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Release date: 12/28/2004.

You'll find this recipe in it, From AN EXALTATION OF SOUPS,
copyright © 2004
by Patricia Solley,
Published by Three Rivers Press.

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I told my doctor I get very tired when I go on a diet, so he gave me some pep pills. Know what happened? I ate faster."
--Joe E. Lewis, comedian

Diets are for those who are thick and tired of it

I've been on a constant diet for the last two decades. I've lost a total of 789 pounds. By all accounts, I should be hanging from a charm bracelate
--Erma Bombeck

So I think it is very nice for ladies to be lithe and lissome,
But not so much that you cut yourself if you happen to embrace or kissome

--Ogden Nash, "Curl Up and Diet" (1938)

My wife is on a diet. Coconuts and bananas. She hasn't lost any weight, but can she climb a tree!
--Henny Youngman

The second day of a diet is always easier than the first. By the second day you're off it
-- Jackie Gleason

To safeguard one's health at the cost of too strict a diet is a tiresome illness, indeed.
-- La Rochefoucauld

According to Prevention magazine, researchers at Penn State U. have found that eating soup before a meal can shave up to 100 calories off a meal. That could mean a weight loss of 10 pounds over a year.

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The Cabbage Soup Diet

Also called "The Dolly Parton diet," for reasons that are shrouded in mystery, this 7-day diet really does work--in the short term, anyway. And there's a great purity to it--especially in the summertime when it's wonderfully refreshing served ice cold. Ingredient proportions can be varied according to your likes and dislikes. If you're interested in recent studies on the efficacy of soup in diets, click HERE And please read to the end of the recipe where you'll find testimony and great ideas regarding the diet from soupsong readers.

Okay, are you ready? Here we go:

Put all vegetables in a big pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, stir in the soup mix (if desired), and boil gently for 10 minutes. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until all the vegetables are soft. Stir in the black pepper and chopped herbs (saving some for garnish).

Eat as much of the soup as you like, as often as you like. Drink as much water as you like and non-caloric drinks including coffee, tea, and herbal teas.

Here's what else you can eat, and when:

DAY 1: All fruits except bananas.

DAY 2: All vegetables, raw or cooked. This includes baked potato with a LITTLE butter.

DAY 3: Fruits and vegetables, but no potatoes or bananas.

DAY 4: Bananas and skim milk--eat as many as 8 bananas and drink as many as 8 glasses of skim milk.

DAY 5: Beef, skinless chicken, and/or fish--as much as 20 ounces, total. You can also eat 6 tomatoes. And you must drink 8 glasses of water. Don't forget at least one bowl of soup.

DAY 6: Beef, skinless chicken, or fish and vegetables. Drink 8 glasses of water and eat at least one bowl of soup.

DAY 7: Brown rice, vegetables, and unsweetened fruit juice.

TESTIMONY! If you're interested in going gourmet AND losing weight, try the following suggestions, recommended by Bobbi B. from California: "To make the soup not to eat three times a day; try making the first batch with red onions, red cabbage and red bell peppers, leave it chunky like a minestrone. The second batch make with yellow onions, green cabbage & green bells (I left out the tomatoes in second batch) and pureé it. The taste and texture change makes it so much more palatable. Also, on the skim milk day; add non fat plain yogurt to the soup as one of glasses of milk...tastes wonderful!!! Hey! I lost 10 lbs. in 7 days, I feel great! I can't imagine it not being healthy for you, keep the foods fresh and be creative when you cook."

Or how about chef Karen Larkin who makes soups from scratch every morning at her McKinleyville, California, café: "I love this diet! It really works! I add a few different herbs and spices to each batch to give it an international twist. For example, I add chopped cilantro, a little chili powder, and cumin to give it a Southwestern flavor; some oregano, basil, and fresh garlic for an Italian taste; a little curry powder mixed into the cooking soup and chopped fresh mint leaves for garnish on top when serving to give it a unique Moroccan flavor; shrimp or fish boullion, a little soy sauce, and some fresh bean sprouts, minus the tomatoes for an exotic Oriental sensation; chanterelle mushrooms and a pinch of thyme and rosemary minus the tomatoes for a wonderful French taste. All very yummy!"

Jane B. from High Point, North Carolina, says "The version of this that I got had no carrots, green beans, herbs or vinegar. It did have boullion added and the daily instructions were the same. It was called the American Heart Association diet. I was told if you lost less than 17 lbs. in one week you could stay on it. Lost 10 lbs the first week, 7 lbs the second. I've been following it casually since then and have lost a total of 35 lbs so far and feel great - all within about a month and a half time frame."

Natalie from Nixa, Missouri, says: I haved used this soup many times, and lose about 10 pounds each week! My family likes it too, so I add ground beef or diced Chicken to it and we have a meal! It is a great way to clean out your system and make you feel great, if followed correctly! I use it for a week, off a week, on a week, and off a week, and usually can keep the weight off for a year or 2, if I am careful! Just be sure to take your vitamins, and eat all the stuff it calls for...

Alister Moffit says: Everyone told me I would be listless and low on energy, when in actual fact I felt like all the toxins were being washed out of my system and I was full of energy and alert, I kept riding my bike to work and back every day for 25 km round trip while on the diet and lost 3 kg. I also kept taking Lecithin to clear out cholestrol.

Or how about Sherrie Blount's variation from Oakland, California: "Use the original cabbage soup diet recipe for all three meals. Add brown rice,one fry egg to your soup. (EAT IT LIKE IT IS STEW) Do not add any other foods etc. Drink 8 glasses of water, no tea or juice. This really works."

Laurie W. from Berks, UK, says: "You cannot fail to lose weight on this diet (as long as you don't cheat!). I lost 8lbs the first time, then on my second go 5 weeks later, I lost another 7lbs! Providing you don't stuff yourself silly on the first day off the diet, then eat sensibly, there is no reason why you should put the weight back on! Good luck."

Lenia Kallis from Nicosia, Cyprus, says: "You may omit the peppers mushrooms also-you may use them otherwise-and use fewer onions to make a lighter soup. Also cutting the cabbage into big chunks makes you feel fuller as you are eating something solid. Also you may add one tablespoon of non fat grinded hard cheese on top of every plateful just before consumption, for variation. And yes it tastes great and you still lose the weight.I also agree that yogurt makes it much better in taste. On the fruit day I make a nice big fruit salad with a little orange juice and consume it the whole day. On the vegetable day I saute the vegetables in a non stick pan and add a little soya sauce to fool myself I am eating chinese. I use light margarine for the baked potato.On the banana and milk day I make nice banana milk shakes in a shaker and add a little sweetener if the bananas are not sweet enough.On the beef day I eat a little mustard with the steaks or make a sauce with mustard and mushrooms too since I do not use them in the soup. Yes I too lost 9 pounds on it. And it is not that difficult either with the above recommendations. It is imperative that you have one multivitamin a day , plus one water soluble vitamin C whenever you feel light headed.It really helps the energy levels. All the above make the diet easier to follow and the results are drastic. It motivates me also to go on a better and more nutritional diet the week after. I feel that it is good for me as I do not consume any meats for the first 4 days of the diet. Good luck to all."