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The latest cleanse craze that’s low in sugar, will keep you full all day and is Gwyneth Paltrow-approved? Souping. Here, everything you need to know from Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse by Elina Fuhrman, a recipe to get you started and this writer’s rewarding experience giving it a shot.

What it is: A soup-only cleanse to heal and nourish your body with wholesome ingredients. It allows your body to detox naturally while simultaneously reducing inflammation, giving your body the nutrients it needs, and increasing circulation.

What your options are: Fuhrman offers three types of cleanses in her book for beginners to pros.

  • 24-Hour Raw Reset Cleanse:This fiber-heavy one-day cleanse is designed to recharge your body immediately, perfect for anyone who needs a quick jumpstart or lacks the time to commit.
  • 3-Day Boost Cleanse: If you’re a beginner and up for a little challenge, a 3-day cleanse is the perfect way to strengthen your digestive system, create healthy tissue and help aid your body’s natural ability to get rid of toxins.
  • 5-Day Soup Cleanse: If you’re a cleansing pro, you’ll benefit from this most, and will likely see the number on the scale drop as well as experience a reduction in headaches and fatigue.

Why it’s better than juicing: If you’ve ever done a juice cleanse, you’ve probably felt dizzy, weak and hungry. Soup cleanses don’t leave you feeling like this, because they’re filled with more easily digested nutrients and highly satiating ingredients. They also have a lower glycemic index compared to juices, which helps to stabilize blood sugar levels.

How often you should do it: Four times a year. It’s best to cleanse seasonally, so that your body can stay in tune with the change in weather.

How many soups you’ll have per day: Five. If you’re doing a 24-hour reset, you’ll have five raw soups. For a three-day and five-day cleanse, you’ll have three soups—one during breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus two light broths for snacks in between. For optimal results and to keep your metabolism up, you’ll eat every three hours.

What you can’t eat: A cleanse is a chance to give your body a break from working so hard to digest the foods you normally eat. While on a soup cleanse, you should only consume the soups and broths, with exceptions for pumpkin seeds, cucumbers and celery. Soupelina’s cleanse calls for avoiding coffee, sugar, fruit, soda, animal protein, dairy, alcohol and nicotine (a given), wheat and processed, dried and canned foods.

What the benefits look like: Glowing skin, silkier hair, reduced stress levels and higher energy levels. It also helps rebuild the part of your metabolism that works with burning fat, and aids in building a strong immune system by cleaning your gut.

My experience: Reading the first few pages of Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse was all it took to inspire me to give the 3-Day Boost Cleanse a try. I prepared the soups ahead of time, and ate only the soups and broths as directed, along with pumpkin seeds with each broth. I made sure to drink lots of water during the day, starting off my day with warm water and lemon juice, as the book suggests. I followed the cleanse religiously and to my surprise, I actually lasted all three days. On my last attempt at a juice cleanse, I couldn’t even make it through one whole day. The biggest difference was that I was never actually hungry while souping. I craved food that I could chew, but I never felt like I needed more food to keep me going. I took it easy for the three days and didn’t exercise like I usually do. I slept for at least eight hours each night, if not more, and did lots of resting, like the book suggests.  The day after the cleanse ended, I felt like a new person—I felt lighter, saw a glow in my skin and noticed that my hair looked shinier and didn’t appear as dead as it had been over the weekend before my cleanse (when I indulged in just about everything that isn’t considered healthy). The biggest takeaway, however, is the new relationship that I have developed with food. I no longer want to indulge in pizza and cookies, which I used to crave, and am generally more aware of what I’m putting into my body. I want to fill my body with wholesome foods that will make me feel happy and energized, not glum and sluggish. Souping helped me change my relationship with food, and made me realize what my body needs and doesn’t need to function at its best.

How to make purple cauliflower soup (pictured above):


1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 medium-size onion, sliced

1 head purple cauliflower, cut into large chunks

2 or 3 small potatoes, peeled and cubed

Boiling filtered water

1 tablespoon sweet white miso

2 garlic cloves, minced

Juice of 1 lime

Himalayan pink salt

1) Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat, add the celery and onion, and sauté until the onion is translucent.

2) Lower the heat to medium and add the cauliflower, reserving a few florets for garnish.

3) Add the potato and enough boiling filtered water to cover the veggies; cook until the cauliflower is al dente, 15 to 20 minutes.

4) Add the miso and garlic and cook for another few minutes.

5) Transfer to a Vitamix and puree until smooth.

6)Add the lime juice.

7) Taste and adjust the flavors with salt and seasonings.

8) Garnish with the reserved cauliflower florets.

Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse: Plant-Based Soups and Broths to Heal Your Body, Calm Your Mind and Transform Your Life by Elina Fuhrman, $16,

From: Harper’s BAZZAR US