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Dear Hungry Girl,

I LOVE all the foods you write about, but I have a hard time finding a lot of them in my local markets. Sometimes I ask for them, and the stock people look at me like I'm crazy. Any tips on how I might be able to get my local stores to carry certain HG-friendly foods?

Seeking Stuff
Dear Seeking,

I know a lot of HG staples are not so easy to find in your local markets. Many of them, however, are slowly but surely making their way into the mainstream. The best advice I can give you is this -- if you don't see what you're looking for at your local supermarket, ASK FOR IT. And I don't mean ask the first employee you see. Ask to speak with a MANAGER (it must be a manager), and tell the person that you really want the store to carry whatever it is you are looking to buy. This can REALLY help! If the manager keeps hearing requests for the same products over and over, he or she will likely order them. You can also write letters to managers and storeowners -- and get all your friends to sign or send letters of their own! Right now there are products you should be DEMANDING at your local stores. They are:

1. VitaTops - These muffin tops (1 VitaTop = 80 - 100 calories, 1 - 2.5g fat, 5 - 6g fiber -- POINTS® value 1*) NEED to be sold EVERYWHERE!!! VitaMuffins are available in many grocery stores (in the freezer aisle), but both VitaTops and VitaMuffins should be in ALL stores!

2. House Foods Tofu Shirataki - EVERY store in the universe should carry this noodle substitute (4 oz. = 20 calories, 0.5g fat, 2g fiber -- POINTS® value 0*), which is typically stocked in the fridge section near the tofu.

3. Vivi's Original Sauce Classic Carnival Mustard - This is the world's BEST condiment (1 tbsp. = 15 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber -- POINTS® value 0*). You have to taste it to believe it! It's part mustard, part salsa, part relish -- but better than all three! YUM!!!

Remember -- the squeaky wheel gets the oil. So start squeakin', and make friends with the manager of your favorite supermarket. Good luck!

Hungry Girl,

I hate to admit this, but I am a butter lover! Do you ever use butter or butter substitutes? And if so, which are the best ones?

Butter Love
Dear Butter Love,

I hear ya. Butter is delicious -- there's no denying it. But it's also (obviously) loaded with fat and calories, so I use all sorts of butter swaps. I'm pretty specific about which ones I like and how to use them. Here's the lowdown:

1. Brummel & Brown Spread
- This stuff is INCREDIBLE!!!! It's actually made with yogurt, and it has a slightly sweet taste. A tbsp. has 45 calories, 5g fat, and no cholesterol (POINTS® value 1*). It tastes phenomenal. It has the very soft texture of margarine. This is my go-to spread for smearing on room-temperature items.

2. Land O' Lakes Whipped Light Butter - This is the MOST like regular REAL butter as far as taste and texture are concerned. It has 45 calories and 5g fat per tbsp. (POINTS® value 1*), plus 15mg cholesterol. It's great to use in recipes (although some people say it's not ideal for baking) and as a lower calorie butter swap. It's especially good to use as a spread on hot items!

3. I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! Spray - ICBINB spray is GREAT for adding a touch of butter flavor to veggies -- or even to oatmeal. I'm not a fan of spraying it on toast (though I have seen people do this!), but it is good for grilled sandwiches! A 5-spray serving has 0 calories and no fat or cholesterol (POINTS® value 0*) according to the label, but you should know that a 25-spray serving (1 tsp.) has 20 calories and 2g fat (POINTS® value 1*). Not bad!

BTW, there are some fat-free, super-low-calorie butter spreads out there, but I say those aren't quite good enough to do the trick for serious butter-lovers! Happy buttering!

Today, March 5th, is National Cheese Doodle Day. Sounds like a great day to break out the Snyder's of Hanover EatSmart CheddAirs. Mmmmm!

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*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints® trademark.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.