Joanna’s Journey to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes + Whole Food Plant Based Creamy Tomato Soup

Joanna-Gilford

Sometimes I see people in our private Facebook group who are ROCKING plants so hard that I just have to sit down with them and have a chat. Joanne (or Joanna) is one such Dirty who I knew I wanted to have a talk with.

Her positive attitude and zest for life is contagious and she was an absolute pleasure to hang out with for 40 minutes, chatting about her journey with plants and their ability to reverse type 2 diabetes. The changes in her life since she’s been Whole Food Plant Based are amazing. Her health, her life, even her eyesight has changed for the better.

Here’s the email she sent me before we talked:

Hi Molly,

I have always struggled with my weight and relationship with food. I, like most everyone else, have tried so many times and so many different ways to lose weight. Back in March of this year (2018) I went for an annual physical and was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. My fasting blood sugar was 355 (normal is 70 – 100) and my A1C was 10.1 (normal is under 6).

My weight had skyrocketed to 249 pounds on a 5′ 4″ frame and my Thyroid was out of control. The doctor put me on medication immediately. It was in that moment that I felt the proverbial 2×4 hit me upside my head and the light turned on.

I felt filled with fear, shame and embarrassment that day. However, what else showed up that day was the gift of willingness and determination to take this seriously and do something about it. I was committed to reversing the diabetes, getting off meds and improving all the other numbers on my blood panel. A seed that had been planted by a co-worker several months earlier started to take root…Whole Food Plant Based way of eating/living.

I began with a free trial food plan by Forks Over Knives. During that 30 days, I found a link to CFDG (Clean Food Dirty Girl) and thought I would check it out after I completed the meal plan I was on. I loved the title because it sounded sassy and fun. My best friend decided to join me on this Whole Food Plant Based No Oil journey due to the fabulous results I was having in such a short time. After a while she asked me if I had heard of CFDG. I told her I had and planned to check it out. Your website really spoke ‘our language’. We both decided that day to each sign up for your meal plans and it’s been history in the making. GRATITUDE and APPRECIATION for all the ways you support all us Dirties.

Today, I no longer have diabetes. My doctor took me off all meds. I have lost 60 lbs so far. My entire blood panel is in the normal ranges. I am wearing glasses from two prescriptions ago because even my eyesight has improved so much. My doctor is astounded and calls me his hero patient and has even asked me for information about WFPB way of eating. I am also a recovering addict (15 years clean) and am very grateful to finally be working my recovery around food.

Closed Captioning available.

Did I tell you she is pure inspiration?! Joanna, you are a love and I am so very happy for you. Thank you for sharing your story, I was honored to share it.

Did Joanna inspire you? Have you managed to reverse type 2 diabetes through a plant based diet too? Talk to us below in the comments. Maybe you will make today’s recipe. It’s one of my top three favorite soups of all time. Seriously, just make this!

Creamy Plant Based Tomato Soup

Makes 7 cups
Author: Molly Patrick of Clean Food Dirty Girl

Ingredients

Instant Pot Directions

  • 1 cup diced yellow onion (130g)
  • 6 cups tomatoes, chopped (about 6 medium tomatoes / 1.15kg)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup / 150g)
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews (105g)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (about 10 turns)
  • 1 1/2 cups water (355ml)
  • 1/2 cup loosely-packed chopped parsley (15g)

Stove Top Directions

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for about 10 minutes (105g)
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion (130g)
  • 6 cups tomatoes, chopped (about 6 medium tomatoes / 1.15kg)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup / 150g)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (about 10 turns)
  • 3 cups water (710ml)
  • 1/2 cup loosely-packed chopped parsley (15g)

Instructions

Instant Pot Directions

  • Press the saute button on your Instant Pot (IP) and heat up the inner pot for about 2 minutes (without the lid). Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently and adding a splash of water when it starts to stick or looks dry.
  • Add the tomatoes, bell pepper, cashews, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and water. Turn off the IP and lock the lid into place, making sure the nozzle is in the sealing position. Use the Manual (or Pressure Cooking) mode and set the timer for 5 minutes. When the time is up, use the natural release method. When all of the pressure is out of the IP, take off the lid and allow to cool for about 15 minutes. 
  • Blend the soup in batches, until creamy and smooth. Transfer each batch to a container after blending. When all the Soup has been blended and transferred to the container, add the parsley and stir. Cool completely then store in your fridge.

Stove Top Directions

  • Soak the cashews in water while you start the Soup. 
  • Heat a large pot over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently and adding a splash of water when the onion starts to stick or look dry. 
  • Add the tomatoes, bell pepper, garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper and stir. Add the water, stir again and bring to a boil. 
  • Place a lid on the pot at an angle and lower the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and allow the Soup to cool for about 15 minutes. 
  • Drain the cashews and discard the soaking water. Place the cashews in the pot and stir. Blend the Soup in batches, until creamy and smooth. Transfer each batch to a container after blending. When all of the Soup has been blended and transferred to the container, add the the parsley and stir. Cool completely then store in your fridge.

Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with eating plants and kicking ass!

Xo
Molly

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Written by ex-boozer, ex-smoker, Co-founder, and CEO, Molly Patrick. They will help you eat more plants while throwing perfection down the garbage disposal.

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21 Comments

  1. Adrienne on November 3, 2018 at 10:37 am

    Shut the front door—I made this soup this morning! I love it and make it often. Note: I add 1/2 t. Red pepper flakes cuz I like a little heat.

    • Molly Patrick on November 3, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      Ohhhh – good call!
      xo
      Molly

  2. Ruth on November 3, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Thank you so much to Joanne (and Molly) for the chat today. I can so much relate to a lot of what you said. I think we’re about the same age, I’m at about the same weight as your starting weight, and we’re the same height. I’m not pre-diabetic, but sometimes wonder how that is not happening. I’ve been (loosely) following CFDG and WFPB WOE since late December 2017. I’ve mostly given up meat and dairy, and greatly reduced cheese consumption, but my addiction is to potato chips. Plain salty potato chips. So I haven’t lost weight. This may be the kick in the butt I need, so I thank you. I need to get serious about this, because so many people say it works. I just need it to work for me!
    And this tomato soup recipe looks a-maze-ing! I’m going to try it, very soon!

    • Molly Patrick on November 3, 2018 at 3:47 pm

      Come on and let’s do this!
      You just have to make a plan to follow along and then stick to it.
      It’s worth it and you KNOW it!
      MUAH
      Molly

  3. Helen on November 3, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Hi molly I’m only new to this WFPB way of eating but I’m finding it a little hard to find meal plans for days weeks and months to forfill. I find if I don’t follow something I fall of the wagon I know the benifits of this way of eating but can’t/want stick to it can you help with a few tips. I have high B. P. and about 10/15 kgs over weight and would really like to help myself.
    A massive CONGRATULATIONS to Joanna you must feel so proud of yrself keep up the good work you look amazing

    • Molly Patrick on November 3, 2018 at 3:47 pm

      Hey Helen,
      I have exactly what you need! Sign up for the meal plans, follow along, and all will be well!
      xo
      Molly

  4. Cyndi H on November 3, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    What an inspiring video! Congrats to Joanna on all her success on this journey.

    As to the soup recipe, now I’m dying to know: if this is one in your top three, what are the two? Because, it’s soup season!

    • Molly Patrick on November 3, 2018 at 3:45 pm

      Hey Cyndi,
      Okay, I am going to post three that I absolutely LOVE!

      Carrot Ginger

      Potato Corn Chowder

      Minestrone

      Also, the Creamy Cauliflower Soup in this week’s meal plan is AMAZING.

      Happy souping 😉

      • Cyndi H on November 5, 2018 at 7:03 am

        Thank you Molly! I made the Minestrone this weekend for friends (with walnut parm). It was a Huge hit!!

  5. Hannah DeCamp on November 4, 2018 at 2:43 am

    Are your meal plans free? And are they whole plant based meals?

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on November 4, 2018 at 8:53 am

      Hi Hannah, Thanks for stopping by! Our meal plans are whole food plant based and the cost is $20 for 4 meal plans that renews monthly unless you cancel before renewal. We do offer a sample meal plan for free that you are welcome to request from that link. Look for the blue button about half-way down the page that says “Hook me up with a free meal plan”. Also, here’s a link to our Meal Plan FAQ page that is super helpful to check out. Feel free to send us an email at [email protected] if we can help with anything else. ~Karen

      • Brittany on August 22, 2020 at 11:42 am

        Hello!
        This is my favorite tomato soup recipe! I’d like to make a double batch in the instant pot- should I double the cooking time to 10 minutes or keep it at 5 minutes?
        Thanks!

        • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on August 22, 2020 at 11:49 am

          Hi Brittany – you should not have to increase the cooking time. Just be sure to not overfill your Instant Pot (you can check out their site if you aren’t sure how high you can fill your make/model). Enjoy! ~Karen

  6. Amanda on November 4, 2018 at 3:59 am

    5 stars
    I’m interested to know if Joanna was hyper or hypothyroid? I’ve been hypothyroid for about 15 years, never felt well even though the gp said I would once on the replacement hormone. I’ve been dabbling of the edges of WFPB for a while, then went all out this year cooking for my terminal friend who sadly died within 10 weeks of diagnosis. My eating habits are terrible, and I’m feeling worse and worse, listening to Joanna saying she couldn’t get down on the floor and get back up is me! I feel so ill and tired and sore all the fecking time, Joanna is inspiring me to finally do this properly for myself and quit the wine and crisps and crap and take my health in my hands rather than just going back and forth to doctors and getting nowhere and getting older, fatter, tireder and more stiff and hurty all over. It’s not like I don’t know how to cook and eat this way, I’ve just been choosing not to which is total madness!

    • Joanne on November 4, 2018 at 10:37 am

      Hi Amanda,
      I was Hypo. I’m grateful you found my experience helpful.
      I wish you all the best in your journey, you are worth it.
      ~Joanne

  7. Paula on November 4, 2018 at 8:03 am

    5 stars
    Hey Molly and Joanne,

    This interview was inspiring.

    I know Joanne and I love her to bits. I also know her struggles and how she hit her brick wall.

    She has inspired me because of the woman she is anyway. She knows how she has completely inspired me more because of her life changing achievement. I tell her how beautiful she looks every time I see her. I’m sure I sound like a broken record. The fact of the matter is she’s inspired a lot of people. I can’t say enough as you can tell. I could go on and on about Joanne.

    I’ve known for quite a while for most of my life that serious life changing eating habits need to change and become rock solid. I’ve done every diet fix known to man. My cholesterol is high and my triglycerides are almost as high as my cholesterol. I know I’m a walking time bomb. It’s a matter of starting… anyway.

    Thank you Joanne for your inspiration and you truly look beautiful girl. I love you.❣

  8. Laurie on November 5, 2018 at 5:27 am

    I want to make this soup. I can my own tomatoes in quart and pint jars. Do you think I would use a quart in place of the 6 tomatoes?

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on November 5, 2018 at 7:47 am

      Hi Laurie, I would go with a quart + a pint because that equals 6 cups of tomatoes. ~Karen

  9. Jenny on November 13, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    5 stars
    Absolutely fantastic soup!! I made it this past Friday morning to take on a weekend business trip. It kept well all weekend and even tastes great cold!! Thanks Molly and team for another great meal.

  10. Elizabeth Bickle on January 17, 2020 at 8:05 am

    Will this recipe freeze well? Looking for a tomato soup to replace the canned with fir my daughter who would eat tomato soup every day

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on January 17, 2020 at 10:16 am

      Hi Elizabeth! Yes, this recipe should freeze well. ~Karen

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