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

 

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!

Raspberry Ginger Lime Soda – DIY- Make-Your-Own Natural Soda

Woohoo!! We’re so excited about this!!  After our last newsletter with our Nutrition Twins’ Do Your Body Good Challenge of the Week, with the goal to drink more water and to try to replace soda with some of our “detox” drinks and “flushes” that you’ve requested (hello Orange-Lime Sparkling Refresher, Lemon Mint Detox Drink, Morning Detox Shot,  Sparkling Cucumber Detox and Refresher,  Citrus Reboot and Detox Flush, and Kale Recharge Smoothie)—you know, the ones that we typically suggest to help you to get your mind and body back on the healthy track after overdoing it–and to get there ASAP…

It dawned on us…

With so many people trying to get healthier and cut or cut out all the sugary and artificially sweetened sodas—or at least cut back on them– and with all the DIY sodas trending on pinterest, why don’t we create sodas from our detox drinks?!

This way, our DIY- sodas not only are free of anything artificial and are not loaded with sugar, they’re also healthy for you and have anti-bloat, toxin flushing properties too! And we’ve become quite obsessed with our creations! The cool thing is we simply change the concentration of our “detox” drink to make the concentrate for the soda (yup, we take all the anti-inflammatory goodies to include in the soda!) and from there, we mix the concentrate to create our sodas—and our stars are born!  We hope you love our Raspberry Ginger Lime Soda as much as we do!

 

 

This drink was originally inspired by a cocktail at NYC’s trendy Standard Hotel’s Biergarten. The drink was super delish and had so many components that help to fight inflammation and the damage from too much overindulgence.  Plus it had anti-bloat ingredients and even a few potential fat-burning advantages–minus the splash of vodka that was in that drink, of course 😉—that we knew we had to make it for ourselves!

Why we love this drink and how it works it’s magic

The concentrate contains the same powerful ingredients that are in our Raspberry Ginger Lime Detox Drink, helping you to feel light and bloat-free so it:

1.It instantly gets your mind and body on the healthy track–i.e.- you’ll feel clean, lean & healthy and want to do less damage when you’ve just done something to get healthy!😉

…and sometimes, the most important piece is just getting your mind on the healthy track–even if aren’t able to make this drink, at least drink a huge glass of water–because  just knowing you are starting your day by doing something good for your body can help set the tone for the entire day!

 

  1. It helps to fill your stomach so you eat less when you get to your next meal. Yes!–Drink this so you don’t show up at a meal ravenous and can avoid downing bread at the table, hourderves– and the loads of calories (and the bloat!) that comes with those salty, high calorie numbers!

 

  1. This drink counteracts sodium and the puffiness and bloat that comes with it, so you’ll feel lighter. We’re the first to admit we don’t enjoy feeling bloated from having too much salt or being constipated. That’s why you better believe this drink both hydrates and provides potassium to help you to flush out bloating sodium from your body, “de-puffing” you by restoring normal hydration status.

—-and when you stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluid, you’ll get your digestive tract moving and prevent any bloat from constipation! Who’s got your back…and your belly, baby? We do! 😉

Benefits you’ll get from:

The vitamin C:

It’s coming from the raspberries, lime and from the mint and will make your skin glow by promoting collagen formation. (Plus being hydrated from this drink helps your skin to glow and you can kiss goodbye to a puffy face and eyes as it flushes bloating salt). 🙂

It acts as an immune-booster to help strengthen your body to prepare it for any havoc it may go through.

 

The lime:

We love lemons and limes and really spritz them over everything! They are a great flavor sub for salt too. Pssst…careful when you open Lyssie’s fridge–a lime from the packed cold-zone may drop out on your toe!

  • The ideal flushing food–packed with potassium and water to restore normal fluid balance and flush out any bloating salt that may be causing you to store water and puffiness.
  • Great source of vitamin C

The Ginger:

By now you know, this is one of our faves, especially Lyssie, who tosses it in everything she eats, she must think it’s candy! (healthy candy, of course!  )  Ginger soothes the stomach and intestinal tract, and has anti-inflammatory properties that protect cells from harmful free radicals. Ginger is ideal to help you to reset your body so you can arrive at the event with a calm, intestinal tract, free of tummy troubles and bloat.

 

The Mint:

We like to think of mint as a peace maker in the body 😉 It eases indigestion and calms the stomach, possibly by improving the flow of bile through the stomach, which helps to speed and ease digestion. Thanks in part to it’s anti-inflammatory antioxidant rosmarinic acid, it “calms your insides” to ease the havoc inside your body!

 

The Raspberries:

Research suggests they actually may assist in weight loss (yahoo!) because they contain the phytochemical C3G that may increase production of both adiponectin (which enhances fat metabolism) and leptin (which suppresses appetite).  Plus, raspberries powerful, anti-aging and disease-fighting phytonutrients arm your body for any assault coming it’s way! Oh yeah!

 

Raspberry Ginger Lime Soda- DIY- Make-Your-Own Natural Soda

What we’ve done here is we’ve taken all the goodies from our Raspberry Ginger Lime “Detox” Drink and made a concentrate to use for making the soda to give you all the healing properties in a 20-calorie natural soda!

 

Makes 1 cup concentrate, 4 cups of soda.

Ingredients:

Raspberry Ginger Lime Concentrate:

¼ cup frozen raspberries

½ lime, sliced

1 tsp chopped or sliced ginger

3 mint leaves

1 cup water

 

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a pitcher or large jar and smash them with the back of a wooden spoon to release juices.
  2. Add the water and stir.
  3. Let infuse in the fridge overnight, then strain.
  4. To make soda: combine ¼ cup concentrate with ¾ cup seltzer water and 1 tsp simple syrup (recipe below)

 

Simple Syrup Ingredients:

1 cup water

1 cup sugar (organic, preferably); you can use honey if you prefer.

Directions:

Simmer the water and sugar, stirring occasionally until completely dissolved.  Let cool.

Note: Start by adding a teaspoon of syrup to your natural soda and slowly add more, if needed.  Each teaspoon simple syrup has approximately 15 calories and 4 grams of carbs (sugar).

Nutrition info per 8-oz serving of soda with 1 teaspoon simple syrup: 20 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg sodium, 3 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 0.2 g protein

 

Raspberry Ginger Lime Soda - DIY- Make-Your-Own Natural Soda
 
Makes 1 cup concentrate, 4 cups of soda.
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • Raspberry Ginger Lime Concentrate:
  • ¼ cup frozen raspberries
  • ½ lime, sliced
  • 1 tsp chopped or sliced ginger
  • 3 mint leaves
  • 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a pitcher or large jar and smash them with the back of a wooden spoon to release juices.
  2. Add the water and stir.
  3. Let infuse in the fridge overnight, then strain.
  4. To make soda:
  5. combine ¼ cup concentrate with ¾ cup seltzer water and 1 tsp simple syrup (recipe below)
  6. Simple Syrup Ingredients:
  7. cup water
  8. cup sugar (organic, preferably); you can use honey if you prefer.
  9. Simmer the water and sugar, stirring occasionally until completely dissolved.  Let cool.
  10. Note: Start by adding a teaspoon of syrup to your natural soda and slowly add more, if needed.
  11. Each teaspoon simple syrup has approximately 15 calories and 4 grams of carbs (sugar).
  12. Nutrition info per 8-oz serving of soda with 1 teaspoon simple syrup: 20 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg sodium, 3 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 0.2 g protein

7 Hacks to Make Healthy Eating a Cinch

We’re suckers for a quick-fix.  Not the kind you may be thinking (no fad diets here!), rather if something saves us time, we can’t wait to give it a whirl.  And if it’s healthy and makes us more efficient, we’re all over it! J   As registered dietitians and girls who spend a lot of time in the kitchen, we’ve done our share of experimenting so you don’t have to—and today we’re sharing our 7 healthy eating hacks –a.k.a., tricks to make healthy eating easier & faster!

1. Frozen Vegetables: Yup! You knew as authors of The Veggie Cure, a veggie hack had to take the #1 spot for us! 🙂

 

Frozen vegetables are just as healthy as fresh ones. In fact, in some instances, frozen are even healthier. Frozen vegetables are picked and frozen immediately, nutrients intact. Fresh vegetables may lose nutrients during shipping and storage or when on store shelves as nutrients are lost when vegetables are exposed to light, heat and air. You’ll notice that several of our recipes call for frozen vegetables. This not only ensures nutrient retention, but it also helps to make meals quick and easy to prepare. You can keep frozen vegetables in your freezer for months (nearly up to a year!) so you never have to worry about not having vegetables if your fresh ones go bad. They’re already cleaned and cut, so you can even defrost them in the fridge during the day before using them at night, toss them in a tomato sauce, soup, casserole or whatever you’re cooking and it’s ready to go in minutes!

This hack is for you if you:
• Often find veggies spoiled in your fridge
• Don’t find the time to wash, chop or prepare veggies
• Find a lot of excuses for not eating veggies 😉
Spicy Fried Broccoli
Orange Banan-apple Smoothie

INSIDER SCOOP: If you’ve tried a frozen veggie in the past and didn’t like it, try a different brand. We’ve noticed a huge difference between brands when it comes to flavor and quality!

 

2. Spray bottle: We use these for everything!

 

 

As registered dietitians we’ve witnessed that one of the healthiest foods has also resulted in the accumulation of unwanted pounds. Olive oil. Just a tablespoon (of any oil) has 120 calories. That’s a little less than 1/10 of the total calories many women should get in an entire day if they’d like to drop a few pounds—and that’s before even eating! It’s easy to pour several tablespoons of oil onto your salad. That’s why we suggest putting your oil in a spray bottle. This will disperse the oil, so you can use a lot less. You still get the flavor and texture while sparing your waist, hips and thighs. Also use a spray bottle for any of your favorite dressings—save time by spritzing oils and dressings rather than trying to mix to disperse the flavor.

This hack is especially for you if you’d like to lose some body fat and:
• Enjoy dressings and condiments
• Cook with oil or butter
Try it with this recipe: Parmesan Eggs in a Bell Pepper Ring
And these Hummus Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers 

 

3. Lemons: Make your kitchen a lemon-palooza!  

A squirt of lemon replaces bloat-causing salt in recipes (we learned this from some well-known chefs), adds immune boosting vitamin C and helps cut down on clean-up. Spritz lemon over a meal rather than using salt for seasoning and place lemon slices under fish for cooking—it prevents fish from sticking to the pan (i.e. bye-bye long clean up time!) and it adds delicious flavor without calories- so you don’t need calorie loaded-sauces or salad dressings. Place wedges in water and you’ll drink more and stay hydrated—and eat less. Many people think they’re hungry and they’re actually thirsty!

This hack is your jam if:
• You add salt, dressings and sauces to your food and want to be less puffy or want to lower your blood pressure.
• Need a little encouragement to drink more water.
• Don’t cook fish enough because of the clean-up.
• Lemon-ginger detox drink
Colorful Detox Salad

 

4. Frozen fruit: As girls with a mega-sweet tooth and who are also no stranger to moldy berries in the fridge the same day we’ve brought them home, these have saved us from falling under sugar’s spoon (sword! ;)). Similarly to frozen veggies, frozen fruits are a delicious, easy way to get antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals without worrying about produce spoiling—plus, they’re an amazing alternative to added sugar.
Simply blend in smoothies, toss on yogurt, oatmeal, cereal or hot chocolate—and allow frozen sweet to add natural sweetness to foods rather than buying sweetened items.

This hack is for you if:
• You like fruit but tend not to eat it.
• Add sugar to (or buy pre-sweetened) cereal, yogurt, oatmeal and smoothies.
• Make smoothies (frozen fruit makes them like a milkshake and no washing or chopping is required).
Skinny DIY Strawberry Mint Ice Cream
Blueberry Banana Smoothie

 

5. Sheet pans: These rimmed baking sheets make healthy ‘meals in a jiffy’ a reality. A sheet pan is so simple, yet brilliant since it allows you the convenience having a meal in 30 minutes by just tossing healthy items on it and popping it in the oven. Clean-up? Just one sheet– that you can always line with foil or parchment paper—that makes cleaning the pan nearly non-existent. Try this on your sheet pan: Toss vVeggies or a veggie blend, fish and a spritz of olive oil, garlic and lemon. Keep your “meal-in-minutes” creative by simply mixing and matching different veggies, spices and proteins to keep your taste buds tantalized. You don’t need rich sauces or loads of oil and the short cooking time minimizes nutrient losses.

This hack is your hot pan if you:
• Want to make healthy meals but don’t want to slave over the stove
• Prefer meals with simple preparation
• Would eat more veggies if they were roasted
• Want a hands-off dinner (and fast!) and to create a meal all on one pan!
• Try this recipe: Sheet Pan Roasted Salmon with Kale & Golden Beets

 

6. Lyssie’s pick: A swivel grater. Lyssie: In under a minute, I can completely boost the flavor and health of what I’m eating. I grate a bit of ginger or turmeric over the top of a meal for awesome flavor and anti-inflammatory benefits without fat, salt or calories. And I’ll also grate beets, turnips or carrots over a salad for extra crunch and flavor. This takes moments with a good quality grater. I love the OXO one—and you can get it for under $10!

Try this: Ginger Mint Turmeric Green Tea Flat-Belly “Detox”

 

7. Tammy’s pick Tammy: An orange peeler. Tammy: This is my new fave find! One of my daughter’s, Summer, requests an orange in her lunch every day. I was peeling it by making incisions with a knife, until I found this inexpensive little life-changing number on amazon—the orange peeler! I can literally peel an orange in 15 seconds and there’s NO mess. And for just over $4 for 6 of them, you really can’t go wrong!