I am a Swiss holistic lactation consultant, certified during my residence in Switzerland. My education includes special studies in nutrition, herbalism, yoga and acupuressure to relieve breastfeeding and postpartum problems. At the time my book Mother Food was published, it was taboo to speak of these subjects. Today, the use …

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Soup Glorious Soup

This November I had a thought: why not try eating the way mothers do in traditional postpartum diets – soup, soup, and more soup, every day, day after day, more soup. Let’s just do it and see what happens.

To my surprise, what happened was my getting incredibly filled with energy, being able to sleep better, and being more positive and optimistic in general. Essentially, what people describe happening with green drinks and celery juices has been happening to me with very many bowls of soup.

The recipe is simple (I love recipes that take no effort or brains to make).

  • I put water in a pot – about two quarts.
  • Then rinse off and add in some white rice, just a 1/4 cup.
  • I dice up whatever onion is left-over in the fridge and throw it in.
  • Then I slice in maybe two handfuls of whatever vegetable is begging to be used before it goes off – zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli.
  • And add a portion of whatever protein I have on hand: some fish, a bit of meat, a cut up hard-boiled egg, or legumes.
  • For flavoring I add a bay-leaf perhaps, a couple cloves of garlic maybe, about a teaspoon of sea-salt, and here’s the final touch: I also throw in seaweed, usually nori as it tastes the least like ocean water.
  • Let it simmer quite a while. The rice should be really soft, even “exploding” and the fats and juices of the protein and vegetables will permeate the water. Now it’s ready.
  • If you possibly can, don’t add any dairy or butter or other oil. Let the ingredients create the broth. If you want more taste, add a pinch of a non-GMO broth cube.

The main thing to watch for about this soup is that it is not thick like stew. It’s watery, light, drinkable. But so nourishing. And absolutely hydrating because the rice and the seaweed help to maintain internal hydration.

I do like lazy cooking. But most of all, I appreciate the way that this typical postpartum diet makes me feel: light but not hungry, energized without nervous energy. It’s easier to get going. I also find myself dancing through the rooms of the house. Too much information?

I like it so much, I wanted to share the idea with you. You don’t have to be a new mother to try this experiment. Maybe you are a nurse, or lactation consultant, or doula. If so, wouldn’t it be great to try out how mothers in traditional cultures eat to recuperate after childbirth?

If you decide to try the postpartum diet of soup, wonderful, soup – let me know how it goes. Find me on FB and write a message on my Mother Food page.

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