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7 Hacks to Make Healthy Eating a Cinch

We’re suckers for a quick-fix.  Not the kind you may be thinking (no fad diets here!), rather if something saves us time, we can’t wait to give it a whirl.  And if it’s healthy and makes us more efficient, we’re all over it! 🙂  As registered dietitians and girls who spend a lot of time in the kitchen, we’ve done our share of experimenting so you don’t have to—and today we’re sharing our 7 healthy eating hacks –a.k.a., tricks to make healthy eating easier & faster!

1. Frozen Vegetables: Yup! You knew as authors of The Veggie Cure, a veggie hack had to take the #1 spot for us! 🙂

 

Frozen vegetables are just as healthy as fresh ones. In fact, in some instances, frozen are even healthier. Frozen vegetables are picked and frozen immediately, nutrients intact. Fresh vegetables may lose nutrients during shipping and storage or when on store shelves as nutrients are lost when vegetables are exposed to light, heat and air. You’ll notice that several of our recipes call for frozen vegetables. This not only ensures nutrient retention, but it also helps to make meals quick and easy to prepare. You can keep frozen vegetables in your freezer for months (nearly up to a year!) so you never have to worry about not having vegetables if your fresh ones go bad. They’re already cleaned and cut, so you can even defrost them in the fridge during the day before using them at night, toss them in a tomato sauce, soup, casserole or whatever you’re cooking and it’s ready to go in minutes!

This hack is for you if you:
• Often find veggies spoiled in your fridge
• Don’t find the time to wash, chop or prepare veggies
• Find a lot of excuses for not eating veggies 😉
Spicy Fried Broccoli
Orange Banan-apple Smoothie

INSIDER SCOOP: If you’ve tried a frozen veggie in the past and didn’t like it, try a different brand. We’ve noticed a huge difference between brands when it comes to flavor and quality!

 

2. Spray bottle: We use these for everything!

 

 

As registered dietitians we’ve witnessed that one of the healthiest foods has also resulted in the accumulation of unwanted pounds. Olive oil. Just a tablespoon (of any oil) has 120 calories. That’s a little less than 1/10 of the total calories many women should get in an entire day if they’d like to drop a few pounds—and that’s before even eating! It’s easy to pour several tablespoons of oil onto your salad. That’s why we suggest putting your oil in a spray bottle. This will disperse the oil, so you can use a lot less. You still get the flavor and texture while sparing your waist, hips and thighs. Also use a spray bottle for any of your favorite dressings—save time by spritzing oils and dressings rather than trying to mix to disperse the flavor.

This hack is especially for you if you’d like to lose some body fat and:
• Enjoy dressings and condiments
• Cook with oil or butter
Try it with this recipe: Parmesan Eggs in a Bell Pepper Ring
And these Hummus Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers 

 

3. Lemons: Make your kitchen a lemon-palooza!  

A squirt of lemon replaces bloat-causing salt in recipes (we learned this from some well-known chefs), adds immune boosting vitamin C and helps cut down on clean-up. Spritz lemon over a meal rather than using salt for seasoning and place lemon slices under fish for cooking—it prevents fish from sticking to the pan (i.e. bye-bye long clean up time!) and it adds delicious flavor without calories- so you don’t need calorie loaded-sauces or salad dressings. Place wedges in water and you’ll drink more and stay hydrated—and eat less. Many people think they’re hungry and they’re actually thirsty!

This hack is your jam if:
• You add salt, dressings and sauces to your food and want to be less puffy or want to lower your blood pressure.
• Need a little encouragement to drink more water.
• Don’t cook fish enough because of the clean-up.
• Lemon-ginger detox drink
Colorful Detox Salad

 

4. Frozen fruit: As girls with a mega-sweet tooth and who are also no stranger to moldy berries in the fridge the same day we’ve brought them home, these have saved us from falling under sugar’s spoon (sword! ;)). Similarly to frozen veggies, frozen fruits are a delicious, easy way to get antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals without worrying about produce spoiling—plus, they’re an amazing alternative to added sugar.
Simply blend in smoothies, toss on yogurt, oatmeal, cereal or hot chocolate—and allow frozen sweet to add natural sweetness to foods rather than buying sweetened items.

This hack is for you if:
• You like fruit but tend not to eat it.
• Add sugar to (or buy pre-sweetened) cereal, yogurt, oatmeal and smoothies.
• Make smoothies (frozen fruit makes them like a milkshake and no washing or chopping is required).
Skinny DIY Strawberry Mint Ice Cream
Blueberry Banana Smoothie

 

5. Sheet pans: These rimmed baking sheets make healthy ‘meals in a jiffy’ a reality. A sheet pan is so simple, yet brilliant since it allows you the convenience having a meal in 30 minutes by just tossing healthy items on it and popping it in the oven. Clean-up? Just one sheet– that you can always line with foil or parchment paper—that makes cleaning the pan nearly non-existent. Try this on your sheet pan: Toss vVeggies or a veggie blend, fish and a spritz of olive oil, garlic and lemon. Keep your “meal-in-minutes” creative by simply mixing and matching different veggies, spices and proteins to keep your taste buds tantalized. You don’t need rich sauces or loads of oil and the short cooking time minimizes nutrient losses.

This hack is your hot pan if you:
• Want to make healthy meals but don’t want to slave over the stove
• Prefer meals with simple preparation
• Would eat more veggies if they were roasted
• Want a hands-off dinner (and fast!) and to create a meal all on one pan!
• Try this recipe: Sheet Pan Roasted Salmon with Kale & Golden Beets

 

6. Lyssie’s pick: A swivel grater. Lyssie: In under a minute, I can completely boost the flavor and health of what I’m eating. I grate a bit of ginger or turmeric over the top of a meal for awesome flavor and anti-inflammatory benefits without fat, salt or calories. And I’ll also grate beets, turnips or carrots over a salad for extra crunch and flavor. This takes moments with a good quality grater. I love the OXO one—and you can get it for under $10!

Try this: Ginger Mint Turmeric Green Tea Flat-Belly “Detox”

 

7. Tammy’s pick Tammy: An orange peeler. Tammy: This is my new fave find! One of my daughter’s, Summer, requests an orange in her lunch every day. I was peeling it by making incisions with a knife, until I found this inexpensive little life-changing number on amazon—the orange peeler! I can literally peel an orange in 15 seconds and there’s NO mess. And for just over $4 for 6 of them, you really can’t go wrong!

Savory Oats

By now you likely know how we feel about veggies—we’re obsessed!  As girls who also have a wicked sweet tooth that we work hard to keep in check ;), these twin sister, registered dietitians and personal trainers, and authors of The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure are constantly working to help you to get more of these magical fat-loss and health-promoting pups. So, when it comes to breakfast—who’s got your booty, baby? Us! 🙂

And while we adore eggs packed with veggies like these faves:

Mexican Eggs in a Mug

Pesto Veggie Omelet

Skinny Eggs Benedict 

Mini Frittata Muffins

Sunny Side Eggs on a Portobello “Bagel” 

We, along with countless others, are exploring ways to make veggies at breakfast a little different. For those days when hectic mornings call for something a little savory and a little hearty we thought we’d jump on the oat-lover train and make some savory oats!

 

Not only did we make our oats savory with a pinch of garlic and onion powders, we got you those magical veggies with mashed up riced cauliflower, an antioxidant rich, vitamin C powerhouse of a vegetable to give our oats a little more texture and a lot more nutrients.

Haven’t tried riced cauliflower?

Say hello to one of your new besties!  Riced cauliflower has become an “it” food over the last year or so, you can find it in the frozen section or the produce section of many supermarkets now. It’s super versatile, so while in our book we have a pizza crust made with it, you’ll also find countless recipes nowadays that use it—and we’ll be sharing more on this site soon!  And now you can simply purchase it ready-to-use! Woohoo!

The fat-loss promoting, magical veggies don’t end there:

We also added:

  • mushrooms, phytonutrient rock stars that support our immune system in so many ways.
  • kale, (um, because how could we ever forget this baby? 😉 ) –the best friend to many of our meals, it’s quick and easy to sauté up and it helps the liver in its detoxification process and adds vitamin K and A and lutein which is great for eye health, not a bad thing to start the morning with!

Savory Oats

Guess what?!  You can customize this yumster based on the veggies you have in your fridge that are begging to be cooked before they go bad. And as an added bonus—consuming a variety of veggies throughout the week fulfills an assortment of nutrients our bodies need. Oh yeah!!

Makes 2 servings

Top this savory dish with an egg cooked to your favorite style for protein.

Ingredients:

Oats or any hot whole or multi grain cereal

1/3 cup mashed cauliflower rice*

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of onion powder

1 cup finely shredded kale

5 mushrooms, sliced

1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon of your favorite vegetable seasoning (we used Weber Veggie Grill)

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1.  Place oats, water, cauliflower rice, garlic powder, and onion powder in a bowl. Microwave for 3-4 minutes, until the oats and cauliflower are cooked.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a small pan with the 1 teaspoon olive oil. Saute kale and mushrooms in 1 tsp olive oil, then season with vegetable seasoning and add the egg & egg white to the pan.
  3. Scramble or fry the eggs until cooked the way you like, then place the eggs & veggies on top of the oatmeal & serve with a small apple.

*The cauliflower rice will keep for a few days, so if you cook the whole bag per the instructions, you can use the leftovers in other meals or have another version of savory oats the next morning! Stay tuned, we also will be coming up with a sweet version for those mornings we want a little sweet but still need a hearty breakfast.

 

Nutrition Facts for 1 serving

152 Calories, 21 g carbs, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 8 g protein, 88 mg sodium, 4 g fiber

Savory Oats
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Oats or any hot whole or multi grain cereal
  • ⅓ cup mashed cauliflower rice*
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • pinch of onion powder
  • 1 cup finely shredded kale
  • 5 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 TBSP Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of your favorite vegetable seasoning (we used Weber Veggie Grill)
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Place oats, water, cauliflower rice, garlic powder, and onion powder in a bowl. Microwave for 3-4 minutes, until the oats and cauliflower are cooked.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a small pan with the 1 teaspoon olive oil. Saute kale and mushrooms in 1 tsp olive oil, then season with vegetable seasoning and add the egg & egg white to the pan.
  3. Scramble or fry the eggs until cooked the way you like, then place the eggs & veggies on top of the oatmeal & serve with a small apple.
Notes
The cauliflower rice will keep for a few days, so if you cook the whole bag per the instructions, you can use the leftovers in other meals or have another version of savory oats the next morning! Stay tuned, we also will be coming up with a sweet version for those mornings we want a little sweet but still need a hearty breakfast.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 Calories: 152 Fat: 5g Saturated fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 21g Sodium: 88mg Fiber: 4g Protein: 8g

 

 

 

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Cranberry Pancakes

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cranberry Pancakes

By now you likely know how we feel about pumpkin…we’re obsessed! 😉  And if you didn’t already know this, if you take a few seconds on our site, it’s hard to miss some of our faves like our Pumpkin Pie Oat Muffins, Skinny Pumpkin Muffins with Pecan Frosting, Pumpkin Cake Spice Roll,  Pumpkin Pancakes, Pumpkin Spiced Latte, and our Protein Pumpkin Pancakes with Banana Cream SyrupOur love affair started with our mom’s pumpkin pie, which she sadly only made at Thanksgiving time, but it wasn’t long before pumpkin was one of our favorite frozen yogurt flavors and before we were mixing it in everything. We still can’t get over that pumpkin is actually a veggie, so you get fiber and loads of powerful phytonutrients to calm your insides and to ultimately keep you looking more youthful, yet it’s ideal and rich-tasting in crave-worthy treats. Its’ creamy texture is amazing for making waistline friendly recipes, especially given that it’s so low in calories (only 40 calories in ½ cup)!

And while some may say, we have enough pumpkin recipes and enough pancake recipes, we beg to differ.  You can never have too many.  And now drum roll pleasesay hello to these Pumpkin Oatmeal Cranberry Pancakes!

We’re not gonna lie.  While we do enjoy pumpkin year-round, we got the idea for the pumpkin pancakes while seeing all the carved pumpkins and feeling the chilly air come into town before Halloween, and it reminded us that it was time to make something new with the popular plump, orange vegetable  and to include several spices that it tastes phenomenal with — cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

Bonus:

Pumpkin’s packed with beta-carotene, an antioxidant that may protect the body against aging, heart disease and cancer. And to keep your heart healthy, pumpkin has fiber, potassium and vitamin C.

Cooking Tip:

Another cool thing about pumpkin? You can use it as a butter or oil substitute, just the way that applesauce is used in the recipe as a substitute for vegetable oil. Say hello to this perfectly sweet and perfectly healthy!

 

Makes 6-7 pancakes

2 pancakes per serving

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes  

Ingredients:

1 medium egg (we use Eggland’s Best because they have 25% less saturated fat than other eggs)

1 teaspoon baking powder

¾ can of pumpkin

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ tablespoon almond butter

1 tablespoon applesauce

3 tablespoons skim milk

½ cup rolled oats

¼ cup flour

⅛ cup dried cranberries

1 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, deshelled

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

½ cup plain Greek yogurt

Directions:

  1. Prepare a skillet on medium-low heat with either oil in a spray bottle or melted butter in a spray container ( to disperse calories, the way that you would using cooking spray, just without additives or harmful chemicals that are often used to get the can to spray).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix egg with baking soda.
  3. Using a whisk, mix together ¾ can of pumpkin, vanilla extract, almond butter, applesauce, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
  4. Next, add oats, flour, cranberries and pumpkin seeds and mix with a spoon.
  5. Using ¼ cup measuring cup scoop out batter and place in prepared skillet. Repeat with another scoop.  You may have room on the pan for another 1-3 scoops but be sure to leave several  inches in between each pancake so that they can spread out.
  6. Cook for approximately 4 minutes until slightly browned and batter is setting. Then flip pancake and cook for approximately another four minutes.  When pancakes is slightly browned on each side and firm remove from heat.  You may need to spritz more oil on the pan before the next batch to prevent sticking.
  7. When finished, serve pancakes with a 1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt on each and sprinkle with cinnamon.

 

Nutrition Analysis (per 2 pancakes and 1/2 cup Greek yogurt): 287 calories, 7 grams fat, 24 grams protein, 34 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams sugar, 297 milligrams sodium, >10 grams fiber

 

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

Eat More to Weigh Less, Really!

If you’re like most of our clients, you’re looking for something you can eat when you’re hungry that won’t cause you to gain weight.  The answer, surprisingly, is something that you can and should eat all of the time.  It’s true; there actually is something that if you eat more of it, it can assist in your weight loss efforts!

 

Veggies!  You may realize that you need more veggies but tend to leave them out of your meals; you’re not alone!  This is one of the most common struggles of health-minded people!  You simply need a little help or encouragement to actually get them!  Once we show our clients how easily vegetables can be deliciously incorporated into their lives, they start to bump up their intake!

 

Check out our 3 Top Reasons you’ll wanna get your veggies:

 

Veggie Bonus #1: Fill up on veggies and you’ll have less room in your stomach for the heavy stuff and you’ll lose weight!

 

Veggie Bonus #2 (a.k.a. our constipation & flat-belly cure): The high water and fiber content of the veggies flushes bloat and waste and brings on a flat belly—oh yeah!

 

Veggie Bonus #3 (a.k.a. our bloat-be-gone cure!): The high water and potassium combination in veggies helps to flush out salt and the extra water and bloat that it holds with it for a flatter belly!

 

The key is to keep the non-starchy veggies (nearly all veggies with the exception of peas, potatoes and corn) low in calories (by avoiding adding sauces or oil) and then you can simply mix steamed veggies into your meal and eat less of the waist-puffing stuff!  This means your plate will be just as full, but there will be less room for the higher-calorie fare and you’ll fill up on lower calorie, veggies! And when you’re hungry, fill up on veggies.  You’ll get more nutrients that keep you healthy and prevent disease and constipation while helping you to eat less of the heavy stuff and lose weight!

 

Check out our top ways to do it below:

Easy Peasy Brussel Sprouts

seasoned brussels sprouts with logo

  • Before any meal or cocktail party, have a Veggie Pre-Meal™ with a cup of tea. The Veggie Pre-Meal™ is one-and-a-half to two cups of steamed veggies. (See below for ideas and keep foods such as these Easy Peasy Brussel Sprouts on hand). You’ll be in better control around high calorie foods and won’t be overly hungry. It will be easier to resist eating too many of the foods that pack on the pounds because you’ll already be satisfied.
  • At lunch and dinner order (or microwave from frozen at home, if short on time) a side of steamed veggies without added butter or oil. Simply mix them right into whatever dish you’re eating and you’ll add great texture, flavor and color to your meal and the veggies will pick up the flavor from the sauce in the meal.
  • Use our Red, Green and Orange rule to include one red, green or orange vegetable or fruit in every meal. When you concentrate on getting one of these colors at each meal, you won’t forget. Vegetables are an excellent source of disease-fighting nutrients and are high in fiber and low in calories, and great for helping maintain a healthy weight and fighting aging.

 

Colorful_detox_saladColorful Veggie Detox Salad

  • Make/ order omelets, sandwiches, pizzas, wraps and burritos with veggies added
  • Chinese chicken and rice? Pasta and chicken? Mac ‘n cheese? You end up eating less of the heavy stuff and fill your stomach with the lower calorie, fiber-and nutrient packed veggies. Added bonus: If you’re a fan of large helpings you can bag a third of the meal for later and mix the veggies right in the portion you have; you’ll fill your stomach with nutrients and fiber but with fewer calories. This way you won’t feel cheated or deprived because your meal won’t appear smaller, only your waistline will!
  • Use nori or lettuce for traditional sandwiches or wraps rather than carb-rich bread.
  • Eat your rice and other grain-based meals/ snacks by putting them in cups made with veggies-like scooped out tomatoes and bell peppers, zucchini and cucumber boats—these are delicious shells for the dish and help to keep the carb portion in check.
  • Make dips, spreads and salsas with veggies—veggie based dips like these below can double as sauces for grains and meats and are perfect for dipping veggies in.

 

  • If you still feel hungry after eating –or like munching–eat non-starchy vegetables (all vegetables with the exception of peas, potatoes and corn).
    • Go for them raw or steamed with spices, lemon, or flavored vinegars. You can even try our ultra low-calorie recipes like our Easy Crunchy Braised Cabbage, Colorful Detox Salad, Caramelized Cauliflower with Olive Oil & Lemon Juice, Spicy “Fried” Broccoli, and more! As an alternative, try the Kale Recharge Smoothie.
    • Be sure to avoid options that are cooked in butter or any other calorie-loaded item (like many sauces are)—and even in oil (100 calories per little tablespoon!), as they may thwart your weight-loss efforts and defeat the purpose of low-calorie veggies.
    • For dressing options, consider trying this Raspberry Vinaigrette or this Creamy Avocado Yogurt Dressing (stick to the suggested serving sizes) or consider putting your salad dressing in a spray bottle to spritz your dressing on your veggies and disperse the flavor with minimal calories.
    • Try to eat some raw veggies, as current research has shown that a special protein, glutathione, is found in raw veggies and clings to toxins, helping drag them out of the body. For example, enjoy some fresh carrots and sliced bell pepper with hummus!
    • Try these Roasted Detoxifying Veggies!
    • Defrost frozen veggies in the fridge during the day. When you get home, make a quick cold salad by mixing the veggies with one of the dressing options mentioned above or toss them right into a hot meal, as they’ll already be “cooked” and you’ll simply warm them up!

Spicy_fried_broccoli_logo

Spicy “Fried” Broccoli

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Parmesan Eggs in a Bell Pepper Ring

We’re creatures of habit in every sense of the word.  We’d be happy as clams eating our favorite foods every day of the week.  However, the registered dietitians in us know that in order to benefit health the most, it’s important to vary the diet (and the foodies in us are thankful for this too!) to get the most nutrients.  Despite this, we can’t resist but to eat a couple of foods that we love so much every day.  For example, Tammy is so obsessed with bell peppers that she preps them every night so she can have them ready-to-go the next day—and she even carries bags of them with her when she travels (yep, she’s one sick bird 😉 ).  And then there are eggs, sardines, yogurt and apples, that between the two of us, we eat them daily–and any excuse to marry any combination of these foods, count us in!  So with our latest easy-to-make egg breakfast/ brunch/ lunch creation, we couldn’t help but include our two of our besties –peppers and eggs!

Looking for more healthy recipes?  Please feel free to search this site!  Here are a few to try:

This take on  “eggs in a basket” is one of our faves because it adds a variety of colors to our plate and a punch of flavor. If you’ve read our other blogs, it’s not a shocker that we’re gonna try to pack in veggies where we can, so this is no exception!

Here are a few of the stars of the dish:

Bell peppers pack a punch in the vitamin C department, so hello supple skin (vitamin C is needed for collagen formation) and boosted immunity.  They also are rich in phytonutrients that help to mop up free radicals and prevent them from harming the body.

Eggs are rich in protein and are great for your eyes, thanks to their lutein and zeaxanthin, which help to protect the retina.  We used Eggland’s Best eggs because they have 38% more lutein than ordinary eggs– as well as double the omegas and 5 times more vitamin D.  Plus, we love the company and work with them :).

This simple dish takes just a few moments to whip up and can even be prepped ahead of time by chopping the kale and bell pepper rings and keeping them in the fridge so you can just grab on busy days!

Parmesan Eggs in a Bell Pepper Ring

Serves 1

Ingredients

2 eggs (we use Eggland’s Best because they have 25% less saturated fat compared to ordinary eggs)

1 bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange)

1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, we used shaved

1 green onion (green part only)

1 slice whole grain bread

Olive oil (in a spray bottle; spritzed)

1 cup shredded kale

Salt  to taste

Pepper to taste

 

Direction

  1. Slice the bell pepper to make ½” rings or larger. The larger the better because there’s less of a chance the egg will run over (if it runs over, no biggie—it’s just as delicious!)
  2. Spritz a little olive oil in your skillet and place one of the bell pepper rings in the pan for a minute.
  1. Crack the two eggs into the center of the bell pepper ring. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper, to your taste.
  1. Cook the eggs and bell pepper ring on one side until the eggs begin to firm up.
  1. How you proceed is up to how you like your eggs: If you like your eggs over easy/medium or fried, gently flip the egg and bell pepper ring and continue to cook until the egg is to your liking.
  1. Once you remove the bell pepper and egg, toast your bread. While it’s toasting, toss your kale into your already warmed pan with a spritz of olive oil, some salt and pepper to taste, and sauté.
  1. Place eggs and bell pepper on top of toast, sprinkle with shaved parmesan cheese & green onion.
  2. Serve with a side of sautéed kale.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:  302 Calories; 20 g carbs; 16 g fat; 5 g saturated fat; 20 g protein; 310 mg sodium; 5 g fiber

The Nutrition Twins are spokespeople for Eggland’s Best.

Parmesan Eggs in a Bell Pepper Ring
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs (we use Eggland’s Best (www.EgglandsBest.com) because they have 25% less saturated fat compared to ordinary eggs)
  • 1 bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange)
  • 1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, we used shaved
  • 1 green onion (green part only)
  • 1 slice whole grain bread
  • Olive oil (in a spray bottle; spritzed)
  • 1 cup shredded kale
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Slice the bell pepper to make ½” rings or larger. The larger the better because there’s less of a chance the egg will run over (if it runs over, no biggie—it’s just as delicious!)
  2. Spritz a little olive oil in your skillet and place one of the bell pepper rings in the pan for a minute.
  3. Crack the two eggs into the center of the bell pepper ring. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper, to your taste.
  4. Cook the eggs and bell pepper ring on one side until the eggs begin to firm up.
  5. How you proceed is up to how you like your eggs: If you like your eggs over easy/medium or fried, gently flip the egg and bell pepper ring and continue to cook until the egg is to your liking.
  6. Once you remove the bell pepper and egg, toast your bread. While it’s toasting, toss your kale into your already warmed pan with a spritz of olive oil, some salt and pepper to taste, and sauté.
  7. Place eggs and bell pepper on top of toast, sprinkle with shaved parmesan cheese & green onion.
  8. Serve with a side of sautéed kale.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 302 Fat: 16g Saturated fat: 5g Sodium: 310mg Fiber: 5g Protein: 20g

5 Steps to A Bulletproof Immune System

A cold?  The flu?!  No way–not us– and not you! 🙂

As registered dietitians and certified personal trainers, we’re fortunate in that we know what it takes to bolster our immune systems– and those things are part of our daily routines.  However, we’ll admit, we struggle with number 5 as getting our zzz’s is the toughest for us. And if we ever start to feel a bit run down, the first thing we say to one another is, “Ah! I just need a good night’s sleep and I’ll be back to normal!”  😉

Here are our top five steps for a Bulletproof Immune System:

Do these to prevent that achoooo! from coming from you! 😉

1. Follow our Red, Orange & Green Rule include one red, green or orange vegetable or fruit in every meal. If you’ve read our articles or our book The Veggie Cure, you know how we feel about veggies–eating more of them is single-handedly the best thing you can do for your health.  When you concentrate on getting one of these colors at each meal, you won’t forget them. Vegetables and fruits are packed with disease-fighting nutrients (antioxidants, phytonutrients and anti-inflammatories) that bolster your body’s immunity, fend off inflammation and protect the body against disease.   Getting them regularly (at every  meal) means you’re constantly flooding your body with the protection it needs to fight illness and to stay strong.

  • And fruits and veggies keep the body healthy, are helpful in achieving a healthy weight, fend off damage from toxins and help to prevent premature aging— so it’s no wonder why we’re constantly getting requests for delicious veggie recipes without high-calorie dressings (that’s why we created our Colorful Detox Salad, our Roasted Detoxifying Veggies, and our Kale Recharge Smoothie)!

Colorful_detox_salad

Try these easy ways to get more veggies at your meals:

    • use nori, collards or lettuce for traditional sandwiches or wraps rather than carb-rich bread
    • top baked potatoes with steamed vegetables
    • mix pureed canned pumpkin into oatmeal and add cinnamon
    • make/ order omelets, sandwiches, pizzas, wraps and burritos with veggies added

Make this immune-boosting lunch to take to work

2. Get Probiotics–these are the friendly bacteria that your body needs in order to crowd out the harmful bacteria that naturally exist in your digestive tract.  Our health begins in our gut so whether you take a probiotic supplement, drink kefir or kombucha, eat yogurt, sauerkraut or kimchi, these food are a great way to add to the good bacteria in your gut. (Seventy to eighty- percent of the cells that make up the immune system are located in your gut, which contains both helpful and harmful microorganisms.)

  • When the harmful bacteria outweigh the beneficial ones, your body suffers, causing systemic inflammation, disease, and making you sick (colds, flu, etc.).
  • Bolstering your gut with beneficial microorganisms is key to maintaining gut health, stabilizing immune function, and reducing inflammation.
  • As you likely know if you’ve read our other posts, we’re big yogurt fans.  If you don’t like it straight up…
  • You can get more yogurt in our recipes like our:

nutty_banana_chia_yogurt

3. Hydrate!  Your body needs water to function at it’s best, and your immune system is no exception. Staying adequately hydrated can help your body flush out toxins and wastes, helping your immune system to better fight infection. Dehydration can also affect your energy levels, as well as your ability to sleep, which can make you less likely to exercise, which is another trigger for a weakened immune system.  If you have trouble hydrating, try these easy water infusions that taste great to encourage drinking and that have restorative nutrients:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar Mint “Detox” Drink: Among many great ingredients that help to flush bloat, it’s got mint–we like to think of it as a peace maker in the body 😉 It eases indigestion and calms the stomach, likely by improving the flow of bile through the stomach, which helps to speed and ease digestion. Thanks in part to it’s anti-inflammatory antioxidant rosmarinic acid, it “calms your insides” to ease the havoc inside your body!
  • Lemon Mint “Detox” Drink: Lemon, mint and ginger flood your body with nutrients that help your body to fight of damage from foreign invaders and free radicals.
  • Mixed Citrus Ginger Flush: Packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components to neutralize free radicals including chemicals that can travel through the body and cause damage to healthy cells.

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4. Don’t skip mealsForcing your body to run on empty will ultimately leave you run down and lower your immunity, leaving you susceptible to illnesses.

  • If you can’t have an actual meal and it’s been hours since you’ve last eaten, simply provide your body with a healthy snack to keep it fueled and not tax your system when it’s already dealing with stress.
    • Try a Greek Yogurt (probiotics–double your immunity boost here–woohoo!) and some berries (our Red, Orange, Green Rule, oh yeah!)
    • On-the-go? A handful of nuts or an apple with a tablespoon of nut butter.

5. Get a good night’s rest.  The body repairs itself when you sleep.  When your body is building its’ strength, it’s bolstering your immune system–you’re ready to fight off colds and flus! Aim for 7-8 hours a night.   Pssst…if you know us, call us in the late evening and make sure we’re getting ready to hit the sack, we need a little help with this one! Thanks! 🙂

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