Thursday, September 07, 2006

Yogurt: It's what's for dinner

I get daily informative and motivational e-mails from SparkPeople. This morning I read more about probiotic yogurt here.

Dairy products with added 'good' bacteria aid digestion. As I've aged, my digestive system has become quite a bit less, um, efficient. so I'm looking for every available advantage. Unfortunately, the widely advertised probiotic yogurt – Dannon Activia – is laced with sugar. Fructose is the fourth ingredient, and sugar is the fifth. If and when I do eat sugar, it had better be in something that tastes better than grocery-store yogurt.

I've weaned myself off flavored yogurt entirely, and now prefer the plain variety, which I mix with wheat germ and sliced almonds as a sanck. The non-fat kind available at the supermarket is okay, but there's something about the texture that's a little off-putting to me. Especially since I've had the pleasure of eating good yogurt at a Middle Eastern restaurant.

My daughter-in-law gave me a two-pound tub of good, Greek-style, Byblos-brand yogurt last weekend. I'm in yogurt heaven. While it has more calories, because it's full-fat, it tastes so good and is so filling that I've had it for dinner twice this week. And since I'll be gone over the weekend, and the expiration date on the package is tomorrow, I'll be enjoying it today, as well.

It's not a low-carb food, at 20 grams per 8-ounce serving. I recently switched my eDiet plan from a low glycemic-index one to their so-called 'Atkins Nutritional Approach,' and yogurt is not on the menu. You know what? I don't care! Now, if I were eating brownies instead of plain yogurt, I'd surely get in trouble, but somehow I can justify having yogurt instead of yet another grilled chicken salad.

All in all, I'm enjoying this new-to-me plan. The higher protein content really does fill me up. I have a couple scrambled eggs with either Canadian bacon or low-fat cheese in the morning, and I don't think about lunch until well after noon – sometimes 1 or 2 o'clock! That's when I eat a salad, topped with either grilled chicken, chicken salad or tuna salad. I haven't missed fruit so far, and am supplementing my diet with both a multivitamin and extra vitamin C.

It seems to be working, as my daily weigh-in shows a two-pound loss this week already. I'll be eating in restaurants all weekend, though, so we'll see if I can hold onto it for my official Monday-morning weigh-in.

I started one of the baby sweaters last night. [No, I'm not finished with the cable border for the Seville Jacket. Yes, I'm mightily bored with it. I'm guessing I have about a yard more to do.] The sweater is a simple cream-colored cardigan with some rose-and-green Fair-Isle patterning at the lower edge. I'm doing the back and both fronts all at once, and will separate them at the underarm, then join the shoulders and side seams and pick up stitches around the armsceye and work the sleeves down from the shoulder. I found a nice jade green for the accent
color on the boy twin's version. I'm not using a published pattern, but I might write this up as a freebie when I'm finished. It's going quickly on size 6 needles.

I also am going to make one of these Bunny Blanket Buddies, to see if I like it well enough to make more. I don't have any of the yarn called for, but I found something soft and cushy in the yarn closet that will substitute well.

I wonder if Beth will ever be back? There's quite a big void in the weight-loss blog world since she quit posting.


Vickie said...

Debbi - if this is TOO MUCH information to post here - feel free to just copy it off for yourself and delete it. I went through and "changed words" to make it a little more tactful.

I too have a sluggish GI sytem -

Here are some hints from Julia the nutrition person:

Julia said:
"I've looked through assorted journals for answers to "sluggishness". The triggers are numerous: Inactivity, obesity, hormonal changes, pregnancy,irritable bowel syndrome, inadequate fluid intake, inadequate fiber intake, certain diseases and conditions, certain medications (including iron and calcium supplements), excessive use of laxatives.

"In some cases, a doctor may want to do tests to determine the cause (rectal exams, blood test, thyroid test, barium enemas, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, transit studies and anorectal function tests).

"Normal" movements range from a frequency of three times a day to three times a week.

"Since your diet appears adequate in fiber and fluid, there are other dietary strategies that my prove helpful:

Drink a hot beverage or eat hot cereal thirty minutes before the time you normally would "go".

Try adding flaxseed to foods. Start with 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed or flaxmeal, added to cereal or applesauce
Try a few dried or stewed prunes or prune juice

As I recall, I believe you avoid caffeine, however I read a small amount may stimulate the bowels.

Try to add a glass of fluid every time you add another high fiber food to your diet.

"The bottom line is: listen to your body, and go "try" when you feel the urge, make it a habit to include a plant-based food, which is full of fiber, at every meal and snack, drink enough fluids, and drink often, do something physical everyday."

Vickie said...

She also tracked my food for several days to see where my fiber intake was - I believe the recommended level is 28g - average American is at 18-22g and I WAS AT 35g - so fiber intake is not my problem. Actually a cup of hot herbal, lemon tea before meals is making a difference.

Deb said...

Hi Debbi,

Saw your link on Knitlist (I think -- one of the knitting/felting lists) and came to check out your blog -- very inspiring!! I've crept back up a bit and so needed a little kick in the pants, so to speak.

I too love yogurt, and I add 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds to mine, and really enjoy it. Good fiber, good omega fatty acids, good taste -- can't beat that. We have a yogurt maker that makes 2 quarts at a time (instead of the little jars)-- I really like it.

Anyway, thanks for the great blog and the inspiration!!! Deb

Greta said...

I am guessing that your digestive system being "quite a bit less, un, efficient" means you can't easily have a "movement"? If so, then eating Atkins may make things a lot worse. All of Vickie's comments are great and I second them. If you are determined to do Atkins then you will want to go really heavy on the cooked and raw greens. You also might want to add Metamucil which is natural fiber in an easy to use form. The foods that normally help "movement" are fiberous foods particularly soluable fiber which is found in beans and grains and some other fruits and vegetables. Meat is a "stopper-upper".