Posts Tagged ‘Northern Virginia Magazine’

New Fitness App Uses Insults as Incentive

By Taylor Ness

CARROT Fit Screenshots

CARROT Fit Screenshots. Photo courtesy of CARROT.

For years now we’ve been watching the harsh tactics of fitness moguls like Jillian Michaels who insist on all-or-nothing attitudes. Now you can experience the insults, embarrassment and torture firsthand with CARROT Fit, the “judgmental weight tracker.” The hilarious motivational health and fitness app tracks your progress towards a weight-loss goal, offering comic relief on the way. The app that makes losing weight less of a drag is available for $1.99 on the Apple Store. But be careful and don’t say we didn’t warn you that “when CARROT gets mean, there is a 74.9 percent chance that she will make you cry,” according to the app description.


Start your day with a Green-ya Colada Smoothie

By Taylor Ness

Green-ya Colada Smoothie

Green-ya Colada Smoothie. Photo courtesy of Danielle Omar Nutrition.

Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so you shouldn’t spoil it with something unhealthy. A quick and simple solution to breakfast is a smoothie. You can enjoy it at home or take it on-the-go, and with the right ingredients it can leave you satisfied for hours. 

The Green-ya Colada Smoothie was created by Danielle Omar, local dietitian/nutritionist, cookbook author and nutrition spokesperson. Her approach to nutrition consists of three steps, learn it, live and and love it. And there’s no way not to love this smoothie, which is filled with fiber and protein.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Yields 1-2, 1 cup servings


- 4-6 oz unsweetened coconut milk

- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes

- 2 cups bunch baby spinach

- 1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt

- 5 sprigs fresh mint

- 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks

- 1/2 banana

- 2 Tbsp. Flax seed, ground



  1. Place spinach, yogurt and coconut milk in blender and process on high until liquid.
  2. Add pineapple, fresh mint, flax seed, shredded coconut and banana, blend until smooth.
Nutritional Information per 1 cup serving
- Calories: 351.7
- Total Fat: 10.7 g
- Saturated Fat: 3.8 g
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.8 g
- Monounsaturated Fat: 1.0 g
- Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
- Protein: 32.2 g
- Carbohydrate: 43.8 g
- Sodium: 271.0 mg
- Potassium: 1.088.4 mg
- Sugars: 23.2 g
- Dietary Fiber: 32.2 g

Sweet Belly Cookies Opens a Pop-Up In Arlington and a Shop in Falls Church

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Photo Courtesy of Pat Giannelli

By Natalie Manitius

A new addition is in the works for the Falls Church food scene: Sweet Belly Cookies. The small dessert business that frequents the Falls Church farmers market recently announced a brick and mortar location opening in The Little City, and hopes for a May opening. For now, through April, Sweet Belly will have a pop-up location at Twisted Vines starting this Thursday, offering cookies and treats to go. 

Sweet Belly came into being in 2010 under the name of Panchadulce Artisan Cookies, and was a hobby on the side for Priscilla Giannelli and husband Pat. The business was named after Priscilla’s grandmother, nicknamed Pancha Dulce—which means sweet Grandma, and eventually changed its name to Sweet Belly Cookies. What began as a service for close friends and family became a part of the Falls Church farmers market ensemble in 2011, where it has since been attending year-round. The Giannellis also sell at The Organic Butcher of McLean and Mrs. Green’s in Fairfax

Read the rest of this entry »

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/


Five-Day Meal Plan to Kickstart Your Health Goals

Photo courtesy of MaraZe/

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

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

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

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/

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

Five-Day Meal Plan to Kickstart Your Health Goals

Photo courtesy of Olga Nayashkova/

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

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

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



Five-Day Meal Plan to Kickstart Your Health Goals

Photo courtesy of MaraZe/

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

2 tangerines
1 oz low fat cheese

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

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

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



Five-Day Meal Plan to Kickstart Your Health Goals

Photo courtesy of noonday/

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

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

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

3 cups plain popcorn
1 low-fat cheese stick

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)




Closings, delays continue after latest snowstorm; National Parks bring $1 billion to Va.

By Janeé Williams

Closings, delays continue after latest snowstorm

National Parks brings in $1 billion to Virginia in 2012

Former McDonnell appointee launches fitness tech startup

Putin says he will protect Russians in Ukraine
(Washington Post)

It’s a Happy 14th Anniversary for Bellacara and You

Posted by Editorial / Monday, March 3rd, 2014

By Taylor Ness

Bellacara Anniversary Sale

Bellacara Anniversary Sale. Photo courtesy of Bellacara.

You’re going to want to celebrate, and it’s not just because of Bellacara‘s 14th Anniversary. The Alexandria location is hosting a 15 percent store-wide discount to commemorate it’s place as Northern Virginia’s preeminent cosmetic, skin-care and hair-care boutique on Saturday, March 8. All of Bellacara’s high end products are personally tested by owner Angela Sitilides, including name brands like KiehlsSt. Tropez and Stila. And don’t take your time getting there, because the first 50 customers who spend $250 or more, after the 15 percent discount, will receive a gift bag valued at $250. The Alexandria store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located at 1000 King Street.

FBI seeks to Purge NoVA of Public Corruption; Lovettsville Residents Urged to Boil Water Before Drinking

By Shelby Robinson

Fairfax County teachers to stop writing student recommendations and other unpaid aspects of their job to protest pay cuts
(Washington Post)


Lovettsville residents have been urged by Loudoun County to boil their water before drinking until further notice


Virginia’s Western Forensics Lab begins $40 Mil. expansion, doubling  the amount of forensics and medical examiner jobs in VA
(Washington Post)


FBI has begun a campaign to cut down corruption in Northern Virginia public offices
(Loudoun Times-Mirror)

Little Nibble: Cheng’s Asian House


Cheng’s Asian House
For: Not Asian


Cheng's Asian House

Photo by Stefanie Gans.

4090 Airline Parkway, Chantilly

The server stood at the edge of our booth. And waited. I couldn’t let the request out of my mouth: I was about to order flounder au gratin at an Asian restaurant. I’m glad I did. The steamed, then baked, fish arrives in a silver fish-shaped platter and is utterly tender. It combines heavy cream and cheddar with Maggi Seasoning (like soy) and cilantro, mixing Continental cooking with Eastern flavors. It’s a dish that owner Louis Cheng, 69, has kept on the menu at his various restaurants for the last 10 years after learning it from a Filipino employee. 

We also admired heavily salt-and-peppered fried calamari, although the wasabi aioli didn’t bring the heat. The fresh pancake wrappers, made by Chen’s wife, were the highlight of the standard moo shu pork. Dinner ended with fried pumpkin sticky rice that is like a gelatinous spin on funnel cake, and even better with coconut-cinnamon sauce.-Stefanie Gans

Cheng’s Asian House, 703-657-3383

(February 2014)

‘Reading: A Family Affair’

Posted by Editorial / Friday, February 28th, 2014

By Janeé Williams

Photo courtesy of Daniel Afzal.

Reading is definitely fundamental and it’s something that parents should continue to do with their children. The Literacy Council of Northern Viginia (LCNV) is helping parents keep the tradition alive with the eighth annual ‘Reading: A Familly Affair’ (RAFA). This one-day festival is a celebration of books through performance. Their focus is to continue encouraging families to read together.

This event brings reading alive through a variety of performances from seeing a book performed on stage to hearing it sung to you by musical storytellers. Your kids will get to meet Clifford the Big Red Dog and each child will receive a free book to take home and read together with their family. A variety of performers and entertainers (Magicians, puppeteers, musicians and dancers) will all come together to support and encourage reading within your family.

Courtesy of Daniel Afzal

The LCNV is a program that focuses on adult learners. The group teaches beginning-level English to adults who want to improve their literacy and that of their children.

“More than 50 percent of our adult learners take beginning-level English classes with the express goal of helping their children succeed in school,” said Patti Donnelly, Executive Director for the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia. “LCNV’s Family Learning Program evolved to meet that need. Our annual event, Reading: A Family Affair, shines a light on and helps to support that initiative.”

The program also supplies instruction for parents while their children can participate or receive homework help. Twice a month the child joins their parent in the classroom for Parent and Child Together Time (PCET), encouraging family literacy.

Help encourage your family to read together at LCNV ‘Reading: A Family Affair.’

The Literacy Council of Northern Viginia Presents:’Reading: A Familly Affair’
James Lee Community Center
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, 22042


Decor tips from Redecorate Today’s Jennifer Mangum and Suzan Meredith

By Anjelica Michael

A powerful Northern Virginia Duo help local homeowners redecorate.

Photo courtesy of Redecorate Today.

Redecorate Today founders Jennifer Mangum and Suzan Meredith came together in 2005 to shared their passions to create a successful redecorating business in Northern Virginia. We caught up with Jennifer and Meredith to discuss their business and what they think of current trends in home decor. 


NVM: How did the two of you start your partnership? 

Jennifer: “We started our partnership in 2005.  We both were interested in starting a design business and thought it would be much more fun to do it together.  I feel so fortunate to have such a great partner to work with, it’s especially helpful to bounce creative ideas off one another.  It’s a good to have some checks and balances when you are working on a project.  Other designers often tell us they wish they had a partner, because it can becoming daunting on their own. ”  


Q: So what do you do at Redecorate Today?

Suzan: “We are a full service design firm.  If you need a contractor, we can help you.  If you need custom window treatments, we can help you.  Floor plans, furniture and flooring, a beautiful room pallet with art and accessories is our ultimate goal for any room or your entire home.  We treat the design process as one of collaboration, not dictation and like helping people incorporate items that they already have.”


Q: What is your No. 1 tip for redecorating this season? 

Jennifer: “I would say take a look around your home and see if your current color palette is outdated.  Gray paired with vibrant hues is a great new look.  People often associate gray with a cool palette.  But there are plenty of warm toned gray’s out there, and then you can punch it up with a vivid purple, pink, orange or citrine, or all of the above. “ 


Q: How should people decide when to redecorate? 

Suzan: “Normally this happens when all the stars align and you have a budget that you have allocated for the room or project(s).  People should decide to redecorate and renovate before the bathroom remodel has already started.  Often we are called upon to help people out of mid-project design disasters.” 


Q: What do you feel like sets your business apart from your competitors?

Photo Courtesy of Redecorate Today.

Jennifer: “I would say our team approach definitely sets us apart from our competitors.  We also really try to find each of our clients individual style and have that represented in their home.  That way they love their surroundings and feel comfortable in their home.  It’s always so rewarding when our clients are happy with the end results.”


Q: What is your favorite trend in redecorating right now? 

Suzan: “The freedom of being eclectic. “ 


What do you like most about working in Northern Virginia?

Jennifer: “This area is full of such interesting and different people.  I love getting to know our clients and the different backgrounds they come from.  It’s especially fun to decorate with some of the treasures many of our clients have collected from around the world.”

Suzan:  ”It is such a large and diverse area, that the type of client is different every time.  Northern Virginia homes are, for the most part, built in a traditional fashion.  Often that traditional style needs to be made more personal  - a flair of contemporary items or unconventional colors makes it the client’s own.”


To learn more about Redecorate Today and the services they offer, visit 

Photo Courtesy of Redecorate Today.




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