Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wellness Wednesday: The Benefits of Yogurt (and a giveaway)

Yogurt is one of those snacks that just about anyone can eat. There is whole milk yogurt for babies and those who need extra fat in their diets, and there is light and low-fat yogurt for the rest of us. Flavors include dessert-like flavors such as cheesecake, Boston cream pie and vanilla and there are plenty of fruity flavors from the basic strawberry or peach to the more exotic key lime pie and mango. Yogurt can be eaten as is or frozen for a special treat. On top of all this, yogurt is pretty good for your health, too. Check out these yogurt facts:

- Yogurt is a good source of protein, calcium, vitamins B-2 and B-12, potassium, and magnesium.
- Many yogurts contain pro-biotics which can help improve your immune system and maintain good digestive health.
- Eating yogurt regularly can help keep and/or restore the vaginal pH levels which helps keep yeast infections away.
- Various studies have shown that increased dairy consumption, including yogurt, can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and can lower blood pressure. This is best when combined with vitamin D. Some yogurts have no vitamin D and some have a fair amount. Be sure to read the label.
- Those who are lactose intolerant, can often eat yogurt without a problem. Live yogurt cultures produce lactase which helps digest the lactose in the yogurt and thereby, alleviating the need for the body to try to break it down.
- You can substitute fat-free yogurt when baking and cooking. In baking, use a complementary flavor or plain yogurt for some or all of the oil or butter in a recipe. Plain yogurt can be used in place of sour cream in many cooking recipes. Please note that cooking yogurt often kills the live enzymes.

If you are watching your weight, or trying to avoid sugar for other reasons, be sure to check sugar content before buying yogurt. You also want to check the type of sweetener used, especially in light varieties, if you are avoiding certain sweeteners. The best way to control the amount of sugar is to buy plain, fat-free yogurt and blend in your own flavors by using fresh, canned, or frozen fruit, granola, jams, etc. My favorite is to blend sugar-free strawberry jam with plain yogurt and sprinkle on fat-free yogurt. You can also make your own yogurt at home in either a yogurt maker or crock pot. One of my favorite blogs, A Year of Slow Cooking, shares the directions for making yogurt in your slow cooker here.

On top of all the health benefits yogurt offers, Fiber One has gone a step above and added fiber to their yogurt, 5g per serving for 20% of your recommended daily intake. Plus, it is fat-free and only 50 calories, and most importantly, it tastes delicious. It is available in vanilla, strawberry, peach and key lime pie.

Now for the giveaway...

My Blog Spark and Fiber One are giving all of you a $1.00 off coupon, but that is not all. They kindly sent me the gift set shown above. It included a coupon for a free pack of Fiber One yogurt; an insulated lunch bag; a covered, divided dish; a 24-oz, covered cup with measurements on the side; and 2 nifty little all-in-one utensils (knife,fork and spoon all in one). The best part is they are giving me 3(!) identical sets to give to my readers. So here are the details:

Mandatory Entry:
- 1 entry for leaving a comment with your favorite yogurt "stir-in", yogurt recipe or at least your favorite yogurt flavor

Optional Entries:
- 1 entry for visiting Verizon My Fios contest page and voting for my video. It is listed as Danielle, New York. Include what number vote you were when you comment. Voting will also enter you in the Verizon contest to win a webcam. This can be done three times, once each day until 8/28.

- 1 entry if you become a public follower of this blog

- 1 entry if you subcribe to this blog

- 5 entries if you blog about this giveaway and post the link here. If you are not a blogger, feel free to post this on your Facebook page (if I am not already your friend, you will also have to ask me to be, so I can see it posted. I am on there as Danielle Parent Garcia)

The contest will remain open until Wednesday, September 1st at 11:59PM. I will use to draw the winning comments. Winners will be contacted via e-mail and will have 48 hours to respond. If they do not respond, a new winner(s) will be chosen. Good luck!!

MckLinky Blog Hop


  1. OH ME! ME! ME! My 2nd grader has already lost his lunch box and I told him I won't buy him another one....but it is driving me nuts and I never said I wouldn't WIN one for him. *grin*

    That being said, I love plain and Vanilla yogurt....I've brain washed my children and they won't eat the fruit sweetened yogurt anymore. Although they do like lemon. We stir in grape nuts, raspberries, and sometimes almonds.

  2. I voted once yesterday #27 and once today #30 on your Verizon Fios video. -Emily W.

  3. Hi Danielle,

    thanks so much for the link to my yogurt recipe! I've had a lot of fun playing around with it.
    xoxo steph

  4. My favorite yogurt, ice cream, sweets stir in is: crushed Butterfingers!! Yummy!!! Just so happens YoCrunch agrees with me and makes it for the dairy case in most grocery stores. :-)

  5. I have now figured out how to subscribe to this blog, & have done so.

  6. SECRET Bonus Entry: I have also subscribed to Home Unit Studies.

  7. SECRET Bonus Entry: And also, subscribed to Things I Love.

  8. I love to mix in fresh fruit and granola, and my favorite flavor is raspberry. Thank you!

  9. I follow as bridgestranslation

  10. My favorite stir-in is hands down crushed OREOS (not generic ones either)in Vanilla yogurt

  11. And I publicly subscribed to this blog :-)

  12. Hi Danielle,
    This is Jaime over at The Dress-up Drawer and you are a WINNER!
    Please visit our blog and contact me with your info.

    P.S. can I enter your giveaway while I'm at it.... I love peach yogurt! and love my yogurt with granola!!

  13. My favorite flavor is strawberry! Thanks for the chance.

  14. I like blueberry flavor and like to stir fresh fruit in!

  15. I voted again today, #42.

  16. I did become a public follower, even thoguh it wouldn't let me upload my pic.

  17. I meant I became a public "follower" but I also Subscribe to this blog which I forgot to mention yesterday ;-)

  18. Facebooked your link to this contest and fios contest for 5 bonus entries:-) GOOD LUCK

  19. I love fresh peaches in yogurt. Really any fresh fruit is the best. And for a flavor, key lime is my fav as I love how refreshing it is.
    thebovees49091 at yahoo dot com

  20. I love granola.

    Hopping By on the Blog Hop!

    Please hop by and enter my giveaway at

  21. I love strawberry yogurt..yum!


  22. I just posted a link to your blog on my Facebook page. Missed the last vote for the Fan Favorite on my Fios. I think I logged on just after that contest ended. How'd it go?

  23. I love vanilla yogurt with mixed berries stirred in
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  24. I have plain yogurt with fiber cereal mixed in

    tiramisu392 (at)