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Make a bowl of fitness soup

During cold winter months, soup is quite possibly the perfect dinner. It’s comforting, simple, and easily modified to fit your taste and the contents of your fridge. Making soup from scratch is simple and easy, once you know how to do it.

What’s also great about making soup from scratch is that you can use healthy ingredients that support your fitness goals – while leaving out ingredients that would increase the carb and calorie count of the meal.

When craving homemade soup, most of us seek out a specific soup recipe that fits into a neat category. There’s chicken noodle, minestrone, split pea, clam chowder and so on. What’s less common is the brave cook who approaches the idea of soup with an open mind, a big soup pot, and whatever ingredients they have on hand.

Today I challenge you to be this brave cook.

You’ll find that making up your own soup as you go along is one of the most rewarding and wonderful dishes you’ll ever make. Let go of the urge to measure soup ingredients out or to overthink the process. Let your hair down, get really un-technical, and have some fun.

And don’t worry, there’s a method to this madness…

1) Start with a Little Healthy Fat

First off you’ll need to find a healthy form of fat to sauté the soup ingredients in. Olive oil and coconut oil are my go-to choices. Put a couple of tablespoons in the bottom of a large soup pot and place it over medium-high heat. Don’t you dare measure. Just scoop or pour.

2) Add Aromatic Veggies

Now add some minced, aromatic veggies to the warmed oil. Choose from onions, garlic, ginger, carrots and celery. This is the perfect chance to use up that starting-to-shrivel onion at the bottom of the produce drawer in your fridge. Sauté until the veggies become tender. If you have any fresh herbs on hand, such as rosemary, thyme, sage, or marjoram feel free to mix these in now.

3) Brown Some Protein

I like a hearty serving of protein in my soup, to keep us full and fueled, so my next move is to add some protein. Ground or chopped meat needs to be nicely browned and cooked through. If you’re going for a lighter fare, then feel free to continue without adding meat.

4) Add in Liquid

Sometimes at this stage I’ll pour in a little bit of white wine into the pot to deglaze the little browned bits that tend to stick to the bottom. The wine adds another dimension of flavor, but I only do it if there’s already a bottle opened. Once the pot is deglazed, add in stock, broth, or pureed tomato in any combination you’d like.

5) Something Extra

Now’s the time to add in those extra veggies that you have on hand – ones like squash, cauliflower or sweet potatoes. You could also add in cooked beans or quinoa.

6) Season to the Max

Start with a generous grinding of sea salt and black pepper, then christen your soup with more daring spices. Give these spices a try:

  • Celery seed
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Fennel
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Paprika
  • White pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Red pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Turmeric Root
  • Cardamon
  • Cinnamon (tastes wonderful with ground beef)
  • Dill

Taste and adjust. Be brave. More flavor is always better.

7) Let it Simmer

Bring your tasty and unique soup to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about an hour. Sit back and bask in the satisfaction of your amazing soup creation. Ladle a bowl for yourself and your loved ones and enjoy.

A bowl of your unique and flavorful fitness soup makes for a light and lean dinner that will go a long way toward reaching your fat loss goals. Resist the urge to serve bread with your soup and instead opt for a leafy, green salad.

Remember that an effective exercise plan is vital to getting and staying in phenomenal shape – and I’m here to help you do just that. Call or email me now to get started on my best fitness plan.

Let’s get you into the best shape of your life!



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Thanks to Kathleen at Inspire Salon for donating a gift card for our current transformation challenge. Go HERE to see their Facebook page.


Congratulations to David for being the October Student of the month!
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“David has done an amazing job over the last 6 1/2 years! He’s lost weight, gotten stronger and faster, dramatically improved his health markers, and made an overall lifestyle change. He’s really embraced the philosophy and completely changed his life. Great job to David!” -Stephanie

“It is a pleasure to have David join us at boot camp each week. He works hard at each workout and just brings pure fun into the group. He is also very active outside of boot camp in our different races, like the Baltimore Running Festival relay, and on hiking trips. Congratulations on all your accomplishments David!” -Ashley

“David is so encouraging of the program. In addition he is faithful Sunday mornings putting out tables and chairs and taking extra time at the end of the workout.” -Tawyana




Student Accomplishments
  • Debbie passed Fitranx level 1!​
  • Karen passed Fitranx level 1!
  • Nancy passed Fitranx level 4!​
  • Ramona met her 1 minute plank goal!​

Upcoming Events 

FitRanX 
Tuesday 12/19

New Years Day 5k
Monday January 1st at 9am.
This informal 5k is open to everyone. Runners, walkers, and all ages!​

Columbia MD Forks Over Knives Meetup Potluck
Sunday 1/7, 4:30pm
Click HERE​ for more details.​​​



Networking with other students
Hey current students, if you have a like-minded business and you would like to let other students know about it, please let me know and I will post here for you.

Pam Shah, Reiki practitioner

Reiki is a non-invasive method of healing which is activated by intention. It is used alongside conventional medicine or natural remedies. Reiki balances the mind, body & spirit thereby promoting the body’s ability to regenerate itself resulting in higher energy levels, over all wellbeing and healing.
pam@therereikiplace.net | 202.329.1489 | Blueberry Gardens


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Community Resources

Sharon McRae Sharon is a plant-based Certified Health Coach residing in Columbia, MD, who has been adopting and applying principles of health and nutrition in her own life for more than three decades. She works with individuals and families to support them in transitioning to a plant-based diet and adapting healthier lifestyle habits. Sharon received her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City and she is certified by PCRM (Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine) as a Food for Life instructor, teaching nutrition and cooking classes in the Columbia area. She offers nutrition and health coaching via phone, Skype, or in person to clients and families and conducts special events such as classes, seminars, and food store tours.
Learn more at www.eatwell-staywell.com. Contact Sharon at sharon@eatwell-staywell.com or 410-615-4631.


Dr. Dana Simpler (www.drsimpler.com) "It's time for doctors to help patients cure themselves with proper diet and exercise. This is my focus, and I'm uniquely trained in Lifestyle Medicine. People can reverse their medical problems with proper choices and I'm there to help"


Pam Shah, Certified Reiki Master

Reiki is a non-invasive method of healing which is activated by intention. It is used alongside conventional medicine or natural remedies. Reiki balances the mind, body & spirit thereby promoting the body’s ability to regenerate itself resulting in higher energy levels, overall well-being and healing.

pam@therereikiplace.net | 202.329.1489 | Blueberry Gardens

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