There are 22.6 million posts on Instagram using the hashtag #plantbased. And millions more if you combine other hashtags for plant-based food (i.e. #plantbaseddiet #plantbasedmeal #plantbasedrecipe…you get the point). At my grocery store, shelves seem to be transforming weekly with new plant-based choices that didn’t used to exist.
I say “Bravo!” to more plant-based options because you all know by now (as I’ve said it before), we as a population aren’t getting enough fruits and veggies in our diet. BUT fruits and veggies aren’t the only thing we aren’t getting enough of. Dairy products are on that list too (milk, cheese and yogurt), which puts us in quite the conundrum. With new plant-based dairy options in the marketplace, right beside those familiar foods we are used to seeing, is it common knowledge that they are nutritionally different?
Here's why I ask. The perfect example fell right into my lap a couple of weeks ago, or rather right into my grocery cart. My online grocery order came with a substitution for the yogurt I normally purchase. I ordered a whole-milk vanilla yogurt. And the substitution that was chosen for me was a vanilla almond milk yogurt. A vegan, dairy-free, gluten free, soy free “milk yogurt”, according to the package.
I could have turned down the substitution when I picked up my groceries, but I was so intrigued by it (Why would they give me a dairy free sub for a dairy item? Do they not know the difference?), and I was too lazy to go in and pick something different if we are being real, that I opted to accept the sub, compare the nutrition, and give it a try.
You are on the edge of your seat awaiting my thoughts. I can tell.
Let’s talk nutrition facts first. I’ll let you have a look at the differences here:
Siggi's Whole Milk Vanilla Yogurt (serving size 1 container 125g):
Cal: 130, Total Fat 4.5g, Sat Fat 3g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 20g, Sodium 60mg, Total Carb 11g, Fiber 0g, Sugars 8g, Protein 12g, Vit A 4%, Vit C 0%, Calcium 10%, Iron 0%
Kite Hill Almond Yogurt (serving size 1 container 150g):
Cal: 160, Total Fat 10g, Sat Fat 0.5g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0g, Sodium 10mg, Total Carb 22g, Fiber 2g, Sugars 18g, Protein 3g, Vit A 0%, Vit C 0%, Calcium 4%, Iron 2%.
While there are several differences in the nutrients, personally the three that impact my purchase decision the most are these: sugar, protein, and calcium. While Siggi’s is lower in sugar, high in protein, and a good source of calcium, the plant-based option disappoints on all of these. In a slightly larger container, the almond based version is over twice the sugar, one quarter the protein, less than half the calcium.
That makes this plant-based substitution very different from a nutrition perspective. And nowhere near an adequate substitution for me personally.
One thumb down from me for nutrition.
I know what you’re thinking. Maybe what it’s lacking nutritionally, it will make up for in taste! I’m sorry to say that’s not the case either.
Make that two thumbs down.
With sugar as the second ingredient (and coming in at 18 grams per serving), it was too sweet for me. I did like the vanilla flavor, but the sweetness was too overpowering…and then there was texture. It was runny, kind of like a melting milkshake and my banana slices sank right to the bottom. For comparison, my spoon will stand straight up in my favorite yogurt. I am giving it the benefit of the doubt that it could make a great smoothie ingredient given the texture and sweetness.
At the end of this experiment, my takeaway is this: All yogurt is not created equal.
Items placed side by side on shelf, doesn’t make them equal. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans notes that “Other products sold as “milks” but made from plants (e.g., almond, rice, coconut, and hemp “milks”) may contain calcium and be consumed as a source of calcium, but they are not included as part of the dairy group because their overall nutritional content is not similar to dairy milk and fortified soy beverages (soymilk).”
Did you hear that? Their overall nutrition content is not similar to dairy. While some substitutions may be a better fit for your diet or lifestyle, make sure you know what nutrients you’re looking for, not what hashtag they fit into.
My tips for you this week: read package ingredient statements, use the nutrition facts panels to look at nutrient content, and don’t allow substitutions for your favorite yogurt when you order groceries online (ha ha!)! You never know what might end up in your cart!
Thanks for stopping by! While we’re on the subject, what’s your favorite yogurt? I’m a Siggi’s #fangirl myself and they’re not paying me to say that. It's just that delicious in my book.
You need to know this about me, if my birthday falls on any day besides the weekend, I’m a “birthday week” kind of girl. (Birthday month, is a little too extra for me, just so we are clear on where I stand.) In my opinion, you can’t truly celebrate your birthday on a Wednesday. It’s just not fair. It’s a work day. And it’s a bit boring.
So, this past weekend I kicked off my birthday week. Saturday evening, I had friends over to watch the Razorbacks play baseball, eat barbecue, and really just hang. We watched our kids play. We ate chips and dip. Talked. Caught up. Had birthday cake! It was all so nice (except the part where we lost the game). But nice enough to make me think, “Dang, we don’t do this enough.” And then wonder why. “Why don’t we do this enough?”
The next day, Father’s Day, was a break in my birthday week. You other mid-June babies know what it’s like, having to share your birthday week with a Dad or husband. So, anyway, it wasn’t my day. It was his and I let him have it. Sort of.
What I actually did on Father’s Day was say “yes” a lot. “Sure, that sounds great.” “Yes, let’s do that.” But I also said yes to myself. At lunch, I said “yes” to a mimosa and a brownie sundae (#birthdayweek)! After lunch, I said “yes” to a nap on the couch. And then a movie after the nap. After dinner, I said “also yes” to leftover birthday cake. You guys, it felt amazing and a little weird because I don’t say “yes” as often as I should. Especially to myself.
I decided a few months ago to approach this birthday the way I approach life in general. With a list. On this list, you’ll find things like “take a girls' trip" and "have more 'yes' days” because, in the words of one of my favorite artists, “you just get so many trips 'round the sun, yeah, you only, only live once.” Thank you, Kacey Musgraves.
This list is about growing, learning, connecting, having fun, and knowing that life is short, y'all. Who is going to push me to do more and be more if I don’t push myself?
So here it is. In no order. My 40 things…before I turn 40!
I am looking forward to this year and forty more if I am so lucky. I’ll leave you with this quote that I am in love with right now: “When you’re on your path, the universe will conspire to help you.” - Paulo Coelho
Cheers to my birthday, more "yes" days, and finding your path!
If you asked my friends to describe me, I can guarantee the word “festive” would come up. It’s my second favorite F-word. (Fun is the first, come on.) Every holiday and every season is clearly labeled inside a Rubbermaid tub in my attic. Except for Christmas. That one is clearly labeled in about 12 Rubbermaid tubs in the attic and three tubs in the guest room closet because I am just that extra. In addition to holidays, I love themes, birthdays and truly any excuse to celebrate! And by celebrate, I mean decorate or travel. Those easily give me #allthefeels.
Another word that would probably come up is “organized”, and if you asked my best friends, sister, or husband I wouldn’t be surprised at all if “easily overwhelmed” made the list.
These traits that make me, well…me - came in super handy for our latest vacation. Take festive, fun, and the need for organization, shake it all around in a Yahtzee cup and pour it out into a single trip. Add one birthday, some matching t-shirts, and a sprinkle of magic dust. And, Ta-Da! You’ve got yourself a trip to Disney World. Sign. Me. Up! And pass me some Mickey Mouse ears while I plan it!
Only here’s the thing. I had never been. Neither had my husband. Cue overwhelmed feeling. Where exactly do I start?
Luckily, we have friends who have been and there’s also this thing called the internet where about one million blog posts and articles exist for planning such a trip. You can find pack lists, tips and tricks, and more than you really care to know about planning a trip to the happiest place on earth.
If you’re a hands-on learner like myself, a lot of the advice, tips, and blogs likely won’t mean much until you experience them for yourself. But I’ll take a chance that you’ll keep reading in hopes that I can explain it in a helpful way. Here are my top 10 rules to help you with planning your next Disney World vacation:
That’s it. Follow these rules and you’ll be in a great spot. At the end of the day, the fun outweighs the lines. If you are an old lady about theme park rides, like me, the joy outweighs the fear.
The walking overrides the calories (Disney calories don't count)!
And the pictures and memories, those are priceless.
Have a magical vacation! Thanks for stopping by!