One of my very first questions for new clients is “What do you eat for breakfast?”. They will often tell me they eat a green smoothie made from frozen berries, leafy greens, almond milk, etc. This is SUPER HEALTHY, right?
Eh. Kind of.
In theory, yes, green smoothies are full of fresh, healthy foods. However, smoothies are typically higher in sugar and are very cold. Yes, COLD. And do you know what our bodies hate? Cold breakfasts. In fact, this is the first piece of advice I give my clients: EAT A HOT BREAKFAST. Or at the very least, make it warm.
Why is a hot breakfast so important?
Imagine a campfire. You wake up, you build a fire to get warm, make your food, etc. You don’t typically need much heat during the middle of the day, unless it is very cold outside. You eat simple foods that probably don’t require cooking. In the evening, you build the fire back up again, making it roaring hot and make your dinner using the flames. The flames slowly wane and die out and as you get sleepy and go to bed. You wake up in the morning to ashes and maybe some smoldering embers. You then rebuild the fire and the cycle starts all over again.
Your digestive system is like that campfire. It needs warmth in the beginning of the day, for the flames to be built up deliberately so it can do the important job of digesting your food and converting it into the vital nutritional building blocks your body needs to function well. Pouring a cold smoothie on that fire would not only extinguish whatever smoldering embers remained from the night before, but would also make it nearly impossible to get a new, roaring fire going for the day. It would take a lot of heat, extra wood, and very careful, intensive tending. So, using this idea, a cold smoothie, (or even cold water or juice), first thing in the morning doesn’t make for a happy digestive system. In fact, it puts the fire out.
One of my favorite breakfasts, (besides cookies), is this green soup. Before I got pregnant and became a milk machine, I ate green soup every day for several months in the morning. Full of green veggies and fortifying chicken broth, it provides the perfect start to my day. Easy on the digestive system, it is incredibly warming. It’s also wonderful as a snack, or add a scoop of cooked quinoa or some shredded chicken for a heartier meal. If you want to boost your greens, add a handful of spinach, swiss chard or chopped kale. If you’re breastfeeding, be careful with this, though. Because of the cilantro and parsley, it can lower milk production. You can make it without the herbs and use greens instead. It isn’t quite as tasty, but it’s still satisfying.
To be clear, this recipe is not the traditional preparation of the soup. Bieler’s broth was meant to be cleansing, so the original recipe uses water instead of broth, and definitely doesn’t add the healthy fat of pastured butter or ghee. With this preparation, you still get all the cleansing benefits, but you also receive some vital nutrients that are easy to skip during the day. Like BUTTER.
- 4 zucchinis (about 1.5 lbs), sliced
- 5-7 stalks of celery, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 lb string beans with ends snapped off
- 2 small carrots, chopped (optional)
- 1 small bunch cilantro
- 1 small bunch parsley
- 2 quarts of chicken broth (also, it’s easy to make your own broth)
- 2 Tbsp ghee or pastured butter (optional)
- 1 tsp cumin (optional)
- Pink Himalayan Rock Salt to taste
- Put zucchini, celery, string beans and carrot into pot with chicken broth. Cook until bright green, then remove from heat.
- Ladle cooked veggies and broth with parsley leaves into blender in small batches, and blend until smooth, or use an immersion blender and blend in the pot.
- Heat blended soup on medium low and add ghee, cumin, coriander.
- Salt to taste. Eat immediately and refrigerate leftover soup for up to 5 days in tightly sealed jar.