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Owners, Pump Energy Food restaurants, four locations in New York City
Highly rated, Zagat Restaurant Guide for New York, three years
Restaurants are a haven for fitness buffs and celebrities
Media Appearance: Fox News Live
CBN.com Curb Your Weight and Eat Great
In 1997, after feeding athletes and fitness buffs for several years, Steve and Elena opened their first Pump Energy Food and Physical Fitness Restaurant in New York City. With Steve having more than 25 years of culinary experience, this Greek and Jewish couple combined their passion for healthy lifestyles and their love of delicious food to create meals that make people feel great.
Steve and Elena know what it is like to be out of shape and overweight. When they first opened their restaurant, they worked so hard that they didn’t have enough time or energy to exercise and eat healthfully. Even though they were making foods that made their customers feel exuberant, they were exhausted, frustrated, and lacking in energy. Before they knew it, together they’d gained 110 pounds.
They decided that enough was enough, so they started eating the Pump way. Within 12 months, they had lost all the weight they had gained.
Steve is the youngest of three children whose parents have owned a health food store in New York City for many years. He’s always been interested in healthy food and healthy living. He has even done some bodybuilding.
It was as a bodybuilder that he established his friendships with many personal trainers at the gym. In order for their clients to continue to look good, many personal trainers sent them to Steve’s restaurant for his healthy shakes – “A good-looking client is a happy client.” Pump clients include many athletes, trainers, dancers, and celebrities, including Tyra Banks, Brooke Shields, Kevin Costner, John Stamos, and Carole King.
Even before their marriage, onlookers were amazed to see such great looking people standing in long lines outside of a “regular-looking” restaurant that Steve had, Elena says. “People lined up to buy his food,” she says.
Four Principles of Good Health
Steve was aware that most people thought health food didn’t taste good and dedicated himself to perfecting healthy dishes that tasted great. The Pump mission is centered around four principles: stay in shape, increase energy, lose weight, and build muscle.
Fattening foods are cheap and easy to buy: bags of chips, soda, candy bars, and fast food burgers. They are packaged for munching on the go, which only makes them more dangerous. Remember, it took years to gain weight and lose muscle tone and flexibility, so don’t expect to reverse the process overnight.
Here are some helpful tips:
Here are some winning strategies:
The Pump Diet
Elena says people can look forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day with good food that can keep the love handles off. Their favorite Valentine’s Day was last year when they were working on the book. “We always celebrate together with the kids,” they say. “And we prepared an amazing meal that would turn into some of our favorite recipes in the book.” That meal was Our Favorite Salad (p. 44), Herbed Lamb Chops – which their daughters love (p. 84), Tomato Stacks (p. 129), and Baked Pineapple with Strawberry Sauce (p. 178).
Once you’ve adopted the Pump healthy way of life, you are set for life. Never hesitate to get advice or help from doctors, nutritionists, and trainers. The doctor will make sure you are healthy enough to start a program of diet and exercise. The nutritionist will help you plan a sensible regimen of vitamins and supplements. The right trainer can help you use your time at the gym more efficiently for optimal benefits and little risk of injury.
Be sure to eat the right foods. Make sure it’s whole food, not processed foods. Begin the day with protein and complex carbohydrates. Eat lots of vegetables and some fruit. Limit carbohydrates as the day goes by so that by suppertime you are eating primarily protein and vegetables. Fat is important. Eat small amounts of good fats, such as olive oil and sesame oil, nuts, and avocados. Avoid eating protein, carbohydrates, and cheese at the same time –cheeseburgers (skip the cheese and the bun), lasagna (the worst combination), egg and cheese sandwiches on a bagel (try an egg white omelet). They recommend forgoing some menu items, no matter how much you love them – pancakes with syrup, cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, and muffins. The right foods include fish, chicken, turkey, egg whites, lean beef and lamb, beans, dried fruits, sweet potatoes. The wrong foods include white bread, white pasta, white potatoes, fried foods, mayonnaise, butter and cream, and sugary beverages.
Steve and Elena are not advocating a weight-loss diet, although a lot of their customers lose weight. Their goal is to help everyone feel better and stay fit, regardless of their level of fitness, weight, and muscle mass. Their philosophy is simple: Eat the right foods in the right combinations and you will stay fit and healthy. Make this a lifelong commitment and you will have all the energy you need to sail through your days.
Steve works closely with a credentialed nutritionist. He also works closely with expert fitness trainers to be sure he incorporates their clients’ needs into the Pump lifestyle. They’ve included brief testimonials throughout the book.
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