Red Lentil Soup

This soup is a favorite amongst my clients who come to me for weight loss or those who want to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diet. It is easy to prepare, nutritious, delicious and freezes well. 

Unless making it for one person (this makes 4 bowls) I suggest DOUBLING the recipe. I always regret it when I don’t! This recipe makes 7 cups.

Another option is to not add the cup of water. Not adding it will of course make it thicker.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  •  Pinch of ground chili powder (or more to taste)
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cups water (do not add this if you like thick soup)
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  •  Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
  • 5 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


  1. In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili powder and sauté for 2 minutes longer to intensify the flavor.
  3. Add broth, 1 cup water, lentils and carrot. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 20-25  minutes.
  4. Stir in lemon juice. Stir, taste and add more if necessary. Stir in cilantro.
  5. Taste and add salt if necessary.


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Choosing a Sports Carbohydrate Replacement

runnerIf you are exercising vigorously for 1-2 ½ hours then it’s smart to consume a 120-240 calories (30-60 grams of carbs, lower amount for person weighing less and/or less vigorous exercise) per hour snack or beverage to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable throughout your hike.

If you are exercising vigorously for over 2 to 3 hours then it’s smart to consume a 240-350 calories (60-90 grams of carbs) per hour snack or beverage to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable throughout your activity.

We’ve known for a long time that carbohydrate is the critical fuel for performance that carbohydrate ingestion during exercise can increase exercise capacity. For those activities lasting greater than 2.5 hours, consume 90 grams per hour of only a multiple transportable carbohydrate.

A multiple transportable carbohydrate is absorbed by different methods (transporters or pathways) in the intestine and this means a better delivery of the carbohydrate, increased fluid delivery, less gastrointestinal distress, reduced fatigue and higher performance. The carbohydrate source should be a mix of glucose and fructose, or maltodextrin and fructose in a ratio of roughly 2:1, so there is 60 g/h of glucose or maltodextrin (to saturate the SGLT1 transporters) and 30 g/h of additional fructose for oxidation.  Source:

Sports Drinks

Avoid low-calorie version. Low calorie means less sugar and the purpose of a sports drink is to replenish glycogen.

Look for a combo of glucose and fructose, called multiple transportable carbohydrates since those carbs will be absorbed faster, will enhance endurance by increasing exogenous carbohydrate oxidation, reduce the reliance on endogenous carbohydrate stores and cause less GI distress.

Examples:  PowerBarISOACTIVE  or CytoSport Cytomax Sports Performance Mix found at Amazon.

The most efficient and effective sports drinks have a carbohydrate concentration of 6 to 8 percent. This concentrations allows the fluid to absorb into the bloodstream quickly, at about the speed of water.

Avoid pure fruit juice since this will provide too much fructose and can cause digestive issues when you are doing heavy exercise.

Electrolytes such as potassium and sodium are necessary, extras like vitamins or herbal supplements aren’t necessary.

Energy Gels and Solids

Energy gels and solids such as gummies, are much more calorically-dense than sports drinks, and are designed to enable a person to get a high amount of carbs intake during a difficult long distance event.

When you eat energy gels, drink water so it digests and enters the blood stream. And don’t take with as sports drink or you can get too much sugar at once time.

Gels can be hard on the digestive system causing cramps, bloating and diarrhea and nausea. So practice using these.

The least expensive carbohydrate replacement is plain honey. Plus it has right ratio of glucose and fructose for maximum carb absorption, and there aren’t any known to possess antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Protein Bars

Choose real food instead. See my post here for more info. Many of these types of protein or energy bars have lots of unhealthy saturated fat and other processed junk like partially hydrogenated soybean, palm, and palm kernel oils, additives, simple sugars.


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Soft Foods Dental Post Oral Surgery, Wisdom Teeth Removal or Braces

Soft, easy to chew foods are the best thing to eat after oral surgery, especially within the first few days. There are a number of delicious soft foods to choose from.

In some cases, dental braces won’t allow the biting surfaces of the teeth to touch so chewing isn’t possible. Go to this post for foods that do not require chewing.  

It is important to include healthy protein and fiber-rich choices after oral surgery to provide necessary nutrition for optimal healing. To get more fiber from the foods you eat, make smoothies with fruit, and eat soft fruits such as bananas or canned fruit. Brown rice, oatmeal or other whole grains can be eaten as well, as long as they are thoroughly cooked and moistened with milk. Protein can be provided in the form of cut-up eggs, ground meats, fish, and dairy products or protein nutrition drinks. Staying hydrated and continuing with your vitamin/mineral supplement (if you take one) is also important for a quick healing time.

By carefully choosing the foods you eat you can usually make eating easier. Here are some suggestions that may help:

Straw use: If you have had a tooth removed, do not us a straw for at least three days.

o Crunchy, sticky, and sharp foods should be avoided.
o Cold foods like smoothies, puddings, ice cream and sorbet can help with mouth pain, while pureed foods and drinks are easy to swallow, even after painful oral surgery. Be sure to ask your surgeon if you can use a straw or not.
o Try foods cold or at room temperature. Hot and warm foods can irritate a tender mouth and healing gums.
o Cook foods until they are soft and tender.
o Use a blender or food processor to puree your food.
o Cut foods into small pieces.
o Cook or simmer foods in sauces or liquids to keep them moist.
o Mix food with butter, thin gravies, and sauces to make it easier to swallow.
o Add sauces to vegetables.

Here are some specific food ideas:

Add Strained “Baby” Meats Or Canned Fish To Soups, Sauces Or Gravies

Applesauce, Stewed, Mashed Or Pureed Fruits

Avocados, Asparagus, Peas, Carrots, Lima Beans (All Mashed)

Baked Beans

Baked Or Broiled Fish

Blended Vegetables

Bread Softened With Gravy

Broiled Or Stewed Chicken (Finely Chopped)

Buttered Noodles with Parmesan Cheese

Canned Bartlett Pears, Cherries, Mandarin oranges, fruit cocktail, peaches, pears, lychee

Canned Fruit With Cottage Cheese

Canned Tuna Or Chicken

Chicken A La King, Creamed Salmon Or Seafood

Chunky Soups, Stews, Shepherd’s Pie Or Pot Pies

Cold Cereal Soaked In Milk

Cooked Fruits Without Seeds Or Skins Like Apples And Pears

Cooked Puddings Such As Tapioca, Rice, Bread Or Custard

Cottage Cheese

Cream Pies Or Sponge Cake With Custard Sauce

Creamed Corn

Egg dishes such as Scrambled Eggs, Poached Eggs, Quiche, Breakfast Casserole, Egg Salad

Egg Salad, Tuna Salad, Pate, Liverwurst, Guacamole, Hummus Or Cream Cheese Spread On A Slice Of Soft, Crustless, Buttered Bread

Finely Grated/Melted Cheese

Fish Poached Or Cooked In A Sauce

Foods cooked or simmered in liquids (e.g. stews with ground or finely chopped meats, hearty soups)

Gratineed Potatoes

Ground Beef, Pork, Lamb, Chicken Or Turkey Cooked In Gravy

Hearty Broth Based Soups, Borscht, Congee, Cream Soups Or Chowders (Blended If Necessary), Split Pea, Lentil Or Bean Soup

Hot Cereals Such As Oat Bran, Cream Of Wheat, Corn Meal, Oatmeal, Congee


Ice Cream/Sorbets/Gelato


Jell-O Or Instant Pudding Mixes

Macaroni and Cheese, Pasta Dishes With A Cheese, Cream Or Tomato/Cream Sauce

Mashed or cut up bananas

Mashed Potatoes, Cauliflower, Carrots, Turnips, Yams Or Squash

Meatball Sandwich on soft bread with spaghetti sauce



Meats that have been chopped, ground or blenderized

Melon, Avocado, Bananas

Miso soup with soft tofu


Hot Cereal, Mush or Porridge-Type Hot Cereals Like Oatmeal, Grits And Cream-Of-Wheat

Pancakes or French Toast With Butter And Syrup Or Fruit Sauce

Pasta Cooked To a Soft Consistency

Pasta Or Potato Salad

Peanut Butter


Pot Stickers, Boiled

Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes without Skin

Protein Powders

Pudding Or Custard

Pureed Berries Put Through A Strainer To Remove Skins And Seeds

Pureed Or Blended Sauces

Pureed Or Blended Soups

Rice or Tapioca Pudding

Savory Cheese and Bread Puddings

Skinless Vegetables That Cook To A Soft Consistency Or Can Be Mashed, Like Carrots, Cauliflower

Soft Boiled Or Poached Eggs

Soft Breads and Muffins

Soft casseroles such as Tamale casserole, Tuna and noodles, Lasagna, etc.

Soft Cooked Vegetables with A Cheese Or Cream Sauce

Soft ripe Blueberries, Guava, Papaya, Mango, Watermelon, Cherries

Soup like bean soup, butternut squash, rice soup, noodle soup, broth soup with ground meat and soft vegetables or potatoes

Sweet Dessert Bread Pudding

Tender Meats And Ground Meats That Have Been Well-Cooked – Braised Meats Or Meats Cooked In A Crock-Pot


Vegetables pureed or mashed such as peas and carrots, canned vegetables

Well-Cooked Legumes With Soft Skins Like Baked Beans


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