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Dear Hungry Girl,

I'm a new fan of pumpkin.  Is canned pumpkin as healthy as the real thing?  And do you have any pumpkin secrets to share?

-- Pumpkin Eater
Dear  Pumpkin Eater,

I'm glad you asked about canned pumpkin.  It's one of my (many) obsessions, and it's totally underrated.  Not only is it less stringy and messy than fresh pumpkin, it's just as healthy.  This delicious orange stuff is naturally sweet, and low in calories, fat and carbs.  A 1/2 cup serving has just 40 calories, a half a gram of fat, 9 carbs, and 5 grams of fiber!  Plus, this versatile veggie can be made into everything from soup to a classic pie.  My favorite new pumpkin-tastic secret is to add it to oatmeal. I add a few tablespoons to a packet of instant oatmeal before cooking it. Try adding some Splenda, a little sugar free maple syrup and cinnamon, too, and you'll have a low cal bowl of oatmeal so awesome it'll make your head explode. For more of my pumpkin recipes, click here.

Dear Hungry Girl,

Are there any web sites that you recommend that have good info about the calorie counts of foods?

-Counting Calories
Dear Counting,

There are so many GREAT sites on the web for calorie counters.  When I want the best, most accurate nutritional information, I go straight to the source, and visit official web sites of food companies or fast food restaurants.  They usually have the most reliable info.  If you're a little lazier and like to go to one source to get lots of information, there are definitely some sites I recommend.  One is and the other is   They each have nutritionals on thousands of foods -- including name brands, pre-packaged foods, and restaurants.  They're both awesome!  And in case you don't already know about this one, there's an incredible comprehensive resource called "Dotti's Weight Loss Zone" that has a restaurant database containing fairly accurate point counts for foods from almost every restaurant chain known to man (it even includes places like Costco and 7-Eleven).  It's fantastic if you follow Weight Watchers. Two others that deserve a mention are and Happy counting!

Tomorrow, April 27th, is National Prime Rib Day. If you'd like to indulge, try sticking with 3-4 oz., and make it lean!
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