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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 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 ()
Expert advice to make those long workdays less taxing on your body. By Torie Foster
Image via Shutterstock.

It can have serious ill effects on your health, and yet almost all of us have succumbed to it: poor posture.

Bad posture can lead to a higher risk of arthritis, faster joint deterioration, and decreased lung capacity. Those who sit at a desk and on a computer all day—a.k.a. most of us—are particularly at risk, since your head is tilted, you’re leaning over, and you’re sitting, which strains your head and back muscles. Bad posture can also impair your sleeping patterns, your ability to exercise healthily, and your mood.

“Everything comes from your spinal column,” says Sheila Amon, a chiropractor in Kensington who has more than 29 years of experience. “You get fatigued because your muscles are holding you up in the wrong posture.”

Here are Amon’s tips for keeping your posture aligned throughout the workday—even while at a desk.

1. Replace your office chair with an exercise ball.

It might sound a little silly, but it works wonders, says Amon. Sitting on a ball requires a tight core and straight posture. If using one, be sure to avoid sitting “Buddha style” with your thighs spread out. Instead, make sure both knees are directly in front of you, and keep the ball from moving by tightening your stomach muscles.

2. Perform a few simple exercises at your desk throughout the day.

Amon recommends doing the “chicken wing,” which involves putting your arms parallel to the floor and doing a rowing movement while squeezing your shoulder blades. “The turkey” is another suggested exercise—jut your head forward, keeping your jaw parallel to the floor, and then bring your head back. This exercise “re-educates and strengthens the neck and upper back muscles to proper posture,” Amon explains. A third exercise to open up your chest cavity is to bring your arms behind your back, grab one wrist, squeeze your shoulder blades, and then move your arms away from your back.

3. Make sure your desk is set up properly.

Place your monitor at eye level to align your head with your shoulders, and adjust your chin so it’s parallel to the floor. Keep your knees at hip height and a 90-degree angle to your thighs, and both your feet on the ground. Place your mouse close to you to avoid problems in your shoulders, wrist, and neck. If you use a standing desk, elevate one foot about six inches, using a phone book or a box, to take pressure off your lower back.

4. Get up every 45 to 60 minutes.

Whether it’s to step outside, walk down to a colleague’s office, or make a quick trip to the water fountain, it’s a good idea to take a break from sitting. Keep Amon’s analogy in mind: “The body is 80 percent water. Moving water is healthy water; we’re not stagnant water with mosquitos running all over it.”

5. Practice confidence.

When we feel good about ourselves, we open up our chests, sit up straighter, and breathe more deeply, Amon says. To keep these practices top of mind, she recommends using an egg timer, an alarm, or sticky notes. She also suggests putting reminders in other places, such as on the refrigerator door and TV remote, to prompt yourself to sit up, even after you’ve clocked out for the day.

Posted at 10:47 AM/ET, 01/26/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Don't let cold weather resign you to the treadmill. By John Scarpinato
Image via Shutterstock.

With winter temperatures officially upon us, it’s important to take all the necessary steps to ensure your outdoor workout isn’t doing more harm than good. We talked with a few local running coaches for tips to running in the frigid weather.

Wear the right ensemble

The base to any winter workout is clothing. Most runners know that layering is important, but it is possible to overdo it. According to George Buckheit of Capital Area Runners, “The best approach is to accept the fact that you’re going to be cold for the first five to ten minutes of your run and to make sure you’re wearing enough layers to keep you warm mid-run, but not so many that you’re drowning in sweat.” Most technical running gear proves to be the perfect option as it is designed to wick away sweat and keep you warm without being bulky.

Terry Weir, head cross-country and track coach at George Washington University, says long sleeves, a jacket, and leggings may be obvious, but it’s just as important to cover your feet with the right gear. “Compression socks are big these days and are great for the winter,” he says. American University’s head track and cross country coach, Matt Centrowitz, suggests mittens rather than gloves, as they allow your fingers to stay warmer.

Rethink your warmup

When approaching a new routine for the winter, the biggest change to keep in mind is the warmup. Spending a few extra minutes on it will help prepare your muscles for the cold and get your respiratory system acclimated to the cold air. Weir suggests a routine that keeps you constantly moving: “You don’t want to stretch cold muscles and should keep moving the whole time. Try faster repeats just to get warmed up.” If you prefer to warm up indoors, jumping jacks or a jump-rope routine can also help prepare your muscles before heading out.

Plan your route

Thankfully, the District doesn’t get hit too hard with frigid sub-zero temperatures—but the wind can still make running outside uncomfortable. Centrowitz suggests never starting with the wind at your back on an out-and-back run. Instead, go into the wind to start so that it’s at your back on the return, when you’re more fatigued.

When it comes to top routes, every coach we asked suggested running along the covered portion of K Street under the Whitehurst Freeway. There will never be snow, and the length makes for good speed workouts. Rock Creek Park is another top spot. “Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park is closed to traffic on the weekends, and the roadway is very well-maintained and kept clear of snow and ice, so it’s a good go-to location for weekend runs in the winter,” says Buckheit. The trees also serve as a good barrier to the wind. Weir suggests trying out West Potomac Park and Hains Point; he says it’s usually one of the first areas to get plowed and doesn’t have much traffic.

Bring a friend

Staying motivated is one of the toughest obstacles when confronting winter running. Grab a workout buddy who can help keep you accountable for a regular schedule (and vice versa).

Posted at 09:00 AM/ET, 01/21/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Think you have acid reflux? You may not. Plus—the latest on treating chronic heartburn. By Robin Tricoles

Millions of Americans take over-the-counter medications for acid reflux. The problem is many don’t have acid reflux.

Photograph by BSIP SA/Alamy.

According to Caren Palese, a gastroenterologist in DC, more than half of the patients who are referred to her with acid-reflux symptoms that haven’t improved with proton-pump inhibitors such as Prilosec and Nexium—which reduce acid production—don’t have the condition at all.

Acid reflux occurs when stomach contents flow back into the esophagus, causing heartburn, coughing, trouble swallowing, chest and throat pain, and the feeling of a lump in your throat, says Dr. Palese, director of the Center for Gastrointestinal Motility and Heartburn at MedStar Georgetown.

According to the National Institutes of Health, 20 percent of adult Americans experience reflux symptoms weekly. Persistent reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, can lead to inflammation, ulceration, and cellular changes in the esophagus, increasing the risk of esophageal cancer.

People who don’t have acid reflux but share many of the symptoms of those with GERD may actually have non-acid reflux. Determining which type a patient suffers from can require tests, such as esophageal pH monitoring. Knowing the kind of reflux someone has is key to coming up with an effective treatment, ranging from medication to surgery.

When symptoms persist, doctors look for an underlying cause, such as a weak lower esophageal sphincter (a ring of muscle that acts as the gatekeeper between the stomach and esophagus) or a hiatal hernia.

In rare cases, when anatomical abnormalities are present and medication and lifestyle changes—such as eating smaller meals and not lying down within two to three hours of eating—fail, surgery may be an option. One surgery, fundoplication, involves wrapping the top of the stomach around the esophagus. The procedure is usually effective and can be performed with minimally invasive surgery, says gastroenterologist Marie Borum, a professor at George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences. The downside is that fundoplication may have to be repeated as tissue shifts with time, weakening the lower esophageal sphincter.

Another operation, recently approved but not yet widely used, involves placing a ring of magnetic titanium beads around the lower esophageal sphincter. The beads’ magnetic force is strong enough to keep the sphincter closed and reflux at bay but is weak enough to allow the sphincter to open when a patient eats. Like fundoplication, the device can be implanted using minimally invasive surgery.

“I don’t want to tell people to run out and get surgery if we can get good medication control, because there can be complications,” says Dr. Borum. “But there are now surgeries that can be done laparoscopically, which have helped people who may have been reluctant to undergo open surgery.”

Robin Tricoles ( currently writes about science for the National Institutes of Health.

This article appears in the January 2015 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 12:07 PM/ET, 01/13/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Adding these to your diet may keep you happier and healthier all season long. By Torie Foster
These sweet-potato-and-apple stacks contain in-season, nutrient-packed produce. Photograph by Melissa Romero.

When the weather gets colder, it makes sense that we crave a warm bowl of chili or soup instead of a cold salad—but it’s not just because these foods make us feel cozier. Our bodies are telling us what we need to eat in the winter, when there’s less sun exposure, the air gets colder and drier, and we’re more prone to getting sick.

“Some people are very affected by the longer days, waking up in the dark in the morning and feeling more fatigued or depressed than usual,” says Danielle Omar, a registered dietitian and nutritionist in Fairfax.

Eating particular types of foods, Omar says, can help us stay energized and healthy through the winter. Read on for the ingredients to look for, plus a few of our favorite recipes.

1) In-Season Produce

It’s especially important to be eating with the seasons, Omar says. “Winter foods contain natural immune-boosting nutrients,” she says, which is important during cold and flu season. That means lots of winter squash, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, and fruits such as pears, apples, and citrus—all of which contain vitamins B and C and magnesium. Pomegranate seeds, another winter favorite, are also good for your heart.

Recipes to try:
Asparagus With Pomegranate Seeds
Kale-and-Cannellini-Bean Soup
Sweet-Potato-and-Apple Stacks

2) Complex Carbohydrates

It’s normal to crave carbs in the winter because they boost levels of serotonin, a mood-lifter, says Omar. But instead of reaching for baked goods or a plate of pasta, opt instead for complex carbs, which give you energy and keep you fuller longer. You might stock up on legumes and whole grains such as rye and quinoa, and swap out white pasta for whole-grain or bean pastas, which offer more fiber and protein.

Recipes to try:
Quinoa-and-Black-Bean Burgers

Quinoa Chocolate-Chip Cookies

3) Vitamin D Foods

Less sun exposure also means a decrease in vitamin D, which affects both mood and immunity. Egg yolks, fatty fish, and fortified foods are all solid sources of the nutrient.

Recipes to try:
Mustard-Glazed Salmon With Pesto
Central American-Inspired Brunch

4) Omega-3 Fats

Foods such as salmon, other fatty fish, and walnuts contain essential omega-3 fats, also help stabilize mood swings. Other options include flax, chia, and hemp seeds—try throwing them into a smoothie or a bowl of oatmeal in the mornings, Omar says. Another plus: Omega-3s moisturize skin, which tends to dry out in the winter.

Recipes to try:
Apple Crisp With Nuts, Dried Fruit, and Ginger
7 Delicious Desserts With Flax and Chia Seeds

Posted at 02:28 PM/ET, 01/08/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
The gym’s latest promotional campaign aims to reflect the “consequences of a good workout.” By Caroline Cunningham

Equinox is no stranger to boundary-pushing advertisements. The gym chain’s 2013 campaign, shot by (in)famous photographer Terry Richardson, featured billboards of scantily clad women in poses suggestive enough to spark a public outcry and a petition to get the signs removed that garnered 1,000-plus signatures. Eventually Equinox did pull the ads and cut ties with Richardson, then announced it planned to take future campaigns in a more fitness-focused direction with ad agency Wieden+Kennedy New York.

In 2014, the company launched “Equinox Made Me Do It,” intended to depict the “consequences of a good workout—higher confidence and lowered inhibitions,” and takes that concept to a new level with the new year’s ads. According to the press release, the current images “convey the confidence and empowerment associated with adventure and risk-taking” and attempt to present the gym as an overall lifestyle resource.

While this campaign isn’t as overtly sexualized as the 2013 ad fiasco, the ads' lack of anything exercise-related does leave us with one question: Equinox made you do . . . what, exactly?

Left to fill in the blanks on our own, we’ve decided to do just that. See below for what we think these ads are trying to say.

“Equinox made me marry a much younger man and have his twins, and none of us is happy about any of this.”

“Equinox made me dress in drag so I could trick people into thinking there’s a naked woman in this photo.”

“Equinox made me jump out of a plane in five-inch platform combat boots and a bathing suit.”

“Equinox made me shave my head impulsively, but at least I kind of look like Natalie Portman circa 2005.”

“Equinox made me catch this pig, which I’m just going to hold for the photo because it’s freaking cute.”

Posted at 03:40 PM/ET, 01/05/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Five local spots with workouts that fit your personality. By Caroline Cunningham
305 Fitness has a deejay to guide you through a rhythmic cardio workout.

Elevate Interval Fitness

2428 14th St., NW; 202-509-9995

Workout: High-intensity interval training, with a heart monitor broadcasting your vital stats on the gym’s multiple screens.

Work ethic: Data-driven geeks and competitive Hill types who need to win even at the gym.

How they talk: “Numbers provide a great way to quantify perceived effort.”

Cost: $25 a class or $159 for unlimited monthly membership.

305 Fitness

1630 14th St., NW; 646-480-2459

Workout: This newbie’s name comes from Miami’s area code, and the 55-minute rhythmic cardio workout is guided by a live deejay.

Work ethic: Those who want to rock out like it’s still New Year’s Eve—in South Beach.

How they talk: “A sexy underground ‘rave-meets-workout.’ ”

Cost: $24 a class.


2301 M St., NW; 202-659-7685

Workout: Part gym, part inspirational cult, this New York sensation opened in August, mixing candlelit 45-minute spin classes, club-remix soundtracks, and the premise that DC and Gotham are equally hip.

Work ethic: True believers crushing those who just want an excuse to sport Lululemon gear

How they talk: “Strength that lasts beyond the studio walls.”

Cost: $30 a class.

Vida Fitness

Six DC locations;

Workout: Your choice of cutting-edge equipment and a bevy of trainers and nutritionists—as if the fitness gods who fit in here need them.

Work ethic: Hunger Games capital for those who’ve made Washington the fittest city in the US.

How they talk: “At the end of the day, Vida is all about you.”

Cost: $99 a month.

Rockville Sport & Health at Pike & Rose

11594 Old Georgetown Rd., Rockville (scheduled to open in January)

Workout: Spin, yoga, cardio machines, Pilates—you name it—in a McMansion setting, but the key amenity is a Kidz Klub.

Work ethic: For Bethesda moms who need a place to wear yoga pants guilt-free.

How they talk: “We’re not just a club, we’re a family.”

Cost: $99 a month.

Posted at 11:38 AM/ET, 01/02/2015 | 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 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 ()
Plus a few more of our favorite ways to use the winter fruit. By Rebecca Scritchfield
Photograph courtesy of Rebecca Scritchfield.

December, in addition to being one of the most festive times of the year, is also pomegranate season. These pinkish red orbs are known for their delicious sweet-tart taste and plentiful juice. Beneath that leathery red skin are hundreds of sparkling seeds known as arils that are an excellent source of fiber and deliver free-radical fighting antioxidants like vitamin C. (For more on why pomegranate seeds are so good for you, read this.) They are perfect for healthy snacking and cooking, but they sure are tricky to get out. Luckily, we’ve got this handy video that shows you the absolute easiest way to de-seed the fruit—no special equipment required. If that still seems like a bit too much muss and fuss, you can find containers of pomegranate arils at many grocery stores.

Pomegranate seeds add a burst of flavor, color, and nutrition to any meal. Try mixing them into leftover turkey or chicken salad; sprinkling them over oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon; or pairing them with squares of dark chocolate for a sweet-tart treat. I also love them as a topping on roasted vegetables, as in the asparagus recipe below.

Asparagus with Fresh Pomegranate Arils
Prep time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

16 asparagus spears, jumbo

2 tablespoons shallots, minced
½ cup chicken stock (or vegetable for a vegetarian version)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ cup fresh pomegranate arils
chives, minced for garnish

1) Preheat a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Coat the pan with olive oil.
2) Add asparagus, and sear on all sides until golden brown.
3) Add shallots, and sauté for 1 minute.
4) Add chicken stock and butter.
5) Simmer stock until reduced by three-quarters, then remove from heat.
7) To serve: plate asparagus, garnish with pomegranate arils, and add chives. Serve with your favorite whole grain.

Rebecca Scritchfield is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and founder of Capitol Nutrition Group in Washington, DC.

Posted at 02:22 PM/ET, 12/12/2014 | 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 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 ()