December is Holiday Stress Awareness Month

Thanksgiving through News Years is a period of time where we deviate from our normal patterns and typically exercise less, eat more and are generally under more stress. The result is that on January first, we may find that we have gained a bit of weight and now we have to return to our regular routine and try to lose that added weight. Click here to read about tips to avoid the holiday weight gain.

Many people make resolutions to lose weight starting January 1 by joining gyms and reducing calories. How about trying a FREE 21 day Vegan kick start? The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine offers a monthly 21 day Vegan kick start where you recieve meal plans, recipes and advice from nutrition experts. If you have thought about going vegan but didn’t know how to start, then this is a good opportunity to explore eating a vegan diet for a short commitment of 21 days. This may be the beginning of a new lifestyle for you! Click here for more information and to sign up.

Veggistrone Soup from Eating Well Magazine

“ The Only Weight-Loss Soup Recipe You Need”

Ingredients (serves 10)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups chopped onions (2 medium)

2 cups chopped celery (4 medium stalks)

1 cup chopped green pepper (1 medium)

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups chopped cabbage

3 cups chopped cauliflower (about ½ medium)

2 cups chopped carrots (4 medium)

2 cups green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces, or frozen, thawed

8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth

2 cups water

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 (15 ounce) can kidney or pinto beans, rinsed

1 bay leaf

4 cups chopped fresh spinach or 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed

½ cup thinly sliced fresh basil

10 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven (8-quart or larger) over medium heat. Add onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 13 to 15 minutes. Add cabbage, cauliflower, carrots and green beans; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 10 minutes more.

  2. Add broth, water, tomato sauce, tomatoes, beans and bay leaf; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in spinach and simmer for 10 minutes more.

  3. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in basil. Top each portion with 1 tablespoon cheese.

  • To make ahead: Prepare through Step 2 and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months; finish Step 3 just before serving.

Nutrition Information:

Serving size is 2 cups

  • 162 calories; 5 g fat(1 g sat); 9 g fiber; 24 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein; 83 mcg folate; 4 mg cholesterol; 10 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 6,282 IU vitamin A; 56 mg vitamin C; 156 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 575 mg sodium; 769 mg potassium

  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (126% daily value), Vitamin C (93% dv), Folate (21% dv)

  • Carbohydrate Servings:

  • Exchanges: 3 vegetable, ½ fat, ½ lean protein, ½ starch

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