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5 Steps To Cleanse Your Body, “Detox” and Recharge

Even as registered dietitians and certified personal trainers, we love a good celebration and having fun as much as anyone, but we’re not gonna lie, we’re a bit relieved that some of the holidays and many of the social gatherings are slowing down a bit so we can all (us included!) get back on track. After all, everyone feels better after losing the extra party LBs, bloat and heaviness that most feel after too much indulgence.

 

And we’ve got just the tips to get your mind and your body immediately on the healthy train! Remember, during this time, the last thing that you want is something high in calories and heavy; it will only dig you further into a hole. Instead bring an abrupt end to the discomfort from overindulging that you’re feeling (feeling bloating and heaviness anyone?) with wholesome, nutrient-packed foods, i.e., your new besties.

 

What you really need are foods that are packed with anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants, potassium, water and fiber, but low in calories and sodium. They’ll immediately get your mind and body back on the healthy track as they hydrate you and flood your body with nutrients to help to neutralize damaging particles while flushing out bloating culprits, like salt.

 

Before we help you to choose those amazing foods, if you really want to kick start your health, we highly recommend also doing these three things:

 

1. Cut out sugar and artificial sweeteners for a week. The goal is to reset your “sweet” taste buds. By limiting very sweet flavors your taste buds will “reset” themselves as they lower their perception of sweetness. Steer away from sugary drinks, snacks, and treats. Allow fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth—and you’ll be amazed by how well it works! When you go back to sugary foods, you’ll need less sweet flavor to satisfy you. Plus, if you saw our New Year’s Resolution article you know that refined sugars typically add a lot of calories without nutrients, contributing to weight gain—and they also often increase cravings. They seem to weaken the immune system too by reducing your white blood cells’ ability to destroy bacteria.

 

If you really need something sweet, try foods like these that are naturally sweet (no sugar added!):

 

o Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream  (140 Calories)

Chocolate_banana_ice-cream_yum_Logo

 

o Comfort Food Reinvented Inside Apple Pie (80 Calories)

o Skinny Homemade Strawberry Mint Ice Cream   (40 Calories)

 

2. Cut out alcohol. Although generally, a glass of wine can be healthy, while you are cleansing your body, we suggest avoiding it. Not only does it provide calories without nutrients but during the cleanse you’ll be restoring your liver and asking it to detoxify alcohol gives it an extra burden.
3. And for the love of veggies, don’t go on a starvation diet! Diets that are 1,000 calories (and less) simply backfire. They are not sustainable, don’t provide enough nutrients or protein to keep your lean muscle tissue and they are so restrictive that it’s impossible to keep them up for long. When you return to normal eating, you’ve lost muscle—and lowered your metabolism—and weight gain is inevitable! Ahh!

 

Follow these 5 Steps to Cleanse Your Body:
1. Go for foods that are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. They help to neutralize toxins and prevent inflammation and damage caused by overdoing it on less-than-healthy toxin-creating foods and drinks. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods actually help to revitalize cells (think vegetables, [especially brightly colored, but all work—and the more the better! After all they are 80-90% water and provide potassium and fiber], fruits, beans, fish).
Anti-inflammatory/ Phytonutrient-Packed Recipes:

Colorful Detox Salad: Chockfull of vegetables that mop up free radical damage, this low-calorie salad is great for detoxifying and fighting inflammation

Colorful_detox_salad

Crispy Cran-Mango Brussels Sprouts: Brussels sprouts are superstars when it comes to fighting damage and inflammation. Cranberries and mangos are phytonutrient powerhouses too.

Veggie Flush Salad: Light and refreshing, beets have nutrients which help detoxify the body by purifying the liver and blood. A powerhouse trio of asparagus, a natural diuretic; fennel, which relieves gastrointestinal ailments to get your tummy feeling flat; and kale, which plays a role in both phases of the liver’s detoxification process, will have you feeling rejuvenated in no time.
• Check out our book The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure for a 10-day Weight Loss Jumpstart and Detox Plan and more than 100 delicious healthy recipes like thisNutrition Twins Veggie Cure

 

2. Include water and potassium-rich foods (and drinks) that are low in sodium. This is a potent combo that restores normal fluid balance and flushes out bloat and puffiness. Why is this combo so magical? Fluids help to flush out your system while potassium helps to counterbalance sodium. (Go for vegetables [all of them, especially green leafy veggies] and fruits).

 

Orange-Lime Sparkling Refresher 5 calorie citrus refresher helps to banish bloat and get you feeling light after indulging in heavy holiday foods.

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Ginger and Carrot Slim-down Smoothie: Potassium rich cantaloupe and apples round out the phytonutrient-rich ginger and carrots to make this an ideal beverage to restore normal fluid balance

Detoxifying Green Tea Smoothie:  Packed with potassium and water plus phytonutrients to neutralize toxins, this refreshing smoothie is delish.

 

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!

Slimming Raspberry-mint “Detox” Spritzer: Raspberries and lime make this a drink a potassium winner, and at only 8 calories, you can drink it all day long and flush away bloat without the calories adding up!

Lemon Mint “Detox” Drink: Lemon, mint and ginger flood the body with potassium to flush bloat and restore normal hydration status

Lemon_Detox_Drink

Skinny Green Smoothie:  Only 61 Calories, add this to your list

Rise & Shine Weight Loss Smoothie:    Only 156 Calories, kick start your day with this

Rise_&Shine_Nutritious_smoothie_purchased_after
3. Focus on foods packed with fiber; they’re naturally low in calories. Fiber prevents constipation, keeping your regular. After your body extracts nutrients from food, fiber (think all vegetables, fruits, and high-quality carbohydrates like oatmeal, quinoa and beans) helps to rinse out the remains– waste and toxins from your colon to give you a flat stomach.

 

Chickpea Burgers: Beans are ideal when it comes to boosting fiber; this flavorful burger makes a great fiber rich lunch or dinner.

Chickpea Burger

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili: With quinoa, black beans, kidney beans, peppers, and tomatoes, this meal makes a great fiber-rich lunch or dinner to flush wastes out of the body.

 

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding: With fiber powerhouses pumpkin puree and chia seeds, this treat packs in a whopping 17 grams of fiber! Plus, the pumpkin and chia are both great for fighting inflammation with their potent phytonutrients
4. Go for the veggies with especially powerful detox capabilities. Fennel, bok choy, beets and kale are rock stars when it comes to detoxification. They are some of the few foods that play a role in both phases of liver detoxification.

 

Here are a few recipes to help you get your fill:
Kale, Quinoa and Edamame Superfood Bowl (featuring kale)

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Chunky Sweet Potato Kale Chili (super easy, featuring kale)
Spiced Ginger Citrus Quinoa: (featuring fennel):

Beets with Feta and Walnuts: (featuring beets)
5. Sweat yourself clean! Skin is the body’s largest organ, and sweating is a great way to help the body with its’ healthy, natural elimination process. Make a goal to sweat daily since this is one way your body eliminates metabolic breakdown products and excess salt.
Hello Slim & Rejuvenated! 😉

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Tomato, Cucumber, Avocado, & Chickpea Salad

As registered dietitians, personal trainers, and veggie lovers, people automatically assume we live on salads. Umm, NO! Although we love a good salad, we certainly don’t live on them! In fact, we tend to eat a lot more of veggies that we’ve mixed right into our meals (like in our Veggie Frittata Bites, Veggie & Quinoa Stir-fry and our Turkey Fiesta Stir-fry then in the “salad” form. Plus we’re fans of a wide variety of foods, and include them in our diet—everything from all different types of produce, to whole grains, organic dairy foods, seafood, chicken, beans, nuts… and chocolate, just to name a few. 😉

 

That being said, we always encourage our clients to fill up on vegetables like salads before a meal (and we too do this whenever we can!).  When you do this before heading out to dinner, it’s easier to avoid attacking the basket of bread, oh yeah! 🙂 .  This is a great weight loss secret. Eating a salad or veggies before having your meal takes an edge of hunger and can greatly reduce calorie intake of your meal. Although the salad or veggies adds a few calories, you’ll typically end up eating significantly less of your main meal and saving many more calories than your veggie appetizer adds! Try filling up on a salad or veggies before your meal and see!

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Tomato, Cucumber, Avocado, & Chickpea Salad

This salad is sure to fill you up but is light enough to do it without leaving you feeling bloated; it’s perfect for an appetizer or as a side dish. Super easy to throw together, with tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, and chickpeas, your tummy will be thanking you!

Makes 4 servings

 

Ingredients

1 cup sliced grape tomatoes

1 large cucumber

1/2 avocado

¾ cup chickpeas

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp rice vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

1.      Slice the grape tomatoes in half, dice the cucumber and avocado, and add to a bowl along with the chickpeas.

2.      Add the olive oil, rice vinegar, and salt and pepper.

3.      Mix together then enjoy!

 

Nutrition Facts per Serving

Calories:  128

Carbohydrates: 13.5 g

Fat: 8 g

Saturated Fat: 1 g

Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g

Cholesterol: 0 g

Trans Fat: 0 g

Protein: 3 g

Sodium: 49 mg

Sugar: 2.5 g

Potassium: 250  mg

Fiber: 5 g

Tomato, Cucumber, Avocado, & Chickpea Salad
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetiser
Serves: 4 Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
  • 1 large cucumber
  • ½ avocado
  • ¾ cup chickpeas
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Slice the grape tomatoes in half, dice the cucumber and avocado, and add to a bowl along with the chickpeas.
  2. Add the olive oil, rice vinegar, and salt and pepper.
  3. Mix together then enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 128 Fat: 8 g Saturated fat: 1 g Unsaturated fat: 1 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 13.5 Sugar: 2.5 g Sodium: 49 mg Fiber: 5 g Protein: 3 g Cholesterol: 0 g

 

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!

zucchini2label

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
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
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

Baked_Zucchini_Boats_Collage

Summer Kale Salad

When we were doing research while writing our most recent book, The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure we were becoming more and more obsessed with veggies and more adventurous as we ate them too—all parts of them!  After all, we were reading studies that showed that some parts of certain veggies offer more beauty and skin protective benefits, while other parts offer top anti-aging or anti-cancer benefits or detoxifying advantages, etc.  So we started eating stalks or roots or leaves that we typically tossed out—and preparing them in different tasty ways.  We wanted to play around with them a bit before having you eat ‘em too…

 

We chewed the raw kale stalk for a bit and decided we didn’t think that was something you’d be excited about 😉 and as you know we’re always coming up with easy ways to get more veggies and we want you to LOVE them!  After all, although chances are there are veggies to help any health or beauty goal that you have, they need to taste terrific and not simply boost nutrient intake and keep you feeling satisfied (thanks fiber!) for very few calories! help!

So, this recipe is no exception when it comes to a delicious way to get your veggies! (Psst… if you want more ideas for easily getting your veggies, our site is loaded with them, but here’s a few to get you started…

·         Bell Pepper and Egg Salad Stuffed Celery

·         Skinny Spinach Artichoke Bites

·         Tomato, Spinach, Egg n’ Feta Never Tasted Beta Wrap

·         Kale Recharge Smoothie

 

This salad uses kale, but takes the intimidation factor out (woohoo! 🙂 ) by using lemon juice, olive oil, and honey to soften the leaves, so you don’t have to worry about kale being tough to chew! We tossed in some sunflower seeds, walnuts, and dried cherries for a sweet and tangy crunch, and voila!

Fun fact: If you’ve heard kale is good for you but you aren’t quite sure why—here’s one major way that kale works its’ magic:

Kale has special “detox” capabilities as it aids the liver in both phases of detoxification.  In phase one the toxins are made unstable which then be neutralized by phase two –and made water-soluble so that they can be excreted from the body via bile or urine. Buh bye—toxins from pollution, stress, sun and not-so-healthy food and drink!

Summer Kale Salad pic logo 2

Ingredients

1 bunch kale

1 lemon

1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp honey

1/8 cup sunflower seeds

1/8 cup walnuts

¼ cup dried cherries

¼ tsp pepper

Salt to taste

 

Directions

Remove stalks from kale and rip into bite-sized pieces, then add to large bowl. (Don’t be afraid to use a large bunch of kale, it will end up shrinking!). Juice the lemon and add half of the juice to the bowl along with a drizzle of olive oil and salt. Massage the kale until it starts to degrade and wilt, for about 2-3 minutes.

In a small bowl combine the other half of the lemon juice with the honey, pepper, and olive oil. Be sure to whisk it together.

Finely chop the walnuts.

Pour the dressing over the kale and add the sunflower seeds, walnuts, and dried cherries. Toss the salad and enjoy!

 

Nutrition Facts per Serving

Calories: 124

Carbohydrates: 11g

Fat: 8g

Saturated Fat: 1g

Trans Fat: 0 g

Cholesterol: 0 g

Protein: 2.5g

Sodium: 3.5 mg

Sugar: 5g

Fiber: 1g

Summer Kale Salad
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 lemon
  • ⅛ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ⅛ cup sunflower seeds
  • ⅛ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup dried cherries
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Remove stalks from kale and rip into bite-sized pieces, then add to large bowl. (Don’t be afraid to use a large bunch of kale, it will end up shrinking!). Juice the lemon and add half of the juice to the bowl along with a drizzle of olive oil and salt. Massage the kale until it starts to degrade and wilt, for about 2-3 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl combine the other half of the lemon juice with the honey, pepper, and olive oil. Be sure to whisk it together.
  3. Finely chop the walnuts.
  4. Pour the dressing over the kale and add the sunflower seeds, walnuts, and dried cherries. Toss the salad and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6 Calories: 124 Fat: 8 g Saturated fat: 1 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 11 g Sugar: 5 g Sodium: 3.5 mg Fiber: 1 g Protein: 2.5 g Cholesterol: 0 g

 

Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip Bites

This is for all of you chip and dip lovers!

When we were in high school, we’d often go to Houston’s with our closest friends who were obsessed with the Spinach and Artichoke Dip.  They each would get a full order for themselves (oh those were the days…when calories didn’t catch up with you and your active lifestyle! 😉 ) and they’d devour it.  It’s not that we had so much discipline; we just were holding off for our fave—the next stop after Houston’s was frozen yogurt—that’s where we could do some real damage 😉

Despite our preference for sweets, we get it– one of the most addictive things can be a plateful of chips and dip, it’s so hard to stop eating!  That’s why we created this Skinny Tex-Mex Dip, Skinny White Bean Dip, Red Pepper Hummus and Feta Herb Yogurt DipAnd now this lil’ number!

spinach artichoke pic1

With this recipe, you can get the glory of chips and dip without regretting all the calories! Hellooo irresistibly scrumptious Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip!

And that’s not all!  Since chips are fat and sodium doozys, we came up with something just as tasty. The eggplant in this recipe replaces the chips—and don’t worry, you won’t miss those little bloating buggers!  Plus this recipe still uses cheese to make the dip gooey and delicious, but the cheese is lower in fat and still high in protein!

spinach artichoke pic4

Next time you have a craving, choose our Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip on Eggplant Bites!

spinach artichoke pic3

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Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip on Eggplant Bites

Ingredients

Dip

1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach

1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts

½ cup grated low-fat Parmesan cheese

½ cup 2% Greek yogurt

½ cup non-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

¼ cup green onions

½ tsp. basil leaves

½ tsp. garlic powder

Eggplant

1 eggplant (medium size)

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 cup low-sodium bread crumbs

2 tbsp. pepper

1 cup diced tomatoes

Makes about 8 servings

Serving size: two eggplant and dip bites

Directions:

Dip

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Thaw and drain the packaged spinach.

3. Drain and finely chop the artichoke hearts.

4. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and thoroughly mix together with a large spoon.

5. Spoon the combination into a round dish (we used a 9-inch pie plate).

6. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before placing onto the eggplant.

Eggplant

1. Cut the eggplant into quarter-inch slices.

2. Place oil into a small bowl. Very lightly brush oil (if you don’t have a brush, use a knife to spread) onto each eggplant slice.  (If you have a spray bottle with oil this is ideal for saving calories; simply spritz bread with oil.)

3. Mix bread crumbs and pepper and spread out on a plate. Dip each eggplant into the breadcrumbs to lightly coat.

4. Put  eggplant bites into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until tender.

5. Remove eggplant when tender, top with dip and spoon tomatoes on top. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 139

Carbs: 16 g

Fat: 3 g

Protein: 14 g

Cholesterol: 5 mg

Sodium: 374 mg

Sugars 4 g

Fiber: 6 g

Skinny Artichoke Dip Bites Collage

Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip Bites
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts
  • ½ cup grated low-fat Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup 2% Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup non-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup green onions
  • ½ tsp. basil leaves
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 eggplant (medium size)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup low-sodium bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp. pepper
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Thaw and drain the packaged spinach.
  3. Drain and finely chop the artichoke hearts.
  4. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and thoroughly mix together with a large spoon.
  5. Spoon the combination into a round dish (we used a 9-inch pie plate).
  6. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before placing onto the eggplant.
  7. Cut the eggplant into quarter-inch slices.
  8. Place oil into a small bowl. Very lightly brush oil (if you don’t have a brush, use a knife to spread) onto each eggplant slice. (If you have a spray bottle with oil this is ideal for saving calories; simply spritz bread with oil.)
  9. Mix bread crumbs and pepper and spread out on a plate. Dip each eggplant into the breadcrumbs to lightly coat.
  10. Put eggplant bites into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until tender.
  11. Remove eggplant when tender, top with dip and spoon tomatoes on top. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 eggplant bites Calories: 139 Fat: 3 g Carbohydrates: 16 g Sugar: 4 g Sodium: 374 mg Fiber: 6 g Protein: 14 g Cholesterol: 5 mg

Spicy “Fried” Broccoli

Most of us get in the habit of cooking things the same way all of the time, especially when it comes to vegetables. And if you are like many of our new clients, you may think that if you don’t eat a veggie raw, you’ll lose most of the nutrients. Well great news, this is Poppycock!  You may be surprised to learn that many phytonutrients, like lycopene which is found in tomatoes, bell peppers and other red-colored produce (and lowers risk of cancer and heart attacks) actually become more available to the body when the vegetable is heated. Other nutrients like Vitamin C are higher in raw veggies, so it’s great to eat veggies prepared in different ways to reap the range of benefits and enjoy the different flavors!

To help you to do this, we’ve got some delish recipes like Easy Crunchy Braised Cabbage, Colorful Detox Salad, Caramelized Cauliflower with Olive Oil and Lemon Juice, Easy Peasy Seasoned Brussel SproutsRoasted detoxifying Veggies. And now we’ve whipped up this yumster! It’s an easy, yet different way to cook broccoli. This spicy fried broccoli is easy to cook and can be done right on your stovetop.

Spicy_fried_broccoli_logo

 

 

Pssst…Need more convincing that raw isn’t the only way to reap nutritional benefits? Cooked carrots, spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, cabbage, peppers and many other vegetables also supply more antioxidants, such as carotenoids and ferulic acid, to the body than they do when raw.  According to a study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, boiling and steaming better preserves antioxidants, especially carotenoids, in carrots, zucchini and broccoli, than frying, though boiling was shown to be the best. The researchers studied the impact of the various cooking techniques on compounds such as carotenoids, ascorbic acid and polyphenols.

And indole is formed when certain plants (particularly cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage) are cooked—and it helps kill precancerous cells before they turn malignant.

However, eating broccoli raw also has its advantages since heat damages the enzyme myrosinase, which plays a role in killing precancerous cells.

The bottom line? You’ll reap benefits from veggies no matter how they are cooked (and whether or not they are cooked at all!). So make sure you prepare them how you like them! Here’s one way to shake up your routine:

 

Spicy “Fried” Broccoli

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

16 oz of defrosted frozen broccoli, drain if necessary

3/4 tablespoon avocado oil

½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers

½ teaspoon crushed garlic

 

Instructions:

  1. Dry broccoli as thoroughly as possible
  2. Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat
  3. Add the crushed pepper and garlic to the skillet. Stirring constantly, allow to cook for 1 minute
  4. Add broccoli. Stir occasionally until the broccoli begins to get crispy and a bit brown
  5. Season with salt if desired.

 

Nutrition facts per serving: 58 calories, 3 g fat, 29 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrates, 1 g protein, 3 g fiber

Spicy "Fried" Broccoli
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 16 oz of defrosted frozen broccoli, drain if necessary
  • ¾ tablespoon avocado oil
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
  • ½ teaspoon crushed garlic
Instructions
  1. Dry broccoli as thoroughly as possible
  2. Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat
  3. Add the crushed pepper and garlic to the skillet. Stirring constantly, allow to cook for 1 minute
  4. Add broccoli. Stir occasionally until the broccoli begins to get crispy and a bit brown
  5. Season with salt if desired.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 Calories: 58 Fat: 3 Carbohydrates: 6 Sodium: 29 Protein: 1