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Dear HG,

Sometimes it's so easy for me to stick to healthy eating, but other days I just don't have the willpower.  Do you have days like this, too?  How do you stick to healthy foods and portions on days when you feel like diving head first into a bag of chocolate?

-Candy Addict
Dear Candy Addict,

Sure.  I'm only human, so of course I have days like that.  And, I'd be shocked if you didn't.  Don't let those days get the best of you, though.  Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to be "good" and eat well, you feel like inhaling everything you lay eyes on.  This is not uncommon at all.  On days like that you have two choices.  You can do your best to overcome your cravings, and drink tons of water and try other tricks that make you forget about food (very strong mints are GREAT for this).  Or, if you really can't resist the urge to splurge, indulge a little.  If you want candy, eat candy.  If you want chocolate, eat chocolate.  If possible, go for better-for-you versions of the stuff you want.  The important thing is that if you do go off of your regular eating plan for a day, try not to let it turn into a string of bad days.  That's what you really need to look out for.  If I go off track one day, I focus harder on getting back on track the next.  Whatever you do, just don't beat yourself up over it.  Good luck!

Dear Hungry Girl,

I'm a guy who plays softball on Wednesday nights.  After each game we go to John's house for beer and nachos.  A weak rum and Diet Coke passes for "booze."  But bringing my own celery sticks would definitely label me as a "Hungry Girl" (which would take some of the pleasure out of my second childhood).  Can you suggest food I can take with me that won't set me back in the diet or the macho departments?

A Loyal Fan

P.S. You're the only Hungry Girl for me.
Dear Loyal Fan,

First off, I want to tell you how happy I am to answer your letter.  I loooove hearing from guy subscribers, so thanks for writing in.  Here's the deal.  I could tell you not to care what other people think, but of course, that's easier said than done.  So showing up at John's with a Ziploc bag packed with celery sticks is not really an option, because you're right,  the boys will likely have something unpleasant to say about it.  There are some snacks that are definitely more masculine (or at least less feminine) than others.  Here are my personal picks for you.  Maybe you'll feel comfortable bringing these along...

Microwave popcorn -- Find one that's 94% fat free and comes in individual serving sizes. Jolly Time and Orville Redenbacher both make great versions.

100 Calorie Balance Bars -- Balance Bars = guy-friendly.  And the 100 calorie ones are small enough to enjoy guilt-free (Pria bars are good, too, but guys should only enjoy those in private).

Apples - Apples are cool.  Anyone who tells you otherwise shouldn't be trusted.

Lean Protein - Turkey slices, chicken breast, egg whites...all acceptable.  Eating protein is never, ever considered wimpy.

Hope this helps. One thing, though.  Don't tell the boys you got these ideas from  That may actually be more embarrassing than toting your own celery sticks. So let this be our little secret... ;)

Hey! It's National Raisin Week. Raisins are a good source of fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, and certain B vitamins. They're also fat free, cholesterol free, and a very rich source of antioxidants.
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