Vending Machine Tips, Plus Recipes for Carb Counters!

Sharebtn Click the share button to confirm. Do it now!

Hi Hungry Girl,

I am addicted to vending machine treats! I know that I should carry healthy options with me, but sometimes I just need a fix from the vending machine. What are my best options?

Jessica on the Vend

Hi Jessica,

Great question! While I definitely suggest keeping emergency snacks around, there are times when you're caught empty-handed and you simply have no choice but to enlist the help of a vending machine. The first thing you should do is ask yourself if you are TRULY hungry or just want to feed a craving. If you need to satisfy a sweet tooth, your best bet is to choose something low in calories like fruity sugar-free gum, hard candy, or a small/light snack bar of some sort. If it's crunchy/salty food you crave, look for baked chips or a mini-bag of pretzels. On the other hand, if you really are hungry, you want to go for snacks that have fiber and protein without being too high in calories or fat. Look for filling snack bars that have about 200 calories -- the twofer granola bars from Nature Valley are a great vending-machine staple. Other brand names to look for? Kashi, Luna, Larabar, and KIND. As for the all-too-common trail mixes, those seemingly safe fruit 'n nut blends often come in multi-serving bags, making it way too easy to gobble down 600 calories' worth at once. So look for single-serving options or skip the mixes. Beef jerky, however, is an awesome option -- it has tons of protein, is usually low in fat, has lots of flavor, and is chewy so it takes a while to eat. For some specific vending machine picks and skips, check out this HG article from last year that was featured on Yahoo!

Hey, HG!

I'm a HUGE fan of yours. I love your show, I've got all of your books, and I love your recipes. But with that said, I'm trying to stay away from carbs. Can you suggest some fun and yummy recipes for those of us watching our carbs? Keep up the great work!

Carbless in Seattle

Hey, Carbless!

Thanks for the love! There are TONS of HG recipes that are perfect for carb avoiders like you. In fact, you might want to save this email and send it to all your carb-cutting pals, because there's a HUGE amount of carb-conscious recipes coming atcha!

Egg Mugs - High in protein, and there are so many delicious options -- from the original Egg Mug Classic to internationally inspired ones like It's All Greek to Me Egg Mug. There's a whole chapter of these in Hungry Girl 300 Under 300!

Pizzas with Unconventional Crusts - Who needs a doughy bottom? This Breakfast Pizza Mexicali has a fat-free-egg crust, these mushroom-bottomed Pizza-bellas are loved by all, and just guess what plays the part of crust in this recipe for Pizza-fied Chicken...

Scoopable Salads and Slaws
- Scoopy Salmon Salad is a personal favorite, and the Hot 'N Cold Buff Chick Scoopable Salad is great for Buffalo-wing lovers! There are some great options in the "Scoopable Salads" chapter of Hungry Girl 200 Under 200, too. To make these more meal-like, serve them in lettuce "cups" or on lettuce "buns."

Burger Patties - Each of these HG patties has 3g carbs or less: Unique Greek Turkey Burgers, Bacon Cheeseburger Patty, and Outside-In Cheeseburger Patty. The OMG! Burgers in Hungry Girl 300 Under 300 are also pretty awesome, with only 4.5g carbs each. These are all great wrapped in lettuce buns.

Tofu Shirataki - For a low-carb pasta fix, these wonder noodles can't be beat. Here are a few recipes with less than 15g carbs per serving -- Simply the Pesto Spaghetti, Tuna Noodle Casse-bowl, and Super-Delicious Shrimp Scampi with Fettuccine. YUM!

Far-From-Boring Chicken & Fish Dishes - Just because you're counting carbs, that doesn't mean you're stuck with plain chicken and boring fish fillets. Check out these recipes for Brocco-ful Cheesy Stuffed Chicken and Ranch-O Bacon Chicken. And click here for Parmed-Up Broiled Tilapia and Sesame Salmon & Snap Peas en Foil. LOVE these.

I could honestly go on for hours, but this should be enough to get you started! P.S. Seattle is one of the stops on my Supermarket Survival book tour. Hope to see you there -- next Friday, October 28th!!!

Did a friend send you this? SIGN UP NOW & get your very own DAILY Tips & Tricks!

Today, October 19th, is National Seafood Bisque Day. Click here for an HG recipe that pairs tasty shellfish with delicious bisque!

Have a question for Hungry Girl? Send it in! She answers new Qs each week (but cannot respond to emails personally).

Click here for a printable, text-only version of this page.

We may have received free samples of food, which in no way influences whether these products are reviewed favorably, unfavorably, mentioned with indifference, or mentioned at all. Click for more about our editorial and advertising policies.

*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints
® trademark.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.

Hungry Girl Inc., 18034 Ventura Blvd. #503, Encino, CA 91316