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Dear HG,

I am a pasta FIEND, and I have tried so, SO hard to fall in love with those Tofu Shirataki noodles you LIVE for. But as hard as I try, I just can't make myself enjoy or appreciate them. I need something that's more pasta-ish. Do you know of any other noodle substitutes that are fairly low in calories and maybe high in fiber?

Dear Pasta-Obsessed,

I'll try to get over the fact that you don't love House Foods Tofu Shirataki (I LOVE IT SO MUCH!), but the truth is that you're not alone. I sometimes get emails from people who aren't huge fans of the stuff. They think it's just a bit too slippery to be a reasonable swap for pasta. If you're one of those folks, you may want to try FiberGourmet Light Pasta. It comes in flavors like Spinach, Tomato, Classic, Whole Wheat, Garlic Parsley, and Chocolate (which sounds scary, but it doesn't really taste like chocolate, so it's not THAT scary!). The stuff is really pretty good. The texture is definitely a bit more pasta-y than Tofu Shirataki, and it's a little gummy and chewy (in a good way). It has 130 calories per 2-ounce, uncooked serving (which is practically 40% fewer calories than regular 210-calorie pasta), and it packs in a WHOPPING 18 grams of fiber per serving, too, which is pretty phenomenal. FYI, if youre a serving-size skeptic, you'll be happy to know that an official HG weigh-in was conducted, and 2 ounces of the stuff uncooked yielded 1 (very packed!) cup of cooked noodles, just like regular pasta. Also super-impressive? The fact that the company posted the product's lab results, confirming that its diet-friendly nutritionals are legit. I really do like this stuff and recommend it for people who want a lower calorie substitute for noodles but aren't crazy about the Shirataki stuff. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think. (BTW, I've tried all of the other pasta alternatives out there, and while there are many healthy options, there are very few that really save you lots of calories -- FiberGourmet and Tofu Shirataki are definitely your best bets there!)

Hungry Girl,

I need help. Soon I will be getting my wisdom teeth taken out, and I've been told that all I will be able to eat is liquid-y foods (ice cream, soups, etc.). During my recovery, what kinds of items can I "eat" without gaining back the weight that I've worked sooo hard to lose? PLEASE HELP!!!!!!

(Soon To Be) Toothless in Tulsa
Dear Toothless,

Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT let this be an excuse for you to (literally) suck down gazillions of calories and fat grams. So often people fall into that trap. They think that drinking calories is somehow better than chewing them, and that they couldn't possibly gain weight by sipping liquids all day. But fatty cream-based soups, bowls of ice cream, and thick shakes packed with calories, sugars, and fat are NOT acceptable meals. And it's VERY easy to gain weight on a liquid diet if you make bad decisions. There are a slew of HG recipes you can make and enjoy while on a liquid/soft-foods diet. Check out these smoothies and shakes, our famous Strawberry Cloud, and these coffee drink tips and recipes. And to see my picks for guilt-free ice cream, click here. In addition, you can have LightFull Smoothies, light yogurt (those come in every flavor under the sun), oatmeal (mixed with pumpkin... yum!), healthy soups (LOVE Progresso's new WW soups and Amy's Chunky Tomato Bisque), no-sugar-added applesauce (Mott's Healthy Harvest ones are great), and the insides of baked potatoes mixed with a little fat-free creamer (so good!). If you need a drink that packs a TON of protein, make a shake out of egg-white protein (Jay Robb makes a GREAT powder). Other good sources of protein that don't require much chewing? Cheesy egg scrambles made with light cheese and fat-free egg substitute, lentil-packed soups (heat 'em 'til the beans are extra soft), and nonfat Greek yogurt (Fage Total 0% is my favorite!). To make sure you're getting everything you need, you may want to check in with your doctor or a nutrition professional. Good luck!

Today, August 29th, is More Herbs, Less Salt Day. So, um, use more herbs and less salt today!
HG HEADS UP! Another FOOD FIGHT is on the way... Be sure to check your inbox tomorrow for one of the best battles EVER!

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