Recipe: Bob Harper’s Skinny Green Cauliflower Soup

I have a confession to make.  I’m on what probably qualifies as a crash diet.

Usually, this is totally NOT what I do.  I’ve done things like this before with disastrous results, but desperate times call for desperate measures.  My other job… you know the one that actually pays me money… just decided to send 13 of us to Hawaii!  It’s not a vacation.  We will be working really long hours.  It’s only about 4 days.  But guys… it’s HAWAII.  It’s PAID FOR.  I WILL find my way to a beach if it kills me.  And we’re leaving in 3 weeks!  Eeks!

Just as I’m freaking out about being in a bathing suit in front of all my co-workers, celeb trainer Bob Harper from “The Biggest Loser” comes out with a new diet book.  It’s called “Jumpstart To Skinny“, and what a coincidence!  It takes exactly 3 weeks to complete.  Have I been saved?!


“Jumpstart” has gotten some bad buzz, because it only allows 800 calories a day for women, and 1200 a day for men.  Extreme?  Definitely.  Torture?  Kinda.  But will it hurt you to only eat 800 calories a day for 3 weeks?  Probably not.  Especially because Bob has you eating lots of really nutritious stuff.  The idea is to get you to a better body fast before a big event, or to “jumpstart” a longer weight loss journey.  Shopping lists and daily recipes are included.  He does all the work for you.

So here’s the basic jist:

  • 800 calories per day for women, 1200 calories per day for men with unlimited veggies from an approved list
  • Proper 40/40/20 proportions.  40% protein, 40% carbs, 20% fat.
  • No complex carbs (grains & starches) after breakfast
  • No fruit in week 3
  • One 15-20 minute strength circuit 5 days a week, with a 45 minute walk each and every day
  • NO alcohol (GASP!)

Today, I’m at the end of week one… day 7.  The first 2 days were brutal.  I was starving.  My stomach actually woke me up in the middle of the night a few times, because it was growling so loud.  But it’s getting easier.   I’m keeping a diary of my thoughts day by day to share with you later.  I “accidentally” had some red wine on Saturday, but here’s the headline – I’ve already lost a significant amount of weight, anywhere from 3 to almost 5 pounds, depending on the day.  Losing weight has never been easy for me, so this is big news.  But then again, I am only eating 800 calories a day.

Speaking of eating, I wanted to share with you what I had for dinner last night.  You’ll find it in the book.  Because I’m a vegetarian, I swapped the chicken for tofu.  If you’re into tofu, the substitution works well enough.  This isn’t something I would necessarily choose to eat again.  It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t vomit-worthy.  The only good part is that the portion is huge.  I counted 3 whole cups.  And yes, it looks like baby food.

Bob Harper’s Skinny Green Cauliflower Soup

Serves 1

Calories: 257

Protein: 27 g

Carbs: 22 g

Fat: 5 g

Fiber: 7 g



  • 2 c. of cauliflower, roasted*
  • 1 c. low-sodium veggie broth*
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 c. fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 4 oz. roasted chicken breast, shredded
  • 1 c. bell pepper, chopped
  • cracked black pepper (optional)


  1. Combine cauliflower, broth, dill, and spinach in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Add black pepper if desired and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Let cool slightly, then pour into a blender and puree until smooth.
  3. Pour back into the pot, add the chicken/tofu and bell pepper, and simmer for 10 minutes.

*NOTE ONE: To roast cauliflower, boil large florets in a pot until al dente.  Spray with olive oil spray, and roast in 450 degree oven until the tops start to brown.

*NOTE TWO:  I actually added a lot more broth, because my “soup” turned out way too thick.  Bob would likely not approve because of the extra sodium, but you do what you’ve gotta do.

NOTE THREE:  I also added some diced onion and minced garlic to the pot before anything else.  That’s just how I get down.

NOTE FOUR:  The thing about Bob’s recipes is that there’s like, zero salt.  And I love salt, so I’m struggling with that.  But he’s right.  It leads to bloat and water retention, and ain’t nobody got time for that, especially when they (ME) are trying to look good on the beach in a couple short weeks.  I’ve been trying to add more spices like chili powder and cumin to add flavor.  I accidentally put cinnamon on my egg whites yesterday morning (yes, I ate them anyway).  But I say, raid the spice cabinet and get creative!

Have you ever done a crash diet?  Did you gain the weight back?  If not, how did you keep it off?  I can almost guarantee I’ll pack the pounds back on as soon as I get off the plane, so I need back up!  Get at me in the comments section below, or e-mail me at


4 responses »

  1. I’m starting this program and found your page on Pinterest… Did you make it to the end? What was your transition strategy post???

    • Hi! So glad you found the page! 🙂 Yes, I did make it to the end. I ended up losing about 6 pounds, if I remember correctly. In terms of transition strategy, I didn’t really have one. I just wanted to keep eating as healthfully as I could while staying between 1500-1700 calories a day. That’s usually the number I shoot for when I’m trying to maintain my weight. However, I went on a work trip to Hawaii immediately afterward. It was so crazy busy that it was almost impossible to eat the way I wanted. I ended up gaining a little bit of the weight back, but it did help me feel better in my own skin.

      Hope this helps! And good luck. Let me know how it goes.

  2. I lost 18 pounds and have kept it off for a year. I just rotate in some of the meals I liked with regular non-jumpstart to skinny diet meals and it seems to work. I’ve cut out most bread and salt. Lot’s of veggies! Pinterest is a great place to gather recipes.

  3. What’s up to every one, for the reason that I am in fact keen of reading
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