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Jim Karas’ perfect recipe for a healthy season

Jim Karas

Jim Karas

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Updated: January 1, 2013 6:16AM

Soup to poop.

I bet that got your attention, but it’s not a joke. I totally believe that the key to a rockin’ metabolism and a sexy, lean body is, well ... going to the bathroom.

It’s something Americans don’t do very much. We are a pretty constipated nation along with being an overweight/obese nation. The two actually go hand in hand.

That is why I am sharing with you a Heartland Stew recipe. They call it a stew, but honestly, it’s just good ol’ fashioned vegetable soup.

See, vegetables are packed with fiber, as is fruit. Fiber is the key to successful digestion, plus it:

1. Makes you feel full (that’s good) so you eat less.

2. Boosts your energy so you can get everything done and exercise.

3. Flattens out your stomach as your intestines clean out.

4. Lowers cholesterol, which many of us need.

We are headed into what I refer to as “The Danger Zone.” That’s that dreadful, oh, I meant magical, time of year when food, drink, treats (you name it), are everywhere because it’s the h-o-l-i-d-a-y-s.

Did you see the way I spread out holidays? That’s because we generally spread out more than ever during this time of the year. But, I have a plan.

The plan is the soup. With the soup you will poop. When you poop with the soup you won’t be in the loop to look like you’re wearing a hula-hoop (sorry Dr. Seuss!).

One meal each and every day, either lunch or dinner, will be the soup. Make a huge batch, put it in individual containers, and freeze it. When you are ready to eat, nuke it.


1 quart low-sodium vegetable stock

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

2 medium potatoes, with peel

4 medium tomatoes

1/2 pound baby carrots (sliced lengthwise in half)

2 parsnips

2 medium yellow onions

3 cups green cabbage

1 green pepper

1 yellow pepper

1 orange pepper

1 cup cooked kidney beans (rinse if canned)

Cut all the vegetables (except the carrots) into 1/2-inch chunks. Place all ingredients in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add water if needed.

Season with pepper, lemon pepper or any other non-sodium based spice.

Jim Karas donated his fee for writing this column to A Better Chicago. For more information, go to

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