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Dear Hungry Girl, 


My doctor has taken me off caffeine, which means I can no longer have my standard Frappuccino Light Blended.  Can you suggest any delicious, low-cal, caffeine-less drinks I can find at Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, etc?  Thanks!


Caffeine Fiend

Dear Caffeine Fiend,


No caffeine?!  Eeeks!  Just's actually no biggie.  There are TONS of options to fulfill your coffee craving without going against the doctor’s orders.  One thing I love about Starbucks is that they’re fantastic about accommodating special drink requests.  They’ll gladly whip up your favorite drink with decaf coffee.  They usually have 2 decaf coffees available on any given day -- the house blend as well as a yummy flavored one. Look for decaf Christmas Blend (spicy-sweet),  Komodo Dragon Blend (earthy and smooth), LightNote Blend (smooth & crisp), Shade Grown Mexico (refreshing, light-to-medium bodied), Sumatra (bold), Espresso Roast (intense and sweet),  and Caffé Verona (full and creamy). You can enjoy almost anything on the menu, caffeine-free, as long as you start with one of these decaf coffees.  Just look out for other caffeine-laced ingredients (like an espresso shot) before ordering.  The Coffee Bean, and most other coffee chains, will also make their classic menu items with decaf coffee.  Look for these decaf blends at The Coffee Bean – House, Columbia, Espresso Roast, French Roast, Viennese,  Butterscotch Toffee, Chocolate, Cinnamon Hazelnut, Crème Brulee,  French Vanilla, Hazelnut, and Irish Crème.  Okay, yum!  Now I need some coffee...

Dear HG,


Does microwaving vegetables damage their vitamins and nutrients?



Dear Challenged,


All cooking affects the nutrients in vegetables to some degree.  Many vitamins are sensitive to heat exposure.  Water can also wash away some of the vitamins.  So, in the grand scheme of things, zapping your veggies in the microwave can actually help PRESERVE nutrients, because you can use very little water and cook veggies for shorter periods of time.  Here are some tips for nuking veggies:  Use a very small amount of liquid, cover your container to help veggies cook faster and keep nutrients intact, and don't overcook your vegetables.  Fresh, raw veggies are the most nutritious of all, so try to eat as many of those as possible.  Veggie it up!


Today, August 23rd, is National Sponge Cake Day.  You're probably safer to celebrate with a small slice of angel food cake.  They're similar, but angel food cake is generally lower in fat and calories, so go for it.  We won't tell anyone...

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HG Thank You!  Thanks to the 247 people who emailed in to tell us what G.O.R.P. stands for, after reading yesterday's email.  The majority of you said "Good Old Raisins & Peanuts," though some of you mentioned oatmeal, granola, and peas!?!