Pad Thai Makeover

I really love Asian food. Especially all the yummy noodle dishes! But when you eat out at most Asian restaurants, a lot of the choices are stir fried in red-light oils and made with red-light noodles. One of my very favorites is Pad Thai. Let’s see how we can make a healthier version of this popular dish!

First off, all of the ingredients don’t have to match perfectly. This is more of a Pad Thai inspired version, but it tastes great and definitely satisfies a noodle craving! One of my favorite ways to make healthy makeovers of my favorite dishes is by adding more green lights (like veggies) to the original. If you do this, you know that you’re really making that green light count go up and are staying within your red light budget for the week!

Check out this easy Pad Thai makeover:


contains 4 servings

one serving: one scoop of the hand, contains 2 yellow lights, 1 green light
• 6-8 oz flat brown rice noodles
• 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 2 chicken breasts, cubed
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• ½ onion or 2 green onions, chopped or thinly sliced
• 1 carrot, cut in thin sticks or shredded
• 2 cups of broccoli
• ¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
• Other veggie options:
o 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
o 1 cup of bean sprouts
• 4 tbsp. soy sauce
• 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
• 1 lime, cut in wedges


Cook noodles in a pot according to directions on the package. In a large skillet, heat olive oil on low/medium heat and brown the garlic. Cook chicken until cooked through and slightly browned. Add in the rest of your veggies, season with salt and pepper to taste, and continue to cook until they reach desired softness. Turn off the heat. Then, add in drained noodles and the soy sauce/vinegar and combine thoroughly. Serve topped with chopped cilantro and with some fresh lime juice squeezed on top.

5 Tips to Help Support Your Teen with a Weight Problem

This article has been adapted from Teen Life Blog:

One out of three teens today are overweight or obese. This means that most parents reading this article know or have an overweight child of their own and are struggling with solutions on how to help them.

The first thing to you need to do immediately is drop the guilt! As parents, we are hard on ourselves. We blame our child’s weight issues on not being a good enough parent, that we are not creating the perfect environment for our kids, we are working long hours, eating out, buying school lunches and quick, processed snacks, etc. Combine all of that with our own conflicted feelings about our own weight and eating issues, including guilt, anger, fear and helplessness, and we don’t want to unload this on our children.

It’s best to start from a clean slate and approach the topic from the positive position of promoting health for your child—and the whole family. Remember, the topic of weight does not need to be taboo. Here are 5 tips to help you start a healthy dialogue with your teen about the situation.


Child Weight Loss Success Story: Talissa turns eating healthy and exercising into her new lifestyle.

Talissa was ready to make a change, so she decided to sign up for Kurbo. “Her clothes weren’t fitting her properly and she was feeling a little bit down about it and she would feel upset about how she looked,” Talissa’s mom, Robynne shares. “I’m a little bit bigger and I wanted to change that,” Talissa says. “I just looked at the average person that’s joined Kurbo and how far they’ve come and that inspired me to do it.”

Talissa and her coach worked together to decide what changes she could make to live a healthier lifestyle. “Before I would just start eating without thinking about it. Coach Lauren taught me how to read labels and how to figure out the number of red lights I should have. We talk about exercise and the importance of sleep too, in maintaining a healthy weight,” Talissa shares.


Meet Coach Monica: Mother, dog-lover, and experimental chef!

Coach Monica wanted to be a Kurbo coach to help kids all around the world learn to be healthy.  “I have always enjoyed reading to children and going on nature walks with them, exploring nature and science. My personal mission is to do what I can in my own small way to help our children and teens become happy, healthy, confident and successful. It takes a village to raise a child and I like to be a part of this village. I am very grateful for Kurbo for giving me a platform to further this mission while helping Kurbo families here and abroad stay healthy and happy.”

She loves that Kurbo is about forming honest and supportive connections between coaches and families. “I focus on what is going well and all the positive outcomes while brainstorming strategies together to overcome challenges. Everything that follows is an honest exchange/sharing of information, questions and answers and challenges. I am humbled that my Kurbo kids/teens feel like they can be themselves when we skype or talk on the phone. Most of them thank me at the end and one of them in particular says ‘I love you Monica’ at the end of the call. Nothing touches me more than when I see them smile at the end of our conversation.”


Spooky Snacks for Halloween

As we get close to the end of October, don’t let your Halloween “BOO”s turn into red light busts!

With Halloween coming up, there are sure to be many parties and events full of sugary snacks, not to mention the variety of candy that seems to be around every corner. A fun way to stay on track with your Kurbo goals is to make your own Halloween recipes. You can make delicious AND nutritious treats to share with your friends and family to celebrate Halloween!

Check out these Kurbo friendly Halloween treats that allow for healthy indulgence this October!


MedCity Honors Kurbo for Innovative Patient Engagement

Kurbo was named among the Top 3 health start-ups for innovative patient engagement by a panel of health industry experts organized by the health industry publication MedCity.  MedCity’s editorial team chose 15 finalists from about 60 total submissions, and then the final three were chosen by a panel of industry experts.  Patient engagement is key to get patients involved in their own health and is the cornerstone for some of the behavior change that is necessary to move the needle in healthcare.

“Enabling patients to achieve their care plan is one of the thorniest issues in healthcare,” said Nancy Fabozzi, principal analyst for Connected Health at Frost & Sullivan and one of the judges on the panel.  The other judges who chose Kurbo as second runner-up were Dave deBronkart, also known as ePatient Dave;  Dr. Fred Rachman, CEO of Alliance of Chicago Community Health Services; and Lygeia Ricciardi, a national thought leader in consumer engagement and digital health.

Kurbo works closely with its Fortune 100, Medicaid and other institutional partners to ensure high enrollment  in its effective weight loss and fitness program.  In addition to taking a customized, multi-channel digital and offline approach to increase awareness and engagement with each partner, the Kurbo program itself was designed at the start to solve many key challenges to successful implementation.  As a mobile app, it ensures that participants of all ages, incomes and demographics have easy access.  Then daily feedback from Kurbo’s team of trained coaches help keep participants on track.  90 percent of participants who complete Kurbo’s initial 12-week program lose weight and improve BMI, along with their entire family achieving health benefits.

“Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States — with overall prevalence over 17%, highest in older children and adolescents — and health care providers struggle to find and implement effective interventions,” Dr.Rachman said. “Kurbo has taken an evidence-based intervention and made it accessible to children via mobile devices.”

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Kurbo Weight Loss Success Story: Sophia learns to resist her urge to snack and drops 12 lbs

Sophia was having trouble resisting urges to snack at home. “I was home alone a lot and I didn’t have any self control. I was snacking too much and cooking a lot of unhealthy foods to eat when I was bored. I would try to stop snacking, but I just couldn’t do it on my own.”

She wanted something that would keep her accountable, and that was Kurbo. “I just wanted something where I could put down what I was eating and everything I was eating. I wanted some external form accountability,” Sophia says. She found Kurbo. “Kurbo took her dad and I out of the equation of trying to help her make healthier choices. Instead, it was a partnership with her and her coach,” her mom, Lisa, notes.


The question of grass fed/organic/farm to table/gluten free and childhood weight loss

Does quality of food matter in my child’s weight loss?

The answer is yes and no.

I apologize in advance because I know it would be easier to have a straight forward answer but when it comes to nutrition and weight loss, the answer is never simple. Fortunately, Kurbo, has taken a complex issue and made it simple for kids to have success in establishing life-long healthy habits, lowering their weight, and reducing BMI percentile.

I have a steady stream of parents who call me concerned about their child’s weight then go on to list how they only buy organic food, eat grass fed beef, make their own yogurt, ban gluten, eat Paleo, etc. Despite their noble nutrition efforts, they are concerned that their child is still not losing weight. Then I will likely hear how school is to blame because their child eats hot dogs, chocolate milk, and cookies for lunch. Of course, this kind of lunch is concerning, but as an experienced coach, I know there is more going on that needs to be discussed.

If this kind of scenario and eating philosophy reminds you of yourself, then please read on.


5 Foods to Boost Your Brain Power

It’s undeniable that healthy eating and activity provide endless benefits to our bodies and well being, but what can we do to boost our brain power? Duties like school and work require enormous amounts of brain power so it’s important to refuel your brain. Focus on the foods below to boost your brain power this fall and for the rest of your life.


Child Weight Loss Success Story: Catie becomes a softball star and role model

Catie and her family signed up for Kurbo to learn a new way of life. “I think the whole reason why her mom and I chose Kurbo was because it’s a holistic approach. It’s not a diet, it’s a way of life. They take a combined approach with the seasons, helping to choose activities that fit with the winter months when it rains and the summer months when it’s fun to be outside,” Catie’s dad, Andrew, shares.

Catie and Coach Karen worked together to set goals and plan out how to best reach those goals. “Talking to Coach Karen every week is always fun. We talk about setting goals, like eating all of the colors of the rainbow. I’m definitely eating more fruits and vegetables now because of that. We talked about how to make eggs without butter, so now we make egg whites,” Catie says. “No one wants to eat vegetables for breakfast, so Coach Karen figured out the best way to turn our favorite breakfast food, eggs, from a red to a yellow,” Andrew notes.