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Dec 20 2018

How To Make A 12-Pack Of Nutrition Sessions Work For You

By Mekita Rivas, VIDA editor/member 

A new year is right around the corner, and we’re betting that you’ve got some serious goals for 2019. Getting in shape for your wedding? Training for your first marathon? Looking for a total wellness overhaul? VIDA is here to be your partner along the way. We’ll help you keep your eye on the prize — whether that’s walking down the aisle, crossing a finish line, or being able to say that you’re in the best shape of your life!

While regular workouts are obviously critical for reaching your goals, what you do in the kitchen is just as important. That’s why we offer expert nutritional counseling services with our team of registered, licensed dietitians. And now through the end of December, we’re offering VIDA members an exclusive offer: Purchase a 12-pack of nutrition sessions and receive a $50 credit!

For some people, especially those who haven’t worked with a dietitian before, you may be wondering: What will I do with 12 whole sessions?! The short answer is, well, a lot! It all depends on your goals and timeline. We asked VIDA Director of Nutrition, Addie Claire, to break it down for us and explain what 12 nutrition sessions could look like in three different situations.

The Countdown Is On

Maybe you’re getting married in three months. Perhaps you’ve got a high school reunion to attend. Or you just want to drop a pants size by summertime. Whatever the case, you feel like you need a miracle! While your timeline might be tight, our dietitians can get you on the fast track to success with nutrition consultations early on in the process. They’ll collect background information, establish baseline measurements, and set a plan that takes into consideration the time crunch. You’ll receive:

– Four weeks of meal plans, including meals and snacks

– Two months of biweekly in-person sessions

– One month of weekly sessions, which could include grocery shopping trips where you bring along a friend (or a certain spouse-to-be) to help you stay accountable

Get Game Time Ready

You’re preparing for a big race or competition. Or you maintain a high level of activity, and you’re consistently working toward setting new PRs. Or maybe both! You will receive preliminary nutrition consultations to collect background info, establish baseline measurements, and think about an action plan. You’ll also get:

– Six months of InBody composition scans. This would also include daily plans for how to match your activity level to your nutrition intake.

– Six months of scaled macronutrient adjustments based on activity level and training regimen. This would include specific brands, products, and recipes.

– Increased contact and attention around the event/competition, with specific recommendations for the days leading up to and after the event/competition

Live Your Best Life

You feel like you’ve tried it all from diet fads to trendy workouts but you still aren’t seeing results. You’re ready to buckle down and get serious! We’ll make that happen with nutritional consultations that will explore your history with food, current challenges, and next steps, both in the short- and long-term future. You’ll experience:

– Eight in-person sessions with InBody composition scans

– Meetings every one to three weeks for consistency and to address any necessary changes. For accountability, one session will include a review of MyFitnessPlan and ongoing monitoring.

– Additional options include reverse dieting recommendations when necessary and help with planning meals and snacks

Remember, these are just sample plans that can be tailored and adjusted to fit your needs! Reach out to us to set up a complimentary consultation, and we’ll get a plan perfected for you. Make 2019 the year you make it happen, whatever “it” is! Take advantage of our 12-pack offer today, get your $50 credit, and be on your way to your best year yet.

Apr 16 2018

Getting Back on Track

By: TV Personality & Naturalist David Mizejewski

My last post was a bit of a downer. At three months into this fitness journey, I wasn’t seeing the results that I wanted to see. There are a lot of reasons for that, mostly a massive amount of travel which meant eating out, making it much harder to eat healthily and track my food, and just being away from the VIDA — not to mention my learning curve on how to effectively lose weight and build muscle at the same time. I’ve had some stumbles.

As I said in that post, I’m not giving up. Far from it. In the last two weeks since then, I’ve totally refocused and made some changes to get me back on track. Here’s my “VIDA Fitness Journey Course-Correction” plan:

1. Get in more workouts. On some level it’s just simple math: hours at VIDA translate to results and 2-3 workouts a week has proven to not be enough. Though it’s incredibly difficult with my work travel schedule and three hours of roundtrip commuting to the office each day when I’m actually home in DC, I’ve been able to get in 4-5 workouts in each of the last two weeks.

2. Track my food. Under the advisement of VIDA Registered Dietitian Addie Claire Merletti, I’m back on course to track all of my food using the MyFitnessPal app. I did this for the first two months and mistakenly thought I had a good handle on things like portion control and nutrient balance, and so I stopped tracking. I’ve begun tracking again, with even more militancy. I’m also paying more attention not to just my overall caloric intake, but also to making sure I meet Addie’s recommendations on the balance of protein, fat and carbs. For example, I’m now sure to have a post-workout protein shake and/or bar so I’m getting the right amount of protein and carbs at the right time to help me build and retain muscle.

3. Balance my weight training and cardio. For the first few months working out with VIDA trainer Susie Powell, our sessions were focused on body resistance workouts. We did circuits of every iteration of squats, lunges, push-ups, TRX, crunches, battle ropes, etc. and I saw some initial good results in building muscle, losing body fat and increasing my resting metabolism. Then we graduated up to working with free weights and cables. I was excited about that because I was eager to build even more muscle. However, lifting heavier weights with lower reps results in less cardio during my workouts compared to doing the resistance circuit training and I wasn’t making up that cardio difference. So Susie and I made a new workout plan to mix up the resistance circuit training and the weight training, and for me to get more cardio in when I’m not working out with her.

Guess what? It worked! After not seeing any progress for over a month, in just the last two weeks I’ve been able to turn the ship back in the right direction.

I met with Addie for my latest InBody assessment and I’m thrilled to report that I’ve lost another 4 lbs. of total body fat. That’s 2 lbs. a week, which is double the rate of fat loss than I’ve been able to achieve so far in any other week. I’ve moved down a level of visceral fat as well, which decreases my risk for chronic disease.

If you focus and are disciplined, fitness is achievable. I’m not saying it’s easy, that it’s going to happen overnight, that you’ll get it right immediately, or that I still don’t have a long way to go to reach my goals, but right now I’m just going to celebrate this success and the fact that I’m back on the right track.

Sep 26 2017

The Fourth Macronutrient: Booze

Addie ClaireHow to navigate the DC bar & restaurant scene while not wrecking your fitness goals, by VIDA Registered Dietitian Addie Merletti. 

Whenever I ask a new client what their biggest challenge is when it comes to nutrition, more times than not, alcohol is at least mentioned if not blamed entirely. Most people know that protein, carbohydrates and fat are all macronutrients, meaning that they carry energy in the form of calories. It’s never fun to be the bearer of this news: alcohol is the fourth one. Not the carbohydrates in beer, or the sugars in bourbon but the actual chemical compound ethanol (C2H6O). In fact, where carbohydrate and protein both carry 4 calories per gram and fat carries 9 calories per gram, alcohol carries 7! It stinks to be a Debbie Downer and tell clients how many of their calories are coming from alcohol, but it’s important to keep in mind if you want to hit all your fitness, health, performance and aesthetic goals. Here are a few of the tips I share with new and existing clients whose happy hour shenanigans seem to be preventing fat loss, lean mass gain, or both:

Anywhere you stop the cycle is a success. This is usually how it goes: you go out to dinner and have a few drinks. You want to make sure you’re hungry for the yummy dinner so you don’t eat anything before, and therefore catch a buzz relatively quickly. You’re now more likely to reach for one more piece of bread or cheese than usual, or even order dessert when you normally don’t. After dinner, you go to the bar and have some more booze calories and dance your heart out. Fast forward a few hours and you’re ravenous for some jumbo slice. Then you fall asleep, possibly with said jumbo slice crust still in your hand. You wake up in the morning feeling like your mouth is drier than the Sahara Desert and think “you know what sounds so much better than that workout? A bagel.” Back to the original sentence, if you can pause this cycle anywhere along the way, you will be making an improvement! The following are a few ways to hit pause:

  1. Don’t show up hungry. You’ll catch that quick buzz and lose all your “no thank you on the 3rd brie bite” inhibitions. Allowing ourselves to get too hungry in general leads to poor choices and over eating.
  2. Order a “tall” or alternate with water. This will slow the pace of the alcohol calories and prevent hangovers. Ordering a “tall” will be the same amount of liquor and double the amount of water/soda water which will make your drink last longer.
  3. Drink water before bed. When you go home (or wherever your night ends), make yourself take down at least 12 ounces. Ideally you started this before you left the bar, but that one last drink at home is never worth it.
  4. Re-hydrate after you dehydrate. If you do end up feeling like not-a-million-dollars in the morning, try something like a Nuun tablet dissolved in water to save yourself the sugar of Gatorade. Unless you need the extra carbohydrates of course!
  5. Finally, is this a “worth it” drink? Ask yourself this at dinner on weeknights when you are considering ordering another glass of wine, or as you get up to pour another one at home. If it’s a special occasion or an amazing experience, go for it. If not, maybe save those booze calories for next time 🙂

Aug 14 2017

Dietitian vs. Nutritionist: What’s The Difference?

VIDA Nutritionist and Dietitian Addie ClaireBy: VIDA Registered Dietitian Addie Merletti 

Dietitian, Nutritionist, whatever..

It’s like the square/rectangle concept we learned in elementary school. All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. That’s enough geometry, but it works for dietitians and nutritionists too. All dietitians are nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are dietitians. Why does it matter? It may not to you, but here is what’s required to become a Registered Dietitian:



1. Complete the undergraduate & graduate level coursework required by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics

2. Receive a match for a ACEND- accredited Dietetic Internship

3. Complete the ~1200 hour internship with rotations throughout the hospital, food service and in the community (mine was in the athletics department at Notre Dame!)

4. Pass the RD exam and become a Registered Dietitian!


Here is what’s required to become a nutritionist:

  1. Possibly take a course or read a book/article about nutrition
  2. Begin calling himself or herself a nutritionist!


This is not to say that a nutritionist cannot help you reach your goals! Many of them have undergraduate degrees in nutrition. However, the clinical experience gleaned in the dietetic internship is unparalleled and something I use every day in my practice. An example would be a client who is attempting to gain muscle who has a history of an absorption issue. This person cannot simply follow a traditional “bulking” diet, as they will have serious GI distress and also not successfully gain anything but water. Whether or not you have an underlying clinical condition, it is important to know the educational background of the person giving you nutrition advice.

It is also important to note that unlike Virginia, Washington DC has a Licensure with Exclusive Scope of Practice law. This law licenses dietitians and nutritionists. Only a licensed dietitian or a licensed nutritionist can provide nutrition care including: assessment, goal setting, counseling, or advice. DC statutes include an explicitly defined scope of practice, and performance of the profession is illegal without first obtaining a license from the state. This is a way for the DC board of health to ensure those practicing have the proper education and credentials to be dispensing advice, and are doing so according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Code of Ethics. This ensures evidence-based practice instead of bro-science and results that last rather than pass after a few weeks!

Why should you care? The same reason you would be concerned if your trainer had not passed the CPT exam, or if your dermatologist has not passed his boards, or if your pharmacist had read a book about medicine but didn’t want to take all the time and money to go to pharmacy school. Any of those individuals could be very competent at their job, but it is important to consider the source when making the important decision of what you’re going to use to fuel your body!

Want to schedule a nutrition consultation and analysis with Addie? Check out our Nutrition services or email her at amerletti@vidafitness.com to discover how she can help you make healthier choices that fit your lifestyle! 

Jul 11 2016

Healthy or Hoax? Nutrition Facts on Your Favorite Foods

nutrition-foodMost of us mean to make healthy choices at the grocery store or when out for dinner, but it can be tricky sifting through all of the sometimes contradictory information out there. We caught up with our RD Cat Taylor for a breakdown of what ingredients and foods are actually healthy, and which ones are all hype. Read on for more info!



By: VIDA Registered Dietitian Cat Taylor 

According to The New York Times via Google search trends, below are the most searched for by internet users in the context of “Is ______ healthy?” (Find the whole article here!)





4.peanut butter







11.brown rice




15.cottage cheese



18.rye bread





23.white rice



26.dark chocolate

27.coconut milk


29.canned tuna

30.feta cheese


32.frozen yogurt

33.beef jerky



36.chinese food


38.greek yogurt

39.brown sugar


41.sparkling water

42.turkey bacon



45.sourdough bread

46.smoked salmon

47.dried fruit

48.miso soup

49.Indian food

50.Basmati rice



I thought this was fascinating data. So, let me speak to the first two, for now. But first, let me address the concept of labeling a food “healthy” or “unhealthy”. I recommend that we get away from these terms altogether and rephrase as such:

“_____ is healthy”   vs.   “_____ belongs in a healthy diet”

“_____ is unhealthy”   vs.   “_____ does not belong in a healthy diet”


Moving on.

  1. Sushi does belong in a healthy diet. However, as with most popular foods, certain types are better for your health than others.
    • Tempura (deep fried vegetables or fish) is not good for your health when consumed regularly.
    • Fancy sushi rolls that contain mayonnaise-based sauces and doused in sodium-latent soy sauce should also be consumed moderately. Hold the sauce and lighten up on your soy sauce.

Choose rolls filled with fresh fish, vegetables, or avocado, and jump on the brown rice when it is available on the menu. Beware that rice contains carbohydrates which want to be controlled to remain between the recommended 45-65% of a healthy American diet. The appropriate serving size depends on the energy and carbohydrate needs of the individual. When in doubt: eat when you are hungry, eat slowly, and stop when you are full. Balance your meal with a vegetable (seaweed salad, i.e.) If you lead a sedentary or low-active lifestyle, consider seaweed wrapped sushi rolls, sashimi, or a combination of traditional rice sushi and the former two varieties.

  1. Hummus does belong in a healthy diet. It is important to note that because it is traditionally made with Tahini (sesame seed paste) and Olive Oil, it becomes a moderate to high fat food, making it a high-calorie food.
    • Consume in small quantities- more like a condiment than a food group or main dish.
    • Vegans and Vegetarians should note that hummus is not very high in protein, contrary to popular belief. Popular hummus brands contain 1-2 grams of protein and ~60 calories per 2 Tbsp. serving size.


  1. Sabra: 2 grams protein and 70 calories per 2 Tbsp serving size
  2. Marzetti: 1 gram of protein and 60 calories per 2 Tbsp serving size
  3. Tribe: 2 grams of protein and 60 calories per 2 Tbsp serving size
  4. Cava: 2 grams of protein and 40 calories per 2 Tbsp serving size **Best bang for your caloric buck!!**


Thanks for reading!

Cat Taylor, RD, LDN

VIDA Fitness at the Verizon Center

Jun 29 2016

Must Have 4th of July Recipes

This smoked potato salad has all the taste with way less fat!

This smoked potato salad has all the taste with way less fat!

The 4th of July is just around the corner, which means cookouts and barbecues are popping up all weekend long. Instead of serving the same old burgers, hot dogs and potato salad, why not change it up this year with a new recipe to share? Our VIDA RD Cat Taylor browsed the web for some fresh new (& healthy!) options to bring to the table this year and compiled her favorites below.

Let us know how they turn out, and Happy 4th of July!

For The Grill

  • Spice up your traditional beef or turkey burger with this Simple Corn Relish! More flavors, less need for high-fat condiments. To keep it lean, purchase 93% lean beef.

*Vegetarian/Vegan option: grilled portabella burger

Top It Off

Sip On

On The Side

Feb 16 2016

What are Omega-3’s & Why Do You Need Them?

By: VIDA Registered Dietitian Courtney Puidk

Fish-oil-in-a-fish-shapeWhat are omega-3’s?

Omega-3 fats are a set of poly-unsaturated fats and are considered “essential” nutrients, meaning that our bodies cannot make them so we must get them through the foods we eat. Omega-3’s are needed during pregnancy and lactation to support brain and eye development, but continue to serve many functions after infancy for growth and health maintenance.

What do they do for adults?

Omega-3’s help to thin blood and prevent the clogging of arteries, thus helping to decrease the risk for heart attack and stroke. They may also prevent arteries form hardening, lower blood levels of fats known as triglycerides, and aid in blood pressure reduction. Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, omega-3’s can also relieve stress related to arthritis and other inflammatory conditions as well as help strengthen the immune system.

What foods contain them?

Source Amount omega-3
Cold water fish (3oz per serving):  
     Wild caught salmon 1.8g
     Mackerel 1.1g
     Trout 0.8g
Plant based foods:  
     Ground flaxseed 0.3g per 2tbsp
     Walnuts 0.25g per 1oz


Other sources include eggs from chickens who have been fed flaxseed (will say so on carton; 1.3-2.5g per egg); meat, milk, and butter from grass-fed cows; and fish oils (amount varies and should be detailed on nutrition label).

How much do I need?

  Adequate daily intake
Women age 14 and older 1.1g
     During pregnancy and lactation 1.4g
Men age 14 and older 1.6g


What about omega-6’s?

Omega-6 fatty acids are also essential; however, they are abundant in our food system and most Americans are getting too much. The ideal ratio of omega-6’s to omega-3’s is 4:1, but the average intake is 20:1! This is because omega-6’s are found in corn and soy beans, which are commodity crops grown for feeding to factory farm animals. Oils made from corn, soy, safflower and sunflower (aka, “vegetable oil”) are also high in omega-6’s. An imbalance in the ratio of omega-6’s to omega-3’s may counteract the positive effects of these essential fats and even contribute to heart disease! The best way to ensure your consumption is balanced is to aim for two servings of fish per week, use oils low in omega-6’s, and to consume milk, butter and meat from animals that have been grass fed.

Curious for more information? Come talk to your dietitian!

Jan 15 2016

Changes at the Fuel Bar!

By: Jason Royce

Over the past year, we established a plan to offer healthier products at each VIDA Fuel Bar. We spent quite a bit of time identifying items we no longer wanted to sell based on their ingredients and nutritional value, and at the same time we spent many hours selecting and taste-testing new, healthier and tastier products that we hope you will love as much as we do!So many new exciting options at the Fuel Bar!

We also developed an easier way to identify these products and to help you better understand when to consume them based on their ingredients and nutritional value. We assigned each snack to one of three categories: 1. Quick Energy/Pre-Workout, 2. Recovery/Post-Workout, and 3. Good Snack/Sustained Energy. We also identified key nutritional information for each item such as if the item is Vegan friendly, organic, high in protein, low in fat or low calorie.

We encourage you to drop by the Fuel Bar before or after your workout and try some of our new items from Epic, Simple Squares, Tosi, Orgain and more! You should also give one of our many tasty, protein packed smoothies a try. We’ve tweaked a few of the recipes and added additional options such as pre-workout and post-workout supplement powder blends, multivitamins, spinach, kale, cashews, Greek yogurt, and vegan protein powder to name a few. Our awesome Aura Spa staff even developed a brand new, post-massage smoothie for those who want to detox a bit after a relaxing spa day.

New and exciting items will be added throughout the year at each Fuel Bar location. Keep your eyes out for our new line of cold-pressed juices and Grab-N-Go food items! We’re also excited to announce to our City Vista members the addition of a full service Fuel Bar complete with a full menu of signature VIDA smoothies! Having smoothies available after your workout has been one of your number one requests, and we listened. Construction has already started and we’re scheduled to blend the first Chocolate Monkey in less than two months, so stay tuned!

We’ll also be highlighting one product a month as our featured item, so check back with us on the blog to see what we’re featuring next month!


Interested in having your product sold at the VIDA Fuel Bar? Contact Jason at jroyce@vidafitness.com!

Jan 14 2016

Leigh Delavan Joins the VIDA Nutrition Team!

Living in a city like DC, it can be tricky sticking to a clean diet with things like post-work happy hours and boozy brunches popping up all over the place.  How else are you supposed to catch up with friends, other than over mimosas and pancakes on Sunday mornings? Luckily our new Registered Dietitian Leigh Delavan is a pro at balancing a jam-packed social life AND maintaining a healthy, clean diet while doing so!

Leigh DelavanLeigh grew up in Annapolis, MD, and is excited to return to the DC area after completing her education at schools all over the country. Her interest in fitness was sparked in high school, after years of playing field hockey and lacrosse. She realized she wasn’t into competitive sports as much as she was into her gym routine and community, and eventually started working the front desk at the Merritt in Annapolis.

“Working at the Merritt is where I was first exposed to a dietitian and what their job entailed. It was a very fun, supportive community that set the bar pretty high for any environment I’d want to work in again. Through that job, I realized how supportive the fitness community can be—something that I’ve now found at VIDA,” says Leigh.

After graduating high school, Leigh went on to the University of Pittsburgh where she explored a few different majors before settling on Nutrition & Dietetics. She dabbled in both anthropology and pre-law, but neither of them seemed like the right fit for her.

“When I was struggling with ‘what I should be when I grow up’ my mom gave me the advice to major in what you enjoy learning about in your free time. To me that was nutrition!” she says.

She finished up her B.S. in Nutrition & Dietetics at University of Pittsburgh in 2012, where she also served as the Vice President of the Student Dietetic Association and as a tour guide for the university. The next step was starting an internship program, which she decided to do in conjunction with a Master’s program at the University of Arkansas.

After her internship, and while working on graduate school credits, she worked full time at a children’s hospital and then at a weight loss clinic as their nutrition specialist.

“It was a pretty busy time in my life! At one point, I was taking 12 credits, working 45 hours a week and doing an internship. I didn’t have a lot of free time,” she laughs.

The hard work paid off though, and she received her M.S. this past April. When applying for jobs, she knew she wanted to find the type of environment she loved so much at Merritt again, and says she has found all that and more at VIDA!

“As soon as I saw the job posting I knew it was the job for me. It’s a young, hip and most importantly supportive community that’s always adapting to current trends. As soon as I was offered the job I packed up my Uhaul, drove across the country and moved to DC! This is my dream job and I’m very happy to be here,” she says.

As the new designated dietitian for Metropole, Leigh is excited about sharing her approach to nutrition with our members. She focuses on creating feasible long-term goals that work with a busy social life, rather than against it.

Let’s face it, we’re all going to end up at a bottomless brunch at some point, staring at a menu offering countless ways to consume three days worth of calories in one sitting. Leigh specializes in navigating that menu – so you can make healthy choices while still enjoying the experience with your friends! (Hint: her brunch go-to is eggs benedict with no hollandaise – even better if they can make it eggs florentine – and skipping the carbs on the side when you can!)

“I don’t expect an unrealistic lifestyle change with  my clients. I like to meet them where they’re at, and try to encourage small, manageable changes. I’ll pull up the menu for the bar they’re going to later, and help them find the best option to order. If they’re going out drinking 3-4 times a week, I’ll see if we can cut it down to one, or at least cut back on number of drinks per outing. I know people aren’t going to stop going to happy hour, so I try to set realistic goals,” says Leigh.

She also knows that while many people have the best intentions for making good food choices, they simply don’t have the time to meal prep or grocery shop.

“I know that some of my clients just really can’t make a weekly grocery store trip. I’ll see if there’s at least a Trader Joe’s they can stop in on their way to work or home, or help them with menu options at the places they eat out at the most,” she says.

As for Leigh’s go-to meals, she says there’s nothing better than cooking at home. Her staples that she recommends always having in the fridge include plain greek yogurt (Faye 2% is her fave,) frozen vegetables (or fresh, if you can go through them fast enough!) and apples. She also loves string cheese and raw almonds for snacking throughout the day, and encourages you to opt for wine when happy hour-ing.

Leigh & a friend conquering a new hiking trail!

Leigh & a friend conquering a new hiking trail!

“I’m all about creating plans for my clients that will last long-term, even if it means allowing for a little more freedom. If it’s not realistic, it’s not helpful,” she says.

When she’s not meeting with clients or finding healthy brunches with friends, Leigh enjoys game nights, hiking, exploring the outdoors and cycling (you can find her teaching a few classes on the group fitness schedule too!)

Leigh can be reached at ldelavan@vidafitness.com, or stop by her office next to the PT desk on the second floor to chat. We encourage all of our Metropole members to schedule a Nutrition Fit with Leigh if you haven’t yet, and join us in welcoming her to the VIDA family!

Dec 14 2015

Meet Our New RD at the Yards: Courtney Puidk!

Courtney PuidkNot only does Courtney Puidk teach Pilates Reformer and lead a calorie-torching cycle class, she’s also helping us grow our nutrition program as the new Registered Dietitian at the Yards!

Courtney has been teaching at VIDA since June of 2014, so it wasn’t too difficult for her to transition into our nutrition department when the opportunity arose.

Growing up in Columbia, Missouri, Courtney was active and athletic her whole life. She swam, ran track and played soccer through high school and says her interest in nutrition began at age 17 when she made the decision to give up soda.

“I remember wondering – why is Mountain Dew yellow? I started paying attention to artificial ingredients and sweeteners. I dropped soda from my diet and lost 5 lbs! I was amazed at my increased energy and body transformation just by removing soda – that was kind of the lightbulb moment for me,” she says.

With her newfound curiosity about foods relationship with the body, Courtney decided to study Nutrition and Kinesiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

During this time, she learned tons about nutrients and health, and worked the front desk at the Lincoln Park Athletic Club in between classes. Working at the club provided the perfect tie-in to fitness with her studies, and sparked her decision to get certified.

“I loved taking the classes! I was taking Pilates regularly and spinning up to four times a week. I was encouraged to start teaching Pilates and did my STOTT training in Chicago, and decided to get certified in spin too since I love music,” says Courtney.

She started training with a group of friends from the gym, and competed in her first triathlon before graduating in 2010! She has since done two more and says there will definitely be more in the future.courtney2

After receiving her B.S., Courtney Puidk realized that she was interested in nutrition to help people become healthier in a preventative sense, not clinical nutrition which focuses more on single nutrients and numbers related to health conditions and treatment.

“I know that nutrients alone are not relatable to most people. I believe in a whole health approach to nutrition, focusing on fresh foods and basic cooking skills. I want to be able to address people’s barriers to cooking by helping them look at the whole spectrum of health and make it less intimidating,” she says.

This attitude inspired her to pursue a M.S. in Holistic Nutrition at Bastyr University in Seattle – the only accredited program in the country with a holistic emphasis on nutrition! While working on her Masters she became certain that she wanted to work with people as part of the community, rather than in a hospital.

“I want to be in an environment that supports health and wellness, where people are voluntarily coming to you seeking advice because they care about their bodies. The gym atmosphere is perfect for that,” she says.

Her passion for food policy and advocacy eventually lead her to Washington DC, where she completed her 36 week nutrition residency program in 2013. During this time she worked as an intern at the Washington Hospital Center, the DC Central Kitchen, the Department of Health and the Office of State Superintendent of Education’s Healthy Schools Act division. She also holds a community chair on the DC Dietetic Association Public Policy Committee!

After moving from Tinleytown to H Street, Courtney discovered VIDA and was immediately drawn to our vibrant atmosphere, positive environment and health-focused corporate culture. Starting as a Pilates and Cycle instructor last year, she had no idea that she’d eventually be merging her two passions together.

“I remember meeting Cat for the first time and wondering if VIDA would ever expand their nutrition department. I loved teaching at the Yards location, so when I heard they were hiring an RD just for the Yards I knew I had to apply,” she says.

Courtney was officially brought on board in October, and says she’s had a great experience so far. Her goal is to empower people to take control of their health by creating sustainable lifestyle choices tailored to their needs, and to arm them with the knowledge needed about what foods to eat and when.

“There’s a lot of misconceptions out there and barriers people face when eating out. My number one piece of advice for takeaway is always that cooking your own food is the best thing you can do for yourself,” she says.

She also mentions that whether you’re trying to build muscle, lose weight or just maintain a healthy diet, proper nutrition is a key factor.

We’re excited to have Courtney on board, and encourage all of our Yards members to set up a Nutrition Fit with her if you haven’t yet by emailing cpuidk@vidafitness.com!

Thanksgiving Hours ›


  • Wednesday, November 25th – 7am-7pm
  • Thursday, November 26th – Thanksgiving – 8am-12pm
  • Friday, November 27th – 7am-7pm


  • Wednesday, November 25th – 7am-7pm
  • Thursday, November 26th – 7am-1pm
  • Friday, November 27th – 7am-7pm


  • Wednesday, November 25th – 7am-7pm
  • Thursday, November 26th – Thanksgiving – 7am-1pm
  • Friday, November 27th – 7am-7pm

Holiday Hours ›

UST, LC & Ballston Holiday Hours

  • Thursday12/24: 7am –2pm
  • Friday 12/25: CLOSED
  • Thursday 12/31: 7am – 5pm
  • Friday 1/1: 7am – 7pm

The Yards Holiday Hours

  • Thursday12/24: 5am – 3pm
  • Friday 12/25: CLOSED
  • Saturday 12/26: 7am – 7pm
  • Thursday 12/31: 5am – 7pm
  • Friday 1/1: 7am – 9pm

City Vista Holiday Hours

  • Thursday12/24: 5am – 1pm
  • Friday 12/25: CLOSED
  • Thursday 12/31: 5am – 7pm
  • Friday 1/1: 7am – 9pm

Gallery Place Holiday Hours

  • Thursday12/24: 8am – 2pm
  • Friday 12/25: CLOSED
  • Saturday 12/26: 7am – 7pm
  • Thursday 12/31: 5am – 7pm
  • Friday 1/1: 7am – 9pm
Vida Fitness
City Vista 45 K Street, NW Washington D.C. 20001
(202) 289-8432 info@vidafitness.com Facebook Twitter Instagram

City Vista

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 7:00 am – 9:00pm

Phone: (202) 289-8432

$ 45 K Street, NW Washington D.C. 20001
Vida Fitness
Metropole 1517 15th Street, NW Washington D.C. 20005
(202) 588-5559 info@vidafitness.com Facebook Twitter Instagram


Phone: (202) 588-5559

$ 1517 15th Street, NW Washington D.C. 20005

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 7:00 am – 9:00pm

Vida Fitness
Renaissance Hotel 999 9th Street, NW, 3rd Floor Washington D.C. 20001
(202) 742-1940 info@vidafitness.com Facebook Twitter Instagram

Renaissance Hotel

Phone: (202) 742-1940

$ 999 9th Street, NW, 3rd Floor Washington D.C. 20001

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:30am – 10:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 6:00 am – 10:00pm

Vida Fitness
U Street 1612 U Street, NW Washington D.C. 20009
(202) 939-2577 info@vidafitness.com Facebook Twitter Instagram

U Street

Phone: (202) 939-2577

$ 1612 U Street, NW Washington D.C. 20009

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 7:00 am – 9:00pm

Vida Fitness
Verizon 601 F Street, NW Washington D.C. 20004
(202) 393-8432 info@vidafitness.com Facebook Twitter Instagram


Phone: (202) 393-8432

$ 601 F Street, NW Washington D.C. 20004

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 7:00 am – 9:00pm

Vida Fitness
The Yards 1212 4th Street, SE Washington D.C, 20003
(202) 554-0444 info@vidafitness.com Facebook Twitter Instagram

The Yards

Phone: (202) 554-0444

$ 1212 4th Street, SE Washington D.C, 20003

Open: Mon-Fri: 5:00am – 11:00pm

Open: Sat & Sun: 7:00 am – 9:00pm