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Baked Zucchini Boats

Having a hard time getting all your veggies? We’ve been there!

Sure, now we’re veggie-loving registered dietitians, but we weren’t always besties with our greens!  In fact, as picky kids, the second our mom turned her back when we were at the dinner table, we’d quickly scurry off with our salads in hand to our deck where our best friend Mary and her black lab Buddy, were anxiously waiting for any veggies we’d want to share.  So how, you may be wondering did those girls become veggie fiends?

It happened gradually for us in our high school years–after witnessing how energetic and healthy they made us feel, how they made our skin glow and how they played a part in weight control… and after experimenting and seeing how delicious they could be, the switch flipped and our love affair with veggies began—nowadays we seriously can’t get enough…

And now that we get to witness our clients reap the same veggie rewards, we are constantly trying to find easy ways to make getting delicious veggies easier.  That’s one of the main reasons we wrote our latest book The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure and created recipes like our Kale Recharge Smoothie, our Smoked Paprika Zucchini Chips, and our Zucchini Parmesan Rounds.  And now these! We can’t wait to hear what ya think!

cropped zucchini

Weight loss tip:

To prevent overeating at your meal, simply eat some veggies (like these scrumptious Zucchini Boats) before the main course.  Veggies are packed with nutrients and they’re high in fiber, so they fill you up, not out.  These Baked Zucchini Boats make the perfect appetizer before your meal to prevent overeating during your meal! Zucchini is low in calories and with the zesty tomato, onion, and jalapeno topping added to it, this side dish is absolutely irresistible.  Fill up on this scrumptious starter that also packs protein, and you’ll eat a lot less of the heavy main meal, woohoo!

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Baked Zucchini Boats

Ingredients
3 Medium Zucchini
6 oz can Tomato Paste
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cilantro
1/8 cup finely chopped fresh basil
½ cup Italian bread crumbs
¼ cup tomatoes (diced)
1/8 cup green onions (chopped)
1 tbsp crushed red pepper
½ diced jalapeno
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup shredded low-fat mozzarella

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large pot, boil enough water to cover the zucchinis. Add the zucchinis and boil for 10 minutes.
3. In a small mixing bowl, add the tomato paste, garlic powder, onion powder, cilantro, and fresh basil to the tomato paste and mix together.
4. After the zucchini has boiled (the zucchinis should still be firm, but you should be able to poke through them with a fork), scoop out the pulp to about ¼ inch from the skin, leaving a “boat” structure. Finely chop the pulp and place into a separate small mixing bowl.
5. Mix in the diced tomatoes, green onions, jalapenos, crushed red pepper, and bread crumbs into the bowl with the zucchini pulp. Lightly season the mixture with salt and pepper.
6. On the zucchini ”boats”, coat with the tomato paste mixture.
7. Top the tomato paste with the mixture of vegetables and bread crumbs.
8. Lightly cover the filled boats with mozzarella cheese.
9. Cook the zucchini boats at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

zucchini cropped

Nutrition Information
Calories: 114
Carbohydrates: 17 grams
Fat: 2 grams
Protein: 7 grams
Cholesterol: 5 milligrams
Sodium: 227 milligrams
Sugars: 6 grams
Fiber: 3 grams

Baked Zucchini Boats
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 Medium Zucchini
  • 6 oz can Tomato Paste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cilantro
  • ⅛ cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup tomatoes (diced)
  • ⅛ cup green onions (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper
  • ½ diced jalapeno
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup shredded low-fat mozzarella
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large pot, boil enough water to cover the zucchinis. Add the zucchinis and boil for 10 minutes.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, add the tomato paste, garlic powder, onion powder, cilantro, and fresh basil to the tomato paste and mix together.
  4. After the zucchini has boiled (the zucchinis should still be firm, but you should be able to poke through them with a fork), scoop out the pulp to about ¼ inch from the skin, leaving a “boat” structure. Finely chop the pulp and place into a separate small mixing bowl.
  5. Mix in the diced tomatoes, green onions, jalapenos, crushed red pepper, and bread crumbs into the bowl with the zucchini pulp. Lightly season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  6. On the zucchini ”boats”, coat with the tomato paste mixture.
  7. Top the tomato paste with the mixture of vegetables and bread crumbs.
  8. Lightly cover the filled boats with mozzarella cheese.
  9. Cook the zucchini boats at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 boat Calories: 114 Fat: 2 g Carbohydrates: 17 g Sugar: 6 g Sodium: 227 mg Fiber: 3 g Protein: 7 g Cholesterol: 5 mg

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Cinnamon Protein Pancakes

We love a good pancake! Our Mom used to make her homemade pancakes every Sunday morning, and they were so satisfying and delicious and they always remind us of some of our favorite times (the weekend!). We have to admit though (sorry Mom, we do love your cooking! 🙂 ) that as much as we were crazy about our Mom’s pancakes, they were super dense and sat in our stomach, leaving us sluggish for hours as the blood stayed in our stomach for digestion and left our brains and muscles without much blood or oxygen, so we felt exhausted.

These days we still love a good pancake, but we also want to feel light and energetic and have energy to fuel our workouts and our day without breaking the calorie bank. So we’re always creating recipes, like these Cinnamon Protein Pancakes and our 3 Ingredient Weight Loss Pancakes — one of our personal faves because they are just so easy to make for a yummy pancake, Choconilla Oats and Quinoa Swirl or our Overnight Berry Parfait that are a good mix of protein and carbohydrates to fuel our workouts and keep us satisfied and on track all day long so we won’t feel the need to give in to every craving or food whim that hits us.

This is one of our favorite things that we teach our clients to do, too when it comes to choosing a healthy, weight loss breakfast because we LOVE watching them loving what they eat and seeing the awesome results! Here are our top breakfast tips for a long-lasting, satisfying energy boost (Please share this link http://nutritiontwins.com/cinnamon-protein-pancakes/ with a friend if you think she’d like these tips):

The breakfast needs to include:
• Protein (like a hardboiled egg or Greek yogurt) for staying power to keep you feeling satisfied and keep your blood sugar stable, (ideally 15 grams or 20, less than this and you’ll be hungry too soon) combined with:
• High-fiber carbohydrates to fuel your brain and your muscles. By choosing fiber-rich carbohydrates like fruit, oatmeal or quinoa, you’ll prevent energy highs and subsequent crashes that not only bring on exhaustion but also create sugar cravings as the brain looks for the quickest pick-me-up it can find—Sugar! (You don’t need loads of carbs—a half cup of cooked cereal usually does the trick!)

 

And…don’t just stop at breakfast—use our weight loss, long-lasting energy guidelines (above) for all of your meals and snacks (just in smaller portions) to keep you feeling satisfied and prevent hunger, overeating and cravings.

Enjoy these cinnamon protein pancakes and prevent snacking later!

cropped pancake

Cinnamon Protein Pancakes:

Start off your day right with protein with these pancakes! Most people get carried away with yummy pancakes and overdo it on carbs and forget they need some satiating protein. No more! — These pancakes are a perfect way to leave you feeling satiated all morning long. With 9 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber per pancake, you can’t go wrong with this breakfast!

 

Ingredients

½ cup quinoa flour
½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 egg (we use Eggland’s Best eggs because they have 25% less saturated fat than other eggs).
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ scoops vanilla flavored protein powder (like Garden of Eatin’ Raw Organic Protein or Tera’s Whey)
½ cup sugar free maple syrup, optional (we suggest finding one with stevia rather than artificial sweetener)

Directions
1. Preheat a large skillet to about 375 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the quinoa flour, yogurt, almond milk, egg, vanilla, cinnamon, and protein powder.
3. Lightly spray the skillet. Pour the pancake mixture in skillet making each pancake about 5 inches in diameter.
4. Lightly sprinkle cinnamon on top. Enjoy!

Yield: 8 pancakes
*Freeze the extra pancakes to use for your breakfast meals throughout the week!

Nutritional Information Per Pancake (without syrup):
We suggest eating two pancakes with some berries or fruit and test how you feel to see if the serving is right for you:
Calories: 85
Carbohydrates: 8 grams
Fat: 1.6 grams
Protein: 9 grams
Cholesterol: 40 milligrams
Sodium: 40 milligrams
Sugars: 2 grams
Fiber: 2 grams

 

The Nutrition Twins work with Eggland’s Best to help people get more nutrients.

Cinnamon Protein Pancakes
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • ½ cup quinoa flour
  • ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 egg (we use Eggland’s Best eggs (www.EgglandsBest.com) because they have 25% less saturated fat than other eggs)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 ½ scoops vanilla flavored whey protein powder
  • ½ cup sugar free maple syrup, optional (we suggest finding one with stevia rather than artificial sweetener)
Instructions
  1. Preheat a large skillet to about 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the quinoa flour, yogurt, almond milk, egg, vanilla, cinnamon, and protein powder.
  3. Lightly spray the skillet. Pour the pancake mixture in skillet making each pancake about 5 inches in diameter.
  4. Lightly sprinkle cinnamon on top. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 85 Fat: 2 g Carbohydrates: 8 g Sugar: 2 g Sodium: 40 mg Fiber: 2 g Protein: 9 g Cholesterol: 40 mg

 

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas and Almonds

Looking for a new healthy snack? That’s one of the top requests we get—you want a snack that’s satisfying and won’t hurt your efforts to get lean—and that’s delicious and packs quite the crunch 😉 .  While some snacks, such as those that are light and airy (like chips) don’t fill you up, leave you hungry, despite packing in fat and calories, that’s not so for this super satisfying snack.   Oh yeah!–these Spicy Roasted Chickpeas and Almonds will leave you satiated– and you won’t overeat at your next meal from hunger.  Woohoo!  (Find out the secret to a weight-loss snack below)

You’ve told us you loved our chickpea bursts—remember these Lemon Sage Chickpea Bursts and these Sweet Barbeque Chickpea Bursts, and that your fans of our Cocoa Honey Nuts. So this crunchster marries the two. And this recipes got a twist and makes the roasted chickpeas and almonds spicy!

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Why does this snack help with weight loss? We didn’t only pick these ingredients because they are crunchy and delicious!

Chickpeas and almonds are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, and they are loaded with protein!  This fiber/protein combination makes for a longer lasting energy boost and helps to prevent hunger, so it’s the ideal weight loss snack.  What’s more, this combination fills your stomach and keeps your blood sugar stable.  It’s when your blood sugar dips that you crave energy (think food! and sugar, especially!) and this snack prevents that–and the mood swings too! Oh yeah! 🙂

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Spicy Roasted Chickpeas and Almonds

Makes about 6 Servings

Ingredients

Chickpeas

1 can (15.5 oz) chickpeas

¼ cup finely shredded parmesan

1 minced garlic clove

¼ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp red pepper

salt and pepper to taste

Almonds

1 cup almond slices

½ tsp olive oil

1 tsp chili powder

Serving size: ½ cup

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Open and drain the can of chickpeas in a strainer. Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl.

3. Mix the parmesan cheese, minced garlic clove, garlic powder, and red pepper in with the chickpeas. Lightly salt and pepper the mixture.

4. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then, pour the mixture onto the lined baking sheet.

5. Begin roasting the chickpeas in the oven for 30 minutes.

6. Pour the sliced almonds into a different large bowl and add the olive oil. Mix well so that all the almonds are lightly coated with the oil.

7. Add the chili powder to the bowl and mix well.

8. Line another baking sheet with aluminum foil.

9. Place the almond mixture on the lined baking sheet, then, roast in the oven for 5 minutes.

10. When both mixtures are roasted, combine these mixtures together. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 196

Carbohydrates: 15 g

Fat: 11 g

Protein: 10 g

Cholesterol: 4 mg

Sodium: 306 mg

Sugar: 2 g

Fiber: 5 g

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas and Almonds
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) chickpeas
  • ¼ cup finely shredded parmesan
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp red pepper
  • 1 cup almond slices
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Open and drain the can of chickpeas in a strainer. Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl.
  3. Mix the parmesan cheese, minced garlic clove, garlic powder, and red pepper in with the chickpeas. Lightly salt and pepper the mixture.
  4. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then, pour the mixture onto the lined baking sheet.
  5. Begin roasting the chickpeas in the oven for 30 minutes.
  6. Pour the sliced almonds into a different large bowl and add the olive oil. Mix well so that all the almonds are lightly coated with the oil.
  7. Add the chili powder to the bowl and mix well.
  8. Line another baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  9. Place the almond mixture on the lined baking sheet, then, roast in the oven for 5 minutes.
  10. When both mixtures are roasted, combine these mixtures together. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 196 Fat: 11 g Carbohydrates: 15 g Sugar: 2 g Sodium: 306 mg Fiber: 5 g Protein: 10 g Cholesterol: 4 mg

An Easy Exercise for Great Glutes

Reverse Lunge with Knee Lift

Beautify and Gluti-fy your Rear-view!

I admit it; I (Lyssie) have become a bit obsessed with bettering my rear-view. It all happened after I had to work on a writing project virtually 24/7 at my desk. I literally felt like my rear end took a hit and was sagging! If you’ve felt this way, I have great news, I quickly turned it around– and you can also with two simple moves! One you can even do anywhere without anyone even knowing!

Tammy_Lunge_Cropped
First, here’s the move you can do even in the grocery store line (I sure have been! 😉 ) :

  1. Simply squeeze your butt cheeks together, hold for three seconds and release for a moment.
  2. Complete 10 Repetitions to wake the glutes up.
  3. Then squeeze one butt cheek at a time holding each just for one second, just to activate the muscles, each on their own.

Now your glutes are warmed up (and you’ll notice they’ll start to be a bit firmer too (woohoo! 🙂 ) and you can try this move below (and above) that Tammy is demonstrating, it’s the ultimate Butt Blaster! 🙂

Tammy_Lunge_collage_horizontalABCDwriting_sm_2

 

Reverse Lunge with Knee Lift

Ultimate Booty Blast
Lunge Back Left Leg
Knee Up Left Leg
Repeat 10 times
Switch legs
Complete 3 Sets
Here’s how:

  1. Standing straight with your abs tight and engaged, lunge back with your right leg. Keeping your chest up, allow your left leg to bend until it is 90 degrees (the top of your leg should be parallel with the floor).
  2. Keeping your core engaged, push the ball of your foot into the floor to press yourself back towards standing position as you lift your right knee up to hip-level. Allow your arms to come up as you lift your leg.
  3. Pause for a moment with your right knee bent at 90 degrees and then step back into a lunge with your right leg, again allowing your left knee to bend to 90 degrees.
  4. Repeat this movement for ten repetitions with the right leg lunging. Then switch legs so that your left leg lunges back and the left knee lifts.
  5. Complete 3 sets with each leg.

Do this every other day and kiss buh-bye to a lazy-looking behind!

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!

 

Slimming Raspberry Mint Detox Spritzer

By now you probably know that as both dietitians and personal trainers who love veggies–and who also have a big sweet tooth that we have to work hard to keep in check (oy!) ;), we don’t mind it at all when you request some drinks to help immediately get your mind and body back on the healthy track!  We understand and enjoy the drinks ourselves! 🙂  After all, in addition to starting our day by drinking a large glass of water, on days when we want an extra lift, we also have one of our refreshers like our Kale Recharge Smoothie, Sparkling Cucumber and Refresh Detoxer, or we go for one of our smoothies that use the Easiest Way To Get our Greens — or when we feel like we want a fresh start after eating foods that we don’t typically eat, we go for this Slimming Raspberry Mint “Detox” Spritzer that we just added to our list!

This  Slimming Spritzer and drinks like this “flusher” are rich in water and help you to rinse out bloating sodium from your body, “de-puffing” you and making you feel lighter. The potassium from the fruit will also fight bloat as it helps to restore normal hydration status.

 

  • The fruit’s vitamin C in the Slimming Spritzer will make your skin gorgeous, soft and supple by promoting collagen formation. Plus it will hydrate your skin (i.e., you’ll glow) and you can kiss goodbye to a puffy face and eyes.

 

  • The Minty Bonus: 🙂 After over-indulgences, your insides are likely on the fritz–mint’s antioxidant rosmarinic acid, has anti-inflammatory properties to ease the havoc inside your body!  Plus mint helps to ease indigestion–it soothes the stomach and is a calming herb). It is thought to improve the flow of bile through the stomach, which helps to speed and ease digestion.

 

This slightly sweet, slightly tangy drink helps to bust sugar cravings! And as you sip it throughout the day, it will fill you up, preventing you from overeating and helping you to lose tummy fat! Flat belly ahoy! 🙂

 

Slimming Raspberry Mint Detox Spritzer

 

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Slimming Raspberry Mint Detox Spritzer

For best results, make several batches of this yumster, and drink it before meals and it sip it during the day. 

Note: If seltzer doesn’t agree with your stomach, makes you feel too full or actually makes you feel bloated, simply sub it for water.

Ingredients:
• 8 ounces seltzer water
• 3 raspberries
• Sprig of mint
• Juice of 1/2 lime (optional)
Directions: Pour seltzer in a glass, add raspberries and mint. Enjoy!

*Tip– let the drink sit for a few extra minutes in the refrigerator to allow a stronger raspberry flavor.

 

Nutrition Information per serving: 8 calories, 0 g fat

 

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