Quinoa & Black Bean Soup

Check out this youtube video by American personal trainer Merlin X, which some of my London clients have tried and really like. This is a really simple soup, composed of quinoa, black beans, vegetable broth, and corriander. The quinoa provides the complete protein (one of the few strict vegetarian sources of complete protein), and the black beans provide slow-release complex carbs.

Some more soup Ideas

Are you bored of chomping your way through the same old stodgy sandwiches at your desk in the windowless office of some law firm in the City of London every lunchtime of the week (while at the same time battling with a backlog of work)?

For a healthy and nutritious change, making your own healthy and nutritious soup instead. (Beware, not all soups are healthy, so make your own, or choose low salt/sugar/saturated fat versions.) Some of the supermarkets now offer soups that are low in salt and additives, so bought soup are an increasingly healthy option if you choose carefully. Sadly, too many commercial soups still contain more salt than the Dead Sea. New Covent Garden Soup Company has some great healthy options worth checking out, and Waitrose also has a decent range too.

Nutritious soups make a great alternative for a low calorie lunch. (Just make sure it's not all you eat, you need something like a yoghurt to top up your protein intake).The water content gives you that full feeling, and it can be an easy and effective way of consuming more vegetables so you benefit from all the vitamins, minerals and fibre they provide.

If weight loss is your goal, every good personal trainer will advise you to consume enough complex carbs to fuel the workouts you'll be doing as part of your fat loss regime, and enough protein to build the muscle that will raise your metabolism and burn fat even faster. So a good lunch would be something like this: soup, a yoghurt, and a piece of fruit. Don't fall into the 'zero carbs' trap, you need some carbs for energy. Carbs are the body's preferred source of energy, don't mess with the zero carbs craze!

Have a go at making your own soup, like chilled gazpacho (see recipe below).

I had a personal training client in London used to eat high fat sandwiches for lunch at the office, followed by a packed of crisps. Now she lunches on healthy low-fat soups (thanks to the office kitchen microwave), followed by a low fat yoghurt (high in protein) and a piece of fruit (for the fibre, vitamins and minerals). If your office kitchen doesn't have a microwave, ask for one!

If you need a personal trainer in London who will give you a personalised nutrition plan, click the link.

And if you're searching for online nutrition coaching, try the Fitness4London Online Nutrition Coaching for a one-off payment of just £25.00, which gives you a detailed nutrition report followed by 2 weeks email support and food diary feedback.

Recipe for Chilled Gazpacho

Makes 4 servings. To be prepared cold and eaten cold. Keep remainder in fridge (well sealed with clingfilm) but eat within 48 hours. I remember eating this on holidays in Greece when I was a kid, it's very refreshing in hot weather. And the garlic is good for the blood and for fighting infections.

1 cucumber, chopped into small cubes
1 celery stick, chopped into small cubes
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped into small cubes
1 fresh red chilli, seeded and chopped finely (take care to wash hands straight after chopping the chilli)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tin chopped tomatoes
8 leaves of basil, torn into small pieces

You can puree half the mixture and mix with the other half, or puree the whole lot, depending on preferred consistency. Likewise, add cold water to the soup to thin it to preferred thickness.

Either chill overnight in fridge (covered in clingfilm) or to eat immediately, serve with less water but several icecubes to chill it rapidly. Makes a perfect soup on a hot summer's day.

Eat with wholemeal toast, rubbed on one side with half a tomato and half a clove of garlic (an old Spanish tradition).

Nutrition notes-

Garlic is classed as a superfood, for its antibiotic and antifungal effects.

If you want a personal trainer in London to assess your eating habits and prescribe for you a healthy eating plan, look no further! I also do online nutrition coaching for a one-off fee of £20.

For weight loss tips, explore the pages throughout this site, starting at the Nutrition page.