Sunday, January 22, 2012

Yogurt with Flax, Honey, Almonds and Fruit

We have reached the most critical time of year when those of us who have made New Year's resolutions will decide whether or not we are actually going to keep them.  Most resolutions are prompted by the guilty behaviors of the holiday season- save money, lose five pounds, make more of an effort to keep in touch with friends and family.  However, once the holidays are far enough behind us, we lose the steam that encouraged us to make those resolutions in the first place.  In my humble opinion, one of the most common reasons people give up on their New Year's resolution is simply because they did not have a strategy for how to implement their new found improvements in the first place.  A plan is key.

Many of my family and friends recruited my help in their pursuit to lose weight in the new year.  A few dietary assessments and eating habit evaluations later, everyone is always surprised by my plan- "You need to get more..."  More fruits, more vegetables, more fiber, more water, more exercise, more sleep.  Granted I could have put together a few "less" statements but they aren't as important.  Often, if we focus on increasing what is good for us, the negative elements seem to creep out on their own.  Identify the healthy elements missing from your diet and add them.  This yummy breakfast is ideal for increasing intake of fiber, omega-3, antioxidants and low-fat dairy and it is full of power foods such as blueberries, almonds, oats and flax.  Not to mention, it's a perfect way to start your day.

What makes this bite better?
When people begin their New Year's resolutions for weight loss, they often target every meal and cut out everything they normally eat.  This is not an effective strategy for integrating and maintaining healthy weight loss.  This is why I prefer to recommend people begin by re-vamping their breakfast.  Not only is it an easy meal to improve but it also sets the tone for the rest of the day, hopefully encouraging better food choices.  This breakfast is satisfying and full of healthy components like fiber and omega-3s that are often difficult for new health buffs to integrate into other meals.  The health benefits of omega-3s are vast and flax is an easier, much less expensive and more environmentally sustainable source of omega-3 than fish or fish oil supplements.

Yogurt with Flax, Honey, Almonds and Fruit
3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup oats
1-2 cups fruit (bananas and blueberries are my favorite!)
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon flax seeds

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, or in a to-go container in the morning.  I used rolled oats because they were what I had on hand.  However, for the highest fiber content, use steel cut oats.  Enjoy :)