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March 2016

Greetings from Planet Yogurt! (Stonyfield Grassfed review)

I am a member of the Stonyfield Clean Plate Club. I received products and coupons to write this post, and all opinions are 100 percent my own.

We go through a lot of yogurt at our house, so much so that one of the produce bins has been reclaimed as the yogurt bin. It's usually filled with a variety of yogurts -- Greek, "regular," plain, fruit flavored and so on. There's usually a bottle of kefir in the fridge, too, (I'm a recent convert to plain kefir), and a quart of plain yogurt for recipes.

Got a lot of culture up in here!

Have you noticed that fat is making a comeback in the yogurt section? Hold up, dieters, it's actually a good thing. The past couple of years have seen the release of studies showing that America's fat phobia has come back to bite us in the ever-growing posterior. By taking out all the fat and replacing it with gobs of sugar, we're actually doing ourselves a disservice. The satiety that a little bit of naturally occurring fat provides works much better than sugar, which basically burns through you like jet fuel. For reference, HERE'S a study showing that people who consume full-fat dairy were actually leaner and had less cardiovascular risk than people who eat the fat-free stuff.

Let's get science geeky!

If those cows are fed 100 percent grass, instead of the corn, distillery waste and gummy worms (I AM NOT KIDDING) that many get, their milk is much higher in omega-3 fatty acids (good for lots of things) and conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA. What's so great about CLA? It may help people lose body fat. Hilarious, huh? 

OK, science geek - how's the yogurt?

Stonyfield grassfed yogurt
I like to play with my food.

Stonyfield recently sent me a variety of its new 100 percent grassfed whole milk yogurts, and I'll admit, at first I was a little freaked out. We've been programmed for so long to believe that fat is the enemy that it's unsettling to see the words "whole milk" on a label. 

But soldier on I did!

The yogurts I was sent were "old school" thinner yogurt, instead of thicker Greek yogurt, so these are lower in protein than strained varieties. Looking at the plain container, it has 120 calories, 5 grams of protein, 8 grams of carbs and 7 grams of fat in a 6-ounce container. See? That's not scary at all. Grassfed is also organic, non-GMO and made without artificial hormones.

My husband's favorite combo is cereal and frozen berries topped with a container of yogurt. He appreciated the thinner texture of these yogurts as he mixed up his big bowl of yum. The flavored ones -- vanilla, strawberry and blueberry -- are 140 calories per container.

What did I do with the plain? Lemme tell ya: 

  • I subbed it for the milk and butter in boxed macaroni and cheese, and the teenager thought it was great. The tang of the yogurt gives the cheese powder some needed sharpness.
  • I used it in place of the liquid and fat in a boxed cornbread mix, giving the cornbread a little tang and moisture.
  • I mixed it with ranch dressing powder to make a super simple veggie dip. 

I know what you're thinking: Where's the smoothie recipe? Sure, you can make a smoothie with yogurt, frozen berries, crushed ice and a little stevia, but I wanted to give you some ideas you might not have thought of. But go ahead and make an awesome smoothie with it. The added fat will help with satiety, something that people often complain of when subbing a smoothie for a meal.

If you're wondering where to pick up Stonyfield grassfed yogurt, you can check the bottom of Stonyfield's product page HERE for a store locator.

Live blogging my urge to run to the kitchen

I've been thoroughly fed up with my late-night snacking, so when I felt the urge to eat come over me, I grabbed my phone instead and decided to live blog this feeling, which is...


I can't tell whether I am truly hungry or my brain is just going all Pavlovian on me. Either way, there's a gnawing in the pit of my stomach.

But the more I ignore it, the more it dissipates. It really is hard to break a lifetime habit, but I decided to embrace the "springtime renewal" of the season and really, really work on it. I broke out the Fitbook again, but I'm simply writing down what I eat. No calories, no macros. Just the food.

So did I stay out of the kitchen? No. I filled a bowl with spring mix and had a salad. 

Baby steps. 

Tunes for Tuesday: 'Hamilton' cast performs at the White House

Here's a double feature (because I couldn't find one video with both performances that was embeddable!). On Monday the cast of the Broadway musical Hamilton traveled to the White House to take part in a workshop and Q&A with DC-area high school students as well as perform a few songs from their show for the kids as well as President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden and other fancy dignitaries. 


  image from


I know, I know, it's only been four days, but - - geez! - - my eyes are not playing nicely with each other. Now I know why senior citizens don't bitch and moan after cataract surgery. For the most part, they don't work or noodle around on social media or take their kid to school.

Like I do.

Currently I'm fumbling around with a pile of glasses:

  • My old prescription eyeglasses
  • My old prescription sunglasses
  • Non-prescription sunglasses
  • Drugstore readers
  • Drugstore magnifying sunglasses

And a bottle of Tylenol.

It's why I haven't been blogging much. The simple act of looking at a computer screen is exhausting. It's actually easier sticking my phone up to my face, like I did while writing most of this post.

And did I mention I can't exercise? Turns out I really love working out.

Don't get me wrong, I'm amazed at how my vision has improved in my left eye since Monday. As of now my distance vision is 20/20, colors are much brighter (that was a big surprise) and most importantly, the big, blurry cataract is gone.

I would love to just sit down with a big stack of magazines or binge-watch something on Netflix. Instead I'm squinting into the middle distance.

Set Laser Cats to stun!

image from

Today's the day. Right now I'm sitting in a waiting room at Bascom Palmer in Miami, awaiting the time when my doctor shoots lasers into my left eye and zaps out the cataract, replacing that cloudy old thing with a shiny, expensive new one.

That's all I'm going to say about it -- don't want to jinx myself. Even though cataract surgery is about as common as getting a tooth filled, I'm still a little nervous because LASERS CUTTING EYE OPEN or something like that. 

 I'll let you know how it goes.

A #BeFitAllYear review and giveaway

I'm a Sweat Pink ambassador and this post is sponsored by Fit Approach.

I love working out at the gym or power-walking the neighborhood, but I also love the convenience of working out at home. There are a slew of on-demand fitness channels, and I've tried many of them, but I keep coming back to BeFit, which "lives" on YouTube. There's a huge variety of videos for exercisers of all levels, and best of all, they're free. Like fire up the browser or the YouTube channel or app on your device and go!

Because of my affiliation with Fit Approach as a Sweat Pink ambassador, I was given the opportunity to review a new line of BeFit supplements as well as the BeFit 30 Day Fat Burn video series on YouTube. I love the 10-minute workouts -- they're great to tack onto a walking workout or a gym visit, and they're also great to do on their own, either as a pick-and-choose patchwork or a "better than nothing" 10-minute cardio blast.

Here's the intro video to the series:

 I got back after a 3-mile walk and did the Toned Abs & Arms workout, since I already worked my lower half. It was a great, tough little workout that I definitely felt the next day. Here it is:


The fun thing about these short workouts is if you're not too wiped out and you have ADD like me, you can swerve over to another BeFit workout and get in more exercising than you intended!

If, unlike me, you prefer to follow a calendar (party pooper!), you can print out a calendar for the series:

(Click on the image to print out a full-size copy.)

So, yeah, love the workouts. How are the supplements?


A photo posted by Gail Gedan Spencer (@ggspencer) on

I was sent the vanilla whey isolate and casein protein -- it also comes in chocolate. I'm fairly picky when it comes to protein powders -- I like them to be clean and free of artificial garbage, lots of added sugar and useless "miracle" ingredients. This one fit the bill. You get 22 grams of whey/casein protein for only 100 calories. It's also gluten free, non-GMO and sugar free (or "suger" as it says on the label -- come ON! That's a super easy word to spell, guys). Wasn't thrilled with the addition of carrageenan, though. It's sweetened with stevia and it's not overpowering or overly sweet -- just a nice, clean vanilla flavor that plays well with others. I made a quick smoothie with the protein, unsweetened vanilla almond milk and frozen mango. 

I tried the Pre-Workout, which had me amped up enough to want to try every machine at the gym. The fruit punch flavor was a little rough but I gulped it down and found it energized my workout. I just wouldn't pair it with a cup of coffee because you might get too wired. 

Speaking of wired, I don't know if I'm really sensitive to the ingredients, but the BeFit Burn had me super jittery, which is funny because the product page says Fat Burner Without the Jitters. It does have good stuff in it, including cinnamon, green tea leaf extract, probiotics and capiscum. But it just made me feel loopy. 

You can find the products, as well as a few others at, but why buy it when you can win some?

Follow the Rafflecopter instructions below to win your own free BeFit product kit of protein powder, Pre and Burn. If you win my giveaway and have already won another prize from BeFit through another blog, I'll have to choose another winner. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Deadline to enter is Saturday, March 12, so get going!