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Hi, HG!

About those Jamba Juice breakfast smoothies -- I ordered a 12-oz. Berry Topper thinking I was getting a low-calorie morning beverage. After all, I didn't get the one with the peanut butter, and I ordered the smallest size. But then I calculated the WW POINTS® value for that sucker, and I realized it has a POINTS® value of 7* (360 calories and 8g fat!). What's the deal? It's just a fruit smoothie. How can that be?

Jamba Shock
Dear Jamba Shock,

Here's the deal with Jamba Juice and most other national smoothie chains. They typically provide all of their nutritional info online, so you should visit their websites and do a little research BEFORE getting in line to order your beverage. In store, Jamba also has pamphlets with some nutritional info plus a big binder with complete nutritionals, in case you forget to look up the stats online. But back to your question. Here are the main reasons I think "commercial" smoothies are so high in calories (and sometimes fat!)...

1. Size - They're typically HUGE. A medium-sized smoothie can have more than 30 ounces (too big!). Even if it's all blended fruit, no one needs five servings of fruit at once.

2. Ingredients - They often have granola, peanut butter, yogurt, syrups, etc., added to the basic fruit base. In the case of your Berry Topper, the guilty party is the GRANOLA. Just like fruit, granola is fine in moderation (as in, mixing a spoonful or two into some fat-free yogurt). But adding granola to a smoothie is an excellent way to add a SLEW of fat and a whole bunch of calories to that drink.

3. Assumption - Often times these stores think you'll be replacing a full meal with one of their smoothies. That's how they justify the high calorie and fat counts. Sometimes these smoothies are marketed as meal replacements (Jamba bills those smoothies as "breakfast meals"), but with all the options that are available, it's easy to overlook that and just order the most appealing flavor. And unfortunately, most of us drink smoothies as snacks, NOT meals.

Jamba Juice does offer a line of "Light" smoothies that have reasonable nutritionals. A 16-oz. Jamba Light (the smallest size offered) has 150 - 160 calories, 0 - 0.5g fat, 30 - 34g carbs, and 2 - 3g fiber (POINTS® value 2 - 3*). But to me, making smoothies at home is the only way to completely control the ingredients and amounts and know exactly what you're getting into. You can easily make a fantastic fruit smoothie for about 100 calories or so and a POINTS® value of 1* (like our Too-Good Two-Berry Citrus Smoothie!). When it comes to beverages with hundreds of calories, my feeling is this -- why drink all those calories when you can chew 'em? They're WAY more satisfying that way!

Dear HG,

Sometimes I forget to read one of your emails, or I accidentally delete it. Or it ends up in my spam box. When that happens I get so upset! Is there a way to get an HG email re-sent to me?

Don't Want to Miss HG
Dear Don't Want to Miss,

I have great news for you, and it's even better than us re-sending individual emails when you miss 'em. Each and every email sent out by Hungry Girl (aside from our Side Dish sponsored emails) is actually archived at So if you ever accidentally lose track of an email, delete it, or if one doesn't show up in your inbox for some reason, you can ALWAYS find it at (yes, you need to use the hyphen!). When you get to our homepage, you will always see a scrolling "ticker" up top next to the date and the words "NEW TODAY". If you click on that ticker, you'll be linked to that day's email (or the most recent one). The FIVE main "buttons" on the homepage correspond to emails for each day of the week -- News (Monday), Chew The Right Thing (Tuesday), Ask Hungry Girl (Wednesday), Weekly Weigh-In (Thursday), and Girls Bite Out (Friday). If you click on any of those, you will be taken to a list (archive) of all past emails in that category. It's pretty simple once you know how it works. There is SOOOO much information on the site, and it's all fully searchable by keyword. If you go to the search bar on the top of the homepage (above the SIGN UP NOW button), you can enter any word or phrase you are looking for. So, if you ever need to find a misplaced email or want to see ones from before you signed up, you can! And remember -- HG emails are sent every Monday through Friday (without fail!) excluding Christmas/New Year's week, a few days surrounding July 4th (changes each year), and on select federal holidays. If you are having any technical difficulties receiving emails, click here and tell us -- we'll help!

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*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® 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 PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints® trademark.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.