If you’ve been reading Hot Mama Daily regularly, you know I’ve been on a mission to drop a few pounds. And what I envisioned as my summer swimsuit slim down has transformed into my plan to get fitter for fall. So I’m hoping that Ana Luque, a holistic nutritionist and author of The Yogurt Diet ($20.75), can help me.
The diet is about more than eating yogurt; it teaches you to optimize your digestion for better metabolism via probiotics and better food choices. Read my Q&A with Luque to find out more about the Yogurt Diet:
Hot Mama Daily: How do you get your body back in balance by eating yogurt and proper food combinations?
Ana Luque: To understand how to get the body back in balance it is important to know how the body gets out of balance in the first place.
There are various causes and they don’t happen from one day to the next. This is a slow process encouraged by processed foods, antibiotics, chlorinated water, and stress. All systems in the body are constantly at work, which causes stress and deterioration, so they need to be replenished with nutrients that are found in wholesome foods in order to regenerate and keep working optimally.
This is the purpose of proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats; as well as vitamins, minerals, enzymes and probiotic bacteria. When the body’s systems don’t get replenished with nutrients found in foods, they begin to fail and this is when people start experiencing degenerative diseases and complications such as excess weight, digestive problems, gastrointestinal diseases, food intolerances, diabetes, premature aging, and arthritis, among other illnesses.
To bring the body back into balance, you must:
- Eliminate ALL foods that may be harming to the body causing inflammation. Some of these foods are processed foods, wheat, sugar, vinegar and pasteurized milk.
- Include foods that replenish the systems in the body, with a major focus on the digestive system, specifically the gastrointestinal tract. To do this it is extremely important to consume yogurt. Yogurt is a dairy product, but should not be stereotyped with other dairy products, such as pasteurized milk.
- The most important characteristic of yogurt is that it is full of probioitc bacteria, which is imperative for proper digestion and ultimate health.
- The probiotic bacteria in yogurt produce many enzymes that the human body cannot produce on its own, and acts as a precursor to various vitamins, including B6, B12 and K.
- Also, when we have a good balance of gut flora, calcium is better absorbed into the blood stream to be transported to the bones. So the old saying “you are what you eat” is not entirely true; “you are what your body absorbs.”
HMD: How many times a day should one eat yogurt in order to lose weight?
AL: I recommend eating whole-milk yogurt with live probiotic bacteria 3 times a day, between 4 to 5 ounces per serving, either before or after a meal or as a snack.
HMD: What is the best type/brand of yogurt?
AL: Greek Gods Yogurt is the brand I trust. It’s delicious! This is a high quality yogurt that is the closest to homemade yogurt you’re ever going to get. It’s also thick and creamy, and tastes decadent like a dessert. My favorite is the natural whole fat yogurt because of its versatility; you can use it in soups, sauces, desserts, or simply as a snack with fruits and nuts.
HMD: Can you give a brief explanation of what probiotics are and why taking them is essential to your health?
AL: Probiotics are live microorganisms which have a health benefit. Traditionally, the probiotic bacteria that have been consumed are Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and bifidobacteria from a variety of foods, not just yogurt, but also olives, sauerkraut, pickles, and other fermented vegetables. That’s why these are the most common types of microbes used as commercial probiotics today.
Much scientific research is surfacing to support the great health benefits of eating probiotic rich foods, such as yogurt, which are thought to improve intestinal microbial balance. Today, specific health effects are being investigated and documented, including alleviation of chronic intestinal inflammatory diseases, prevention and treatment of pathogen-induced diarrhea, urogenital infections, and atopic diseases.
Here’s a Sample Daily Yogurt Diet Menu:
Mango Ginger Yogurt Smoothie
Natural organic oatmeal
White Bean Stew and Scallops
Cucumber kiwi lime smoothie
Butternut Squash Soup