well.  Adapt the recipe as you see fit.  The point, I believe, is lots of veggies and fiber, little calories per serving.

I have also omitted coffee for the entire week.  I have been supplementing with green tea and lots of water!  Hot water with lemon saves me in the morning.  No headaches!  Yay!

Day 1:

Fruit day!  Eat any and all fruits except for bananas and other starchy varieties.  I ate grapes, oranges, apples, pears, watermelon, a handful of blueberries and a couple strawberries.  You also eat as much of the soup as you want.  I ate a bowl for lunch and dinner.

Day 2:

Baked potato breakfast and veggie day!  Eat any veggies except for corn and other starchy varieties.  I started the day with a baked potato and yes I put a little salt, pepper and a half pat of butter on it like Monique did from Divas Can Cook.  I felt a little nauseous this morning.  Probably from the lack of coffee but I didn't have a headache.  I started to feel weak by midafternoon too.  But I pushed through snacking on sugar snap peas, broccoli, I cooked a spaghetti squash and tossed it with sautéed spinach, peppers, onions, mushrooms and garlic.  I ate that for lunch and dinner.  I had some cabbage soup midmorning.

Day 3:

Veggie and fruit day!  Still avoiding starchy fruits and veggies I ate the same fruits and veggies as the previous 2 days minus spaghetti squash because my husband and I ate it all on Day 2.  Still feeling a little weak, I added a can of rinsed black beans to the soup.  I had soup for lunch and dinner.  After dinner I was hungry so I some more watermelon and a grapefruit.

Day 4:

My favorite Day!  Bananas/milk/yogurt day!  Up to 8 bananas and 3 glasses of skim milk and cabbage soup today.  I made banana smoothies and everyone in the family liked them.  I blended up bananas, greek yogurt (I believe full fat...  oops!), coconut milk and a few cubes of ice.  It was delicious.  I drank some for breakfast and dinner and had some soup mid-afternoon.  I think I ate 6 bananas in both smoothies.  I was not hungry at all today and my energy level was back up to normal.  I stepped up my water game today too.  Also I am down 8 pounds.

Day 5:

Tomato and protein day!  You need to consume 6-8 tomatoes and chicken, fish, and/or turkey.  I started the day off with salmon in a foil packet seasoned with salt, pepper, thyme, lemon, and a sliced tomato.  I sealed the foil packet and put in in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.  For lunch I had chicken and a tomato salsa of sorts; chopped tomatoes seasoned with lemon, salt, pepper, garlic and parsley.  I was hungry around 3 so I ground up some turkey, with spinach and the tomato salsa.  For dinner I had cabbage soup with the left over ground turkey.  Cabbage soup with ground turkey tastes like chili!  It is so good!

Day 6:

Protein and veggies!  Same rules, turkey, chicken, fish, no starchy vegetables.  I had the last bowl of soup with added turkey for breakfast, eggs with spinach, mushroom and garlic for lunch and spaghetti sauce with ground turkey over steamed broccoli for dinner.  I feel and look slimmer today.  Pants are officially falling off as well as my wedding rings.  Yikes.  9 pounds down.

Day 7!

Last day.  Fresh fruit and vegetable juice.  I have a juicer so this was no problem for me.  I just threw in kale, carrots, an apple, kiwi, orange, watermelon and celery times 3.  Very hungry today.  We had a school event this evening and I had a hot dog no bun.  This gave me enough energy to get through the book fair/chorus performance, Girl Scout meeting and basketball practice without collapsing!  lol  Same weight as yesterday evening.

The aftermath...

I survived!  The 2nd day was rough for me.  The weakness I felt was tough as it was a busy Saturday with a lot of events going on.  I might have needed more veggies and a greater variety that day and probably should have eaten more soup as well.  I thought about coffee the most. 

I was most pleased this week by kicking the coffee habit.  No headaches!  But what I realized is that the week before cabbage soup my friend had given me some "Dandy Blend."  I had been mixing that in with my coffee.  Dandy Blend is an herbal caffeine free alternative to coffee!  I just looked it up.  Link!  So I was tapering my caffeine intake without even thinking about it. So give Dandy Blend a try if you are trying to cut down on your caffeine habit.

We will definitely try this again in a few weeks.  Maybe once every couple of months if we need it to get back on track.

Have you tried the "Cabbage Soup Diet?"  Was it a success?

Let me know your thoughts below...  :)