Plain Yogurt – It doesn’t have to be disgusting (Emily)

I hate plain yogurt. I mean, what’s to like? I will never forget the first time I bought plain Greek yogurt. I got home, put it in the fridge, and then took it out the next day to enjoy like all of the health magazines said I would.

Um, no. I smelled it, dared to take a bite, and then promptly trashed it because I thought that I must have picked up an expired container. No. Oh no, that’s just plain yogurt’s natural flavor. Sour, disgusting.

I used to love yogurt and eat it all the time, but stopped when I started to eat clean and learned about all of the unnecessary additives and Oh Goodness! the sugar. So much sugar in your store-bought flavored yogurt.

Wanting to get yogurt back in my life and in my husband’s since he, too, loves him some flavored yogurt (Boston Cream Pie anyone?), I started with baby steps. I bought a tub of  strawberry yogurt (whole milk, of course) from Chesapeake’s Bounty, brought to you by Nice Farms Creamery. It was delicious. My husband loved it. Of course, while it was significantly better than that store bought stuff, it still had one eensy weensy problem. Sugar. There were like five ingredients in the whole thing, and one of them was sugar, as I knew there would be.

So, over the weekend, on my trip to Chesapeake’s Bounty, I grabbed some of their plain yogurt, which, according to their website has no added sugar (their vanilla yogurt doesn’t have any either apparently).

I don’t remember how we got on the topic but my husband said something about if he had banana yogurt he’d eat it every day.

Challenge accepted, sir.

I did some Googling and found this website for ideas of what to add to plain yogurt to make it delicious. One of the recipes called for 1 mashed banana and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to 1 cup of yogurt. I took a bite to try it and wasn’t satisfied. That definitely didn’t cover up the sour yogurt taste. Out comes my Aunt Sue’s Raw-Wild Natural Honey (1 teaspoon of it). I thought it was okay, however, hubby wasn’t impressed with this recipe and said he could still taste the “grossness” of the yogurt. I added one more teaspoon each of vanilla extract and honey and BAM! we had a winner.

Banana-Vanilla-Honey Yogurt

1 cup plain yogurt

1 banana, mashed well

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons honey

1. Stir all of the ingredients into the yogurt until fully mixed.

2. Enjoy eating non-disgusting plain yogurt without all of the processed additives and sweeteners!

One thing I would like to note is that while pulling out the plain yogurt that I used, I checked the ingredient list. No added sugar as promised, but I did see three words I didn’t like: “modified food starch.” WTF is that?

Well, I’m glad you asked. According to modifiedfoodstarch.org, (yes, no joke, that’s a thing) this is the description for modified food starch:

When native starch is prepared by treating the same chemically, enzymatically or physically, its properties would be changed. The end product of such process is modified food starch, which is otherwise known as derivatives. Such product is used in almost all applications of starch like emulsifier, stabilizer or thickening agent. This is also used as a disintegrant in pharmaceuticals and as a binder in paper. The reason why the same is modified is so that its performance when applied will be enhanced. When the same happens, its stability against too much freezing, cooling, time, shear, acid or heat will be increased. More so, such process could assist in increasing or decreasing the starch’s viscosity and in shortening or lengthening the gelatinization time.

Whoa, whoa whoa! This does NOT jive with my (mostly) real food lifestyle! I mean, even if I DIDN’T try to follow the rules of clean eating, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to eat anything that is used “…as a disintegrant in pharmaceuticals and as a binder in paper.”

Alas, apparently even at Chesapeake’s Bounty I need to read my food labels. Shame on me. I should have known better.

However, I am NOT one to waste food, so this quart of yogurt is going to have to be finished off. In the future I’ll just make my way to the grocery store and buy Stoneyfield’s Organic Plain Whole Milk Yogurt. Ingredients: Cultured Pasteurized Organic Whole Milk, Pectin, Vitamin D3.

Or perhaps I’ll even go back to Organic Greek Yogurt now that I know how to make it not taste like it’s a month old.

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Yoga – Lisa

Have I already mentioned here that I used to hate yoga?  I mean I HATED yoga.  H-A-T-E-D it.

Now, I’m completely smitten.  I can’t get enough of it.  I just finished a class and I feel like I’m on Valium or something.  It’s great.  My neck no longer hurts and my back feels awesome and stretched.  My arms are just sore enough to make me feel like it was more than just a stretch workout.

I think the reason I started liking it is because I was working out about 4 times a week and I got all of my energy out in those workouts.  I needed something to balance that out, so I started doing a stretch class that is a mix of yoga and Pilates once a week after work.  I loved that.  I felt so good afterwards.  So I decided to try the yoga class mid-week.  It felt amazing.  I had never felt so relaxed after that class.

Before I don’t think I was strong enough to follow along and I would tense my neck so badly it would hurt for the rest of the week.  Yoga made me MAD.  I wasn’t relaxed at all; I was pissed off.  I’m so glad yoga and I have gotten past that.

I guess the moral is:  try something new.  Or try something you didn’t like one more time.  Tastes change.  I never used to like strawberries, now I eat them all the time.

Prep for tomorrow (Emily)

I love packing my breakfast and lunch when I’ve just gone grocery shopping 🙂

Breakfast:

1 Sweet Potato Biscuit (that I’ll probably top with the all natural peanut butter and jam I keep at work)

Mixed grapes and blueberries

1 hardboiled egg (not pictured because it’s still being hardboiled)

Snacks:

1 whole grain pretzel from Trader Joe’s

Some squares of raw milk organic white cheddar cheese

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Lunch:

Organic baby spinach topped with feta, cucumber, and carrots (the little baggy to the side is chopped tomato that I wanted to separate from the salad so it won’t get soggy)

Some whole grain pasta because I’m random like that

Not pictured: cooked and seasoned chicken breast strips that I made and kept in the fridge at work. They will go on the salad.

In the container with the red top is a dressing I whipped up with red wine vinegar, olive oil, and Italian seasoning.

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Woo hoo!! I’m ready to conquer Monday!!