Greek Yogurt with Almonds and Berries: Meal Prep Like a Pro
Finally, this may be the easiest throw-together of all, especially if you buy Greek yogurt in individually portioned containers.
Greek yogurt is an amazing product. My clients make fun of me because, as long as there is no digestive problem with dairy, Greek yogurt is
obsessively very high on my list of food recommendations. It’s thicker and less fluid than regular yogurt, which means that it is also incredibly high in protein. Some brands pack in as much as 22g of protein per serving! This is very important for muscle recovery if you’re in an intense phase of your workout routine.
Greek yogurt is also very filling. Because of its high protein content (and fat content, if you’re not doing fat-free), it sticks with you and helps prevent snack cravings over the next several hours. It’s versatile – it can be sweet (think berries) or savory (think guacamole), and its thickness allows it to make dishes creamy without using mayonnaise or too much cheese. Finally, even if you do struggle with dairy digestion, yogurt is easier on the stomach for some people than most types of dairy. Its fermentation process and probiotic content make it very beneficial for your gut bacteria, which positively can impact immunity and overall digestion.
I don’t believe in “superfoods,” but Greek yogurt is pretty close in my book!
But first! My Greek yogurt recommendations:
- PLAIN – very important!!! Please do not buy Greek yogurt with the extra sugar (even if it’s fruit or honey) or granola. Just get the plain, non-flavored kind. It should have NOTHING in it but yogurt. It may seem boring, but you can sweeten it with a stevia-based product.
- Make your own decisions regarding fats. It partly depends on your health profile and your goals. We are in a fat-loving phase right now as a culture, but it still pays to know thyself. If you are at high risk for high cholesterol and other coronary issues, it may pay to skip the fat and go skim or light, as long as you are not consuming an overly-processed product. Ask your doctor for his or her recommendation for you!
The Shopping List
- Plain Greek yogurt (either in large containers or individual cups)
- Truvia or other stevia-based sweetener
- Raw or dry-roasted almonds (again, either in large containers or individual servings)
- Berries of your choice (could pick two or three different kinds for fun!)
This breakfast is obviously mind-numbingly simple. Combine:
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 packet Truvia or other stevia-based sweetener
- 1 handful raw or dry-roasted almonds
- 1 handful berries of your choice
Voila. As with the other dishes, watch portion sizes – almonds are great for you, but are high in fat and should only be consumed moderate (one handful for a serving). Even fruit and berries, while great in moderation, are high in sugar and portions should be observed mindfully.
A Note on Stevia
I don’t “prescribe” stevia, but I do recommend it based on my own experiences. It has been very helpful for me in maintaining a consistent, healthy diet. This is a recap from the last post:
You may have noticed that I use Truvia (a popular stevia-based sweetener) in my cooking. I joke that if Truvia ends up causing cancer, I will have to donate my body to science because I use it in basically everything. However, I do keep tabs on health research as part of taking care of myself but also as part of being a responsible personal trainer and coach, and currently I have not read anything that implicates stevia in disease, so I recommend it with a clear conscience.
It may be superstitious, but I attribute a large part of my healthy weight management to stevia-based sweeteners (not just Truvia), because it has helped me eliminate 99% of sneaky sugars from my diet over the last five years since I have discovered it. I use it in my coffee, baking, and everyday sweetening, like the oatmeal and Greek yogurt. I do still eat desserts and chocolate that have sugar in them, but they’re treats and not daily occurrences. For the daily things that I want to sweeten, Truvia is my go-to brand. It is also an ingredient in my Vega protein shakes (instead of sugar), which I will discuss in greater detail in a few weeks.
Bottom line: cut your sugar (and remember, honey and other syrups are still sugar, even if they’re “greenwashed”!), and you will see and feel authentic results.
This is the last breakfast post! Next week, we’re going to tackle lunches. To give you an idea of where these posts are going, August is going to be lunch month, September is going to be dinner, and October is going to be “putting it all together.” Before we look at the big picture in October, I highly recommend that you start implementing these tips gradually over time. Try a breakfast here, meal prep a lunch there, and be ready for transforming your daily food schedule this fall!
Positive changes happen gradually. Dramatic makeovers do work for some people, but it can be shaky ground in the long haul. Focus on changing one thing at a time (like cleaning up your breakfast routine this month, for example!), and you’ll find that changes “stick” because they have the chance to become habits before adding on new, challenging changes.
Let’s recap July. The four breakfasts were:
- Smoked salmon with toast
- Steel-cut oatmeal with toppings
- Pastrami, egg, and spinach scramble
- Greek yogurt with toppings – today!
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