Food: Snacks You Can Feel Good About

Snacks, they can be the most neglected aspect of meal planning, and thus can be the area most likely to sabotage your healthy eating efforts.  Just look at the common workplace vending machine, party appetizer spread or gas station pantry (and we would rather you didn’t) and it is no wonder why “snacking” gets a bad rap. This month I want to share with you some great ideas to inspire your snacking to new levels of health.  To be worthwhile, a snack is supposed to provide a nourishing boost of energy to carry you to the next meal and keep your metabolism running strong all day long. A healthy snack is a balanced mini-meal containing carbohydrates, protein and fat. So, what is your little Ziplock baggie of carrot sticks and celery missing (besides being totally uninventive?)  Fat and protein!  Raw vegetables are an excellent way to boost your enzyme and fiber count for the day, just be sure to have a few homemade dressing recipes on file and/or dips to include with it.  One of my favorite ways to spruce up a crudités plate is with tahini dressing.  Most health food stores have it or you can make it yourself—1 onion, 1 stalk celery, 2 TBS fermented soy sauce, juice of 2 lemons, ½ cup tahini, 4TBS olive oil, 1TBS flax oil. Blend it in a food processer and add water to make it the desired consistency.  Add some of this good stuff and you’ve just included great fat and protein into your snack. Below are some other snack ideas, and some tips about how to make them better. Typical Snack: Apple. Snack Make Over: Apple dipped in raw nut butter and drizzled with raw honey. An apple is almost the perfect fruit.  It has enough fiber to blunt the effect of fructose on your blood sugar, plus, adding protein and fat in the form of nut butter and some raw honey to kill any sweet craving! Typical Snack: Yogurt smoothie with whey protein and berries. Seems good. It is! Here are ways to make it better! Snack Make Over: Plain yogurt, serving of whey protein, 1 TBS of coconut oil, handful of raw almonds or macadamia nuts, scoop of green powder, berries and maple syrup or raw honey. This embellished snack will now provide more than just protein and carbs, but lots of great healthy fat from the nuts and lauric acid from the coconut oil (an oil that boosts metabolism!), is a tasty way to sneak in your greens as well! Typical Snack: Package of string cheese. Snack Make Over: Contains 6 grams of protein and a little bit of fat (remember, this is a good thing!) but, it is void of significant carbohydrates and because we are striving for balance, try this instead: A slice of raw cheddar cheese folded into a piece of Ezekiel sprouted grain pita,dipped in organic hummus. Typical Snack: Power bar/cliff bar/luna bar/zone bar etc… Snack Make Over: Ditch the soy and sugar filled bars—which are really just candy bars disguised as “health food”.  Note sugar is disguised on labels as anything ending in “ose” but also includes things like evaporated cane juice, corn syrup, maltodextrin, and don’t even get me started on Aspartame), Instead, go for a Lara bar or something similar with simple and pronounceable ingredients. Our favorites are Garden of Life’s Fuco protein bar. Or better yet, make your own! Here’s a recipe and a picture of Carob Chews from Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions On the stove top, over a double boiler mix the following: 1/2 cup raw carob (I like to use cocoa powder) ½ cup raw honey 1 TBS vanilla 1 TSP sea salt Mix the above until melted Add melted mixture to: 1 cup ground up crispy almonds 1 cup ground up crispy cashews 1 cup coconut meat In a food processor, pulse the above a few times until blended. Press onto a cookie sheet lined with buttered parchment paper and refrigerate for several hours. Cut into small squares and store in an airtight container.  Delicious! Typical Snack: Bag of potato chips Snack Make Over: Don’t you wish I would simply say “organic potato chips”? J Nope! There is not much that a bag of fried potatoes is going to do for you in terms of adding to your health. Swap it out for a hard-boiled egg and some kale chips for a tasty, salty crunch. Or try my favorite—pop your own organic popcorn in coconut oil, add melted butter, sea salt and brewer’s yeast and tackle that salty crunchy craving with tons of amino acids and and B vitamins. Typical Snack: Trail mix: Salted and roasted nuts with a sprinkling of raisins, (usually coated in canola oil for shine), M&M’s for a splash of color (compliments of the food dyes made from coal tar), and so on. Snack Make Over: Make your own trail mix using quality, raw nuts made crispy style. Ditch the oily raisins and go for dried unsweetened cherries, blueberries or currants. Dice up some unsulfured apricots to take care of your sweet tooth and throw in a small amount of cocoa nibs, organic chocolate chips, or chopped, dried dates. Basically, just raid the bulk section of your local health food store for a custom blend of things you like! Typical snack: Starbucks afternoon “I am desperate for a boost” coffee-run. We have all been there, and temptations may be just as hard to overcome as the disaster of a sugar crash later, but don’t put that Starbucks card away so fast. Snack Make Over: Green tea (iced or hot) and one of their fruit, nut and cheese/protein snack plates.  Also, the Vivanno smoothie uses milk, a banana and whey protein, not a bad option in a bind! In Summary: Snacking can also provide an opportunity to consume “super foods.” While super foods may not provide as much balance in terms of macronutrients (carbs protein and fat) as the ideas listed above, nor do they provide much in the way of calories, they are nutrient dense and are a superior source of anti-oxidants and the essential nutrients - nutrients we need but cannot make ourselves. Examples of super foods include:
  • Bee super foods such as bee pollen, propylis, and royal jelly.
  • Green super foods such as shots of wheat grass, drops of chlorophyll, or scoops of spiriulina and blue green alge
  • In addition to green super foods I must mention the power of sea vegetables. They offer loads of vitamin C; help to alkalize the blood and shed excess weight by directly providing much needed iodine for the thyroid.  Add them to soups, sprinkle crumbles on salads, or take them in pill form for something easy!
  • Lastly your fruit and nut super foods include goji berries, acai berries, noni berries, coconut (as well as coconut oil) and everyone’s favorite, raw cocoa (be sure it is raw in order to insure all of the heat sensitive nutrients have not been destroyed).
In Short: If you come to think of a snack as something that nourishes you rather than just something to kill a hunger pang, you are starting to get it.  I hope you found some good ideas above!  Happy Snacking! Here’s to your health, Nina Elliot


News From Around the Block - March 2010

Studio C Open House: March 19th 2-6ish p.m.

Finally!  After 15 months of waiting, in just a few days we will be ready to show off the project we have been working on for so long!  You won’t find a place like it!  Come meet our trainers, play with our new toys, register for some great prizes (including free services), see a Muscle Activation Techniques demonstration, chow down on some healthy snacks and more!  We can’t wait to see you there.  Bring a friend and get a second registration in our drawing if you mention this article. Open House Prizes and Specials In addition to the above we will also have stations where people can compete against people of their own gender for various prizes.  We’ll also be offering “During Open House Only” discounts on services. Competition Categories: ·      Longest Plank in the TRX ·      Furthest Rope Climb in 60 seconds ·      Most Push-Ups in the Rings ·      Most Jumping Jacks with Battling Rope ·      Best Time in the Prowler Pushing Challenge ·      Most Tractor Tire Slams with Sledge Hammer ·      Most Holes Used on the Pegboard Special Offers: During the Open House Only 10% off all services – CAN be combined with other Special Offers Buy 24 sessions (payment plan option available) get a $100 Supplement Credit Buy 48 Sessions (payment plan option available) get a Free Body Bugg Grand Prize: 10 free Personal Training Session OR Services Sampler (2 hours of each of our most popular services), 2 hours each of Personal Training, Muscle Activation Techniques, Martial Arts, Pilates, Nutrition Consultation) Studio B and the Pilates Transformation Pilates never looked and felt so good.  If you’ve not peeked inside Studio B in the last few days then you might have missed the awesome new equipment that just arrived.  We are thrilled to finally be able to offer Private and Semi-Private Pilates in its most grand form.  It may be the most unique and challenging form of exercise out there.  If you’ve never tried it, stop by for a free session with Heather and find out what you’ve been missing, or come by during our Open House for a free demonstration. New Trainer We are proud to announce the arrival of Sumi Singh as the newest member of our Personal Training team.  In addition to being exceptionally fit, she is also a wife, mother, part-time author, and someone knows what it takes to strike a work(out)/life balance—she got in figure competitor shape while working a 40+ hour a week “real job”.  She not only excels at helping her clients develop specific plans to bust through fitness plateaus, but she also understands the holistic nutrition principles we promote at the studio.  Needless to say she brings a world of experience to the team and we are excited to have her!  You can view her full bio here on our website, and you can meet her at our upcoming Open House.  Come schedule a consultation with her while she still has some hours available!


Client Corner: Tara Jones

What brought you to Health and Wholeness? I've known the Elliots for quite a few years and always enjoyed hanging out with them; especially playing volleyball. I knew how dedicated they were to healthy living and I've always loved their positive outlook. After my mom was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, I decided that I would make my health a much higher priority. When Nina included me on the email distribution list for her first Boot Camp session, I decided to try it. I've been hooked ever since. I have also taken advantage of the Nutrition Consultation with Nina, as well as having Jeremy "torture" me with Muscle Activation Techniques to get me ready for my first marathon last year. I would not have been able to do it without their help! How many days a week do you train? I do Boot Camp three days a week. When I'm training for a race or a marathon, I do short-ish runs two days a week and then a long run on Sundays. I also try to do yoga twice a week. When I'm not training for a run, I have time to return to the water for swimming workouts, which are still my favorite! What is/are your biggest motivator(s)? Nina's guns! Have you seen her muscles? What could be more motivating than those?!? I am also motivated by the fact that my parents are working hard now to live a healthy lifestyle and my mom is in remission. We have essentially decided to be on this health journey together. We share information and motivate each other. They now have a trainer and they workout together. I am so proud of them and they motivate me to keep it up! What is the most significant change you have made/noticed since coming to Health and Wholeness? I'm sore all the time -- but it's a good sore; the kind where I feel like I've earned it! Once I had my nutrition consultation with Nina, I have a seen a huge difference in the way I feel overall. I don't wake up with a sour stomach anymore (previously an almost daily occurrence) and I don't need coffee to wake up in the morning (who does when you've started your day at Boot Camp?). I feel great. I feel strong. I feel healthy - and that's the most important thing to me. What advice would you give someone starting on his or her own health journey? There is nothing you can't accomplish. Set good goals and maintain a positive attitude (which is impossible not to have if you're working out with Health and Wholeness!). I had a good friend in college who was a serious cyclist. When people would ask him for advice on how to get as good as he was, he would always say, "Find a coach that you trust, and do everything he says." You have to put in the work, trust your coaches to push you to the limit, and then reap the rewards. You will not regret a single minute spent on improving your health!


Fitness: Pilates "On Steroids"

Fitness: Pilates “On Steroids” If you’ve ever tried Pilates before, chances are you’ve done it on a mat…on the floor.  What you may not know about, or may not have tried, are the fancy, “medieval” looking devices originally devised by Joseph Pilates himself.  While mat Pilates can be great, going from the floor to the machines is like going from the kiddy pool to the ocean.  There is a vast world of exercise options (about 600 exercises) that are impossible to do on a mat but can be done on the machines.  But, before I tell you what our new, odd looking devices are for, let me answer a few questions about Pilates first. The most common question I get is pretty straightforward: Why do Pilates? Many people have never even heard of it, and others think it is basically a rehabilitative type discipline or another form of stretching? Why Do Pilates? What brings one person to Pilates may be totally different than what brings another.  While one person may come for the hard core workout, another may come for rehabilitation from an injury such as a back, hip or knee injury.  Still others do Pilates because they like the stability they feel afterward and the long lean muscles Pilates is famous for developing.  Many people use Pilates to improve performance in a sport such as golf, tennis, or even football (see the article on our website about an NFL quarterback who does Pilates), while others just do Pilates because they need to improve posture, coordination and body-awareness.  Whatever the reason, the best part is, everyone can benefit from this form of exercise. You may be wondering what one does in a Pilates session; I mean, really, what’s with the funny looking machines anyway? Well, let’s start with the equipment.  Joseph Pilates (founder of Pilates) invented machines that can take simple human movements (exercises) and coordinate them into a fluid, precise movements that could be done from a chair or even a bed.  Why?  Joseph originally worked with injured soldiers who needed to be able to do exercise from a bed or a seated position, but as you can imagine he had to find a way to do so that also didn’t hurt his injured exercisers.  His genius was to design exercises using seated and lying positions while also devising ways to increase difficulty or even regress exercises to make them accessible to very de-conditioned individuals.  Today Pilates is known for the benefits mentioned above. What Makes Pilates Effective? One of the best analogies I’ve come up with about Pilates is to compare the alignment of our bodies with that of a car.  Pilates’ ability to use muscular tension to take stress off of joints comes from focusing on proper postural alignment and precision of movement.  The difference you feel is akin to the difference you notice behind the wheel after you have the alignment fixed on your car—everything just works better.  Training your body to move with balance and precision not only improves flexibility, but is also one of the best forms of preventative maintenance, which is why so many individuals with back pain or stiffness experience relief after doing Pilates.  As almost a side benefit Pilates translates well in support of efficient, coordinated movement for things like dance or sport, and it can also help sculpt the body by improving muscular definition…but without the steroids. J With a qualified BASI Pilates instructor, one can be certain that he/she will be getting a full body workout with results.  You can expect to be challenged every time, and you’ll regularly find that the slightest tweak in form that suddenly makes a seemingly benign and easy exercise seem almost impossible…at first.  What can Pilates do for you?  Why not come find out?  I’d love to be your secret (or not so secret weapon) to help you become all you are meant to be.  I look forward to working with you.  Here’s what I think you’ll find and what Joseph Pilates had to say about it: In 10 sessions you will feel the difference. In 20 sessions you will see the difference. In 30 sessions you will have a brand new body. Sincerely, Heather Paris

1058 S. Walter Reed Drive, Arlington, VA 22204

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