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Should you go keto?

As registered dietitian nutritionists, we’re always keeping our eyes on the latest trends in the nutrition world, and one thing we keep seeing pop up is the keto (aka ketogenic) diet.

Many of you have been asking if you should give the keto diet a shot, since it seems like everyone has a friend, coworker, or family member that’s on the keto diet and loving it!  After all, even a couple of our guy friends who swore they’d never diet, have been tempted and admitted that they just may try this since the high fat and protein diet appeals to them.  So we figure it’s about time we put our two-cents in and talk about the ins and outs & ups and downs of the keto diet!

Here are some of your most frequently asked questions about going keto, and our take on the diet as a whole, starting with the facts about the diet:  Psst… check out our healthy & decadent Avocado Chocolate Mousse (have just a couple bites and it may even fit on the keto diet!)

What is the keto diet, and why is everyone suddenly going into “ketosis”?:

The keto diet is a low carb diet where your body produces ketones to be used as energy instead of using carbohydrates for energy. When you eat a diet that isn’t as low in carbs, your body uses carbs for energy and uses fat for other things like carrying fat-soluble nutrients, lining your body’s cells, and more.

When you cut out most carbs, your body can no longer rely on carbs as a source of energy and gets shocked into a state of “ketosis,” where your body converts the fat you’re eating in place of carbs into energy.

The goal of a keto diet is to force your body into ketosis, which some studies show can help promote weight loss, lower blood sugar, increase insulin sensitivity in diabetics and improve cognitive function. So naturally, many people are trying this diet for the alluring possibility of losing a few pounds. While the research is conflicting on whether going into ketosis itself can cause long-term weight loss, the fact is that many people do lose weight on this diet simply because it cuts out a large amount of foods– most carbs!—and because they are eating more whole foods and less packaged and processed foods.

Any diet that cuts out a food/ or many foods, especially foods that people tend to overeat, will generally result in weight loss. Whether or not the diet is sustainable and/ or healthy is something else to consider.)

In order for your body to stay in ketosis, you’d have to eat about 70% of your calories from fat, 20% from protein, and 5% from carbs, consistently.

Consistency is key with keto – if you slip up and fall out of that fat/protein/carb range, your body likely won’t be in ketosis anymore—and many of the associated health benefits slip away!

How can I avoid overeating while on the Keto diet?

No matter which diet you’re on, planning is an important part to being healthy.  However, since the keto diet falls so low in nutrients since so many healthy foods and food groups are eliminated, it’s especially important to plan your meals when you’re on the keto diet.

Also, if you are doing the diet to truly reach the state of ketosis, you do have to plan to limit carbohydrates—so you can’t simply just grab a piece of fruit when you’re hungry or you won’t be in ketosis.  You definitely should pick a start date and make sure you’ve set up your pantry and fridge for success.

Choose foods like eggs, avocados, plain Greek yogurt, low-carbohydrate vegetables, salmon, mackerel, anchovies, pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts, macadamia nuts.  Ideally, you should talk to a registered dietitian (like us) to help you plan before you start the diet, it’s not easy to do it alone.

Plus, you may want help tracking your diet to make sure you are reaching the ideal ratio of protein, carbs and fat for the keto diet—70% calories from healthy fats, 20% protein and 5-10% from carbs.

(Use full-fat yogurt or sour cream in our Lemon Dill Salmon recipe for a keto-friendly option!)

But what about healthy fiber?? Are fruits & veggies out?

Fiber is very important in any diet for regularity, gut health and disease prevention.  It’s very difficult to meet the recommendations to get at least 25 grams of fiber a day when you’re following a keto diet because keto diets are extremely low in the foods that contain fiber (fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains). Fiber also contains prebiotics to help keep your digestive tract healthy, so you should try to get it through nuts, avocados and non-starchy vegetables, herbs and spices, and berries if they fit in your carb limit.

Fruits are very controversial among keto followers. Most fruits are too high in carbs to eat on the ketogenic diet, but small amounts of berries are OK because they are lower in carbs than other fruit and high in fiber. Raspberries and blackberries are a good source of fiber and they’re packed with antioxidants that help to reduce inflammation and fight against disease.

Non-starchy vegetables (think leafy greens and most green veggies and cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower) are generally low in calories and carbs, and in order to stay in the tight guidelines to keep carbohydrate levels down, choosing them while also paying attention the to the grams of carbs is helpful.

Veggies with 1 g of carbs per cup (like spinach) can be compared to others that can range to 8 grams per cup.  In general, the recommended veggies are leafy greens and most green veggies and cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower, kale, as well as peppers, asparagus, fresh herbs and spices, tomatoes and onions, celery, zucchini, Swiss chard and cabbage.

(get the recipe for this avocado tuna salad with kale when you sign up for our 21-Day Body Reboot!)

What kinds of fat should I eat on the keto diet?

Avocados! The monounsaturated fat is heart-healthy and avocados are packed with vitamins and minerals.  Fattier nuts and seeds are great too—pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, walnuts and cashews. Salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies are heart healthy options that are rich in inflammation-fighting omega 3s (and super important to off-throw the balance of all of the high saturated fat foods, as well as the inflammation they create in the body). Olive oil is a heart-healthy oil to use as well.

Ok, but do I have to drop my skinny martinis?

Yep – alcohol is a no-go on the keto diet.

When you drink alcohol, your body views it as a toxin and many body processes are temporarily stopped to process the alcohol in your liver, since your body’s priority is ridding toxins.  This means fat burning is slowed, since you’re using fewer fatty acids to make ketones—which is obviously the opposite of the goal of people following a keto diet for fat loss.

You’ll also get drunk faster since your tolerance will be lower since your liver is metabolizing alcohol much faster since you’ll have no glycogen stores for the body to burn through first (glycogen stores are created from carbohydrates).  The more drunk you are, the lower your inhibitions and the more likely you’ll be to fall off the very low-carb, keto diet.  Plus, alcohol, like beer and cocktails have a significant amount of carbs, so that is something to take in to consideration.

Here are a few ideas of what keto meals might look like!

Curry Chicken Lettuce Wraps:—chicken, chili spice, curry powder, garlic, onions cooked in a couple of tablespoons of ghee, cauliflower rice, and a dollop of plain sour cream

Breakfast “bagel”: An avocado cut in half and filled with scrambled eggs and turkey bacon. Think of the avocado as the bagel.

Keto Salmon Salad: salmon, celery, mayonnaise, mustard, dill, walnuts, and avocado with mixed greens

So tell me, should I try the keto diet?!

Honestly, it’s not our cup of tea. And if you’re someone who drinks milk with your tea, it’s probably not for you either. 😉 In order to truly get the benefits of being in ketosis, you’d have to stay in ketosis. And that’s REALLY tough because that means continuously eating about 70% of calories from fat. Even something as simple as a chicken breast could be too high in protein without enough fat to keep you in ketosis, ruining any of the benefits you’d be getting from the diet in the first place! It’s also super difficult to get enough fiber while on the keto diet – and without adequate fiber, we’d be constipated all the time and our face would show it too 😉 as we’d seriously worry about our digestive health. The keto diet is so restrictive that we really wouldn’t enjoy eating with such intense restrictions, and we’re ALL about loving the foods that we eat!

If you’re looking to take charge of your health, we’d recommend trying something a bit more sustainable that still gets you results so you can enjoy more freedom with your food and keep eating the foods you love – all while still losing weight!

Both our 1:1 counseling sessions & Our 21-Day Body Reboot program do just that – you’ll learn how to make healthy choices and indulge in the foods you love while losing weight, and with our program you get to do it with support from us and alongside a community of motivated people just like you!

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!

 

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.

 

  • 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

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

Orange Creamsicle Overnight Oats

We have a long love affair with orange creamsicles that dates back to elementary school. While our cook-everything-from-scratch, granola baking hippie (minus the drugs) mom, who had the best intentions to keep us healthy, gave us her low-sugar, home-cooked dessert every night, she did give us money to buy ice cream at school every Friday for a special indulgence. We’d look forward to it all week long, and we’d dream of the Orange Creamsicle we’d often choose (the Strawberry Shortcake ice cream bar took a close second! 🙂 ). Now, as registered dietitians with a sweet tooth that we work hard to keep in check, we still love the flavor of orange creamsicles, and this healthy rendition of an orange creamsicle is inspired by our childhood Friday ice cream special!

 

Psst… looking for more healthy recipes? Please feel free to search this site. And here are a few to try…

Coco Chia Granola Balls

Strawberry and Citrus Salad with Avocado 

 

 

Every feel rushed in the morning?! We hear ya! These are for you! And because…

 

we can’t all be morning people, and for those of you who aren’t – these Orange Creamsicle overnight oats will be your wake-up call! Not only can they be fully prepared the night before, but they also provide the nutrients you need to get your day started on the right foot, no matter what side of the bed you got off of.

 

We call this our Shake, Rattle and Roll breakfast! Simply put all the ingredients in a jar, shake them, rattle ’em if you please 😉 and refrigerate! Roll out the door with them in the morning!

 

Healthy Bonuses:

The oats are rich in energy-revving whole grain carbohydrates to keep you fueled. Plus, their soluble fiber helps to lower cholesterol and fight heart disease.

 

 

 

Packed with oranges which are a great source of vitamin C, this breakfast will help to bolster your immune system, and as an added bonus it helps with the formation of collagen – so you can look forward to healthy and younger-looking skin! And oats combined with oranges are the perfect match, since the iron in the oats is more easily absorbed with the help of vitamin C!

Orange Creamsicle Overnight Oats

Preparation Tip: When preparing this delicious breakfast make sure to use a container/jar that allows room for the ingredients to be shaken – a mason jar works perfectly! And for added flavor and nutrients feel free to toss in a few more of your favorite fruits. Blueberries, raspberries or strawberries are the perfect addition!

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1 orange, peeled and sectioned

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon ground flax

1/4 cup nonfat milk

 

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a jar or container with life. Shake to combine, then place into fridge overnight. Enjoy the next morning!

Nutrition facts per serving:

315 calories, 5 grams fat, 0 grams Saturated fat, 47 grams Carbohydrates, 69 grams Sodium, 8 grams Fiber, 22 grams Protein

 

Orange Creamsicle Overnight Oats
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup oats
  • ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 orange, peeled and sectioned
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax
  • ¼ cup nonfat milk
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a jar or container with lid. Shake to combine, then place into fridge overnight. Enjoy the next morning!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 315 Fat: 5g Saturated fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 47g Sodium: 69g Fiber: 8g Protein: 22g

 

 

Skinny Chocolate Chunky Cookies

If you’ve spent much time on our site you know we’re veggie-loving twin sisters, registered dietitians and personal trainers and we have a thang for sweets. And if you’re new to our site, welcome to the place where we dish out the delicious, waistline friendly sweets and we take ‘em (you better believe we eat ‘em too, butter cup)! 😉  We inherited our wicked sweet canines from our Grandma Bubbles and there was no turning back! So what do we do to keep it from getting the best of us? Why, come up with waistline-friendly satisfying sweet treats like these, of course!:

Microwave Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wild Blueberry Cookies

Minute Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

 

And now this yumster! After all, no matter what the reason – if you appreciate sweets, you’ve likely found yourself trying to fight off a chocolate craving. Well lucky for you, these cookies will end that fight! And peacefully, with you winning! 😉 They are loaded with nutrients and lots of chocolate deliciousness! Talk about a win-win!

 

These cookies are made with:

 

Bananas: We add this for natural sweetness with bloat-fighting potassium that helps to counter balance salt while also keeping your blood pressure in check!

 

Oats and Chia seeds: We love biting into chewy cookies (thank you oats!) and both oats and chia are packed with fiber, which swells in your stomach, taking space, making you feel more full while helping to regulate your blood sugar so that you don’t have an energy high and crash.

 

Peanut butter: Who’s obsessed?! Guilty as charged! 🙂 This was the ONLY food we would eat in the early parts of our lives. But for good reason—it’s yummy! And it’s got potassium and fiber to flush bloat from salt and from constipation, while offering protein to boot!

 

When baking these cookies keep in mind that they’ll remain pretty soft because of all of the wet ingredients Therefore, pay attention to the size we mention below when portioning them out on the cookie sheet. Also feel free to set half aside to put in the freezer! This will save you time in the future and prevent you from wasting any! Or better yet, freeze the cookies that you don’t eat immediately, this way when you want a sweet treat, you’ll have these healthy numbers to fall back on and you won’t be able to eat it impulsively as you’ll have to wait a few minutes for it to defrost. Then you can enjoy cool or heated!

 

Skinny Chocolate Chunky Cookies

 These cookies are an ideal sweet treat – defrost one and heat (or eat defrosted, cold) when you want to kill your sweet tooth with delicious, waistline-friendly satisfaction!

 Serves 24

 Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas (medium-sized)
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup peanut butter (chunky adds more crunch)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (or cacao powder)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
  • cinnamon (optional)
  • ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F
  2. In a large bowl, add mash bananas with a fork.
  3. Mix in the rest of the remaining ingredients and then allow the batter to set for around 20 minutes
  4. Using a tablespoon, place a level spoonful onto an ungreased baking sheet (can also be lined with parchment paper)
  5. Bake 10-12 minutes or until you notice the outside of the cookies start to lose their shine.

 

Amount per serving: approximately one cookie

Nutrition Facts: 123 calories, 5 g fat, 11 mg sodium, 111 mg potassium, 18 g carb, 3 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 3 g protein 

** this includes chia seeds, cinnamon and chocolate chips 

Skinny Chocolate Chunky Cookies
 
Author:
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 3 ripe bananas (medium-sized)
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup peanut butter (chunky adds more crunch)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (or cacao powder)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
  • ⅛ tsp. cinnamon (optional)
  • ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a large bowl, add mash bananas with a fork
  3. Mix in the rest of the remaining ingredients and then allow the batter to set for around 20 minutes
  4. Using a tablespoon, place a level spoonful onto an ungreased baking sheet (can also be lined with parchment paper)
  5. Bake 10-12 minutes or until you notice the outside of the cookies start to lose their shine.
Notes
**This includes chia seeds, cinnamon and chocolate chips
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cookie Calories: 123 Fat: 5 g Carbohydrates: 18 g Sugar: 9 g Sodium: 11 mg Fiber: 3 g Protein: 3 g

 

 

 

Kiwi & Olive Quinoa with Cranberries and Feta

A big fat cooking rut.  I, Lyssie, was in one.  Yes, even this registered dietitian and one of The Nutrition Twins who loves to cook got stuck in one.  And thanks to two generous samples- #zesprikiwifruit and #organicgrain (organicgrains.com) and an urge to instantly marry the two in one dish, I’ve been set free!  Having these delicious and healthy ingredients forced me out of my healthy, in a hurry “go-to meals “and got my creative juices flowing once again and gave me the ammunition to make a new, quickie and healthy alternative!  And thank gosh, I’m B-A-C-K! 🙂

It feels great to be back in the “mode”, whipping up light, summer-inspired dishes that don’t require slaving over the stove.  After all, summer is my favorite season and fresh summer produce is so much fun to take advantage of.  Quinoa (the wholesome, protein and fiber-packed grain) is perfect for summer since it’s light and satisfying and makes me think of the Mediterranean and of olives.  I know olives aren’t necessarily a summer food for most, but for me, I immediately think “olives” and summer are a pair.  I live in New York City and I get my olives at Fairway or Zabars from the big barrels.  Shopping with winter coats and gloves and scarves are not how I envision shopping for olives, rather in a summery tank top and shorts scream olives to me! J

Tammy and I always say “O-live for olives”.  Translation: I live for olives. 😉  Olives not only a source of good-for-you, mono-unsaturated fats, they also contain powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that protect the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, nervous system, musculoskeletal system, immune system, inflammatory system, and digestive system—and help to prevent cancer!

Kiwi (in this recipe we used Sungold kiwi, which is a new, golden-fleshed variety.  It’s got a refreshing sweet taste with just a hint of sour—and just like other kiwi fruit, it’s packed with vitamin C that helps your skin to glow as it enhances collagen formation, making your skin more elastic so it can appear more youthful.  And it’s got fiber to help keep your digestive tract constipation and bloat-free!

Briny olives, sweet kiwi and chewy cranberries with salty feta and satisfying quinoa—this dish packs flavor with a nutritional punch.

Photo taken pre-feta

 

Kiwi & Olive Quinoa with Cranberries and Feta

Serve this light, satisfying number with a chopped salad of cucumber and tomato or with a side of steamed broccoli.

 

Serves 4

Ingredients

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa or 1-1/2 cups cooked quinoa (we used Organic Grains from their generous mailing delivery)

1-1/2 cup water

3/4 Tbsp. olive oil

3/4 cup Kalamata olives

3/4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

3/4 Tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice (alternatively, you can substitute this for 3/4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar)

15.5 ounce can, chick peas, (ideally low salt, we use Trader Joe’s Organic chickpeas which are lower in sodium than most, 140 mg/serving))

Pink Himalayan sea salt, ground to taste, optional

 

1/4 cup dried cranberries

3 ounces fat-free crumbled feta

2 tsps. fresh ginger, finely grated, optional

2 Zespri kiwis, sliced and quartered

 

Directions:

  1. If using uncooked quinoa, prepare quinoa by adding to a medium sauce pan with 1-1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed (about 15 to 20 minutes). Fluff with a fork.
  2. Mix olive oil, vinegar and lime juice (or lemon juice, if you opt for that) together.
  3. Pour over quinoa and stir in well. Drain about one-quarter of the liquid in the can of the chickpeas out and pour chickpeas into quinoa.  Grind salt to taste in quinoa and chickpea mixture.
  4. Stir in cranberries, feta and ginger. Gently fold in kiwi.  Serve warm or chilled! Enjoy!

Nutrition facts per serving:

355 Calories, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 15 g protein, 53 g carbohydrate, 9 g fiber, 314 mg sodium

OrganicGrains.com and Zespri Kiwifruit both sent The Nutrition Twins samples that were used in the creation of this meal!

Kiwi & Olive Quinoa with Cranberries and Feta
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Ingredients
  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa or 1-1/2 cups cooked quinoa (we used Organic Grains from their generous mailing delivery)
  • 1-1/2 cup water
  • ¾ Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¾ cup Kalamata olives
  • ¾ Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • ¾ Tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice (alternatively, you can substitute this for ¾ Tbsp. red wine vinegar)
  • 15.5 ounce can, chick peas, (ideally low salt, we use Trader Joe’s Organic chickpeas which are lower in sodium than most, 140 mg/serving))
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt, ground to taste, optional
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 3 ounces fat-free crumbled feta
  • 2 tsps. fresh ginger, finely grated, optional
  • 2 Zespri kiwis, sliced and quartered
Instructions
  1. Directions:
  2. If using uncooked quinoa, prepare quinoa by adding to a medium sauce pan with 1-1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed (about 15 to 20 minutes). Fluff with a fork.
  3. Mix olive oil, vinegar and lime juice (or lemon juice, if you opt for that) together.
  4. Pour over quinoa and stir in well. Drain about one-quarter of the liquid in the can of the chickpeas out and pour chickpeas into quinoa. Grind salt to taste in quinoa and chickpea mixture.
  5. Stir in cranberries, feta and ginger. Gently fold in kiwi. Serve warm or chilled! Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 serving Calories: 355 Fat: 9 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 53 g Sodium: 314 mg Fiber: 9 g Protein: 15 g

 

Metabolism Boosting Morning Green Smoothie

 

Early on in our career as dietitians, our first book, Fire Up Your Metabolism was published.  We felt compelled to write the book after realizing that so many people felt doomed by their genetics or that they couldn’t do anything to get their body to burn more calories.  We wanted to let people know that there is hope—and show them the truth–that you can do things to help your body to burn calories more efficiently and genetics don’t dictate your metabolic fate—and speeding up your metabolism actually really is something to feel optimistic about!

As identical twins, we were excited to test the science and show just how much control you could have over your metabolism (one of us was the guinea pig and one of us was the control for each of the 9 principles in our book.  We did coin tosses to see who would have to be the guinea pig [not following one of our steps for boosting metabolism]—and Tammy wasn’t thrilled to lose most of the coin tosses, especially considering her wedding was around the corner and losing a coin toss meant doing something not-so-great for your metabolism that would result in weight gain!)).

 

When it comes to metabolism, eating to keep your body in the best working order possible is ultimately what’s best for your metabolism to keep it running efficiently.

Psst….  here are a drinks with benefits to try:

Minty Lime Iced Green “Flat Belly” Tea

Cool Citrus Cucumber Detox

Apple Cider Vinegar & Lime “Detox” Drink

Cucumber Blueberry Water Flush

Lemon Ginger Detox Drink

Mixed Citrus Ginger Flush

On top of that, there are certain foods and other lifestyle steps (we talk about these in our book) that can help.  And this smoothie contains some of those foods, plus the protein and fiber to get your body and metabolism going…

We <3 this smoothie because it makes a fabulous breakfast to start the day giving your metabolism a boost:

  • We made sure it’s got both protein (the metabolism-friendly nutrient that requires your body to burn the most calories digesting it) and fiber, and together they provide satisfaction and long-lasting energy and keep your body on even keel, preventing hunger and the overeating that comes with it as well as energy dips so that you can also move more and boost your metabolic rate.
  • We want you to feel light and energetic, and unlike breakfasts that make you sluggish, resulting in you being less active; burning fewer calories and negatively impacting your metabolism, this hottie keeps you feeling light
  • Sip this fluid-packed breakfast and it helps to prevent dehydration; every process in the body takes place in water if you are not properly hydrated, normal body processes, such as digestion and an efficient metabolism will suffer.

Each of the ingredients in this smoothie helps to keep the body in better working condition. This is especially important as we age to prevent damage to the body that prevents it from running efficiently. Check out how we hook you up! 😉

The GREEN Bonuses:

Avocado:

  • We always have a lifetime supply of these in our apartments 🙂 .  In addition to being packed with over 21 vitamins and minerals plus healthy fats and anti-inflammatory benefits, research suggest that the fiber, unsaturated fat content, and a blood-sugar-lowering sugar called D-mannoheptulose in avocados may offer another advantage in helping steady blood sugar levels and keeping appetite in check.
  • Packed with potassium to restore normal fluid balance and flush out the bloat.

Green Tea:

  • We like to sneak this into ice cubes and use it as a broth for cooking.  After all, it’s packed with phytonutrients and anti-inflammatories, tea helps to hydrate while flooding the body with health-promoting nutrients.  Research has shown that tea can do everything from helping to protect the heart against heart disease and cancer to possibly even revving metabolism.  Several studies, including one in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that green tea has metabolism-boosting properties and fat-oxidizing properties that can help to promote weight loss and stave off weight gain. Sip tea throughout the day.  Research shows that if you can drink 4-6 tea cups a day (tea cups are smaller than regular cups, about 4 ounces a cup), you can boost your metabolism. This smoothie will help get you closer to your goal.
  • Tea also contains the amino acid theanine that brings on a mental alertness and calmness that helps you to make rational decisions, so you can turn down fatty, caloric foods that you’d normal eat due to stress.
  • Also, tea contains some caffeine so it often provides the little boost people look for in the morning.

 

Spinach or Kale:

  • We’re obsessed! 😉 Both play a part in the liver’s detoxification process—so if you overdid it on alcohol, or if you were in a polluted environment or have been exposed to second hand smoke, these will  help your body to detoxify the chemicals, keeping your body in better working order, making everything, including your metabolism, work more efficiently.

 

Pineapple:

We love that just a few frozen tidbits add so much sweetness and among other things, pineapple’s got  bromelain to help reduce severe inflammation,(the root of so much evil in the body), reduce sinus and congestion, and may help ease digestion and generally protects the body from damage, keeping it running efficiently, this includes a well-tuned metabolism. Oh yeah!

 

Greek Yogurt:

Dare you peek in our fridge?  There’s a reason we’re fully stocked with this. It’s packed with metabolism-friendly protein and the calcium in yogurt may help lower calcitrol in the body, which helps turn on fat burning and shut down fat storage.  And, the helpful probiotics in yogurt are good for your gut health.  Good gut health includes the good bacteria and gut microbes in those who are a healthy weight are different than in those who are obese.

Ginger:

As you know, Lyssie has a love affair with this powerful anti-inflammatory that keeps the body in better working order, an efficient system fuels a well-tuned metabolism.

 

Metabolism Boosting Morning Green Smoothie

Have this for a light breakfast or a satisfying snack!

Serves: 2

Ingredients

3 ice cubes

1 cup green tea

2, 5.5 ounce containers (11 ounce) nonfat Greek Yogurt

2 cups stemmed and chopped spinach (or kale)

1 medium Granny Smith apple—unpeeled, cored, and chopped

1/2 cup 100% juice, (like 100% pomegranate juice) OR ¾ cup frozen pineapple tidbits

1/4 avocado, chopped

1/4 cup frozen pineapple tidbits

1/2-inch fresh ginger, peeled (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

(Note fiber will be 1-2 grams higher when using pineapple tidbits vs. the juice)

Nutrition Facts: 207 calories, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 85 mg sodium, 30 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 18 g protein

Metabolism Boosting Morning Green Smoothie
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Ingredients
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1 cup green tea
  • 2, 5.5 ounce containers (11 ounce) nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 2 cups stemmed and chopped spinach (or kale)
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple—unpeeled, cored, and chopped
  • ½ cup 100% juice, (like 100% pomegranate juice) OR ¾ cup frozen pineapple tidbits
  • ¼ avocado, chopped
  • ¼ cup frozen pineapple tidbits
  • ½-inch fresh ginger, peeled (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. (Note fiber will be 1-2 grams higher when using pineapple tidbits vs. the juice)
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 serving Calories: 207 Fat: 4 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 30 g Sodium: 85 mg Fiber: 6 g Protein: 18 g