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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 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 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 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 for details.

Posted at 02:01 PM/ET, 05/27/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Six ingredients and ten minutes is all you need to make this delicious, nutrient-packed salad. By Chris Campbell
Photograph by Chris Campbell.

Kale often makes the lists of nutritionists’ favorite superfoods, but finding a tasty preparation of the hearty greens can be challenging without hiding its flavor behind a bunch of other ingredients.

The salad makes for a perfect side dish, particularly with a hearty protein such as grilled salmon. The total prep time is ten minutes or less, which makes it a perfect go-to salad whenever you need to add some color to your plate.

This recipe comes from the recently released book The Pescetarian Plan: The Vegetarian + Seafood Way to Lose Weight & Love Your Food, written by registered dietitian Janis Jibrin and restaurant consultant Sidra Forman, both of whom are based in DC. Forman says baby kale, which is more tender than fully grown kale, is in season, so finding it at farmers markets should be easy. Jibrin adds that just one cup of kale provides two and a half times the daily requirement of vitamin A and six times the daily requirement of vitamin K.

Serves 4

Nutrition per serving: 84 calories, 4 grams protein, 10 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams dietary fiber, 1 gram sugar, 4 grams total fat, 0.6 grams saturated fat, 200 milligrams total omega-3 fatty acids, 102 milligrams calcium, 177 milligrams sodium.


4 cups kale, very finely chopped and stems removed
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste


1) In a large bowl, mix tahini, vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon water until smooth.

2) Add kale and mix thoroughly with your hands. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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

Other kale recipes:
Kale and Cannellini Bean Soup
Kale Pesto

Posted at 12:16 PM/ET, 05/23/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Joseph Sigismondo works out six days a week while helping others achieve their health goals. Check out his typical daily diet. By Tanya Pai

Today’s food diarist, Joseph Sigismondo, is in charge of the personal training department at Equinox Fitness in Bethesda. This involves working both with a team of trainers on business development and with individual clients to achieve their fitness goals. Sigismondo says, “I am certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a CPT/CES/PES, as well as [in] Precision Nutrition, USA Weightlifting, USA Triathlon, Kettlebell Athletics, and TRX.”

When he’s not working, his personal fitness routine involves strength training three times a week—with moves such as Olympic lifts, squats, and kettlebell exercises—and three days of cardiovascular training like sprints, swimming, and cycling. With all that, he says, “one day per week consists of nothing but recovery!” Read on to see how he fuels up for his intense schedule.

Breakfast: Omega-3 cage-free egg, spinach, and bacon omelet, fruit, and coffee. “The high protein and healthy fat of the eggs and bacon keeps me full for the start of the day, the spinach gets me a good start on my greens intake, and the fruit and coffee give me a bit of a natural sugar and caffeine jolt to wake up and get going.”

Morning snack (not pictured): Trail mix with almonds, cashews, raisins, and dark chocolate, and a banana. “The combination of healthy fats, carbohydrate, and a little protein adds more caloric energy to begin fueling for the upcoming afternoon workout.”

Lunch: Quinoa and black beans, stir-fried free-range chicken, and mixed veggies cooked with coconut oil. “A bigger quantity of complex carbohydrates from the quinoa and lean protein from the chicken offer a moderate-calorie meal that will provide lasting energy.”

Post-workout snack: Protein shake with organic reduced-fat milk, berries, whey protein, and almond butter. “The milk offers about a two-to-one ratio of carbohydrate to protein, which is ideal for post-workout recovery, the berries and whey protein maintain the recovery ratio, and the almond butter ensures I am getting enough healthy fat throughout the day.”

Dinner: Grass-fed grilled steak, a baked sweet potato, and a mixed greens salad with berries and olive-oil vinaigrette. “Here I start to reduce the carbohydrate intake by just having a small sweet potato, but I load up on the greens and lean protein for the phytonutrients and muscle-building amino acids from the protein source.”

Dessert: Organic Greek yogurt with berries, honey, and flaxseed. “This is a nice alternative to ice cream to satisfy my sweet tooth with less guilt than would come from a high-calorie, high-sugar meal. The yogurt is high in protein, the fruit and honey add natural sweetness, and the flaxseeds add healthy fat.”

Daily supplements: Fish oil, a glucosamine/chondroitin/tumeric joint formula, and a multivitamin. “The fish oil helps me get enough omega-3 fatty acids, the joint formula helps ward off any aches and pains from workouts, and the multivitamin fills in the micronutrient gaps from anything I am missing throughout 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 for details.

Posted at 03:30 PM/ET, 05/20/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield offers up this quick treat featuring a seasonal favorite. By Chris Campbell
Photograph by Chris Campbell.

Rhubarb is one of spring's finest gifts for cooks. It pairs well with strawberries, but many lovers of the rich, red stalks are always on the lookout for ways to feature it on its own. For a simpler take, registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield offers up this quick treat that works for breakfast or dessert.

Scritchfield says when shopping for rhubarb, “choose deep red colored stalks which contain more vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant and mineral that is beneficial to eye and skin health.” Scritchfield also notes that rhubarb is rich in fiber, vitamin K, and B-complex vitamins that can help relieve digestive issues. The leftover sauce made below can be used as a tangy topping on ice cream, French toast, or pancakes.

Rhubarb Yogurt Parfait

Serves 6

Nutrition per serving: 262 calories, 32 grams carbohydrate, 23 grams protein, 5 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 3 grams fiber, 35 milligrams cholesterol, 143 milligrams sodium, 570 milligrams calcium.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes


1 pound or 4 cups of fresh rhubarb 
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
6 cups Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
Fresh mint for garnish (optional) 


1. Wash rhubarb and cut into half-inch pieces.

2. In 2-quart saucepan, heat sugar and water and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. 

2. Stir in rhubarb; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is tender and slightly transparent.

3. Remove from heat and let cool.

4. In a parfait glass or decorative bowl alternate layering yogurt and rhubarb sauce, using 1 cup yogurt and 1/2 cup rhubarb sauce per parfait. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig. 

Note: Rhubarb can vary in sweetness, so you may add more sugar based on your taste preference.


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

Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 05/16/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Her work is dedicated to helping busy professionals get healthy. What does her own diet look like? By Tanya Pai

We know a Washingtonian or two who could benefit from Nicole Desiano’s services. Desiano is the owner of Nicole’s Nurture Network, which provides wellness and life coaching to working professionals—or, as she calls them, “corporate athletes.” Her goal: to help “burned-out, overstressed, unhealthy” workers by guiding them through a step-by-step program to achieve a work/life/health balance. Desiano received her certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she was trained in more than 100 dietary theories and a variety of lifestyle coaching methods. (To learn more about her, visit her website or Facebook page.)

To keep herself fit, Desiano gets up three times a week at 4:30 for an hour and a half of rowing along the Potomac with the Alexandria Community Rowing Team. She also loves to kayak, bike, and take her greyhound for walks along the Mount Vernon Trail. Amazingly, she does it all without the help of caffeine. Read on for a look at her daily diet.

Morning joe: Herbal coffee sprinkled with cinnamon. “I’m a coffee lover; herbal coffee taste likes the real thing, without the acid and caffeine found in regular coffee.”

Breakfast (not pictured): “Greek yogurt and a banana for the potassium, which is great after a good morning row! My drink of choice throughout the day is water or coconut water for hydration.”

Lunch: Warmed spinach with pine nuts, mushrooms, asparagus, and crumbled bacon on top. “The bacon is low-sodium and baked in the oven ahead of time. Everything is slowly cooked on low to medium heat to preserve nutrients. The olive oil used to cook it creates a dressing of sorts. It can be eaten warm or cold at the office as a leftover.”

Midday snack: Ripe avocado spread over organic brown rice cakes—“easy to stash at your desk and assemble with little to no mess.”

Dinner: Salmon, Brussels sprouts, and quinoa flavored with curry, baked in parchment paper. “It’s a fantastic way to cook everything together quickly, with easy clean-up!”

Evening snack: “Organic popcorn popped on my stovetop in a large pot with olive oil, and cracked black pepper and a touch of sea salt for seasoning.

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 for details.

Posted at 11:15 AM/ET, 05/13/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()