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Swaps for Swiss Wedges, Plus Tricks for Traveling!
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Swaps for Swiss Wedges, Plus Tricks for Traveling!

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10.31.12
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Dear HG,

A lot of your recipes call for The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese. I do NOT like Swiss cheese! Is there something else I can use?

No-Swiss Miss

Hi No-Swiss Miss,

Good news... Despite the name, the Light Creamy Swiss wedges don't really taste like the slightly bitter, holey Swiss slices you're probably imagining. They're just creamy, mild, and amazing -- sort of like cream cheese but with a smoother texture and a more delicious flavor. And the stats are fantastic -- just 35 calories and 1.5g fat per spreadable wedge (PointsPlus® value 1*). If you haven't actually tried them, I highly suggest you toss aside any preconceived notions and give 'em a whirl -- you might be surprised to find you LOVE the flavor!

If you still can't embrace the Light Creamy Swiss wedges, there are MANY other flavors of Laughing Cow Light that work great in HG recipes. The French Onion flavor is perfect in egg mugs and anywhere else that could use a little onion goodness. The Blue Cheese has a very mild yet specific flavor, so it doesn't work well everywhere, but it's perfect for this pizza recipe (just nix the ranch mix), these jalapeño poppers, and this Creamy Cheesy Bacon 'Chini! The Queso Fresco & Chipotle is ideal for Mexican dishes like this cheesy quesadilla and this TV-famous stuffed chicken. Play around with all the light options! You could also use the Garden Vegetable and Classic Cream varieties of the Smooth Sensations 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese Spread -- just know that those have 10 extra calories and 2.5g more fat per wedge. And if you want something super basic to use in place of a wedge of the Swiss, try fat-free cream cheese -- use 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon in place of each wedge of Laughing Cow.

Now you've got lots of options. No more excuses for skipping recipes that call for those wedges... They're TOO good to pass up! 

Hi Hungry Girl,

I just got a new job, and I'll be traveling by plane once a month for business trips. I'm worried because it seems like all the food at the airport (not to mention plane food!) is bad for you. Got any advice for sticking to my diet?

Wingin' It

Hi Wingin' It,

Congrats on the new job! I can totally relate -- I'm constantly traveling by plane for work. (In fact, right now I'm traveling around the country for my HUNGRY GIRL TO THE MAX! book tour.) And luckily, with the right info and some planning, it's definitely possible to stick to your diet.

Pack Light (Snacks!) - Choose snacks and mini-meals with lots of fiber and/or protein to keep you feeling full. Snack bars, jerky, and portion-controlled cheese are all great. And pack a few craving killers, like lollipops and sugar-free dessert-ish gum as well as 100-calorie packs of your favorite nuts and other crunchy snacks. These should keep you out of trouble if fattening treats are calling your name! Click here and here for a whole bunch of my favorite travel-friendly emergency snacks.

Preboarding Picks - If you've got a long flight ahead of you, you're much better off eating a meal at the airport (or bringing one on board) than relying on the in-flight options. A salad with grilled chicken (dressing on the side) is my go-to choice, and it's usually pretty easy to find at any airport terminal. Only see fast-food places? Click here for some helpful tips and picks. And if you forget to pack emergency snacks, now is the time to grab some. Most convenience stores at the airport have decent choices -- you just need to look for them, and read the labels. Popped chips and Nature Valley granola bars are both pretty common guilt-free finds. But watch out for "food fakers" like dried fruit and oversized bags of trail mix!

In-Flight Done Right - When you're on a plane, it's important to stay hydrated. It's easy to confuse thirst with hunger, and those drink carts don't come around often. Buy a big bottle of water before you board, and stick with calorie-free sips during the flight. Save those calories for food! Speaking of which, airline food is notoriously high in calories and fat. Each of those pre-packaged snack boxes contains WAY too many items to be considered a snack. Although many airlines are starting to offer better-for-you options, there are still plenty pushing the same chips, cheese, and cookies. Click here to see our pal the Diet Detective's latest annual survey of airline food. Helpful stuff!

Hope you're feeling more confident about your upcoming travels. Good luck!!

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*The PointsPlus® 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.

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