I have learned to love plain nonfat yogurt. I like the Stoneyfield Farms brand - but if I can't find that the good ol' Kroger brand works too. I eat it with berries about every day for a snack.
I have had great results so far with my lifestyle changes, and I know one of the reasons for that is I cut all foods with sugars and artificial sweetners out of my eating. The only sugar I have is what comes naturally and 1/4 teaspoon of agave nectar in my oats in the morning (which is a natural sweetner). I am a firm believer that the HFCS is BAD and I will do what I can to keep it out of my food.
Each person has to do what works for them, and this is working wonderful for me!
"wrap your brain around the idea that this is for the rest of your life" (thanks Jillybean!)
Christmas Gift Goal - 170 pounds (which will be 100 pounds GONE!) - 17 to go!
I'm a bit of a sugar junkie, so for Lent, I gave up all refined sugars and sugar substitutes. It was really difficult at first, and in the last couple of weeks, I've begun to realize just how prevalent sugar is in practically everything -- mostly in the form of high fructose corn syrup, which is less healthy for us and cheaper for the manufacturers. Being in the cereal aisle is enough to send me into fits of sadness when I watch little kids running around with 2 or 3 boxes of stuff that has sugar as it's primary ingredient, even over grains! Sugar is more refined than heroin, for goodness sake! It's crazy! ANd I was raised on that stuff!
Anyway, enough of that. I have a great solution for your yogurt dilemma. I take organic nonfat yogurt (no sugar added), and put in a dollop or so of fruit juice-sweetened jam. It's naturally sweet, much healthier, and pretty darn yummy if I do say so myself. And it's natural sugars.
I've also found a way to stretch the calories of fruit juice, since even though it doesn't have any sugar, is loaded with natural sugar carbs. I take 100% organic juice (doesn't have to be organic, though, so long as it's 100%) and mix it half-and-half with sparkling water. It makes a less-sweet but still delish fruit soda kinda thing. And it stretches out those fruit juice calories we all avoid.
I'll second the Stonyfield Farm brand. I get the 6-packs of strawberry and peach flavors, and they are by far my favorite yogurt. They are all-natural with no artificial sweeteners or colors or anything. Here's the list of ingredients for the strawberry flavor:
CULTURED PASTEURIZED NONFAT MILK, STRAWBERRIES, NATURALLY MILLED SUGAR, INULIN (NATURAL DIETARY FIBER), PECTIN, NATURAL FLAVOR, BEET JUICE CONCENTRATE (FOR COLOR). CONTAINS SIX LIVE ACTIVE CULTURES INCLUDING L. ACIDOPHLUS, BIFIDUS, L. CASEI, AND L. REUTERI.
So, it does contain sugar, but I'll take "naturally milled sugar" over HFCS any day, and at least the sugar comes after the strawberries--not all yogurts even have so much real fruit!
Oh, I'll edit to add--it's also fat free, 80 calories per serving, 4g protein, and 2g fiber.
Highest known weight: 324
Weight on morning of DS surgery: 308.5
Got down to about 185 before pregnancy;
Benjamin David born March 24, 2012, 7 pounds 11 ounces
I third the Stonyfield Farm! I use the plain also and add frozen blueberries or raspberries that have defrosted a bit.
Corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils don't make it into my home anymore unless it's on accident. Except for Reese's Puffs cereal. They are the one vice my 3yoDS and 14yoDD have. (I had to give in on one thing!) Everything else is natural. Even the chips and crackers.
I like the flavored yogurts also. I have found I like to flavor my own now.
Some of the things I add: fresh fruit, frozen(defrosted)fruit, wheat germ, handfull of nuts, granola(watch the ingredients), any kind of kashi cereal.
There are so many things you can add to plain yogurt to make it taste as good or better than the already flavored kind.
I do not touch any artificial or real sugar unless it is naturally in fruit.
I also read Drs. Oz and Roisin and it is hard to look at food the same way. My afternoon snack every day is 1 cup of plain LF Stonyfield Farm or Trader Joe's yogurt with 1/2 cup of fruits and 10 raw almonds. It is delicious--very creamy and it has its own sweetness that is fine with my new taste buds. Try it with blueberries or strawberries and I'll bet you'll be hooked!
I agree with everyone above.....especially about plain yogurt and fruit -- berries are my fave! YUM! (I love the contrast in flavors.) When I need to just grab and go and be done with it, I find that Dannon Light & Fit is good: 60 calories, no added sugar and a total of only 7g sugar, no fat, 5g protein, only 85g sodium, and no high fructose corn syrup. It's not as pure as Stonybrook, but it has fewer calories, less sugar, and doesn't contain any of the no-no's that I care about, so for me it's a keeper! (It's also frequently on sale at my supermarket -- another plus!)
I eat the Danon Light and Fit yogurts like Sarah mentioned. Are they perfectly pure? No. But neither am I. Do they keep me on plan? Yup. They're staying on my menu. Daily, with some Fiber One Cereal mixed in it. For me right now it is more important that I stay on plan and get to a healthy weight. Moderation is the key. A little of this and a tiny bit of that. Moderation.
I also buy the plain nonfat yogurt in the bigger containers. Sometimes Stonyfield Farms, sometimes the Kroger store brand or Walmart store brand. I put a little flavoring (usually vanilla or coconut) and a bit of splenda in it and eat it with berries or pineapple. I truly believe that I should stay away from HFCS. For me, it is a real trigger food - or maybe it's just in so many of my trigger foods, it's hard to distinguish. Either way I'm much happier not eating it.
Another way of adding yogurt to your diet is to make tzatziki, a Greek yogurt-based dip and spread. If you don't have access to Greek nonfat yogurt (which is thicker and more flavorful,) use whatever nonfat plain yogurt you have access to (I like Dannon) and if you have time, dump one cup of it into a sack of cheesecloth. Let it drain over a colander for an hour or so to get rid of the excess moisture. You want the yogurt to be as thick as possible. This step isn't mandatory, but it does improve the consistency. Grate about a cup of seeded cucumber and add it to the yogurt in a bowl with 2 cloves of minced garlic, a little salt, 1 tsp of chopped mint and 2 tsp of chopped dill, a couple of tsp's of lemon juice and combine them all gently together.
This is a great dip and spread. Use it with veggies, pita wedges, spread it on a pita pocket before putting in some diced chicken, roasted red peppers and spinach or romaine, spread it on a whole wheat hamburger bun instead of mayo or ketchup with a turkey burger....just try different things! It's so healthy and delicious!!
Sandi I was not a big lover of yogurt either. In fact I probably ate it only twice a year, maybe less. But as I was looking for foods to help me along my journey, yogurt really fit the bill. It's a great 60 calorie snack - the Danon Lit and Fit that is. And it has the best taste I've ever had - very non-yogurty. I add the Fiber One to it for crunch and added Fiber. A great and TASTY and SATISFYING snack. I look forward to it each and every day.
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