Category Archives: Health & Wellness

Heart Health Month

No April rain…No flowers bloom…. No wedding Saturday within the month of June…But what it is, is something true… Made up of these three words that I must say to you: New Year’s Resolutions.

It’s February, how are you coming along with your new year’s resolutions?

As American Heart Month, we have a few ideas of heart health intentions that may inspire you for the rest of 2020. Feel free to visit your local health centers and hospitals since they hold free screenings and heart health awareness events.

  • Choose fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. Avoid processed foods and most canned foods (they are usually very high in sodium).
  • Read food labels. If you can’t pronounce it, you probably don’t want it in your body.
  • Cut Out Unhealthy Vices: Quit smoking or avoid second-hand smoke. Drink alcohol in moderation—one drink per day for women, two for men.

Just a month has gone by since we’ve been in 2020 with our new intentions. We planned to sleep better, work out more, and put boundaries on social media. If you’re on track with all your intentions, congratulations, keep up the good work, and pat yourself on the back.

If not, here are some words of encouragement to keep you going from now and through the rest of the year.

Throughout the month, try out a few different variations of your goals, dip your toe in the water, and use the time to see what works for you. For example, is three times a week to exercise doable? Is it too much or too little for me or my schedule? What time of day works best?

  1. Go easy on yourself
  2. Review your intentions
  3. Lessons Learned

Plant-Based Friendly Tastes

In the day of the health-conscious consumer, it is important for any food provider to stay updated with what is necessary to meet the consumer needs. Veganism continues to gain popularity as consumers begin to understand some of its amazing benefits, such as nutrient-rich eating, reduced waste, weight loss, lower risk of diseases, and so many more!

We spoke to Guest Services executive chefs, Jeff Trefry, and Roland Markart, to see how they are pushing to meet the standard in our GSI units, and offering inclusive options for all of our vegan friends!

“All units and chefs are very flexible because these types of diets are becoming more popular, and we are very open-minded in providing food that tastes great and includes those with restrictive diets.” Roland Markart expressed his willingness and eagerness to jump right on board with the trend in saying,

Take a look at our list of units that proudly offer vegan selections!

Air and Space Museum– National Mall Kiosks

The Air and Space Museum kiosk is full of vegan-friendly items to enjoy today! Some options at the kiosk include Morning Star Farms Black bean burger, house salads, and a veggie sandwich with fries.

Big Sur Lodge

At Big Sur Lodge, you can look forward to vegan options that will satisfy cravings! “The Local” is a vegan dish with miso-glazed grilled tofu, grilled peppers, avocado, grilled eggplants, Portobello mushroom, grilled radicchio, Vidalia onions, and balsamic vinaigrette. The lodge has a vegan Mediterranean masa, and many vegetarian options to choose from, easily adjusted to fit any need you may have.

Bear Mountain Inn

As a beautiful wedding destination, the Inn strives to cater to all tastes and preferences by offering several vegan-friendly options for their wedding menu. It also includes an ENTIRELY vegan menu by wedding request.

The vegan menu created by Bear Mountain Inn’s own catering chef, Armondo Aviles, includes hors d’oeuvres, a cold station, and an interactive station including vegan sliders and a fa-waffle station.  Yum!

Staples for creating a vegan-friendly alternative at the Bear Mountain Inn consist of fruits, vegetables, and nut substitutes – like their delicious cashew “cheese” quesadillas! Some of the delectable dishes include: vegan ceviche, empanadas, pulled “pork,” dips and salsas, sliders, and so much more.

Mount Rainier

Vegan options at the Paradise Inn Restaurant and the National Park Inn Restaurant do not come in short supply! The options include a Cauliflower Pie Fold, Volcanic Vegan Mac n’ Cheese, Falafel Sandwich, Field of Wildflowers Salad, Tacoma Tofu Scramble, and more! Mount Rainier also has a variety of vegetarian options. Substitutions can be made to accommodate a vegan or vegetarian diet.

The Lodge at Breckenridge

The Lodge offers a beautifully colored Vegetable Terrine, full of in-season produce such as tomatoes, basil, squash, and more! This summer staple will have you coming back for more every time.

The National Emergency Training Center

Some menu items at the National Emergency Training Center (NETC) that can regularly be seen include falafel, grilled tofu with rice noodles and Chili Garlic Sauce; cauliflower options, potato-based options, and Pea Curry. The NETC also offers Three Grain Sliders and Marinated Grilled Portobello Mushrooms as burger/sandwich meat substitutes.

Russ Fetting, the Executive Chef at NETC in Emmetsburg, Maryland, describes the unique way that they provide inclusive options to their students.

“We offer a vegan choice on our menu daily. We also work with special diets on a case-by-case basis. When the students arrive on campus, part of the “Welcome” packet is a form asking about any special diet or allergen concerns they may have. We then meet with them one on one and come up with a plan that will accommodate their needs while they are here, ” Chef Fetting said.

The Sculpture Garden – Pavilion Café

The Pavilion Café at the Sculpture Garden proudly offers a wide variety of options for vegan and vegetarian tourists and locals alike. Some vegetarian options include Mediterranean Salad, Mexican Corn Flatbread, and Eggplant Caprese.  Executive Chef Edward Verber states, “We also accommodate to our vegan guests with the other vegetarian options and can easily omit the cheese in the Eggplant Caprese and the Mediterranean to further give options to our guests.”

A Vegan Veggie Wrap consists of Balsamic-roasted eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash. Another chef’s favorite is bruschetta tomatoes, fresh basil, baby arugula, and a garlic white bean puree wrapped in a locally produced spinach tortilla. Another vegan option is the delicious Citrus Quinoa salad with pineapple, oranges, grapes, watermelon, and sweet and spicy glazed almonds.


We encourage you to try out any of these menu items! Even if you’re new to veganism, give it a go! You won’t be disappointed with all the variety.

“It is not just our responsibility to provide a variety of accommodating foods, but it is also the guests’ responsibility to tell us how we can improve their experience with us. Don’t be afraid to mention your food restrictions to our staff,” says Roland Markart, Corporate Chef of the Hospitality Division.

When vegan options cannot be found, there are vegetarian options at every Guest Services’ unit, both on the menu and upon request. Ask your chef what they can do to make your meals more accommodating and satisfying to your needs.

For allergens or other intolerances, Guest Services is here to help. “With those with very strict dietary restrictions, such as a peanut allergy, we accommodate by having certain foods prepared in a different environment to avoid cross-contamination in the kitchen,” says Roland Markart

Keep Active Throughout the Day

Staying active is often essential to maintaining and losing weight. If you’re low on time, just try to get more steps during the day or try a standing desk. Here are also some other great ways to get in a good workout if you have the time:

  • Weight training is great for boosting your metabolism and burning calories throughout the day. Muscle burns more calories at rest than fat and can help you lose weight faster. And ladies, weight training won’t make you bulk up. Women just don’t have as much testosterone as men.
  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT) or circuit training is a quick and efficient way to get in a good workout. It has been shown to boost your metabolism throughout the day and often doesn’t take longer than 15-20 minutes. Win-win!
  • Running, cycling, dancing, and other forms of cardio are also great ways to burn lots of calories and improve your cardiovascular health.
  • Stretching, Pilates, and yoga are great ways to improve your flexibility and strength and can help in other areas of your fitness regime.

What exercise(s) work best for you?

As always, remember that healthy eating and fitness go hand-in-hand. The old saying goes that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Be sure to enjoy your favorite foods as well as healthy ones in moderation. Your diet doesn’t have to be perfect 100% of the time, but it’s important to make sure you always incorporate vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients into your daily diet. Have a happy, healthy new year from us at Guest Services Inc!

For more information on Judy Caplan and her services, you can visit her website or contact her by email or phone at (703) 758-2399. You can also follow Go Be Full on Facebook and Twitter for updates from Caplan.