Top Late Night Snacks (our picks for weight loss)

Although we’re twin sister registered dietitians and personal trainers who nowadays absolutely love veggies, we admittedly didn’t always adore them.  In fact, we were very picky kids and the moment our mom would turn her back from the dinner table, we’d sneak our salads off to our best friend, Mary and her black lab, Buddy, who liked veggies! 🙂 Luckily, our veggie-snubbing ways have changed, thanks to many reasons —(you can read more about that here)– and you may know that we also reset our taste buds, which definitely was partially responsible for the love affair we now have with veggies.  But one thing that hasn’t changed is that we each have a killer sweet tooth that we work hard to keep in check.  Although, resetting our taste buds has been very helpful in taming the beast 😉 (aka our killer sweet tooth), it doesn’t mean that we don’t adore sweets, because believe us, we do—especially when the evening comes around!

And when our clients tell us that on nights when they stay up late and they get a little bit hungry or want to nibble, we can relate, as this is when our sweet tooth calls our name, ah!

Thankfully, we’ve learned to make some pretty delicious, waistline-friendly frozen desserts that we can eat and prepare in the very comfort of our own home—and that we love but don’t overeat! Plus, they are a lot less processed and have much less sugar—in fact, ours are actually pretty good for you! Remember our Skinny Strawberry Mint Ice Cream, Skinny Banana Ice Cream SandwichesDark Chocolate Banana Ice Creamand this Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream?

As you settle in to watch your favorite television show after dinner, you may find yourself craving a late-night nosh. Do you cave in to chips or cookies and regret it later? Or maybe in your attempt to avoid junk food, you end up nibbling your way through the other food in your cupboard instead. If the late night munchies have gotten the best of you and your waistline, here are our top snacks to try.

 

They’ve all got less than 150 calories and really hit the spot.

 

Vanilla “Milkshake”

Two options:

  • Mix one scoop of vanilla or chocolate flavored protein with ¾ cup cold water, ice and 1/4 frozen banana and blend. (We’ve been using Vega Protein & Greens Vanilla or Chocolate Protein Powder lately)

OR

  • Mix a cup of almond milk (or skim milk) with one scoop of vanilla-flavored protein powder.

 

Why our clients love it: This light version of a milkshake feels like a real treat, satisfies sweet cravings, but won’t weigh you down.  The protein keeps your blood sugar stable. Bonus: The calcium in the protein powder (make sure yours is calcium-fortified, many are) may help your muscles and body to relax before bedtime. To learn more about our tips for choosing a good protein powder, check out our 3-Ingredient Weight Loss Pancakes (scroll down to find out about protein powder).

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Frozen Cherry Poppers

OK, we admit it, we have many favorite summertime (well, anytime) treats, but this one really is one of our new all-time faves! Plus, it’s so healthy, easy and just two steps! And there is something about the chewy texture of frozen cherries that really hits the spot—super-satisfying! And all for a measly 6 calories per popper! Woohoo! 5 Cherry Poppers are just 30 calories! Find out how they’re easy to make here.

Why our clients love it: A guilt-free, refreshing way to satisfy a sweet tooth? Sign them (and us! 🙂 ) up!

Frozen Yogurt Covered cherry poppers

 

 

Berry and Greek Yogurt Parfait

Use six ounces of a plain or vanilla non-fat Greek yogurt and one-half cup of halved strawberries or any of your fave berries. Layer yogurt in the bottom of the parfait cup, and then add a layer of berries. Alternate layers until you’ve finished ingredients.

Why our clients love it: It’s rich, creamy, and feels decadent. Plus it contains plenty of protein and fiber, so even if you didn’t eat enough dinner, you’ll go to bed feeling satisfied.

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Popcorn

Four cups of seasoned air-popped popcorn

Why our clients love it: You get a huge portion (4 cups = 130 calories!) that will last until at least the first commercial of your favorite show. Eat it one piece at a time, and it may even last you through the entire program. The fiber will fill you up, and you can use it to quench a sweet or savory craving by flavoring it with cinnamon, chili powder, smoked paprika, or grated parmesan.

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Baked Apple Crunch

Made with one small apple, 1- 1-1/2 tsp cinnamon and one graham cracker. Cut the apple into half-inch slices and coat them with cinnamon on all sides. Microwave the slices on high for three to four minutes or until the apple is soft and juicy. Serve it on a graham cracker. Check it out here.

Why our clients love it: You can sink your teeth into this snack, and it’s sweet like the inside of an apple pie. Not to mention, the graham cracker adds a satisfying crunch (and it will make the house smell delicious!).

Apple-y-yogurt-Middle-prep

 

Figs and Cheese

Three small figs (or dates!) and one small, light 30- to 35-calorie cheese round (which will bring your total to 125 calories).

Why our clients love it: The figs are sweet, and since they’re fibrous, you’ve gotta chew ‘em and can’t devour them in a split second. Paired with protein-rich, savory cheese, it makes for a filling but indulgent treat.  If you use dates, they may be slightly higher in calories.

Date surprise pic

 

 

Whole Grain Crackers with Hummus

Serve five whole-grain crackers with 2 tbsp hummus.

Why our clients love it: The crackers satisfy your need to crunch and the hummus adds the perfect creamy balance.

 

What are some of your favorite healthy late-night snacks?  Please share them!

 

Anytime, Anywhere 90-Second Muscle Toner & Metabolism Booster

Get a workout in 90-seconds! Fast, easy, effective way to tone muscles– strengthen you legs, abs, chest, arms and back and burn calories. It will wake up your entire body! Our first iMovie attempt– we’re working on improvement! 🙂

 

Love this calorie blaster–Repeat 3 times to increase the burn!

The Nutrition Twins Toner & Metabolism Booster

 

Is that you we see with a six pack?! 🙂

Psst… looking for more at-home exercises?  Try these!

Easy At-Home Shoulder Toner

Triangle Push-Ups

Leg & Butt Toner

Smaller Size Bigger Life

We MUST introduce you to our unbelievable friend, Heather K. Jones. Heather is a registered dietitian (we met in college!), a wellness coach and the founder of Smaller Size Bigger Life, a super successful program designed for women who struggle with emotional eating, overeating, and body image issues.

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Heather has a FREE weight loss class available until May 13th and we guarantee that you’ll walk away from this class with actionable tools that you can put to use right away to release your weight loss blocks and drastically change your relationship with food and your body.

 

During this free weight loss class you’ll discover…

 

  • The biggest mistake women make when trying to lose weight
  • Why you don’t need willpower to change your eating habits
  • How to end procrastination and stop sabotaging yourself
  • The real reason diets don’t work (and what to do instead)
  • How to overcome emotional eating once and for all

 

Heather is dedicated to helping people succeed and she will help you transform your mindset about dieting to achieve weight loss freedom … no guilt, shame or self-hate required.  Click here to learn more.

 

A word from Heather…

Ya know, there’s this crazy idea in the world of weight loss that if we hate ourselves enough, torture ourselves enough, and shame and guilt ourselves enough, that somehow we’ll end up happy, thin and confident. Right?
But this is not the path to happiness.

 

Because here’s the thing: You CANNOT shame and deprive your way to a happy and healthy life. Even if you lose some weight on a restrictive diet, it doesn’t stick. And it certainly doesn’t make you feel fulfilled or free.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned working as a dietitian in the weight loss industry for the last 20 years (and overcoming my own food struggles), it’s that you cannot solve your body and weight problems with the same hateful mindset that got you here. It just doesn’t work.

Join me for this free class and discover 3 key secrets to success and happiness.

 

This is an entirely NEW way to lose weight. A kinder, saner and easier way to lose weight.

 

I’ve not only drastically changed my own life using the simple (yet seriously effective) tools I’m sharing in this free class, I’ve also helped countless clients do the same.

 

Why You Should Love Stress –from an expert

We gotta admit that as girls who likely, just like you, feel a bit overwhelmed by stress at times, we would love nothing more than to give it a firm kick in the butt so that it gets launched into the air, spirals into the atmosphere and crashes into the ocean miles away from us, never to be seen again. …aaaaah 🙂  If only!  So as you can imagine, we’ve been intrigued by the words “Why You Should Love Stress” and welcome a chance to see it in a whole new, less stressful light.

If the thought intrigues you as well, read this below from Linda Formichelli. the author of the new book How to Do It All: The Revolutionary Plan to Create a Full, Meaningful Life — While Only Occasionally Wanting to Poke Your Eyes Out With a Sharpie.

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By Linda Formichelli

 

My life is full to bursting. Last year, for example, I hosted three exchange students, traveled to five countries with my husband and 6-year-old, wrote a full-length book (plus 40 blog posts and a few magazine articles), ran two businesses, remodeled much of our house, entertained large groups weekly, and read 32 books.

 

Women often ask me how I get it all done without stressing out. So here’s my big secret:

 

I don’t.

 

Stress is a frequent companion of mine, and I’ve come to learn that that’s okay.

 

What’s wrong with stress?

 

According to the women’s media, stress makes us miserable, causes us to pound down gallons of cookies-and-cream ice cream, and can cause everything from heart attacks to cancer.

 

Every women’s magazine, talk show, and blog offers up tips on how to simplify our lives, avoid taking on too many projects, and turn down challenging opportunities in favor of soaking in lavender-infused baths.

 

The common refrain is that stress is something to be avoided at all costs — but just because everyone says it doesn’t mean it’s true. In fact, steering clear of stress at all costs can keep us small, and prevent us from living fulfilling, memorable lives.

 

Instead of blindly believing the party line, let’s talk about some of the surprising reasons stress is good for you:

 

  1. Stress can boost your performance.

 

It’s true that oppressive, chronic stress — like if you’re caring for a spouse with Alzheimer’s or living in a refugee camp — can make you ill. But there’s also a form of stress called acute stress, and the media tend to lump these two types together, causing us to fear both.

 

Acute stress — the kind you feel when, say, prepping for a certification exam, giving a presentation, interviewing for the job of your dreams, or standing at the starting line of a triathlon — ramps up in response to those events, and it can actually help you perform better. Then, it ramps back down during and after the anxiety-provoking event.

 

So when you ace a job interview, slay the audience with your stand-up comedy, or put on a burst of speed as you blast across a finish line, you can thank acute stress for your success.

 

  1. Stress can make you healthier.

 

A study published in the Psychological Bulletin concluded that acute, fight-or-flight-type stress actually boosts the immune system. It’s when the stress becomes chronic, the research said, that the immune system is harmed. What this means:  A temporary bump in stress caused by planning a trip, writing a novel, or starting a side business won’t kill you — and will, in fact, make you stronger.

 

  1. Stress is a sign of a full life.

 

The only way to feel zero stress is to never try, do, learn, experience, see, or create anything in your life.

 

If you’re traveling, entertaining friends in your home, performing on stage, taking a class, developing a new hobby, or doing anything else memorable and worthwhile, you will experience stress. Living a full life requires making an effort, taking risks, and accepting challenges. It’s only natural that as you do these things, your stress levels will increase at times — sometimes by a lot. That means you’re being challenged, in a good way.

 

But stress feels terrible!

 

I can’t deny that even if acute stress can help us perform better, be healthier, and live fuller lives, it often feels like…well, crap. On the upswing, acute stress boosts our energy and focus, but then we often experience a crash that leaves us wanting to sleep for three days straight.

 

The secret is to accept that acute stress can be a positive part of a fulfilling life, and then take steps to levels out the highs and lows to keep our energy and positivity flowing steadily.

 

Some things to try:

 

  • Meditate your The standard advice to sit and watch the breath is difficult for many of us. Try a free guided meditation podcast like those on TheMeditationPodcast.com or the Pzizz app.
  • Soak it out. Take a hot bath as soon as you feel that telltale tension in your shoulders, instead of waiting until you’re in full-tilt freak-out mode.
  • Write it down. Every night before bed, journal about your worries, to-dos, and fears to get them out of your brain so you can score a good night’s rest.
  • Head off illness. Down an immune-booster vitamin powder drink and go to bed early the day you sense the first signs of a cold.
  • Act early. Get a massage, even if you don’t need one to destress…yet.
  • Flip through a chapter of an inspirational book every morning.

 

Any other stress-busting tip you find in magazines or online can help, as long as you use it to level out the peaks and valleys in your anxiety levels, and not as an attempt to put the kibosh on stress altogether.

 

Bring on the stress — and live your best life.

 

Linda Formichelli is the author of the new book How to Do It All: The Revolutionary Plan to Create a Full, Meaningful Life — While Only Occasionally Wanting to Poke Your Eyes Out With a Sharpie. Go to the book website to learn more, buy your copy, and score an invite to the secret Facebook Group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rethink Your Oatmeal: Sweet & Savory

We’re huge fans of having some oatmeal for breakfast and we love this graphic to help you to flavor your breakfast to match your preferences! Although our sweet tooth leads us toward the sweet pairings  (remember our Wakeup Sunny-side Pineapple Berry Oatmeal?), these yummy savory ideas may convert us, ya never know! Well, at least for one or two mornings! 😉 Enjoy!

Rethink Oatmeal

 

Sweet and/or Savory Oatmeal | Great ways to flavor your breakfast to match your preferences | Nutritionists choice for breakfast | Filling & energizing | Americans who eat oatmeal tend to have lower waist circumferences – which has been linked to a lower risk for overweight and obesity in other research | @Quaker

The Nutrition Twins partnered with Quaker to help spread the oatmeal love 🙂

Flat Belly Tips While On Vacation – Bloat-Free & Confident (&Stay That Way!)

PART II Tips while ON vacation:

As registered dietitians and personal trainers we find that we get a lot of questions about tips for getting a flat belly when people are heading off for vacation.  We completely get it –and relate to not wanting to look bloated when arriving at your destination–whether you’re stepping into a bathing suit, a dress, or any outfit, you want to look and feel your best!  So if anything related to your tummy causes you angst before your vacay, believe us, you’re not alone–and we can help!

We think you’ll appreciate our client “Suzi’s” struggle:

Suzi came through our door right before spring break, panicking and telling us, “I bloat on the plane—my entire body swells up– and I’m so constipated when I arrive at my destination that I look six months pregnant! And it puts so much pressure on me because I’m heading off to my vacation when I’ve only partially met my weight loss goals and I know that on top of it all I’ll be fighting this extra bloat! I’m petrified to  arrive feeling so lousy and out of shape and like all the hard work I did to prepare for this trip was in vain. What can I do to look and feel better? Help!”

Oh, hang in there Suzy! We can help!

Can you relate to Suzi? We certainly can! Years ago, before getting our nutrition education and before working with so many great clients, we ended up looking and feeling like a mess when we arrived at our beach destination vacation in Florida! What a disaster!  For what to do before you go, check out Part 1

 

Once you arrive at your destination, Do This:

 

4. Do some form of cardio for at least 15 minutes while sipping on lemon water.
Exercise and water both get your intestinal tract going to get things moving out of your colon—and they will work in tandem with those on-the-plane veggies to prevent constipation and the gut bulges that come with it! The water and lemon help to restore normal hydration status, as the potassium in the lemon flushes bloat and the water also flushes bloat from sodium as well as the excess water that the sodium holds on to. You’ll get rid of the little layer of “puff” right beneath your skin as you sweat out a little salt.

 

5 . Unpack your bags as soon as you can so you can clear your mind and prepare to have fun and relax on your trip (and burn a few extra calories while you’re at it). Do 50 jumping jacks and wall squats to keep your mind and body on the healthy track.

 

6. Sip on green tea. It contains the amino acid theanine which brings on a mental calmness, yet alertness which will make it easier for you to relax and enjoy your vacation. You’ll feel healthy and good about yourself. Plus, green tea will flood your body with antioxidants and mop up some of the free radicals circulating in your body, which can be especially helpful if you had a lot of stress before you left for your vacay or if you were breathing too much jet fuel on the runway. (Simply pack a tea bag in your luggage and get a cup of hot water at the hotel, voila!)

Skinny_Green_Tea_Lemonade

7. Pack THIS (below suggestion) so you can skip the bloating, constipating carbs at dinner: All that extra bread (& butta’ too) and all those refined carbs that you may be tempted to go for while dining out on vacations are constipating–and they typically contribute to excess calorie intake that can lead to weight gain and make you feel heavy.  Plus, the carbohydrates also result in extra water in the body since carbohydrates are stored in your muscles as energy (a.k.a. glycogen).  This typically isn’t a bad thing!–but for each pound of glycogen, you store three pounds of water—so you may notice that you feel water-logged.  But on top of that you’ll be constipated and bloated! Simply add more veggies to your meals, cut back on bread portions, etc., and pack something like Fiber d’lish Bars in your bags when you travel (we do this & so do our clients)–this way we pass on the carbs at the meal, and come back to eat this quality carb (whole-grain) bar that’s got 13 grams of fiber to flush waste from your colon.  This way we get our sweet carbs and our waistline too! 😉 (Any whole grain, fiber packed bar with at least 8 grams of fiber and 100-150 calories will do the trick and stave off all the carbs and excess restaurant calories.)Fiber delish gnu bars

 

During the rest of your trip, Do This:
8. Eat a breakfast that is high in fiber and protein. It will set you on the healthy-track for the entire day, and you’ll immediately feel great both mentally and physically. The fiber will help you to feel satisfied by filling up your stomach and assisting your digestive tract in making sure everything keeps moving along to prevent constipation and bloat while the protein will keep you satiated. Stay away from super heavy breakfasts that will weigh you down and make you feel heavy. Try a Greek yogurt, a piece of fruit and a tablespoon of chia seeds or a hard-boiled egg with a small portion of oatmeal with a few slivered almonds and berries.  This satisfying weight loss breakfast is pretty easy to order anywhere, just ask that they don’t use oil or butter in the pan.  Ask them to spritz it with oil if they must.
9. Wake up and immediately drink 16 ounces (or more of water) and avoid surprising bloaters.
See step 1 for why this works!  Also avoid surprising bloat promoters like chewing gum and sipping through a straw that can cause belly bloat by drawing excess air into your stomach. Carbonated beverages also leave your stomach full of gas.

 

10. And follow these tips as much as possible–including trying this drink if you can–at least when you get back!

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