Betty Wedman-St Louis, PhD, RD, LD

Licensed Nutritionist & Environmental Health Specialist

Archive for the ‘yogurt’ tag

Chocolate Spinach Smoothie

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Chocolate Spinich SmoothieSmoothies are a refreshing way to get your summer fruits and camouflage vegetables for children and those who won’t even look at a slice of tomato. But many recipes are high glycemic, eliciting the same elevated sugar responses you might experience after eating a candy bar.

To keep the sugar level under control, follow this rule: Use two vegetables to one fruit. Having twice as much vegetable as fruit allows smoothies to be enjoyed by everyone.

On Thursday, I will present a “Fasting, Juicing & Smoothies” seminar at Peaks of Health Metabolic Medical Center in Largo, outlining healthy guidelines for your nutrition regimen and addressing the importance of healthy eating habits. Healthy eating can increase telomeres in all the cells of the body and provide vital information to DNA. As we age our bodies need more positive lifestyle choices, such as exercise, meditation and a nutritious diet, to preserve cell metabolism.

With our busy lifestyles, it is easy to forget how important eating good-quality food can be. Smoothies make for a fast snack or lunch when driving, studying or even answering email.

Consider adding protein powder and coconut oil or avocado to your smoothie to slow down the sugar absorption from the fruit. Consumer Reports found in 2010 that many protein products it sampled had levels of protein lower than what was stated on the label. Nonprotein nitrogen compounds can give a higher nitrogen reading, which is listed as protein on the label. Reputable manufacturers account for nonprotein nitrogen ingredients and don’t mislead consumers by overstating protein content. Because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not stipulate how protein content is calculated on the nutrition label, consumers should choose products from producers that certify their formulas.

Not all protein powders add amino acids to a smoothie. The processing of protein powders requires heat and oxidizing agents plus solvents to sterilize and pasteurize the product. This process deactivates protein digestibility but cannot be determined from the label. Look for Non-Denatured Protein on the label to select good-quality protein powder.

Because the accompanying Chocolate Spinach Smoothie recipe contains spinach and cocoa, people prone to kidney stones may want to limit their consumption. The most common form of kidney stone is calcium oxalate, but, according to Dr. Emanuel Cheraskin, former professor of oral medicine at the University of Alabama, stone formation is caused by poor hydration and low vitamin C in the diet, not oxalates.

William Shaw, Ph.D., of Great Plains Laboratory in Lenexa, Kan., posits that oxalates from spinach, Swiss chard, beet tops and rhubarb pave the way to kidney stones and disorders like fibromyalgia, candida, anemia and autism.

Betty Wedman-St Louis is a licensed nutritionist and environmental health specialist in Pinellas County who has written numerous books on health and nutrition. Visit her website at​

Chocolate Spinach Smoothie

½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
½ small ripe banana
1 cup fresh spinach leaves or mixed salad greens
½ tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons amino acid or protein powder
½ cup 2 percent fat plain yogurt (optional)
3 ice cubes or ½ cup water

Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving.

Nutrition information per serving: 109 calories, 12g protein, 12g carbohydrates, 2g fat, 62mg sodium.

Note: You can throw in half of a ripe avocado to improve satiety, adding another 40 calories and 2g of fat.

Written by PFAdmin

October 19th, 2015 at 2:38 pm

Creamy Cucumber Yogurt Dressing

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Creamy Cucumber Yogurt Dressing 1Yogurt dates back thousands of years but it has been increasing in popularity for sauces, salad dressings and frozen novelties for five consecutive years. Whether yogurt’s benefit in healthier lifestyles is related to consumption of less cakes, pudding or potato chips or the “good bacteria” it provides is subject for further research.

Nobel prize winner, Elie Metchnikoff, MD in 1908 declared that death begins in the colon, but healthy bacteria that produce lactic acid can improve digestion and immune function. It has taken Americans a hundred years to embrace the concept that adding microorganisms to their highly processed diet may have benefit. Some gastroenterologists are still undecided but the one I worked with in Chicago had everyone of his patients on probiotics or yogurt.

While the sale of Greek yogurt are driving the overall sales of yogurt, it is almost impossible to figure out which brand is best. As the milk fat has been removed from almost all yogurt brands, thickeners and gels have been added to produce texture and stability. Since there is no standard of identity for yogurt, food technologists can create whatever the market demands- so was born Greek-style yogurt as a higher protein alternative.

Today, many fruit flavored yogurts have the same sugar content as a candy bar. The label on a popular pineapple flavored Greek yogurt has 18 grams sugar. That equals 4 1/2 teaspoons sugar- the same as in 5 pieces Reese’s mini peanut butter cups or 1/2 cup ice cream!

Creamy Cucumber Yogurt Dressing 2Fruit-flavored yogurts are not a healthy choice. Instead, mix fruit pieces into plain yogurt for a healthy snack or make a tasty salad dressing/dip . Select grass-fed whole cow’s milk yogurt without added sugar and hormones to make creamy cucumber Yogurt Dressing.

2 small cucumbers, peeled, seeded, cut into small pieces
6 ounces plain whole milk yogurt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper, optional

Add all ingredients to food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. Pour into container and refrigerate until ready to serve- 1 to 2 hours for flavors to meld. Serve as dip or salad dressing. Makes 4 servings.

Calories (per 1/4 cup) 66, Protein 3 g, Carbohydrates 2 g, Fat 3g, Sodium 21 mg

Written by bwsl

December 24th, 2014 at 7:30 pm