How to Make this Thanksgiving Your Healthiest

Simple Ways to Make This Thanksgiving Your Healthiest

Six Tips to Help You This Year
How to Make this Thanksgiving Your Healthiest Let’s face it. Thanksgiving only comes once a year. I don’t think it’s necessary to have to alter your tasty family recipes. Some people have found healthier recipes and truly enjoy them! For me, I only have them a few times a year, so my approach to Thanksgiving is a little different. I’ve found that if I can be strategic for other meals during the day, stay mindful during dinner, and move, I don’t have problems feeling like I’ve fallen off track with my nutrition goals. Plus, I don’t feel guilty for enjoying my dinner!

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Many people will often skip this meal to save calories for the Thanksgiving feast. I’ve found it can increase my food cravings and cause me to overeat.

Action Steps: eat a breakfast filled with protein and vegetables the morning of Thanksgiving. Skip the carbs – you’ll enjoy them at dinner!

My two favorites: a protein shake with sauteed vegetables OR a veggie omelet.

Exercise the Morning of Thanksgiving

It’s simple: eat more, move more. This will help jumpstart your metabolism to help you burn more calories during the day. I love to mix in a combination of cardiovascular exercise and strength training.

Action Steps: find a way to move. It doesn’t need to be the perfect workout, just move.

Don’t Forget Lunch

Again, it’s best to eat throughout the day to keep our metabolism running. Don’t skip any meals on Turkey day. I know for me, when I skip meals, it usually leads to a disaster of overeating. Also be thinking of how you can keep yourself hydrated. My goal is to drink at least two liters of water before dinner.

Action steps: Drink plenty of water. Choose a lunch filled with protein and vegetables.

My favorites: a salad with tuna or chicken, pickled asparagus wraps with a side salad, or leftovers if available.

For your Thanksgiving meal, choose your favorite carbohydrates

Sweet potato casserole only comes twice a year for me. Therefore, I know I’m going to add that to my plate. However, the dinner roll? It’s more of a filler. Skip the carbs you don’t really love to save on calories. Again, visualize your dinner plate to measure the appropriate amount of carbs to eat. Focus on three to four bites of your favorites, especially if you’ll be enjoying dessert.

My favorites: Sweet potatoes, a few bites of regular potatoes, pretzel salad and stuffing. If I can keep portion sizes small, I get to enjoy the taste without feeling stuffed.

Pre-dinner

  • Create a veggie platter for munchies as you work on food preparation and pre-dinner socializing.
  • Choose to alter your dipping sauce – pick hummus over fattening dips
  • If you catch yourself socializing and eating mindlessly, socialize away from the food. It works!

During Dinner

  • Wait 10 minutes before going back for seconds. It takes 10-20 minutes for the brain to realize you’re full. If you’re a fast eater especially, wait at least 10 minutes before thinking about wanting seconds.
  • Eat slow and enjoy every bite. This will help recognize you’re full faster. Ask yourself if you can taste all the flavors. To help you eat less, engage in conversation and set down your fork with every bite.

My favorite trick: chew your food thoroughly! I used to chomp, chomp, then swallow. When I took the time to really chew, my eating speed slowed down tremendously.

  • Drink water with your meal.

If you need to take a nap shortly after your Thanksgiving meal, you know you’ve eaten too much.

Choose what tips will work best for you this holiday. I know for me, when I take a step back and pay attention to my eating speed and listening to when I’m satisfied, I eat less. Plus, it helps to start with a smaller serving so I don’t feel uncomfortably full from overeating. Each year I’ve worked on this, I’ve gotten better and better at not overdoing it.

 

How to Read a Nutrition Label

The Easiest & Fastest Way to Elevate Your Nutrition

How To Read a Nutrition Label to Improve Your Diet

Learn How to Read a Nutrition LabelThis label is Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats

Look at the ingredient list first

If I were to ask most people what the first thing they look at on a nutrition label, they would say calories. This is important, but not as important as knowing what’s in your food. Sure, it might be 100 calories, but what’s in it?

Two things to think of:

  • Strive for 5 ingredients or less. The best foods have a single ingredient! Vegetables, fruit, raw nuts or seeds, chicken breast, etc. If you’re buying something in a package or bag, strive for five ingredients or less.
  • Be able to pronounce everything. Sometimes a nutrition label will have more than five ingredients, but if you know exactly what everything is, no problem. If you don’t know what it is or can’t pronounce an ingredient, look to leave it at the store.

If you stick to foods with minimal ingredients, you will elevate your nutrition tremendously!

Reduced fat, lower sugar, fat-free products

In pictures below(from left to right): Regular Jif Peanut Butter, Reduced Fat Jif Peanut butter, Adams Natural Peanut Butter

pb3pb2The first thing I do is compare it to the original product. I always like to give the example of original Jif peanut butter. If you compare the regular peanut butter to the reduced fat, you may notice the reduced fat has a much longer ingredient list. Yes, the fat has been reduced, but was has been added to make this lower in fat? Sugar, ingredients, carbohydrates, etc. The best choice of peanut butter is to buy a brand that just says roasted peanuts on the ingredient list. Look for the same thing in dairy products. I always buy the package with minimal ingredients, but I watch portions closely.

Here’s an example of fat-free dressing. It’s a long ingredient list.

fat free dressing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How much sugar?

Strive for five grams or less.

Also, look to see if it has added sugar. Unsweetened dairy products will have natural sugar, but anything flavored has added sugar. Unsweetened dairy is the best choice. Another common healthy food is dried fruit. Read the ingredient list to be sure you aren’t purchasing dried fruit with added sugar. Buy dried fruit that has one ingredient on the label (the fruit itself).

If any food item has added sugar, look to ditch it. 

How much fiber? Protein?

You’ll find most of your fiber from vegetables, fruit and whole grains. When buying whole grains, look to purchase grains that have 3+ grams of fiber. 5 or more is ideal.  I have found if I eat 20 grams of protein with each meal, I stay full for at least three hours and I have minimal cravings.  So, if I choose the Bob’s Red Mill Oats, I’ll stick to the serving size, but add a few eggs to keep the protein high for the total meal.

Sodium

The most sodium packed foods are usually canned goods and processed foods. If you take these out of your grocery cart, you’ll cut down on your salt intake dramatically. I’ll buy chicken, beef or vegetable broth when I’m in a pinch, but I’ll buy low sodium broth.

Serving Size & Servings Per Container

This is an easy one to miss. Think of a serving size of cereal or ice cream. How easy is it to just dump cereal into a bowl or scoop ice cream from the pint? If the serving size isn’t realistic for you, you might want to consider keeping it out of the house until it does become realistic.

 Fat, Cholesterol, Carbohydrates.

 I personally don’t like to buy products that have vegetable oil, canola oil, or partially hydrogenated oils. All of these would be the fat source in the food item.

Carbohydrates will vary from person to person, especially when it’s based off of activity level. For someone who’s looking to lose weight, monitoring carbohydrates per meal works great. 25-30 grams is a good start, then trial and error to find what works best for you.

 Use the % Daily Value as a Quick Reference

 Now, the % Daily Values is based off of a 2,000 calorie diet. Certain individuals need less while others need more. I like to use this as a standard quick guide. 5% is considered low, while anything over 20% is high.

 Don’t be fooled by Smart Marketing

marketingYou’ll see many products that state they are “Natural” or “Whole Grain” but be sure to read your labels first.

How to Not Over-Indulge on Halloween Candy This Year

How to Keep Your Hand Out of The Halloween Candy

An Action Guide to Not Overindulge

How to Not Over-Indulge on Halloween Candy This YearHalloween is just around the corner! It’s easy to catch yourself eating the fun-size candy on a regular basis because it can be everywhere! So, in order to avoid your hand regularly reaching into the candy bowl, I’ve come up with some strategies that have helped me make eating Halloween candy a hassle versus a habit this holiday season.

The first step to being successful with this is to be aware where you’re finding the Halloween temptations. Is it in your home? Is it at work? We tend to eat more Halloween candy when it’s clearly visible. Once it becomes visible, sometimes we forget how much we are actually eating. Whether the candy is in a bowl on the kitchen counter or sitting on a desk at work, every time you see the candy bowl, you have to decide whether you want a piece of candy or not. Imagine seeing this bowl, 5x an hour. This would require saying no 5x for the first hour, 5x for the second hour, 5x for the 3rdhour and so on. After so many attempts of saying no, that little voice in the back of your head could start telling you something else, especially if your mood, stress, or peer pressure comes into play. That voice may be telling you, “okay, just one piece…or two, three, four.”

Here are a few ideas that helped me cut down on the constant question, “should I have a piece?”

  1. Move the candy to an area that’s not visible.

If the candy is at home, stuff the candy in hard to reach places or have a family member stash it away until Halloween night when the trick-or-treaters arrive. It’s always best to buy candy for your trick or treaters a day or two ahead of time versus weeks ahead. You’ll be less tempted to open up the bag! If candy is at work, see if you can move the candy into an area that’s not frequently visited.

  1. If the candy bowl can’t be moved, move around it.

This can be great if you find the Halloween candy is haunting you at work. If it sits on a particular desk, make a new route to do your job around the bowl so you simply don’t see the bowl walking by.

Take home message: the more hassle the candy is to eat, the less we eat.
Other strategies to eat less candy…

Don’t skip meals
Skipping meals not only makes us hungry, but it also increases our cravings! This can be the perfect recipe for a fun-size candy binge when our eyes make contact with the candy bowl – you’re hungry and you’re craving. I know when I’ve over eaten candy, it’s because I was hungry! Harnessing your willpower at this point can be very difficult. So, make it a priority to eat meals on a timely basis. When you’re not hungry, it’s easier to pass up on the candy. If you plan to hand out candy on Halloween night, be sure to eat a filling dinner. When you’re not hungry, you will be less likely to overeat the candy.

Keep Your Mouth Busy
Sometimes hunger can be misleading. When you think you are hungry, you can be actually be thirsty. If a candy craving strikes, try drinking a glass of water or sipping on unsweetened tea. My go-to lately is hot water + lemonade. This may be your trick to avoid giving in. Keeping your mouth busy in general can be a great tool to use to avoid eating the candy too. Chewing gum is another option!

Wait until the end of the work day or evening to enjoy a treat
The fun-size candy can add up quickly, especially if you start eating them in the at the start of the day. If you really want to enjoy your favorite piece, then choose a better time to eat it. Typically, if you wait until the end of the day, you have a less chance of over-eating because you’re not constantly asking yourself, “should I eat this?” during your day. Choose to enjoy your piece after dinner and sit and savor it. When you take your time and savor your candy, you may find it’s very satisfying! This works particularly well for me with one fun-size Hershey bar. I break it up in three pieces and let each piece melt in the back of my mouth. The eating process lasts much longer and I’m satisfied with one piece!

Don’t Buy Your Favorite Candy

Pretzel M&Ms are my favorite and I’ve learned it’s best not to buy an entire package of them. If you’re worried about overeating, it might be best to not buy your favorite. When you buy something you don’t like, you may find yourself not wanting any candy.

One last thing: if you plan to have a few pieces of candy on Halloween night

If you’re a candy lover, enjoy your favorite but with appropriate portions. To help overeating, focus on eating a dinner that’s filled with plenty of vegetables and lean protein. Skip the starchy carbohydrates like bread, pasta, rice, or potatoes. Your candy of choice will act as your carbohydrates and when you stick to a serving size, you won’t blow your diet.

The First Step to Change

How to Change Your Mindset & Adapt a Healthy Lifestyle

The First Step to A Healthy LifestyleWhen it comes to change, many people think it starts with setting goals. Setting goals are great because goals give you something to focus on at the start of your journey. However, many people set goals that are too vague. Sometimes these vague goals aren’t going to be motivating enough to help you stay on track on the more challenging days you will have. Instead of writing out your goals, you’ll need to learn your why. Consider your why the deepest reason why you want to change. This can be the best way to keep you motivated to take action and get closer to your goal every day, even on the difficult days.

So, how do you learn your why?

Write down your first goal that comes to mind. Then continue to ask yourself, why?

See the example below:

I want to lose 15 lbs.

(Why?) Because I want to fit into my clothes comfortably.
(Why is this important?) So I can feel good about myself.
(Why?) Because I want more self-confidence.

Keep asking yourself why until you get to the root of why you really want to change.

In this example, the true why for losing 15 lbs is because you want to be more confident.

Learning your why will tell you what you truly want to achieve. So instead of putting all of your focus on losing 15 pounds, visualize the confidence you’re really striving for. When you’re having a stressful day, think of your why so you can make sure you get in your workout in, even when you feel too tired. Picture your why when you don’t want to cook, but find a way to put together a quick healthy dinner at home.

You’ll be amazed how helpful this can be to keep you on track.

How to Encourage Others to Get Healthy

Five Ways to Encourage Others to Get Healthy

How to Help Others Change Their Diet

How to Encourage Others to Get HealthyStarting a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge in the beginning, especially if members of your household are not on-board. While success is still possible, it’s important to encourage your family and other close friends to join you so the lifestyle can feel easy for the year’s ahead. Here are a few tips to consider:

Tell them what you have learned. It can be exciting to make new, healthy changes and to stay accountable to your plan, it helps to talk about it. Plus, learning new information and wanting to share it is fun. When it comes to encouraging others to get healthy with you, focus on what you’ve learned instead of criticizing what they should be doing. Focus on being positive. For example, you could say, “I have started eating vegetables at every meal the past few weeks and I’ve learned I no longer feel tired after a meal.” Something to avoid saying is, “you know you should be eating multiple servings of vegetables a day for stable energy.” By stating what you have learned and how it’s improved your life opens the door for your friends and family to see if they are interesting in joining with you.

Focus on talking about what you’re eating instead of what you’re not eating. If you start a conversation with “I’m not eating sugar, pasta, bread, processed foods or alcohol because those foods are not healthy for you,” you’ll probably instantly make them feel defensive or uncomfortable. They also might think you’re judging them if those foods are currently in their diet. Instead, keep it positive by saying what you are eating. “I’ve been eating lots of roasted vegetables, frittatas, fresh fruit, grilled fish and easy crockpot recipes.” These statements makes a person feel completely different and are non-judgmental.

Sneak in the good stuff. This can be a really good trick for picky eaters. Sometimes the thought of broccoli for kids or adults can automatically have a reaction of, yuck! But, what happens if you finely chop broccoli into a spaghetti meat sauce or other dinners? Is it more do-able? Start by finely chopping vegetables into your current recipes. Your family may not even notice it, yet they are reaping the nutritional benefits. Sneaking spinach or other leafy greens can also works well in smoothies. If you decide to tell them your tricks, they may be excited to know they like it!

Make it a fun activity. Healthy food can be fun. Get your family involved by having them help you plan a meal. Kids may really enjoy this activity. You could also plan a BBQ or dinner party for your friends and family. Be in charge of the menu and surprise them with your healthy favorites! They may be asking for the recipes afterwards.

Always remember that this is your journey. Encouraging others is important, but unfortunately we can’t make decisions for others. Lead by example, keep positive thoughts flowing, and before you know it, you may just have those people following in your footsteps.

 

 

How to Make Exercise a Habit

Three Ways to Exercise Every Week

Three Ways to Start Exercising ConsistentlyIf you’re new to exercise, you might find it to be an uphill battle to keep up with your program. You may hear people say, “exercise is so fun!” and all you can think about is, “Ugh, I hate it! When will I get there?” Here are three things to work on.

Be consistent. 

Consistency is key when it comes to making a habit stick. Many people think they have to exercise for a specific amount of time to make it count and if they don’t have one hour in their day to commit to exercise, they simply don’t do it. It’s so easy to fall into this mindset trap. When you’re looking to form a stable exercise habit, you have to expect off days will happen. But, how do you handle those off days? Change your mindset. If you don’t have one hour to exercise, make time for 15 minutes of movement. This can be walking, stretching, ½ of a workout video, anything! Something is always better than nothing. When you set the bar to simple stay active, you’ll find yourself consistently exercising every single week.

Be accountable. 

Being accountable can truly help you form the habit of exercising weekly. Accountability can be formed by building relationships with others or using tracking devices to keep you aware how often you’re moving. To start feeling accountable, you can even begin by telling a co-worker or family member that you’ve joined a fitness facility. They most likely will ask you how it’s going! If you enjoy being accountable to yourself, tracking devices like a fitbit, pedometer or online tools like myfitnesspal.com can help you manage how often you’re exercising. Find what works the best for you.

Find something you actually enjoy doing. 

Always remember that there are so many ways to exercise! If you don’t love exercising on a treadmill, don’t force yourself to do it. If exercise feels like a chore, you know you haven’t found something you enjoy yet. Plus, it will be a mental fight every day to do it. Experiment with all of the options. Try a class, ask a fitness professional for advice, try a new machine, or think of what you enjoyed as a kid. When you find something you truly enjoy doing, you are more likely to do it.

Five Things to Consider Before Grocery Shopping

Over the course of my healthy habit journey, I’ve learned five ways to have a successful week. It’s much easier to eat nutritious foods when you have a plan.

1.) Plan your meals in advance
This makes your grocery shopping smoother and faster. Use a list and buy enough ingredients for at least 5 dinner meals (plus enough for leftovers) It can also help cut down on the groceries you don’t need as well as eliminating multiple trips to the grocery store for more ingredients. Use your left overs for a healthy lunch the next day.
2.) Don’t shop hungry
It’s easy to steer off your healthy eating plan when you’re hungry because everything looks appetizing. You may find yourself gravitating towards more junk food verses healthy choices. If you find yourself guilty of this, make sure to have a snack or meal beforehand.
3.) Fill your cart with fruits & vegetables first, then shop the perimeter of the store
The healthiest foods are all along the perimeter! By practicing this every week, I found I cut back on the junk food! After filling the bulk of your cart with fruits & vegetables, shop for lean proteins and other nutrient dense foods.
4.) Analyze your cart at the register
This is a quick, simple checklist to see if you picked the healthiest choices. Take pride in keeping your cart free from any type of processed food. This will help you stick to eating healthy during the week. I’ve found when I don’t bring junk food into the house, I don’t even think about eating it. When it’s in the house, it’s harder to say no.
5.) Stock up on an “emergency” dinner
Let’s face it, we all have days when the last thing we want to do after work is cook. What’s your go-to healthy meal when this happens? Make sure to include this meal in your grocery shopping so you can continue to eat healthy verses opt for take out. What are some of my favorites? Spinach protein shake, veggie omelets or a tuna salad.

Simple Ways to Increase your Vegetable Intake!

Six years ago, the only vegetables I ate were carrot sticks and romaine lettuce. As a matter of fact, I’d sometimes go days without eating any vegetables. After graduating from college and gaining more nutrition education, I knew my habits had to change. It didn’t happen over-night, but now I can easily get in 6+ cups of vegetables a day. When it comes to changing your nutrition habits, read some of the tips below to find what will work for you to get the ball rolling with eating vegetables consistently every day.

1.)    Switch out your grains for veggies

a. Wrap your sandwich in lettuce.

I like using this with tuna fish or ground turkey/chicken. I prefer to purchase butter lettuce.

b. Turn your normal lunch into a salad.

The typical American lunch is a sandwich & chips or a burger and fries. It’s easy to manipulate those meals to make them healthy. A salad is an easy way to get in 4+ servings of vegetables in one meal. Think – taco salads, tuna salad, deli meat salads, a bun-less burger with a large side salad. The extra veggies are low in calories, packed with fiber, and will help you stay full until the next meal.

c. Double up your veggies at dinner.

Instead of having potatoes, rice, noodles, or bread, replace it with a small dinner salad loaded with veggies. Also, look to add a side of broccoli, asparagus, kale, spinach, raw veggies or cooked veggies to go with your protein source.

2.)    Add vegetables into smoothies.

This is quite possibly the easiest way to sneak in vegetables to a meal. When it comes to constructing your own smoothie, look at the list below to add the suggested ingredients.

Protein source: a high quality protein powder or Greek Yogurt.

Fruit source: 1-2 servings. Sometimes people can over-do it on the fruit. I tend to use 1/2 of a frozen banana (peel before freezing) for my smoothies or 1 cup of frozen berries.

Vegetable source: 1-3 servings of vegetables. Spinach is my favorite because of it’s mild flavor, but kale & pumpkin are great too.

Healthy fat: 1-2 tablespoons. I like using a nut butter, chia seeds, flax seeds, or raw nuts.

Liquid Source & Ice : 6-12 ounces. Unsweetened vanilla or chocolate almond milk is my favorite, but unsweetened coconut milk, water, or cow’s milk can be used. The more ice, the thicker the consistency.

3.)    Make recipes where vegetables dominant the meal.

When it comes to changing your habits, sometimes it’s best to plan your meal around your vegetables. The more you practice looking for a vegetable(s) every meal, the easier it will be to get your vegetables in.

Start by incorporating meals where vegetables dominate such as chili, stir-fry, or a salad.

4.)    Choose a day in your schedule to prepare raw vegetables for the work week.     

Planning is key to success, especially in the beginning of improving your nutrition habits. If we don’t practice this in the beginning, it’s easy to fall into old habits t foods by grabbing convenient foods such as chips, cookies, fast food or going out to dinner.

Choose a day (Sunday is great) to slice up raw vegetables so they become the convenient foods to snack on. Bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, carrots, head of lettuce, bag of lettuce, broccoli, and cherry tomatoes are all easy vegetables to prepare. Wash your lettuce and cherry tomatoes then place them in Ziploc bags or Tupperware in the refrigerator. Also, pre-slice peppers, celery, cucumbers, and carrots so they are easy to grab in the morning before work, can be easily thrown on a salad or can act as snacks.

Commit 1 hour or less to chop your veggies so when the busy week happens, you’re prepared to eat healthy. After consistent practice, you may find yourself not needing to chop everything up in advance. You’ll just making time for it because it’s a habit.

5.)    Spice up your veggies and cook them correctly. 

a. Raw vegetables can be boring. Instead of always eating vegetables raw, experiment with other ways of cooking your vegetables. Roasting, steaming, pickling, or sauteing them can drastically improve the taste. Also,  give them some flavor! Add olive oil, coconut oil, butter, or spices such as rosemary, garlic, sea salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, etc.

6.) Look to add vegetables into your go-to meals. 

Spaghetti is still a staple in my weekly meal plan. I’ve tweaked this meal quite a bit over the years, by eliminating some ingredients and replacing it with other ingredients. I’ll now add mushrooms, zucchini and bell pepper into my spaghetti sauce to increase my overall vegetable intake.

7.) Increase your vegetables one meal at a time.

Sometimes it can be overwhelming to change your nutrition habits, so instead, start small with one meal a day. Breakfast can be hard to sneak in vegetables, unless your whip up a smoothie. So, instead, focus on changing your other meals for lunch or dinner. Below is an example of my old meals vs. my new meal plan. With consistent practice, I now enjoying eating vegetables at every meal.

Breakfast Lunch Snacks Dinner
Six years ago Cereal, banana, juice Sandwich & chips Granola Bars Spaghetti, other pasta dishes, etc.
Current Protein smoothie or vegetable omelet Leftovers from dinner, deli wraps or a take-out salad. Vegetables with hummus or nut butter, fruit & nuts or rice cake. Grilled meat with vegetables or a variation of meat sauce.

 

Learn How to Get Your Heart Rate Up Without Running on the Treadmill

My Favorite Type of Cardio

Treadmill

Have you thought you need to run in order to get the best workout? Incline walking is one of my favorite ways to get an intense cardio workout and help firm up the lower body. Use the chart below as a guide for your incline walking routine. If the speeds below are too fast for you, modify to a lower speed, but make sure you still notice your breathing and feel a burn in the legs after each interval.

For 2-5 minutes: walk at a comfortable pace

5:00-6:00: bring the incline up to 10%, walk at 2.5 mph

6:00-7:00: incline at 10%, walk at 3.5 mph

7:00-8:00: incline at 5%, walk at 3.0 mph

8:00-9:00: incline at 10%, walk at 3.5 mph

9:00-10:00: (recover) incline at 5%, walk at 3.0 mph

Continue to follow the interval pattern until you’ve reached 27 minutes. At 27 minutes, reduce the incline to 1% and speed to a cool down for 3 minutes

Get creative with your interval ratios: For beginners, walk at the faster pace for 30-60 seconds and recover for 2 minutes. For an intermediate level, keep the work to rest ratio equal (1 minute hard, 1 minute recovery)

* For an advanced workout, increase the incline to 15% and your fast interval to 4.0 mph. Walk at a faster speed for 90-120 seconds and recover for 60 seconds (negative rest period).

Note: to maximize the workout, try to keep your hands off the handle bar. By keeping your arms pumping by your sides and standing tall, you will increase your breathing and maximize core activation.

Do You Know What’s in Your Greek Yogurt?

Greek YogurtYour healthy treat may contain some hidden calories! When I first started eating Greek yogurt, I hated the plain flavor…mainly because it didn’t have any flavor! I always tell people it’s an acquired taste.

Greek yogurt has become quite popular due to its high protein content. However, some Greek yogurt is packed with sugar. All yogurt contains sugar naturally, so purchase the plain flavor to avoid the added sugar in the fruit flavoring. You’ll also save on carbohydrates.

What if the plain flavor tastes too sour? Consider slicing up fresh fruit, sweeten with stevia or add sliced nuts on top to improve the taste. By adding fresh fruit instead of buying fruit flavored yogurts, you’ll add more fiber to your snack.

Which brand is the creamiest? According to the Huffington post, Fage Total 2% and Fage Total 0% are the favorites!

Use Greek yogurt for cooking or baking substitutions!
2/3 cup yogurt + 1/4 buttermilk for 1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup yogurt + 1/2 cup butter for 1 cup butter

3/4 cup yogurt for 1 cup oil

1 cup yogurt for 1 cup sour cream

1 cup yogurt for 1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup yogurt for 1 cup cream cheese