Sunday, April 26, 2009

Yogurt: Dieter's Best Friend!

Oh, yogurt. My sister's three kids eat yogurt like it's their job, and I don't blame them. I for some reason remember not eating it much when I was young, but then Yoplait came out with their 'Whips', and I was hooked. It tasted like orange flavored air (or pina colada flavored air, but I think they discontinued the pina colada flavor for some reason.) Then they came out with the chocolate Whips, which were even more awesome, like a healthy version of chocolate mousse. But a few too many yogurt stains on the table cloth slowly led me away from the Whips until I couldn't even bear the sight of them in the fridge.

But then something happened- the TV told me to buy Yoplait yogurt. Really. There was a commercial, featuring that one semi-famous lady, where she was on the phone with a friend talking about how she could eat Key lime pie and Boston creme pie on her new diet. Surprise! She meant YOGURT! Oh, you kidder. Only fat people eat real Boston creme pie. Well, color me fat, because I love Boston creme pie. It is my favorite of the creme pies named for their place of origin. The Yoplait Light was fat free and low cal (100) but the one problem was that it wasn't thick. I had recently become addicted to the Trader Joe's yogurt, which was so thick it was like pudding but was unfortunately full fat. But I want that thickness! What do I do?


Yoplait Light Thick & Creamy yogurt

I happened upon this magical yogurt two weeks ago at Target, where I never ever grocery shop but where I happened to be while picking out a new lunch box (of course I had to get the one in the shape of Hello Kitty's head. It was necessary.) I just happened to walk by their dairy aisle and I saw it- Thick & Creamy. Even more low-cal than Yoplait Light. The flavor of choice? Cinnamon Roll. Oh fucking yeah.

First, a word about why yogurt is a dieter's best friend. Specifically, light yogurt, because it's generally very low-cal and low-fat. First, it's a serving of dairy, and regardless of what any stupid fad diet tells you, you need dairy because you need calcium. It's good for you. You don't want to get osteoporosis and end up on Boniva commercials like Sally Field (well, I do, because bitch be makin money, but I digress.) Also, there is research to suggest that servings of milk that come from food can help you lose weight. Second, yogurt has a lot of protein, which is
a staple of any diet. Here's a tip for you- when choosing what to eat based on labels, look at total calories, calories from fat, fiber, and protein. Lots of fiber and protein, in my book, will cancel out a high calorie count because it will keep you full for a good long while- in other words, it will be worth it. This is the difference between eating 500 calories worth of yogurt and 500 calories worth of Doritos. To recap: yogurt is low-cal, high calcium and will keep you full. Go yogurt go!

Now on to this particular yogurt. It is Yumtown USA. It is just as thick as I wanted it to be- it doesn't go anywhere on your spoon. It stays put. It's Jello-like consistency means it is that much more satisfying to eat and mystically keeps you full (I think) for longer than regular light yogurt, and definitely longer than the Whips. The cinnamon roll flavor is slightly tangy in the way that cheesecake is tangy. How good is it? So good that I about had a fit when I came home to discover that my sister's kids had eaten my yogurt. No, I wasn't mad that they had eaten my food- it's just food, I can by more. But I was heartily offended that they had only had a few spoons of yogurt each. That's yogurt abuse and I won't tolerate it in my house!

Yoplait Light Thick & Creamy yogurt has 100 calories per 6 oz serving, with zero from fat, and 5g of protein. It advertises 20% of your daily calcium and a hefty dose of vitamin D (the vitamin you get from the sun.) It comes in other delicious flavors like cherry cobbler and peaches and cream, so you can feed the fat person inside (or outside- it's delicious no matter you weight, and damn good for ya!)

Now for something completely different...

Saturday night I performed with Indyprov, Indianapolis's only independent improv comedy troupe, at the Bean Cup, an awesome little independent coffee shop in Greenwood. They had an awesome menu of really healthy food, in addition to being a kick ass enclave of local art and coffee. I had a really yummy vegetarian sandwich of mixed green, tomato, cucumber, red onion, red pepper, and provolone and multi-grain bread with a side of red potato salad. I have managed to copy it pretty closely at home but I'd go back just because the place is so cool and the owners are so friendly. If you are looking to support local business and eat some tragically yummy healthy food, check them out.

And! I promised a few updates ago that I would post some healthy recipes, but I lied because I can and it makes me feel powerful. But last night I made some homemade guacamole for a party and Bill told me to post the recipe to the blog because it was healthy and yummy, so here it is. Note: I have a hard time following recipes, because I add more of what I like, less of what I don't and every spice is to taste. So this is a guideline, and add whatever you like.

2 avocados
2 roma tomatoes
1 small red onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 jalapeno
1 serrano pepper
cilantro to taste
juice of 1/2 a lime
pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, whatever else makes it taste good to you

Mince all the veggies except the avocado. Put them in a bowl and shake them around good and let them sit so the flavors meld, about 15 minutes (you don't have to do this but I like to.) Cut the avocados in half, take out the pit and scoop the green innards into the bowl. Mash it all up (I do it with my hands), adding spices until you get it the way you want it. Add the lime juice last and serve. Carrie says that putting the pit into the guac keeps it from turning brown, so try that if you wanna. Wee!

That's all she wrote, and by she, I mean me. Comment and tell me about your favorite yogurt commercial, what you put in your guac, or what you like to order at the Bean Cup!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Diet rule number one: EAT BREAKFAST. I cannot stress this enough. Every dieter knows this. If someone is skipping breakfast in order to lose weight, they are not on a diet. They are misinformed! Thank God you all have me around to tell you what to do. I'm not sure why you are supposed to eat breakfast; I've heard conflicting scientific reasons, things that have to do with metabolism and whatnot. But I eat breakfast because otherwise I'll be fucking hungry, and because I will eat more throughout the day if I don't have some. And you're more likely to fall prey to the doughnuts or crispy fatty nuggets or whatever that people always bring to work. Diet over (but in a delicious way.)

For years and years (junior high up until about a month ago), I had Slimfast for breakfast every weekday. It was just the easiest thing to grab, in addition to being pretty damn healthy (lots of fiber and vitamins, protein, and really low cal) and fairly tasty. It kind of was the perfect breakfast. I don't think it made me lose any weight, but it probably kept me from gaining any. If you need a diet breakfast, or if you don't eat breakfast, I would start here.

However, the nutritionist doesn't like Slimfast. Or, rather, she has encouraged me to eat something with my Slimfast. Um, hell no. What's the point of the fucking Slimfast if not to use it as a meal replacement? You don't NEED anything else. That's why Slimfast contains every vitamin in the world, plus every element on the periodic table, plus more fiber than a prune factory. My sister did once say that she would drink Slimfast as a beverage with her meals- a nice breakfast of pancakes with sausage and a Slimfast to wash it down. Why weren't you losing weight? You were drinking the Slimfast!

So, partly to appease the nutritionist and partly because I have more time now on weekdays mornings to eat at home, I have tried to reserve Slimfast for breakfast for only the days I have school at 9 am (Monday and Wednesday.) The other days of the week I will have oatmeal with some honey and almonds, or fake bacon with an egg or two, or some sort of fiber-y wheat-y cereal, or.....


That's right. You read it correctly. But Erin, how can this be? Waffles are made with all things delicious and terrible for you- butter and sugar and white flour! And covered in syrup! And they have no nutritional value!


Kashi GOLEAN Waffles

They're a miracle. Seriously. I think Jesus has already been resurrected, because he visited the Kashi factory and touched these with his blessed hands. And I thank him for it.

I know what you're thinking. Diet waffles? Lots of diet versions of delicious things are really terrible and taste like they're either made with pure Sweet n Low or a healthy dose of seaweed. So I was understandably a bit wary of the GOLEAN waffles (I find it hilarious that it's all in caps, even on the Kashi website.) But I'd been considering buying them for weeks, and since I had found gluten-free pancakes at Trader Joe's for 230 calories per three, I was kind of one a roll. So I bought them.

This morning, I opened the box, after seeing that 2 waffles had less than 200 calories but 6 grams of fiber, I expected super tiny orphan waffles. Boy, was I surprised. They do not gyp you on waffle surface area here. These are honest to God waffles, a good five or six inches across. 2 definitely looked like they could fill you up. But the proof is in the pudding, so I waited until I actually ate them to make any wild claims.

BEST WAFFLES EVER. Sweet sassy molassy. They are fucking delicious. Strawberried, crunchy, sweet, with just that hint of wheat and good for you-ness that I enjoy. Damn. I can't get over how delicious they were. Also, 2 was definitely enough to keep me full for a good 4 hours, and sometimes it's a roll of the dice whether or not some starchy breakfast product will actually do its duty. I wanted to eat more of them but I didn't need to. I recommend the living crap out of these waffles.

I don't understand why anyone would ever buy regular waffles when these delicious and nutritious waffles are in the world (probably because they were around $4.50 a box as opposed to $3.00 for a box of Eggos.)
Now, if only Kashi would come out with GOLEAN syrup, because I'm pretty sure the syrup I bathed my waffles in canceled out any nutritional value.

Kashi GOLEAN Strawberry Flax waffles have 160 calories per 2 waffle serving, 30 calories from fat. A 2 waffle serving of Eggo Homestyle waffles has 190 calories with 63 from fat, which makes it seem like the Eggo brand is pretty similar. WRONG. The difference in the actual nutritional value of your waffles- while Eggo has 2g of fiber (8% of what you need daily) and 5g of protein (10%), the Kashi waffles have 6g of fiber (22%) and 8g of protein. This means they'll keep you full longer and help you poop. And if there's one thing I'm an advocate of, it is pooping through the miracle of fiber. Wit that appetizing thought, dig in!

Sorry, no recipes today. I'm a liar. But maybe next time! For now, comment and tell me your favorite heart-stoppingly fatty breakfast foods!