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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Solutions for Winter Dry Skin

A question from one of our Healthy Moms from HealthyStepsforMoms was what lotion should she use for her dry skin during the winter.

I have an simple idea that has helped me a lot, but it wasn’t my idea – I got it from my friend who has the most beautiful skin.

This is the story. I was at a gathering and I asked my friend who has such soft, clear skin what kind of lotion she uses. I knew she made a lot of her own lotions and beauty creams, and I wanted her recipes.

She took me aside, and seemed a little embarrassed and said quietly, “Christina,I don’t use soap anymore.”
“What do you mean?” I replied a bit puzzled.
“I don’t use soap in the shower anymore.”
“Ok, that is great…. All I want to know what kind of lotion you use to keep your skin moisturized. Mine gets dry in the winter – what is your lotion recipe, I know you have a good one.”
“I don’t use lotion – I don’t need lotion – because I don’t use soap in the shower anymore.”
“What?” Now I was really confused. “What do you mean?”

So she explain to me the secrets of fat, which I’ll share with you!

Every cell in our body has a membrane that is made of special fat cells. These fat cells are very important in lots of ways.

Now, the reason why soap cleans is because it breaks down fat. Think of your dishes and how the liquid soap breaks down that fat on the plate.

When you are taking a shower and scrubbing up – you are breaking down your fat molecules on the out layer of your skin, leading to dryness.

That is the opposite of what you want, right!

What I did before I knew the Secret of Fat was to try another soap or another type of skin or hand lotion.

We are going to go about this differently! And you’ll find it works great, saves you time and money.

You’ll save time because you are not going to have to “loob up” after your shower or at bedtime and you’ll save $$ because you will not have to spend $ on different body lotions and hand lotions anymore.

We are going to do what my friend shared with me – remember she doesn’t use soap anymore! Instead of cleaning with soap – we are going to clean with fat.

I’m not suggesting we grab the fat from our hamburgers – I’m talking about using some of the basic ingredients you find in your lotions – fatty oils such as coconut or olive or grape seed oil or avocado.

You’ll be surprised how easy it is!!

  1. Get wet
  2. Oil up
  3. Rinse off
  4. Dry off
  5. Get on with your day

Your recipe will be determined by you – how oily or how much scrubby exfoliation you want and what aroma you want.

If you think I’m kinda crazy and you are not ready for this yet – try it just for your hands first. Keep this mix by the sink, and use this to wash your hands with instead of soap. See how your hands feel after a week. Then you might be open to trying it in the shower 🙂

Points to make:

  • This is great for a daily hop in the shower to get ready for the day.
  • If I’m in the garden and muddy – soap is nice. (I love black liquid soap.)
  • Use a spoon to take some of the scrub out.  That way it doesn’t get all watery.
  • Take care of your hair first! You don’t want to put your oily hands in your hair.
  • Adding a good quality Omega vitamins is also helpful in keeping your skin moisturized.  (This is my all time favorite Omega)
  • This is for generally dry skin. If you are dealing with more than that, remember skin health is directly related to gut health.
  • This is not meant for your face as the face has such delicate and different skin then our bodies.

Here is the basic recipe to make a small batch.

You can double and triple as needed. Also you should play and adjust to amounts to find texture that feels good for you.

2 tablespoons of fat (mix or use 1, coconut, avocado, safflower, grape seed)
1-3 tablespoons of salt (epsom, Himalayan, sea)
1-2 drops of Essential Oils
Lavender, geranium to support skin
Eucalyptus to support respiratory system
Thieves to use with hand scrub – protects and supports immune system.

I hope these Healthy Tips help you on your wellness journey too!

If you use a tip, I’d love to hear how it supported you. If you have any questions – please ask away!

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