YMCA of Greater Louisville


Taco Salad with Greek Yogurt

We know football season is right around the corner. And we thought it might be a good idea to post some yummy, healthy recipes in case you want to start planning your menu for the season opener. (And let’s be honest…we’ve all started thinking about that!) So whether you’re a Cards or a Cats fan, take a look at this awesome recipe.

(Thank you to Erin Brown, our very own Registered Dietitian, for graciously sharing her knowledge with us!)

Taco Salad – Greek Yogurt Recipe


8oz Greek Yogurt
8oz Fat Free Cream Cheese
1 bundle of green onions, diced
Shredded lettuce to cover
2 tomatoes, diced
8oz of shredded 2% cheese
1 package of taco seasoning

Mix greek yogurt, cream cheese, and taco seasoning as a base. Then top with diced onion, shredded lettuce, diced tomato, and shredded cheese – in that order. Makes 8 servings.

Total calories/serving: 123 total fat/serving: 6g protein/serving:14 g



Sandy’s Weight Loss Journey with the Y

Sandy Campbell has been a member and participant in the YMCA Weight Loss Program at the Oldham County Family YMCA since January, 2012. She has seen great success through this program, and has Imagegraciously shared her views on the program, her success, and her overall attitude with us.

Sandy, how has your life changed since beginning the YMCA Weight Loss Program?

I’ve been on every diet in the world and I was mislead on how to lose weight. The difference that I have seen since January in my life is night and day. I have figured out what hungry means and my body is now in charge of telling me what I need.

When losing weight in the past, what led to gaining the weight back?

Once I had reached my goal, I thought I was done. I went back to eating more, back to the TV, and back to eating while watching TV. I didn’t really think or know much about maintenance.

What is one of the main health improvements you have seen?

I was actually told by my physician at one point that I was a Type 2 Diabetic, but my last fasting glucose was 78 and my Hemoglobin A1C  was 5.1%.

How do you keep yourself motivated?

I always have a goal in mind. My next goal is to eliminate artificial sweeteners. Also, I am not a water lover, so I am still working on that. I will never give up my creamer, though. 🙂

What part of this program makes it work for you? Image

I have learned to set goals that I can reach. This program’s focus on goal setting and counting fat grams is great. I was taught about the macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. I have now found the perfect formula for me!

What would you tell someone who was thinking about joining the YMCA Weight Loss Program?

If you want back your youth, you’ve got to get yourself back. The person inside has a lot of self worth, you have to get back that self worth to compete in this world. You’ve got to want it. You’ve got to want it bad.

Any last words of wisdom?

My lifestyle has changed and I will never go back. I am throwing out my fat clothes. I stopped listening to what I wanted and started listening to what I needed.

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Let’s face it, the vending machine has historically been a dangerous place for anyone trying to limit their heart attacks to one per lifetime.

“Hmm…should I go with the Snicker’s bar or the Doritos? I mean, it was a pretty tough workout, maybe I should go with something like that Honey Bun.”

But, fear no more! The Y is helping its members choose healthier snacks with less effort! Healthy Choices at the Y Not only are we applying a new, easy to read labeling system, but many branches are improving the very options they are providing. By decreasing the amount of total fat and added sugar in our vending machines and increasing the amount of natural energy sources like nuts, you will be provided with the nourishment you need during your daily visits to the Y!

Look for the green, yellow, and red labels coming to your vending machines soon! Stick to the green and yellow items for healthier choices!!!


Shedding pounds, gaining confidence

Some people look to famous people and historical figures for inspiration, and while I’m definitely one of those people who can dig a good quote from Gandhi or Einstein, I feel more personally moved by the everyday people I actually interact with, and the YMCA Weight Loss program highlights that point perfectly.

Since September, I’ve had the great privilege of facilitating the YMCA Weight Loss group at our Southwest branch and have met some wonderful people through this program. One member who always brightens up our Monday evening class is Lisa Garrett. Lisa started the program at the Southwest Y back in October and has since lost about 30 pounds! Being witness to Lisa’s weight loss journey has been such a treat for me–I thought it was only fair to let everyone else in on how awesome this lady is. So, let’s hear a little from her.

Why did you join the YMCA Weight Loss program? I was ready for a change. I was sick of feeling unhealthy and was frustrated about not being happy with myself. There was no one who could change that but me. I didn’t think about it too much; I just jumped in.

What positive changes have you experienced since joining the program? My self-confidence is amazing! I’m happier, more outgoing. I feel more young at heart. I used to be the one waiting on things to happen, now I’m more of a go-getter.

What do you enjoy most about the program? The overall sense of support and well-being everyone has for each other. Having a sounding board. The support has definitely been the best part of the program.

What advice would you give someone wanting to lose weight? Don’t over-think it; just jump in and do it, then there’s less time to talk yourself out of it. Sometimes the first step is the hardest, but remember that you are worth it. Making a lifestyle change like this is hard, but it is so, so worth it.

So, like Lisa says, it’s hard work, but it is so worth it.

If you want to learn more about the YMCA Weight Loss program, contact our Weight Loss Coordinator, Erin Brown, at 502 314 1613 or at yweightloss@ymcalouisville.org.


Would You Like Some Milk With Your Sugar?

Newsflash: your mother was right. Eating breakfast really IS just that important.  In fact, we’ve been told that 20-25% of our calories for the entire day should be consumed within 30-40 minutes of rolling (or forcing yourself to roll) out from under those cozy covers. I love to eat, sounds like a party to me.

Oh, but wait. Eating breakfast is hard. Wait, scratch that. Rolling out of bed is hard. If I have to eat breakfast I have to set the alarm for 15 minutes earlier. Can someone invent something that can make my husband’s coffee, make my breakfast, pick out my clothing, pack my lunch (don’t forget to wash some grapes, please), pack my gym bag, oh, and give me a shower, all in, say, 10 minutes? That’d be great. Let me know when it’s available. I’ll be waiting right here.

My husband and I don’t have children yet, but I can only imagine this whole hectic morning scenario escalates with some little tots in toll. Enter: The Top 10 Most Sugary Cereals.

Did you know, there are at least 44 cereals that contain more sugar in one cup than three Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies? One cup of the top sugar-containing cereal, Honey Smacks, contains more sugar than a Hostess Twinkie. Holy morning sugar coma.

Without further ado (ranked by percent sugar by weight);

  1. Kellogg’s Honey Smacks (55.6%)
  2. Post Golden Crisp (51.9%)
  3. Kellogg’s Fruit Loops with Marshmallows (48.3%)
  4. Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s Oops! All Berries (46.9%)
  5. Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original (44.4%)
  6. Quaker Oats Oh!s (44.4%)
  7. Kellogg’s Smorz (43.3%)
  8.  Kellogg’s Apple Jacks (42.9%)
  9. Ouaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries (42.3%)
  10.  Kellogg’s Fruit Loops Original (41.4%)

So, what’s the dealio? Somehow reading a nutrition label and seeing that Honey Smacks has 20 grams (nearly five teaspoons) of sugar per serving doesn’t have the same impact as slapping a label on the box that reads “Warning: Equivalent to Eating a Twinkie.” Um. Gross. I’ll pass, thank you very little.

Oatmeal, anyone?

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Cheap Temptations

So, whose eyes have been scarred by the distaste of LivingSocial today? Can you hardly believe their national deal of the day is 50% off McDonalds; 5 Big Macs and 5 large fries for $13? Seriously?! By 11:30am (less than 12 hours after the deal was launched!) over 103,000 had already been purchased. *Hanging my head in shame.*

I don’t know about you but when this “beaut” came through my email inbox, my jaw dropped, I did a double take, and my blood pressure instantly spiked. Who do they think they are?! LivingSocial offers to companies worldwide the opportunity to sell their products or experiences at discounted rates to consumers who may not, given any other situation, notice or purchase their goods. LivingSocial consequently offers consumers the opportunity to save money, seek new opportunities, and support their communities. Seems like a win-win, yeah? Right, it normally is, except for when the world’s largest hamburger-chain restaurant decides to take advantage of LivingSocial’s influential marketing opportunity and contributes to the nation’s growing obesity epidemic. Thanks a lot, Mickey-D’s.

This week, Prevention magazine released an article listing the 8 most artery-clogging cities in America. Guys, we made the cut! Ugh. Yep, Louisville came in at #8. The article so disturbingly described how McDonald’s (coincidence? I think not) has more restaurants per capita in Louisville than any other city in America. Disgusting.

Here’s the kicker. I’m not personally opposed to McDonald’s selling their goods on a site like LivingSocial, but what I don’t understand is why they didn’t take such an amazing opportunity (LivingSocial reaches nearly 46 million people annually!) to market the good (nutritionally) options they’ve added to their menu! You know, the things they spend so much money trying to get people to realize they have in the first place! Think for a minute, where was the last time you saw a McDonald’s ad referencing a healthy option on their menu? I saw some apple slices and milk (which they apparently add to every ‘Happy Meal’ now?) on the back of a TARC bus just yesterday. This shows they’re trying. If McDonald’s had offered a LivingSocial Deal of the Day for their Fruit & Yogurt Parfait, apple slices, or a salad, even I would have considered purchasing it!

…And you know what? I bet more than 103,000 would have sold in the first 11.5 hours, too.

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Choosing apples over chips

Chocolate and chips are a weakness of mine. I’m a snacker, and if I’m within six feet of either of these treats, there’s a good chance I’ll soon be munching on them. In trying to eat better these last few months, I’ve been looking for ways to make my snacking habits less hazardous to my health. Enter the apple!

This fall has been a great season for apples, and while you can find them at grocery stores year-round, it’s hard to top the taste of in-season fresh fruit. Apples serve as a great addition to breakfast or as an anytime snack–definitely a good post-workout snack to have in your gym bag. If you’re in a hurry or in a setting where crunching a juicy apple (apple juice running down the side of my mouth at work is something I’d like to avoid), then dried apples might be worth trying.

Using a food dehydrator, you can make sure your big bag of apples doesn’t go bad before you eat them by drying them out and making a tasty and portable treat. I’ve been carrying a little baggy filled with dried apples lately to munch on at work, and they’re just as addictive as chips! Dried fruit certainly does make a fine snack, but because some nutrients are lost and sugars are more concentrated, you still need to pay attention to just how much you’re eating. A serving of dried apples does still serve as a healthy snack in that one serving gives you 20% of your daily dietary fiber and 8% of your daily potassium.

So, if you’re a snackaholic like me, passing over the chips for dried fruit might be a good move for you. Home dehydrating is best, but if you don’t have access to a dehydrator, you can find a variety of dried fruits at most grocery stores.

What are your favorite healthy snacks? If you don’t have one yet, get to it!