Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt and a New Coffee Challenge

Some car fairy must have heard me complaining about having to drive so far to Erin’s car guy, because yesterday the exact same problem started happening in my car!  So here I sit, in a Panera Bread, while the car guy fixes it.  Yes, Erin’s car guy.

[Oikos yogurt image]I recently switched back to regular yogurt from soy, primarily because I didn’t like the taste of soy yogurt, but also because I’m trying to reduce the amount of soy I get on a regular basis.  I have no problem eating tofu or tempeh every now and then; I’d just prefer that my daily smoothie not be a soy bomb.  I’ve been buying Nature’s Promise Organic Yogurt, but I’ve been really tempted to spend the extra cash for the Greek yogurts that are all the rage nowadays. They’re loaded with protein, and even though I don’t fret over nutrition facts, as a vegetarian endurance guy I do try to get extra protein when possible.

[Erin with bag image]So you can imagine my excitement when, this weekend, I got a package from the nice people at Stonyfield Farm, makers of Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt (yes, I get excited about this stuff).  In the package were coupons for lots of free yogurt to review on my blog, this nice reusable shopping bag (modeled by the lovely Erin), and even a handwritten card to thank me for trying their yogurt!  Talk about good customer relations, and I’m not even a customer (though I soon will be, read on).

Greek yogurt, I’ve now discovered, is about a billion times creamier than regular yogurt.  So much creamier, it’s hard to even compare the two as the same food.  Greek yogurt is thick like sour cream, which means it would be excellent for cooking (and would have been great in buffalo tempeh wraps).  And oh by the way, Oikos is 100% organic, 0% fat, has 23 grams of protein per cup as compared to 11 grams per cup of regular yogurt, and has 9 grams of sugar per cup as compared to 16 for regular.  These stats, by the way, are for the plain; I really only use yogurt in smoothies and in cooking, so this is the kind I’ll be eating most of the time.

[Granola image]The taste of this yogurt is just as you’d expect– really creamy, so much so that the plain tastes a lot like sour cream and would be nearly indistinguishable in cooking.  And it made for a deliciously creamy smoothie this morning.  The vanilla would be suitable as a dessert topping; we mixed it up with some Bear Naked granola and it was scrumptious (which says a lot, since I don’t eat this type of girly snack).

30 days without coffee

In other news, I was inspired by Pete’s saying in his guest post that he had given up coffee as part of his new diet, the result of his reading this blog.  So what kind of inspirition would I be if I continued to drink it regularly?  The answer, NMA’s-in-training, is “not any kind of inspiration at all”!  I’ve also realized that as much as I love the buzz and the energy I get while I’m drinking coffee, I really hate the way it makes me feel for the rest of the day. I don’t get that crash that people talk about; I just get a lot of anxiety.  And as relaxed a person as I usually am, I’m really vulnerable to anxiety; I even dealt with a pretty significant issue a few years back.  Who needs that from their breakfast?

So here’s what I’ve decided: no coffee for 30 days.  Not once or twice a week; none of that wimpy, ineffective moderation.  If you were to get really creative, you might even call this a 30-Day Challenge!  So that’s that.  I have no doubt that I’ll be able to do it, having committed to my decision.  And after 30 days (June 26), I’ll decide if I want to allow myself to drink it every once in a while or not.  If so, fine.  If not, all the better.

What change do YOU need to make for the next 30 days?



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  1. That yogurt is an awesome substitute for high fat additions. We should be better about testing subs like this one!

    The Duo Dishes’s last blog post..Not Just for Entertainment

  2. Donnie Jones says:

    Free yogurt? You are so frickin’ famous!

  3. Greek yogurt with honey is sooo good.

    In the next 30 days, I want to actually do the exercises I’ve been reading about in my Core Performance Essentials book. I keep reading the sections on the couch…not so ideal! I can’t run for another 2 weeks, so my goal this month is to get my muscles ready for movement again! 🙂

    • Good! Core Performance is great for that type of goal because it builds a really strong foundation to avoid injury. I read a lot of mine on the couch too, you need to read it before you can start!

  4. I just found your blog and absolutely love it. Your perspective (especially coming from a man) is refreshing – something that I share and have yet to find with many others. I also see that Fine Cooking is one of your linked sites…I actually work there and am honored that you and people like you read it. Keep up the awesome blog, I’ll most certainly keep reading! 🙂

    • Hey Evan, great to have another male reader… I’ve found them hard to come by. I love Fine Cooking! Every single recipe turns out great. Erin and I fight over it whenever a new one comes in the mail! But I’ve been hesistant to make their recipes and link to them recently, because often I’ll find out that a few weeks later, they make it so that the recipe requires you to sign up for something in order to see it. Maybe you can pull some strings over there and get that taken care of!

  5. Okay, in case you need a pick-me-up these next 30 days I have suggestions! Instead of coffee how about yerba mate, mmmmmmm, a freshly juiced juice (do you have a juicer?), or maybe just a big fruit salad?! Keeping it light and fresh always energizes me, rather than a glutinous bowl of oats (though I might opt for a bowl a few hours later)…but for anxiety and energy I love Rhodiola Rosea. I take 200 mg in the morning after breakfast(along with my multivitamin of course) and it keeps me sane. My ND recommended it. You can buy it in health food stores. 🙂 Good luck!

    Rhoni’s last blog post..No More Soy for this Veg

  6. This is my favorite yogurt!!! It is a little expensive, but I think it is the best!!! My favorite is the one with honey!!! I am also very jealous that you got free yogurt. I am really liking your blog also. I have been reading it for a while now and it is great. Keep up the great work!

  7. I’ve been tempted to give up my coffee too! I don’t know if I am quite ready to give it up cold turkey, but you are inspiring me to reduce the amount I drink!

    Baby steps, right?

    So glad I found your blog…I love it so far! 🙂

    Holly’s last blog post..Back to Basics

    • Hi Holly! If baby steps work for you, then by all means do it that way. I tried to do baby steps (once or two cups per week) and pretty soon I was back to almost every day. I do better if I make a total change for a while to totally break the habit, then reintroduce a little of whatever it is I changed.

      I like your blog too, and your approach to diet. Consider me a reader.

  8. You’re on! You just inspired me to do my own 30 day challenge- I’ll be giving up cheese. I love it, but I just don’t like the way it makes me feel after I eat it! Good luck on your challenge. Do you like tea? I’m really into the fruity herbal teas- drinking mango tea right now. Maybe it would make a good substitute for your mornings! Although, if you classify granola and yogurt as a girly snack, maybe fruity teas are not for you. lol

    VeggieRunnr’s last blog post..Half Marathon Report

    • Cool, I’ve inspired somebody! Cheese would be a tough one for me, I sprinkle it on so much stuff that I cook (party because I make pasta all the time). Way to go! And just remember, it doesn’t mean we can never have the stuff again, but we ought to be able to keep a promise to ourselves for 30 days, right?

      I actually have been drinking tea. Some green, some white, some rooibos. I don’t worry much about the caffeine in the green and white because it would take gallons of it for me to get as much as I did from a few cups of coffee. And of course the herbal has none.

  9. Colleen says:

    Okay…here’s the 30 day challenge for the Baldwin’s…during the month of June, NO soda. I know that there is no nutritional value in a diet pepsi and I have made a very concerted effort to reduce my soda intake…but there is something I love about a fountain soda…and even some gingerale. Here goes nothing!!

  10. Jeffrey says:

    Challenge accepted! I always say ‘go big or go home,’ so I’m going to give up soda, alcohol, chips and cookies. I know that’s a lot but I enjoy a good challenge.

  11. I totally agree with you on soy yogurt, blech. I use it exclusively in baking, and even then only once in awhile. I could never eat it straight. On rare occasions when I do buy real yogurt, it’s always Greek. Choban is another good brand.

    Getting free stuff from Stonyfield is awesome! I’m amazed at the way your blog, being so new, has already exploded like that. Got any tips on the art of self-promotion?

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