cacao

Greek Yogurt: Healthy in Every Way

 

Greek yogurt is a product I definitely endorse. Not everything in this world that is claimed to be good for you actually is. We have to pick and chose by doing some research and finding out the real deal out there.  As someone who lost 150 lbs, I can tell you first hand that a high protein diet is absolutely key in losing weight and maintaining it.  Greek yogurt is just that.  It is a snack that I think anybody who is trying to lose weight, tone up or simply looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle can benefit from. I have never been a big yogurt guy to begin with but the protein content contained in Greek Yogurt caught my attention and then as they say, the rest is history.  I really like to mix the plain kind right into a nutribullet drink, which makes the shake super thick and delicious. Other times if I am lazy I’ll just eat it out of the container like a normal yogurt.  Greek yogurt is not just a healthy “option” but it is proactively healthy for you and we should go out of our ways to eat it. There are literally thousands of ways to incorporate it into your diet.

One of the best things about Greek yogurt, besides its amazing protein content, is how cost friendly it is and how full it makes you feel.  As a guy who eats like a guy, and who is capable of stuffing their face, (because I like to eat) the fact that it satisfies me that much is a tough task. This makes it ideal for weight loss. The reason you feel that full is because it takes your body double the amount of time to digest this type of yogurt over traditional.  This will in turn cut down your cravings, helping you get to your next meal without binging on snacks, and also satisfying your sweet tooth, all the while taking in some goodies like protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium along the way. This promotes healthy bones as well.  One thing to watch out for is sugar content.  Plain Greek yogurt will always be the ideal way to go.  Not vanilla, plain.  If you chose to get a flavored one, look for containers with the least amount of sugar possible.  I can’t stress that part enough. Sometimes that is hard to avoid.  Even a brand like Chobani, which is known to be great brand, and it is, has 19G of sugar in their strawberry flavored choice.  Not a terrible amount of sugar but if you are trying to watch your sugar intake for what ever reason, 19G is still a decent amount.  The best of both worlds is going with the plain kind and dressing it up yourself by using natural sweetener like Stevia, then adding some fruit and granola and bam; you have a perfectly healthy option.  There is another factor to consider with plain Greek yogurt at the grocery store.  Some like the 2% because it tastes better while some prefer no fat and opt for the 0%.  The fat portion in the 2% or higher may include a little bit of saturated fat but will usually have no trans fat, therefore it is not that unhealthy for you.  If the 0% makes you feel more comfortable, go for it but remember: you want to enjoy it or else you won’t go back to it.  Another way to incorporate Greek yogurt into your diet is using it in savory dishes such as sour cream or a sauce thickener.  It can also be used as a veggie dip.  Recipes can be found all over the Internet.  Remember, Google is your friend.

Greek Yogurt has other health benefits too. I can make a whole piece just about probiotics, which are microorganisms found in Greek yogurt that support good digestion and assist in having a healthy gut.  Your gut area is one of the most crucial and sensitive areas of your entire body because that is where most bacteria lies.  Also, on a social level, people desire smaller waistlines and flatter stomachs.  The probiotics in Greek yogurt will promote a healthy gut and help you accomplish just that. In short, your digestive system / gut contains both good and bad bacteria. Greek yogurt contains a lot of good bacteria so by increasing the intake of good bacteria, it will leave less room for bad bacteria to exist, making many diseases such as diabetes harder to form. Greek yogurt is a great preventative measure. It also helps greatly with digestive & intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease and is the reason why people with those issues still can resort to yogurt.

Getting back to basics, yogurt is yogurt. It is probably the most common snack ever. I just hope now you know a little more about it and if the Greek variety was not something you were already doing, maybe you’ll try it now. Greek yogurt is simply a great snack that I would endorse to almost anyone with any goal. This is a weight loss website but I know most of us can benefit from eating more Greek yogurt. Both varieties can be had in large quantities on the cheaper side at any grocery store. Individual containers of yogurt can go for under a buck, sometimes 50 cents.  My favorite kind to buy is Fage 2%.  Hope you all enjoyed and please share.

5k in June

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Very excited to announce that along with some friends, we registered for a 5k out in Coney Island in June supporting the Coney Island Sports Foundation.  Link is down below but wanted to get this out bec I’m excited.

http://www.roadracerunner.com/re_136232/ConeyIslandSportsFoundation5KCharityRunWalk.html

For the Love of Oats: Part II

 

Oats….Welcome back to PART TWO, the final chapter in this two part saga called For the Love of Oats.  To recap Part 1, we spoke about the endless health benefits that oats have and how there is basically nothing they can’t do.  Oats are everywhere.  A lot of us eat them in everyday foods and we already have them incorporated into our snacks too.  However nothing compares to eating them in their pure and basic state.  The best way to buy them is fresh from a health store.  Fairway and Whole Foods actually have an entire section dedicated to different kinds of oats.  That is how important they are.  I hope after this series, you learned a little more about them.  We also discussed incorporating them into our diet.  One great and tasty way is the overnight oats.  If you want to go back and read part 1, click here.  Let’s talk about another way to get them into your diet.

Because of my newfound education in oats, I finally caved and had to buy the Nutribullet, (as teased in the end of part 1).  If you don’t own one, I’m sure you’ve used one at a friend’s house.  They are fantastic.  I got this specifically to up my oats intake.  I can now include them in homemade smoothies along with various fruits, veggies, protein powder, and other powders for nutritional super food boosts.  The great thing about the Nutribullet is that it extracts all the benefits from all the things you put in there in such a way unlike any other blender on the market.  As opposed to most juicers, these do not discard the pulp and skin.  Did you know most of the nutrients in fruits and vegetables come from the skin and pulp?  It has its own technology which lead them to #1.  I hope I turned you guys on to something new if you are not a Nutribullet user already.  As a person who owns many appliances such as slow cookers, coffee makers, another kind of juicer, and more, I can’t stress enough how easy this thing is to clean.  Let me know what you all think when you try it yourself!  I want to see pictures of delicious smoothies you guys make as well as some pics of your overnight oats too!!

The nutribullet can easily be found and purchased at this following link.

http://www.nutribulletrecipes.org/

In the end, practically speaking, one of the best parts about the Nutribullet is how easy it is to use and clean and its on the go convenience.  That is very important.  You don’t need to be a bartender or attend mixology courses.  You simply just toss in your items of choice and just blend it.  Simple as that.  The super boost powders that I’ve mentioned in both posts derive from Ancient Civilizations who literally relied on energy to survive.  Without energy, the men could not have gone out for days at a time to hunt, kill, and carry those large animals for food.  Their lives literally depended on having energy.  Besides energy, they also have endless heart and other health benefits to boot.  A scoop of these powders into a smoothie, overnight oats, or any foods you eat increases the nutritional value tenfold.  Chia & Hemp Seeds, Goji Berries, Maca Powder and all the other goodies can be found in most health food stores or Amazon.  I hope this has been as much of an education for you as it was for me in creating this two part series.  There is so much to say about this stuff that I could even go on to a Part 3 if I really wanted to.  However I think I got all the crucial information across at this point.  Thank you all for reading, stay tuned and enjoy your oats!

Don’t forget, let’s see those pics!! If you enjoyed this series, please share it with friends and loved ones.

 

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For the Love of Oats: A Two-Part Series

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Happy Monday everybody. I hope you all had a productive yet relaxing holiday week and hope everybody enjoyed celebrating what ever it is you may celebrate. Always great to be with family and in the end, that is what it’s all about. Speaking of being with family, when we get together we have a tendancy to talk and talk and talk and we go off on tangents. This time one thing lead to another and long story short, my newest thing is now oats. I have created here a two-part series of posts talking about oats, recipes to make them, their nutritional value and more. Part two will come later in the week.

The health game is always evolving and for me that makes it a journey. You never know what I am going to read about or hear about next. That is why when I happen to come across something new and I think it may work for me, I will give it a try. Then if it turns out to be good, I post it here for you all to read about. Lately I’ve been really into the plant known as oats and I can’t stop reading about it. Their recipes are so easy to make and their nutritional profile is endless! First of all they are incredibly heart healthy. They do so much for both males and females in regards to treating and preventing different diseases related TO the heart such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, different kinds of cancers and more. Oats have also been known to regulate joint pain whether you are recovering from the gym or you have general joint pains.  It is also high in fiber so it will surely make you “go” regularly. It seems there is nothing they can’t do. They truly are a super food. Not only is it a great option for weight loss, it will help buff you up and give you that nice and toned look we so desire. There are so many interesting and delicious ways to incorporate oats into your diet; it’s easy!

Anybody ever hear of “Overnight Oats?” If you haven’t it’s simple and is a real treat. Take a Mason jar or any airtight container and put about a half to a full cup of rolled organic oats inside. Then mix that with equal parts milk. This milk can be Almond, Soy, Cow, or anything you chose. After that, you may want to throw some plain Greek Yogurt in there. The yogurt will increase the protein content and act as a thickening agent. In addition to the yogurt, I like to then add in a heaping scoop of protein powder. Follow that up by adding strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, or anything that your heart desires. You can really free it up in this recipe and make it however you like. At the end, feel free to add a little organic Stevia for sweetness if you like it to be on the sweeter side. Seal the jar tight; shake it up nice and with good effort so all the ingredients mix together. Place it in your fridge overnight and in the morning you have a wonderful thick and creamy treat that took you less than 5 minutes to prepare and is PACKED with nutritional value. As you may be grabbing it to go from your fridge, you can also prepare some fixings like crushed nuts to sprinkle on top or stir in. Putting them on after the refrigeration process will ensure that it won’t get soggy. In addition to all of that, just to pack it even tighter with nutrients,  i’ll throw a scoop of Chia or Hemp Seeds in there right before I put it in the fridge.  Those are called “boosts.”  Any juice bar is usually stocked with various boosts for your drink, just ask what they have at the moment.  In addition to these boosts, I also bought other ones such as a container of wheat grass powder, a bag of Cacao Powder, Maca Powder, Goji Berries, and Camu Camu Powder. Let me know what you all think when you try making overnight oats for yourself! I’m truly curious what you all come up with because i’m always looking for new recipes/ideas to change it up.  I hope to receive some tasty pictures to post!!

….Part 2 about my new toy (the Nutri-bullet) and more on oats to come later in the week…..

Also, a little youtube clip of me trying overnight oats for the first time.  Experimenting with videos now for the site.

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