Food For Thought (Part 1)

So, most of you may have heard from my Twitter that I attended a really cool event yesterday for FAGE Greek Yogurt. I learned some really great ways to incorporate this product into some of my favorite dishes. I think one of the most important things I learned was FINALLY how to pronounce it…it is actually pronounced Fah-Yay. I know, I know it is explained on the container, but for some reason I was still saying it wrong. Classic.

Anyway, when I first arrived at the Culinary Institute I was super intimidated. I walked into a room full of food bloggers, culinary journalists, and some really swanky foodies!! Everyone was really nice, but I have to admit I kept thinking…Why was I invited to this? What am I going to add to this group of culinary experts? I immediately had to stop myself and give my hand a mental slap…this was “old” insecure Olivia trying to creep back into my behavior. So, I grabbed my cup of coffee and walked over to a table with two woman and sat down. After introducing myself I quickly found out that one of them worked for Oprah magazine, and the other had just launched a food blog. Both of them were such incredible woman and there was never a lack for words!! I have to admit it felt so amazing to put myself out there and realize that sometimes it just takes jumping right in to things no matter how scary it seems on the outside. Before Biggest Loser I would have just stayed at a table on my own and “pretended” to look at my phone or something dumb like that. Instead I left the event having had an amazing time and having met so many FANTASTIC people!

I want to encourage everyone to try and put yourself out there in situations you would normally run from. Believe me it is so, SO hard….but all I have been able to think about since yesterday is “how much life have I missed because I was in hiding?”. Let’s challenge each other everyday to get out there and grab life by the horns because we ALL deserve the best life has to offer! ย Now, when I see people wearing those “Life is good” t-shirts I’m going to say….”well, yes. Yes, it is!”

Stay tuned for part two of this post…I’m going to talk about some of the recipes I learned at the #FAGEtotal event. See you then!


Olivia ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S. ย We had over 10,000 people come and visit the blog yesterday!!! WHAT??? ย You guys are so amazing and Hannah and I love you all dearly. ย This is gonna be good…don’t ya think? ย Feel free to connect with us and others in the comments….that is usually my favorite part of a blog anyway. ย I have a LARGE group of girls I met in the comments of a a certain blog that has to do with a boy who played a vampire….you know who you are. ย Anyway, they are now some of my real life best friends….so go ahead chat away! ๐Ÿ™‚

67 replies on “Food For Thought (Part 1)”

OMG I never could pronounce FAGE either!! It is still hard to remember that isn’t how you say it! At least now I know I was not the only one! I look forward to hearing about the recipes you have and trying some of them out!

I just discovered what a great substitution Greek yogurt is for mayo!

I totally do the pretending to look at my phone gag–or I used to until I found some confidence. Amazing what some weight loss will do for a person.

You girls are awesome!

Ohhh can’t wait to hear more about what you learned and how to work fage into recipes. I LOVE greek yogurt as a sub for other things in recipes, and all on it’s own is just YUM too. PS. so cool to hear how you reacted at the event vs the “old” Olivia – you have worked so hard to get to this point, it must feel so good to see it paying off in social settings, too!

I can totally relate to that feeling of not belonging and just sitting in a corner and looking at your phone. However, in the last year, I have gained a self confidence to put myself out there and meet new people. I have already gained so many friends by just introducing myself first. Isn’t it funny that we all don’t want to be the first one…right! So excited to hear more about this event! Thanks for starting this blog!


Olivia, I can totally relate to the letting insecurities keep you from living thing…I really struggle with this! It’s definitely gotten better as I’ve aged, but it’s still there. Thanks for the inspiration!

Can’t wait to hear the recipes. Oh, and I would have never pronounced that right!

I can’t wait for the recipes! I forgot to go back when I got home last night and click on your links during the event. Oh well. I’m definitely going to try the marinated chicken one. That sounded tasty.

Comments and the Forum, the good ol’ days. ๐Ÿ™‚

Usually find a corner to hide in when in a group. Even when I am suppose to be a leader in the group trying To put self out there hard to beat the feelings of worthless of being so obese

“Letโ€™s challenge each other everyday to get out there and grab life by the horns because we ALL deserve the best life has to offer!”

I love this challenge!!! Whether it is weight, fears or our own disbeliefs about ourselves holding us back, we all need to be challenged to move past those and into the life we ALL deserve. I believe we ALL do deserve the best life has to offer too. I believe we were created for this better life…this abundant life. Thank you for inspiring us ALL to go out and grab life by the horns and start living a better life day by day!


p.s. I love that you used the word swanky…it’s a great word to hash tag on twitter ๐Ÿ˜‰

I totally understand about holding back. Its something i am trying to work on and ive gotten better with. i def think i can accomplish alot more if i just put myself out there and take the risk. Anyway. I totally love fage yogurt. i usually have it with kashi go lean crunch vanilla and any kind of fruit for breakfast, but i would love to hear about all of the other ways it could be used. i have substituted it for sour cream on my lettuce tacos and its just as good. I hope they gave you some salad dressing recipes!

You go OLIVIA! Loved that Twitter photo with those swanky glasses by the way. It’s amazing how when you put yourself out there, you realize how much you have to offer! I bet many of the people you met were equally inspired by you. There are a lot of sharp people out there that can’t get a handle on their health. Can’t wait to see more! ๐Ÿ™‚

LOVE your new blog gals! And love Fage Greek yogurt (or as my toddler calls it, GEEK yogurt!) You know, I would love an email sign up on your blog for updates instead of feedburner etc. I have a teeny blog that maybe four people read but I have an easy email option for folks…you guys totally should with the ten thou folks who want to be inspired even more!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the fact that you two are doing a blog! I am so excited to read about everything you touched on in your video. Both of you are a great inspiration and I’m eagerly awaiting more posts!

So, let me first say that you and Hannah are such an inspiration to me! I followed your journey on the BL, follow you on twitter and now I am so excited about your new blog. I am looking forward to learning lots from you about how to keep going in my weightless journey. I will have to admit that I totally HATE greek yogurt! It is just too chalky and weird tasting, but I am willing to try using it in some recipes. I have used it once in a Devils food chocolate cake in place of oil and eggs and it was to die for! Looking forward to the purple teams’ words of wisdom!

O.. First I’m super excited about u nd ur sis makin this blog!! U have Helped me sooo much u don’t even know!!! #purplegoeshard!!!! Thnx again for this blog! Hope to meet u 2 someday very soon! I have soo many questions for u wish I can win a one-on-one that would be EPIC!!!! Xoxo

Thnk you for this post Olivia! I must admit, I see a lot of myself in this siutation. I used to hide from certain events (and every once in a blue moon STILL do) but I’m learning that once I get to the event I wind up having a great time and wondering why I ever got nervous about it.

I also can’t wait to learn more about Fage. It’s my favorite Greek yogurt and I always mix it with fruit and cinnamon. I welcome new ways to use it! :o)

I am really excited that you both are writing this blog! You are two of my favorite biggest loser contestants ever and I admire both of you. I am a newly registered dietitian and I am always so thrilled to hear amazing success stories of people realizing that they are beautiful both inside and out! I definitely related to this post, being new to the dietitian world I often feel intimidated when attending conferences/talks and find it really hard to just go up to someone and introduce myself. But I know I can and I will!

This challenge makes my heart rate increase slightly because I am thinking of all the activities and fun I have missed out on because I thought I didn’t belong or didn’t fit in. Case in point: last night I went to my first ever spin class (which I was terrified to do because A. I had never done it (obviously) B. gym class fanatics don’t look kindly upon newbies). An altercation in the sign up line almost (like my foot over the threshold) had me in my car but I faced the fear and hopped on a bike ( or stood next to it) . I felt like an idiot because everyone (including the meany from the sign up line) hopped on their bikes and were ready to go, and here I was standing meekly by the bike red faced and again ready to head for the door. Then I was like scaaarew this I deserve to be here just as much as meany mcgrouchy bike over there does and proclaimed myself to bikers near by as a newbie. They were more than helpful with the set up and a quick “lingo” run through before class started. Spinning was uber fantastico and today when I was in yoga when one of the helpful spinning class oldies proclaimed herself to be a newbie in yoga which I happen to be an oldie in so yay new gym friends!

Moral of the story is that we all have felt like outsiders. What’s worse is that we are the ones making ourselves feel insignificant 93.6% of time (the other 4.3% are the meany mcgrouchy bikes that don’t deserve your rays of awesomeness shining upon them!)

So I accept the challenge to try new things, not belittle my own awesomeness, and expect that others are feeling EXACTLY the same way and probably would be receptive to talking and maybe becoming actual friends! Awkward situations with friends are always super fun to look back and laugh about anyways ๐Ÿ™‚

Sorry WOW this is uber long…haha
day 2 and I am enjoying this blog…and obviously can relate…..back to reality now!!!

Great story! I remember how scary it was going into my first spin class. Carry on and it may become an addiction. Cheers!

That’s exactly how I feel! I love my gym and I love the group fitness classes but I only take the dance classes because I love to dance and feel safer there in the back. I have wanted to try spin because so many people seem to really love it but it’s intimidating to try for the first time because of the equipment and the superathletes and everything. I’m glad you had a good experience though in the end. Thank you for sharing your spin story with us!

First off, I had no idea you could make all those things with yogurt, so clearly I learned something new today.

Secondly, I die laughing at your reference to the comments of that OTHER blog (that I of course know NOTHING about). Oh, how I LOVED those days! Good times.

OMG! I so relate to this post today! I totally decided to attend a “Ladies night” at fleet feet by myself in a effort to kick myself in the butt to start being more active. However, the whole drive there I kept telling myself to turn the car around and go home. But I kept driving, and got there and had a great time!! Why do I feel that way? Am I the only one?


You know that we do not have greek yogurt where I live. I know, it’s terrible. So I might try the recipes with the regular non-fat one. It will work, right?

I just bought this yesterday. I don’t really know what to do with it now though…haha.

Also….you guys should see if Lulu Lemon will sponsor a giveaway for you. I’d love me some lulu lemon workout clothes ๐Ÿ™‚

Olivia & Hannah- I am so excited about this blog. I love that you still want to be connected with everyone, even though the show is over. It’s only the second day of the blog and I love it already!

This post really connected with me in a way I didn’t expect:

“I have to admit it felt so amazing to put myself out there and realize that sometimes it just takes jumping right in to things no matter how scary it seems on the outside.”

Thank you for sharing this experience with us, Olivia, and for the encouragement/challenge you gave us to stop running away. This was definitely good for me to read and realize that I’m not alone when it comes to “hiding” when really what we want is to stop worrying so much and enjoy whatever comes our way. I can’t wait to read more! ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes! I couldn’t agree more! Olivia’s hiding story totally resonated with me too. I made a vision board for weight loss and lots of the things I put on there were new things I’d love to try but feel to fat to attempt or too embarrassed or too shy or too self-conscious, etc. Olivia, would you have tried them if you were heavy still? Sometimes I look at how BEAUTIFUL you are now and find myself thinking that you can say the things you say because you look so physically great now in addition to the mental, personal, spiritual beauty that was always inside. I don’t know what to wear to the gym and am too ugly at 40 pounds overweight to wear your Lulu stuff as just one example of how much a physical change matters as much as a physical change.

O, I love you girly and I’m super excited about this blog…BUT…when discussing a product, can you please link it to your blog?? That would be helpful and I’m sure the yogurt people would appreciate it…I’m just sayin…

Looking forward to part 2!


I have never been able to join the greek yogurt train, it just doesn’t meld well with the tastebuds. I want very much to like it so I may have to try it in savory dishes. As of yet I have only tried it as a yogurt parfait.
At any rate- I am beyond stoked for this blog to be up and running. I hope you post every day. Any bit of help you can put out there is so wonderful.

I know what you mean about putting yourself out there. Photography is my passion but for most of my life I only did it for myself and for family and friends because I was afraid that if I did portraits for people they wouldn’t like them. This year I started really facing that insecurity and taking on assignments from people I never met. It’s been a great learning experience and I’ve made some new friends. And I am all about making friends. =)

And I have tried Greek Yogurt every way I can think of, and cannot make myself like it. I love regular yogurt but thats probably because it has all that sugar in it. Greek yogurt has kind of a spoiled taste to it that I can’t get past. Wish I could.

I absolutely LOVE Fage Greek Yogurt! My favorite way to have it is with a little honey and almond slices, yummy! It is the only brand I like, so am excited to see what kind of recipes you have to share ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes! Not all brands taste the same. You may want to try a few diff kinds. Personally, FAGE is not my fav at all, it’s like eating sour creme to me. I’ve eaten Greek yogurt for years and my fav is homemade-it’s super easy to make (google it!) Otherwise, try Stonyfield ORGANIC Vanilla or Plain. Go for the ORGANIC!! Way better for you. FAGE is not certified organic.

I have always wanted to try Fage, but have shyed away from it. After reading some of the comments, and hearing about the recipes you plan to share, I am going to pick some up at the store tomorrow! Excited to try something new.
Thanks, Olivia.

I am not a huge fan of greek yogurt alone but would love to see some recipes using it! I am super excited for this blog. I had fallen off track a bit until this past weekend when I met Olivia and Hannah in Boston. Now I just feel so amazing and inspired thanks to these girls. Keep the posts coming!

Looking forward to this blog! You guys are awesome…

Request: please, please, please talk about maintaining, because that is the hardest part for me. I lose weight and then I loosen my structure for eating and exercise because it’s not about losing anymore, and without the structure, I keep stretching the limit. The gray area is deadly…..


I’m fighting tooth and nail to hold on to my goal weight; seems harder than losing, because there’s no finish line.

I’d love to hear some pearls of wisdom on the matter. Great idea!

I really admired you ladies this season on Biggest Loser. I wonder how you have transitioned your workouts now after being off the show. Your weight loss was incredible but, as is typical, I get concentrated on your weight and wonder why I can’t get back down to that weight. I actually lost 10% of my weight last year and am at a good weight for me. I work out and really enjoy Tae Bo but sometimes I get frustrated that I just can’t seem to ever see the 130s again. How do I keep the inspiration up without comparing to what others have lost.

I thought it was just me with that social anxiety like that!!! I’m so bad that I’m afraid to take a spin class at my gym because of course I dont know what I’m doing and I would have to ask for help! This is a great blog. Thanks Olivia

That was me yesterday… PETRIFIED to take spin at my gym…..but it was sooo fun and a great workout!! I had no clue about spinning and almost left the gym early (I am guilty of many chickening out moments) but I stuck it out and am glad I did! You can do it too ๐Ÿ™‚

I just read a book about the that very same thing. It talked about fear and how getting out of your comfort zone is UNCOMFORTABLE but necessary to making lasting necessary change. I really loved that you addressed that. I cannot wait to here more. I love Greek yogurt but find that it is a lot more calories than other yogurts. Is it still a better choice in the long run?

Love Fage, always have it in the fridge for myself. Looove that my super-picky-hates-dairy-and-breakfast-in-general little boy now asks *every morning* for a smoothie!! Frozen fruit, OJ, Fage – easy peasy, feel good food (plus a slice of PB sprouted toast). Yay! Some days it’s the little things that make you dance around the house.

Ps – you guys are so awesome, thanks for a super blog. I’ll be checking it out often. <3 ya!

I used to be the one sitting in the corner away from the crowd. Slowly but surely I am making a change in the right direction. Getting out of my comfort zone is hard, but I feel so much better when I try something new. Thanks for sharing your blog! I look forward to checking in to find out how Hannah and Olivia are doing. I’m very inspired by you both!

LOVE greek yogurt! I use it as a substitute in my “taco” salad (brown rice, black beans, LOTS of salsa over crunchy lettuce with a dollop of greek yogurt–sooo good!).

Anyway, Olivia and Hannah–you guys are amazing! Totally was GLUED to BL this season watching you on your incredible journey! Olivia, my weight a few months ago was very close to your starting weight and I’ve been working sooo hard. I’m a little less than halfway there–but need some help to jumpstart the rest. I have twin one and a half year old boys and I’m staying with family in NY this summer while my husband is deployed for work–I would LOVE to try a soulcycle class but I’m sooo nervous! YIKES! Any suggestions/advice on where to start? THANKS! You ladies rock!

Hi all,

My friends and I were actually having a conversation the other day along the same lines of “putting yourself out there.” I am a painfully shy person, so it’s often terrifying for me to be introduced into new situations, meet new people, etc. But my friend posted this statement on her facebook page the other day that read “Feelings do not necessarily reflect reality.” When I am feeling insecure about a situation now, I try to remember this statement and it helps a lot…definitely a work in progress though! Perhaps this will help some of you out there that also fall into the category of shy or who have social anxiety. ๐Ÿ™‚

Loving the blog, Olivia & Hannah, and looking forward to being even more inspired by you ladies!

I so know what that “old me voice” sounds like and how much it tries to hold me down. One of the inspiring things about BL is watching others defeat that voice. Give me hope! Making progress everyday.

Looking forward to seeing what you and Hannah will be up to on this blog!

Congrats Hannah and Olivia on getting your blog up and running! Olivia, great job at the FAGE event!
I’ve worked as a trainer and yoga teacher for 20+ years. Suggestion for those of you who feel uncomfortable coming into a class…(and we ALL feel that way sometimes! sometimes I go to a trainer workshop and have to remind myself that yes, I DO belong there!)…anyways, suggestion…
Look around. Look for the other person that’s looking uncomfortable also. Promise there is someone else feeling the same way. Go up to that person and introduce yourself, tell them it’s your first class or whatever. They will be so grateful to you for doing so and by helping that person out, you’ve taken your eyes off yourself. You are no longer the ‘new person’. You now have a friend in the room. Go sign up/set up together! It works!

Looking fwd to reading more of your blog, purple girls! Purple has always been my fav color. People used to tease me about my purple CAR until I got in a bad car wreck and it was totalled. SAD day.
Congrats, have a great Thurs!

Yup, GOO JOB! My gal, that’s her, my gal.

PS Always be the stewardess, then you’re never intimidated or lonely #Italktoomuch

I thought you had been at some of my events – I have and still sit at the table and look at my phone as if to be busy, to seem invisible. You go girl! I am so proud of you – you are an inspiration.

When I feel like it is worthless -the workouts and watching what I eat, I remember you and Hannah and know it will come with time.

Congratulations again and can’t wait to see the recipes!

I just found this website from twitter. I am so excited to hear more and get more tips and encouragement from everyone. I love the biggest loser.


One newbie for you! That’s me. Now, where the heck do I subscribe to this site??? It’s important to me. No one motivates me the way you two do. . .but where’s the *&&^&@@ subscribe button. yelp!


So very true! About getting in there and just stepping out of your comfort zone! It feels so amazing when you actually do! I will totally be keeping this in mind next time I am in a situation like this! ๐Ÿ™‚

I love your message about grabbing life by the horns. I need to do that too. I would totally have just sat by myself, hoping someone would talk to me. It is so hard sometimes to break out and talk to new people, but I know it can be so rewarding!

Thank you for re-explaining the pronunciation of Fage! I LOVE the stuff but I think the explanation on the container is still a little confusing…so know you’re not alone! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I am so hooked on the plain 0% Fage. I’ve never been a big yogurt fan, but plain Greek yogurt — IF you get the right brand; different brands taste so different! — is so versatile! My favorite breakfast or snack right now is a bunch of grapes with 1/3c. Fage and 1/4c. or 1/2c. of Kashi GoLean Crunch. It’s like a guiltless “granola” parfait. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s also so good for savory dips and as a sour cream sub. Yum!

Good for you boldly jumping into a community where you felt intimidated. The truth is they were probably just as thrilled to meet you as you were to meet them! Go O! ๐Ÿ™‚

Olivia– would love to hear more about why you overate in the first place. i think i remember you saying something about wanting to be in control of everything; i have that problem too. wondering if that was part of why you overate. i think that’s one reason i do it.

Although I love to hear tips about weight loss and fitness, I also love to hear about simple ways to become a better person so we can live life to the fullest. I had a really bad attitude about some things a few years ago when I was in high school and someone told me a quote that changed my life,

“Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.”

It’s something that you have to read a couple of times, but it really is true and can be applied to anything in your life: a new/hard situation, going somewhere/doing something that you really don’t want to do, work, school, relationships with family and friends, etc… You were already there so what were you going to do about? You could’ve sat by yourself and been intimidated and shy, but instead you put yourself out there, made some new friends and had a great time, LOVE it!! Thanks for sharing, looking forward to more!

Girls, I love the site! I love you both! I make a purpose to work out in some sort of PURPLE shirt as often as I can. I channel you girls through my workouts knowing you went through thesame obstacles and prevailed!!!! I can’t wait for more from you both. Take care, and enjoy your 4th of July weekend!!!!

xoxox much love from Wisco xoxox

Hey purple team!! i love u guys to death!! I had the pleasure if meeting you on Sunday. It was really a dream come true. Now every time i look at the picture of us it motivates me more and more every time i go to the gym, it makes me push harder because you guys did it so i know that i can to!!!. I can not wait to hear more from you guys!! xoxo

I love you guys and your website, but I have to be honest. You say that you want to help us, and I believe that you do. I just hope that your blog will be “real” and not just dedicated to the companies and products that sponsor you. On twitter, you rave about that guacamole, but never said what to eat with it. Some of the products that you rave about are not available where I live. I need to know how to eat, not what products to eat. I need help, not a constant advertisment. Please help us know how to eat, not just let your blog be an advertisment.

Love your posts on twitter and your blog posts to this point. Like you both, I lost a good amount of weight and am looking to spread the message of healthy living without “cheating”. Whenever you have a free minute, could you take a look at my blog and let me know what you think? Its about the truth in weight loss and all you really need to be successful. Its my story :o) Look forward to more of your blogs!

Olivia, you are such an inspiration to me. I graduated from college in Dec. 09 with a degree in vocal music ed. Where I live, music educator positions are being eliminated constantly so I’ve been struggling and sank into a depression – which lead to me gaining all the weight I lost last year back and then some. I weighed in at 156 pounds the other day and I’m only 5 foot tall. You’ve inspired me to get my running shoes out and to start getting in shape. I used to also be in the Army, and I’d love to get back to my basic training weight of 129 (when I was a size 4) by Christmas. I am also running the Army Ten Miler in October and am working hard at beating last years time. Thank you for starting this blog. I needed something like this that I could follow and be inspired by daily.

Olivia! You took the words right out of my mouth. I am about a year late in discovering this amazing place in the blogosphere but I am so glad I did. I am just beginning my own journey to recovery with body image issues and the like, and what you said about how before Biggest Loser you would have just sat at a table pretending to stare at your phone – AH! That’s me!

I will definitely think more purposefully today about putting myself out there, and will keep reminding myself in the days to come that if we hold ourselves back because we’re afraid, we don’t know what we’re missing out on!

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