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Hungry Girl Today: 9.18.13

Dear HG,

I have a HUGE sweet tooth, and I'm always tempted by the candy, cookies, etc., in the office vending machine. How can I resist the call of that office temptress?

Sweet-Tooth Steph

Hi Steph,

It can be tough to avoid temptation when your guilty pleasure is on display all day long! The trick is to be prepared with smart snacks. I've got plenty of fantastic finds that'll kick those cravings to the curb... Keep a few in your desk drawer, break room, and/or office kitchen at all times!

Craving chocolate? Fiber One Protein Bars are coated with chocolate and crammed full of deliciousness... Just like regular candy bars, but with far less calories and fat, plus the added bonus of filling protein AND fiber. Love that! Each bar has 130 - 140 calories and 6g fat (PointsPlus® value 4*). And Skinny Cow makes some incredibly good chocolate candies. The Dreamy Clusters are loaded with chewy caramel, and each portion-controlled pouch has just 120 calories and 6g fat (PointsPlus® value 4*). The Heavenly Crisp bars are great as well.

If it's cookies you can't resist… Nabisco 100 Cal Packs are a classic choice. They come in famously delicious varieties like Oreo, Chips Ahoy!, and Lorna Doone, each with 100 calories (doy) and 2 - 3g fat (PointsPlus® value 3*). Quaker's oatmeal cookies are also a good swap for vending-machine cookies -- there are large soft ones that are individually wrapped (each with 170 calories, 6 - 8g fat, and a PointsPlus® value of 4 - 5*), plus portioned-out packs of small crunchy treats (a pack has 160 - 170 calories, 6 - 7g fat, and a PointsPlus® value of 4 - 5*). And if you want something that'll seriously fill you up, try Corazonas Oatmeal Squares. These are large, dense, chewy bars that come in cookie-ish flavors like Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, and Peanut Butter. Each square has 180 - 200 calories and 4.5 - 9g fat (PointsPlus® value 4 - 5*), and they've got good amounts of fiber and protein.

Fruity pastries calling your name? Those paper-wrapped pastries in the vending machine are absurdly fattening. Pass! Instead, grab an Amy's Toaster Pop in Apple or Strawberry. They're ridiculously good and have only 160 calories and 3.5g fat each (PointsPlus® value 4*). If your office doesn't have a freezer and toaster, just prep and pack one in the morning. I'm also OBSESSED with Apple Pie Quest Bars. So filling, with 170 calories and 5g fat, plus 18g fiber and 20g protein (PointsPlus® value 4*). Quest Bars also come in craving-busting flavors like Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Nut Muffin. And Special K Pastry Crisps are pretty amazing. Each 2-crisp pouch has 100 calories and 2 - 2.5g fat (PointsPlus® value 3*).

Hungry for more? Peruse the "Portion-Savvy Candy, Cookies & Sweets" section (under Packaged Snacks) of this year's Hungry Girl Supermarket List. And for more office survival strategies, check out the Hungry Girl At-Work Survival Guide.

Hope that satisfies your sweet tooth!

Hi Hungry Girl,

Instead of eating whole fruit, is it OK for me to drink a lot of fruit juice? Aren't they basically the same?

Fruit Fanatic

Hi Fanatic,

Great question! Fruit juice is a bit of a food faker, meaning it sounds more innocent than it actually is. Most fruit juices -- even kinds without added sugar -- have as many calories as regular soda, around 100 per cup (PointsPlus® value 3*). You're much better off having an actual piece of fruit, which is way more filling. For the same calories as that 8-oz. glass of juice, you could have a large apple or a couple of small oranges (PointsPlus® value 0*). And with the fruit, you'll get a nice amount of fiber. Juice generally has no fiber. Need another reason to choose whole fruit? Recent research suggests that eating fruits (blueberries, grapes, and apples, in particular) could lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, while drinking full-sugar fruit juice could actually increase that risk.

If you're craving something fruity to sip, reduced-calorie juice products are a better option than standard juice. I LOVE Trop50 juice drinks, which are naturally sweetened with stevia and have half the sugar and calories of the regular stuff. A cup has 50 calories and 10 - 12g sugars (PointsPlus® value 1 - 2*). The Pineapple Mango is fantastic! Also, try fruit-flavored water drinks like Vitaminwater Zero (Rise, the orange flavor, is awesome) and my FAVORITE line of fruity drinks, Bai5 (Congo Pear and Panama Peach are my top picks).

There you have it! I'm off to get myself a giant Fuji apple...

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Did you know that today, September 18th, is National Cheeseburger Day? Celebrate the American classic with these Cheeseburger-Stuffed Mushrooms. SO GOOD!

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