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Fridge-Stocking Tips, and How HG Picks Products!
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Fridge-Stocking Tips, and How HG Picks Products!

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04.17.13
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Dear HG,

Can you give me some basic fridge-stocking tips? I'm new to Hungry Girl, and I want to set myself up for diet success!

Newbie Nancy

Hi Nancy,

Welcome to Hungry Girl! Keeping a kitchen stocked with guilt-free foods is a great way to prepare yourself for a smart-eating lifestyle, so you've got the right idea. Here are some of the HG basics... Click on the links for recipe ideas and more info!

So Fresh and So Green: Romaine lettuce and other salad veggies are definite must-haves, not to mention produce-aisle favorites like portabella mushrooms and broccoli cole slaw. The slaw is a great meal starter since it's filling and low in calories. Use it as a pasta swap or as a stir-fry base. And I LOVE sugar snap peas and baby carrots as quickie snacks.

The Pros of Protein: StarKist Tuna Creations single-serve pouches and lean turkey slices are good everyday proteins for sandwiches and more. I like to get Boar's Head lower-salt turkey from the deli counter. And skinless chicken breast is a great basic. If you know you won't cook it up yourself, stock up on precooked kinds like Tyson Grilled & Ready options. Going meatless? Pack your freezer with meat-free burger patties (Boca Original Vegan Veggie Burgers are my favorite) and ground-beef-style soy crumbles.

A Fuji Apple a Day: It's a good idea to keep fresh fruit handy to curb your hunger between meals. I love Fuji apples because they have the perfect combination of sweetness and tartness. I also love grapefruit, clementines (Cuties!), pears, and grapes.

Dear Dairy: Fat-free Greek yogurt (like Fage Total 0% and Chobani Non-Fat) and regular fat-free yogurt (LOVE Yoplait Light) are some of my go-to yogurt snacks. Greek yogurt has more protein than standard yogurt, so it's extra filling. But regular yogurt comes in decadent flavors that can crush a craving for fattening desserts. Keep both on hand! Egg Beaters Original is another must-have -- perfect for egg mugs, a.k.a. scrambles made in the microwave. Instead of milk, I LOVE Blue Diamond Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze. (Click here for more info on milk and milk swaps.) Another favorite? The Laughing Cow Light cheese wedges! So many snack possibilities, and they're great in recipes. Mini Babybel too!

Sideshow Sauces: On the creamy side, Best Foods/Hellmann's Dijonnaise Creamy Dijon Mustard is a delicious mayo/mustard hybrid that is super versatile and has only 5 calories per serving. On the salad dressing side, Newman's Own Lite Low Fat Sesame Ginger is the way to go. Great staples!

For a full-on tutorial on how to stock a guilt-free kitchen, check out Hungry Girl Supermarket Survival: Aisle by Aisle, HG Style! For the CliffsNotes-esque version, click here for this year's Hungry Girl supermarket list. And for the latest food finds, keep reading the daily emails. (Click here to sign up... It's free!)

Dear HG,

When it comes to the products you write about, are there certain limits for calories, fat, carbs, etc.? How do you decide if a food meets HG standards?

Curious Carly

Dear Carly,

Great question. There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to the foods mentioned in HG emails. In general, calorie and fat counts are the first things I look at. Next up is portion size. I go for foods that offer a big bang for my calorie buck. If a food has a huge serving size, I'm okay with it having more calories and fat than a food with a smaller portion size. Fiber and protein are also important... The more, the better! Like the serving-size scenario, if a food has lots of fiber and protein, higher calorie and fat counts are okay, because it's likely to be very filling. Another factor that's considered is if a food addresses a certain craving for something that's typically super fattening. Since a big part of the HG philosophy is choosing better-for-you foods, I like to write about products that make great swaps for high-cal foods like pizza, brownies, fast food, etc. If there's an amazing-tasting pizza or burger product that isn't super low in calories but is way lower than traditional versions, it's worthy of some HG praise. But the single most important determinant? TASTE. If it isn't delicious, I don't care how low in calories it is. BTW, the same criteria are considered when it comes to foods that can be advertised within the Hungry Girl world. I'd never accept advertising for a product I wouldn't write favorably about in editorial. Hope this answers your Qs. Have a great day!

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CHEW ON THIS:

Today, April 17th, is National Cheeseball Day. Throw your Mini Babybel a lavish party in celebration!

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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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