The grey clouds are circling above in Old Blighty today, and a comforting bowl of soup beckons.
Which is just as well, as it’s now time for the 7TH Soup Sunday.
And today, it’s the turn of Michelle Cloutier, 39, fellow Health Ed and proud Canadian, to step on to the hot spot.
Hailing from Great Vancouver, in beautiful British Columbia, Michelle is a holistic health, nutrition and lifestyle educator – and a pretty awesome raw food chef, which I can avow from personal experience.
Like most of us, Michelle had a few false starts when it came to getting the penny to drop where her own health was concerned; at 17, she suffered severe digestive pain that would leave her crying on the floor for hours, and, on occasion, limping in the direction of the emergency room.
She was put on a medication called Ranitidine, and because the pain seemed to subside on this, her doctor was more than happy to keep her on it for life (as they so often are).
“I wanted answers, not a Band Aid,” says Michelle. “I knew that if I stayed on this long-term, it would only open the door to needing more meds for the inevitable side effects further down the road, so I threw out the pills.
“It was my stomach causing the problems, so I started to work out which foods were causing it, eating one thing at a time for a few days.
“Meat, bread and pasta were the main culprits, so I stopped eating them. I also read John Robbins’ “Diet for a New America” and literally became vegetarian overnight.”
Michelle suffered a second severe bout of poor health in her late 20s – headaches, fatigue, sinus infections, bruised and swelling legs, major pre-menstrual pain, dizziness and nausea daily, as well as hip pain reaching from her glutes down to her legs.
“Once again, I spent a lot of time lying on my bathroom floor,” she recalls. “So I went back to the food again, and learned about the differences between GMOs, organic and non-organic food.
“After reading up, I ditched soy, corn and sugar and started to buy only organic, from local farms wherever possible.”
Michelle also began to avoid clothing made from synthetic fibres, as well as eating more salads and leafy greens, and downing enough purified water every day to sink a battleship.
And this is where the passion you can see in her today began.
Her first step was a part-time course in holistic nutrition and a whole foods program.
But then work stress took over, and, in spite of her wholesome diet, Michelle fell ill again, mainly due to adrenal fatigue and low thyroid function. She literally walked away from her job as a project manager one afternoon, never to return.
She has never experienced ill health again, and now works with one main purpose: to help others who have been through the same.
Indeed, Michelle’s escape from the rat race gave her the time to pursue her journey without distraction, and it was this brave decision in part which eventually led her to the Health Educator Program at Hippocrates.
Michelle has her own website and is currently working at Refresh Natural Health, a colonic and well-being centre, as well as a raw food café.
Find her or follow her also at:
So, you have no worries – today’s recipe is healthy, packed with energy and will make you feel a whole lot zingier. And here it is:
Michelle’s Creamy Raw Broccoli & Spinach Soup
Yield: 5 cups
Ingredients: (please use organic – you deserve it!)
Lots of love
2 ½ cups water
1 cup almonds (raw, unpasteurised, soaked for 8-12 hours; sprout for another 36 hours, rinsing x 2 a day for added nutrition)
2 ½ cups broccoli florets
1-2 garlic cloves
½ cup green onion (scallions or spring onions)
3 tsp dulse flakes (or any seaweed flakes)
1 cup spinach
3 tsp hot curry spice
1 cup orange/red pepper
Note: I REALLY stuffed the cups full when I measured.
- Put everything – except the avocado – in high speed blender until it’s really well blended together (use a Vitamix or Blendtec for best results)
- Add avocado and blend again until it becomes thick and creamy.
- Garnish with sprouts. (or anything you like)
- Change the spice for a different flavour; garam masala also works well.
- Try using carrots, beets, squash or cauliflower instead of broccoli.
- Try using different greens instead of spinach and experiment.
- Try using almond butter instead of almonds for a creamier texture.
- Use more water or less avocado to make a dressing for salads.
- Experiment and have fun.
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