Posts Tagged ‘healthy eating’

Farm-to-Table Turns Corporate: True Food Kitchen Opens Today in Mosaic District

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

True Food Kitchen

Photo Courtesy of Fox Restaurant Concepts.

By Susannah Black

The restaurant’s concept is simple: “farm-to-table, organic, local foods,” says Sam Fox, owner of True Food Kitchen. It’s the same ethos which has been driving the modern mom-and-pop shops and now is showing up in corporate America.

The East Coast’s first True Food Kitchen, based on the Mediterranean-leaning anti-inflammatory diet developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, opens today in Merrifield‘s Mosaic District.  

Weil, a renowned doctor, professor and author, collaborates with Fox to create this nutritional menu. With Weil’s assistance, Fox says “all of the food on the menu has been thought out about how it reacts in your body.”  For example, Fox says “a lot of our dishes are gluten-free or dairy-free” and added are “special spices and herbs to reduce inflammation,” as “Andy believes that inflammation is the root of a lot of diseases.” 

Also behind the menu, Michael Obermeier, Fairfax’s True Food Kitchen’s executive chef, relocated to the D.C. area from West Palm Beach after becoming connected with Fox: “Fox found me … I was looking to broaden my horizons and when this opportunity came my way, I kind of jumped on it.” Obermeier reiterates Dr. Weil’s and Fox’s dedication to a menu with nutritionally high standards. “Everything that we do is supposed to be natural … introduce nothing but good products.”

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Now Open in Ashburn: Garden of Eatin’ Grab and Go Café

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Executive Chef Kiet Ly / Photo courtesy Melanie Schmidt

By Evan Milberg

Doctors often tell their patients they need to eat better. Nova Medical & Urgent Care Center founder and CEO Dr. Grace Keenan has taken it a step further: She created her own restaurant, Garden of Eatin’ Grab and Go Café, to make sure Nova Medical’s “patients and employees … have access to healthy, delicious food at a low cost.” The cafe opened two weeks ago. 

“As an employer, I am tired of hosting off-site meetings and asking for healthy options and being presented with M&M filled trail mix, muffins and granola bars covered in icing and sandwiches smothered in sauces,” Keenan says. She cultivated a passion for home-cooked, nutritious food at a young age while being raised on a potato farm in rural Canada.

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Hunger Will Do That to You

I have learned that if I am hungry enough, I will eat anything. Honestly, I would probably eat a clod of dirt when I get to the point of ravenous no return. So when I am hungry and I only happen to have healthy options on hand, it is devoured as if it were a filet mignon accompanied by cheesey potatoes. 

I remember attending this seminar when I worked for a bank in Wisconsin; we had a guest speaker who competed in this race with Navy Seals in Australia. I think it was like Iron Man times five or something. I will always remember her for how she inspired me and this story she told:

She talked about having to climb mountains and waterfalls, walk for days in the desert, trek through rivers and finish with kayaking through the ocean.  At one point, she and her team of Navy Seals were low on food and everyone began to empty their packs to see if they could find something, anything to eat. A small bagel was found at the very bottom of her pack floating in some murky water. Triumphant, she inhaled this soggy, dirt-flecked bagel and she maintains that to this day it was the best bagel she’s ever eaten. 

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I’ll Just Scare the Fat Off of Me

This week I moved into high gear and met with both the metabolic specialist and nutritionist at my work. The findings were very interesting. Besides the things I already knew (I should consume far less sugar and I all but decimated my metabolism at the Ranch) I was informed that I may have a gluten and dairy intolerance—though it could’ve been far worse, like a chocolate and coffee intolerance and then I would’ve just had to jump off a bridge.

I was also told that doing Alpha and yoga (both forms of strength training) isn’t helping me to lose weight. On the contrary while I wrongly assumed yoga was cardio—it is not—I also thought that the harder the workout, the more results I would have. This is also not true. Turns out I burn straight fat when I am walking at a decent clip for an extended period of time.

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Eating for Success: Five-Day Meal Plan to Kickstart Your Health Goals

Eating protein rich meals high in vitamins and minerals throughout the day will give you energy and help curb hunger cravings. To help you shed a few pounds we’ve developed a few quick-fix recipes around a 5-day healthy meal plan of about 1500 calories – the amount of calories to help most women and men lose weight.

Five-Day Meal Plan to Kickstart Your Health Goals

Photo courtesy of Karyna Che/Shutterstock.com

Monday

Five-Day Meal Plan to Kickstart Your Health Goals

Photo courtesy of MaraZe/Shutterstock.com.

Breakfast
1 pack low-sugar oatmeal or 1/3 cup dry oatmeal with 1/2 cup skim, almond, rice or soy milk
1/2 large banana
4 unsalted walnut or pecan halves
Coffee or tea (optional) with 1/2 cup skim, almond rice or soy milk

Snack
6 oz container of 0 percent fat Greek yogurt
3/4 cup raspberries

Lunch
Turkey Sandwich (1 serving)
1 cup lettuce and 1/2 cup non-starchy vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, etc.)
Drizzle salad with 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Snack
1 oz low-fat cheese
1 1/4 cup whole strawberries

Five-Day Meal Plan to Kickstart Your Health Goals

Photo courtesy of Tim UR/Shutterstock.com.

Dinner
Summer Salmon (1 serving)
2 cups of raw spinach sautéed with cooking spray and 1 clove of garlic
1 oz (small) dinner roll

 

Tuesday

Breakfast
1 slice whole-grain toast with 1/2 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 small banana
Small skim or soy milk caffe latte or 1 cup skim, almond, or light soymilk

Snack
1 orange
1/2 cup of 1 percent fat cottage cheese

Lunch
Tuna Sandwich (1 serving)
1 cup lettuce and 1/2 cup non-starchy vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, etc.)
Drizzle salad with 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Snack
1 low-fat cheese stick
9 whole-wheat crackers (about 1-inch squares)

Dinner
Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore (1 serving)
1 cup cooked pasta

 

Wednesday

Breakfast
Smoothie (1 serving)
1 frozen whole grain waffle
1 tsp trans-fat free margarine
Coffee or tea (optional) with 1/2 cup skim, almond, rice or soy milk

Snack
1 small apple
1/2 Tbsp. peanut butter/nut butter

Five-Day Meal Plan to Kickstart Your Health Goals

Photo courtesy of Olga Nayashkova/Shutterstock.com.

Lunch
From your favorite Restaurant
Grilled Chicken Sandwich with 1 teaspoon of mayo
Side salad with 2 tbsp of low-fat dressing

Snack
6 oz container of 0 percent fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup canned pineapple

Dinner
Fast Chili (1 serving)
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 taco shell or 1 x 6 inch tortilla

 

Thursday

Five-Day Meal Plan to Kickstart Your Health Goals

Photo courtesy of MaraZe/Shutterstock.com.

Breakfast
3/4 cup unsweetened cereal or 1/2 cup sweetened cereal
1/2 cup skim, almond, rice or soy milk
1/2 large banana or 3/4 cup berries
4 unsalted walnut or pecan halves
Coffee or tea (optional) with 1/2 cup skim, almond rice or soy milk

Snack
2 tangerines
1 oz low fat cheese

Lunch
Chicken Salad Sandwich (1 serving)
1 cup lettuce and 1/2 cup non-starchy vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, etc.)
Drizzle salad with 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Snack
1/2 cup fat-free frozen yogurt
3/4 cup berries

Dinner
Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas (1 serving)
2 x 6 inch tortillas or 2 taco shells

 

Friday

Five-Day Meal Plan to Kickstart Your Health Goals

Photo courtesy of noonday/Shutterstock.com.

Breakfast
1 Bagel Thin®
2 Tbsp low-fat cream cheese
1/2 grapefruit
Small skim caffe latte or 1 cup skim, almond, or light soymilk

Snack
1/2 cup canned peaches (in its own juice)
1/2 cup fat-free or 1 percent fat cottage cheese

Lunch
Egg White Omelet (1 serving)
1 English Muffin
1 tsp trans-fat free margarine

Snack
3 cups plain popcorn
1 low-fat cheese stick

Dinner
Stuffed Peppers (1 serving)
1/3 cup cooked rice or quinoa

*This information is for general purposes only and is not intended for use by pregnant and lactating women or individuals with any health issues.

Also, check out these 10 healthy recipes you can integrate into you meal plan.


Christine Haas, M.S., L.D.N., C.N.S., C.P.T., is the president and director of NuWeights Nutrition and Personal Training, a nutrition and fitness business with six offices throughout the D.C.-Metro area. She is licensed and certified by the American College of Nutrition and the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

 

 

(March 2014)

 

 

 



The Battle of the Sugar Demons

I have heard that going off of sugar affects your brain in the same way as going off cocaine. I feel a little bit better and a little bit worse having this knowledge. The fact that cocaine users and myself share some common thread of addiction is well, a bit shocking. But the fact that my attempting to give up sugar (err well not exactly give up, but diminish its use greatly)  could in any way resemble someone giving up a hard drug gives me a sense of, we’re in this together

I feel the same kinship with alcoholics. I get it man. Going cold turkey on anything is an absolute drag. The only thing I’m slightly jealous of when it comes to alcoholics is the fact that when they commit and are successful to giving up alcohol, they generally avoid alcohol like the plague from then on out. I can’t give up food. That would be anorexia and I don’t have that kind of follow-through.

I tried being anorexic once as a child and went the better part of a day without eating, had a half a PB&J at lunch because I was going mad, then managed to make it ’til about 7 p.m. when I broke down in tears to my mom that I had been starving myself.

I was rewarded with Arby’s. My brief stint with anorexia was demolished by my want of a Roast Beef and Cheddar.  

I just freaking love food. Even more so I love sugar. Oh, I want sugar all day long. I don’t exaggerate. I want it when I wake up in the form of chocolate chip scones or doughnuts. I want it in the afternoon in the form of cookies or chocolate. And I especially want it after dinner, because, dessert, duh, that’s what’s supposed to happen. 

So naturally I have been fighting the sugar demons left and right since really devoting myself to a healthier lifestyle. I mean it is an all-day battle. That’s why yesterday when my freezer was overflowing with frozen bananas I was saving for smoothies or banana bread I decided to thaw some for the latter. I, of course, was going to try the healthy route and make it good for me, or as good for me as bread can be. I ended up taking out too many bananas so I decided to make muffins and bread. 

I made a sugar-free banana bread with wheat flour, (and maybe some extra dark chocolate pieces sprinkled in, just for a little sweetness) and banana wheat muffins with carrots and Craisins®. Both turned out splendidly, though the sugar-free bread definitely needed the chocolate as a balance. Now of course this morning when I woke up wanting pastry’s and decadence, I didn’t feel too terribly bad straying from my Greek yogurt to have a banana muffin. At least for today. Muffins and bread, sadly, aren’t a sound choice everyday.

And it’s back to my war with the sugar demons. But at least people trying to ween off of cocaine can empathize with my plight. Sugar has to be 1,000 times more delicious than cocaine. 

-Cassandra 
 



A No Good, Very Bad Day

Yesterday was awful. One little misstep turned into an all day free-for-all in which I later laid in bed feeling horribly guilty ruminating over all the mistakes I made over the course of the day, and why oh why I didn’t do it differently.

There is this quote that really sums it up:

Failure to plan is planning to fail. 

I have always loathed this quote because I think it cramps my creative and spontaneous style, but it’s so painfully true. 

I woke up yesterday actually craving my Greek yogurt, cinnamon and apple concoction with some hot coffee from my French Press. However, while I waited for the water to get toasty in my pink tea kettle, I opened the fridge and saw the chocolate peanut butter filled, chocolate ganache topped cake my sister decided to make the night before. Well maybe just a bite while I wait for the coffee.

A whole piece of cake later, the coffee was done and I was no longer hungry for Greek yogurt and apples. So I sipped on my coffee and read for a bit planning on going to yoga at noon. I woke up my sister to see if she wanted to go to yoga with me. She did not. It made me waver. Maybe I would go later then or something. Yes, I’ll just go later, I decided, though my instincts, much like earlier in the morning were rallying for me not to put it off and attend yoga.

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Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too

Since I have begun my expedition of making healthy lifestyle choices versus frantic all-consuming dieting, I have lost 4 lbs. During my time spent on “The Biggest Loser” I lost 14 lbs the first week. When I have done Weight Watchers repeatedly in the past I usually lose something around 7 lbs the first week. Comparatively speaking this may look like an epic failure or sheer laziness, while on the contrary my body may be moving at a much slower pace this time around but my mind feels a lot less like an anorexic trapped inside a bread factory. 

The number on the scale may say one thing, but here are the non-number accomplishments:

I have worked out more in the last three weeks than I have in the last six months and honestly, I have enjoyed almost every minute. Except for Tabata Fusion, a class I tried at my gym that mirrors the Insanity workouts, with twenty seconds on and ten seconds rest for an hour. During the whole workout all I could do was mutter f**k repeatedly under my breath (I turn into a bit of a filthy sailor when I am pushed to my workout threshold) and hold down the urge to flee. The next three days I had to leverage myself down with the counter in order to use the bathroom, or throw myself into my car sideways because I couldn’t bend my legs. 

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The Tantalizing Allure of Trader Joe’s

The other day after I made myself try out the Core class (decently hard but only 15 minutes versus the hour I anticipated) at my gym, I decided to reward myself by going shopping at Trader Joe’s. I wanted some of their superb coffee for my new French press and I told myself I could pick out some fun healthy goodies while I was there. I gave myself a $25 budget and reminded myself not to go overboard.

Then I walked in. Gosh, how did I forget how fantastic Trader Joe’s is,  I thought immediately upon spotting all the gluten-free bread and bakery. I didn’t need any of that, however, so I steered clear, well, with a few lingering glances and made my way to the fruits and veggies. I decided that once there I would get the ingredients I needed for a salmon artichoke quiche I was wanting to try. The budget now had to be bumped up to $50, because I was doing one-stop shopping, so that was allowed. 

As I tried to be simple in the produce aisle, I kept hearing my inner voice chime in that I definitely needed an avocado, and a pear, and an onion, and a lemon, and a lime, and a pomegranate and fresh artichoke instead of canned, and why buy singles of all this produce, when clearly bags were only a little bit more and I would get all that extra. Oh, and tomatoes and sweet potatoes and edamame! And as I looked down I realized I could possibly be going overboard already. I sternly reminded myself again, do not go overboard

But then I laughed to myself looking at all the beautifully colored produce and thought, how could I possibly go overboard on health? 

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The Sahara Date Company: Importing Date Culture from Saudi Arabia

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Photo by Evan Milberg

“I didn’t know what they were,” says Maile Ramzi, on the first time she saw dates. Growing up in Maryland, she wasn’t familiar with the ancient fruit and was surprised when her now-husband brought them with him to their tennis date. “They didn’t look that appealing to me. Then he explained to me that there were 300 different types of dates.” With one bite, Ramzi  joined what she refers to as “date culture”: A commitment to healthy eating that centers on the daily consumption of dates. “Once you’ve tasted them, they become something you just have to have,” Ramzi says.

Three months ago, dates officially became Ramzi’s life. Previously a lobbyist on K Street, she moved to Saudi Arabia with her Egyptian husband in 2007 and started eating dates daily. When Ramzi moved back to the area in 2012, she remembers asking her husband, “How am I going to keep myself supplied with dates?” She decided to open The Sahara Date Company, importing dates from Saudi Arabia. I can’t say I missed the hot weather,” says Ramzi. “But I definitely missed the dates,” which she says are are a sign of hospitality in the country and play an important part in the culture: Date shops are as ubiquitous as Starbucks, says Ramzi, and new mothers often receive gift of dates.  

The Sahara Date Company sells eight types of dates. After tasting six—my first time eating dates—my favorites are sukkary, ajwa and safawi. Ramzi says the sukkary is the most popular date in Saudi Arabia and is rich in fiber; I found it sweet and chewy. The ajwa is the most expensive and the rarest of the Saudi dates. It tasted nutty with a creamy aftertaste. Safawi can be used as a chocolate substitute for desserts: Ramzi once fooled her husband into thinking a safawi date cake was made from chocolate.

Ultimately, Ramzi’s goal is encourage date-eating in this country, especially children in Fairfax County. “That’s real food and it kind of connects you to the natural world,” Ramzi says.  “This is how food is supposed to be eaten.  Not opening a box, not fried. My dream is to see it in vending machines in Fairfax County public schools.  I mean, it would be so easy, because they have a two-year shelf life. All these little things that have been processed out of our diet. Surprisingly, they’re just little powerhouses of nutrition.  They’re totally cool.” / The Sahara Date Company, 8456 Tyco Road, Vienna. 

*This post has been updated



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