Friday, August 23, 2013

How to eat yogurt and why it's ok not to........

When I first discovered yogurt, I thought it was some weird health food that my friends' parents ate. Certainly no one in MY family ate yogurt - it was never in the fridge and so it just wasn't an option. When the first "frozen yogurt" experience came to my town (hello, TCBY), I thought it was kind of nasty. Who were they trying to trick with their ice cream-like substance that had a distinctly sour aftertaste? Yuck!

When I had my own children, I read up on all things nutritious and decided that yogurt would be one of those things. They liked it! But they never knew any different because it was served regularly. Except that one time I gave my first born two containers in one day which resulted in the most horrific diaper rash I'd ever seen. (Side note: did you know you can TREAT a diaper rash with yogurt? Just more evidence on why you probably shouldn't eat it!).

But then one day I was feeling sick. I skipped a school carnival with the kids and sent them off with their dad while I lay on the couch trying to figure out why I felt so icky. I was hungry, but nauseous. And for some inexplicable reason, the only thing that "sounded" good was a small container of strawberry Activia yogurt we had in the fridge. I ate it in tiny bites - it took some getting used to with the sour taste mixed with surprising sweetness. I carefully avoided the gloppy fruit at the bottom and only ate the top layer (do NOT stir!). And I survived. And I actually felt a little better. 

Thus began my eating of yogurt. I went through a phase of eating vanilla Activia but only once I'd mixed in some chopped pecans and a little brown sugar. My tolerance of yogurt waxed and waned over the years to where I am currently in my relationship with yogurt: I will eat it, but it's never my first choice, and usually only vanilla, and usually only if I have fresh strawberries or a banana or some nuts to go with it. I've even learned to skip the brown sugar! Victory!

Today, however, I consumed an entire container of Greek yogurt. I had tried it in the past and could NOT get past the horrific taste and texture. A couple of days ago, my son was eating this same yogurt and I tried a tiny bite. It wasn't horrible so I thought maybe, in the next century, I might actually eat some of it. And today was that day. 

It was blueberry, and there were exactly two small blueberries mixed in with whatever blueberry puree they put in fruity yogurt (along with, apparently, the scales of red beetles for color??? Gross! It's called carmine and you can read more about it here, omg, I just realized I was eating Dannon yogurt so I just ate bugs! Ew!). I actually stirred this yogurt and ate those two nasty blueberries. I'm not against blueberries, don't get me wrong. I just prefer them normal-sized and fresh, not cooked, smashed, or reconstituted in yogurt. 

I really have no idea what possessed me to eat this yogurt. I mean, it did have only 80 calories, and 12 grams of protein guaranteed to keep me feeling full longer (bullshit, I already want some Lucky Charms!). But what about all the other stuff? Like the fructose, sucralose and acesulfame potassium? As a general rule, I avoid artificial sweeteners because I can taste them and they're gross. Don't believe me? Fine. But I WILL notice if you try to swap out a diet soda for a regular one. I can actually taste the artificially amplified sweetness of all those fake sugars and I'd rather have my beloved white sugar, thank you. I also love brown sugar. I'm an equal opportunity sugar lova, my friend!

So, once in a while, I might indulge in some (healthy?) yogurt, maybe even the Greek variety (and, hello, how did the Greeks corner the market on this one?). But I am not going to feel bad one tiny bit if I also eschew yogurt from time to time and neither should you! For one thing, I am of the firm belief that all dairy products in any form other than milk are just some sort of curdled/spoiled/fermented milk. Cheese? Mold. Cottage cheese? Curdled milk. Yogurt? Really, really spoiled milk. Sure, I eat them, but I'm no dummy. I know they are essentially spoiled food. 

Go ahead and eat your gloppy fruit mixed with fermented milk! I, for one, would like my fruity-flavored yogurt completely strained of all pieces of identifiable fruit. I like just the hint of the fruit flavor, much like I like pie - the crust, tainted just slightly with the fruit filling, sans any "pieces." But let's not get started on pie. That is just a horrible abomination of perfectly good crust. 

Enjoy your breakfast! :)

No comments: