January 2. 2006

VIP Scene :

Howard Stern eating the Thunder Plate at NYC’s Pump.

December 22, 2005
By Amy Diluna

Calorie-consious lunchers have already discovered The Pump Energy Food and its tasty, healthy wares. Now, if you drop off a list of New Year’s health resolutions at one of the New York locations of the chain – then attend meetings at the W. 38th St location on Jan. 29 and 31 and stick to your goals, you get free lunch for a week.

Seems like a lot of work for some gratis grub, but hey, it’s not easy to be beautiful. For more information and locations, visit

November 21, 2005

Feeding the Needs of Health-Savvy Customers

Moderator Bret Thorn asked what health and nutrition initiatives operators are undertaking. “I add a lot of vegetables,” said Steve Kapelonis, president of New York-based The Pump Energy Food restaurants, which has five units. He calls his cuisine “energy food.”

November 8, 2005

Refuel at Pump

Celebrate your crossing of the New York City Marathon finish line and refuel with the Champion Plate at Pump Energy Food (40 W. 55th St., 212-246-6844; 113 E. 31st St., 212-213-5733). The health food restaurant is giving away free meals to those who ran the marathon. Bring in your number to eat up!

April 2005
“The Wheel Deal”

Speaking of fuel, bodybuilders, models and ordinary dieters hit The Pump Energy Food when they want to tank up on well-balanced meals. This restaurant for the physically fit, where egg yolks, butter, oil, bacon, mayonnaise and white bread never cross the threshold, has four locations around town: 40 W. 55th St. between Fifth and Sixth avenues, 212-246-6844; 112 W. 38th St. between Sixth Avenue and Broadway, 212-764-2100; 113 E. 31st St. between Park and Lexington avenues, 212-213-5733; 31 E. 21st St. between Park Avenue and Broadway, 212-253-7676.

April 2005
By Katie Caruana

Book Review

In this day and age, it seems like every time you turn around there’s a new diet book out there—a “revolutionary” plan that reveals if you simply cut out the carbs, or incorporate daily doses of peanut butter, or eat foods according to your blood type, all those pesky extra pounds will just fly off your body. It is so simple, these books tell you – they’ve finally found the answer to effortless weight loss!
Thankfully, The Pump Energy Food stands apart from this trend. The book is the brainchild of Steve and Elena Kapelonis, proprietors of The Pump chain of restaurants in New York City. Since opening their first location in 1996, the Kapelonises have attracted a loyal clientele of fitness enthusiasts (including numerous celebrities) with their mouthwatering healthy fare.

Part cookbook and part nutrition guide, The Pump Energy Food takes a practical approach to healthy eating. The authors emphasize the consumption of nutrient-rich foods to keep you fueled – (lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and nuts), while urging you to steer clear of processed and fatty fare. Don’t expect the Kapelonises to tell you it’s possible to eat all you want and still see results; this book lays down the law. “Don’t cheat!” insists the authors. “Even a bite of cheesecake or a few French fries can sabotage all your good work.” Pump Energy is one of the few books out there that actually tells us what we need to hear (rather than what we want to hear), explaining that diligent food choices are the only route to success.

But frankly, after sampling the authors’ decadent-sounding dishes – including Pan Seared Scallops with Tomatoes and Parsnips, Rib-eye Steak with Roasted Garlic and The Pump’s Broccoli and Mozzarella Omelet – you’ll probably lose any temptation you have for eating the bad stuff. With recipe after recipe (all plucked from the Pump restaurant menu), it’s made abundantly clear that healthy, regimented meals don’t have to be tasteless and bland.

The book concludes by providing two separate two-week meal plans, one for people trying to bulk up, and the other for those aiming to get lean. And yes, both incorporate recipes. The guidelines the couple set forth are likely ones you are already familiar with, but in order to make smart lifestyle choices, it is essential to keep your routine new and exciting. These recipes will certainly help spice up your meals – lending a much-needed helping hand to those of us out there who are not as dynamic in the kitchen as we are in the gym.

March 21, 2005

What’s the Best New Diet?
The Pump Energy Food

This eating strategy comes from New York’s popular Pump restaurant, which serves low-fat, sugar-free, salt-free meals to celebrities like Tyra Banks, Kevin Costner, and John Stamos. “It categorizes right foods and wrong foods.” Wolfe explained.

The book is filled with healthy recipes and recommends eating twice as many vegetables as protein. It also advises reducing carbs as the day goes on.

Exercise for Your Body and Mind
February 18, 2005
“Pump Up Your energy”

with Steve & Elena Kapelonis, founders of The PUMP Energy Food & Physical Fitness Restaurants in New York.
The PUMP is a revolutionary new restaurant in Manhattan that makes food that promotes energy. Many people try to create lifestyles that enhance energy by adding more exercise, more sleep or an additional caffeine kick, but we miss an essential and obvious component to our lifestyle that can increase or decrease our energy rather quickly and that is FOOD. Nothing zaps us of our energy quicker than eating the wrong thing!

Getting ready to open their 5th PUMP restaurant in Manhattan, the PUMP’s philosophy is that FOOD=ENERGY. By combining their 25 years of experience in the food and fitness industries with their love of practicing a healthy lifestyle and preparing nutritious food, Steve and Elena will share their culinary secrets to food that tastes great, feels great and makes you look great!

Because of the enormous success of their restaurants, they are now sharing their philosophy with their new book, the PUMP ENERGY FOOD: A Revolutionary Cookbook and Eating Plan to Create the Body of Your Dreams.

West Side Spirit
February 17, 2005
By Lauren A. Elkies

Manhattan Dining

Today, the Kapelonis have four Pump restaurants – with a new one slated to open at 50th Street and Third Avenue in March – and a recently released cookbook, “The Pump Energy Food: A Revolutionary Cookbook and Eating Plan to Create the Body of Your Dreams” (Hyperion, 2005). They wrote it along with the appropriately named cookbook writer Mary Goodbody, whom they met through their publisher. The book, which is selling nationwide in Barnes & Noble, Borders and on Amazon, contains 80 percent of the restaurant’s menu, which amounts to about 75 recipes…

The 700 Club
February 9, 2005

Restore Energy
‘Pump’ Up Your Diet with Steve and Elena Kapelonis

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:
Write down why you want to change your life. Read it often.
Make a list of the right foods and keep it as a reference. This is handy when you crave a snack.
Eat fruit to curb your desire for the wrong foods.
Plan your meals the day before. Write down the foods you will eat tomorrow.
Exercise daily. Don’t miss a day; write it on your calendar.
Avoid salty foods.
Limit coffee and tea.
Eat protein bars as snacks, not as accompaniments to meals.
Get back on track if you slip.
Weigh yourself at least once a week to help insure you stay within five pounds of your current goal weight.

Here are some winning strategies:
Decide to eat only good foods and enough of them.
Eat protein with every meal.
Eat twice as many vegetables or as much salad as protein.
Eat supper at least four hours before bedtime.
Limit fat.
Drink plenty of water.
Don’t cheat. This is important.

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.

February 7, 2005
By Eugena Pilek

Hot Book Picks:
Healthy-Eating Handbooks

The Pump Energy Food by Steve and Elena Kapelonis with Mary Goodbody

The founders of NYC’s famous fitness eatery (Tyra Banks loves it!)
promote weight loss and extra energy with protein-rich recipes like
pumped-up hummus and baked chicken breast with stewed peaches.

February 4, 2005

We also spotted McMullan at Spirit on Saturday, where authors Elena and Steve Kapelonis were treating the club’s early crowd to scrumptious selection from their new Pump Energy Food Cookbook. Their nibbles got us so energized (well, the nibbles and the open bar!) that we couldn’t help but hang out well into the night for DJ Jonathan Peters’ birthday blowout!

January 25, 2005
By Hitha Prabhakar

Body & Soul

Get Pumped On Restaurant Diet
Losing weight on a hectic schedule is possible with The Pump – Energy Food

We all know that most diets started as New Year’s resolutions rarely see the end of the month. Whether from lack of motivation or lack of results, quickie diets are almost always a bust. When I was presented with the idea of doing a diet as part of the New Year’s rush to lose weight, I was naturally skeptical. With a hectic schedule of work, school and meetings I hardly had the time to breathe, much less eat healthy.Still, I wanted to see if The Pump Energy Food diet, an eating plan based on the food served at the restaurant of the same name, would help me get rid of the extra five pounds I gained over eight months of eating pizza, fast food and Chinese take-out. The diet was created eight years ago by restaurant owners, Steve and Elena Kapelonis. Steve explained that when the couple first started the restaurant, they gained a total of 110 pounds combined. “It was ironic,” he says, “because Elena and I were starting up a restaurant that was for healthy eating. We finally committed ourselves to living the lifestyle that we had envisioned for our customers, which includes eating foods that give energy as opposed to depleting it.”
Gain Energy
After a couple months of eating the Pump way, Steve and Elena had lost the weight they had gained, and felt full of energy, despite short sleeping schedules. “I wanted everyone to benefit from what we experienced,” he says. “The results were phenomenal.” I’m always ready to get more energy in my life, so I delved into the radical change in my eating habits. I received a detailed eating plan and “The Pump Energy Food” cookbook, which promised that if I combined the plan with a daily 40 minutes in the gym, I would lose 12 to 14 pounds. Since a loss of 14 pounds would be too much for my body, I cut down my gym time to three days a week. The diet seemed easy at firs. “The food – mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, grilled chicken, fish and steak along with high protein shakes – was easy to prepare. Portions were anything but skimpy, but strangely, only a couple hours after eating, I would be ready for the next snack or meal.

Work Through Temptation
I noticed that my metabolism was picking up as well. Despite the cold weather, walking to the subway or up the stairs left me flushed with heat. Within a week, I had lost two pounds. Sticking to the program, despite temptations and time constraints was tough. But with a huge amount of will power. I was able to take off an additional two pounds by the time the diet was over. After eating this way for 14 days, I realized that a healthy lifestyle could coexist with a busy one.

25 Hours
Free in Sunday’s Daily News
January 23, 2005

Location Quo, 511 W. 28th St.
Conditions Recipes for a hot body
Get Pumped

Famed New York photographer Patrick McMullan hosted a decadent evening of food, smoothies and (of course!) an open bar to celebrate the launch of The Pump Energy Food book by Steve and Elena Kapelonis and Mary Goodbody (Hyperion). Named after and based around the food and diet advice served up at The Pump’s four fab (and celeb patronized) New York locations, the book offers recipes and an “eating plan to create the body of your dreams.” If the models and guests in attendance are any indication of the results you can achieve with the book, where do I get one? –CB

January 21, 2005

Pump Up the Volume

Pump Energy Food: A Revolutionary Cookbook and Eating Plan to create the Body of Your Dreams
By Steve & Elena Kapelonis

Are you suffering from January ring around the gut? If so, pick up a copy of Pump Energy Foods (Hyperion Books, $16.95). Brought to you by the slim good bodies at the popular New York City eatery, the book contains more than 150 recipes categorized into “Have Energy,” “Stay Fit,” “Lose Weight” and “Build Muscle” genres. The book also contains two day-by-day diet plans (one for losing weight and one for building muscle) and is ultimately chock full of tasty and healthy tips for staying fit. –AG

January 18, 2005
By Margaret Jaworski

Circle This

what’s up • what’s hot • news to use

The Pump Energy Food:
A Revolutionary Cookbook and Eating Plan to Create the Body of your Dreams, by Steve and Elena Kapelonis
From the owners of Manhattan’s Pump Energy restaurants, the book offers a two-week food makeover, plus 150 recipes to kick-start a healthier you in 2005.

January 10, 2005
By Cheryl Wills
Pump Energy Food Restaurant Offers Fast Food, Minus The Temptation
If you’re looking for a new diet plan to go along with your new fitness routine, the answer may be at a fast food restaurant that keeps the flavor but loses the fat. NY1’s Cheryl Wills has more in the following report.

If you’re shaking up your life with some health resolutions for the New Year, there may be a place to go to jump start the process.

The Pump Energy Food restaurant offers fast food, minus the temptation. Everything on the menu is baked, not fried; no salt or sugar is added; and egg yolks and soda are strictly off limits.

Owners of the health conscious restaurant say when it comes to food, the tough decisions have already been made for you.

“We don’t count the calories in the restaurant, because everything we use in the restaurant, nothing is bad,” says owner Steve Kapelonis. “So if you eat the right food your body breaks it down to energy.”

Kapelonis and his wife Elena created the so-called “physical fitness restaurant” to give customers healthy and tasty food options. The meals, which include baked falafel and protein pancakes, offer energy and flavor, but forbid certain ingredients.

“There is no white flour, first of all, and there is no butter,” says Elena. “We feel that butter is a real problem with food. Another thing we never use is preservatives, so you don’t have to spend the afternoon digesting your food.”

Everything from soups, sandwiches, pizza, and burgers are prepared with more natural options to flavor the food. And if you have a sweet tooth, the Pump offers fruit smoothies and sin-free dessert like cookies and pecan pie.

Patrons NY1 spoke with say they rely on the restaurant to fill their stomach and fuel their day.

“You can have your egg whites, or your hummus, or tuna or steak, but you know it’s lean,” says fitness trainer Debra Strougo. “It hasn’t been cooked with oil and butter, or even salt, so you feel really good after you eat it.”

Manhattan weight loss specialist Doctor Howard Shapiro says the Pump diet is a win/win situation for people trying to lose weight.

“If you can have a restaurant that makes an effort to give you healthy foods, it’s certainly an added reason to go to that restaurant,” he says.

And if you’re committed to following through with those New Year’s resolutions, the Pump restaurant is giving away their healthy secret recipes in a new cook book. Readers may just be surprised to find where most of the flavor comes from.

“[It comes from] parsley, cilantro, basil, white balsamic vinegar, lemon – things that are around, but we just get lazy,” says Steve.

If you’re not much of a cook, you can always stop by one of the four Pump restaurants to fuel up and flex your muscle. For more information, visit

– Cheryl Wills

January 8, 2005
Ben Widdicombe
Cupid hasn’t finished messing with us yet. Bush-twin-spinning It-Boy, Fabian Basabe, is getting married today in the Dominican Republic. The lucky (and possibly somewhat surprised) lady is Martina Borgomanero, of the family that owns luxury lingerie company La Perla.

Mingling among the shirtless waiters at Quo on Thursday for The Pump “Energy Food” book launch, Basabe told friends with a sly grin that he was “eloping.”
When a pal suggested they mosey across the street to the gay night at Crobar, he begged out, saying, “I can’t! I’m getting married on Saturday!”

I don’t know if Star Jones and Barry Diller are invited to the wedding, but they should be.

January 6, 2005
By Amy DiLuna and Julian Kesner

Some Light Reading

“The Pump Energy Food” (Hyperion, $16.95) The owners of The Pump have been serving high-protein meals to New Yorkers since the late ‘90s, and now 150 of their recipes can be made at home.

January 2005
By Susan Hagloch

Starting on a Lighter Note
Kapelonis, Steve & Elena with Mary Goodbody. The Pump Energy food: A Revolutionary Cookbook and Eating Plan to Create the Body of Your Dreams. Hyperion. Jan. 2005 Health

The Pump Energy Food restaurants in New York City have become a mecca for athletes, trainers, dancers, and dieters. This cookbook authored by the chain’s founders features a variety of excellent recipes and sample menus for those who want to increase energy, lose weight, or build muscle mass. Relying heavily on grains and vegetables, but also using lean meats and poultry, these recipes allow for larger portions than usual. Nevertheless, the tasty dishes will also appeal to nondieters.

January 2005
The Fitness & Nutrition Issue
By Will Palmer
Page Burners

Fine-tune your feel-good resolutions with the year’s newest food-and-fitness titles.
The Pump Energy Food (Hyperion, $17)
Like everything on the menu at Manhattan’s four Pump Energy Food “physical fitness” restaurants, the 150 easy recipes in this user-friendly cookbook will appeal to the body-conscious athletic crowd: high in protein and complex carbohydrates, low in butter and oils. Symbols accompanying each recipe – from the ginger-tofu stir-fry to the healthy Pump apple pie – tell you whether it’s best for a weight-loss, muscle-building, or high-energy diet – or all three.

Phil Lempert
Program Highlights for 1/2/05

Athletes, trainers, dancers and celebrities have been eating at New York’s popular PUMP Energy Food Restaurants to increase their energy, lose weight and get lean. Lempert talks with Elena Kapelonis, Co-owner of the PUMP restaurants and co-author of the PUMP’s first premiere cookbook and lifestyle guide to find out the PUMP’s philosophy on food and fitness for the New Year.

New York City Restaurants
Best Buys

“The fit and would-be fit” are “pumped” about these “hole-in-the-wall snack bars” serving “baked falafel” and other “creative”, “low-fat” food “for carb-restrictors and carb-loaders” alike – amazingly, it “actually tastes good” and won’t deflate your budget; P.S. “fast delivery” is part of the package.

December 30, 2004
By Richard Johnson
Page Six
We hear…we hear… THAT photographer Patrick McMullan is hosting a party at Quo on Jan. 6 to celebrate the release of “The Pump Energy Food Diet,” written by the owners of his fave health food joint.

December 16, 2004

Lifestyle Food
A Revolutionary Cookbook and Eating Plan to Create the Body of Your Dreams

From Publishers Weekly
The Pump Energy Food has been serving health-minded Manhattanites high-protein fare since 1997, well before “low carb” became the mantra of the day. This collection of recipes and healthy-eating tips from the restaurant’s owners is one of the stronger offerings on today’s high-protein cookbook shelf: it explains how to make filling, flavorful foods and has a friendly, community feel to it, thanks in part to the numerous recipe introductions featuring commentary by the authors on customers’ reactions to the dishes. The Kapelonises, who now operate four Pump restaurants in New York, list the “right foods” and the “wrong foods,” and anyone who’s been paying moderate attention to current diet crazes won’t be surprised to find fish, chicken, turkey, egg whites, beans, nuts and brown rice on the “right” list, and white bread, white pasta, fried foods, butter and sugary beverages on the “wrong” list. Where the book shines is in its recipes, which cover appetizers, salads, main courses (meat and vegetarian), pizzas and burgers, salads, vegetable sides, shakes and juices, and the restaurant’s famous “Super-Charged Plates.” Although the book will be of most interest to athletes and other active people, its food—Ginger-Tofu Stir-Fry, Chicken with Spinach and Ricotta, Eggplant Carpaccio, Banana-Strawberry Soy Protein Shake, Pump Apple Pie—is so tasty, it’ll appeal to all.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

December 2004

The Pump’s New Recipe Book
Healthy New York restaurant releases cookbook for the fitness conscious

By now, most serious fitness enthusiasts know that eating the right foods is as important to a good body as working out regularly. Since The Pump Energy Food restaurant opened in New York City in 1997 with a varied menu of healthy and tasty meals and drinks, it has been a regular lunchtime stop for the workout crowd. Now that The Pump has expanded to four Manhattan sites, owners Steve and Elena Kapelonis are branching out beyond the restaurant business. Next month the couple will release their first book, named The Pump Energy Food (Hyperion, $16.95). Some might say that the Kapelonis’ are giving up the family secrets, because the extensive cookbook mirrors much of the menu and tells readers how to prepare the food at home. The Pump covers all the course, from breakfast and side dishes to main courses (both meat and vegetarian). There’s an entire shakes and juices section, a chapter on dressings and pages devoted to salads and sandwiches. While the recipes don’t have pictures of the food, each item is marked with a code that lets readers know if the food will help them have energy, stay fit, lose weight or build muscle. From marinated rosemary garlic chicken to chick pea stew with basil to chocoate peanut-butter pudding, readers of any taste will find a recipe that calls to them. The Pump Energy Food should be available at your local bookstore around the new year.

December 2004
The Pump Energy Food by Steve and Elena Kapelonis with Mary Goodbody:

Straight from the kitchen of the popular New York health-food chain comes recipes for building a better body. Thoughtfully presented to help you lose weight, bulk up, increase energy, and stay in shape, the book presents recipes for dishes from green salad to chocolate-peanut butter pudding. Hyperion; $16.95.

November 05-07, 2004
Dining Out
Carbo Loading At Pump

If you’re running the marathon on Sunday, you can carbo load at PUMP Energy Food with its Marathon Plate: whole-wheat pasta topped with chick peas. There are four PUMP locations in the city. You can find one at

June 2004
By Steve Steinberg

Peak Performance – Your Summer Body
In Four Weeks

When the guys who hit the 19th Street gym go out to eat, it might not surprise you that they don’t head to the local pizza joint. New York bodybuilders and models frequent the Pump – whose owner, Steve Kapelonis, would sooner close up shop than fry up chops. Here’s Kapelonis’s abs-friendly menu to get you started. If you’re looking for a less extreme diet, substitute the shakes with more dairy and fresh fruit. (

BREAKFAST: TURBO OMELET – Six egg whites and a grilled chicken breast served with a toasted whole wheat pita

10 A.M.: PROTEIN SHAKE – With 20 grams of protein and no carbs

LUNCH: TURKEY BURGER SANDWICH, PIZZA-STYLE – A turkey burger with low-sodium tomato sauce and nonfat mozzarella on a whole wheat pita

3 P.M.: FELAFEL WITH HUMMUS SANDWICH – Baked (not fried) falafel and a scoop of hummus

DINNER: IRON – Two steak burgers grilled with peppers, onions, and low-sodium tomato sauce, served over six egg whites and accompanied by lentil soup

9 P.M.: PROTEIN SHAKE – With 20 grams of protein and no carbs

April 29, 2004
By Cindy Adams

… Want to lose weight? Open an energy food place like the Pump. Owner Steve Kapelonis lost 60 pounds in 3 years…

New York
March 2004
By Jonathan Cane

The Pump serves up a variety of low-fat, never fried, low-sodium options for the healthy New Yorker on the go. The atmosphere at The Pump is low-key, and the food is served cafeteria-style, but its clean and pleasant nonetheless. The foods fresh and cooked to order, with healthy pizzas, sandwiches, soups, salads, energy shakes and freshly squeezed juices. Menu items can be modified if you have allergies or if you’re on a specific diet. With four locations in the city, the Pump offers great, healthy options for a post-workout meal or a quick bite for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

September 4, 2003
By Cindy Adams

�The Pump restaurant’s Elena Kapelonis made the cover of Women’s World magazine�Only in New York, kids, only in New York.

Sept 1, 2003
By Carolyn Walkup

In New York Steve Kapelonis and his wife, Elena, opened the first unit of The Pump on 31st Street six years ago, after spending 26 years working in traditional restaurants, coffee shops and pizzerias. The concept initially was aimed at frequenters of Manhattan’s 140-plus gyms but has attempted to broaden its appeal for all ages and people “who just want to stay healthy,” Kapelonis said. “Back in the ’80s, the big thing was to be vegetarian, but the food didn’t taste good and you didn’t get protein,” he said. The Pump’s food doesn’t taste like stereotypical health food, Kapelonis claimed, for example, one of his favorite items is a grilled-chicken pita sandwich for which the chicken is marinated in lemon juice, oregano and onions and then grilled with onions, tomatoes, and peppers and served in a flat pita with hummus. “We’re not in a hurry to grow fast,” Kapelonis said, recalling predictions from friends when he opened the first of his four outlets. “Everybody said we would go out in six months; they thought we were nuts. But it totally took off.”

August 17, 2003
Pump-ed up on Atkins craze
by Coeli Carr

Chain keeps growing as dieting diners shun carbs
Steve Kapelonis and his Wife, Elena, opened their first Pump restaurant serving high-protein, low-carbohydrate fare almost six year ago. The timing couldn’t have been better. The Atkins diet craze was just beginning and its continued popularity has brought devotees who pound down protein and shun starches. The fallout has not only resulted in the couple opening three more restaurants, but one regular swung a cookbook deal for them as well. The Kapelonises, however, say their goal was never about cashing in on the Atkins craze but simply showing people a better way to eat. “I had this vision where I really wanted to do a restaurant without fried food, without soda, without butter and without salt and oil,” Kapelonis told The Post, adding that most people said they wouldn’t last six months without typical restaurant ingredients like mayo and white bread. “My wife and I believed we could do it; we just had it inside of us.” Kapelonis, who was born in Crete, developed his healthy eating ideas as a teenager working at his family’s restaurant. “What I usually do is take an unhealthy recipe and try to take all the bad stuff out and replace it with good stuff,” he said. The couple, who found their first Pump location on 31st Street between Park and Lexington, still follows the same menu as they did at the beginning – an assortment of reasonably priced high-protein fare, including oven-baked omelet dishes made from as many as six egg whites and served with salad and sides of vegetables or non-fried potatoes. About two years after opening the first Pump, the Kapelonises opened their second establishment on West 55th Street. The third followed on East 21st Street, and the fourth on West 38th Street. One Pump regular, Will Schwalbe, turned out to be the kind of customer who appreciated what the chain’s food philosophy might do for people unable to come by in person. Schwalbe, the editor in chief at Hyperion, the publishing arm of Disney, offered the Kapelonises a book deal. “They thought it all through and had a real point of view,” Schwalbe said, adding he’s never seen a menu with so much information and full disclosure. “I liked their approach to food – that it should taste delicious, build muscle and help you lose weight.” Kapelonis, who turns 40 this week and has two young daughters, is already gearing up with Elena to begin “The Pump Cookbook.” He’s now reinventing matzo ball soup, substituting tofu for the matzo. “I’m starting to play around with it,” he said. By September or October, I think I’m going to have it.”

February 18, 2003
By Anne Becker

Dining Without Carbs
The Pump Boasting a spot on Zagat 2003’s “best bang for the buck” list, The Pump is a darling of the high-protein set. Low-carb favorites include turkey burger with non-fat mozzarella cheese and low-sodium tomato sauce (sans but, of course), and Lean Body, consisting of grilled chicken, tomatoes, onions & peppers served over steamed spinach, and topped w/ vegetarian chili.

New York City
Sunday, February 16, 2003
By Merle English

This Menu’s On The Light Side
The Pump, a Manhattan ‘energy food’ restaurant,
challenges New Yorkers to lose weight
�Food at The Pump – which was included in the 2001 and 2002 Zagat (restaurant) Survey and also in the 2003 issue – is made to order without salt, oil, sugar, butter, additives or preservatives. Nothing is fried, and ham and eggs, French fries and soda are not on the 98-item menu. Cooked food is grilled, steamed or baked. Brown rice, tofu, chicken, turkey, soups, egg whites, seven-grain pancakes, fresh and cooked vegetables, humus, falafel, fruit juices and fat-free sweets are among the staples. Covering two walls are testimonials from actors and actresses, ballet dancers, sports figures, firefighters, gossip columnists and TV talk-show hosts bearing out the restaurant’s Zagat evaluation. “It takes love, time and care for food to taste good,” said Kapelonis, who “feels good” in his 5-foot 11-inch, 190-pound frame. “You get a lot of flavor without the calories. If you enjoy your food, you get all pumped up. “If somebody is to succeed on a diet, you have to like it,” he said. “If food is healthful, you have to find a way to make it taste good so it’s fun to eat it.” People watching their weight shouldn’t expect to lose in two months what they put on over five years, Kapelonis said. “You have to have patience and consistency, and good things are going to happen.” But a lifestyle change also should accompany weight loss, he said. “The key is for people to say, ‘I want to be healthy the rest of my life.'” A healthful diet should be built on a foundation of whole grains, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy, fruits, seeds, nuts and healthy oils, an article posted on a wall advises. “The problems we’re having with obesity is that we eat all the time,” Kapelonis said, “when we’re happy, when we’re sad, when we get together. You can’t just eat. Food should be used for energy. Staying healthy is the most important thin� We forget that.”

June 7-14, 2001
The Pump

Feeling guilty for polishing off that pitcher of margaritas last night? Detox here. It’s not all vegetarian, so you’ll find lean meat, chicken and tuna on the menu, but you won’t find any oil, butter or refined sugar-not even in the oatmeal-raisin cookies or apple pie. If you think you’d rather chew on card-board than a fat-free dessert, try the crispy baked falafel, served with a scoop of thick and creamy hummus ($5.75); it’s hard to justify the oil dripping off a regular chick-pea bomber after experiencing this streamlined alternative. Standard steamed veggies ($5) are elevated here with a sprinkling of nonfat melted mozzarella (sorry, vegans). The vegetarian chili ($4), loaded with chunks of carrots and beans and served with brown rice, is also a satisfying staple during lunch hour. At the close-size Midtown location, you’ll probably have to line up against the wall to order, but at least you’ll be standing beneath a signed picture of a smiling bodybuilder.–MA

April 12, 2001
Cindy Adams

�Exercisers eating energy food at the Pump call themselves the Waist Watchers�

Friday, March 24, 2000
by Rose Kim

In Manhattan
The Pump bills itself as a physical fitness restaurant that offers high-energy nutriments, but you don’t have to be a health nut to enjoy the food. The New Yorker sandwich, a healthful, low-fat lunch, is a whole wheat pita stuffed with your choice of chicken, steak burger, baked felafel or tofu, along with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, onions and hummus. The enormous salads, made with crisp romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions, can be topped with slices of grilled lemon chicken, baked felafel or tofu; the choices of dressings are tangy and fat-free. Pizzas are made with non-fat mozzarella, low-sodium tomato sauce and whole wheat flour. The Pump also has a long list of beverages – shakes made with vitamins, minerals and herbs. The breakfast menu includes omelets, made only with egg whites and baked, and seven-grain pancakes enhanced with protein.

Sunday, May 21, 2000
by Cynthia Kilian

Meals & Deals
With swimsuit season approaching, it’s time to think about dieting. And The Pump, a self-described “physical fitness restaurant” can help. Here, many meals are made without fat or sodium and with whole grains and high protein. Plus, pretty much whatever you’re craving. The Pump’s got it – even baked felafel. You can take your food out or dine on a red leatherette stool at one of The Pump’s blue counters. While an 8-inch pizza made with non-fat mozzarella and low-sodium tomato sauce on a whole wheat crust ($2.75) isn’t exactly like a regular pizzeria’s slice, it is guilt-free. Likewise, The Pump’s egg whites omelet, with such fillings as spinach and onions ($6.00), bears little resemblance to a greasy spoon’s, but dieters can feel good about that, as well as the browned (baked) potatoes that accompany it. The felafel and humus salad ($6.25) features three cumin-spiked chickpea balls are remarkably brown, considering they’re baked instead of fried. It’s served with a creamy, oil-free humus, toasted whole wheat pita and a salad of bright green romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers and diced onions. The three baked banana pancakes, made with seven-grain “designer protein” ($7.00), are thick, hearty and suprisingly moist and come with fresh strawberries. Fat-free desserts include a mousee-like sweet potato and banana pie ($3.00) and frozen yogurt ($2.00). There’s also an extensive menu of shakes and fresh squeezed juices. As devoted as the place is to healthy food, it’s equally intent on providing good service. There’s even a sign on one wall that gives estimates of waiting times for all of the dishes and explanations of why you should bear with them if it takes a little longer. The Pump further promises “Food that tastes great, feels great and makes you look great”. What more could a dieter ask for?


April 2000
by Alix Redmonde
and Jeremy Cohen

Pump Up Your Meals
Located in the heart of New York City, The Pump restaurant is making quite an impression on Gotham’s health conscious population. Owner Steve Kapelonis, who bills himself as Dr. No (as in no fried foods), says he also uses no butter, sugar or oils in any of his dishes. What you will find are fresh juices, low-fat/high energy meals and 24 types of protein shakes all made to dazzle the taste buds, stimulate brain cells and replenish those starving muscles for the next workout. Whether it’s an egg white omelet or grilled lemon chicken you crave, The Pump makes it all with energy and health in mind. The prices are more than reasonable and – best of all – they deliver.


April 2000
by Alix Redmonde
and Jeremy Cohen

Where the Experts Eat
The Pump, which bakes or grills all of its dishes. Nutritionist Meredith Liss says to try #88 (egg whites and vegetables in a whole wheat pita) or #41 (grilled chicken, steamed spinach, fat-free mozzarella cheese and low-sodium tomato sauce in a whole-wheat pita).


I Can’t Believe It’s Not Really Felafel!
The Pump alternately calls itself a physical-fitness restaurant and an unfried restaurant and, as such, appeals to a certain kind of Zoned-out, Atkins-addicted New Yorker – plus those few of us who haven’t entirely abandoned last month’s over-optimistic New Year’s resolutions. A second, spiffy branch has opened just in time to offer absolution to repentant sinners in the form of yolkless baked omelets, seven-grain pancakes, whole-wheat pizza, surprisingly tasty baked felafel, and protein plates with intimidating names like “Big Arms” and “Iron”. An added bonus for inveterate couch potatoes. They deliver.

Friday,January 23, 1998
by Sheldon Landwehr

Scoop du Jour
A new kind of no-fry eatery, The Pump offers 98 items cooked every which way but fried – no butter, no oil, no sugar, no salt, no egg yolks, no taste – oops – just kidding!