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The Danger of the Desk Job

We have some pretty startling news, but trust us, you aren’t going to want to sit down for this. Studies have shown that for every two hours of sitting at work, your risk of obesity increases 5%, and your risk of diabetes increases 7%. That’s major!

 

How could sitting contribute to such serious health issues?

 

For starters, we are sitting too long. Think about it- we live in a very sitting-centered society. A typical day might go something like this: wake up, and drive to work (sitting), work at desk in the office (more sitting), come home and watch television (even more sitting—and we don’t even have to get up to adjust the volume, etc. eeks!) With all this sitting down, we’re hardly even moving a finger more than to control the remote control–it’s no wonder obesity and diabetes rates are climbing through the roof! And these extended periods of sitting are sending us into unhealthy territory.

 

Now, before you quit your day job to become a professional mountain climber, we have some good news.

 

Standing up every 20 minutes, for as little as one to two minutes, can actually help fight off brain fog, weight gain, and risks of diabetes and heart disease. Research shows that standing gets those major leg muscles activated, which actually releases enzymes designed to break up fat in the bloodstream. How cool is that?

 

Standing sure does seem to have serious perks! If something as easy as standing can help us fight disease, increase productivity, and keep extra weight at bay, we are all for it!

 

What are the best ways to get standing up every 20 minutes?

 

Kevan Lee of Buffer has a great article with some fun ideas,  like playing “workstation popcorn”, where you switch from working at your desk, to the coffee shop, to the conference room. The added bonus to this bouncing around is the exercise you get walking from place to place. It all adds up to more activity during the day, which is never a bad thing.

 

Technology also does us a huge favor with the 20 minute challenge. There are tons of apps that encourage users to move more, which would lead to standing up often. Even a basic pedometer is a great investment in standing (and walking) more frequently. And we can tell you that all of our clients who get pedometers end up getting a lot more movement in their days! You can even get competitions going in the office to see who can sit down the least, or get the most steps in every week. Having people engage in a little friendly competition is a great motivator to get up and move.

 

A hydrating way to get up out of your seat at the 20 minute mark is to sip some fruit and herb infused water. Make a big pitcher and keep it in the office fridge. Every time you step away from your seat, grab yourself a glass, and enjoy the fact that you are drinking and standing for your health—and feeling the energizing effects of being properly hydrated, to boot!

 

To make fruit and herb infused water: Simply slice up all your fruit, add your herbs and add them to a pitcher, and muddle. Once your ingredients are slightly mashed and incorporated at the bottom of the pitcher, add water, and stir thoroughly. Refrigerate. Ta-dah! Amazing, flavorful water at your fingertips.

 

Some absolutely scrumptious options are:

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Refresher: cucumber, strawberry, mint

Energizer: lemon, lime, orange

Relaxer: lavender, * 1 vanilla bean pod, peach (*for the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds out and add seeds to pitcher in the first step)

 

The possibilities are endless, so get as creative as you want and go wild with your own creations!

Remembering to get in the habit of standing up every 20 minutes—it’s essential for your health and longevity, and with a few little motivators like office competitions and anything-but-boring water, you will be popping out of your seat like it’s second nature!

Easy Peasy Seasoned Brussels Sprouts

We recently ate at a nearby restaurant in New York City and the fish dish was accompanied by roasted Brussels sprouts that were so delicious that we had to come home and make our own the next day!

 

seasoned brussels sprouts with logo

We were especially motivated to re-create the Brussels sprouts because of their delicious taste, but let’s face it, there are plenty of reasons to dig in! (Pssst… if you want some other veggie recipes, try our Spicy “Fried” Broccoli, our Easy Crunchy Braised Cabbage, Colorful Detox Salad, Caramelized Cauliflower with Olive Oil and Lemon Juice, Easy Peasy Seasoned Brussel Sprouts  and our Roasted detoxifying Veggies.)

 

Brussels sprouts are nutrient power houses and are part of the cruciferous family—which means they help to stop cancer in its’ tracks! Plus, they’re low-calorie and packed with Vitamin C, folate and FIBER! Yep, thanks to their high fiber content, these babies help flush wastes and toxins (eh hem, yes, they help you go to the bathroom) out of your body so you can feel light and free and get a flatter stomach!

 

Another great benefit? Brussel sprouts help to lower cholesterol! So why not go ahead and try out delicious recipe?! It’s only 54 calories for an entire cup!

 

Easy Peasy Seasoned Brussels Sprouts

 

Serves 2, 1 cup servings

 

Ingredients

 

2 cups fresh Brussels sprouts, cleaned and cut in half

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar (if you don’t have raspberry vinegar, another fruity vinegar is fine and balsamic vinegar works too)

EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) in a spray bottle

 

 

Directions

In a sealed container (we use a glass storage container—but if you only have plastic Tupperware that works too), add: the Brussels sprouts, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and black pepper. Shake! Feel free to play some music, do a little dance and burn some extra calories when shaking your ingredients together! J Your ingredients should be fully mixed! Then, preheat a skillet on medium heat for 30-60 seconds (depending on heating capabilities of your stove top). Quickly spray your EVOO and toss in your Brussels sprouts (flat side down). Allow this side to cook for 1-2 minutes then flip and allow the other side to also slightly brown. Remove from heat and put in a serving dish. Drizzle your delicious Brussels Sprouts with the Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar. Enjoy!

 

 

Nutritional Information, per 1 cup serving (2 servings per recipe)

54 calories, 0.4g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 24 mg sodium, 393 mg potassium, 12g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 4g protein

Added Bonus: 126% Vitamin C, 14% folate, 20% Manganese

 

Easy Peasy Seasoned Brussels Sprouts
 
Serves: 2, 1-cup serving
Ingredients
  • 2 cups fresh Brussels sprouts, cleaned and cut in half
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar (if you don’t have raspberry vinegar, another fruity vinegar is fine and balsamic vinegar works too)
  • EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) in a spray bottle
Instructions
  1. In a sealed container (we use a glass storage container—but if you only have plastic Tupperware that works too), add: the Brussels sprouts, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and black pepper. Shake! Feel free to play some music, do a little dance and burn some extra calories when shaking your ingredients together! ☺ Your ingredients should be fully mixed! Then, preheat a skillet on medium heat for 30-60 seconds (depending on heating capabilities of your stove top). Quickly spray your EVOO and toss in your Brussels sprouts (flat side down). Allow this side to cook for 1-2 minutes then flip and allow the other side to also slightly brown. Remove from heat and put in a serving dish. Drizzle your delicious Brussels Sprouts with the Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 54 Fat: 0.4g Carbohydrates: 12g Sodium: 24mg Fiber: 4g Protein: 4g Cholesterol: 0mg

 

4 Surprising Benefits of Vegetables

The Nutrition Twins' Veggie Cure

If you’ve read any of our blogs or our latest book, The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure, you know it’s no secret that we have a love affair with veggies! And you likely know how important it is to eat your vegetables. After all, veggies are like nature’s superheroes fighting for your health! It may seem obvious that eating more veggies is good for you (they aid in weight loss and prevent diseases), but there are so many reasons to pile your plate high with vegetables.

Did you know that fennel can help you feel bikini-ready, or that leafy greens are major bone protectors? Eating vegetables will even help to reduce stress, so go ahead and snack on some bell peppers when a project at work or school leaves you feeling anxious.

Did you know that veggies fight bloat? In fact, we share this secret in an article we wrote for CNN (link to article below). Here’s the low-down.

Although you may associate vegetables with creating a bloated belly, most vegetables actually do the opposite. Vegetables are rich in fiber, which flushes out waste and gastric irritants and prevents constipation by keeping the digestive tract moving.

Vegetables can also help you look leaner by counteracting bloat caused by salt. Most American adults get nearly twice the recommended sodium limit. Eating a bacon and egg biscuit, a typical restaurant meal, or instant soup means consuming nearly an entire day’s sodium allotment. Vegetables are rich in both potassium and water, which help flush excess sodium out of the body while restoring the body’s normal fluid balance.

To ease that full feeling in your stomach, try eating fennel, cucumbers, summer squash, romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce or tomatoes.

If you experience gas when you start to add more fiber and vegetables to your diet, choose steamed vegetables rather than raw ones. The heat from cooking breaks down some of the fiber and will keep gastric distress to a minimum as your body adjusts to consuming the fiber you need.

Want more insider’s tips about veggies and three more surprising benefits of vegetables? Check out our full article on CNN. Plus, learn more about The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure

produce

Coconut Açaí Berry Smoothie Bowl

Coconut Açaí Berry Smoothie Bowl

 

Coconut_Açaí_Berry_Smoothie_Bowl
Are you smoothie obsessed like we are and always looking for a way to spice ’em up? Then this recipe will hit the spot! This smoothie bowl has all the same added benefits and taste of a regular smoothie—just placed in a bowl and drizzled with your favorite toppings! Thanks to the açaí berry in this smoothie bowl, if you’re looking to rejuvenate and restore your body by flushing it with antioxidants that help to reduce damage from everyday living, lower inflammation and help to prevent disease, this is for you! Acai also blends into a beautiful rich purple color—fun to eat and fun to look at! You’ll feel as if you’re eating dessert for breakfast without the added calories and fat!

 

Coconut Açaí Berry Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients:

(Serves 2)

 

1 frozen unsweetened acai smoothie pack (such as Sambazon)

1 ½ large chopped frozen banana

¼ cup dairy- free unsweetened coconut milk beverage (like So DeliciousDairy Free Coconut Milk Unsweetened)

¼ cup unsweetened almond milk

3-4 chopped strawberries

4-5 blueberries

1 tbsp. shredded coconut

 

Topping Options: Fresh blueberries/strawberries, grapes, shredded coconut, oats, granola, cacao nibs (get creative with these topping combinations and cater to your personal likes and dislikes!)

 

Directions:

1. Put frozen acai pack and frozen chopped banana in blender.

2. Add coconut milk and blend on medium.

3. Slowly add unsweetened almond milk in between blending.

4.   Continue to add almond milk until desired consistency is reached. (Smoothie bowls are typically easier to eat when they are nice and thick!)

5. Pour into bowl (If you find your smoothie bowls are melting too fast, try adding some frozen fruit to the bottom of your bowl before adding the mixture)

6. Top with chopped strawberries, blueberries, grapes, shredded coconut (or whatever toppings you choose) and enjoy your guilt-free “dessert” for breakfast!

 

Nutritional Information Per Serving (Recipe makes 2 servings):

176 calories, 5g fat, 0.6mg cholesterol, 28g sodium, 56g carbohydrates, 7g fiber, 33g sugar, 3g protein

 

 

For more than 100 delicious recipes, a 10-day Weight Loss Jumpstart and Detox Plan, plus a GET HEALTHY plan please check out The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure.

 

 

Coconut Açaí Berry Smoothie Bowl
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 frozen unsweetened acai smoothie pack (such as Sambazon)
  • 1 ½ large chopped frozen banana
  • ¼ cup dairy free unsweetened coconut milk beverage like So Delicious- Dairy Free Coconut Milk Unsweetened
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3-4 chopped strawberries
  • 4-5 blueberries
  • 1 tbsp. shredded coconut
  • Topping Options: Fresh blueberries/strawberries, shredded coconut, oats, granola, cacao nibs (get creative with these topping combinations and cater to your personal likes and dislikes!)
Instructions
  1. Put frozen acai pack and frozen chopped banana in blender
  2. Add coconut milk and blend on medium.
  3. Slowly add unsweetened almond milk in between blending.
  4. Continue to add almond milk until desired consistency is reached. (Smoothie bowls are typically easier to eat when they are nice and thick!
  5. Pour into bowl (If you find your smoothie bowls are melting too fast, try adding some frozen fruit to the bottom of your bowl before adding the mixture)
  6. Top with chopped strawberries, blueberries, shredded coconut (or whatever toppings you choose) and enjoy your guilt-free “dessert” for breakfast!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 176 Fat: 5 g Carbohydrates: 56 g Sugar: 33 g Sodium: 28 mg Fiber: 7 g Protein: 3 g Cholesterol: .6 mg

Coconut Açaí Berry Smoothie Bowl

watermelonsnow1

Watermelon Snow Cone

For us, there’s nothing better than a cool refreshing treat on a warm summer day. When we were growing up our mouths would water when we’d see the ice cream truck selling snow cones and we’d long for one! Our mom would sometimes let us have a treat from the truck but always steered us towards other cold treats telling us that the snow cone’s sugary syrups on the ice were full of artificial dye and were just sugar. It turns out, mom was right (again!! Ahhh!—and funny enough, Tammy now does the same with her daughters!)—plus the typical snow cone will set you back 200-400 calories, depending on the size. So we’re happy to bring you one that’s just the opposite—all natural and only 30 calories!

 

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This healthy twist on a snow cone is naturally flavored with the juice of a sweet watermelon and deliciously complemented with a hint of fresh lemon juice. This thirst-quenching delight is more than 50% water, so it will help to keep you hydrated!

Pssst…. please check out some of our other waistline friendly desserts like our Skinny Homemade Strawberry – Mint “Ice Cream, Strawberry Banana Breakfast Cookies, and Vanilla Pine-ana Strawberry Smoothie

Watermelon Snow Cone

(Serves 2)

 

Ingredients:

1-cup watermelon balls

¼ cup strawberries, diced (stems removed)

2 cups ice

1 tsp. lemon juice

 

Directions:

  1. Blend 2 cups of ice in blender on high until ice chunks are made into partly chunky particles,, then set aside (in freezer if you don’t have your other items ready to blend) in 2 different serving bowls.
  2. Put watermelon, strawberries and lemon juice in blender and blend on high for 30 seconds.
  3. Once completely smooth, put a strainer over one serving bowl and pour half of the mixture into the bowl, allowing all of the juice to go through but keeping all of the solids out.
  4. Repeat for 2nd serving bowl.
  5. Grab a spoon, sunglasses, your favorite book, and enjoy your chilled treat under the warm summer sun!

 

watermelonsnow1

 

Watermelon Snow Cone
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1-cup watermelon balls
  • ¼ cup strawberries, diced (stems removed)
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Blend 2 cups of ice in blender on high until ice chunks are made into partly chunky particles, then set aside (in freezer if you don’t have your other items ready to blend) in 2 different serving bowls.
  2. Put watermelon, strawberries and lemon juice in blender and blend on high for 30 seconds.
  3. Once completely smooth, put a strainer over one serving bowl and pour half of the mixture into the bowl, allowing all of the juice to go through but keeping all of the solids out.
  4. Repeat for 2nd serving bowl.
  5. Grab a spoon, sunglasses, your favorite book, and enjoy your chilled treat under the warm summer sun!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 Calories: 31 Fat: 0g Saturated fat: 0g Unsaturated fat: 0g Trans fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 7.7g Sugar: 6g Sodium: 1mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 1g Cholesterol: 0mg

 

 

Per Serving: Calories 31, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 1mg, Carbs 7.7g, Fiber 1g, Sugars 6g, Protein 1g

 

For more than 100 delicious recipes, a 10-day Weight Loss Jumpstart and Detox Plan, plus a GET HEALTHY plan please check out The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure.

Quinoa Pizza Bites

Want the taste of pizza minus the guilt you feel after eating a slice? As we always say, we didn’t have to become registered dietitians to know how much everyone seems to love pizza—or to know how much so many weight-loss hopefuls feel guilty after eating it. Guilty is the last thing we want for anyone to feel—especially after eating a food that can be delicious and guilt-free!  After all, that’s why we created waist-line friendly pizza options like our Portobello Pesto Pizza, Portobello Pizza, Easy Veggie Pita Pizza and our Polenta Pizza just to name a few.  If you like those, then you’ll flip for our Quinoa Pizza Bites! This mouth-watering super-food version of bite-sized pizza is packed with fiber and protein that will keep you full but without all of the calories and fat in your typical slice! And it’s simple to make, give it a whirl!

 

Quinoa Pizza Bites

 

Quinoa Pizza Bites

Serves 4, Makes 12 muffins, 3 muffins per serving

 

Ingredients:

½ cup dry quinoa

1 cup low sodium vegetable broth

½ cup non-fat shredded mozzarella

1 cup of diced sweet onion

1 large egg

1 tsp garlic powder

0.5 tsp paprika

1tsp dried oregano

½ cup marinara sauce

 

Note: ½ cup dry quinoa makes about 2 cups cooked quinoa

 

Directions:

1.)  Preheat the oven to 400°F

2.)  Add vegetable broth and quinoa to a medium-sized pot and put on the stove.

3.)  Cover the pot and let liquid come to a boil. As soon as it comes to a boil, turn the heat down so that it is just at a simmer. Let the lid sit so that it is not fully covering the pan, to prevent the contents from boiling over.

4.)  Let simmer 10-15 minutes. (You’ll know the quinoa is cooked when it has absorbed all of the broth, looks clear, and is tender!) Turn the heat off, fluff with a fork and let it sit with the lid on for 5 minutes.

5.)  Add cooked quinoa, cheese, onion, egg, paprika, oregano, and garlic powder into a mixing bowl and stir the contents.

6.)  Spray a muffin tin with oil in a spray container to prevent sticking, and pour in the mixed ingredients. (The thinner the layer of quinoa mixture, the crispier the “pizza” will be!)

7.)  Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow bites to cool completely to mold their shape and then remove from muffin tins and serve

8.)  Dip quinoa pizza bite into the marinara sauce, and enjoy!

 

Nutrition Per Serving (3 mini muffins per serving) Calories 170, Total Fat 3g, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 55mg, Sodium 284mg, Carbs 25, Fiber 5g, Sugars 6g, Protein 10g

 

We suggest serving this as we always do, with a side of steamed veggies– you can dunk them in the marinara sauce too! You can have them as a snack, or have a few more bits and eat them as a meal!

 

Quinoa Pizza Bites
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ cup non-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 0.5 tsp paprika
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • ½ cup marinara sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  2. Add vegetable broth and quinoa to a medium-sized pot and put on the stove.
  3. Cover the pot and let liquid come to a boil. As soon as it comes to a boil, turn the heat down so that it is just at a simmer. Let the lid sit so that it is not fully covering the pan, to prevent the contents from boiling over.
  4. Let simmer 10-15 minutes. (You’ll know the quinoa is cooked when it has absorbed all of the broth, looks clear, and is tender!) Turn the heat off, fluff with a fork and let it sit with the lid on for 5 minutes.
  5. Add cooked quinoa, cheese, onion, egg, paprika, oregano, and garlic powder into a mixing bowl and stir the contents.
  6. Spray a muffin tin with oil in a spray container to prevent sticking, and pour in the mixed ingredients. (The thinner the layer of quinoa mixture, the crispier the “pizza” will be!)
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow bites to cool completely to mold their shape and then remove from muffin tins and serve
  8. Dip quinoa pizza bite into the marinara sauce, and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 Calories: 170 Fat: 3g Saturated fat: 1g Unsaturated fat: 1 Trans fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 25g Sugar: 6g Sodium: 284mg Fiber: 5g Protein: 10g Cholesterol: 55mg

For a 10-Day Weight Loss Jumpstart and Detox Plan and a Get Healthy Program please check out The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure!