7 Nov 2011

soup for the soul

*Sorry this post is kinda long... I ramble.

This weekend, I got a cold: headache, sore throat, stuffy nose - the whole deal.

This has not happened since I've been vegan; in fact I was quite enjoying the over-all elimination of sickness since becoming vegan and mainly raw. The only cause I can possibly think of, since my diet hasn't changed, is the hard-core workout I had the day before I fell ill.

I used to be a workout junkie, I was addicted to exercise... I LOVE IT! But since university, I haven't been working out as much. I was okay with this, and knew when the time came I'd get back into it. Well, after a couple months, the time came. This was last week.

I jumped right back into the workout intensity I was doing before I mellowed out... bad idea. Not necessarily because I've gotten weak, in fact, I was pleasantly surprised by how well I got through the workout.

Exercise gets everything moving (your blood cells, etc.) so I think perhaps it was just a manifestation of that. Also, lately I have not been eating much at all. Simply because I'm not hungry. My #1 rule: always listen to you body, and my body hasn't wanted as much to eat in the past few weeks.

In short: the combination of jumping back into my intense aerobic routine after not working out as much for awhile, PLUS the fact that I haven't been eating much lately (and hadn't eaten that day), PLUS the change of seasons, probably was the reason I got sick. You might say "or maaaybe you just got a cold because people GET COLDS", buuuut...


I was just being silly and didn't act appropriately. I paid for it. The whole weekend, and still today, I've been totally congested and... well, you don't need the details. All weekend I was gulping down as much water and tea as possible, and eating lots of fruits and smoothies for nutrients.

My mood was manifested in the weather: rainy and cold all weekend. In a strange way, I actually love that kind of weather - I guess live in the right place.

It was just me and mom at home when I got the idea to make a big pot of soup. Soup seems to have magical properties. People have been making it for centuries because it's inexpensive, delicious, warming, and you can make it out of ANYTHING. It is the classic food made to ward off the cold and flu.

I am not 100% raw. I enjoy cooked vegetable-based dishes every now and then, partly because sometimes they are just so good (I cannot resist Thai food), and mostly because my family is not raw; we all want to be enjoying the same meal, especially when my mom makes incredible vegan dishes (they still eat meat but have become mostly vegetarian because of my diet change)!

I made Cauliflower and Sprouted Lentil Soup with peppers, onions, garlic, ginger, and a bunch of other veggies. It made the whole house smell like warm comfort. It's a perfect winter dish to warm you up and ward off colds.

Cauliflower and Sprouted Lentil Soup: makes a big ole pot

2 onions, coarsely chopped 
2 Tb olive oil/coconut oil
Chuck of ginger, peeled and chopped
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 Tb (of each) cumin, turmeric, coriander, and perhaps curry powder
1 t red pepper flakes 
5 or so cups vegetable stock (this is super handy if you don't have homemade)
3 cups cauliflower, chopped
2 bell peppers (or tomatoes), chopped
2 cups dried sprouted lentils/beans (we had this in the pantry)
Salt and pepper 

In a big pot at medium heat, saute the onions in the oil until translucent. Add the ginger and garlic, saute for another couple minutes. Add the spices, then the vegetable stock. 
Drop in all the chopped veggies and lentils/beans and simmer at medium-low heat for 20-40 minutes, (until the cauliflower is tender). Pour into bowls and serve with chopped cilantro and salt and pepper, to taste. 
Hurray for soup on cold winter days!