By Elina Fuhrman @elinakfuhrman
Photograpy by Par Bengtsson @parbengtsson1

Investing in yourself, that’s what 2018 is all about; self-care is not an indulgence anymore, it’s an essential part of life. And what better way to start the year than to optimize your gut health. Everbody wants a lean, sexy body, and nurturing your gut is as important as nurtur-ing your soul.

Soup cleansing is one the most significant steps you can take on the way to healing your gut. I experienced the benefits of nutritious soups myself when I was healing from breast cancer. I’ve always loved soup, but I’ve never thought of soup as anything more than just food. I know better now. By incorporating soup into my lifestyle, along with meditation and breath work, I improved my digestion, healed my gut, reduced inflammation, lessoned stress and kicked cancer in the butt. That’s what led me to create my soup company, Sou-pelina (@soupelinala; soupelina.com), the original soup cleanse that has now taken the world by storm and author my first book Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse: Plant-Based Soups and Broths to Heal Your Body, Calm Your Mind, and Transform Your Life ($24.99, Da Capo Lifelong Books). It’s a whole new way to look at soup.

How to Cook a Soup That’s Actually Cleansing and Nutritious

We’ve all heard the famous words from Hippocrates-the father of modern medicine-that food is medicine, but soups take it up a notch. It’s not just veggies, but also herbs and spic-es that make soup the best choice for cleansing. To make a healing soup, you have to hand-pick your ingredients, using the freshest veggies rather than last week’s sad produce buried in your fridge crisper. By adding just the right spices and herbs, and cooking them at the right temperature, you won’t be just blending the cooked veggies, you will be creating a medicinal potion that can work wonders for your body.

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What’s in a Soup Cleanse?

Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse features five soups per day: three soups for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus two broths for a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. The length of the cleanse depends on your goals. If you just want to break from poor quality or restaurant foods do a one-day cleanse. If you want to give your tummy a break from over indulgenc-es, kick-start healthy habits, strengthen your digestion and cellular metabolism, get rid of bloating, headaches, and fatigue, then do a 3-day or a 5-day cleanse. The best thing about a soup cleanse is that you can do it for an extended time should you choose because you get-ting all the fiber and nutrients your body needs through the soups.

What Benefits Can People See From a Soup Cleanse?

Oh, the benefits are amazing: you will rid yoursels of environmental toxins, reduce your cholesterol levels, improve blood pressure levels, feel lighter and happier. You will see benefits almost immediately. Your skin will be glowing, your hair will be shinier, your nails will be stronger, you will feel more energy and, at the same time, you will feel calmer and more content.

How is Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse Different from Other Cleanses?

Not all soup cleanses are the same, it’s really important to take note. Soupelina’s unique recipes are based on the science behind plants, herbs and spices, medicinal properties of their specific combinations in healing our bodies and keeping us healthy and strong, and incorporating the principles of Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda and Naturopathy.

Soupelina’s soups are pure and organic without dairy, gluten, nuts, fruits, added sugars and are low in sodium. They are packed with prebiotics and probiotics that re-balance, seed and heal your gut. Soups don’t require as much energy to digest, freeing your body to heal and at the same time providing you with all the necessary fiber and nutrients.

Soup Cleanse or Juice Cleanse?

Soup is easy. Soup is filling. You won’t feel starved, cold and depleted. Quite the opposite: you will feel warm, fullfilled and uplifted. Cleansing with Soupelina’s soups is not about additional stress, it’s about de-stressing and creating peace withinå.

How I came up with my soup recipes?

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, I started seeing a Chinese Medicine doc-tor and an Ayurvedic therapist, and learning about herbs and spices I needed in my diet to boost my immune system. Spices like turmeric, for example, had effects on gene activation, influencing DNA methylation that contribute to cancer development. The trick was to figure out how to maximize the medicinal effects of food and include all the spices and herbs that my body needed to zap inflammation, balance my hormones and blood glucose, alkalize my body, detoxify and eliminate toxins, and improve the absorption of nutrients.

Healing Soups became my answer. I knew I had to come up with recipes that would be nourishing and healing, but also exciting and with layers of flavor. Armed with herbal en-cyclopedias, books on Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine and Homeopathy, as well as my own interviews with doctors and practitioners of healing arts, I spent months in the kitchen, in-jecting sparks of my newfound culinary creativity and healing juju into creating my one-of-a-kind organic blends with nothing more than veggies, herbs, spices, mushrooms and occa-sional legumes.

And that’s how Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse was born.