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12.07.09
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Holy Cacao!
Holy Cacao!
Spotted on Shelves...

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Nibs - Total copycat alert! If you're a fan of Sweetriot chocolate-dunked cacao nibs, you'll love these! The ONLY differences? TJ's come in just one variety (65% cacao dark chocolate) and they're cheaper. A 1-tbsp. serving (about half a tin -- a LOT of nibs) has 70 calories, 6g fat, 7g carbs, 1g fiber, and 1g protein (POINTS® value 2*). P.S. Another way to save cash on choco-covered cacao? Order Sweetriot's 10-oz. bag instead of individual tins... Just don't consume it all at once!

Manischewitz Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth, All Natural with No MSG - In addition to being kosher, this stuff is a) deliciously homemade-tasting, and b) lower in sodium than regular broth, with 420mg per cup. It ROCKS. If you use broth for holiday cooking (great for adding flavor and moisture without a ton of calories!), this is a must-try. Each cup has 15 calories, 0.5g fat, 1g carbs, 0g fiber, and 1g protein (POINTS® value 0*). Even Grandma would approve.

Pepperidge Farm Baked Naturals Cheese Crisps, Four Cheese - Cheese-lovers, hear THIS! The four fromages (Asiago, Cheddar, Parm, and Romano) in these AWESOME crackers are baked on top for a crispy-licious queso layer. AND you get to eat 20 pieces for 140 calories, 6g fat, 19g carbs, 1g fiber, and 3g protein (POINTS® value 3*). OK, now go get them.
WARNING: Holiday Shockers Are Here!

Check out some of the SINFUL seasonal treats out there... and BEWARE!

Bruegger's Cinnamon Roll Bagel - ACK! This limited-time-only morning treat has 540 calories and 6g fat -- without ANY cream cheese! Add a serving of seasonal Pumpkin cream cheese, and you're looking at a total of 660 calories and 17g fat. Blech.

Cold Stone Creamery Dark Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream - If you're thinking of sampling this winter-y frozen treat, you might think twice after you see its stats. A "Like It" serving (that's Cold Stone talk for "small") has 340 calories and 20g fat -- and that's BEFORE they mash in any mix-ins!

Peet's Coffee & Tea Reduced Fat Pumpkin Ginger Muffin - Do NOT be fooled! All "reduced fat" really means is that it has at least 50% less fat than the original. And this seasonal selection still has 14 fat grams and a whopping 460 calories. (May vary by region.) Skip it, peeps.
Seasonal Seam-Splitters!
Seasonal Seam-Splitters!
Snacks on a Plane!
Snacks on a Plane!
Cool Stuff You Need to Know About...

Airplane Eats EXPOSED! - With the holiday travel season upon us, our good friend the Diet Detective (a.k.a. Charles Stuart Platkin) has the 411 on the in-flight food served by a handful of major airlines. Each company is given a Health Score on a scale of one to five stars (1 star = lowest rating; 5 stars = highest). The DD also provides the specific offerings, best bets, calorie counts, exercise equivalents (how much walking you'd need to do to burn off the food), and more. When it comes to the Health Score, Continental came in first place with 4 1/2 stars, and Southwest came in last with 2 stars. Click here for the full scoop!

Top Chef Frozen Food Items from Schwan's Home Service - Ever wish you could be at the Judges' Table on Top Chef? Well, you can't (sad!), but this could be the next best thing. Schwan's has released a line of heat 'n eat meals based on creations by the show's "cheftestants." Some are a bit high in the stats department (sorry, Elia, 520 calories & 46g fat is a little extreme for a bowl of soup), but we're looking forward to trying a few. We've been DREAMING about the food by this season's Kevin Gillespie since Day One! (P.S. We're rooting for KG all the way. Go, Kevin, GO!)
The Buzz...

Check out the crazy changes happening at chain restaurants nationwide! Macaroni Grill has already re-worked its menu and released a slew of lower-calorie dishes, a few of them debuting just a few weeks ago, and the entire menu's set to be 100% overhauled by next summer. West Coast sandwich shop Togo's is now selling Mini Classics: smaller, under-350-calorie versions of six of the chain's popular subs. And Ruby Tuesday recently debuted over 25 new items, including a bunch of "sensational" salads. (FYI, the stats aren't great on all those salads, but they could be good with a few tweaks. Worth checking out.) ***B-fast bargain alert! Jamba Juice Hot Oatmeal ROCKS, and the beverage chain is bringing back its breakfast-for-a-buck promotion, this week only! (At participating locations. Ends 12/11/09.) There's also a new, limited-time-only flavor -- Berry Cherry Pecan. But heads up: That's got higher stats than the others. ***Confused by seasonal produce at the market? Wondering what's at its peak in the colder months? Click here for a rundown on winter fruits and veggies, including their nutritional content and even how to prepare 'em! COOL stuff. That's all we've got. HG out!
Extreme Menu Makeovers!
Extreme Menu Makeovers!
CHEW ON THIS:
Today, December 7th, is National Cotton Candy Day. If you've got a Nothing but Noodles location near you, stop in for a 65-calorie serving of the fat-free sweet treat! (Guess they have more than just noodles.) And if not, find a circus or a well-equipped convenience store.
 
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*The Points® 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 Points® registered trademark.

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