Chicken Tacos with California Prunes Salsa

As picky little kids who’d only eat our beloved PB&J sandwiches, you’d probably be surprised to know that when asked where we’d like to go to eat for our birthday dinner that we’d pick a Mexican restaurant—spices and all. We’d always order a taco salad and just loved it. So now, as girls who love the rich spices in all ethnic foods, we’re not surprised that by the time we got to college and were cooking our own meals, that one of our favorite go-tos were chicken tacos. They were easy to make, delicious and healthy and at least once a week we’d meet one of our best friends to make them with her (although we loved them so much we would have eaten them nightly!)

In fact, our love for tacos, inspired these scrumptious, waist-line friendly numbers!:

Gluten-Free Tilapia Tacos with Zucchini Tortillas

Mediterranean Fish Tacos

Avocado & Lentil Vegan Tacos

Spicy Tuna Tacos

Salmon Tacos

And now, our taco love affair has inspired a new yum-ster. And we’re especially excited about these because you can make them from scratch, or have the ingredients pre-portioned and ready to cook right at your house!

We’re so excited to have teamed up with Chef’d and California Prunes to create some amazing meals you can make at home without even having to go to the grocery store! Chef’d is an amazing home meal delivery service, known for delivering fresh pre-portioned ingredients right to your door so you can make incredible home-cooked meals with ease (you don’t even need to sign up for a subscription!). Since we love easy meals and sweet, antioxidant-rich California Prunes, our Chef’d recipes are a match made in heaven! So many of our clients have asked us when we’re going to start delivering our mouthwatering, waistline-friendly recipes to their door – and the answer is now! We’re so excited for you to get to enjoy easy-to-prepare, pre-portioned meals knowing that they meet all of our nutrition criteria to keep you satisfied, energized, and beach-ready!

In addition to getting all the convenience of Chef’d meal delivery, our Chef’d recipes come packed with health benefits thanks to one of our favorite ingredients, California Prunes. California Prunes are the sweetest and juiciest prunes out there, making them the best way to beat a sugar craving! Plus, they’re packed with these health benefits:

  • A serving of four to five dried plums packs 3 full grams of fiber. About half of that is soluble fiber, which helps improve satiety, lower cholesterol, and regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Research shows that eating 5-6 prunes a day may help support healthy bones and help maintain good digestive health.
  • Prunes are loaded with polyphenols, antioxidants that support your immune system, heart and eye health, memory, and more.
  • California Prune growers provide the highest quality prunes in the world.
  • A serving has just 100 calories and no fat, sodium, or cholesterol.

 

Ready to get cooking? Here’s one of our three recipes! You can follow the recipe below to make it at home from scratch, or you can have all of these ingredients prepped, pre-portioned, and delivered straight to your door by Chef’d! What could be better?! Order yours here!

  • Chicken Tacos with California Prunes Salsa
     
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    This twist on classic chicken tacos explodes with sweet and savory flavors! Chili powder and cumin add a savory warmth to the baked chicken breasts, while California prunes add sweetness to an easy, fresh salsa. The combination of spiced chicken, sweet prunes, fresh tomatoes and cilantro, and zing from lime juice all wrapped up in a tortilla creates a fiesta with every bite! The refried black beans also got a healthy upgrade: we cut back on the fat while bumping up the flavor with spices, fresh cilantro and lime juice for a flavorful side dish that’s low in fat and high in protein and fiber. This dinner is hearty and filling, yet light enough to feel good about serving any night of the week.
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Serves: 2 servings
    Ingredients
    • 1 Roasted poblano
    • 3.5 oz Black beans
    • 1 Roma tomato
    • 2oz California prunes
    • 2 Shallots
    • ¼ oz Fresh cilantro
    • 1 Lime
    • 2 Chicken breasts (4oz)
    • 2 tsp Cumin spice blend (equal parts cumin & chili powder)
    • 2 oz Roasted corn
    • 4 Corn tortillas
    Instructions
    1. STEP ONE
    2. Preheat the oven to 350°.
    3. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
    4. Thinly slice the poblano and set aside.
    5. Drain and rinse the black beans.
    6. Cut the prunes into ¼-inch pieces. Place the prunes in a small bowl.
    7. STEP TWO
    8. Cut the tomato and shallots into ¼-inch pieces. Add HALF of tomato and shallots to the bowl with the prunes; reserve the remaining shallot for step 4 and tomatoes for step 5.
    9. Remove and discard the stems from cilantro, rough chop leaves and add only HALF to the bowl.
    10. Cut the lime in half. Squeeze HALF the lime into the small bowl. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. Toss well and set aside. Set aside remaining lime for step 5.
    11. STEP 3
    12. Pat dry chicken with paper towels. Add to a medium bowl. Add ONLY 1 teaspoon cumin spice blend, ½ teaspoon olive oil, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss well and place the chicken on the prepared sheet pan.
    13. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until cooked through.
    14. Heat a small nonstick sauté pan, over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray, add the poblano and roasted corn and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes until warmed through. Set aside for plating
    15. STEP 4
    16. Heat a medium nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the tortillas one at a time and heat for 1 minute on each side. Set aside and keep warm for plating.
    17. In the same pan over medium-high heat, spray lightly with olive oil in a spray bottle. When hot, add remaining shallot and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until softened.
    18. STEP 5
    19. Add the drained black beans and remaining cumin spice blend. Cook for an additional 1 minute.
    20. Reduce heat to medium-low, add 2 tablespoons of water and lightly mash beans with a fork. Cook until the water has been evaporated then add remaining chopped tomato. Add remaining cilantro, juice from the remaining lime, to the beans. Stir to combine, season to taste, and keep warm for serving.
    21. STEP 6
    22. Cut the chicken into ¼-inch pieces.
    23. Place two tortillas each on two plates.
    24. Divide the chicken and poblano and corn mixture between the tortillas.
    25. Top with the prune salsa and serve the tacos with refried beans on the side.
    26. Enjoy!
    Nutrition Information
    Serving size: 2 tacos Calories: 430 Fat: 6 g Saturated fat: 5 Carbohydrates: 63 Sugar: 8 Sodium: 450 mg Fiber: 11 Protein: 34

Chicken Tacos with California Prune Salsa | The Nutrition Twins

 

Which Diet Is Best for Kids (and Adults!) with IBS?

When we were in junior high, one of our best friends always complained about her upset stomach. We felt terrible for her and wanted to help, but didn’t know what we could do. She went to the doctor a lot and seemed to try everything — we remember her having to avoid nuts and seeds, then breads, and later what seemed to be everything else. But nothing much seemed to help and she never really had too many answers about her pain or ways to feel better.

Years later, she was diagnosed with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Now, as registered dietitians who work regularly with kids (and adults!) who have IBS, we know exactly what to do to help them, and we think of our childhood friend frequently and wish we knew then what we know now!

 

If you’re like many of our friends and their children as well as our clients who have IBS, you’re not alone; about 20% of the population (including Tammy’s husband!) has this common GI condition, that is sometimes referred to as spastic colon or colitis. If you know anyone who has it, it’s not exactly a walk in the park– its symptoms include gas, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation several times a month or week. Although it’s unclear what contributes to IBS, researchers believe stress, gut-brain communications, changes to gut microbiota and other factors may play a role.

If you have IBS or if your kid does, you’re probably all too familiar with how much it can get in the way of normal, everyday living and how it can disrupt a day of fun. In fact, when parents come to us looking to help their kids, they’ve often already tried eliminating things like gluten or milk from their kids diets as they’re typically desperate to help relieve their kid’s symptoms so that they can simply play with their friends without worrying they’ll have to end up rushing off to the bathroom. We get it, that’s no way to live! Here’s what we tell them that often surprises them and that also helps them to understand what foods may be causing the discomfort.

Don’t jump to use gluten-free foods. Can gluten-free foods make your child’s tummy troubles worse? New Research Says Yes.

A recent study published in The Journal of Pediatrics revealed that children with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), may be inadvertently eating and drinking foods and beverages that are gluten-free and supposedly more GI-friendly, but the choices are actually making their tummy troubles worse.

Note: If your child has celiac disease (only 1% of the population has celiac disease), they should avoid gluten.

What diet should kids with IBS follow? A low-FODMAP diet. (This is what we recommend for adults, too, as it’s successful in three out of four people with IBS).

When kids and adults with IBS eat foods rich in short-chain, fermentable carbohydrates, called FODMAPs, it triggers their annoying troublesome stomach issues. This is why gastroenterologists recommend a low-FODMAP diet for anyone with IBS.

FODMAPs stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. FODMAPs are poorly-digested, short-chain carbohydrates that are present in a wide variety of foods, including wheat, onions, garlic, legumes, milk, yogurt, honey, apples, dried fruit, some sugar substitutes and added fiber like inulin.

So, although parents with children who have stomach issues often mistakenly believe the problem stems from wheat or gluten, this study shows that many gluten-free foods and beverages are actually high in FODMAPs and may trigger IBS symptoms in susceptible children.

The researchers analyzed foods and beverages from gluten-free breads and snacks; fruit drinks and gluten-free cereal and dairy alternatives to see if the foods and beverages had high or low-FODMAP content.

Results? Many gluten-free foods and beverages were high in FODMAPs, including certain gluten-free breads and muffins; lemonade, Snapple and cranberry juice; pretzels, potato chips and oven-baked French fries; and Rice Chex cereal.

Due to the high prevalence of IBS among the U.S. population, the authors recommend that food manufacturers provide specific FODMAP content on their products so that those who are on a low-FODMAP diet can make informed food choices (we’re all for this!). Some companies, like Rachel Pauls Food, and Nestle ProNourish are creating and marketing low-FODMAP foods and supplements.

We hope that more food manufactures follow suit and provide specific FODMAP concentrations of their products, like these companies, to help guide you when making choices about what to eat to help manage IBS symptoms. In the meantime, you can test how your kids feel when they eat foods that list that they are low in FODMAPs on the food label. And if you’d like more help and guidance, please reach out to us to schedule an appointment we’re happy to guide you to help your kids to follow a low-FODMAP diet.

This blog is sponsored by Rachel Pauls Food, makers of low-FODMAP Happy Bars and Happy Jerky to help individuals with IBS more easily follow a Low-FODMAP lifestyle.  Check out their FODMAPs guide.

Vegetarian Loaded Sweet Potato

It’s no secret that we grew up in a healthy, veggie-centric household.  Sweet potatoes were a veggie that our mom served us on the reg, typically as a carb to many of our meals on a winter evening.  We always loved the creaminess of the potato, it felt like a real comfort food– and the sweetness helped us to curb our wicked sweet tooth.  Now, as registered dietitians, we’re always creating new, healthy recipes that feature our orange fleshed lover, the sweet potato.  This baby packs in 21.5 grams of satisfying protein and 15 grams of fiber for the ultimate satisfaction!

A few more of our faves:

Sweet Potato Nachos

Roasted Tarragon Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Chips with Sea Salt & Chocolate Drizzle

Sweet Potato and Carrot Mash

and…

Mexican Sweet Potato Salad, Cherry & Pistachio Sweet Potato Medley  and our Sweeeeeeeet! Potato Pie

 

Vegetarian Loaded Sweet Potato -so satisfying with 21.5 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber!

Other than the fact that there is something so satisfying about a creamy, fiber filled sweet potato, there are so many benefits! Check them out below!

Sweeeeet potato!  This sweet potato may be loaded with delish goodies, but the sweet potato itself is packed with mega benefits including:

  • Two very potent antioxidants– carotenoids (including beta carotene) and sporamins, which fight everything from the negative health consequences that come with aging to almost all types of disease.
  • Fighting inflammation: Eat a sweet potato and research shows that inflammation in the body immediately decreases, especially in the brain and nerve tissues throughout the body.

Vegetarian Loaded Sweet Potato

 

Vegetarian Loaded Sweet Potato

Serves 1

Ingredients
1 small sweet potato (about 4.5 oz)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped kale
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons low fat or fat free mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Directions:
1.Microwave or bake the sweet potato until tender. While it is cooking, prepare the filling.
2.Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat with a spritz of olive oil in a spray bottle. Add the onion, bell peppers, kale, and broccoli and sauté until tender, about 6-7 minutes.
3.Add the black beans, turmeric, and cumin, and cook until heated through.
4.Cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise and split open. Mound the filling onto the sweet potato (there is a lot of filling – it will not all fit tucked into the sweet potato, but that’s okay!)
5.Sprinkle the cheese on top of the filling, then microwave or bake the whole thing until the cheese is melted.
6.Dollop the Greek yogurt on top and serve.

Nutrition facts:  344 calories, 1 gram fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 187 mg sodium, 65 grams carbs, 15 grams fiber, 21.5 grams protein

 

The Nutrition Twins’ Ten Easy Ways to Get Beach Body Ready

As registered dietitians and personal trainers, our clients are always asking us for the easiest ways to shape up fast, even when they’re super busy!  We get it, after all, who doesn’t want to rock their bathing suit look in no time? Here are a few of our favorite tips we share with them!

Our veggi-licious Crudite!

  1. Eat veggies before your meal. You’ll take the edge off hunger with very few calories and then you’ll be able to make a rational decision about what to eat.  You’ll eat less of the heavy stuff at the meal and you’ll get fiber, phytonutrients and vitamins.  The key is not adding calorie-laden butter, oil or dressings.
  2. Don’t just stop with the eating veggies before the meal—eat them with your meal too! Mix steamed veggies right into your meal! You’ll significantly slash calories.  The vegetables will make the meal much less calorie dense and you’ll fill up faster.  You’ll be able to save some for the next day.  For example:  Don’t just order pasta with shrimp, order a side of steamed broccoli and mix it right into the sauce.  Do the same with all of your dishes!3.Start exercising first thing in the morning. While there is mixed research on whether or not this truly helps you to burn more calories, the truth is that if you exercise first thing in the morning, there are fewer things (and fewer excuses!) to get in the way of your workout.  Even the best intentions to exercise later in the day get derailed by having to stay late at work, going out with friends, or a hectic day.4. Go for the lighter calorie cocktails and stick to the serving size. 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of hard liquor or 12 ounces of light beer all have significantly fewer calories (typically 90-120) than mixed drinks, fruity cocktails and regular beer (which range from 140 calories to upwards of 700 calories, especially when you don’t stick to a serving size!).  If you have a couple of cocktails each week and switch to the lighter choices it’s an easy way to shed lbs! Keep in mind, many establishments serve in large glasses that double a serving size.
    5. Put your oil in a spritzer instead of pouring it.
    Whether you pour oil on your omelet at breakfast, in your salad at lunch, or in your pan to cook your dinner, each tablespoon adds 120 calories.  And chances are each time you pour the oil you are using more than a couple tablespoons.  Put your oil in a spray bottle, spritz it on your pot or your meal instead of pouring it and you’ll save hundreds of calories each day and the weight will seem to fall of you.  Use a spray bottle for all dressings, condiments and even for butter!).  Psst… people are always shocked to learn that this is also the case for heart healthy olive, oil; the calories still add up quickly.

 

 

6. Write down everything that you eat. Keeping record holds you accountable for what you put in your mouth. You won’t forget you ate a few pieces of candy from your coworkers candy jar if it’s recorded in your food diary.  Research shows when you write down what you eat you lose twice as much weight.
7. Swap dessert for a piece of fruit
. Most people eat several hundred calories of dessert but if you satisfy your sweet tooth with a piece of fruit (typically 60-80 calories/ piece), you’ll get the sweet. Or try this Strawberry Mint “Ice Cream” -cream/ or this Frozen Yogurt Bark (2o calories!)
8. Sneak in more movement/ exercise
: Sneak in exercise wherever you can. Take stairs instead of the elevator at work or push your kids on the swings for an arm workout. Even if you walk around the neighborhood for 15 minutes, it counts. Just get moving! No matter what your current level of activity is, add more activity to your day, you’ll force your body to burn more to slim down for the beach!

 

9. Swap heavier, higher calorie animal-based fare for protein and fiber-filled pulses (beans, chickpeas, lentils, dry peas). Research shows that pulses aid in weight loss even when calories aren’t restricted.  Aim to get ¾ cup daily of any combination of pulses—that’s all it takes!  (This is really encouraging for our clients and helps them meet their “eat less meat” goals!)

  • A few easy swaps/ ideas to try: bean tacos, lentil or split pea soup, bean chili.

 

10.  Leave the last 4 bites behind at each meal. This will save you about 100 calories at each meal and about 400 calories a day.  You’ll feel those last few pounds dropping off as this little change will help you lose almost a pound a week–and won’t miss a thing!

 

BONUS! #11. Start the day with a large glass (12- 16 ounces) of one of our water infused “detox” drinks  (check out a few of ours—under the photo below).  It’s one of the easiest things you can do to start your day off on the right foot.  Every process and chemical reaction in your body relies on water. If you want to look and feel your best and positively impact every aspect of your health, do this. It will take up space in your stomach ( so you’ll eat less and slash calories), increase your energy, boost organ function and efficiency, (your metabolism too!) help flush toxins and wastes out of your body (torid uncomfortable gut bulges from constipation).

Lemon Ginger Turmeric “Detox” Tea

Don’t give up. Take it a step further by drinking that same large glass (12-16 ounces!) before each meal (or carry a water or seltzer bottle with you). Once you make it a habit, you’ll realize how much better you feel, how it sets the tone for the entire day, and you’ll never want to miss it. You’ll overeat less frequently, and you’ll have more energy. Try these:

Vitamin C Infused Detox Water

 Slimming Raspberry Mint Detox Spritzer

Apple Cider Vinegar & Lime “Detox” Drink

Ginger Mint Turmeric Green Tea “Flat Belly” Drink

Raspberry Ginger Lime “Detox” Drink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moroccan Spiced Shrimp Skewers with Toasted Chickpeas, and California Prunes & Quinoa Salad

You’ve probably figured out by reading our blog that we love our home cooked meals. After all, our website wouldn’t be packed with thousands of recipes if we didn’t!  As registered dietitian nutritionists and personal trainers, we love the flavor we create and how good we feel while we eat them—and how great we feel after—completely satisfied, yet light and energized.  And there’s an added sense of happiness and satisfaction knowing that our recipes meet our nutritious, waistline friendly standards and we know exactly what is going in them. What’s probably not so obvious is that as much as we love cooking, there are many times when we’d rather not bother with the meal prep that is required.  Yup, sometimes, we’d like our yummy, wholesome meals without having to do a thing except assemble the ingredients.  In fact, many of our clients have asked for just that, our meals in delivery kits dropped off right at their doorstep. And that’s why we’re so excited to share with you the launch of 3 of our meals that you can fully enjoy in the comfort of your own home, knowing that they meet all of our nutrition criteria to keep you fueled, beach-ready and completely satisfied.

We’ve teamed up with Chef’d, the awesome home meal delivery service known for delivering fresh, pre-portioned ingredients to make amazing recipes right to your door (you never even need to sign up for a subscription!) and with California Prunes, the sweet, antioxidant-packed fruit we grew up loving, to create these scrumptious meals that will make your taste buds sing and your waistline look like you’ve danced the night away.

An added bonus-

Prunes (We used California prunes because we find them to be the sweetest and juiciest):

Our mom always kept a jar of stewed prunes in the fridge when we we’re growing up and anytime we were craving something sweet, we’d reach for them.  They’re the best way to bust a sugar craving!  Who knew we were also getting these benefits:

  • Research shows that eating 5-6 prunes a day may help support healthy bones and help maintain good digestive health.
  • Prunes are packed with antioxidants called polyphenols, which help keep many parts of your body healthy– ranging from your heart to your eyes to your memory and your immune system.
  •  California Prune growers provide the highest quality prunes in the world.
  • A serving has 3 grams of fiber and contains no fat, sodium or cholesterol at just 100 calories.

Without further ado, here’s one of our three recipes…you could make it at home from scratch, but better yet, you can have all these ingredients, prepped and pre-portioned and delivered from Chef’d straight to your door!  Order yours here!

Moroccan Spiced Shrimp Skewers with Toasted Chickpeas, and California Prunes & Quinoa Salad
 
This simple dish is packed with flavor thanks to all the Moroccan-inspired spices! Smoked paprika, cumin, and a hint of cinnamon spice up the shrimp skewers, which are so quick to cook. The quinoa salad still takes on traditional flavors thanks to the combination of spices, dried fruit, parsley, and lemon, but we added a few fun twists! Traditional Moroccan cuisine uses a lot of couscous and dates, but we swapped those ingredients out for gluten-free, high-protein quinoa and fiber rich California prunes. This dish is filling, flavorful, and unbelievably easy - perfect for any weeknight! EQUIPMENT: -- Rimmed sheet pan -- Small sauce pot with lid -- Medium bowl -- Strainer -- 2 Small bowls -- aluminum foil --4 bamboo skewers
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • INGREDIENTS:
  • Olive oil (in a spray container)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 shallot
  • 1½ oz Matchstick carrots
  • 1 oz Red quinoa
  • 2 oz White quinoa
  • 2 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp Ground cumin
  • ½t sp Ground cinnamon
  • 12 Jumbo shrimp
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 oz California prunes
  • ¼ can Chickpeas
  • ½ oz Fresh parsley
  • ¼ oz Fresh basil
  • ¼ oz Fresh cilantro
  • 1 Garlic clove
Instructions
  1. STEP ONE
  2. Preheat the broiler to high.
  3. Line a rimmed sheet pan with foil.
  4. Finely chop the shallot and chop the carrots into ⅛-inch pieces.
  5. In a small sauce pot with lid, heat 1 teaspoons of olive oil for 1 minute. Add the shallot and carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Add the quinoa and stir for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of water and ONLY 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of cumin, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Stir and bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Pat dry shrimp with paper towels.
  7. Cut the lemon in half. Add the juice of HALF a lemon to a medium bowl, discarding any seeds.
  8. Rinse and pat dry produce prior to use.
  9. STEP TWO
  10. Recommendations for salt and pepper are optional. Please season to taste.
  11. Add remaining paprika, cumin, and cinnamon, and a pinch each of salt and pepper to the medium bowl. Stir to make a loose paste. Add the shrimp; toss well.
  12. Cut the prunes into¼-inch pieces; set aside.
  13. Drain ONLY half the can of chickpeas and pat dry with paper towels. Store remaining chickpeas in a separate container for personal use.
  14. Remove and discard stems from parsley. Finely chop the leaves and place HALF of the leaves in a small bowl. Set aside remaining leaves for step 3.
  15. Remove and discard the stems from the basil and cilantro. Finely chop the herbs and add to the bowl. Add garlic, juice of remaining lemon, discarding any seeds, and 1 teaspoons of olive oil and a pinch each salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.
  16. STEP THREE
  17. In a small bowl, combine the drained chickpeas, 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Place chickpeas onto the prepared baking sheet and broil for 4 to 5 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside for plating.
  18. Thread 3 shrimp each per skewer and wrap the ends of each skewer with a small piece of foil. Place on the same sheet pan and broil for 4 to 5 minutes. Stir prunes and remaining parsley into the quinoa.
  19. (FDA recommends cooking shrimp to a minimum 145°F)
  20. STEP FOUR
  21. Divide the quinoa between two plates.
  22. Top with the toasted chickpeas and lay the shrimp skewers on top.
  23. Serve with the herb sauce on the side.
  24. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 servings Calories: 460 Fat: 9 g Sodium: 290 mg Protein: 32 g

We are honored to have partnered with Chef’d and California prunes to create these meals!

4 Easy Ways to Get Healthy No Matter How Busy You Are

As girls who are registered dietitian nutritionists and personal trainers who always seem to wish there were more hours in a day to both enjoy it and get everything done that we need to, we’re all about finding easy ways to stay healthy despite being time crunched (we’ve been experimenting our entire lives– and teaching what we’ve learned for our entire careers! We enjoy sharing these secrets with our clients and we’re excited to share them with you too!).  These are our top 4 ways to become the healthiest person you know, despite you’re busy schedule.

  1. Start the day with a large glass of water (aka, liquid gold).

It’s one of the easiest things you can do to stay healthy and start your day off on the right foot.  Every process and chemical reaction in your body relies on water. If you want to look and feel your best and positively impact every aspect of your health, do this.

The benefits: This small step will:

  • increase your energy
  • take up space in your stomach, helping you eat less and slash calories
  • boost organ function and efficiency (your metabolism too!)
  • help flush toxins and wastes out of your body, ridding discomfort and gut bulges from constipation and helping your skin to glow

How to do it:

  • Wake up and immediately drink 12-16 ounces. Make it a habit.
  • Don’t give up. Carry a water or seltzer bottle with you and drink 12-16 ounces before each meal.
  • If you need a little extra flavor for motivation, squeeze lemon, lime and/ or orange in. Or try other water infusions like our Watermelon Basil ACV Detox Water Infusion.

So refreshing! Once you make it a habit, you’ll realize how much better you feel and how it sets the tone for the entire day– you’ll never want to miss it!

3. Keep our favorite staples in your kitchen to easily whip up ten, healthy, simple meal options and avoid fast food/ take out.
See Ten Quick, Easy Healthy Meals You Can Make from the Items in Your Fridge.

The benefits:

  • Several studies, including one from John Hopkins suggests that home cooking is a main ingredient in a healthier diet and trying to lose weight diet since people who frequently cook meals at home consume fewer calories, carbohydrates, less sugar sodium and less fat than when they eat out.
  • Aside from delicious meals from home keep you a lot leaner than meals purchased out: they save money and are higher in disease-preventing nutrients! S-C-O-R-E!

    How to do it
    :

    • Simply keep the staples on the list at home so you can rock out healthy meals in 5-10 minute meals when you’re busy!

     3. Eat More to Get Lean: Yes! Mo’ Veggies

Fill half your plate with veggies at lunch and dinner.  This really is possible even when you’re busy! 

The benefits:

  • Veggies are your golden ticket for all things health (disease and obesity prevention, boosting energy & metabolism). They flood your body with antioxidants and phytonutrients that fight disease and mop up free radicals, helping to undo some of the damage created by overindulgences, alcohol, stress and breathing polluted air, while veggies also help to keep meals low in calories.

Additional benefits:

  • Veggie Bonus #1: Fill up on veggies and you’ll have less room in your stomach for the heavy stuff and you’ll get leaner.
  • Veggie Bonus #2 (a.k.a. our constipation & flat-belly cure): The high water and fiber content of the veggies flushes bloat and waste and brings on a flat belly—oh yeah!
  • Veggie Bonus #3 (a.k.a. our bloat-be-gone cure): The high water and potassium combination in veggies helps to flush out salt and the extra water and bloat that it holds with it for a flatter belly.

 

Wonder what Chinese meal makes us smile ear to ear? Shrimp and a double “case of the broccolis” 🥦 🥦 . Yup, we’ve got it bad! 😁What you don’t see is the sauce we get on the side- we request it with no oil or light oil. So delish and totally healthy way to enjoy Chinese and feel satisfied and not over-stuffed or salt- loaded!

What to do:

  • Include extra non-starchy* veggies (nearly all veggies with the exception of peas, potatoes and corn) at every meal.
    *Starchy veggies are healthy; they’re higher in calories so eating lot of them could cause weight gain.

How to do it:

  • Follow our Red, Green and Orange RuleTM. Include either a red, orange or green veggie at every meal.
    • You’ll focus on what you should eat, rather than obsessing about foods you should eat less often.
  • Steam veggies and eat as a side to a meal, mixed in it, or enjoy them raw.
  • Try cutting meal serving back by one-quarter to one-half and then add steamed veggies right into the sauce. The meal size will be the same but you’ll eat less of the heavy, waist-puffing stuff and automatically boost nutrients, fiber and slash calories.

 The time crunched solution:
How to do it:

  • Keep frozen veggies on hand! They’re just as nutritious as fresh—and they won’t go bad—you don’t have to wash, cut or peel them! If they’re not defrosted, simply steam or pop them in the microwave and voila!

 

  • Defrost frozen veggies in the fridge during the day. When you get home, make a quick cold salad by mixing the veggies with vinegar and a teaspoon of olive oil or toss them right into a hot meal, as they’ll already be “cooked” and you’ll simply warm them up.
  • Purchase pre-washed and sliced fresh veggies. Enjoy fresh carrots sticks and sliced bell pepper with hummus.
  • Dining on take-out? Chinese chicken and rice? Pasta and chicken? Mac ‘n cheese?  Order (or microwave from frozen at home) a side of steamed veggies without added butter or oil.
  • Mix the veggies right into whatever dish you’re eating—the veggies will pick up the flavor from the sauce in the meal and add great texture, flavor and color. The meal will be much bigger, so save half for another day. You’ll eat less of the heavy stuff and fill your stomach with the lower calorie, fiber-and nutrient packed veggies.
  • Make/ order omelets, sandwiches, pizzas, wraps and burritos with veggies (pre-cut/ washed veggies makes it fast).
  • Preparing or ordering a sandwich or wrap? Use or request nori or lettuce to replace carb-rich bread—it’s easier to eat on-the-go than a traditional sandwich and just as quick to prepare.

Tip for Success:

  • One day a week take five minutes to write down how you’ll get produce at each meal in the coming week. This way, when you’re busy you’ll have your plan in place and be good to go!

    Tammy’s daughters Summer and Riley with their veggies

 4. Stay active and keep it fun.

The benefits:

Burn calories, fight obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer and boost mood and libido.   

What to do:

Aim for at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity three days a week (or more) plus 30 minutes of “movement” (see below for specifics) on each day of the week that you’re not doing traditional cardiovascular exercise. Cardiovascular exercise is also known as aerobic exercise or “cardio,” for short; this is the exercise that burns the most calories while you do it and is going to help you to slim your body and sweat out the bloat, while increasing the strength of your heart and lungs. (Think speed walking, swimming, jogging, biking, the elliptical machine, Zumba, etc.)

The Time-Crunched Solution:

  • Break it up!
  • If you only have 15 minutes in the morning—walk 7 minutes outside your door and walk back. If you have 20 minutes in the evening, do it again.Have less than 10 minutes? Try this quickie, effective, anytime, anywhere 6-minute strength training/ cardio workout (go straight from one exercise to another):
  • 30-Second Plank
  • 40 Wall Squats
  • 20 Knee Push-ups
  • 40 Jumping Jacks
  • 15 Tricep Dips
  • 30 Lunges
  • On the remaining days of the week that you don’t get cardiovascular exercise, aim to get at least 30 minutes of “movement” to move your body EVERY day.

    What counts as being active?

    • Walking through the city
    • Site-seeing
    • Dancing around the house
    • Walking to a friend’s house
    • Walking as you talk on the phone, rather than lounging

IMPORTANT: What burns more calories—lounging on the couch vs. walking down the street or dancing around the house? What is better for your heart, getting it pumping or letting it sit idle? You bet, buttercup—it’s walking or dancing! That’s the reason you’re adding movement.

BONUS POINTS! These are really helpful when you have a time-crunched schedule:

  • Take the stairs at work, do jumping jacks during the commercial breaks of your favorite TV show, and—yes, you’ve heard this one before—take the furthest spot in the parking lot.
  • The goal is to get as many “bonuses” as possible in your day.