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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creamy Peppermint Patty Smoothie

It’s no joke.  These veggie-loving registered dietitians have a serious sweet tooth.  We work hard to keep them in check and we’re always concocting different creations that tantalize the taste buds without putting health and waistlines at risk.  This lil’ number was inspired by our love of Peppermint patty’s, which we pretty much only used to have at Halloween, but the delicious memory of it makes our mouths water all year long! 🙂  Yep, this low-calorie refreshing smoothie squashes chocolate cravings and flushes bloat and is a throwback to one of our favorite childhood candies…

 

Growing up in a healthy household, Halloween was the one time of year where we actually had candy in the house—and we were allowed to have one piece for dessert each night, until we ran out. We were certain to make the most of our Halloween candy since we wouldn’t be so lucky for another year—so after we’d go trick-or-treating, we’d have candy trading sessions with our friends where we’d trade off least favorite candy for ones that included chocolate. Turns out that one of our all -time favorite candies back then, is surprisingly one that as registered dietitians, we consider a better option—peppermint patties! The calories and fat are fairly low compared to most candies and mint is refreshing and satisfying and chocolate hits the spot. And we’ve found that any recipe that includes either of these ingredients is very satisfying—like our Oreo No-Bake Mint Balls, Homemade Skinny Strawberry Mint Ice Cream and our Thin Mint Dip and now this hit!

This Creamy Peppermint Patty Smoothie is refreshing and satisfies chocolate cravings all while flushing bloat! The banana and avocado not only make this smoothie rich and creamy, they also provide a good source of potassium. Potassium helps to decrease bloat by flushing excess water the body is holding on to in order to dilute large amounts of sodium. The fiber in this smoothie helps to keep you regular, preventing waste from staying in your digestive tract, so it also helps alleviate bloating. And avocado is one of the better sources of glutathione which is key in detoxification in the small intestine and in boosting the health of the digestive system. So when you want a tasty treat that will squash cravings and beat the bloat too, blend up this waistline-friendly drink!

Creamy Peppermint Patty Smoothie

This Creamy Peppermint Patty Smoothie is a perfect dessert or afternoon pick-me-up when you’re craving something sweet and refreshing that won’t leave you feeling drowsy. Carob powder is a great alternative to chocolate–it has a mildly sweet, nutty flavor and is high in minerals and fiber.¹ If you don’t have carob powder on hand, or prefer a stronger chocolate flavor, feel free to use cocoa powder or raw cacao powder instead.

 

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients
1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk

1 very ripe medium banana,* sliced and frozen

1/2 scoop organic chocolate protein powder *optional (approximately 60 calories & 10 grams of protein); this is optional but without it, the smoothie won’t be as satisfying

1/4 avocado

1 1/2 cup ice cubes

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 Tbs. raw carob powder (OK to use cacao or cocoa powder)

1/4 tsp. peppermint extract or a small handful of fresh mint leaves

Directions:
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!
*If your banana isn’t that ripe, and you’d like a sweeter smoothie, you can add a little stevia or honey to taste. Note that honey will add some calories to the nutrition facts below.

Nutrition Facts: 185 Calories, 4 g Fat, 0 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 83 mg Sodium, 22 g Carbohydrate, 5 g Fiber, 11 g Sugar, 12 g Protein

 

Creamy Peppermint Patty Smoothie
 
Author:
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 very ripe medium banana,* sliced and frozen
  • ¼ avocado
  • 1½ cup ice cubes
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs. raw carob powder (OK to use cacao or cocoa powder)
  • ¼ tsp. peppermint extract or a small handful of fresh mint leaves
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!
  2. *If your banana isn't that ripe, and you’d like a sweeter smoothie, you can add a little stevia or honey to taste. Note that honey will add some calories to the nutrition facts below.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 serving Calories: 125 Fat: 4 Saturated fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 22 g Fiber: 5 g Protein: 2 g

 

Green Warrior Weight Loss Antioxidant Smoothie

This weight loss smoothie will crush your sweet tooth with only 309 calories and keep you feeling satisfied thanks to the protein and fiber. Naturally sweet antioxidant-packed fruit, creamy Greek yogurt and zesty, inflammation-fighting ginger keep your taste buds excited, while the pistachios are the secret ingredient since they contain the satisfying trio of fiber, plant-protein and better-for-you unsaturated fats so you feel full and don’t end up overeating at the vending machine soon after. Plus, although people don’t think of nuts for antioxidants, the green in the pistachios let’s you know there are antioxidants inside, making it a surprise superfood!

In this smoothie, we’ve got 3 special loves 😉 :

Pistachios:
They contain the trio of fiber, plant-protein and better-for-you unsaturated fats that can help keep you feeling fuller longer. Pistachios are among the snack nuts highest in protein, but lowest in calories and fat. We used the Wonderful No Shells Pistachios in this smoothie since they made it super easy to add! As an added bonus, the green and purple hues from pistachios signify that there are antioxidants inside.

Ginger:
As you know, we’re ginger-obsessed, and Lyssie finds a way to work it into most of her meals. 😉 It adds a zesty kick to keep your taste buds satisfied so that they’re not craving more excitement. Ginger soothes the stomach and intestinal tract and has powerful anti-inflammatory properties to protect your body from free radicals and helps to keep your body in better working order. A calm intestinal tract= less bloat and a flatter tummy!

Spinach:
Greens, specifically, are the number one food you can eat regularly to improve your health–and to aid in weight loss because they’re super low in calories but packed with fiber to fill you up and with nutrients. Spinach is one the mildest of the greens and is like a barely detectable (like a chameleon!) in a smoothie, so it’s the perfect addition to a weight loss smoothie. (In this smoothie, we started with 1 packed cup of spinach, which is similar to two fistfuls)

Green Warrior Weight Loss Antioxidant Smoothie

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients
• ¾ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
• 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
• ½ cup green grapes
• 1 cup pineapple pieces
• 1 cup packed spinach (or 4 Kale and Spinach Cubes)
• 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled
• 1/8 cup Wonderful No Shells Pistachios, lightly salted (roughly 25 kernels)
• 4 ice cubes

Directions:
In a blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth.

Nutrition Facts per Serving (makes 2 servings): 170 Calories, 5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 22 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 13 g protein

 

Green Warrior Weight Loss Antioxidant Smoothie
 
Nutrition Facts per Serving (makes 2 servings): 170 Calories, 5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 22 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 13 g protein
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • • ¾ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • • ¼ cup pomegranate juice
  • • ½ cup green grapes
  • • 1 cup pineapple pieces
  • • 1 cup packed spinach
  • • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled
  • • ⅛ cup Wonderful No Shells Pistachios, lightly salted (roughly 25 kernels)
  • • 4 ice cubes
Instructions
  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth.

 

Photo credit:  POM Wonderful

Why a Weight Loss Plateau is A Good Thing

As registered dietitians and personal trainers for over fifteen years, these twin sisters have seen our share of weight loss plateaus.  And while we’re well aware that a weight loss plateau is a good thing, we’ve seen how destructive and deflating it can be when someone hits one and doesn’t realize the benefits of a plateau.

 

So we’re busting at the seams to tell them (and you!) that a weight loss plateau is actually a good thing!  If you’ve ever experienced this we want you to pay close attention and follow this advice as this will help you to succeed when faced with it again! First, don’t let a plateau derail your efforts or discourage you.  Although a weight loss plateau can often last for several weeks, it’s not the time to give up, and in fact, just the opposite!

 

Here’s why:

A weight loss plateau is a normal and healthy part of the weight loss process and it simply means that your body is recognizing that it’s a new smaller person—and it’s settling in and adjusting to being slimmer.  Your body is taking an assessment and acknowledging it no longer needs as many calories to maintain itself and it’s just taking time to recalibrate.  This recalibration is important; if your body never recognizes it’s smaller and doesn’t take time to stabilize, your body doesn’t know who it is and can easily change; bouncing back to a higher weight will be easy as it wouldn’t have set a new place at a lower weight that feels comfortable.  Think about it—if you constantly are losing weight, your body has no clue what to expect and it doesn’t yet know where it feels stable.  A few missed workouts, a few not so healthy meals could easily throw your body off kilter. On the other hand, if you hit a plateau, it’s recognizing your newer, smaller body.  It’s a sign that your body is taking notice of your new trimmer self!  Once you push past this, maintaining your new weight will be easier!  Feel proud and know this is part of the amazing successful weight loss process and you’ll push past it!

 

 

More good news?

There are ways to push past a plateau—and if you stick it out, they pay off big-time!

 

Here are 4 of our top ways to bust through a weight loss plateau:

 

  1. Eat more veggies. Yup, read THIS to see how eating more actually works.  By now you know that we love veggies, always encourage our clients to eat them, and we too, eat them like nobody’s business (despite having been super picky eaters in the past)—but that’s because they’re little miracle workers, and in more ways than one. (Pssst… we didn’t write The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure for nothin’!  😉  )

 

  1. Sip on THIS Toxin-Neutralizing, Bloat-Busting Bevvie throughout the day. It will keep you hydrated, flush bloat and wastes out of the body, fill your stomach so you eat less, and flood the body with antioxidants that help to neutralize free radicals and pull toxins out of the body.

 

 

  1. Incorporate HIIT training into your workouts.   These periods of more intense exercise followed by less intense exercise burn extra calories and rev your metabolism.  Find out how to do it!

 

 

  1. Leave three bites behind at each meal. If you typically eat all of your meal, leave three bites on your plate; if you don’t typically eat all of your meal, make a conscious effort to eat three fewer bites.  Over the course of the day this will equate to a couple hundred calories, which over the course of the month can equal nearly two pounds or more!

 

 

  1. For the next few weeks keep a food log (if you don’t already). You may discover places where excess snacks can be cut—or you may realize that while you were on a weight loss roll that you weren’t quite as diligent as you thought and tightening the reigns will help you to push past the plateau.

 

 

The Nutrition  Twins’ Do Your Body Good Challenge—and your 5th way to bust through a weight loss plateau.

 

Swap Dry foods for Wet Foods:
Eat Water-Rich Foods.

  • Why? Dry foods, like baked goods and cookies, chips, crackers, candy bars and trail mixes, are light and airy and don’t fill you up but are high in calories. Instead go for water and fiber-filled foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, sweet potatoes, and whole grains—these are generally full of water and fiber and not many calories. So your body feels the weight of these foods and it helps to satisfy you, as opposed to the dry, calorie-dense, light-weight foods.

 

How to do it:

 

 

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Bust Boredom or Past a Plateau with THIS!

If you’re stuck in a weight loss or boredom rut, we’ve got just the workout for you—and an added bonus is that this workout is ideal if you’re short on time (and seriously, who isn’t?)!

 

In New York City if the cold outside (or the heat) is unbearable for us and we need to get a quick indoor workout, we’ve got a foolproof routine– intervals! As registered dietitians and personal trainers, we recommend intervals to the majority of our clients. Intervals are great because you can be more productive in a shorter amount of time, which is especially helpful if you’re trapped inside and exercising indoors isn’t your thing.

 

We personally do our intervals on the treadmill and sometimes on the cross-trainer, but you can use any equipment that allows you to get a cardiovascular workout (and if it’s nice out—head out for some fresh air, baby!). Studies have shown that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) at least once a week can boost cardiovascular fitness and increase the body’s potential to lose weight (woot, woot!).  Plus, constantly increasing and decreasing the speed keeps you occupied, so the time goes by so much more quickly!

 

Your body can become accustomed to doing the same exercise routine and then it no longer is a challenge and you stop seeing results.

 

This means it’s time to shake things up a bit. 

 

Here’s why we recommend HIIT to jumpstart your fitness:

  • HIIT training consists of short, high-intensity periods of exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods.
    • The higher intensity exercise challenges your body in new ways, which means you’ll burn more calories and fat.
    • The low-intensity recovery periods, also known as rest intervals, are important because they ensure that your high-intensity intervals are done at an optimal intensity. Without the rest intervals you’ll only be able to work at a medium intensity for the full duration of your exercise—which is no different than what you were doing before.

 

Here’s how to do HIIT:

 

During your normal cardiovascular routine, try increasing your speed to a fast sprint every 4 minutes. Stay at this high intensity for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on your ability. You should be out of breath and really challenging yourself. The 4 minutes in between will help you recover. When those 4 minutes are up, pump it back to a sprint. You’ll be sure to feel great and will also burn a lot of calories!

 

  • If you’re a beginner, start with a 1:2 ratio of a challenging workout to rest. So go as hard as you can for 30, 45, 60 or 90 seconds and then rest for twice as long.  Then start on the challenging interval again.  As you practice this, aim for a making your rest period the same length as your interval.

 

Give it a try!  You got this! 🙂

 

 

 

The Nutrition Twins demonstrate the Playground Workout

Embrace your inner child and let loose! The best workout is one that you’ll make time to do! Keep it fun!

For working out and sticking with it, you gotta find something you love! As giggly girls who loved to monkey around, this was our fave thing to do- so these days we join Tammy’s kids on the playground, but boy it’s a lot harder now! This reminds us what a great workout you can get when let yourself be free to play!

And sheesh,what a great arm workout!

 

Also try hop-scotch, hula-hooping and jumping rope!

 

 

Psst… looking for more traditional exercises?  Try these!

Anytime, Anywhere 90-Second Metabolism Booster

Easy At-Home Shoulder Toner

Triangle Push-Ups

Leg & Butt Toner