WIAW: Rejuvenating the Soul

The winter months here in Washington DC are grey and dreary… and I mean really grey. Many folks call it the permacloud because it seems to be grey from mid November to mid March with little to no sun.

Over the years I’ve found a few things to help me through the winter months…

  1. Take new fitness classes!  Last year I joined a spin studio and this year I’m trying out new classes at Gold’s Gym.
  2. Make the most of the day light hours, even if the sun isn’t out.  Make an effort to always see daylight, getting out of the office every day even if just for a 10-15 minute walk.
  3. Eat lots of fresh produce.  I find myself eating a lot of comfort foods/carbs during the winter but I always feel best when I’m eating lots of produce.
  4. Go to bed earlier.  I always feel like I need more sleep in the winter, so I make an effort to get to bed earlier.  It also make getting out of a warm bed easier as you’ve gotten more sleep.

This year I’ve added two need things to the list…

  1. Drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice
  2. Enjoy healthy outings with friends!

Orange Pom Juice

This week I’ve really enjoyed trying out new juices.  My favorite juice so far is the Orange Pom juice from The Juicing Bible.

Fresh Pomegranate Juice

I doubled the recipe, juicing 2 pomegranates, 3 oranges, 2 apples, and 2 carrots.

Orange Pomegranate Juice

The juice is so refreshing.  It’s tart yet sweet and very smooth!  One of my favorites!!

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The other addition to my winter list is having healthy outings with friends!!  I found this addition important as it ensures that I’m spending quality time with friends while sticking to my health and fitness goals.

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This week, I met my dear friend Becky at Panera Bread for some soul warming soup!

The black bean soup is my absolute favorite but as it’s not served on Mondays I ordered my second favorite, baked potato soup!  Checking out the Panera Soup daily menu before going to Panera helped me to pick out which soup I’d want in advance.

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Becky ordered a pick 2, enjoying half of the Bacon Turkey Bravo and a bowl of the Chicken Noodle Soup.

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I ordered a full bowl of Baked Potato soup with a baguette on the side.

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I love how hearty the soups are at Panera and that they give customers plenty of healthy options.  Here in DC the calories are posted on chain restaurant menus so it’s also great to see the calories in the various soups.  I was actually surprised to see that the tomato soup had the most calories out of all the soups on Monday.

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Having quality time with Becky while enjoying a healthy meal was just what I needed after a long grey day.  It warmed my soul and left me feeling completely rejuvenated.

Panera Bread Potato Soup

As you move into the winter months, what steps do you take to feel rejuvenated and to stay upbeat?

What’s your favorite Panera Bread soup?

Panera Bread sent me a gift card to review their soups and is sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.  This post is a part of the WIAW series.


  1. says

    Oh goodness, I HATE dark and dreary. I’m pretty sure I should just pack up and move south for the winter like a bird! Those are great tips for fighting the ‘funk’ though. :)

    I tell you what, just becaue it is tomato soup (or even veggie) doesn’t mean it will be the ‘best’ for you [depending on what you are using to define that term]. CREAM! I swear, it gets you every time. Lactose-intolerant me has to stay away from most of Panera’s soups, but when I wasn’t a (mostly) vegan, I LOVED the Chicken Wild Rice.

  2. says

    I love your list of ways to beat the winter month drear. What new fitness class are you going to try at Gold’s Gym?

    Good choice with the baked potato soup. I can’t believe that the tomato soup had the most calories. What do they put in it?

  3. says

    I love Panera’s black bean soup. I just tried it for the first time earlier this month and I’ve already been back 3 more times to have it again. :) I always get the Pick 2 and have a smoked turkey with a 1/2 slice of gouda cheese and ask for the chipotle mayo on the side (I add just about a tsp.) Perfect!

  4. says

    I also love the black bean soup at Panera! Calories are posted at chains (& some non-chains!) here in Minneapolis too. I love not having to guess about how much I eat at these restaurants – such a stress reducer!

  5. Jodi says


    I read all of your posts and just wanted to say I love how positive you always are!!!

    You make it enjoyable to read!

    Have a nice day!!!

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