Challenge, Change & Light Lobster and Corn Chowder

Believe it or not, this really is a low calorie, low fat, low carb dish.  Really.  I promise.

More on that in a minute.

I don't think I've mentioned it, but the last few weeks I've been participating in a 12 week weight-loss bootcamp put on by my second love, Fusion Fitness.

I probably haven't mentioned it because the topic of weight typically follows the same precept as the topic of salary.  There's clues as to whether one goes up or down, you might brag about it one way or another, but nobody ever knows the absolute numbers, nor do they typically bring it up.

I signed up because I wanted the challenge.  To see what I could do with some education and a group for support and accountability.  To see how far I could push myself, and what the results would be.

Today we had our final weigh-in.

The experience was amazing.

Amazing because all of the women were unbelievably welcoming, despite the fact that I didn't have as far to go as they did.

Amazing because I've never experienced such a change in my life.  To be honest, it wasn't much of a weight change.  I only lost 5% of my body weight, or about 8 pounds.  (I know I say 'only', but believe me - we worked our asses off.  Literally.  And it's the amount of effort that went into those 3 months that causes me to say 'only'.  But, you'll read - I got so much more than a smaller number on the scale.)

Amazing because one girl in our group lost over 50 pounds.  And another 37.  And another 20.  And another, and another, and another.  I don't have the final tally, but I imagine our group of 14 lost close to 300 pounds all together.

Amazing because my eating habits have changed significantly for the better.  I've learned how eat to fuel my body, not for the enjoyment.  And to like it better that way.  Honestly, it's unbelievable, no matter your fitness level, how fueling your body for exercise can immensely increase your performance.

The most amazing part for me?  I ran 6.5 miles in 50 minutes.  And I liked it.  I've always loathed running.  I've been a strength athlete all my life, not an endurance athlete.  And, more than the weight loss, my goal was to change my body.  I wanted to shift from a linebacker body type closer to a ballerina body type.  I think I accomplished that.  It's subtle, but I also have noticed a shift in my strength.  I'm more balanced.  I may have lost some of my brute strength, my ability to sprint, but I've gained unbelievable endurance.  More endurance than I ever thought I could possess.

Now that the 12 weeks are over, I won't have such an extreme diet and exercise regimen, but I'm not going back.  I love where I'm at now too much, and I've worked too hard to erase my progress.

So, to celebrate the end of our 12 weeks, I didn't go to a buffet to eat everything that's been forbidden (although I did think that was a great idea at about 10pm last night).  Instead, I spent the afternoon making this deceivingly healthy soup.


Lobster meat has about 30% fewer calories than skinless chicken breast?

Could you also guess:

This soup has no butter.  No cream.  No milk.  No flour.

...and yet it's every bit as satisfying and comforting as it looks.

Now, I'll be honest, the one thing this soup doesn't have going for it is that it's not necessarily a cinch to prepare.  It's definitely a Sunday dinner.  Or Saturday dinner party dish.  However, it's easily broken into steps, which is what I did today - taking breaks throughout the afternoon to do laundry and yardwork.  It wasn't so bad, and it was definitely worth it.

Only need 2 servings?  Make the full amount of stock (you'll need that much water to cover the lobster), but halve everything else (just get a 1 pound lobster).  The remaining stock can be frozen for later use.  I just so happen to have some of this liquid gold in my freezer as we speak.

Lobster and Corn Chowder
Serves 4
Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart Living

  • 1 whole lobster (1 3/4 pounds)
  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 7 ears of corn), cobs reserved and halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish (optional)
  1. Bring 8 cups water to a boil in a large, deep pot.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Plunge lobster into water headfirst and simmer, covered, taking care to not let the water boil.  Meanwhile, prepare an ice-water bath.  After 9 minutes,  transfer lobster to ice-water bath using tongs; reserve cooking liquid.  Let lobster stand for 10 minutes to cool.
  2. Crack lobster claws, knuckles, and tail, and remove meat; reserve shells and body.  Coarsely chop meat (you should have about 1 cup).  Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Return shells and body to pot with cooking liquid.  Add reserved cobs and simmer, covered, over medium heat for 35 minutes.  Strain stock through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard solids.
  4. Add oil to same pot over medium heat.  Cook corn kernels, onion, garlic, and 3/4 teaspoon salt, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 20 minutes.  Add 5 cups lobster stock, and cook for 15 minutes.  Let cool slightly.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to strain about 1 1/2 cups corn mixture; set aside.  Working in batches, purée remaining corn/stock mixture in a blender until smooth. (For safety, remove cap from hole in lid, and cover with a dish towel to prevent spattering.) 
  6. Strain soup through sieve back into the pot, using the back of a ladle to push all liquid through.  Add reserved corn and lobster meat, cooking over medium heat until warmed through.  Stir in chives, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and some pepper.  Serve immediately with lemon wedges.
MAKE AHEAD: Lobster meat can be refrigerated overnight.

STORAGE: Soup can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

PER SERVING (about 1 1/4 cups): 229 calories, 1g saturated fat, 5 g unsaturated fat, 27g carbohydrate, 19g protein, 4g fiber


  1. Sounds amazing, Carly. I love hearing about this journey! The bootcamp sounds awesome!

  2. I forgot to mention - Fusion will be kicking off another bootcamp in the next few weeks. Become a fan of them on facebook and keep an eye out for the announcement!

  3. What a cool experience! That is a fast time to run 6 1/2 miles, lady! Good for you!

  4. Great job, Carly! I am sure you will continue to crash through barriers the rest of you life and amaze yourself along the way. Your that kinda' gal. Good thing you are married to a he can keep up with you!

  5. If only i can afford lobster... That lemon is an Excellent touch :)

  6. Gorgeous shots! I especially love that corn and lobster pic. And this recipe sounds super delicious.

  7. You've outdone yourself. The shots are gorgeous, I have a hankering for claws in soup and your stamina increase is enviable. Excellente my friend!

  8. i have SOOOO much so say about all of this... i will start by giving you my notes, and then hope that we can discuss in person (preferably over cocktails).

    + SO awesome about the transformation you saw in your body! having experienced similar things myself, i love when gals feel confident enough to share these positive experiences with fitness (especially in a public place like a blog)! you ROCK!
    + thank you so much for posting such a delicious looking healthy recipe! honestly one of the reasons that i even started posting recipes myself is because i was having a hard time finding new-to-me low-cal recipes (that i didn't have to make a ton of adjustments to), and am SO excited to make this dish! (already on my list for next week!)
    + lastly, you're awesome, and i hope i get to see you soon, and hear ALLL about your nashville adventure, plus much much more.


  9. Fantastic photos on this post, Carly!

  10. I saw Heidi link this and the soup looks amazing and your journey, even more so!


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