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Dear Hungry Girl,

Would you be willing to share the types of foods that you eat on a daily basis? I'm talking about the staple foods in your life -- not the occasional snack foods. Thanks!

Curious in California
Dear Curious,

Sure thing. I'm actually sort of boring when it comes to my staples. Here's a list of what I eat on a regular basis -- I'm about to start rattling, just a warning. I eat lots of protein -- like turkey, chicken, egg whites, veggie burger patties, fish (tons of sushi with as little rice as possible), and steak (once in a while). I love to eat salads with a LOT of veggies, low-fat cheeses and a small amount of low-fat dressing (or none at all, I'm not a huge fan of dressing). I LOVE soups (all year long -- some HG recipes and others from Amy's, Progresso, etc.). I also eat Tofu Shirataki noodles regularly and TONS of fruit (apples and oranges all the time!). Fiber One is a staple, as is Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze. I also drink plenty of water. Only very rarely do I eat regular pasta, bread or rice (other than what I have with my sushi). For the most part, I am more of a protein-lover than a snack-foods-lover -- so you're more likely to catch me snacking on a veggie burger patty or turkey slices than a snack bar or low-fat chips. I do break down and have other foods I LOOOOOVE every now and then (a slice of pizza, BBQ, etc.), but for the most part I follow the 80/20 rule -- mostly healthy stuff with a few treats now and then -- so I don't stray from my staples too much.

Dear Hungry Girl,

I love cooking with zero-calorie, fat-free cooking spray. Are there really no calories or fat in that whole can?

Perplexed About PAM
Dear Perplexed,

If there are only trace amounts of calories (less than 5) and fat (less than 0.5g) in each tiny serving of something, a company is allowed to say their product has zero calories and is fat-free. The problem? There are a whopping 350 - 650+ servings in one can of cooking spray (depending on the size and brand)! And each of those "servings" translates into a frighteningly quick 1/3 or 1/2 of a second spritz. Who on Earth uses so little spray (or even has good enough reflexes to spray that quickly)? The truth is that there are about 5 - 10 calories and 0.5 - 1g fat per 1-second spray in most "calorie-free", "fat-free" cooking sprays (PAM even states this on their website). I estimate that the typical spray-time required to lightly, but thoroughly, coat a pan is around 2 seconds. That still adds up 20 calories and 2 fat grams, at most (much, much less than what you'd be taking in if you used regular cooking oil). The problem, though, is that people think nonstick cooking spray is absolutely calorie-free and fat-free and practically drench their pans, skillets and foil with the stuff. Try not to fall into that trap. Stick with the spray, but use it sparingly. Pssst...the same goes for I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! spray.

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