4 Reasons Why You Should Have Soup for Breakfast
I would have never known if I wasn’t forced to sleep with her in the same room.
It was late at night. Our family was literally camping out at a townhouse we own in the greater DC area. While this house of ours is usually home to a tenant family, this particular night our family was sprawled out in sleeping bags throughout the three-story dwelling, having spent the day cleaning, patching walls and prepping the house for a new renter.
My 3 year old daughter slept peacefully next to me. I, however, was far from peaceful. It wasn’t the hard floor or strange surroundings that bothered me.
No, that night I made a new discovery: my daughter snores.
Once our landlording duties were complete, I set to work discovering why our little tinkerbell resembled a foghorn 10 hours of the day. After performing simple muscle-testing, we discovered she had significant food sensitivities to wheat, corn, white rice, oats… among other grains. I had always suspected slight sensitivities due to a few patches of mild eczema appearing on her skin from time to time. But her reaction to oats and wheat were a strong 3 (on a scale from 1-3). I didn’t expect that.
We try to avoid wheat/gluten as a rule; the oat allergy was a surprise. We eat a lot of organic steel cut oats.
Come to think of it, I’ve noticed after oat-filled breakfasts that little Tinkerbell’s stool contained undigested oatmeal. That should have been my first clue a food sensitivity was in the works. Silly me.
I got to work removing grains, which meant we were following a mostly Paleo diet. That’s fine for two meals of the day. In America, though, Paleo for breakfast seems entirely counter-cultural.
You have to think out of the box.
One of my other children dislikes eggs, so eating them daily wasn’t an option. I despise the price of almond flour and am not a fan of all the other pricey, high carbohydrate, Paleo-friendly grain alternatives out there. I’ve collected a few grain-free, Paleo breakfast ideas, but even these don’t fit well into our daily lifestyle, limited budget, or the palate preferences of my kiddos.
– quick, nourishing breakfasts…
– that don’t entail daily consumption of eggs…
– but fill my kiddos up…
– and fit within a large family budget.
And I like two-week trips to St. Lucia with my husband for milestone anniversaries. But, I digress.
Yes, soup. It works so much better than you might think. Better yet, all five of my children gladly hopped on board my soup wagon.
Turns out, the longer you are alive in America, the more prejudice you become to thinking outside the box. Read: this middle age lady is stuck in her ways.
There are probably 217 reasons why you should eat soup for breakfast. I’ll share 4 of my main ones with you.
1. Soup is Cheap and Filling
Any mama knows that soup, being the liquid-based food it is, fills up the tummy quickly. Consequently, you can get by will less protein per person than you would at a roast beef dinner. If you’re buying organic, pastured meat that’s a big deal.
Veggies are cheap. Beans are cheap. Broth is cheap (especially if you make your own from leftover bones). Stir in some animal protein and viola.
For my family of 7 a breakfast of organic, cage-free eggs and toast costs $1.29 per serving.
My favorite breakfast turkey and kale soup costs $0.92 per serving. I’ll let you do the math.
2. Soup Boosts Metabolism and Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Feed your body simple carbs for breakfast and you’re setting yourself up for major blood sugar fluctuations throughout the rest of the day. These blood sugar highs and lows contribute to mood swings, binge eating, irritability, weakness, even Type 2 diabetes and Metabolic syndrome – lots o’ no good.
Carbs are easily metabolized into sugar, and a sugar-heavy breakfast means the body is preoccupied transporting and burning sugar for energy, instead of burning fat. Eating low-carb in the AM is the way to get this fat-burning in motion.
My kiddos don’t obviously need to burn fat at this stage of their lives. But they do need to have balanced blood sugar. I see d-r-a-s-t-i-c differences in their behavior (and yes, obedience) depending on whether they indulged in a pancake or cereal-type breakfast or a protein-rich, low-carb one. If your child struggles with behavioral issues, tweaking their diet is one key pillar of the holistic approach to treatment. It really can do wonders!
Schedule a chat with me if you’d like to hear more about the other pillars.
3. Soup is Hydrating and Nourishing
Did you know drinking water first thing in the morning boosts your metabolism?
Water hydrates cells and increases the rate at which new muscle and blood cells are produced. It helps flush your lymphatic system and sweep toxic waste out of the body… among other things. Not many clients of mine are thrilled about downing a glass of water first-thing in the morning, but soup changes all that.
A high-quality broth is brimming with H2O as well as beneficial vitamins and minerals that set the body up for success. It’s better than a plain o’ water any day.
And soup has veggies. But I won’t take time to tell you how great those are. 😉
4. Soup is Simple
Probably most important of all, busy mamas like you and me need simple. I cannot expect to make a pot of soup as part of my morning routine. I’m not awake enough to wield a knife, let alone finely chop an onion.
Eggs and oatmeal are complicated enough.
But with a little planning, soup has become as simple as cereal. No joke.
Make soup overnight in the crockpot, or the day before while you’re prepping dinner. If it’s pre-made, family members can serve themselves. Even my four year old can grab and go.
And I feel pretty good about myself. You will, too.
Tips for Success
Looking for some soup ideas? I try to steer clear of any strong-tasting soups for the AM hours.
DO select sweeter soups if you anticipate a soup-for-breakfast mutiny. Ease family members onto the soup bandwagon by catering *temporarily* to their sweet tooth. Try butternut squash soup, or an apple & sausage soup.
DON’T use tomato products. That will go a long way towards making happy tummies and taste buds in the AM.
DO make large batches of soup so that you have leftovers throughout the week to save yourself time.
DO serve soup with a smile. Your children will pick up their cues from you. Hold your ground. What you are doing is revolutionary, you rebel you!
Here are our favorite soups for breakfast (we alternate these throughout the week with eggs, oatmeal and the once-a-week pancake treat):
- Turkey, White Bean & Kale
- Creamy Sausage & Greens (I use kale or spinach at breakfast time instead of the stronger-tasting collard greens)
- Curried Coconut Cauliflower (I add bacon for extra protein)
- Paleo Zuppa Toscana (I do half potatoes, half turnips to cut down on the stronger taste)
- Chicken Nettle Soup