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Hungry Girl Today: 02.28.07


Dear HG,

I often find myself at the mall food court looking for something to eat, and I
never know what my best bets are. There are always so many tempting
things like pizza and stuffed potatoes. Usually I just grab a chicken caesar
salad or a giant smoothie, but I think I may be doing the wrong thing. Eeeks!
Please help...

Mall Madness

Dear Mall Madness,

Mall food courts are PACKED with options that are obviously unhealthy.
Those are the easy ones to avoid. You really don't need me to tell you that
you shouldn't have that huge slice of pepperoni pizza or that steak 'n cheese
packed potato. The scariest things in that food court are actually the items
that are calorie and fat catastrophes posing as good-for-you foods -- the
smoothies, the caesar salads, the tuna sandwiches -- all the things that are
PRETENDING to be healthy and low-calorie but aren't. My advice is,
whenever possible, check websites of the places at the food court and know
what you're going to order even before you get to the mall. Of course that
sounds like a great plan, but most people aren't freaky like me and don't
check mall food court websites. So if that's the case, just go for whatever
simple stuff you can find. Choose deli meats over mayo-packed tuna,
chicken, and egg salads. Grilled chicken and salsa on top of lettuce at any
one of those mall Mexican grills is always a good option. And avoid salad
dressing at the mall at all costs (why not bring your own packets of the fat-
free stuff?). Happy shopping and chewing!

Dear Hungry Girl,

I love staying in hotels. The first thing I do when I check in is run over to the
mini bar to see what's there. What are my safest mini bar snacking options?

Mini Snooper

Dear Mini Snooper,

Ha! You sound just like me. I ALWAYS scour the mini bar when I check in to
a hotel. Even if it is just to marvel over the $9.00 bottle of water (hello!?).
Typically the mini bar is useless when it comes to guilt-free snacking. Nuts
are ok, but if you're the kind of person who can't stop at a handful (I know I
can't!), then avoid the jar of nuts. Those Terra chips are just greasy potato
chip things pretending to be healthy. Chocolate is a bad idea. Pretzels can be
ok in small doses, so if there are mini bags those are alright in emergency
situations. My best advice is to either bring or buy your own "mini bar" full of
snacks so you have 'em right there when you need 'em (bonus - it'll come in
handy on your plane or car ride to the hotel, too!). Stock up on things like
Quaker Rice Snacks, low-cal snack bars, mini bags of jerky, apples, etc. Mini
bar snacking = a bad idea!

Chew on This:
Today, February 28th, is International Pancake Day. Sounds like someone
needs one of HG's Very Blueberry Pancakes!

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