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"I don’t eat pasta during the week," she says. By Emily Codik
Maria Trabocchi mostly keeps things carb-free. All photos by Maria Trabocchi.

Though Maria Trabocchi is constantly surrounded by pasta, she rarely indulges. She adheres to a low-carb diet. "I don't eat pasta during the week, so I can enjoy my designated 'cheat day' on Sundays when anything goes," she says.

That's not exactly what you'd expect from the restaurateur who owns three of the best Italian spots in town—Fiola, Fiola Mare, and Casa Luca—alongside her chef-husband, Fabio. Trabocchi, who grew up in Mallorca and Madrid, oversees what she describes as the restaurants's guest experience, juggling the demands of some of Washington's biggest players, including Michelle Obama. To stay on her toes, Trabocchi exercises with a trainer and eats healthfully. Here's how she eats on an ordinary day.

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Posted at 11:46 AM/ET, 05/20/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Healthy on-the-go breakfasts, protein-packed snacks, and sweet treats to keep sugar cravings in check. By Ryan Weisser
Lisa Reichmann, left, and Julie Sapper, right, make time for healthy family dinners and don't deny themselves an occasional treat. All photographs courtesy of Julie Sapper and Lisa Reichmann.

Julie Sapper and Lisa Reichmann are both busy moms with hectic work schedules. As founders of the local running group Run Farther Faster, they typically run 50-plus miles a week while giving runners individualized coaching, sometimes virtually. Sapper and Reichmann also juggle part-time jobs as an attorney for the Department of Justice and the vice president for document imaging company DocuMetrics, respectively.

In February, Sapper found out that a part of her Achilles tendon had torn while she was training for the Boston marathon over the winter. "I could have continued running to run Boston, as I was not in much pain," Sapper said, "but I decided that since I'm a competitive high-level runner, I needed to shut my running down immediately for a few months to ensure that I fully healed."

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Posted at 10:30 AM/ET, 04/27/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()

"I always try to include a fermented product in every meal," she says.

By Emily Codik

Emily Gaines loves bone broth. And at her fast-casual, health-conscious restaurant, Halsa (655 Michigan Avenue, Northeast; 202-832-1131), she offers the paleo-friendly potion in two different ways. It can be slurped like a soup--or sipped like a drink. "It's amazing how energizing a single cup of broth can be!" she says.

The George Washington University grad spent time working with a holistic health coach and traveling the globe before launching her latest endeavor in January. With Halsa, she hopes to inspire others to eat mindfully and healthfully. Read on for a peek into her probiotic-rich, refined sugar-free diet.

Photograph by Allegra Guinan

Breakfast: "The winter weather takes a lot of moisture out of our bodies, so I find it's really important to start the the day with tons of liquids. I always start with a glass of water, as well as a mixture of apple cider vinegar and lemon water. Both help to cleanse and refresh the internal organs.

Today is a snow day, so I'm having a homemade smoothie using hemp seeds, tahini butter, dates, a frozen green banana, and vanilla protein powder. The protein powder I'm using at the moment uses pea protein, which studies have shown to be the most easily absorbable, vegan protein. It's exactly what my body needs after my morning workout."

Photograph by Allegra Guinan

Snack: "I followed up my smoothie with a gluten-free morning glory muffin from Halsa and my long-awaited cup of bone broth. The muffin is the perfect size to keep me going through the morning, and unlike most morning muffins I've consumed, still leaves me feeling energized! I really love adding finely-chopped napacabbage or thinly-sliced seasonal vegetables to the broth."

Photograph by Allegra Guinan

Lunch: "My lunch today consists of mahi mahi over brown rice, kimchi, and salad. For those who don't know, kimchi is a traditional Korean fermented food made from vegetables and spices including ginger, garlic, scallions, and fish sauce. Kimchi "ferments" for at least three months before being consumed. During that time, natural bacteria feeds on sugars and starches, creating lactic acid and a host of beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics. Fermented products provide a plethora of "good bacteria" to the stomach that help us in digesting and absorbing nutrients in our food. I always try to include a fermented product in every meal."

Photograph by Allegra Guinan

Snack: "My second snack is a cup of herbal tea from artisan tea company, RL Linden, and a sesame wakame bar. I usually grab two, because they are perfect to keep for when hunger strikes. They're a perfect balance of protein, carbohydrates, and sugar, and are made from brown rice sugar, so there are no real spikes in blood-sugar when I have it. I also love the benefits the wakame brings to the bar--notably the magnesium, iodine, calcium, and iron."

Photograph by Allegra Guinan

Dinner: "I usually grab dinner from Halsa to take home with me. Today, I'm having the dashi broth with yam noodles and a side of green salad and kimchi. The soup and noodles are a nice way to warm up at the end of a long cold day!"

Want to share your food diary with Washingtonian? Contact Emily Codik at ecodik@washingtonian.com or @emilycodik.

Posted at 12:32 PM/ET, 03/06/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Sharon Feuer Gruber shares her strategies for ensuring her whole family eats well even on rushed days. By Tanya Pai

Sharon Feuer Gruber knows plenty about eating well even on a busy schedule, thanks to her job. As the cofounder of the consulting practice Food Works Group, Sharon examines all aspects of the food industry, including urban agriculture, nutrition education, hunger relief, and distribution of local and sustainable products. She also cofounded the Wide Net Project, an organization that supports hunger-relief and environmental conservation in the Chesapeake Bay region.

To make sure her family continues to eat well even when short on time, Sharon relies on having healthy options available at a moment’s notice. She likes to use the beginning of the week to prep meal ingredients for the days ahead, ensuring a nutritious lunch or dinner can be whipped up in less than 15 minutes. She also admits to a daily chocolate habit, which she balances with early morning walks in Rock Creek Park a few times a week with friends—in pretty much any weather. “Making it a date with friends helps get me out the door so early in these colder months,” she says.

Read on for a look at a typical day of eating for Sharon and her family.

Breakfast: “The mornings are a blur in my home—the kids need to catch the school bus, and my husband and I are consistently not the best at packing their lunches the night before. I try to remind myself that eggs take less than ten minutes and leave us all feeling ready to face the day. This morning they got a quick wrap in a whole-grain spelt tortilla and a side of salsa with a little fresh avocado for an extra boost.”

Lunch: “Nourishing meals happen at my house regularly because of two strategies in the beginning of the week: 1) chopping enough vegetables for most of the week, and 2) making a few great dips to go with them. The veggies in the morning’s scrambled eggs were in containers in the fridge and ready to go. Same for most of my lunch. I made the garlic/goat cheese spread, walnut pesto, and beet-yogurt dip a couple of days prior. I needed only to scoop the dips onto my plate, add (optional) garnish, chop up a carrot, and accompany with some crisps. This is one of my favorite lunches, and it was ready in less than five minutes today. It’s also entirely portable.”

Snack: “Late-afternoon hunger snuck up on me today, and an apple held me over just enough until dinner.”

Dinner: “We had friends over for dinner, so I made sure to have leftovers from last night on hand to fill out tonight’s meal. With multiple children and adults all at the table tonight, plus some food allergies, a make-your-own seemed the best approach. We enjoyed rice bowls stacked high with ingredients of our choosing—baked salmon, lots of vegetable options (cut in advance), baked tofu, an almond-sunflower seed mixture for extra crunch, and an Asian-inspired sauce. My favorite topping was the raw bok choy; the crispy, light stems and flavorful greens make it almost a two-in-one vegetable.”

Dessert: “Whether after dinner or earlier in the day, I eat a little chocolate pretty much daily. Two or three squares usually does the trick. Life without chocolate would be so much less pleasant!”

Posted at 12:13 PM/ET, 02/10/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Balance is the name of the game for this healthy-living entrepreneur. By Tanya Pai

Are you a local health, nutrition, or fitness expert with a love of food? Keep a food diary for us! E-mail tpai@washingtonian.com for details.

In 2013, Hillary Lewis founded Lumi Juice, a line of small-batch, cold-pressed juices, in Charlottesville, Virginia. The former Wall Streeter created the company—the full name is “Love You, Mean It”—with the goal of providing products that make it easy for people to make healthier choices. Each 16-ounce Lumi juice contains nearly two pounds of fresh, organic produce with no additives or preservatives, and Lewis relies on them to keep herself healthy and energized throughout the day. She also admits to having a “ridiculous sweet tooth,” so she tries to balance her indulgences with healthy habits. Read on for a look at a typical day of eating for Lewis, which begins with a 5 AM run and ends with a homemade brownie à la mode.

Early morning: “I woke up at 5 AM, went on a three-mile run in Charlottesville, and refueled with a Lumi Minted Greens, which is full of spinach, cucumber, mint, orange, and lime. It’s full of vitamin K, which is important for bone health.”

Breakfast: “By 7:15, I’m ready to head to Lumi facility to start production. I normally choose to drink tea over coffee—there are countless interesting teas out there. Today, I chose Get Burning from the Republic of Tea, which is spicy with cinnamon and ginger. I also had a packet of Quaker instant oatmeal. Every day, I drink about a gallon of water, which helps with fatigue and keeps me hydrated.”

Lunch: “This week, the flu has been sweeping through Charlottesville. I haven’t been feeling 100 percent and leave for a big trip tomorrow, so to strengthen my immune system I made a juice shot with turmeric, ginger, pear, lemon, and cayenne.”

Snack: “I rounded out my lunch with a mid-afternoon snack of a Lumi Belmont Beet and a handful of almonds. I find eating raw food makes it much easier for your body to digest and extract much-needed nutrients.”

Dinner: “For dinner, I made a delicious quinoa salad with feta, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and grilled shrimp. I like to incorporate a mix of flavors and textures in my meals to keep it interesting. This was light and packed with protein from the quinoa and shrimp.”

Dessert: “I followed my salad with a homemade brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I have a ridiculous sweet tooth! With that in mind, to me it’s all about balance and making smart decisions to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

Lumi Juice products can be found at Whole Foods, Safeway, and Glen’s Garden Market.

Posted at 10:48 AM/ET, 01/27/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
This local health pro shares how to “eat the rainbow.” By Tanya Pai

Are you a local health, nutrition, or fitness expert with a love of food? Keep a food diary for us! E-mail tpai@washingtonian.com for details.

Cameron Wells is a staff dietitian with the DC nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the Barnard Medical Center, where she guides clinical research studies and leads employee wellness programs to help people choose the best foods to maximize weight loss, lower blood pressure, boost energy, and stabilize blood sugar throughout the day. She can also be found on Capitol Hill hosting briefings on healthy school lunches or meeting with members of Congress to discuss the latest dietary guidelines.

Fittingly for someone so focused on nutrition, Cameron’s food choices are as healthy as they are delicious-looking. She focuses on "eating the rainbow" with meals centered on a wide, colorful variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and proteins such as beans and lentils. Read on for a look at her typical day of eating.

6 AM: “My breakfast today is homemade chia-seed pudding made using unsweetened almond milk and frozen berries that thaw out as the mixture sets overnight, drizzled with agave and eaten with an orange on the side. I’m also a fan of pumpkin-packed oatmeal topped with cinnamon and raisins; sweet potato pudding; and leafy green smoothies, which all provide a variety of vitamins and nutrients like protein, fiber, calcium, and vitamin C.”

Noon: “My go-to lunch is a big colorful salad. Today it’s a black-bean-and-edamame salad with diced red bell pepper, chopped red onion, cilantro, and frozen corn thawed, dressed with lime juice, cumin, and chili powder. Instead of creamy salad dressings, you can easily swap lemon or lime juice with your favorite spices. The same is true of your favorite vinegars.”

4 PM: “Fresh fruit is my favorite snack. I usually always keep an apple in my bag. My second favorite is fresh vegetables with hummus. Water-packed foods like celery sticks, cucumber slices, and strawberries provide instant hydration and lasting energy. This helps fuel evening trips to the gym or nutrition classes I might teach at night with our clinical research team.”

6:15 PM: “Tonight I’m headed to a spin class at Crunch to get some cardio in—I find it is a great stress reliever.”

8:30 PM: “My dinners tend to revolve around green vegetables, beans or lentils, and some form of beta-carotene—sweet potatoes and butternut squash are two favorites. Tonight I had maple-roasted Brussels sprouts with a piece of leftover lentil loaf and sweet potato wedges. The vitamin C you get from both vegetables maximizes iron absorption, which the lentil loaf and Brussels sprouts are good sources of. Studies show carotenoid-rich vegetables, like Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes, can help reduce the risk of breast cancer. All you need is three to six milligrams a day, the amount you’ll find in six baby carrots or half a sweet potato. I enjoy putting the science into practice!”

Posted at 11:27 AM/ET, 12/16/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Katie and Elliott fuel their busy, active lives by planning their meals ahead. Here’s how they do it. By Sara Gilgore

Are you a local health, nutrition, or fitness expert with a love of food? Keep a food diary for us! E-mail tpai@washingtonian.com for details.

It can be a challenge to juggle the various responsibilities of work and life while maintaining a focus on health, but Katie Tobin and fiancé Elliott Lane have it down to a science. The couple, who live in Southeast DC’s Hillcrest neighborhood, are both athletic coaches: Katie teaches swimming for the DC Triathlon Club; Elliott, a rowing coach for Walt Whitman High School and Thompson Boat Center, teaches in the early mornings, as well as in the afternoons and evenings. They’re also both triathletes, and document their experiences on their blog, 1 Bed, 1 Bath, 6 Bikes.

To accommodate their very active lifestyle, Katie and Elliott are both out of bed before 5 o’clock most mornings. Katie, who holds a desk job in Fairfax County, frequently exercises in the area, but lacking walkable lunch options, habitually plans her meals, snacks, and workouts ahead of time. “People wonder why I carry a backpack instead of a purse,” she says. “It usually contains at least one pair of shoes, clothes, a water bottle, and food—lots of food. I have a standing desk and try to incorporate squats, toe raises, and stretches as I work. I also try to go for a ten-minute walk each day, either alone or with colleagues. It’s a great way to come up with creative ideas.” Elliott is able to return home during the day between rowing practices to cook and train, and often bikes to and from work so his commute doubles as a workout.

Click through the slideshow for a look at this couple’s typical daily meals and snacks—most of which they make at home—plus some time-saving tips for healthy eating on the go.

Posted at 01:00 PM/ET, 12/09/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Matthew Chisholm lost 40 pounds by changing his diet and exercise regimen. By Tanya Pai

Are you a local health, nutrition, or fitness expert with a love of food? Keep a food diary for us! E-mail tpai@washingtonian.com for details.

When attempting a lifestyle change, some people swear by special diets—going Paleo, trying veganism. Others, like Matthew Chisholm, find success in the old-fashioned philosophy of eating less and moving more. Matthew, 28, works as the deputy chief of staff to a freshman congressman and a veteran of several federal, state, and presidential campaigns. His career kept him busy, but his diet and exercise choices were dragging him down. “Up until last year I constantly felt awful, lacked energy, and looked tired,” he says. “Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I began running and eating well—and since I changed my lifestyle, I’ve lost 40 pounds.”

Matthew’s new routine includes running three to ten miles three or four times a week—he is training for a half-marathon in February—plus two or three sessions of light strength training. While he admits a fondness for the barbecue at Columbia Heights’s Kangaroo Boxing Club, his meals typically center on vegetables and lean protein. Read on for a look at his one-day food diary.

Pre- and post-workout supplements: “First, Amino Lift by USPLabs to provide a burst of morning energy—it usually carries me throughout the day. Then ModernBCAA to replenish the lost electrolytes and for muscle repair.

Breakfast: Scrambled egg whites with sliced baby bella mushrooms, jalapeños, spinach, and kale, topped with avocado, red pepper flakes, and Sriracha. Sliced tomato on the side.

Lunch: Grilled chicken breast on a Rudi’s spinach wrap with spinach, kale, tomato, hummus, and harissa. Sliced cucumbers and baby carrots on the side.

Snack: Celery topped with chia-and-flaxseed peanut butter from Trader Joe’s.

Dinner: “When I’m not at a Wizards game or the Kangaroo Boxing Club, I usually opt for poultry or fish. Tonight was grilled salmon with garlic herb butter, and baked Brussels sprouts tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, cumin, and ginger. I also had a side salad consisting of spinach, kale, cucumbers, tomatoes, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.”

Posted at 02:06 PM/ET, 12/02/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Cathy Fenwick has a two-year-old son and is expecting her second child. Here’s how she plans healthy meals that keep the whole family happy. By Tanya Pai

Are you a local health, nutrition, or fitness expert with a love of food? Keep a food diary for us! E-mail tpai@washingtonian.com for details.

On busy days, feeding yourself can be challenge enough—but throw in toddler taste preferences and prenatal nutrition concerns, and a simple meal can turn into quite the headache. As a holistic health coach and mom of two-year-old Jack, Cathy Fenwick has developed some strategies to ease the process, which she teaches to other moms through her business, Umami Health. Says Fenwick, “I don’t believe in fad diets, deprivation, or counting calories—none of those are fun! I believe in real, delicious, and nutrient-dense foods.” She and her husband have made unprocessed foods the focus of their son’s diet from day one, and while he still shows “some of those unavoidable picky toddler tendencies,” he also loves snacks such as chickpeas and sauerkraut. Because Cathy is also six months pregnant with her second child, she tries to incorporate plenty of healthy fats and nutrient-dense foods, plus “tons of water” every day.

Running after an energetic toddler keeps her active, but Cathy also makes sure to walk at least half an hour each day, incorporate family activities such as hiking into her family’s weekend schedule, and fit in yoga and swimming sessions when she has time. Read on for a look at how she feeds herself—and her son—on a typical day.

Breakfast: “When I wake up, I drink a cup of warm water with honey and lemon—it’s a great way to rehydrate your body after a night of sleep, as well as kick-start your liver and digestive system. My husband, son, and I eat breakfast together at home, and it’s a rotation among eggs, oatmeal, or yogurt; today was scrambled eggs with red pepper, cheese, turkey sausage, and some sliced tomatoes. I also love a cup of decaf black tea with honey and milk in the morning.”

Snack: “I usually get hungry mid-morning, especially now that I’m pregnant. I snacked on a home-baked blueberry muffin made with whole wheat flour, honey, coconut oil, and Greek yogurt. I always like to have a cup of green tea, too. Since Jack eats breakfast fairly early (usually by 7), a banana around 9 keeps him going through lunchtime. He’s obsessed with ‘nanas,’ so it’s a banana each day—why mess with a good thing?”

Lunch: “I typically have a salad for lunch. It’s easy to make a bunch in advance so I have it ready to go throughout the week, and salads are a great way to get in your leafy greens and veggies. I added some salmon left over from last night’s dinner. My go-to dressing is olive oil, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard—I don’t use store-bought dressing because of all the additives and unpronounceable ingredients.

"I make soup at least once a week, and that increases significantly in the fall and winter. I use a homemade bone broth as the base for most—it’s easy to make in a crockpot (but takes about two days of cooking), and has a ton of minerals and vitamins that are great for our digestive system, immune system, and bones. I’m not too scientific about soups; I just chop whatever veggies I have on hand and simmer them in the bone broth, and sometimes add some chopped meat or little pasta. Chickpeas are a fun finger food and make a great protein-rich snack for kids. I add grass-fed butter and/or sea salt for extra nutrients and flavor—I don’t think kids need to eat bland foods.”

Snack: “I can’t make it to dinner without a pretty substantial snack. Sweet potato fries baked with coconut oil and cinnamon are chock-full of nutrients and almost like eating dessert, and smoothies are an excellent way to sneak in leafy greens and other fruits and veggies. I made this one with kale, banana, blueberries, pineapple, and coconut water, with ground flaxseed for omega-3s and coconut oil for healthy fat. Jack had a yogurt—I don’t buy the flavored kind, since it’s full of sugar, additives, and other flavorings. We buy full-fat, plain yogurt (ideally from grass-fed cows) and eat it plain or top it with fruit and nuts.”

Dinner: “We try to eat dinner together each night, but that can be hard given that my son eats early and often we’re not all home for his dinner time. If I plan simple meals that are easy to reheat, it’s more likely to happen. We eat a variation on a Mexican rice bowl each week—this time I used farro and included ground beef and black beans for protein. Toppings included avocado, salsa, sautéed onions and peppers, and mustard greens. I never get tired of this meal, and it’s great for lunch, too. I like to drink kombucha with dinner—it’s a fermented tea so helps with digestion, and it’s fizzy, so it’s almost like drinking a wine spritzer. I also take some liquid cod liver oil for extra omega-3s and vitamins A and D, which are particularly important in pregnancy. Fortunately, my son’s a good eater, but I feed him in courses or else he’ll eat only his favorite food. He’s loved sauerkraut ever since he first tasted it at eight months, and it’s great for boosting his good gut bacteria and immune system.

"We don’t eat dessert unless we go out to dinner for a special occasion, but I do like something sweet, so fruit or some dark chocolate is my go-to. Jack likes to finish off his meal with some fruit, cheese, and olives. He also gets a teaspoon of cod liver oil—I buy the strawberry flavor, and usually he asks for more!”

Posted at 02:45 PM/ET, 11/18/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Stephanie Wimer relies on small, frequent meals to power through her busy schedule. By Tanya Pai

Are you a local health, nutrition, or fitness expert with a love of food? Keep a food diary for us! E-mail tpai@washingtonian.com for details.

Stephanie Wimer owns and writes for the website Strong Figure, which aims to inspire and aid people in their health and fitness goals through providing training and nutrition tips, recipes, and more. In her Strong Figure bio, Stephanie says, “Losing weight, discovering how to make the right food choices, and learning how to lift weights and exercise properly has taken me on a years-long journey of experimentation, trials, success, and even failure. I created Strong Figure to write about what I’ve learned and to help people who might be struggling in the same ways I have before.”

In addition to her work for the website, Stephanie works as a recreation specialist for Harrisonburg City, Virginia, where she plans fitness regimens and teaches boot-camp classes. With whatever spare time she has remaining, she coaches CrossFit and trains as a strength athlete. To fuel her active lifestyle, she makes time for frequent small meals throughout the day, filled with protein and healthy fats. Read on for a look at Stephanie’s typical daily diet.

Breakfast: “My first meal is my Accelerator Shake, which is coffee, whey protein, and organic coconut oil. This gets me going and gives me the energy to start my day.”

Lunch: “My second meal is around lunchtime and is always made up of protein, good fats, and vegetables. Here, I’ve got grass-fed sirloin cooked medium-rare, steamed kale, and cauliflower rice made with ghee (organic clarified butter) and part-skim mozzarella cheese.”

Snack: “My third meal is typically a snack similar to my lunch: high in protein, vegetables and good fats. Today I’ve got about three ounces of ground turkey, steamed cauliflower and broccoli, snap peas, and some heart-healthy mixed nuts. This meal holds me over and gives me the energy I need for my workout.”

Pre-workout drink: “Around my workout, I drink BCAAs (branched chain amino acids), typically at least 24 ounces. BCAAs spark protein synthesis and reduce muscle soreness.”

Post-workout snack: “My post-workout meal always includes carbs and protein for optimal muscle recovery and growth. One of my favorite meals is mashed sweet potatoes and applesauce with a little cinnamon, and a protein shake—typically vanilla flavored—with almond milk.”

Dinner: “I eat this chicken stew weekly—it’s my favorite! I throw organically raised/hormone-free chicken breasts, diced tomatoes, frozen cauliflower, and plenty of spices into a crockpot and cook on low for about eight hours. I can get a week’s worth of dinners out of this.”

Nighttime snack: “My last snack or meal is probably my favorite of the day and is an excellent way for me to both unwind and help refuel my muscles from my lifting session: hot, organic steel-cut oats with frozen blueberries and half a scoop of protein powder. Yum!”

Posted at 02:00 PM/ET, 11/11/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()