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Healing through diet

As children we’re often asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Typical answers are occupations like doctor, teacher, vet. But when I approached my later years of high school I first heard about the profession of a dietitian. Initially I said, “Diet-y-whaty?” I knew I wanted to dive into the health field, but hadn’t yet decided my exact path. The concept that food could heal someone was revolutionary to this meat-and-potato-raised Missouri girl. Several years of school and experience later, my wish is to help you, too, understand the power that food has on our bodies and simple ways to make small changes.

Dairy Delicious

Mooove on over! June is National Dairy Month and dietitians are excited to celebrate for the whole month! National Dairy Month was originally started back in 1937 (and was first named National Milk Month) as a reminder of all the health benefits that dairy products provide. Here’s why dietitians love yogurt, a dairy delicious product:

Essential Nutrients. Milk contains 9 essential nutrients including: high-quality protein, calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus, vitamin B12, potassium and vitamin A. These are nutrients that our bodies can’t make and rely on food sources to provide.

Protein Powerhouse. Yogurt is jam-packed with protein and made through a fermentation of lactose by adding live active cultures. As the cultures grow, the milk thickens and becomes the creamy delicious yogurt that we love. One cup of plain Greek yogurt has anywhere from 12 to 17 grams of protein, depending on the brand. Your body uses protein to build muscles, bones, blood, hair, skin and cartilage.

Digestive Health. Most yogurts are made with live active cultures, also known as probiotics, the good bacteria that helps with digestion. Probiotics can help boost your immune system and decrease stomach issues.

Greek Yogurt. Greek yogurt is yogurt that has gone through a straining process that removes the whey and leaves us with a thicker, creamier product with double the protein, less sugar and fewer carbohydrates. Greek yogurt is great post-exercise – the amino acids that make up the protein help replenish depleted muscles. Try adding berries or a banana for a more complete snack.

Versatility. You can enjoy yogurt in various ways. You can spoon it, drink it, freeze it and use it in your favorite recipes. There are a variety of flavors and endless ways to enjoy yogurt. Try this Yogurt Dill Dip recipe that has a base of tangy yogurt and serve it with healthy dippers like fresh veggies.

Yogurt Dill Dip

Serves 16

All you need:

1 cup Hy-Vee plain Greek yogurt

1 cup olive oil mayo

2 tbsp Hy-Vee dried dill weed

2 tbsp Hy-Vee dried minced onions

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

½ tsp Hy-Vee garlic salt

¼ tsp Hy-Vee ground black pepper

1 (21-oz) loaf Hy-Vee Bakery Artisan New York salt rye bread

Desired vegetables, for serving

Fresh dill, for garnish

All you do:

1. Stir together Greek yogurt, mayo, dill, dried onions, lemon juice, garlic salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Cover and chill until serving time.

2. Cut 1/2 inch off top of bread loaf. Hollow out the bread, leaving a 1-inch wall. Reserve bread pieces. Just before serving, spoon dip into bread bowl. Serve with desired vegetables and/or bread cubes. Garnish with fresh dill, if desired.

Nutrition facts per serving: 140 calories, 6g fat, 1g saturated fat, 17g carbohydrate, 380mg sodium, 0g fiber, 1g sugar, 4g protein

Recipe source:

This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

• • •

Megan Callahan is one of your Hy-Vee corporate dietitians. She is dedicated to helping people live healthier and happier lives. Megan received a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Missouri State University. She completed her dietetic internship at the University of Kansas Medical Center, where she also received her Master of Science degree in dietetics and nutrition. Megan has been working with Hy-Vee full time for 10 years. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). Megan has served as the president and vice president of the Kansas City Dietetic Association. With a passion for nutrition and wellness, Megan is dedicated to educating customers and promoting healthy lifestyles to our Hy-Vee community. Megan lives in Lee’s Summit with her husband. Matt, and their 2 children, Kennedy (4) & Carsyn (2).

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