tovita nutrition

Curry Chicken Salad

We love a good curry chicken salad, but not when the chicken and warm curry flavor gets lost in a tub of mayo. We've got your solution! We use Greek yogurt in place of mayo to boost the protein and lower the fat content for a lunch you can feel good about. This chicken salad is great on its own, on high fiber crackers, or on top of greens.

low fat curry chicken salad

Ingredients (~5 cups):

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, boiled 
  • 1 cup nonfat plain Green yogurt
  • 1/2 cup raisins or dried apricots, diced
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1.5 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Shred the chicken and place in a bowl
  2. Chop the celery, apples, and dried apricots if you choose to use them and add into the bowl with the chicken
  3. Add the Greek yogurt and lemon juice 
  4. Add the spices and mix well until a light yellow color

 

April Fools! Nutrition Myths Debunked

These days, the tremendous amount of nutrition information you can find surfing the web can be overwhelming. From juice cleansing to the raw food diet to the grapefruit diet, understanding how to maintain a healthy diet can be downright confusing. We figured there is no better time to set the record straight than on April Fools Day!

Today we are going to debunk one of the latest two-part health myths: firstly, that a meal must be fully digested before you can send more food down; secondly, that it is dangerous to eat fruit when you haven’t fully digested a meal because it rots and ferments in your digestive tract.

We’ll begin with some Biology 101, so follow closely.

Digestion begins the moment food enters your mouth and ends the moment it exits your body, past your colon. So, let’s map it: Your food travels from your mouth, to your stomach, to your small intestine, large intestine and finally, let’s just say, it exits.

This entire process generally takes between six and 10 hours. Think of your stomach as an acidic blender. The cells in your stomach secrete hydrochloric acid in response to the presence of food, which helps to break down anything you’ve swallowed. It churns this mixture until it succumbs to the consistency of a liquid-paste. From there, it slowly moves into the small intestine, where actual absorption begins to take place.

Now you might be starting to put the pieces together. Typically, you probably get hungry every three to four hours. If you had to wait for digestion to complete before you could eat another morsel of food, you could be waiting up to 10 hours until your next meal. So no, you should not wait until digestion of a previous meal is complete before you send your next meal down.

In conjunction with the above myth, you may have heard that eating fruit after a meal causes the fruit to rot and ferment in your stomach.

Again, the pH of your stomach is very low, meaning it is a strongly acidic environment. One of the reasons your stomach is so acidic is to prevent bacteria from proliferating and making you sick.

Fermentation takes place when bacteria are present, and your stomach contains very little bacteria. Once fruit enters your stomach, it is broken down by enzymes, regardless of any other foods that may be simultaneously present. Generally, the more macronutrients you consume in a given meal (ie. proteins, fats, or carbohydrates), the longer it takes to digest in the stomach, which is totally fine!

In fact, combining nutrients in a given meal will help keep you satisfied for longer. Have you ever noticed that if you eat an apple alone, you’re hungry again after an hour or so? On the contrary, if you were to eat an apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter, you would stay fuller for much longer. This is simply because the protein, fat and carbohydrates from the apple and peanut butter combined take longer to digest.

The bottom line is, no matter when you eat fruit, it will ultimately be digested, the same way any other food is; there is no “correct” order to eat it in.

As for fermentation, the only place fruit or any food can ferment is in the colon, which is a bacterial haven. Just remember, this is not a bad thing! (Hello, probiotics!) So, yes, you may resume eating fruit with or in-between meals, as you prefer. And no, please don’t wait until you have completely digested your breakfast before you sit down for lunch.

But, if you do, be nice and give your coworkers a heads up, so they don’t take your hangry attitude personally.


 

Tovita Tastes: Meme Mediterranean

We are constantly going out for dinner and trying new restaurants so while we're at it, we will be sharing the "Tovita Approved" options at some of our favorite spots. A healthy diet does not have to mean staying home and cooking every night. We love to show people how to navigate almost any menu to find healthy and satisfying options. Have a favorite restaurant and want to know which dishes are nutritionist-approved? Send it in and we will review the menu! 

What we love about Mediterranean restaurants is that there is always a simple grilled fish, filling hummus, and an abundance of vegetable options. One of our favorite mediterranean restaurants in NYC is Meme Mediterranean. If you haven't tried it, you have your next destination!

meme mediterranean

Lunch/Brunch Options:

Chopped salad, keep it to one pita

Chopped salad, keep it to one pita

  • Egg white frittata
  • Shakshuka moroccan breakfast
  • Mediterranean brunch, we ask for a 1 egg, 2 egg white scramble
  • Grilled shrimp or chopped salad
  • Seared tuna salad, no potatoes 
  • Chicken or salmon kebabs, skip the fries (sorry!)

Dinner Options: Meme's is all about sharing, so we like to load up on shared appetizers and small plates and if we have room, share an entree 

Almond crusted scallops

Almond crusted scallops

  • To start, we love the combination platter of all of our favorite mediterranean spreads. Ask for cut up vegetables like peppers, cucumbers, or carrots to dip rather than pita
  • The small plates are where it's at. We love the almond crusted scallops, grilled octopus, yellow fin tuna ceviche and the chicken kebobs. Hard to pick!
  • You can't go wrong with any of the salads. This time we went for the chopped salad. All of the salads are cheese heavy so you can always ask for no cheese or share with someone else to avoid going overboard
  • Out of the entree options, the organic roasted salmon is a favorite. Beware of the risotto, take a few bites and focus on the delicious vegetables and salmon on the plate!
  • The 7 roasted carrots or roasted cauliflower are our favorite side options

If you make it over to Meme's, let us know what you think! Share your meal with us on Instagram using #TovitaTastes

Vegan Spaghetti Squash Carbonara with Shiitake Bacon

Can you remember the last time you ate a bowl of spaghetti carbonara with bacon and felt great about it?

(recipe adapted from By Chloe's very own vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli)

(recipe adapted from By Chloe's very own vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli)

Didn't think so. Well, we're about to change that. We have put our touch on one of the least diet-friendly dishes to make it completely Tovita approved. We hope you are as excited as we were when we discovered this recipe. We love using spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta but feel free to use zucchini noodles, whole wheat or quinoa pasta, or shirataki noodles as you prefer! 

Spaghetti Squash: 2 spaghetti squash serves 4-6 people

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper
  2.  Cut spaghetti squash in half using chef's knife and scrape out the seeds with a fork
  3. Place squash face down and bake for 30-40 minutes until fully cooked
  4. Scrape out the spaghetti squash with a fork and place in a bowl
shiitaki bacon

Shiitaki Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound shiitaki mushrooms
  • 1/4th cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Toss mushrooms with oil, salt, and pepper on baking sheet
  3. Bake for 30 minutes turning frequently with a spatula until crisp

Vegan Carbonara Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 14 ounces soft organic tofu
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Chopped parsley to garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil on skillet over medium heat and cook onion and garlic until soft and browned. Remove from heat 
  2. In blender, combine the onion, garlic, tofu, water, lemon juice and salt. Blend on high until creamy consistency. Should be around 2 minutes. Let the sauce sit for about 5 minutes to allow to thicken
  3. Add the sauce to the spaghetti squash and top with the shiitaki bacon and parsley garnish. 

Enjoy!

Tovita Talks: Avocados (Up on WeWoreWhat Lifestyle Section!)

Avocados have managed to hold their place at the top of the trendiest foods list for quite some time now. They have finagled their way into every recipe, from the traditional salad, to the over-instagrammed avocado toast (guilty), to even that morning smoothie. There’s a good reason these fruits have remained the talk of the culinary town, and it’s not just because they’re Danielle’s favorite food. Today we’re going to discuss the ins and the outs of the avocado, because if you’re already on the avo-bandwagon, you should know why.

Click here  for the abridged version of this article on  WeWoreWhat  Lifestyle section! 

Click here for the abridged version of this article on WeWoreWhat Lifestyle section! 

You may have heard that these guys are a good source of healthy fats. But what does that really mean? It means they’re made up of predominantly monounsaturated fats, which have heart-healthy properties like the ability to improve LDL-cholesterol levels (the bad kind) and reduce oxidative stress. What’s even more unique is that some of the types of fats that make up the avocado (we won’t bore you with the names) have anti-inflammatory properties. In the past fats have gotten a bad rep because of the common misconception that all fats are pro-inflammatory. While this is true for certain types, like those found in fried or processed foods, it is quite the opposite in the case of the avocado.

Another fun fact is that the healthy fats found in avocados help to increase the absorption of carotenoids - a class of antioxidants often found in orange and yellow colored produce, ie. sweet potatoes, carrots, peppers, etc. So there’s your justification for topping your salads with avocado. You’re welcome.

Just because we’ve belabored the point that avocados are a good source of healthy fats doesn’t give you the green light eat them all day long. The average avocado has about 30 grams of fat, meaning no matter how you slice it, we’re talking lots of calories. Even though it’s tempting to add it on.. literally everything.. be mindful of how much you are eating in a sitting. We recommend keeping it to ¼ of an avocado.

There are still more benefits this fruit has to offer. They’re a good source of most B vitamins,  vitamins K, C, E, fiber, potassium, and copper. Not to mention they provide a ton of phytonutrients, which contribute to their antioxidant properties. Remember, antioxidants act as our bodies “clean up crew” by scavenging dangerous free radicals that can otherwise lead to deleterious health effects. No thanks!

They call the avocado “nature’s butter” for good reason. Whether you’re using it as a spread for the classic avocado toast or you’re eating on the side with your omelet, you can’t go wrong. If you’re looking for a fun new way to incorporate avocados at your next brunch party, we’ve got you covered with the “taco bar method.” On whole grain bread or wheat crackers, serve a platter of plain, blank, avocado toasts. Then, as a taco bar would offer, set up bowls of different toppings and let your guests make their own avo-toasts. Topping ideas include: feta cheese, sliced hard boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, red pepper flakes, hot sauce, tomatoes, mangos, black beans, or any vegetables. Your guests will have fun creating different combinations, and who knows, you may discover the next big avo-hit!

 

Interview with Marian Cheng, Co-founder of Mimi Cheng's Dumplings

Anyone who knows Molly knows that dumplings are her favorite food. So when she heard of a new dumpling spot that offers boiled dumplings using organic, healthy ingredients like shiitake mushrooms and kale, she ran right over.

We had a blast sitting down with Marian Cheng over her famous “Mimi Cheng” and “Mighty Veggie” dumplings to hear what inspired her and her sister, Hannah, to open a restaurant using their mom’s secret recipes.

Tell us the story behind Mimi Cheng’s.

When my sister Hannah and I moved to NYC, we were hunting for dumplings that tasted as good and wholesome as our Mom’s. She would use organic meat and vegetables directly from her vegetable garden. After an unsuccessful search, the only conclusion was to make them ourselves.

As for Mimi’s Secret Sauce (made by their mom), her killer dumpling sauce was coined “secret sauce” as she never told us the recipe up until a year before we were serious about opening our restaurant. It was her way of getting us home during college breaks. Thankfully we had her with us the summer we opened and got her stamp of approval. We teased Mimi saying it was her summer internship.

How is it working with your sister?

It’s awesome. There’s no skirting around issues, we understand each other and know each other’s strengths. We actually also live together, but it’s a rarity to see each other at home because of our schedules.

What is your ideal day of food?

As soon as I wake up, guzzle lemon with water, then make a MASSIVE matcha latte with Panatea matcha and almond milk. I’m obsessed. Breakfast from Two Hands, lunch would be two parts: a salad from Sweetgreen and a square pepperoni slice from Prince Street Pizza. As for dinner, I’ve been really loving Babu Ji for Indian. Of course, I'd make room for dumplings at some point in the day!

Which is your favorite dumpling?

My favorite is the half chicken, half veggie order. And, I’m always a fan of the specials.

Did you consider nutrition when you developed the menu?

Definitely. Traditional Chinese dumplings are pork (and who knows where the meat is from), but we pride ourselves on using local and sustainable meats. Our namesake dumpling is the chicken one, which we chose because it’s a healthier and leaner meat. Also, we grew up eating so many vegetables from our mom’s garden, so it was natural to incorporate a vegetable dumpling that has a lot of different, vibrant vegetables. We call our veggie dumpling the “other green juice”.

How would you say Mimi Cheng’s stands apart from all the other dumpling places popping up?

Good and positive vibes along with food made with lots of love and quality ingredients. Our dumplings are made fresh everyday.

We wanted to create a welcoming place, which is why we have a communal table and our décor is sunny and bright (plus we love the beach). We’re all about community. There’s something fun about sharing dumplings at a communal table. I actually once saw two strangers at the communal table chatting and ended up swapping dumplings to try more flavors! It was cute to see.

Favorite restaurant right now?

Hard one! I can’t pick just one. ABC Kitchen is always a staple; others are Kiki’s, Dimes, Upstate, Babu Ji, and Mission Chinese (their bread service is next level) among others.

Ingredient you cant live without?

Lemon juice and avocado

Food you won’t touch?  

Pate  

What is the best advice anyone ever gave to you when you were starting your own business?

To take as many pictures and write in a journal. It is so nice to reflect on the details of our journey opening up the restaurant because it was such a whirlwind while it was all happening.

Another great piece of advice is if you want to open your own restaurant, go work at a place similar so you really know the ins and outs.

How do you stay healthy?

I love being active. I frequent Barry’s Bootcamp, Kore Method, and Yoga Vida. I’m on Classpass, so it enables me to try different studios all the time and mix up my routines.




Healthy Holiday Gift Guide

This holiday season, we teamed up with Marisa Hochberg, founder of MJH Wellness to bring you the ultimate healthy holiday gift guide. Since we already agree that there is no better gift than the gift of health, we’re here to give you some healthy holiday shopping hints. Whether for you health manifests in a food product, a provocative read, or in a new set of workout gear to help you reach your 2016 fitness goals, we have conjured up a list that both the health nut and the nutrition newbie can work with.

  1. PANATEA ceremonial grade matcha gift set

panatea

PANATEA is one of our favorite matcha brands! They source their high quality matcha from the tea fields of Japan. One of the reasons we’re proponents of the matcha movement is because of the sheer antioxidant capacity of the tea. Remember, antioxidants act as our body’s “clean up crew” by protecting us from free radical damage, which can otherwise lead to tissue damage and even aging. As opposed to conventional steeped green tea, drinking matcha allows you to consume 100% of the nutrients.

Holiday gift sets include their ceremonial grade matcha, custom measuring scoop, glass siping bowl, and bamboo whisk. Use the code “HealthyHoliday10” at checkout for a 10% discount.

2. Tovita Nutrition package

tovitanutrition

How many times have we told ourselves, “I’ll start on Monday?” Whether you’ve been meaning to lose those extra holiday pounds or you need some guidance when it comes to eating clean, there’s no longer a reason to put your health on hold! 

3. Massage at Equinox

equinox spa

While we all need a little “me time” to relax and unwind during the holiday season, too often we push that aside to take care of others. Gifting a massage at Equinox will give your loved ones a perfect excuse to treat themselves guilt-free. The Equinox spa offers something for everyone- from pre-natal to sports massages, your loved ones can personalize their relaxation experience.

4.  Rowley Fitness

cynthia rowley active wear

Fashionable fitness lines are pretty much de rigueur these days, but they're still not the kind of couture that gets people buzzing during Fashion Week. Unless, of course, the line comes from an A-list designer like Cynthia Rowley. She’s not simply hopping on the fashion-meets-fitness bandwagon, though: Rowley, an avid surfer, has been designing wetsuits for years. This season, she decided to go all out.

The line adds a distinctly designer twist to workout gear, like metallic-embellished shorts and tanks, zebra-print wetsuits, slouchy track pants and zipper-accented backpacks. If your friends or family have fitness goals for 2016, give them a jumpstart to the gym with active wear they’ll want to show off.

5. 20 Pounds Younger by  Michele Promaulayko

20 pounds younger

We all know the feeling of wanting to press the restart button come New Years. Keep your loved ones from painful attempts at cleanses and detoxes, and use these books as a guide. Michele Promaulako from Yahoo Health has collected the advice and tips from top experts in nutrition, fitness, and anti-aging to answer all of our pressing questions in her book "20 Pounds Younger".

5. Treehouse retreats

treehouse retreats

Treehouse retreats are the ultimate girls wellness weekend that will give your girlfriends something to look forward to when the winter seems unbearable. Treehouse retreats occur each summer in the Hamptons and offer an intimate, women only weekend with a maximum of 6 guests. You and your best friends can stay in the cozy accommodations with New York’s best fitness instructors and foodies. Retreats are tailored for each group to create the perfect getaway. If a day of nourishing and healthy meals followed by yoga, paddleboarding, surfing and tennis sound right up your alley, the Treehouse retreats are definitely worth looking into.

6. The spiralizer with the Inspiralized Cookbook

spiralizer

We admit it, we are spiralizing addicts. Zucchini noodles, carrot and beet ribbons on salads, or baked sweet potato shoestring fries are all weekly staples thanks to our handy spiralizer. This is perfect for those friends who like to get creative in the kitchen, without spending tons of time or money. Pair the kitchen toy with the Inspiralized Cookbook to offer some recipe inspiration!

7. Swell water bottles

swell water bottles

Help save the world by gifting a Swell water bottle, beautifully crafted out of non-toxic stainless steel.  In the US alone, 50 million plastic bottles are dumped in landfill sites each year, and over 200 billion globally.  Swell water bottles replace those plastic bottles while looking sleek and  keeping drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 12. Swell also gives back to those in need by donating to UNICEF to help provide clean water to the world’s most vulnerable children. Now there’s a gift you can feel good about.

8. Lifeway Kefir holiday flavors

lifeway kefir

We couldn’t be more excited about Lifeway’s Kefir holiday flavors, Cranberry Creme Brulee, Eggnog, and pumpkin spice. Rather than bringing a bottle of wine to your next holiday party, surprise your guests with a bottle (or two!) of your favorite kefir smoothie! Aside from being rich in protein, calcium, and vitamin D, Lifeway’s kefir is a good source of probiotics, which are those beneficial microorganisms found in your digestive tract that help to boost immunity and support digestion. Let’s face it, we could all use a little immunity boost during the cold holiday season!

9. Jax Coco Global

jax coconut oil

Launched in Hong Kong in 2012 by Jane Gottschalk & partners, Jax Coco is known globally for producing the highest-quality coconut products, including the world's first premium glass-bottled coconut water.

Inspired by the crisp coconut water that it champions, Jax Coco offers Pure Coconut Water, Flavoured Coconut Water, Jax Kidz, Extra Virgin Centrifuged Coconut Oil, Jax Coco Toasted Coconut Chips and now, Jax Coco EVCCO Snaps. With the cold weather creeping in this holiday season, the it is extra important to keep skin moisturized and to stay hydrated and we can’t think of a better way to do this than with Jax Coco products! The luxe packaging makes for the perfect gift and decor in homes and bathrooms this holiday season and beyond!

Celebrity fans include Stella McCartney, Sienna Miller, Elton John, Cara Delevigne, Elizabeth Hurley and Matthew Williamson

10. Tata Harper Daily Essentials Kit

tata harper

There is good reason Tata harper has gained popularity among celebrities and beauty experts. Her products are 100% natural and nontoxic. The formulas use the most advanced natural skincare technology to bring the most effective products on the market. If you’re not sold already, Tata’s products are completely environmentally sustainable;  they buy renewable energy from the state of VT to run their facilities and use recycled glass and paper to cut down on their carbon footprint.

11. Subscription to Daily Burn

daily burn

We all know the benefits of exercise, but finding the time and money to spend on a gym membership can be obstacles for many. Daily burn is a no-excuse, accessible way to workout. All you need is an internet connection. For $12.95 per month, your loved ones will have access to all a large variety of workout videos led by expert trainers plus access to an interactive workout community.

12. "It Was Me All Along" by Andie Mitchell

it was me all along

This amazing memoir is perfect for those on your list looking for inspiration to become healthier. The New York Time’s best-selling author, Andie Mitchell recalls an honest account of her struggles with binging, obesity and the traumatic childhood that led her to seek solace in food. A definite must gift for anyone on your list looking for inspiration and a remarkable story during the holiday season. Stay tuned for Andie’s highly anticipated cookbook, "Eating in the Middle" coming out on March 29th.

13. "They All Fall Down" By Anna Kohanski Mason

they all fall down

Anna Kohanski Mason is a former bond trader turned leading force in the health and wellness space. After leaving the corporate world of Wall Street, Anna co-founded BurnThis, one of the leading apps for fitness. Through BurnThis, Anna established herself as a maven in the health and wellness space. Anna’s new book is perfect for the family member or friend who might work in the corporate world but whose passion lies in leading a healthy lifestyle.

Autumn Salad: the Perfect Thanksgiving Dish

Keeping with the Thanksgiving theme, we are giving you another delicious recipe to impress your guests. In our eyes, it is up to you to set yourself up for success, so be proactive to avoid becoming a Thanksgiving food coma victim. We know (all too well) that food comas happen to the best of us, but we are here to give you the tools to navigate Thanksgiving dinner like a pro. 

Whether you are hosting or going to be a guest at Thanksgiving dinner, it is up to you to provide healthy dishes that you know you can enjoy without feeling deprived. This doesn't mean you can't try the stuffing or apple pie, but if you fill up with a heaping portion of this colorful and nutritious salad, and a side of our sweet roasted carrots, there will be inevitably be less room for the stuffing! 

Autumn Salad (serves 6):

autumn salad

Ingredients:

butternut squash
  • 5 cups 1/2 inch cubed butternut squash (1 2 pound squash)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil  
  • Course salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1.5 tablespoons of walnut oil (any nut oil will do)
  • 1.5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 8 cups mixed greens or arugula
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup crumbed feta (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic reduction

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Toss the squash with olive oil, rosemary, and salt on a large baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes. Turn squash over with a spatula and roast for another 15 minutes until brrowned and tender. Let sit and room temperature
  3. Whisk the orange juice, walnut oil, and lemon juice in a large shallow bowl and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the greens, walnuts, and pomegranate seeds and toss evenly. 
  4. Place the squash over the salad, sprinkle the feta cheese, and drizzle with a balsamic reduction
  5. Serve and receive praise from your loved ones :)




Post for Zola: Healthy Zoodle Recipes for your Spiralizer

In case you haven't heard, Zola is an innovative wedding registry site that is transforming how couples and guests share, buy and ship wedding gifts. This week we collaborated with the Zola team to provide some healthy zoodle recipes for their blog readers who need some inspiration for how to put their new spiralizer to use. 

Read our fave zoodle recipes below!

Green Goddess Zoodles

This recipe is a Tovita favorite. It’s a new way to get your greens on when you just can’t eat another salad. The edamame adds a plant-based source of protein to help keep you satiated, along with the high fiber content with the mix of veggies. The almonds also have a bit of protein and add a nice crunch factor. If this recipe looks a little overwhelming, you can take the shortcut and buy store-made pesto, we promise we won’t tell!

kale zoodles

Ingredients:
For Kale Pesto:

  • 10 kale leaves, stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • ½ clove garlic, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

You will also need:

  • Large bowl of water
  • Ice cubes

For Zoodles (serves ~3)

  • 4 zucchini
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup shelled frozen edamame
  • 1 cup broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup kale leaves
  • ½ cup sliced almonds

Directions:
For Kale pesto:

  • Fill a large bowl with ice and water
  • Wash the kale and remove the ribs.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Blanch the kale for about 3 minutes, remove and place in the ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  • Drain, place the leaves on paper towels and blot away the moisture.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, put the kale, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan
  • and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  • Add the extra virgin olive oil and continue to pulse until the kale pesto reaches the desired consistency.

For Zoodles:

  • Defrost the edamame and broccoli
  • Wash the zucchini and spiralize into noodles.
  • Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the garlic and chili powder
  • Add the zoodles, broccoli and kale and saute for 2 minutes or until tender
  • Add the the edamame, season with salt and pepper and saute for another 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, toss the zucchini noodles in the pesto until it’s evenly coated
  • Top with almonds and enjoy!

Chicken Zoodle Soup

As sweater and soup season approaches, we want to give you an easy and healthy way to warm up. Take it from us, bringing a loved one a cup of chicken zoodle soup will win you major brownie points, especially with our gluten-free friends. Replacing noodles with zoodles slashes the carbs and calories of your traditional childhood favorite. This dish will warm your soul while watching your waistline.

chicken zoodle soup

Ingredients (serves ~4):

  • 6 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 cup of baby carrots, sliced into ~1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup celery, sliced into ½ inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Dash of salt and pepper (to your liking)
  • ½ cup of chopped parsley
  • 2 Chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (~3 oz per serving)
  • 4 medium zucchini

Directions:

  • Heat chicken stock over medium heat with onions, carrots, celery, and garlic for about 30 minutes, or until the veggies are tender.
  • Season soup with salt and pepper and parsley.
  • Run the zucchini through the spiralizer to make “noodles.” Chop them in half to make them more manageable
  • Add chicken and zucchini to the broth and heat through.

Newsette Interview

Check out our interview for The Newsette below! 

the newsette
tovita

Today we’re introducing the girls behind Tovita Nutrition, a virtual nutrition counseling and concierge service. Leah Silberman and Molly Rieger are both registered dietitians and entrepreneurs who have brought a fresh perspective to the health and wellness industry.

They conduct sessions over videoconference in order to maximize convenience for clients and their mission is to help them reach their nutrition goals by creating a program that includes individualized meal plans, 24/7 support, and client accountability. And the best part? As young girls based in Manhattan, they understand that late night pizza and seamless Sundays happen. No judgement. So we sat down with these two nutrition experts to ask our biggest healthy living questions, and snatched a business tip or two. 

1. We have a section at the top called "Thing to do today." What is one thing you advise your clients to do everyday?
Leah: It’s really important to drink enough water. We recommend filling a 32 oz water bottle up at least twice a day. It’s easy to get caught up at work and simply forget to hydrate. Even mild dehydration can make you feel exhausted, dizzy, and reduce your overall productivity. 

Molly: Turn off all your screens at least 25 minutes before bed. Shutting down your phone, laptop, and TV before bed will help you wind down, take time to yourself without constant distractions, and get to sleep faster. Getting a good night sleep is absolutely crucial to staying on track with clean eating. 

2. A lot of our readers are in their early twenties, what's the healthiest drink they can order at a bar?
Leah: Pick your liquor of choice and add a non-caloric mixer, like seltzer. Throw in some lemons or limes. I’d recommend a mixed drink versus, let’s say, a vodka on the rocks because it takes longer to drink and provides a bit more hydration. 

Molly: If liquor isn’t your thing, go for a 5 oz glass of wine or a light beer. If you’re a red wine drinker, you’ll reap the benefits of resveratrol, an antioxidant naturally found in the skin of red grapes. Also try to have a glass of water between drinks and before going to sleep to avoid a nasty hangover that can sabotage your healthy eating.

3. What's your favorite healthy snack?
Leah: I love making popcorn either over the stove with a little olive oil or air-popping it. I add spices like rosemary, garlic powder, or turmeric. It’s SO good. Popcorn is a good source of fiber and adding spices gives it a little antioxidant boost. 

Molly: My favorites are an apple with a tablespoon of almond butter or cut up bell peppers with hummus. Both great combinations of protein and fiber with the crunch factor that I crave. 

4. What inspired you two to start Tovita Nutrition and what was the most important lesson you learned while launching?

Leah: We were both working in hospital settings prior to launching Tovita. We are fortunate to have had those experiences because they exposed us firsthand to the relationship between health, nutrition, and disease. We saw how poor nutrition over time could ultimately lead to chronic health complications, like diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. It is sometimes difficult for young people to think that far down the line, which got us thinking, “how can we help people from a prevention standpoint?” 

Molly: Making dietary changes isn’t easy for anyone. It takes a combination of motivation, discipline, and willingness to be flexible. Our goal is to help clients reach their health goals by setting small, measurable objectives along the way while still enjoying whole, real, and natural foods. Leah and I share this health philosophy and knew we wanted to work together in a space where we could really instill lifestyle changes. We came to the conclusion that we would be able to reach the widest array of people, and of course, most conveniently, by conducting virtual sessions. So far our clients are VERY happy with this. 

Leah: We’re still learning new lessons all of the time! So far, the most important lesson I have learned is to be flexible and stay open to new ideas. Whether it’s a new partnership, product, or recommendation for clients, I’ll never know the outcome unless I give it a chance. Of course it is important to exercise judgement and maintain a line of focus, so my passion and purpose never stray too far from one another. But generally speaking, tunnel vision can only get you so far. 

Molly: As Leah said, we’re constantly learning and adjusting accordingly along the way. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to constantly try to see things from different perspectives and take advice from those who have been around longer than us. It’s easy to get really excited about new ideas and we are always eager to execute, but it’s equally important to use mentors as a soundboard. Additionally, brainstormingwith friends in the field has been important, but sometimes those outside the industry bring a fresh viewpoint. 

5. What is one food/ingredient that our readers should stay away from? One they should always have in their pantry? 
Leah: Stay away from foods that are neon. Your fingers just shouldn’t be bright orange after you eat something. On the flip side, keep a nut butter (ie. peanut butter, almond butter) on hand in your pantry. It’s always an easy go-to to top a fiber cracker or throw into a smoothie. 

Molly: Protein bars. There are so many great, natural sources of protein so I see no need to have a processed, sugary protein bar. For my clients who are pressed for time, I suggest throwing together a ziplock of nuts or Justin’s individual packets of almond butter in their bags. Both are excellent sources of natural protein along with healthy fats for sustained energy. I always have blueberries in my refrigerator. I throw them in my yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, or eat them plain for a boost of fiber and antioxidants. 

Love them as much as we do?
Follow: @tovitanutrition for some healthy inspiration
Visit: www.tovitanutrition.com

Welcome to the Tribe

To our friends and soon-to-be-friends,

Welcome to Tovita Nutrition! We are so excited to finally share our brainchild with you. If you've surfed the site a bit, you hopefully have a basic understanding of who we are and what we stand for. If we're catching you off guard, then you've come to the right blog post! We will use this opportunity to introduce ourselves.  

Tovita Nutrition is both a virtual nutrition counseling service and a space to share awesome health tips, stories, recipes, debunk myths, talk top restaurants and more. Why go virtual? We have undoubtedly been raised in a service-oriented generation. From your groceries to your toiletries, these days anything can be delivered straight to your door. So we thought, why can’t we do that too?

Next, you should know that we are Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN). This title means we know our stuff and we’re not going to push nutrition fads that are not scientifically sound. Hence, “the science of satisfaction.” Nutrition is an ever evolving, exciting, yet sometimes frustrating field and we are here to keep you focused on what’s important - high quality, whole, real foods. We know how tempting it can be to jump on the latest fad's bandwagon, but we also know which lifestyle changes are sustainable and worthwhile.

Beyond our qualifications, we believe you'll find the Tovita lifestyle to be approachable and pragmatic. Our purpose is to share a way of eating and living that you will feel excited to practice. As busy, social beings we understand that your schedule probably doesn’t revolve around your diet, meaning kale salads and fresh veggies are not always in the cards. Bagel breakfasts at the office – those happen. Pizza Fridays after work – those happen too. We've got you covered.

Whether you’re interested in our private counseling, or you just want a few healthy recipes, we have open arms. As new kids on the block, we are eager to hear your feedback and we are open to new ideas. So please, if there’s something you want to know more about, let us know.

Welcome to Tovita. We can’t wait to get to know you.

Love,

Leah & Molly