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Dear HG,

What's your take on using shakes as meal replacements?  Which ones do you like best?

-Shakin' in Seattle

Dear Shakin',

Okay, for starters, I hope you're referring to meal supplements or protein shakes, and not huge whoppin' vanilla milkshakes from Burger King (bad meal substitutes).   The truth is, I am personally opposed to EITHER kind of shake as a meal replacement.  I find that meal replacement shakes simply aren't filling enough to double as actual meals, and they're usually way too caloric to be reasonable snacks.  There is, however, ONE shake that I support, love and recommend as a snack.  It's made by EAS, and it's called AdvantEdge Carb Control.  I love these because they're filling, they only have about 100 calories and 3g of fat, and they even pack in 1-3g of fiber.  These yummy, 2-point drinks come in a bunch of flavors and ALL are GREAT!  And since they're so low in fat and calories, I don't drink these shakes instead of having a meal, I drink them as part of my breakfast (along with some fruit or a fat free yogurt), or as a snack.  Just make sure you get the Carb Control kind.  The other is much higher in fat & calories. 

Dear Hungry Girl,

Do you have a recipe for a low calorie fruit smoothie?

-Sucker for Smoothies
Dear Sucker,

Smoothies are goooood.  But often they aren't the healthy beverages they pretend to be.  Most Jamba Juice smoothies, for example, contain between 500 and 800 calories!  That's definitely NOT a light beverage.  Because of this, I make my own smoothies at home.  Which brings me to your question.  Here's one of my favorite smoothie recipes.  If you don't have fresh fruit, frozen works just as well (as long as it's not packed in syrup):

Smoothielicious Fruit Fantasy!
1 cup of strawberries
1/2 of a peach
1/4 of a banana
3 oz. Hansen's Low Calorie Peach Mango Juice Cocktail (or Minute Maid Light Mango Tropical)
5 - 7 ice cubes

In a blender, combine strawberries, banana and peaches and blend until pureed.  Add in the juice and ice and blend to desired consistency. Enjoy!  Makes 1 serving with about 90 calories, 1g fat, 21 carbs, 5g fiber and 1.5g protein.  Add Splenda if you like your smoothies extra sweet.

Today, April 20th, is National Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day.  Here's a recipe for a low cal version.  We haven't tried it yet.  If you try it, let us know how it is.

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