The Great Yogurt Debate: Who Comes Out On Top?

Since Greek yogurt became one of the “it” foods in the nutrition world a few years back, there has been a lot of debate. Which is better? Greek or regular yogurt? Fruit or plain? Full fat or low fat or 2% or non-fat?

Here’s a graphic from Prevention that sums up the benefits of both … and shows that Greek does come out on top:

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As a general rule, regardless of if you choose Greek or regular yogurt, pick plain over flavored. The taste may be a little more bitter than you’re used to, but add some fresh fruit, and you’ll get the added benefits of real fruit – minus all the sugar (seriously, take a look at the sugar content of plain vs. flavored – especially those fruit at the bottom varieties. It’s usually at least double – sometimes triple – the sugar content of plain yogurt, regardless of if it’s regular or Greek). My personal favorite, and my breakfast during the week: plain Greek yogurt (a big tub of the non-fat from Trader Joe’s lasts me about five days), blueberries, sliced strawberries, and pomegranate seeds, mixed up with a little cinnamon. If I’m in the mood for a crunch, I’ll add 1/3 cup of Kashi Go-Lean Crunch Honey Almond and Flax. Tasty and healthy start to the day!

One last thought: I’ve heard rumor Icelandic yogurt could be the next one in the line of good-for-you dairy products (though good luck finding it outside of Whole Foods or natural grocers at this stage). Guess we’ll see!

B12 Injections – Latest Weight Loss Fad (Guest Post)

Today’s guest post is brought to you by Jessica from www.TreadmillReviews.com, and it brings up a great point – it’s always better to get our nutrients from our diets, and our weight loss from clean eating and exercise, rather than supplements. Supplements can get expensive … and in a world where everyone is trying to make a dime, you want to be confident that you aren’t adding something that is, at best, ineffective, and at worst, deadly, into your body. My advice? Be smart about your supplements!

Now, Jessica’s take on one of the many weight loss fads out there, B12 injections:

People will try anything to lose weight nowadays… even a shot! Would you be willing to get a shot every day just to lose weight? Honestly, if I were to do that I would just go ahead and buy HCG shots. According to Dr. Rina Shinn with Adonis Cosmetic Surgery & Spa, “”Vitamin B12 itself will not make you lose weight at all, so that has nothing to do with weight loss. But it gives you the energy and it supplements you while you tend to be B12 deficient.”

So, as you can see, there’s no actual evidence that it even works. I’m sure if you found a way to utilize it correctly, it might help you shed a few pounds.

How about instead of a shot, you just go and try eating B12 rich food? That seems like a lot better, cheaper, and easier way to get your B12 instead of paying an obscene fortune to get a little shot every day. Below is a list of the top 10 foods highest in vitamin B12:

1. Shellfish
2. Liver
3. Caviar (or Fish Eggs)
4. Octopus
5. Fish
6. Crab or Lobster
7. Beef
8. Lamb
9. Cheese
10. Eggs

Yuck! No wonder people are so deficient. I wouldn’t eat half of those things. Here is a different list of more palatable sources of vitamin B12:

  • Turkey
  • Beef
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Fortified-Cereal
  • Soy Products
  • Yogurt
  • Energy Bars
  • Lunch Meat
  • Milk
  • Tofu

And the list goes on. Here are some reasons why B12 is so beneficial and why it is so important!

  • Protect and Repair DNA to Reduce Cancer Risk and Slow Aging
  • Protect Against Heart Disease
  • Alzheimer’s Protection
  • Energy and Endurance
  • Helps you be in a better mood
  • Helps depression
  • Better Sleep
  • Memory
  • Concentration

A lot of people out there who are looking for such weight loss fads are usually looking for an easy fix because they are too tired to do anything. They don’t have the energy to go running or workout at the gym. If they had the energy, maybe they’d be able to actually get up and do something instead of laying in bed.

As you can see, B12 is pretty dang important. There are many sources of vitamin b12 out there, you just have to get creative and find what works best for you. Even if you are vegetarian or vegan, there are still many foods out there that you can have to get your very much needed B12.

Happy Registered Dietician Day!

Did you know that Wednesday, March 13 is the 6th annual Registered Dietician Day? According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the purpose of this day is to, “commemorate the dedication of RDs as advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world.”

One of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle revolves around eating nutritious, whole foods. You’ve undoubtedly heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen,” and most athletes would agree that diet plays just as much (some would argue more) of a role as exercise in maintaining a strong body and healthy weight.

So, to all the RDs out there: thanks for making our world a healthier, more nutritious place! Here are a few tips from www.eatright.org  on why consulting a dietician or nutritionist can be helpful:

Top Ten Reasons flyer REV[1]

Thanksgiving is Over … Get Back to Your Routine (and the Treadmill?)

The first Monday after Thanksgiving. Ugh. You know what that means … everyone is trying to make up for the long weekend full of indiscretions (I may be guilty of consuming four pieces of pie in a span of two days…). I always think it’s funny how people suddenly resurface after a food-heavy holiday.

And it also makes me start to think that we are a mere six weeks away from several months of insanity. The New Year’s rush is just around the corner … and yes, just knowing that it’s coming has me anxious already.

That said …  don’t use the holiday season, now in full swing, as an excuse to undo all the good you have done for yourself throughout the rest of the year. If you haven’t made it back into your workout schedule after the long holiday weekend, there is no better time than now. What can you do in addition to adding a few minutes onto your cardio? Here are a few ideas:

  • Drink more water. It’ll flush any of the bad stuff still floating around in your system, and keep your full (remember, sometimes “hunger” is actually dehydration). And make it ice cold – it forces your body to work just a little harder to warm it up to body temperature.
  • Get back on your healthy eating plan! Vegetables, fruits, lean protein – all great options to help your body get back to normal after an overindulgence or two during the holiday weekend.
  • Hit the gym. Sweat out the extra calories you took in over the last few days – it’ll do double duty, helping you get past any stress that too much family and travel may have bogged you down with, too.

As a final note … I’m convinced I’m not a normal person. I stepped on the scale yesterday morning, to find myself a full three pounds lighter than I was before I headed to the grandparents’ house on Thursday. Not that I’m complaining – if eating pie can, in fact, lead to quick weight loss, I’ll gladly pick up my fork!

Happy Thanksgiving!

A couple things to remember as you sit down to enjoy your Thanksgiving feasts with your families today …

 And take a look at what you put on your plate (and remember that just because it makes it onto your plate does NOT mean it has to make it into your mouth)! Do yourself a favor … don’t eat an entire day’s worth of calories in one sitting.

Don’t Let Happy Hour Destroy Your Diet and Fitness Efforts!

It’s Friday! What will you be doing to celebrate the start of the weekend? If Happy Hour, tailgates, Halloween parties or drinks with friends are on your agenda, don’t let it ruin the hard work you’ve put in at the gym or the good diet you’ve kept up throughout the week (fact: a perfect week of exercise and eating can be undone by a couple of not so perfect food and drink decisions on the weekend).

To put things into perspective:

So, what cocktail should you choose instead? Men’s Health/Eat This, Not That makes these recommendations:

Enjoy these options without the guilt (just keep yourself to one – two max):
Mojito: 160 calories, 15 g sugars
Bloody Mary: 150 calories, 10 g sugars
Cosmopolitan: 150 calories, 12 g sugars

If you’re a beer drinker, you can save yourself even more calories – as long as you make the right pick. These come in at under 100 calories per bottle:
Budweiser Select: 99 calories, 3 g carbohydrates
Yuengling Lager Light: 99 calories, 9 g carbohydrates
Miller Lite: 96 calories, 3 g carbohydrates
Amstel Light: 95 calories, 6 g carbohydrates
Michelob Ultra: 95 calories, 3 g carbohydrates
Beck’s Premier Light: 64 calories, 4 g carbohydrates
MGD 64: 64 calories, 2 g carbohydrates

As with anything else, it’s all about moderation. One or two drinks won’t kill your efforts, as long as you’re making smart decisions. Have a great weekend!

College Football and Healthy(??) Tailgate Eating

I love college football. Okay, I’ll admit … that is a bit of an understatement. Saturdays from September through December are pretty shot for me, because my days are typically dedicated to sitting in front of the television watching college football (Fact: I purposely scheduled a hair appointment last weekend – a good two weeks later than my dark roots would have liked – strictly because it was Clemson’s off weekend). I plan my workouts so that I can watch the beginning of College Game Day on the treadmill, get home from the gym in time for the week’s picks, and get a quick shower in before I settle in front of a few games for the day.

That said, I’m a die-hard Clemson fan. Have been ever since my freshman year of college, all the way back in (gulp!) 1999. There is something about the atmosphere, something in “those hills,” and yes, something about the feeling you get when you see the team rub the rock and run down the hill (they don’t call it the most exciting 25 seconds in college football for nothing!) – it is an incredible feeling of community. And though many schools have an incredible college football environment, I’m proud to share that earlier this week, Clemson was even named Southern Living Magazine’s Best Tailgate in the South (check out why here).

Which brings me to the real point of today’s post … tailgating. Specifically, what we eat in the time leading up to our games – and how it can make or break our nutrition goals. The same rules apply during football season as they do during holiday season, or any other time of the year, for that matter. It’s all about being smart, and remembering that while one or two splurges won’t kill a week’s worth of hard work, we do still have to be aware of the foods that we put into our bodies. Read on to see who eats what around the conferences … and how they see these tailgate foods fitting into their everyday eating patterns.

So, enjoy your games today – and be smart about your game-time food choices! And, as always … GO TIGERS!