You know how people say you should never go to the grocery store hungry because you will buy out the store? Well the same can be said for heading to a restaurant/take-away place. The hungrier you are, the worse the decision tends to be. And if your sugar levels are low, you will most likely crave things high in carbs and sugar for instant gratification.

In order to avoid that diet-buster, here are a few tips.

  1. Pack healthy snacks to avoid getting too hungry. Raw veggies, whole fruits, and raw nuts and seeds are always a great on-the-go choice.

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  1. Pack healthy lunches (or at the very least, plan your lunch break time and location in advance)


  1. If at all possible, eat before you are too hungry…or what I call preventative eating. Eat when you have the chance instead of waiting and then spiraling into starvation. Going into a meeting with a co-worker that keeps a bowl of candies on her desk and ALWAYS offers (aka peer pressures) you one? Have a small healthy snack even if you aren’t hungry before so you don’t want the candy at all.
  2. Plan your dinners in advance. And plan meals that involve perishables. Not only will the full fridge shame you into using the perishables up before they go bad, perishables tend to be healthier.

Here is what I do (most of the time…). At some point over the course of the weekend (or Friday), I look at my schedule for the following week and plan how many meals will be consumed at home and approximately how much time I (or the hubby) will have to prepare it. Will I be eating dinner in my car? Will I be eating before my evening clients or after? Alone or with Tom? What time will I be home? Will I need to walk the dogs? Will I have time in the afternoon to prep stuff? Etc., etc. (This seems like a lot of work but actually takes about 30 secs to determine). Then, I pick out some recipes and plan the week out. Since we started this blog with the intention of answering the consistent client question of “what do you do”….here you go! Here is FITintheCITY’s week in dinners:

Monday: Chicken Sausage (Bilinski’s pictured below is a great choice: nitrate free, no pork casing, all-natural) with sauteed kale over quinoa.

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Tuesday: Salad “Nicoise”: canned tuna mixed with hummus, over greens with sprouts, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, and 1 hard boiled egg

Wednesday: Vegetarian Ramen (link to recipe although I change quite a bit. Use mushroom broth with garlic pepper sauce, use brown rice ramen instead of udon, add seaweed or kombu and add a hard boiled egg. You can use any veggie you want though!)

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Thursday: Roasted root veggies over farro

Friday: Dinner out

Saturday: Fajita-less chicken fajitas: boneless, skinless chicken with sauteed mushrooms, peppers and onions with a small baked potato topped with homemade guac

Sunday: Slow cooker veggie chili (great for a Sunday meal as there are ALWAYS leftovers and you can set it up in the morning and go about your day). LOVE to top with avocado. No rice or cornbread needed!

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What are you cooking this week??


Eat this NOT that

FITtrition has been hard at work trying to come up with a way to help our clients with meal planning. One of the ideas we had didn’t end up working because too many of our clients ate out for a decent number of meals and our guide required that the client cook a majority of their food. While this is still the preferred method (cooking is the ONLY way you can control exactly what you are eating. Even when something seems like a healthful choice on a menu, it is very hard to ensure that it is. Most restaurants are in the business of making delicious food…delicious tends to go hand in hand with things like butter, oil, lard, duck fat, bacon…you get the point).

But – we get it! Sometimes your schedule doesn’t allow for enough time to cook. Sometimes eating lunch away from the desk is the only way you will actually get away from the desk. Sometimes, you made lunch and forgot to bring it. The fact of the matter is, life is complicated (which is part of the reason why sticking to a nutrition plan is very, very hard). So FITtrition is here to help. For our next series, we will showcase some restaurants in the DC area (particularly those that are popular for quick, on-the-go lunches and dinners) and help you make the right choice every time.


#1 Le Pain Quotidien  *the website has the menu for your local Le Pain with calories listed

Eat this: So many good and lower calorie options here. Too many good choices to name…so let’s focus on the items to avoid.

NOT that: PASTRIES! Even the “healthy” sounding ones like Chia Seed Pudding (460 calories) and Quinoa and Spelt Scone (500 calories compared to 250 calories for a regular croissant) are brimming with calories and sugar. Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwich (720 calories), Paris Ham and Aged Gruyere Tartine (790 calories), Grilled Chicken Cobb (640 calories), and the Tuscan Platter (1090 calories) all fall under the NOT list.

#2 Chipotle *they have a great nutrition calculator right on the website

Eat this: Salad option with any meat or tofu (carnitas is the worst choice), pinto over black beans, any salsas you want, fajita veggies, and NO CHEESE, SOUR CREAM, OR VINAIGRETTE! If you can, try using the salsa’s as a dressing of sorts. And if you are really hungry, choose between the guacamole OR the brown rice.

NOT that: Basically any combination with the burrito, white rice and a meat or tofu as the base STARTS you at 660 calories (that is without any cheese, salsa, guac, sour cream, etc.) – so avoid the burrito. There is no way to make the burrito a healthful choice.

#3 Panera Bread *the website lists the nutrition information as well

Eat this: Sandwiches: Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT (ideally the 1/2 sandwich with a side of carrots or an apple) or for my vegetarians, the Mediterranean Sandwich (ideally 1/2 again), Salads: Asian Sesame is a great choice!, Soups: (NO BREADBOWL) Vegetarian Autumn Squash

NOT that: Sandwiches: ANY whole panini, the Italian Combo sandwich (whole), Salads: Chicken Cobb with Avocado, Pastas: ALL, Soups: New England Clam Chowder

Let us know your favorite lunch or easy dinner spot and we will add it to our list to investigate for you! Also note that most chains do have nutritional information available, so ALWAYS ask!!

The 90/10 Meal Plan

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In our line of work, we talk about food a lot…A LOT. What are the right portion sizes? When are the best times to eat? When (if at all) should I eat carbs? What is a carb? I thought olive oil is bad for me because it is so high in fat? etc. etc.

People are confused, and who can blame them? There are so many conflicting messages out there! We are always looking for simple ways to help our clients start eating right so that they can look and feel their best. We use the 90/10 Healthy Eating Chart to help our clients understand what they should be eating and how much they should be eating. We would love for our loyal FIT readers to try it out and see what they think. Is it easy to follow? What foods are not represented here that you are confused about? Did you feel like you were getting enough to eat? Was breakfast hard, or did you have a harder time figuring out what to eat for a snack? Do you think this is easier or harder than counting calories? Seriously – there is no such thing as stupid feedback so let us know what you think and THANK YOU!


90/10 **You want to use this chart for planning meals 90% of the time, and 10% of the time you can think outside the box. 

Complex high fiber Carbs – Pick up to 2 daily servings (breakfast & lunch only)

Cooked Whole Grains= Brown Rice, Quinoa, Millet, Buckwheat (aka kasha), Oats, Barley 1/2 cup

Beans & Legumes= Chick peas, lentils, black beans, kidney, mung beans, pinto 1/2 cup

Root Veggies= Medium Baked Sweet Potato/Yam or Acorn, Summer & Butternut Squash 1/2 cup

Fresh Bread (Bakery Fresh or homemade – no preservatives) 1 slice

Lean Protein- Pick 3 daily servings (every meal)

Chicken (boneless, skinless breast), Turkey (white meat, no deli meat), Fish, Red Meat (no more than 1 x a week), Tofu, Tempeh – portion is about the size of your palm. For white fish (flounder,tilapia, catfish, etc) 1 filet is the appropriate portion size. For thicker fish (salmon, tuna, halibut, etc), 6 oz is the appropriate portion size.

1 egg (whole egg)

Quinoa & Barley (good option for lunch) 1/2 cup

Beans & Legumes= Chick peas, lentils 1/2 cup

Nuts, Nut Butters & Seeds (almonds, cashews, peanuts, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds) 1-2 tbsp *always raw and unsalted. Nut butters should be unprocessed 

Green leafy veggies unlimited 

Healthy Fats- Pick 3 daily servings ( “sprinkle @ every meal”)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil- cold pressed 1-2 tbsp

Flaxseed Oil, Ground Flaxseeds 1 tbsp

Avocado 1/2 an avocado

Nuts & Nut Butters= (walnut, brazil, soy, almond, peanut, almond, pecan, cashews) 1-2 tbsp *always raw and unsalted. Nut butters should be unprocessed 

Seeds= Pumpkin, Hemp, Sunflower seed 1 tbsp

Fish= Salmon, sardines, mackerel 6 oz

Olives handful 

Vegetables- UNLIMITED- at least 2.5 daily servings

Kale, Collard Greens, Bok Choy, Spinach, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Bell Peppers, Arugula, etc.. 

Fresh Fruits- Pick up to 2 daily servings (either breakfast, lunch, or snack)

*GI = Glycemic index (the higher GI spikes your blood sugar so better to eat more in moderation)

Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries (low GI, everyday breakfast) 3/4 cup

Apple, Pear, Orange, Peach, Nectarine, Clementine (medium GI, lunch or snack) 1 medium whole fruit

Mango, Banana, Pineapple, Melon, Grapes (high GI, limited to 1-2x a week) 1/2  cup 

10% category: dairy, sweets (dark chocolate is always a good, high antioxidant choice for dessert), fattier meats like chicken thighs, chicken or turkey sausage, etc., pasta, rice…basically anything you know should be consumed in moderation.

Sample menu:

Breakfast: scrambled eggs (1 egg with 2 egg whites) with spinach, sliced tomatoes and 1 piece of whole grain toast. 1 cup of coffee or tea (8 oz) with 2 tbsp. organic half & half and 1 tbsp raw sugar.

Mid-Morning Snack: Mixed berries with 1 tbsp. flax meal sprinkled on top

Lunch: Baby spinach with 1/4 cup cooked lentils, 1 whole sliced apple, 1/4 of an avocado, and 5 chopped whole, raw unsalted walnuts (sub seeds if nut allergy) with EVOO

Afternoon Snack: Celery (unlimited) with 2 tbsp hummus

Dinner: 6 oz. Baked Salmon with Crispy Kale (EVOO on kale, baked for 15 minutes at 425) with 1/4 avocado and fresh lemon on the salmon

*If needed: 2 pieces of dark chocolate or 1 – 6 oz. glass of red wine