Va. weekend celebrates balance with fitness, food

WASHINGTON — Do you head to the gym after work with dinner on your mind? Or maybe you lace up your running shoes on Saturday morning in anticipation of a bagel and a latte?

If so, you’re not alone. You’re what Anna Bullett calls a “fit foodie.”

That’s “someone who really believes a healthy lifestyle can co-exist with loving food and having exciting culinary adventures. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive,” says Bullett, a registered dietitian and executive chef at Cooking Light.

“It’s someone who likes to go for a run because they don’t want to give up birthday cake.”

Bullett is part of an event celebrating the balance of good health and good food. The Fit Foodie 5K Race Weekend is headed to Fairfax, Va., June 20-22, and it includes everything from a road race to boot camp, yoga, celebrity chef demonstrations, wine tastings, food samplings, brunch and more.

Bullett, a runner and food lover, says it’s all about “calories burned, calories earned.”

“We don’t believe in deprivation; we believe in indulgence with awareness that you can’t just indulge all the time,” she says. “It’s about finding that happy medium and always striving for that.”

The weekend will kick off with a celebrity chef VIP party on Friday, June 20, featuring D.C. James Beard award-winning chef RJ Cooper. The 5K race will be held the following morning, and once runners cross the finish line they’ll be rewarded with food, beer, music and cooking demos at the event’s Finisher’s Village.

On Sunday morning, yoga and brunch will help stretch tired muscles. Those who want to continue the burn can opt for a boot camp and brunch.

Before the exercise-packed weekend, Bullett has some nutrition advice for runners.

“The best thing to eat is something that’s high in energy, but low in fiber and low in fat,” says Bullett, who adds avoiding whole grains will help keep digestive woes at bay.

Her personal favorite pre-race meal is a low-fiber, low-sugar cereal with skim milk, or a piece of toast with honey.

“Your body likes to burn simple carbohydrates and that’s the easiest thing to get energy from,” she says.

After a workout, Bullett craves foods filled with vegetables and protein, such as a veggie-heavy pad Thai or a grilled veggie and lean-meat taco piled on a corn tortilla.

And of course, being a fit foodie, Bullett enjoys indulging every now and then. Her go-to is a Cooking Light recipe for dark chocolate bark with hazelnuts, dried cherries and crystallized ginger.

“We really believe that a happier and healthier life is about having balance,” she says.

WTOP’s Rachel Nania contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP and @WTOPliving on Twitter and on the WTOP Facebook page.

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