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Who says no to a guilt-free cookie? By Chris Campbell
Photograph by Kate Headley.

One of the saddest food myths out there is the idea that eating healthy means cutting out desserts. Here at Well+Being we’re all about the idea of everything in moderation, including sweets—especially when they involve nutritious ingredients, as in this recipe from registered dietitian Janis Jibrin and restaurant consultant Sidra Forman.

We loved their kale salad recipe so much, we asked the duo to dip back into their book, The Pescetarian Plan, for a healthy treat to satisfy those with a sweet tooth. These mild-flavored cookies will curb any dessert craving without the unnatural ingredients typically found in super-sweet junk foods.

“Especially this time of year, this is a perfect cookie to pair with pretty much any variety of summer fruit--stone fruit, berry, or melon,” Forman says. “The richness of sesame seeds, coconut, and olive oil make for a satisfying treat.”

Sesame-Coconut Cookies

Serves 8

Prep time: 5 minutes; total time: 20 minutes

Nutrition per serving: 114 calories, 2 grams protein, 11 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams dietary fiber, 5 grams sugar, 7 grams total fat, 2.2 grams saturated fat, 0 milligrams total omega-3 fatty acids, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 17 milligrams calcium, 51 milligrams sodium.

Ingredients

½ cup whole-wheat flour
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup coconut flakes
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
⅛ teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon tahini
Dash of salt

Directions

1) Combine the flour, sugar, coconut, sesame seeds, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix in the oil, tahini, salt, and 2½ tablespoons water. Combine thoroughly using your fingers.

2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the cookie batter into 8 parts, rolling each into a ball. Place cookies on the parchment paper and gently flatten with the palm of your hand.

4) Bake until cookies begin to turn golden brown, approximately 12 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Have a healthy recipe to share? E-mail wellbeing@washingtonian.com for a chance to be featured on Well+Being.

Posted at 12:15 PM/ET, 06/27/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Katherine Thornhill sticks to a Paleo, gluten-free diet throughout her busy schedule. See how she manages it. By Tanya Pai

Katie Thornhill knows plenty about choosing a diet that keeps her energized. During the day she’s a full-time political fundraiser and an ambassador for the DC meal company Power Supply, and just launched her own health-coaching company called Grip DC. She’s also a Yoga Sculpt instructor at Georgetown’s CorePower Yoga, a class she describes as “an intense mix of sun salutations, plyometric work, ab work, cardio, and a whole lot of booty whooping. My students love the class, and I love seeing their energy soar.” On top of all that, she finds time to fit in runs along the C&O Canal. This leads to some long days—as in, 5 AM to 11 PM.

“My days are long, especially on Monday and Thursday when I teach Yoga Sculpt at 8:30 PM,” Katie says. “Maintaining my energy levels so I can perform my best at work while also working out is important to me.” To keep her fueled for her marathon schedule, she relies on a Paleo and gluten-free diet, including periodic healthy snacks, and stays hydrated with lots of water. Read on for a closer look at her typical daily diet.

Breakfast: Cold water with apple cider vinegar and lemon, two eggs sautéed in grass-fed butter, and spicy V8 tomato juice. “I highly recommend adding apple cider vinegar to your daily diet because it is rich in potassium and acetic acid, and can help regulate blood pressure, clear up skin conditions, and boost your metabolism. At first the flavor threw me off, but after the first few times drinking it I really enjoyed the taste.”

Coffee: Grande Starbucks iced coffee with sugar-free mocha syrup. “If I don’t have time to make my own iced coffee to take to work, I pick up a grande iced coffee with one pump of sugar-free mocha. I know there are a ton of artificial ingredients in this mocha syrup, and I really try to stay away from artificial anything, but try going off five hours of sleep each day! If there is something you don’t mess with, that is me and my coffee. I also picked up five Power Supply Paleo lunches from Balance Gym in Glover Park, because I don’t have the time to prep all my food for the week, and these list both the ingredients and the nutritional value so I know exactly what I’m putting into my system.”

Morning snack: Wonderfully Raw Brussels Bytes. “These are the best. I will try any flavor, but my favorite is the tamarind-apple crunch. I love that they are raw, gluten-free, and organic—everything I want in a health snack.”

Lunch: Power Supply chicken, shiitake mushroom, carrot, and bok choy sauté.

Afternoon snack: Epic Bar in turkey-almond-cranberry. “Naturally low in fat and loaded with vitamins and minerals, turkey is an exceptionally dense source of nutrient-rich protein. This delicious bar is loaded with almonds and cranberries to add both texture and balance to the meatiness of the turkey.”

Pre-class snack: “Since I had some time before teaching my class at 8:30, I changed into my running gear and headed out for a run along the canal. It felt great to squeeze in a six-mile run; it may seem like a lot in one day, but I am passionate about running and working out. It makes me feel good! Then, for a little boost before class, I grab a handful of my PaleoKrunch cereal. This is the perfect mix of gluten-free, grain-free cereal made from a blend of raw almonds, raw walnuts, shredded coconut, raw sunflower seeds, and raw pumpkin seeds with a hint of honey, vanilla, and maple syrup.”

Dinner: Sautéed vegetables and kelp noodles with chicken sausage. “Once class is over and I say bye to all my students, I make my way home to fix dinner. I love to cook, but at 9:45 PM I want to fix something quick that will refuel my muscles and glycogen stores quickly. While rehydrating with more water (have to stay hydrated!) I throw into a skillet a cut-up Japanese sweet potato, kelp noodles, green beans, purple cabbage, and an organic chicken sausage, and sauté it all with some coconut oil and Braggs liquid amino. Once the vegetables are cooked and the sausage is perfect, I top it all with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast. I sit down to enjoy my dinner and talk to my fiancé about his day. Then it’s lights out by 11, because before you know it, it’ll be 5 AM!”

The Food Diaries series is intended to be inspirational and is not an endorsement of each individual’s diet.

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

Posted at 03:15 PM/ET, 06/24/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Find yoga, CrossFit, and more—all at no cost. By Dora Grote
Where to find free yoga classes and more in DC this summer. Image via Shutterstock.

Summer officially started on Saturday, which means swimsuit season is officially upon us. Want to get in shape without dropping a lot of dough on a gym membership? Here’s how you can work out for free seven days a week. Check out the roundup of DC offerings below, and stay tuned for options in Maryland and Virginia.

Monday

Train like a dancer when yoga and Pilates meet barre at 6:30 Monday evening in Lululemon Georgetown’s upstairs studio. Bring your own mat and work on flexibility and core strength as Lava Barre instructors lead you through a series of isometric movements.

For an even more intense burn, try Nike Georgetown’s 8 PM boot camp. Push yourself to the limit with a high-intensity workout led by different trainers each week. Reserve a spot through the Nike Training Club app, and come prepared ready to get your heart pumping and body sweating.

Tuesday

Get a jump on your day with 7 AM boot camp at Vida Fitness at the Yards. Not an early riser? Enjoy a soothing 5:45 PM yoga class complete with water views and chirping birds at Yards Park.

Wednesday

Join the Capital Striders Running Club for a scenic run looping around Capitol Hill. Alternating routes include views of the Reflecting Pool, RFK Stadium, and Navy Yard, and you can pick a distance and pace that suit your fitness abilities. Meet at 6:30 PM in the center of the park Lincoln Memorial Park next to the Lincoln Statue. Or join the club for its weekly run through Great Falls Park, with beautiful views of the Potomac River. Meet in the parking lot past the visitors center at 6 PM. Women can also try a three- to five-mile Fleet Feet Fun Run in Adams Morgan, starting at 6:30 PM.

Thursday

Shimmy and shake through the evening with a 5:30 PM Zumba class at Vida Fitness at the Yards. Exotic beats will keep you moving for a workout that’s both fun and effective.

The CrossFit curious can head to Balance Gym in Thomas Circle for an introductory class offered at 1 and 7 PM. It’s fit for anyone from exercise novices to seasoned athletes. You’ll learn a few basic CrossFit movements and progressions and then integrate them into a workout at the end.

Friday

Fit in some lunchtime meditation with a noon vinyasa yoga class at Vida Fitness at the Yards. Can’t get away from the office? Try Kali Yoga at 6:45 PM in Columbia Heights.

Saturday

Cycle through the rolling hills of Anacostia with BicycleSpace every Saturday with rides starting at 8, 10, and 11:30 AM. Bring your bike and meet at the store on Seventh Street.

Sunday

Meridian Hill Park provides the backdrop for a relaxing yoga class with Bikram Yoga Dupont at 5 PM. The studio invites a different instructor from across the area each week, so you can experience a range of practices. Bring your own mat. Other options: Fleet Feet Sports Fun Run at 9 AM through Rock Creek Park in Adams Morgan, yoga at Lululemon Georgetown at noon, or Kali Yoga at 4 PM in Columbia Heights.

Other summer bonuses:

Sculpt DC has added free community classes throughout the summer. Scheduled classes include yoga on Tuesday, July 8, at 7:30 PM, and Thursday the 10th at noon, and Sculpt DC’s total-body cycle class on Saturday, July 26, at 11:30 AM, which uses weights and core exercises to improve strength, stability, and coordination while increasing endurance in 45 minutes.

Joe’s Movement Emporium is offering an entry class for seniors Wednesdays at 11 AM.

Posted at 02:41 PM/ET, 06/23/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Transition from spring to summer with this easy-to-make salad. By Chris Campbell
Four ingredients make for a quick and delicious dish. Photographs by Chris Campbell.

As the temperatures continue to climb, on a steamy night it’s great to try out a fresh, light dish—especially when it takes just a few minutes to whip together. Registered dietitian Carlene Thomas created this vegetable dish as a new way to incorporate carrots and asparagus into your menu.

“Creating vegetable ‘noodles’ will brighten and lighten your meal,” says Thomas. “Vegetables such as asparagus are full of fiber, and pairing them with goat cheese, a good source of protein and calcium, as well as pistachios, this recipe will keep you satisfied.”

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 bunch carrots
1 bunch asparagus
8 ounces goat cheese
Shelled pistachios

Directions:

1) Wash carrots and asparagus. Peel carrots, and cut spears off asparagus. Using a peeler, thinly shave the carrots and asparagus stalks, setting aside the asparagus spears. Give pistachios a rough chop.

2) Freeze the goat cheese for 15 minutes. Then scoop 1 tablespoon-size portions and roll them between your palms to form balls. Roll the balls through the pistachios to coat them.

3) Layer bunches of peeled carrots to create a salad bed. Garnish with goat cheese balls and asparagus spears.

Posted at 11:05 AM/ET, 06/20/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Amy Rizzotto has a passion for helping busy people stay on a healthy track. Find out her tips and tricks. By Tanya Pai

Amy Rizzotto is impressively dedicated to a healthy lifestyle. Though she has a full-time job as a fundraiser, she spends her nights and weekends teaching at Yoga Heights (which she co-owns), blogging about fitness and healthy recipes on her website, MOARfit, and coaching others on nutrition. “My wellness work doesn’t feel like a second job—it’s truly my passion to help people find their path to the happiest, healthiest version of themselves,” she says.

When it comes to her own fitness routine, Amy says she’ll try any workout once, but her staples include yoga (practicing and teaching), running, biking, hiking, and high-intensity interval training classes. She explains, “I’m a big fan of exercise that requires little to no equipment beyond the clothes you wear. Functional fitness training, using my own bodyweight for resistance and challenge, is more than enough to get my heart pumping and muscles burning, and achieve that sweaty, exhausted feeling of hard work and transformation. While I not-so secretly love being sore for a day or three after a workout, I’m also a big believer in self-care and rest—which is why more restorative styles of yoga, meditation, and foam rolling are key to balancing my fitness grind.”

To keep herself fueled for her busy schedule, Amy relies on a diet heavy in fruits and vegetables, and likes to prepare meals in advance so she always has nutritious options on hand. Read on for a look at her daily diet, and check out her website and Twitter feed for some of the recipes she mentions.

Breakfast: Pumpkin-apricot smoothie. “I make a smoothie for breakfast four or five times a week and load them with nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, protein—either nonfat Greek yogurt or hemp protein powder—spices, and fiber-rich superfoods like chia or flax seeds. They’re convenient on the go, super-healthy as long as you avoid added sugar and watch portion sizes, and filling enough to get me through the morning. I love this pumpkin-apricot version because it sneaks in lots of vitamin A with the orange fruits and veggies and tastes like fall, which I’m craving right now with all this DC humidity!”

Snack: “Mid-morning, I usually have a piece of whole fruit as a snack to carry me through to lunch. I keep a bowl with some combination of avocados, apples, peaches, and grapefruits on my desk, so when hunger strikes I have a healthy option in arm’s reach.”

Lunch: Radicchio-wrapped quinoa kale taco salad with spicy avocado dressing. “I always advise my nutrition clients to prep meals on the weekend so they don’t get caught underprepared or overwhelmed during their busy work week. Knowing how time seems to evaporate Monday through Friday, I practice what I preach and (almost) always make two large meals that I can split up into four lunches and dinners—I like to give myself the option of one lunch and one dinner out per work week! One of my favorite packable lunches is this healthier version of a taco salad, which uses radicchio leaves in lieu of taco shells or chips. It’s vegan and full of fiber, heart-healthy whole grains and fats, keeps well, and tastes delicious.”

Snack: Pomegranate power bites. “I try to avoid eating processed foods as much as possible, but sometimes baby carrots and celery sticks just don’t do it for me. I love to cook, so getting creative with homemade snacks is fun for me. I’ve made various versions of these ‘power bites,’ and I love the pomegranate molasses in this recipe. It contains tons of immunity-boosting antioxidants and a slew of B vitamins, which benefit everything from your skin and muscles to your cardiovascular and nervous system.”

Dinner: Harissa-pomegranate roasted chicken with avocado, grapefruit, and mint salad. “Two strategies I suggest for people trying to eat healthy on a budget are to pay attention to the cuts of meat they purchase and to use spices to add bold flavors to basic meals. Chicken thighs are a much more affordable cut than breast meat, and harissa—a North African spice blend featuring a variety of flavors ranging from hot chili to caraway—will take any meal from blah and boring to bold and yummy.”

Dessert: Raspberry-rosewater popsicles. “While I typically opt for a square of dark chocolate as my post-supper sweet treat, in summertime, sorbet and popsicles are in order. I ordered a popsicle mold off Amazon last summer and really enjoy coming up with unique combinations. I once had a raspberry-rosewater macaron in Paris and have been enamored with the flavor combination ever since. This popsicle mimics that heavenly Parisian pleasure and at under 100 calories is 100-percent guilt-free.”

Disclaimer: The Food Diaries series is intended to be inspirational and is not an endorsement of each individual’s diet.

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

Posted at 10:43 AM/ET, 06/17/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The food and travel consultant has mastered healthy eating on the go. By Tanya Pai

Maintaining a balanced diet can be a challenge while traveling, but Anna Sonnenberg has got it down to a science. She was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2012 and quickly discovered there was very limited information available to “help gluten-free eaters navigate the world outside of their own kitchens,” she says. So in 2013 she founded Gluten-Free Jet Set, a Washington-based resource that provides food and travel consultation services for those maintaining a gluten-free diet. Anna’s typical day while she’s in Washington includes equal parts research, writing, travel planning, and outreach. She also does plenty of traveling, both domestically and internationally, to meet with food producers and sample a local gluten-free fare—“all in the name of research, of course!”

Her fitness routine centers on four weekly sessions of 20 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of strength training, the latter of which she says is quite important for celiacs. When traveling, she tries to “burn off those pastry-related calories” by walking the distance of a half marathon—which allows her to stay fit while exploring whichever city she’s in. Read on for a look at Anna’s diet on a typical day.

Breakfast: “In the morning I’m usually in a rush, but I need caffeine to get me going and food to keep me going. At home or on the road, I love the instant oatmeal packets from Bakery on Main—they’re packed with energy-filled oats, flax, and chia seeds. Coffee is a necessity, as well.” 

Lunch: “Checking out fun new gluten-free spots is one of the best parts of my job, so I was really excited to try GCDC at 17th and Pennsylvania. The restaurant sources gluten-free bread from a local baker, Goldilocks Goodies, and this cheesy sandwich was out of this world.” 

Dinner: “I love cooking but don’t always have time for something elaborate. This is a raw taco salad with veggies from the Crystal City farmers market, homemade guacamole, and plenty of nuts. I’m not vegan, but I do strive for balance. This was a lovely, fresh way to end the day.”

 

Disclaimer: The Food Diaries series is intended to be inspirational and is not an endorsement of each individual’s diet.

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

Posted at 10:00 AM/ET, 06/09/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
An intense workout schedule requires plenty of protein and fat for fuel. By Tanya Pai

Bobby Goodfellow is the head coach and director of strength and conditioning at DC’s CrossFit Praxis. His typical week involves planning workouts for athletes, coaching CrossFit and CrossFit football classes, and training in Brazilian jiu jitsu. In between, he follows his own workout routine, which includes conditioning and weight-lifting four days a week, with three days off for rest and recovery. 

All that training requires lots of fuel, so Goodfellow says he eats “with abandon,” including carb-loading in the middle of the week. “Wednesdays are my favorite. You can usually find me in the gym eating District Doughnuts—they’re amazing,” he says. He also drinks plenty of water throughout the day.

Read on for a look at Goodfellow’s typical diet on a training day.

Breakfast: Cage-free eggs scrambled in grass-fed butter, uncured slab bacon, spinach wilted in bacon fat, half an heirloom tomato, six to eight ounces of plain kefir, and black coffee. “The combination of protein, fat, few carbs, and caffeine keeps me feeling full into the afternoon.” 

Midday snack: Organic Greek yogurt and Krave beef and pork jerky. “More protein and fat, with some added carbs from the yogurt to fuel me for my training session.”

Post-workout shake (not pictured): Organic lactose-free whole milk with 40 grams grass-fed whey protein. “Immediately following my last rep, I push the carbs and protein down the hatch. My muscles are ready to be refueled, so lots of carbs and protein are a must.” 

Lunch: Grilled pork chops, a baked sweet potato, Brussels sprouts and onions pan-fried in grass-fed butter, and half an heirloom tomato. “Twenty to 30 minutes after my protein shake, I consume a meal high in carbs and protein.”

Dinner: Grass-fed rib eye, wilted rainbow chard, bell peppers and onions pan-fried in grass-fed butter, an heirloom tomato, and organic lactose-free whole milk. “Surprise—more protein and more fat. I’m off to bed shortly thereafter. Wake up, repeat.” 


Disclaimer: The Food Diaries series is intended to be inspirational and is not an endorsement of each individual’s diet.

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

Posted at 12:15 PM/ET, 06/03/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Celebrate Capital Pride Week with a themed ride through the streets of DC. By Tanya Pai
Show your pride with DC Bike Party on Wednesday. Image via Shutterstock.

This year’s Capital Pride Week kicks off Friday, May 30, with a schedule of events that includes parties, parades, races, drag kickball games, and more. And DC Bike Party is getting in on the fun: On Wednesday, June 4, participants in the first annual Pride Ride will don their best body glitter and neon clothing and celebrate the theme of this year’s Pride Week, “build our bright future.” The approximately seven-mile ride begins in Dupont Circle at 8 PM and includes views of several DC landmarks. Always an entertaining event, this month’s will likely be even more colorful than usual; a press release promises “drag queens in pedicabs and bedazzled bikers,” and the whole thing ends with an after-party at Cobalt. 

A map of the route will be available on DC Bike Party’s website 24 hours before the ride. Bikers can also put their own stamp on the event by adding their favorite tunes to a collaborative playlist that will be played during the ride. More than 300 people have already RSVP’d through Pride Ride’s Facebook page

Planning to show your Capital Pride next week? Tweet us a photo at @washwellbeing

Posted at 01:07 PM/ET, 05/29/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
After three years in second place, we’re back on top. By Benjamin Freed
Washington is once again the fittest city in the nation. Image via Shutterstock.

After sagging to second place for the past three years, Washington has reclaimed its place as the fittest of the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas, according to an annual report from the American College of Sports Medicine. The American Fitness Index ranks mortality rates, chronic illnesses, and resources and policies that promote healthy living.

The Washington area scored highly on most of the index’s metrics, including low rates of death from cardiovascular disease and diabetes; a high number of parks, pools, and tennis courts per capita; a larger-than-average percentage of residents using non-car transportation; and a preponderance of farmers markets.

But the rankings suggest better “community health” than how individual Washingtonians care for themselves. While 81 percent of Washington-area residents exercise at least once every 30 days, the region still showed worse-than-ideal rates of obesity (24.1 percent), asthma (8.6 percent), and diabetes (8.5 percent). Residents could probably eat a bit better, too, with 16.3 percent eating three or fewer servings of vegetables per day and 34.1 percent consuming two or fewer servings of fruit per day.

As for the segments where Washington excels, the report counted 28.5 farmers markets for every 1 million residents and 14.1 percent of people who rely on public transportation to get to work, far outpacing the target rate of 4.3 percent.

Minneapolis held the top spot from 2011 to 2013, but fell back to second this year. Portland, Oregon, Denver, and San Francisco filled out the top five, while Memphis, Tennessee, bottomed out at No. 50.

See the full breakdown of the report’s Washington statistics online.

Posted at 03:02 PM/ET, 05/28/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Jimmy Edgerton’s company specializes in satisfying, healthy snacks. What does his daily diet look like? By Tanya Pai

Jimmy Edgerton is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist and the cofounder of 2Armadillos, a DC-based snack company that creates crispy chickpeas with a variety of flavorings as a healthy alternative to potato chips or pretzels. Edgerton and his college roommate, Greg Katz, a doctor and personal trainer, had the idea for 2Armadillos in 2011 when they were looking for a tasty, satisfying snack that wasn’t loaded with calories and fat. Now their products are available in various locations around Washington and in several other states.

To stay in shape, Jimmy does 20 minutes of active stretching or yoga each morning. He also bikes regularly, does resistance training about three times a week, and plays basketball, volleyball, and soccer in pickup games or organized leagues. He also tries for a healthy diet that’s low on meat and refined carbs. Read on for a look at his typical meals and snacks for a day.

Breakfast: Local eggs cooked in coconut oil with spinach, mushrooms, and cinnamon, plus a side of chopped tomatoes. “I haven’t cooked meat for myself in roughly six years, but I have a couple of eggs every morning. They give me tons of protein soon after waking up and keep me energized for the day.”

Lunch: Kale salad with quinoa, carrots, hummus, and avocado. “I’m usually running to meetings most days and lament not having time to make lunch. This Power Salad at Sticky Fingers Bakery is awesome, and while I’m there, I usually munch on a couple of chocolate-chip cookies.”

Snack: Crispy chickpeas. “I grab a couple of bags every afternoon for a snack. Next-level chickpea snacking sophistication: Mix the Cinnamon Toast with Spicy Cayenne.”

Dinner: Stir-fried broccoli with a peanut butter sauce. “Except for the occasional cookie or beer, I avoid most refined carbs, including white rice. For dinner, I like stir-frying a bunch of vegetables with peanut butter.”

Disclaimer: The Food Diaries series is intended to be inspirational and is not an endorsement of each individual’s diet.

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

Posted at 02:01 PM/ET, 05/27/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()