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Hello, Hungry Girl!

I read about you on the front page of AOL, and I found it extremely funny that I was eating a Hungry-Man dinner at the time. My question is this: Is Hungry Girl only for women? I'm a guy...

Hungry Boy
Dear Hungry Boy,

A lot of people ask me this question, and they ask if I would consider starting a service for guys specifically. Here's the deal -- HG is NOT just for females. Yes, the daily emails, website, cookbooks, etc., are a little girly and pastel-hued -- I'm not going to deny this. But the writing, recipes, product finds, and all of the other HG info is NOT geared toward women only. There's nothing gender-specific about a FANTASTIC lasagna recipe or the best foods for sandwich assembly. I try to keep the tone fun, clever, upbeat, and relatable to all humans, regardless of gender. So, if you're a guy and you read HG, a.) CONGRATS, and b.) Do NOT think you are weird and reading something that is only for females. As for starting a service specifically for men -- that's just not practical and it's not gonna happen. (Sorry!) So guys, get over your fear of pinks, purples, and shades of aqua, and enjoy HG along with your female friends, co-workers, and relatives. As the first HG book says, "It takes a real man to be a hungry girl."

Dear Hungry Girl,

I am going to Maui for ten days and am beyond excited but simultaneously scared to death that I will blow my diet. What can I eat there to avoid packing on the pounds? Feel free to go there to do some research. Thanks!

Maui Munchies
Dear Maui Munchies,

People tend to approach vacations in one of three different ways when it comes to eating. There's the "I'll eat everything that isn't nailed down because I'm on vacation" vacationer, there's the "I might bend the rules a little bit but I'll still try to eat the right things" vacationer, and there's the super-rigid "I'm sticking to my strict diet and won't stray AT ALL" vacationer. To me, the first and third approaches are too extreme. Don't use the vacation as an excuse to shovel everything in your face -- unless you're totally prepared to deal with the inevitable post-trip weight-gain. And don't be so restrictive that you can't enjoy your trip either. I say, aim for a nice balance. As for Maui and island vacations in general, I find those are the EASIEST as far as guilt-free eating is concerned. There's always fresh food around -- fruit (the pineapple in Hawaii is so good!), TONS of fish, salads, veggies, etc. The key here is to stick with those light-but-satisfying foods, and try not to go TOO crazy with pina coladas, coconut cream pie, and creamy dishes. Remember, it's about balance. If you make good choices at breakfast and lunch, treat yourself to a fancy frozen cocktail or a little dessert at dinner. Another reason island-y vacations are great in terms of eating? Spending a lot of time in a bathing suit or warm-weather clothes can inspire you to eat lighter -- I know when I have to wear less, I stay away from heavy foods so I'll feel comfortable in my clothing. For TONS more tips & tricks for your vacation, check out the Travel section of the Hungry Girl audio book. (Maybe listen to it on the plane!) Oh, one other thing: The more active you are, the more wiggle room you have with your diet. Dancing at a luau and walking on the beach totally count as exercise! Have a FANTASTIC trip. Wish I were going with you! (Any Hawaiian HG fans out there? Should I add HI to the next book tour?)

Today, November 18th, is National Vichyssoise Day. Julia Child has a very famous recipe for the cold leek 'n potato soup... and we don't mess with Julia. (Click here for her recipe.)
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