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Dear Hungry Girl,

I have some general questions about you and your site.  First of all, do products pay you to write about them in your daily emails?  Also, do you mostly eat processed foods, like the ones you write about?  And, are you really always hungry?

Curious in Catalina
Dear Curious,

All good questions.  For starters, no -- I do NOT get paid by food companies to write about their products in my daily emails.  I write about products I like.  I find things many different ways.  More often than not, I write about foods I've discovered on my own (as you know, I'm always on the lookout for new finds!).  But in addition to that, food companies do send press kits and product samples to me.  While I definitely encourage that, I'll only write about products I sample and like.  Also, subscribers email recommendations to me all the time (keep 'em coming!) -- and if I haven't heard of those foods, I'll check them out.  I do accept advertising on the site-- but ALL ads are clearly presented as advertising and not as editorial.  You'll notice I run banner ads, something called the "Guilt Free Grocery," and a "Side Dish" email every now and then.  Those are paid for.  But again, I only accept advertising from approved companies and foods.  As for your second question, no, I don't eat mostly processed foods.  In fact, I eat tons of fresh fruits, veggies, salads, and lean meats. I do eat some processed foods, and frankly, I write about them a lot because often they are what I recommend to cure a specific craving you may have for pizza, ice cream, chocolate, etc.  Let's face it, you don't need me to tell you to eat a turkey lettuce roll up!  I'm here for you when you need a hunk of lasagna -- and then I'll tell you that Boca makes one that's good for you and won't make you gain weight. And finally, yes, I am often hungry.  But I guess not ALWAYS.

Dear Hungry Girl,

I've been wondering...when you eat a meal that has a specific amount of calories/fat (or points, in my case), do the manufacturers figure that you're licking the plate clean, or that you eat the more substantial stuff and leave the extra sauce?  If the latter is the case, should I shave off calories/points because I'm not eating all the sauce?  This has been bugging me for weeks!  Thanks a million for all your advice.

Chewin' in Chino
Dear Chewin',

Here's the scoop.  The nutritionals on the packaging are supposed to include everything, even the sauce.  But the reality is, there are some other factors you need to consider.  Often, weights of foods are not 100% accurate.  Nutritional info is based on the weight listed on the package, not on the actual amount that is in the package.  And packages will sometimes contain a greater volume of food than the label states.  Also I've heard that food manufacturers, by law, are allowed to over-estimate weight (and even over or under-estimate nutritionals) by a certain percentage.  So for starters, you should weigh your food so you know exactly how much you're eating.  Then, if it weighs more than the weight indicated on the label, you need to tack on the added calories, fat, carbs, fiber, etc.  To be safe, I always figure extra calories (or points) when eating packaged food, even if I don't eat all the sauce.  Your best bet is definitely to overestimate, not underestimate.  Hope that helps!

Today, August 10th, is National S'mores Day. Make the world's tiniest s'more with 2 Honey Maid Cinnamon Thin Crisps (100 Calorie Packs), one chocolate chip and a mini marshmallow. Mmmmmm!
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