When I say “cold soup,” what’s the first thing you think of? Vichyssoise, right? Cold soups are great on hot summer nights, but vichyssoise is usually so heavy and full of carbs and fat. When I was given the opportunity to review The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet: Smart, Simple, Science-Based Strategies for Losing Weight and Keeping It Off (affiliate link) by Barbara Rolls, PhD, the first recipe that jumped out at me was Chilled Cucumber and Summer Vegetable Soup. It has gorgeous color – the red of the tomatoes and green of the basil and cucumber just pop on top of the creamy white soup. It’s crunchy, tangy and fresh. You’ll find the recipe below.
The Volumetrics approach to eating is based on the theory of lowering the calorie density (CD) of the foods that you eat. The idea is that if you eat the same number of bites of food with fewer calories per bite, you’ll feel like you are getting the same amount of food but you’ll consume fewer calories. So, for example, you might substitute grapes (CD: 0.69) for raisins (CD: 3.1). CD is calculated by dividing the number of calories per serving of a food by the amount of grams a serving contains. So if you were looking at a bag of multigrain pretzels, for example, you’d see they have 120 calories in a serving size of 30 g. 120/30 = 4, so these pretzels have a CD (calories per gram) of 4 which is considered to be “high.” Here’s a chart showing the CD categories and a few examples of what might be in each category:
|1||Very Low CD||less than 0.6||chicken broth, tomato, broccoli, strawberries, plain nonfat yogurt, salsa, Chilled Cucumber and Summer Vegetable Soup|
|2||Low CD||0.6 to 1.5||sweet potato, tofu, banana, cottage cheese, brown rice, shrimp, turkey breast, olives|
|3||Medium CD||1.6 to 3.9||avocados, raisins, feta cheese, whole-wheat pita, chicken breast, light mayonnaise|
|4||High CD||4.0 to 9.0||butter, graham crackers, bacon, granola bar, chocolate, peanut butter, olive oil|
You can pretty much eat what you want from Categories 1 and 2. You should manage your portions of Category 3 foods and only eat Category 4 foods occasionally.
Notes about the book
- The chapters in the front of the book explain things like calorie density, portion size, how to build a meal around vegetables and fruits, how to add fiber to your meals, how to manage fat and sugar and how to eat away from home. All of the information is useful.
- The recipes tend to use sugar and butter rather than artificial ingredients.
- Sometimes a recipe is compared visually to its traditional counterpart. You might see what a serving of bean soup looks like compared to a Volumetrics version of bean soup with squash, for example. Being a visually oriented person, I found these side by side photos to be quite helpful.
- The nutritional information included for each recipe includes calories, CD, carbs, fat, protein and fiber. There is no information provided about saturated fat, sodium, sugar or cholesterol.
- The author refers to her “lab” quite a bit. I understand that she is trying to emphasis that this eating plan is science-based, but I like to think of my food as coming from a kitchen rather than a lab.
See what a typical day on the Volumetrics plan would be like.
Giveaway I’m giving away a copy of The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet by Barbara Rolls, PhD. To enter, leave a comment and tell me the biggest challenge you face when you’re trying to lose weight. The contest will run through Saturday, June 16, 2012. The winner will be chosen at random on Sunday, June 17, 2012. You must be at least 18 years of age with a U.S. mailing address to win. No purchase is necessary; void where prohibited. The winner will be notified by email and must respond within 24 hours or another winner will be selected. (Please make sure email from email@example.com doesn’t end up in your spam folder.)
Disclosure: I received a free copy of The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet: Smart, Simple Science-Based Strategies for Losing Weight and Keeping It Off by Barbara Rolls, PhD from HarperCollins Publishers plus a second copy to give away. All opinions are my own.
Now, about that summer vegetable soup…
Chilled Cucumber and Summer Vegetable Soup
- 1 medium seedless English cucumber about 11 ounces, peeled and sliced
- 2 cups nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt
- 1 small garlic clove peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 16 grape tomatoes cut in quarters
- 1 small regular cucumber finely diced
- 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels from 1 ear or frozen corn, thawed
- 2 green onions scallions, white and light green parts only, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- Salt and ground white pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Purée the sliced cucumber, yogurt, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, diced cucumber, corn, green onions and vinegar in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide the soup into four bowls. Top each with one-quarter of the vegetable garnish. Stir together the oil and basil in a small bowl and divide among the four bowls.
The CD for this recipe is 0.44.