A Very Alexandria Wedding: Diet & Exercise, Part 1

Every bride has big plans to lose weight and look fabulous on her wedding day. For me, the real struggle with weight loss and exercise has come from my routine—or lack thereof. I love my job so much that I genuinely work seven days a week, at all hours of the day. If my client wants to see a house at 8am, we’re going to see a house at 8am. If my client wants to see a house at 5pm, we’re going to see a house at 5pm. So, for me, getting into a normal routine of going to the gym in the morning, eating five small meals a day, and eating/packing healthy food has proven to be very difficult.

My dear friend Kat Zajac witnessed this firsthand this spring while we shopped for a home for her wonderful family. Kat, the co-owner of Del Ray’s SwetRide and also a health and nutrition coach, saw my oft-repeated cancellations of a spin class I do truly look forward to, followed by my constant eating on the go, followed by my complaining about how I haven’t lost the weight I do so desperately want to lose! I asked Kat to help me work within the constraints of my schedule and the crazy (wonderful) spring home-buying-and-selling market.

As a first step, I asked her to look at the lunch menus of the restaurants the Patterson Real Estate Group frequents and to steer us toward healthier options. While I WILL be a better attendee at her morning spin classes, I’ll also follow her advice for cleaner eating. I am so excited to see that I don’t have to make huge, drastic changes and can work within my schedule by making small but impactful tweaks here and there.

Kat’s tips for eating out

1) Make sure there is protein!
2) Lots of veggies!
3) Healthy fats—think avocado, olive oil
4) Minimize your starches (breads, wraps, etc.)
5) Choose fresh ingredients and/or made-to-order options; a restaurant that tries to buy ingredients from local farms is a plus!
6) Minimize add-ons, which add calories and preservatives

Suggested Meals


1. District Taco

Their menu says none of their food contains trans-fats, which is great because you never want to eat trans-fats! Think meat and veggie combos here. Limit high-calorie add-ons, like rice and cheese.

Order the Ensalata Tucateca, which provides a balance of veggies and protein with no grains. This is a good choice if you have a diet that limits grains or are looking to lose weight. For toppings go with salsa, guacamole, and grilled veggies. If you really want that taco, the Pollo Asado, with grilled veggies, and shredded cheese, or Carnitas with toppings “the Mexican way” are good, healthier taco options.

2. Bittersweet

Great sandwich options here. I like the Bittersweet Turkey BLT (smoked turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayo, swiss and avocado on sourdough), the Healthy Hummus (hummus, grilled vegetables and swiss on multigrain), and the Green Sandwich (sautéed kale and portabellas with Swiss on multigrain).

3. Roseina’s*

Love their Turkey, Hummus and Swiss Cheese Sandwich and Butternut Squash and Cinnamon Soup, but beware of the add-ons on their menu items, such as dressings, cheese, sauces, etc., as these tend to add calories and preservatives).

4. Panera

Panera’s menu nutritional information is online!  They have a whole menu called “Eat Well, Your Way,” which gives great options for certain dietary and health restrictions!

Zoës (in Bradlee Shopping Center)

Some great options with protein and veggies like the Protein Power Plate and Steak, Veggie, or Salmon Kabobs — just watch for menu items that contain a lot of pita bread and/or rice.

5. Lost Dog

Great place for salads! Lots of options for veggies and protein combos with their salads. Try subbing oil and vinegar as a dressing and enjoy the taste of all the yummy toppings! Favorites include the Dog Duck Salad, the Fiesta Dog Salad, the Greek or Apollo Salad, and the Doghouse Salad, which is a good vegetarian option.

Kat’s add-on: I love 6. Society Fair—located so close to the TTR Sotheby’s International Realty Alexandria office, and tons of local, fresh, healthy foods!

For more tips, motivational words, and some fantastic recipes, be sure to follow Kat on Instagram @kat_zajac_wellness and keep up with her blog.

  • The latest from Britt

Born, raised, and bred in Alexandria, VA, Britt Patterson is a true product of the great state of Virginia. Britt attended Waynewood Elementary (Class of ’96), Carl Sandburg Middle School (Class of ’98) , and West Potomac High School (Class of ’02), she then went on to attend Virginia Tech (go Hokies!) where she majored in Business Marketing and Minored in Real Estate. Britt “officially” joined the family business as a licensed Realtor in 2008 after two years of working the political fundraising field and prides herself on her Alexandria real estate knowledge, alongside her integrity, loyalty, and professionalism as an agent and Vice President for the family business.

The Patterson Group is one of the most experienced and trusted real estate teams in the area, serving Alexandria, VA for over thirty years. We offer professional, hardworking, detailed and friendly service and a large network of contacts and resources accrued over our many years in Alexandria real estate. Comprised of seven Alexandria locals, six of whom are licensed realtors and three of whom are accredited staging professionals, The Patterson Group is passionate and knowledgeable about Alexandria, VA and here for all of your Northern VA real estate needs. Allow us to help you find your home here and discover all that the Alexandria lifestyle has to offer.


400 South Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get your daily dose of all things fashion, beauty, fitness, and design. Locally sourced and locally styled!