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Dear HG,

I love you and your recipes so much. I have some Qs about HG. How many people are on your staff? What are your offices like? Where do you get ideas for recipes? And can all the recipes in your books be found online?

Soooo Curious
Dear Soooo Curious,

All good questions... and ones that are asked often. For starters, there are currently eight people, including myself, who work for HG full time (most in Los Angeles; one on the East Coast), and there are also a few freelancers. If you want to get an up-close-and-personal look at all of the HG staffers, click here to check out a super-fun video we put together. Really -- click and check it out! (It took a while to make, and it's really cute!) Our offices are VERY fun, adorable, and filled with food -- click here for pics! As for recipe ideas -- well, they come from MANY different places. We have programming meetings where we brainstorm, and sometimes we get ideas from subscribers (keep those coming!). We also get ideas from watching TV commercials and seeing new stuff that's out at fast-food and chain restaurants. Pretty much ANYTHING can inspire an HG recipe. As for whether or not all the book recipes are online -- the first two HG books contain lots of brand-new recipes, which haven't run on the website, and also HG classics, which have been featured in past emails. So there is some overlap, but there are no hard and fast rules. Sometimes, in an HG email, we'll feature an exclusive recipe from one of the books (like we did last week with the Double-Trouble Chocolate Trifle!), and we just may release some classics-only collections in the future. As I said, there are no real rules about how it all works. Thanks so much for your email -- I'm really glad you love the recipes! And remember to watch the "Meet the Hungry Girl Staff" video by clicking here, and let me know how you like it! Happy viewing...

Dear Hungry Girl,

What do you think are the biggest mistakes people make when dieting? Are there any secrets? I keep losing and gaining the same 20 lbs. Ugh!

Diet Diva
Dear DD,

There are many mistakes people tend to make when dieting. I'm going to list some of the biggies. And remember, this is just my opinion.

1. Following fad diets. I'm not a fan of fad diets. They don't teach you how to eat in a way you can live with forever. Sure, if you follow a set plan for a limited time, you can lose weight. The hard part is maintaining that weight loss in the long term. If you try to stick with the fad diet's style of eating, it's very likely you'll eventually give up or get bored. If you go back to your old eating habits, you regain the weight. This is a huge problem and the reason why I don't recommend fad dieting.

2. Skipping meals. If you skip meals you'll only end up hungrier and more likely to eat too much and/or the wrong thing. It's that simple. Eat breakfast. Eat lunch. And eat dinner!

3. Drinking calories. Sheesh! Drinking your calories is a WASTE... really. It's much more satisfying to chew food than it is to drink stuff. Having a low-calorie liquid swap is fine -- like treating yourself to one of our Swappuccinos or a diet hot cocoa when you're craving the real thing. But it's too easy to sip an extra 300 - 500 calories a day if you drink calorie-packed beverages. Avoid those and stick with water for the most part.

4. Living in denial. Don't pretend there are no calories in condiments, that a salad is healthy and diet-friendly no matter what, and that food you eat while standing (or on an airplane, etc., etc.) doesn't count. It ALL counts!

5. Not reading labels. READ LABELS, people! And read them CAREFULLY. Take note of serving sizes and servings per package. This is KEY.

There you have it... those are five mistakes that are very common. And no, there are no real secrets to dieting -- except that you need to find a way to eat that'll work for you FOREVER. That's the one thing people tend to forget -- the forever factor. Thanks for the email!

Today, June 17th, is Eat All Your Veggies Day. So, um, EAT ALL YOUR VEGGIES. We'll be chomping on bags of broccoli cole slaw to celebrate. Yum!
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