Greek Yogurt & Protein

Happy Tasty Tuesday Bella Divas!
Who still gets caught up in trying to figure out how to add some extra protein to your daily meals and especially snacks?  Who also gets tired of hearing…eat chicken, eggs, protein shakes..blah blah blah for protein sources?  As much as I LOVE my eggs and chicken, I need a break or at least a way new way to eat these everyday diva lean staples.
A sneaky and even diva-licious way to add extra protein and eliminate high fatty foods is using and substituting nonfat or low-fat plain greek yogurt into your lean diva diet. If you are lactose intolerant…meaning cannot have diary at all because your belly will start to get angry at you;)…there are other options by using coconut yogurt too!
Speaking of option, the options in the yogurt aisle at the grocery store have increased greatly over the years, with Greek yogurt taking up just as much space on the shelves as the regular stuff. What’s the difference between Greek and regular yogurt, and which one should you buy?

The Skinny on Greek Yogurt

Besides texture, here are some other differences between regular and Greek yogurt:

  • Protein – Greek yogurt has almost double the protein of regular yogurt.
  • Sodium – Greek yogurt contains about half the sodium of regular yogurt.
  • Carbohydrates – Greek yogurt contains roughly half the carbohydrates of regular yogurt, but remember that adding sweeteners to either one will increase the carbohydrate count.

The one to choose really depends on texture and dietary preferences. Because of its thicker texture and tangier flavor, Greek yogurt is often used as a healthier substitute for mayo, sour cream and even cream cheese.

Sugar Alert

Greek yogurt is a fantastic way to get in extra protein if you are using the plain, low-fat version.  The fruit flavored greek yogurt can have a LOT of sugar per serving, so please read your labels.   If you are wanting to have yogurt as part of your breakfast or snack, it is healthier to use plain and add a little stevia and your favorite fruit of choice.  I have found that the brand Siggis greek yogurt contains 10 g sugar per serving, which isn’t too bad.  Try not to go over 10 g sugar per serving.  That darn sugar sneaks up in way too many foods and drinks and it usually is the main culprit in weight gain.

 10 Ways to go Greek

1 Substitute for sour cream on healthy tacos or taco salad or on a baked potato

2 Makes great chicken salad instead of using mayo try plain greek yogurt, spicy mustard, garlic, chop onion, paprika, salt and pepper  YUM!

3 Marinate meat:  Place chicken breast in a zip bag with yogurt with curry, cumin, garlic, cinnamon, cayenne overnight and bake for dinner the next day.

baked chicken breast in nonfat plain greek, leeks, fresh basil, salt and pepper

4 Create simple veggie dips:  ½ cup of yogurt, mix with ½ packet Italian or greek salad season mix.  Stir well

5 Dip for Tortillas chips: greek yogurt, salsa and hot sauce.  Sounds so simple but it tastes Diva-lish and full of extra protein.

6  Creamy guacamole with fewer calories  1 whole avocado + ½ cup nonfat plain greek, salt, pepper, lime and cilantro!  Mix well.    4 servings as a snack with veggies

See The HOT for GUAC recipe on the bottom of this page!

7  Dessert:  ½ cup nonfat plain yogurt, 1 tablespoon of cocoa + 1 tsp of stevia or 7-8 drops from liquid stevia.  Mix well, freeze for 20 minutes.  OH MY…tasted like frozen chocolate custard!

8 Diva-licious dressing: Mix yogurt with minced garlic, fresh herbs and olive oil

9  Healthy flatbread: layer yogurt on a flatout, top with sliced tomato, sautéed onions, peppers, garlic, spinach and top with some crumbled goat or mozzarella. Bake 375 for 8-10 min

10  Bake with greek yogurt.  You can replace ½ of the oil in a recipe and save ½ the calories. I use it in muffin & pancake recipes all the time!

greek 2
Protein Pancakes!!  recipe in a previous blog!

Try something new

The list above hopefully sparked some easy ideas for your daily diva diet.  There are so many ways to add some extra protein in for your snacks and sweet tooth!  It’s all about creating new habits.  These easy go-tos do not take long to prepare!  So get creative, get healthier and reach those goals!!

Diva-licious Recipe

Perfect recipe for Cinco De Mayo this week!  Don’t forget to watch the portion and only skinny Margaritas on Friday;)

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