5 April 2002

Slimming?Shed it with soup

So you enjoyed the Easter

eggs, wolfed down the

simnel cake and now, at the

first hint of sunshine, are

worrying about losing weight

before those summer clothes

reveal your over-indulgences.

The answer could be in a

bowl of soup

A QUICK way to shed a few pounds is to diet on cabbage soup and a Worcs farmer has come up with a convenient and flatulence defeating twist to making it.

Barrington M Robinson, a former treasurer and vice-chairman of the British Charolais Cattle Society, of Lodge Farm, Rochford, personally fought the battle of the bulge during a spell of serious illness, using the cabbage soup diet. Having found out it works, he came up with an idea to cut back on the preparation, cooking and storage of the soup.

&#42 Enough for days

The result is Firsteps from The Cabbage Soup Diet Co – a soup mix of air dried fresh cabbage, carrots, spring onions, red and green peppers, green beans, garlic and herbs. To use you just tip one of the large sachets into a saucepan with four pints of cold water and a stock cube, boil for 2-3 minutes and simmer for 20 minutes and you have enough soup for every meal for two days.

Its claimed that you can expect to lose 7-14lb in 14 days and that the herbs in the mix – mint and parsley – cut out the windy side effects suffered by home-made cabbage soup dieters.

Of course it takes a dedicated dieter to stick to any form of cabbage soup for all meals for as long as a fortnight, so the 14 day pack (£29.95) from Firsteps has a diet plan and recipe ideas that allow you to ring the changes on the basic soup.

Farm Womens Club organiser, Jean Howells, put it to the test. "I know the ordinary cabbage soup diet works for me if I dont get tempted by cakes made for birthdays in the office. I have now tried using the dried ingredients – Firsteps – and found it a very convenient way of making the soup. It is very tasty as there is a high content of mint in it

.

&#42 Worth a try

"It is not so bulky as the freshly made soup but I do wonder at the recommendation of eating it for a fortnight – I know I get fed up with the fresh one after a week. However, for those of us who seem to increase in size as we increase in age, this has got to be worth a try," says Jean.

Like all diets it needs to be used sensibly with at least a week between each 14 day course to allow the body system to settle. There is also a follow on programme called Nextstep to help maintain your lower weight. To order ring 01634-226209.

Diversifying into cabbage soup is, says Mr Robinson, one farmers way of making farming earn him a living – though the jury is still out on whether or not it will. TG