hero-berry

CocoaVia Giveaway

 

Mama Mia! It’s CocoaVia! And it’s a giveaway!

hero-berry
If you read our blog, by now you know that there are many things that can easily make us happy, especially when they’re healthy too—from tasting delicious food to viewing beautiful scenery to getting our blood pumping with some exercise or taking a yoga class, we’re girls that are in many ways easy to please. So if you read our CocoaVia Chocolate Mousse blog last week featuring the scrumptious recipe and explaining why only a few chocolates truly offer health benefits, you know we’re thrilled to have found CocoaVia. That’s why we’re excited to partner with them for this giveaway—where you (yes, YOU!) can win! We hope you are as excited as we are at the chance to getting spoiled by free, wonderful, good health-promoting goodies!

 

If you haven’t heard about CocoaVia before or read our blog last week, it’s a delicious powder that comes in chocolate flavor, Cran-Raspberry and Summer Citrus that tastes great in smoothies, drinks, yogurt and more and contains a high concentration of heart-healthy, good circulation-promoting flavanols. It’s the “stuff” that is responsible for giving chocolate its’ health-promoting properties. CocoaVia makes it easy to get enough flavanols for good health. And it’s easy and delicious to use–check out this delish smoothie featuring CocoaVia below!

Want to win some great swag? Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page telling us what you’ll mix your CocoaVia with and you’ll be entered in the raffle! There will be three lucky winners!

Three lucky winners will receive:
• 2 Bottles of CocoaVia capsules
• 1 Package of Variety stick packs
• 1 Package of Unsweetened Dark Chocolate Stick Packs (We used these in our yummy & simple CocoaVia Chocolate Mousse)
• 1 Package of Sweetened Dark Chocolate Stick Packs
• 1 CocoaVia branded tote bag
• Electric Coffee Frother
• Recipe Cards for using the powders

Check out this delicious smoothie recipe you can easily whip together which uses CocoaVia (July is National Blueberry Month so it’s perfect timing—this recipe is packed with polyphenol & antioxidant- packed blueberries!):

CocoaVia® Berry Booster Breakfast Smoothie

hero-berryShake up your morning routine with this delicious and tangy treat!

Ingredients:
4 oz. nonfat milk (soy milk or almond milk can also be used)
2-3 oz. water
2 oz. apple juice
¼ cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup strawberries
¼ cup blueberries
¼ cup blackberries
Ice, crushed
1 packet of CocoaVia® Cran-Raspberry flavored supplement
• *Optional – ½ small banana

cocoavia_berry_booster.jpg

Directions:
Step 1:
Add milk, water, juice, yogurt, fruit & CocoaVia® supplement into blender.
Step 2:
Add crushed ice.
Step 3:
Blend & pour into glass and enjoy.
And for a scrumptious Chocolate Mousse made with CocoaVia, check out this simple, healthy protein-packed recipe!

 

Also, be sure to follow CocoaVia  on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

 

Thank you CocoaVia for sponsoring this giveaway!

 

Black_bean_Kiwi_zucchini_dressing

Black Bean, Kiwi & Corn Salad with Wine Vinaigrette

This salad is scrumptious—the perfect combo of sweet, savory and crunchy. It’s best served super cold and it’s so satisfying you’ll never find yourself needing to nosh afterwards.
It makes a fabulous meal for Meatless Monday—it’s got 12 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber—woot, woot!

We know, who would have thought to put kiwi in? We oddly enough did! And we couldn’t be more excited about it! It brings this salad to a whole new level. This is the kind of deal you can bring to your 4th of July celebration and it tastes so good that no one will ever feel like they’re eating something that is super healthy! Yes, this salad rocks! Psst—a few secrets are nonfat yogurt, pistachios and red wine vinegar.

Black_bean_Kiwi_zucchini_dressing
Black Bean, Kiwi & Corn Salad and Wine Vinaigrette
Prep time: 15 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:

Dressing:
• 4 Tbsp plain nonfat yogurt
• 10 finely chopped, shelled, raw pistachios
• 1/2 tsp olive oil
• 3 Tsp red wine vinegar
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Salad:
• 1, 16 ounce bag of organic frozen corn, mostly defrosted
• 1, 15.5 ounce can black beans, refrigerated
• 1 kiwi
• 2-3 Roma Tomatoes
3 zucchini (for the boats)
Black_bean_Kiwi_salad_ingredients
Directions:
Dressing:
1. Place the yogurt, pistachios, oil and vinegar in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Salad:
1. If you didn’t allow the corn to defrost the corn in the fridge, place it in the microwave and defrost according to the package directions. We recommend just making sure it’s not frozen, but leaving it very chilled.
2. Toss the corn, beans, kiwi and tomatoes with the dressing and serve. Best served chilled! Awesome!

 

Nutrition Information Per Serving (¼ of entire recipe): 232 calories, 47 g carbohydrate, 12 g protein, 2 grams fat, 11 g fiber, 393 mg sodium

Zucchini Boats:
Take it a step further and cut several zucchinis in half. Then using a knife, scoop out the inside of the zucchini, leaving just about ¼ inch around the outer shell. Serve the corn/yogurt mixture in zucchini boats by scooping ¼ salad into each zucchini.

Nutrition Facts per serving (1 serving is 1 zucchini boat with ¼ cup filling: 39 Calories, 8 g Carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 0 g Fat, 2 g fiber, Sodium 66 mg,  See full directions and link below.

 

Black_bean_Kiwi_zucchini_nodressing

 

Wanna turn this awesome salad into Black Bean & Corn Salad Zucchini Boats?  Simply click that title to get the recipe!

 

 

Black_bean_Kiwi_zucchini_holding2 Black_bean_Kiwi_zucchini_holding1
Black_bean_Kiwi_zucchini_dres_quarters
For a 10-day Weight Loss Jumpstart and Detox Plan, please check out The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure!

watermelonsnow1

Watermelon Snow Cone

For us, there’s nothing better than a cool refreshing treat on a warm summer day. When we were growing up our mouths would water when we’d see the ice cream truck selling snow cones and we’d long for one! Our mom would sometimes let us have a treat from the truck but always steered us towards other cold treats telling us that the snow cone’s sugary syrups on the ice were full of artificial dye and were just sugar. It turns out, mom was right (again!! Ahhh!—and funny enough, Tammy now does the same with her daughters!)—plus the typical snow cone will set you back 200-400 calories, depending on the size. So we’re happy to bring you one that’s just the opposite—all natural and only 30 calories!

 

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This healthy twist on a snow cone is naturally flavored with the juice of a sweet watermelon and deliciously complemented with a hint of fresh lemon juice. This thirst-quenching delight is more than 50% water, so it will help to keep you hydrated!

 

Watermelon Snow Cone

(Serves 2)

 

Ingredients:

1-cup watermelon balls

¼ cup strawberries, diced (stems removed)

2 cups ice

1 tsp. lemon juice

 

Directions:

  1. Blend 2 cups of ice in blender on high until ice chunks are made into partly chunky particles,, then set aside (in freezer if you don’t have your other items ready to blend) in 2 different serving bowls.
  2. Put watermelon, strawberries and lemon juice in blender and blend on high for 30 seconds.
  3. Once completely smooth, put a strainer over one serving bowl and pour half of the mixture into the bowl, allowing all of the juice to go through but keeping all of the solids out.
  4. Repeat for 2nd serving bowl.
  5. Grab a spoon, sunglasses, your favorite book, and enjoy your chilled treat under the warm summer sun!

 

watermelonsnow1

 

Watermelon Snow Cone
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2
  • Serving size: 2
  • Calories: 31
  • Fat: 0g
  • Saturated fat: 0g
  • Unsaturated fat: 0g
  • Trans fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.7g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Sodium: 1mg
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Prep time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 1-cup watermelon balls
  • ¼ cup strawberries, diced (stems removed)
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Blend 2 cups of ice in blender on high until ice chunks are made into partly chunky particles, then set aside (in freezer if you don’t have your other items ready to blend) in 2 different serving bowls.
  2. Put watermelon, strawberries and lemon juice in blender and blend on high for 30 seconds.
  3. Once completely smooth, put a strainer over one serving bowl and pour half of the mixture into the bowl, allowing all of the juice to go through but keeping all of the solids out.
  4. Repeat for 2nd serving bowl.
  5. Grab a spoon, sunglasses, your favorite book, and enjoy your chilled treat under the warm summer sun!

 

 

Per Serving: Calories 31, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 1mg, Carbs 7.7g, Fiber 1g, Sugars 6g, Protein 1g

 

For more than 100 delicious recipes, a 10-day Weight Loss Jumpstart and Detox Plan, plus a GET HEALTHY plan please check out The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure.

Strawberries_and_feta

Nothin’s Betta Than Strawberries ‘N Feta

If you are like us and flipped for our Watermelon, Feta and Basil Salad, you’ll wanna try this super easy sweet and savory, fiber and protein- packed snack—or appetizer! You can garnish it with basil or mint, or simply eat this as is! Soo scrumptious!

Strawberries_and_feta

In fact, our friend Kimberly Garruto, tasted our Watermelon version and said it inspired her to make this one—and she went for the gold! Woops, we mean for the feta! : ) Here’s your easy answer to a tasty snack.

Nothin’s betta than Strawberries ‘N Feta
Serves 1

Ingredients:
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 ounce feta, crumbled, fat free (we used Trader Joe’s) (Note: if you go for low-fat feta, that’s fine just be aware that the calories may be slightly higher than calculated below)

Optional:
Balsamic vinegar
Mint or basil

Directions:
Simply place strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle feta on top. Drizzle balsamic vinegar on top and mint or basil, if using. Dig in and enjoy! :)

Nutrition Facts per Serving (Entire Recipe) 88 Calories, 14 g Carbohydrate, 8 g protein, 0 g fat, 3 g fiber, 262 mg sodium

 

For more than 100 delicious recipes, a 10-day Weight Loss Jumpstart and Detox Plan, plus a GET HEALTHY plan please check out  The Nutrition Twin’s Veggie Cure (click here!) .

3 Weight Loss Mistakes Fit People Make

As seen on July 30th, 2013 on:

fitbie

written by The Nutrition Twins,

 

In our quest to slim down and shape up, we sometimes resort to tips and tricks that do more harm than good. But having the motivation to make a change is more than half the battle. Here are three common mistakes fit people make, plus smarter ways to put those good intentions to use.

Mistake #1: You drastically cut calories and carbs.
Sure, restrictive eating can help you lose weight fast, but it also means sacrificing energy, lean muscle tissue, and a speedy metabolism—all things that are necessary to healthfully keep the weight off. Here’s why: Without adequate fuel you’ll feel exhausted, your workouts will suffer, and you’ll burn fewer calories. Skimping on carbs—which break down into glucose, the body’s main source of energy—can be especially disastrous. Without enough, your body will use lean muscle tissue for energy, and the less lean tissue you have, the fewer calories your body will burn.
The Fix: Eat an adequate amount of calories (active women should never eat fewer than 1300, and active men should never eat fewer than 1600) and include wholesome carbohydrates like fibrous whole grains, beans, fruits, and plenty of vegetables in your diet. To cut calories, keep an eye on your portion sizes and limit your intake of processed foods and sweets.

Mistake #2: You love energy bars.
Many exercisers gravitate towards bars because they’re convenient, travel well, and are tasty. But the problem is, these energy-dense snacks are also easy to overeat. Each time you finish one you’re getting approximately the same amount of calories as you eating an entire sushi roll. Most people wouldn’t eat a full dinner after downing a sushi roll, and but they would after “snacking” on an energy bar.
The Fix: If you eat an energy bar after your workout, eat a smaller dinner. Or, shrink your post-workout snack by reaching for nonfat Greek yogurt with some berries or an apple and string cheese.

Mistake #3: You completely cut fat (even the good kind!) out of your diet.
Zapping fat creates two big problems. First, fat takes longer to digest than carbohydrate and protein, so it helps you to feel satisfied and not overeat. Second, since fat is needed to help heal and repair the body after exercise, you’ll feel more sore post workout, making it a challenge to get stronger and stay toned.
The Fix: Keep healthy fats in your daily diet by choosing foods rich in monounsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids instead of artery-clogging saturated fats. Here are four of our favorite ways to do so:

  • Swap sugary candies for a small square of dark chocolate with nuts or for a few chocolate covered-almonds.
  • Snack on small portions of nuts rather than processed snacks like chips.
  • Use avocado as a sandwich spread instead of mayonnaise or on salads instead of creamy salad dressings filled with hydrogenated oils.
  • Swap out fatty cuts of red meat for omega-3-rich fish like salmon and sardines.

Do you find yourself making any of these mistakes? Tell us how you combat them in the comments below, and don’t forget to visit nutritiontwins.com for more healthy eating tips.

Edamame Hummus

For more nutrition guidance and a ‘get healthy’ plan, please check out the “The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure

Published on Fitbie on July 30, 2013

 

Homemade Whole Wheat “Ritz” Crackers 1

Homemade Whole-Wheat “Ritz” Crackers

Never thought you’d hear this from our lips—but we’ve been smokin’ crack-“ers” –well, at least in our ovens! :) Say goodbye to the unhealthy and processed “classic” crackers and HELLO to deliciousness! Not only have we made this recipe using whole-wheat flour, we amped up the flavor with simple steps! This recipe is perfect for a snack paired with cheese, PB&J, or hummus!

 

Homemade Whole Wheat “Ritz” Crackers 1

 

Homemade Whole Wheat “Ritz” Crackers

 

Makes 60 crackers

 

Kitchen Needs

Oven

2 Baking sheets (use an additional if necessary)

Wax paper

Food processor

Rolling pin

Cookie cutter – you pick the shape! We used a small, plastic medicine cup and it worked perfectly as a cookie cutter!

Toothpick

Pastry brush

 

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

1/2 tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp salt

3 tsp unsalted butter, room temp – cut into pieces

2 tsp unsalted butter – melted (and put in a spray bottle if you have); you’ll only need to use about half of the butter.

1 tbsp coconut oil

1/3 cup room temp water

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to “convection bake 400F.” Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a food processor, mix and pulse together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the butter (small pieces at a time) and pulse the food processor until all pieces are combined into the mixture. Add the coconut oil and pulse again.

Once combined, add water a little at a time while pulsing the food processor and the dough will start to form a ball. When the ball of dough is formed, roll out the dough using a rolling pin – the goal is to reach as thin as possible, about 1/8th of an inch.

And great news! There’s not a “perfect” cracker – since they’re homemade they don’t have to look like they were processed from a machine—after all, they’ll still look delish and uniform!

Using a cookie cutter, cut out your crackers. Using the scraps, re-roll the dough then repeat the cutting step. Place the crackers on the prepared baking pan – about ½ inch in between each piece. Using a toothpick, poke 6 holes into each cracker. Place the baking sheets into the oven and cook the crackers for about 10 minutes, or until the crackers begin to brown. After removing crackers from the oven, immediately spray the butter from the spray bottle (we only use about 1 of the 2 teaspoons) or brush with the melted butter. Allow the crackers to cool and enjoy!

 

 

Nutritional Information, per cracker, using 1 teaspoon of butter spritzed on top of crackers

12 calories, 0.5g fat, 21mg sodium, 1.7g carbohydrates, 0.3g fiber, 0.2g protein

 

Homemade Whole-Wheat “Ritz” Crackers
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 60 crackers
  • Serving size: 1 cracker
  • Calories: 12 calories
  • Fat: 0.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.7 g
  • Sodium: 21 mg
  • Fiber: 0.3 g
  • Protein: 0.2 g

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tbsp. sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 tsp unsalted butter, room temp – cut into pieces
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter – melted (and put in a spray bottle if you have); you’ll only need to use about half of the butter.
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup room temp water
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to “convection bake 400F.” Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a food processor, mix and pulse together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the butter (small pieces at a time) and pulse the food processor until all pieces are combined into the mixture. Add the coconut oil and pulse again.
  2. Once combined, add water a little at a time while pulsing the food processor and the dough will start to form a ball. When the ball of dough is formed, roll out the dough using a rolling pin – the goal is to reach as thin as possible, about ⅛th of an inch.
  3. And great news! There’s not a “perfect” cracker – since they’re homemade they don’t have to look like they were processed from a machine—after all, they’ll still look delish and uniform!
  4. Using a cookie cutter, cut out your crackers. Using the scraps, re-roll the dough then repeat the cutting step. Place the crackers on the prepared baking pan – about ½ inch in between each piece. Using a toothpick, poke 6 holes into each cracker. Place the baking sheets into the oven and cook the crackers for about 10 minutes, or until the crackers begin to brown. After removing crackers from the oven, immediately spray the butter from the spray bottle (we only use about 1 of the 2 teaspoons) or brush with the melted butter. Allow the crackers to cool and enjoy!