Soup Sunday: The Simplest Way to De-Stress Weekly Meal Planning
Updated: Nov 29, 2022
Most Sundays during cold weather months in our house, we make soup and we call it Soup Sunday.
Soup Sunday started one year after the holidays while my parents were visiting from out of town. While trying to figure out "what the heck to feed all of these people" and not feeling much like cooking after a big holiday meal, my mom suggested we make a soup recipe she recently tried. The soup came together so quickly and easily and was such satisfying comfort food that we decided to try a new soup recipe the following Sunday. The rest is, as they say, Soup Sunday history.
Meal planning can feel like a daunting task. Incorporating Soup Sunday into your weekly meal-plan can significantly de-stress the process. By creating an "anchor meal", a meal you make each week on the same day (with slight variations), you take the guess work out of what to make at least one night each week. Think about it like the free space in BINGO. Make a double batch and you've got two nights covered, or freeze some for later. Your future self will thank you!
Planning your anchor meal on Sunday helps start the week off on the right foot. This is especially helpful when you're trying to build habits like cooking more at home or eating healthier meals. You set yourself up for success with a solid start to each week, and the more you repeat the process, or even better, put it on auto-pilot, the more you reinforce the healthy habit.
Why choose soup for your anchor meal? Soup (for me) is 90% about hitting the easy button. Most recipes come together in about 30 minutes no matter which kind you make. Plus, who doesn't love the simplicity of a one-pot meal? The other 10% is a mixture of getting solid nutrition and comfort.
From the "food as medicine" perspective, soup is a great way to get a good ratio of macronutrients (protein, fat & carbs) and fiber, and can be a great source of micronutrients (trace minerals) and phytonutrients (beneficial compounds from plants and spices that support specific functions and systems in the body).
In fact, I've put together 10 Soup Sunday recipes, each featuring ingredients that target a specific health benefit from reducing stress to supporting digestion, brain and heart health. Get the free recipes here!
I'm sure you've run across the Danish word "hygge" (prounounced "hoo-gah"). There isn't a direct translation in English, but it's a concept that embodies comfort and coziness and is actually derived from a Norweigan word meaning "well-being". During cold-weather months, we get less exposure to daylight which can effect our sleep patterns and mood. The winter holidays can also bring added stress to our already fast-paced lives. I think about soup as the ultimate comfort food, and comfort is (as the Danish know) good for our well-being.
Eating with food sensitivites can be extremely challenging, and can lead to a host of uncomfortable symptoms for those of us who have them. Since having my gallbladder removed, I developed food sensitivities (read more about my journey here), but soups can easily be adapted for sensitivities, and are easy to digest for those with a sensitive stomach. My 10 Soup Sunday recipies include optional gluten & dairy free modifications so there's something for everyone.
My hope is that adding Soup Sunday to your weekly meal plan this winter can become the ultimate form of self-care:
Take some of the stress and guesswork out of your weekly meal planning.
Start each week off on the right foot with a nutritious and easy one-pot meal.
Strategically use ingredients that target specific health benefits.
Practice hygge and give your mood and well-being a boost.
If you want more ideas for year-round self-care. Download a free copy of my 30-days of 5-min. self-care calendar.
If you give Soup Sunday a try, share a picture on social media! Tag @sharonhazelrigg_holistichealth and use the #soupsunday hashtag. Let me know which recipie(s) you tried and how they rate!