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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Nutrition Tips To Keep Lean During the Holidays

Check out some of our favorite tips for staying lean over the holidays.  And yup, we, too, definitely use these tips to prevent the parties from getting the best of our waistlines!

 

 

(Pssst… looking for healthy recipes?  Please feel free to search this site! And here are a few to start…

Mini Frittata Muffins

Soy Ginger Salmon

Kale Salad with Warm Roasted Sweet Potato and Carrots

One-Pot Black Bean & Quinoa Chili with Avocados

Sweet Potato Cutie Pies

Greek Quinoa Salad)

 

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Veggie Detox Salad

If you feel like you’ve been living it up a little too often lately and you’re feeling a bit bloated and uncomfy, don’t worry! Even if you’ve had a few too many cocktails, cookies or chips, it’s never too late to get your body back to feeling its best.  Being kind to your body by enjoying a veggie-filled salad will quickly get your mind and body back on the healthy track!

 

The veggies in this salad boast some serious detoxifying and de-bloating properties, which means you can start feeling lean, clean, and ready to accomplish your goals.  And although your body is equipped to detox and cleanse itself naturally, certain health-promoting foods and drinks, like the veggies in this salad, can be monumental when it comes to assisting in its process. And if you want some more recipes to help, try our Colorful Detox Salad, our Roasted Detoxifying Veggies and our Kale Recharge Smoothie.

Here’s why this Veggie Detox Salad works its’ magic:

Beets contain betaine, a nutrient with anti-inflammatory properties, and betalain, which helps detoxify the body by purifying the liver and blood Beets are one of the few veggies that play an important role in both phases of the liver’s detoxification system so they are great to eat after sipping all that eggnog.

Asparagus is known to be a natural diuretic, which helps to flush toxins out of the kidneys. It also contains potassium which helps to restore the body’s natural fluid balance. So say buh-bye to bloating and puffiness!

Fennel relieves flatulence and other gastrointestinal ailments to get your tummy feeling flat in no time.

Kale is always great for getting a boost of nutrients like vitamin A, C, and K to help you glow from the inside out. And it, like beets is one of the few vegetables that plays a role in both phases of the liver’s detoxification process.

Dig into this salad to help your body feel fresh and rejuvenated so that you can achieve and maintain all of your New Year’s Resolutions!

veggiedetoxsalad

Veggie Detox Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 3 medium-sized beets, roasted
  • 1 bunch asparagus, roasted
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 4 cups kale

For the dressing:

  • 1 TBS mustard
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp curry powder
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper

Directions

Slice roasted beets and fennel into ¼ inch thick slices. Chop asparagus stalks into quarters. Prepare the dressing and add the vegetables to the kale in a large bowl. Toss salad with dressing and enjoy!

Nutrition per serving:
72 Calories  30 g carbs      1 g fat    14 g carbohydrate      6 g protein     5 g fiber

 

Veggie Detox Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • For the salad:
  • 3 medium-sized beets, roasted
  • 1 bunch asparagus, roasted
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 4 cups kale
  • For the dressing:
  • 1 TBS mustard
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ⅛ tsp curry powder
  • ⅛ tsp white pepper
Instructions
  1. Slice roasted beets and fennel into ¼ inch thick slices.
  2. Chop asparagus stalks into quarters.
  3. Prepare the dressing and add the vegetables to the kale in a large bowl.
  4. Toss salad with dressing and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 serving Calories: 72 Fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 15 Fiber: 5 g Protein: 6 g

 

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Eating Healthy Over the Holidays

The holidays and festivities are officially in full swing! Oh yeah, we can smell the pumpkin pie, candies canes and eggnog in the air! 🙂 If you’re like many of us, it seems that this time of year—every day starting with Thanksgiving; presents a festive opportunity and a chance to overindulge–eeks! So to make sure you keep your healthy eating habits and waistline intact, we want to share a few helpful tips that really help to keep our clients on track during the holiday season.

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When preparing to eat a large meal, do not skip meals throughout the day. Although it’s tempting to save the calories for the bigger meal, skipping meals backfires as it results in consuming excessive calories at festivities—far more than you would have consumed had you eaten the previous meals. It’s very important to not skimp out on breakfast. Research has shown that people who eat breakfast, eat less calories during the day.

  1. Fill up on fiber—especially veggies. When you’re feeling full, you’re a lot less likely to overeat. Veggies are packed with fiber and are low in calories, so load up on them guilt-free since they’ll fill you up, not out.

How to do it: Include vegetables at every meal. Mix them into pasta sauce and soups; stack sandwiches and pizzas with spinach, onions and mushrooms; mix extra steamed broccoli into your Shrimp and Veggie Lo Mein; add extra lettuce and tomatoes to burritos; and fold asparagus, peas and bell peppers into your omelets.

2. Control portion sizes by using a smaller plate and filling up on veggies and salads before the main dish!

3. As you may have heard before, eat slowly and take your time between bites. Really enjoy your food instead of rushing through a meal. By eating slow, you can avoid the bloating feeling later!

 

4. With all this family time, be active TOGETHER! Go for a walk and enjoy the outdoors while you all have each other’s company 🙂

 

While this may be hard to do, it’s definitely possible! Start your path to eating healthy all year long, even during the holidays so you’ll be in happy, healthy routine every day!

 


Happy & Healthy Holidays! From our families to you and yours!

 

Skinny Speedy Sugar & Spice Apple Chips!

Cinnamon and a sprinkle of brown sugar is baked into apple slices to create a sweet and savory guilt-free chip. This is the perfect, healthy comfort food to keep you lean when you feel like indulging.

 Apple Chips

Most of you know by now that we love our apples! We’ve had an apple nearly every day since high school and we hope the apple’s quercitin will work its’ magic and protect our body against damage and disease, including Alzheimer’s disease, which runs in our family. We make these for our family and hope you will love them as much as we do! If you’ve made our Ginger Cinnamon Apple Chips and loved them, these chips are a sweeter version in a ring-shape!

 

Skinny Speedy Sugar & Spice Apple Chips

Serves: 36

 

Ingredients:

 

1 Tbsp. sugar

3 teaspoons cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

3 large apples

 

Directions:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  3. Slice apples into thin slices crosswise. Cut out seeds, core and ends and throw away.
  4. Place apples on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, ever so lightly spray baking sheets with oil in a spray jar.
  5. Sprinkle apples with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.Bake the apple slices until crisp and dry, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Flip apples every 25-30 minutes.
  6. Remove from tray when dry and place on cooling rack. Enjoy on the go or for an afternoon snack!!

Pssst…although this recipe calls for sugar and is absolutely scrumptious as is, you may want to test a few rings by simply sprinking with just cinnamon–we find them so delish both ways!

 

Nutrition Facts: 11 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg sodium, 3 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 0 g protein

 

Skinny Speedy Sugar & Spice Apple Chips!
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 large apples
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees .
  2. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. .
  3. Slice apples into thin slices crosswise. Cut out seeds, core and ends and throw away.
  4. Place apples on baking sheets lined with parchment -paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, ever lightly spray baking sheets with oil in a spray
  5. Sprinkle apples with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
  6. Bake the apple slices until crisp and dry, approximately 1½ to 2 hours. Flip apples every 25-30 minutes.
  7. Remove from tray when dry and place on cooling rack. Enjoy on the go or for an afternoon snack!!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 11 Fat: 0 g Saturated fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 3 g Sugar: 2 g Sodium: 0 mg Fiber: 1 g Protein: 0 g

 

Healthy WIC Changes – Green Beans & Bacon Salad

Green Beans & Bacon Salad

When we were completing our residencies for our post-graduate nutrition education programs, one of our rotations was a community rotation (many people are surprised to learn that we didn’t only do clinical rotations in a hospital, and in fact, we did food service rotations as well!) One of the community rotations was with Women, Infants and Children (WIC)– the government’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for low-income pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and infants and children under the age of five.

 

The experience was truly one that was emotional for us as we witnessed how many women were struggling to afford to feed their families. As much as we could tell them to eat healthfully, at the end of the day, they just wanted to have food (any food). As successful as the program was at helping these women to survive, from a nutrition perspective, we have to admit there were MANY improvements that we hoped would be made one day…

 

So, we were thrilled when earlier this year (late February 2014) the government finalized some major changes – which increase access to fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy –based on the latest nutrition science for WIC participants! Woohoo!

 

This is the latest revision to this program since 1980! Woah! One of the best revisions we noticed were that now canned fruits and veggies are included! And the great part about this is that the fruit and veggie MUST be listed as the first ingredient in order to be covered and they have to be without added sugar, fats and oils.

 

Green Beans & Bacon Salad

We think this option is especially great as many people don’t have access to fresh produce, but can get canned produce. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that canned produce may not just apply to WIC participants, and can actually benefit you too. After all, if you are like many of our clients who do have fresh produce yet come home to find it wilted, then you too may find that if you keep canned produce in your pantry there is still a way for you to get your important produce, despite your veggies going bad in the crisper!

 

And pssst…research shows that if you can’t grow your own produce and eat it within hours of harvesting, canned and frozen fruits and vegetables can be every bit as good for you as fresh ones, and in some cases even better! Fresh tomatoes have less available lycopene (fights heart disease and cancer) than canned tomatoes or tomato sauce. Canned produce is picked and canned at its peak, so even though the heating process destroys some vitamins, the majority of the nutrients remain and stay in tact. Studies suggest that vegetables such as green beans and spinach lose about 75% of their vitamin C after being stored in the refrigerator for a week. This means that canned or frozen versions of these vegetables may be more nutritious than their fresh counterparts that have been stored for many days.

 

To help you eat healthfully with canned foods – we have this delish recipe to try – Green Beans & Bacon Salad!

 

Green Beans & Bacon Salad

Serves: 6

Ingredients

2 slices turkey bacon, diced

2 (15 ounce) cans cut green beans, no salt added

1 tbsp. onion, chopped

1/2 tsp. chili powder

2 tbsp. brown sugar

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Pepper, fresh cracked, to taste

Salt to taste

 

Directions

  1. Place the bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon and place on a plate lined with paper towel to help drain the extra fat off and blot the top side of the bacon with a towel too to remove some fat.
  2. Drain the green beans and empty both cans into a saucepan over low heat. Once they begin to simmer add bacon and onion.
  3. Increase heat to medium-low. Mix in cinnamon and nutmeg into the green beans mixture. The dish is ready once the onions are transparent, yet still slightly firm, about 10 minutes.
  4. Serve as a delish side dish and Enjoy!!

 

Nutrition Facts: 60 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 84 mg sodium, 11 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 3 g 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.