3 Things to Look for When Buying Yogurt to Make Sure it is Healthy for You!

When you are looking for yogurt, do you know what to look for to make sure you are buying something that really supports your health?  

There are so many yogurt choices in the grocery store now, isn’t there! It can get quite overwhelming when all you want to do is grab a yogurt for lunch or breakfast.

And yogurt is great right, even the commercials on TV and magazines are now shouting about the gut benefits you’ll receive when eating their yogurt.

Here are 3 things to check to make sure you are getting good yogurt!

1. It has got to say in the ingredients that there are LIVE ACTIVE CULTURES. That is the whole beneficial part to yogurt is the little live bacteria in there that will make your tummy more happy. It is this bacteria or culture, that ferments or changes the milk into yogurt.

If you can believe it, after the milk has turned to yogurt, some companies actually kill these guys off so their product can stay on the shelf longer!  So that is why you must confirm that there are live guys in that yogurt, and you simply do that by looking at the ingredients. 

2. We are eating yogurt to keep our gut healthy, right. So one ingredient that does no good to our tummies is sugar. It is the sugar that feeds the yeast – the little guys who don’t belong in your gut and create havoc on your body. Eating yogurt with lots of sugar is simply counter productive!!  

To reduce sugar, only get plain or if you just have to, vanilla flavored yogurt. Ditch all the strawberry, lemon, Oreo cookie additions that are contained on the bottom of the cup or that you sprinkle on top. All that is is added sugar, and with many of the yogurt choices aimed at kids, being simply unhealthy! 

In a minute, I will give you pointers on how to spruce up your plain yogurt into a tasty mix that you and your picky eater kids will love!!

3. Skip the low fat, no fat yogurt and go for the FULL FAT!  Good fat is good for you, and fat from milk is GOOD! It will make you feel fuller for longer and gives you good fats. If you are getting low fat or no fat, then that is going to be some very runny yogurt. It is the fat in the milk that gives yogurt that creamy texture. If you are getting the low or no fat yogurt you know there needs to be something added to give it that texture you enjoy. So go crazy and get the full fat or even cream on top yogurt!! It will be sweeter too, so you’ll need less sweetener!!

Someone asked me if Greek Yogurt was better. It has more protein simply because it is more ‘concentrated” than regular yogurt. In making Greek yogurt, all the extra water is removed so it will be more thick. So either one is good – just keep to points 1-3 and you’ll be good!

4. is Extra Credit!!  If you can spring for organic or organic grass fed milk – do it!! Grass fed milk has more omegas than corn fed cow milk. And… unless it is organic, you know that those cows were fed GMO corn that was sprayed with roundup. So, this is one product that I am ok with spending extra $$ on for good quality.

Now the big question of how to make a serving of plain yogurt exciting to you and your picky eater!!

Add good stuff to it that YOU like and is not loaded with preservatives, colors and corn syrup.

We love to add honey or maple syrup for our sweet if it is plain yogurt and add some yummies.

If it is vanilla yogurt then we’ll skip the addition of sweet and just go for yummies.

Here are some yummy ideas that are easy to have on hand:
Any frozen berry. Blue berries are perfect size. You might want to chop up strawberries or Cherries to bite size pieces.
Bananas
Granola
Uncooked oatmeal
Chia seeds (we call them bugs!)
Hemp seeds
Chocolate or Vanilla protein powder
Cinnamon

And if you want some serious extra credit – you can even make your own yogurt! That way getting organic grass fed yogurt is a whole lot less expensive!!  I showed you how to make your own yogurt in this post.

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To Non-Gluten or Gluten

A friend and I were talking Health Related Stuff – the topic of Non-gluten foods came up. I have some pretty strong feelings on the topic, I’ll share them here with you 🙂

It is easy to jump on the non-gluten band wagon because you feel like you are doing something healthy and good for your family, right! I bought my hubby a gluten free baking cook book for Christmas a few years ago and he delved right in!

What we noticed was what he was making tasted good, but we were hungry very quickly after eating it.

It left me wondering if this was really a good idea. Now, no one in my family has celiac disease, so do we really need to go non-gluten?? It is supposed to be healthier – but is it??

I went online and went shopping at Walmart and compared some boxed goods that were gluten and then their gluten free counterpart. This is what I found…

Prices were MUCH higher for non-gluten
There was less in a box for non-gluten
Sugars were not way higher (that surprised me, I was expecting high sugar in gluten free)
Ingredients in non-gluten had high processed wheat substitutes.
Xanthan gum is from Corn Sugar = GMO corn!

After doing some more research I decided to skip the gluten free and instead there are 3 things I do when it comes to grains and wheat. I’m going to share 2 today.

Instead of spending extra money on non-gluten products I’ll spend my money on organic wheat or other organic grains. Here is why….

I don’t think it is the gluten we are having trouble with!

Wheat and grains have been around for a long time and they have offered us, the human race, much nutrition and fiber. Just look back in history and you’ll find tons of references to bread!

The bread of life…. Give us this day our daily bread…

Ancient Egyptians had barley and emmer wheat which was made into bread, cake and beer.

Colonial times for breakfast they had bread, milk, and left over meat and veggies from dinner.

Grains and breads have been a staple for humans for a long time.

What has changed?? Gluten intolerance is on the rise. I found a stat in a celiac post (https://glutenintoleranceschool.com/gluten-intolerance-statistics/) that 3 million people in the US suffer from celiac disease, which is approximately 1 in 133 people. However, more recent numbers suggest the number may be closer to 1 in 100.

Just personally I can’t believe how many people have reported that they gave up gluten and they “feel so much better!”. 

Can wheat be that bad after being “the bread of life” for thousand of years?? What has changed?

I feel it is the commercial wheat that has changed – not us!

Plants change with time because it is a natural thing that mother nature does. You may have two types of tomatoes, but one pollinates the other and that tomato seed that is produced can be a mix of the two. Kinda like your kid… right a mix between two parents.

People have been using this hybridization tool for a long time to foster the aspects of the plant that they like the best.

What we are doing now with wheat is changing the DNA – it is called GMO. Genetically modified Organism. 

There are many alarming things to GMOs, but there are 2 things that may be affecting how we are able to digest this wheat.

The book “Ancient Einkorn” explains that during gene splicing, they are adding genes together – not just taking out parts and replacing genes. So you end up with a wheat that has more chromosomes than what it originally did. 

The wheat that is generally used for bread is called tritium aestivum and it has 42 chromosomes. Wheat used for pasta and low rising bread, tritium turgid as 28 chromosomes. Now compare that to the ancient einkorn wheat, Triticum monococcum that has 14 chromosomes!

The additional chromosomes create new proteins that we had not digested before. This is totally new to our bodies. Boom, essentially overnight we are asking our bodies to digest food that has been modified by adding chromosomes – something, that if it was going to happen naturally would certainly take hundreds, even thousands of years!!

That is why I have decided to skip the “non-gluten” health craze and instead get grains that are non GMO and organic.

Einkorn, Kamut and Spelt are our favorite.

Now I know there are quite a few ancient non GMO grains that have not been “messed with” by us humans. If you have one you like – please let me know!!

Another reason why my family still consume grains is because I think we need some gluten.

A study in Spain tested 30 people and replaced their diet with non-gluten foods. What they found was that this change reduced healthy bacteria (bifidocbacterium, B. Long and Lactobacillus) while the unhealthy bacteria increased.

Lactobacillus is an important probiotic, I want to increase it in my belly, not reduce it. People take Lactobacillus for IBS, inflammation of colon, constipation, prevent common cold and flu, yeast infections, ear infections, UTI.

So this lead the scientists who did the study and me to the conclusion that the “composition of the gut microbes is susceptible to the influence of the diet, and especially to the quality and quantity of ingested carbohydrates.”

What I understand is our bodies NEED some gluten to have a healthy gut. Gluten is a pre-biotic – it just has to be the original gluten not modified by man. (A prebiotic is food for our probiotics. Give our good bacteria the right foods for them to grow on and they flourish!)

The other reason I feel we are having issues with our commercial grains is because of the amount of chemicals the wheat is exposed to when growing.

Even the EPA says that “laboratory studies show that pesticides can cause health problems, such as birth defects, nerve damage, cancer and other effects that might occur over a long period of time.”

Each year more than 2 billion pounds of pesticides are applied to our food supply. That is about 10 pounds per person. How scary is that???

The most commonly used pesticide that is used on wheat fields is Round-Up or glycophosate. The GMO wheat is even “round up ready”, which means that it is created to be resistant to Round-Up. It can be sprayed and sprayed and sprayed and not be affected!

And that is just what happens. The wheat fields are sprayed to control weeds and they are even sprayed before harvesting because it makes it easier to harvest, it helps dry them out!

Lab tests have linked Round-Up to cancer, reduced production of hormones, miscarriages, and genetic mutations. Sure… the argument is that we get such a small amount in our foods, but what about the cumulative effects!

Hmmm, no thanks!. I don’t want any Round-Up in my belly!

Other studies are connecting Round-Up to poor gut health because the Round-up is killing off our good microbes in our tummies. Poor gut health has been linked to hundreds of autoimmune diseases, autism and ADHD, and more!!

So, YES my family eats gluten but I make sure when we purchase a wheat product it is organic. So that means NO Round-Up or pesticides.

And I go out of my way to find grains that are not typical and not hybridized or GMO yet so we can have grain that has not been changed or affected by man! (Goodness, why must we go and mess up a good thing??)

In another FB live I’ll share the 3rd thing we look for and do at home to our grain to make it easier for us to digest and get all the nutrients from the grain!

I have found that when shopping for healthy grains like this, don’t go to Amazon. The price is SO much higher! You can buy bulk grains at https://www.bobsredmill.com/shop.html. I’m in love with the spelt from https://onedegreeorganics.com/. You can’t purchase from their website, but you can locate a store near you that sells their products.

Thanks so much! I would love to hear your thoughts and comments. Let me know if this gave you something to think about when you are in the kitchen or supermarket!!

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How to Make Yogurt at Home

Why would you want to make yogurt at home – you can easily pick some up at the grocery store!
I like to make it at home because it is SO easy, saves me money, reduces my family’s sugar intake and supports their gut health.  We get good fats by using grass fed milk and we eliminate stuff like stabilizers, thickeners, etc which is used to increase shelf life. 

We get to eat just pure, good for you yogurt!

So, making your own yogurt is an easy way to cook for your family and know you are giving them GOOD food to support their health.

If you want to make it sweeter, you can add honey or maple syrup and some fruit!  Oh so yummy… it only take 12 hours… 🙂

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