Home Health Looking for a Healthy Way to Start Your Day? Meet Lauren Holler!

Looking for a Healthy Way to Start Your Day? Meet Lauren Holler!

Summer Yogurt Bowls: An easy way to get Protein in at Breakfast and support your body and mind!

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As the temps rise and the days grow longer, I normally crave lighter, more refreshing meals. What about you? One option I love for Summer is the yogurt bowl. Not only are bowls easy & fun to customize (kids love them, too! You can make it a fun way for them to create their own bowls and use their independence and decision making skills – winning!), but they also offer a great way to boost your protein intake by adding a scoop of protein and nutrient-packed toppings.

I had so much fun last week with the Local Pulse team, as we turned our yogurt bowls into a protein-packed powerhouse!

Check out our fun video:

Why Protein Matters

Protein plays a crucial role in building and repairing tissues, producing enzymes and hormones, and supporting our overall health. For those of you with active lifestyles, eating a high-protein diet is even more critical for muscle recovery and energy levels. Protein-rich diets are also linked to improved mood and mental well-being!

So many of us aren’t getting enough protein every day – which leads to cravings, lethargy and difficulty losing weight, to name a few! Did you know every day we should aim to get .8 grams of protein per body weight?? For example if you weigh 140 lbs, you should strive for 112 grams per day!  That’s over 35 grams per meal.

Some of you may be thinking that sounds outrageous! Or better yet, where do I start? Well, I hope this fun recipe gives you some inspiration and confidence to up your protein this Summer – by adding a scoop of protein to your yogurt bowl you can almost double the protein! Bonus: it’s the start of your day, so you’re out the gate with a win, and hopefully not hangry by 11am!

How to Create the Perfect Protein-Packed Yogurt Bowl

Step 1: Choose a Yogurt

The foundation of your high-protein bowl starts with selecting a quality plain yogurt. It’s key to choose a “plain” yogurt – most yogurts have added sugars (more on that another time – but let’s avoid refined sugar when we can to reduce inflammation!).  I personally like Stonyfield Organic Greek or Nancy’s Organic Grass Fed, but if you are dairy free, Harmless Harvest, CocoJune & Forager are all quality non-dairy options made with coconut or cashew milk base.   & even better if you can find a local farmer selling raw yogurt or a Bulgarian Yogurt – very minimally processed, not pasteurized and almost like a kefir, so a great probiotic source. (White Mountain out of Austin, Texas is amazing – I know they sell it at Piggly Wiggly!).

Step 2: Add Your Protein

The quality of your protein powder is key – so many proteins on the market are chock full of fillers, gums, and 100s of other additives and ingredients that are destroying your gut and overall health! (Did you know that “natural flavor” can really mean anything?? I mean anything.. for example Beaver Butt.. yes, shocking, I know (watch this video here if you’re curious).

Avoid the Beaver! Click here to see a few of my protein powder favorites !

Step 3: Have FUN with your Toppings!

The beauty of these bowls lies in their endless topping possibilities. Here are some antioxidant-rich and nutrient-dense toppings to consider:

 **Fresh Berries**: Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are packed with antioxidants and vitamins.

**Nuts and Seeds**: Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds add healthy fats and additional protein. If you choose a granola, also be mindful of the added sugars and additives – I like Purely Elizabeth’s Grain-Free options (link), or if you’re adventurous make your own with oats, nuts, honey and fruit!

**Nut Butters**: A dollop of almond butter or peanut butter can add creaminess and an extra protein punch and healthy fat.

**Coconut Flakes**: Unsweetened coconut flakes provide a fun, tropical twist and healthy fats.

**Local Raw Honey**: To lightly sweeten, drizzle on top for an extra boost of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties – honey can help with seasonal allergies!

How is Food connected to our Mental Health? 

A balanced nutrient-dense diet is not only key to our physical health but also plays a huge role in our mental well-being. Getting enough protein daily supports the production of serotonin, a which regulates mood, sleep, and appetite. Plus, all of the antioxidants and healthy fats in the toppings you choose for your bowl can help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which are linked to mental health disorders.

Practice some mindfulness and notice how you feel after eating your next meal. Do you feel light and energized or do you feel tired, sluggish, bloated? What we put in and on our bodies truly matters! And if we take the time to stop, connect with our bodies and notice, they will tell us what is working and what’s not!

This summer, I encourage you to make yogurt bowls your go-to breakfast or snack. They’re fun to make, easy to customize, and packed with the nutrition you need to feel your best and support both your body and mind!

I’d love to see your bowls – tag me @liveandlovewellness in your photos!