Do you eat a balanced diet? We hear all the time that we should be, but what does that really mean? With all of the conflicting nutrition advice out there, mealtime can feel overwhelming for many. But, a balanced diet does not need to be complicated. In fact, it should be pretty simple. Eating a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean (or plant) proteins, and healthy fats while limiting ultra-processed foods high in added sugar and salt is a great way to start. Plus, stocking up on Soupergirl is an easy way to up the nutrition content (and flavor) in almost any meal.
To spark some creativity, NYC-based registered dietitian, Jennifer Cole, put together a one-day sample menu featuring some seasonal soup favorites.
Remember, eating a balanced, healthful diet should be completely unique to you based on your individual health needs, medical conditions, cultural/religious practices, and overall lifestyle. Working with a registered dietitian is a great way to find out exactly what’s right for you.
Rise and shine. I love starting a cold winter’s day off with a bowl of hearty oatmeal. I mix ¼ cup oats + 1 tbsp chia seeds +1 tbsp hemp seeds + ½ cup water all together and microwave for ~80 seconds. Then, I top with cinnamon, frozen berries (because winter!), and a spoonful of dairy-free yogurt for a seriously satisfying breakfast.
Lunch time is all about efficiency for most people. That’s where Soupergirl’s chickpea tomato herb soup comes in. I like including a slice of sprouted toast alongside too– this one is topped w/ avocado, tomato, fresh pepper, basil, and balsamic glaze. The whole grains from the bread, fiber in the soup, and healthy fat from the avocado will keep me going all afternoon without leading to that 3 pm slump. No tomatoes or basil? Customize with whatever fresh vegetables and herbs you do have on hand.
Snacks are the perfect bridge between meals to avoid that hangry feeling we all likely have experienced at some point. The key to a successful snack is making it powerful. That means pairing a fiber-rich carbohydrate with a source of protein and/or fat to keep energy and satisfaction levels high. This golden delicious apple, almond butter, cinnamon, and granola combo always hits the spot for me.
Family-style meals are a fun and easy way to feed multiple mouths, especially at dinner. Soupergirl’s potato leek soup serves as the base for a quick salad dressing made with apple cider vinegar, tahini, lemon juice, red onion, and olive oil. I then heat organic tofu and the Mexican black bean sweet potato soup together on the stove until the mixture thickens, making it the perfect filling for plant-based fajitas.
Get creative with your toppings and sides. Mashed avocado, roasted peppers and onions, and shredded cabbage add extra flavor and texture here. Bon appetit.
Many people love ending the day with something sweet, and I’m totally one of them (in moderation). For me, it’s a sumo citrus orange + dark chocolate. Goodnight!
Jennifer Cole is a New York City based registered dietitian with a master’s degree in Nutrition & Dietetics from New York University. Her philosophy focuses on individualized nutrition that incorporates the social, emotional, physical, financial, and cultural factors food brings to all. She emphasizes an eat-the-rainbow approach with balanced, plant-forward meal patterns that are not only nutritious but also delicious!