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Dear HG,

I love the Shamrock Shake at McDonald's! And I know you have a recipe for a swap -- you have run it before. Can you PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE rerun it?

Show Me the Shamrock
Dear Show Me the Shamrock,

Thanks for reminding me about that shake! Today is St. Patrick's Day, after all! If you're interested in eating green foods, here are some of my favorites: broccoli, spinach, romaine lettuce, and pickles. If you want to celebrate in a more traditional way, with a Shamrock Shake (har har!), skip a trip to Mickey D's and make our version instead. That drive-thru version has hundreds of calories and fat grams in the double digits! Ours is super simple to make, tastes fantastic, and is completely guilt-free. All you need is a little fat-free ice cream, food coloring, mint extract, soymilk, yada yada. OK, here's the full recipe!

Shamrock 'n' Roll Shake

PER SERVING (1 shake, entire recipe): 176 calories, 4g fat, 142mg sodium, 29.5g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 16g sugars, 7.5g protein -- POINTS® value 3*

1 tbsp. Coffee-mate Sugar Free French Vanilla powdered creamer
3/4 cup light vanilla soymilk
1/2 cup Breyers Smooth & Dreamy Creamy Vanilla fat-free ice cream
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
2 drops green food coloring
1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda)
1 1/2 cups crushed ice (8 - 12 ice cubes' worth)

Combine Coffee-mate with 1 tbsp. hot water and stir to dissolve. Transfer mixture to a blender and add all other ingredients. Blend at high speed until mixed thoroughly. Pour into a glass and enjoy!


Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!


What is all this hubbub I am hearing about negative-calorie foods? Eating them burns more calories than they have in the first place? Can this be true?

Love to Chew Things
Dear Love to Chew,

Good Q. Negative-calorie foods supposedly require more calories (energy) to chew and digest than the foods themselves contain. For example, if a celery stalk has 5 calories but you burn 10 calories chewing and digesting it, then celery would be considered a negative-calorie food. High-fiber, low-calorie fruits and veggies are the ones typically categorized as negative-calorie foods. There is no proof that just including these foods in your diet can cause weight loss. Plus, quite a few experts say there aren't foods that truly burn more calories than they contain. But many nutrition professionals are on board with these so-called negative-calorie foods simply because said foods are low in calories and often high in nutrients. My friend Bonnie Taub-Dix, a registered dietitian and all-around smart human, had this to say on the subject: "It's not that these foods have no calories and should be eaten in unlimited quantities; that's not true. The foods are fruits and veggies and should actually be promoted as having POSITIVE calories. [Positive as in helpful.] After all, they're loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that we all need and don't get enough of. Plus, they help put a halt to hunger." Thanks, Bonnie! BTW, my personal favorite so-called negative-calorie foods are asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, spinach, watermelon, honeydew, strawberries, peaches, and cantaloupe. (Others include celery, oranges, grapefruit, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, chili peppers, and zucchini.) YUM! For more from Bonnie, check out her USA Today blog.

Today, March 17th, is St. Patrick's Day. Celebrate with our Shamrock 'n' Roll Shake or our Erin-Go-Breakfast Boxty!
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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.

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