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What do you think of soft-serve frozen yogurt? Is it okay for me to eat? Do you have any tips?

Fro Yo Princess
Dear Fro Yo Princess,

What do I think of soft-serve frozen yogurt? I LOVE IT... SO MUCH! And I eat it a lot (year-round, too, since I live in Southern California)! So I say, YES, it is okay for you to eat. For SURE. (Unless you're lactose intolerant, of course... If so, go for non-dairy frozen treats!) But I do have lots of fro yo tips. I'll list them for you, so you don't get overwhelmed...

1. Get the facts. Sometimes they're right in front of you, and other times you need to ask for them. But get that nutritional info and find out how many calories and fat grams each ounce of the yogurt has.

2. Don't think for one second that the number of ounces you're served has anything to do with the number of fluid ounces the cup can hold. Typically, a 4-oz. container holds at least 8 ounces of frozen yogurt. Think about it -- the frozen yogurt is piled high above the top of the cup. Ask the server to weigh it for you, if possible, or check the scale yourself if it's self-serve sold by the ounce. If you can't confirm the weight and your cup is overflowing, figure you're getting an extra 4 ounces or so (no matter what size it is).

3. If you want to have toppings, stick with fresh fruit, for the most part. Thankfully, "tart" yogurt with fruit topping is all the rage, so it's easy to find lots of shops offering fresh fruit options. Avoid syrupy fruit toppings, crushed cookies, chocolate, cookie dough, fudge, caramel... even nuts. (The fro yo peeps tend to put WAY too many on!)

4. Pay close attention to the kind of yogurt you're getting. Most shops offer MANY kinds -- and they can range from about 8 calories an ounce to 30+ calories an ounce. It's sometimes fun to mix a few of the very low-cal flavors with some of the more decadent ones. That can keep calorie counts down.

There you go. Enjoy your frozen treat...

Dear Hungry Girl,

I'm going to be traveling a lot soon, and I have a habit of attacking the hotel minibar. I know it's a bad idea, but I can't help myself. Any tips on how to avoid all those carby (and EXPENSIVE) snacks?!

In Need of Hotel Help
Dear In Need,

Great timing! I'm actually heading to a hotel TODAY! Typically, the first thing I do when I check into a hotel is view all of the items in the minibar. It's a little crazy, I know, but I love to check all that stuff out. (It's FUN, but risky if you're easily tempted!) I travel so much these days that I've gotten pretty good at avoiding the items in the minibar, but that's only because I arrive prepared. Here are some tips and tricks to help you on your next trip...

1. If the snacks are locked up, don't take the key. Just refuse it when offered to you at check-in (or hide it ASAP!).

2. BYOS (Bring Your Own Snacks)! I ALWAYS show up at a hotel with my own emergency snacks... or I immediately run out and grab some! I'll stock up on bottled water, bananas, apples, and whatever shelf-stable, portion-controlled, guilt-free snacks I can get my hands on (like jerky and soy crisps). Then when I'm hungry, I reach for my stuff -- not that giant jar of cashews!

3. Look at the price list. If seeing that a tiny bag of chips costs $9 isn't enough to stop you, I'd be shocked! Minibar prices are THROUGH THE ROOF. I find that the idea of spending crazy amounts of money on small snacks (especially ones high in fat and calories!) is usually enough to stop me from eating them.

Good luck -- and safe travels!!!

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