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Dear Hungry Girl,

I saw a piece on HG in The Washington Post -- so cool! The article called you the "queen of processed food." Do you really eat processed food all the time? What do you have to say about this nickname?

Pondering the Post
Dear Pondering,

Thanks for your Q -- I've been wanting to address this. I love that article! And while the nickname made me laugh, I understand why the journalist wrote it. Let me explain... in detail. Hungry Girl recipes and food finds definitely include a lot of processed foods. To quote that article from The Washington Post, "we are a nation of snackers." Because let's face it: America eats processed food. These foods tempt us all day, every day. It's unrealistic to think that the average person, who's faced with fast food and processed food on a regular basis, can flip a switch and start following a completely rigid diet of 100% "clean" foods. It just is. While it may work for some people, it's not reasonable for the masses. So Hungry Girl provides a happy medium -- a bridge between the average junk-food diet and the idealistic way of eating perfectly "healthy" at all times. It's not about following an all-processed-food diet. It's a REALISTIC approach to better-for-you eating that people can actually live with and feel good about. Many of the processed foods I write about and use in recipes give people a way to fulfill their cravings for fattening items like fried foods, pizza, sweets, etc., without taking in a crazy amount of calories and fat. In other words, it helps people maintain a healthy weight without feeling deprived. Personally, while I do rely on those foods to tackle serious cravings, I'm actually sort of boring when it comes to my everyday food staples. I definitely don't eat processed food all the time. I eat a lot of protein -- things like turkey, chicken, egg whites, fish (tons of sushi with as little rice as possible), and steak (once in a while). I love to eat salads with low-fat cheeses, a LOT of veggies, and a small amount of fat-free or low-fat dressing (or none at all -- I'm not a huge fan of dressing on my salads). I LOVE fruit and eat an apple a day and other fruits as well. I also eat HG staples like high-fiber tortillas, Tofu Shirataki noodles, Fiber One cereal, Laughing Cow Light cheese wedges, etc. Some of those foods are natural, and some are not. But back to the point -- most Americans won't be giving up processed food anytime soon, so I offer up reasonable alternatives to a lot of the total JUNK out there. That's the bottom line. I stand by the HG way 1000%. Hundreds of thousands of people are embracing and appreciating it, and they're benefiting by attaining and maintaining a healthy weight -- I know; I hear from them every day. (Love those emails -- keep 'em coming!) It's nice to see that the people at The Washington Post get it. If anyone out there hasn't seen the article, click here -- it's worth reading. Thanks again for the question!


I love to bake, and I have been wanting to make carrot cake cupcakes for the longest time. Do you have any suggestions or a recipe for guilt-free carrot cake? I LOVE cupcakes!

Carrot Cake Obsessed
Dear Carrot Cake Obsessed,

YOU are in luck! There's an AMAZING HG recipe for carrot cake cupcakes right here online -- click here for HG's 14-Carat Cupcakes. They are AWESOME and even have cream cheese frosting. And each one only has 130 calories, one gram of fat, and a POINTS® value of 2*. (BTW, people still thinking about the processed food Q above should know that in addition to some processed items, this recipe also includes a slew of healthy foods -- carrots, pumpkin, whole-wheat flour, etc. Just sayin'!) That cupcake recipe ran in a past email but it's also in the new book, Hungry Girl 200 Under 200. In fact, there's an ENTIRE chapter devoted to cupcakes in that book. Some of my other favorites are the Chocolate Marshmallow Madness Cupcakes and the Banana Cupcakes with PB Frosting... YUM!!! Have fun baking!

Today, May 27th, is National Grape Popsicle Day. Celebrate with a sugar-free grape pop, or a delicious Dreyer's/Edy's Fruit Bar in Grape!
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*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.

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