Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hungry Girl

First, thank you guys so much for all your sweet compliments on my legs!  I have a love/hate relationship with them (as most gals probably do).  I love that they are muscular and toned... I hate how big my calves are (trying on tall boots = tres depressing)... I love that my thighs get smaller when I run... I hate that my calves stay the same.  But my former trainer in Austin, Deb (miss you!!),  told me to be proud of my strong legs so I'm gonna!  Moving on...  Hungry Girl!

 No, I'm not referring to myself (although I'm often quite hungry).  I'm talking about the Hungry Girl - Lisa Lillien.  Hungry Girl began as a website that features low calorie/low fat/low point recipes, new food finds, and shocking discoveries, like how many calories are in a slice of The Cheesecake Factory's carrot cake (1560 calories, 84 grams of fat).  Since my college days, she has blown up and now has 5 published books, and in January 2011, she will have her own cooking show on the Cooking Channel!  (You can see a preview of the show here.)
 I have conflicted feelings about Hungry Girl.  On the one hand, I'm thrilled that she's succeeding and is showing people how to make "healthier" food, exposing just how awful most restaurant food is, etc.  But, I have major issues with whether her recipes actually contain "healthy" food.  For example, many of her food finds are questionable (100-calorie packs and such) and many of her recipes contain ingredients like Splenda.  Yuck yuck and yuck.  Then again, sometimes she actually creates recipes that contain real foods (like this Baked Ziti swap).

It's crazy to think I used to eat all that processed crap... ew.  I was so obsessed with being on a "diet" that I lived off diet soda (at one point, I used to have 4 different kinds in the fridge), 100-calorie packs, fat free hot dogs (EW), Skinny Cow sandwiches, and low calorie bread.  (And in high school, I ate at McDonald's, Wendy's, and Taco Bell almost daily.  GUH-ROSS!!)  These days, I feel uber guilty anytime I eat anything processed.  But... there is a time and place for everything.  I still drink soda from time to time (I have a deep love for Mexican coke and Trader Joe's Vintage Root Beer - both made with real sugar, not high fructose corn syrup), and, I can't believe I'm admitting this, but sometimes I drink Coke Zero.  I know I KNOW it's awful for you, but sometimes I just don't want all the calories.

So I'm not totally the best eater, but I try my best.  Places like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods definitely make things easier (I can typically read all the ingredients in their products!).  What about you?  What are your (processed) guilty pleasures?  (In addition to soda, I also love oreos.  Mmm...)

11 comments:

fresh365 said...

I agree with you about hungry girl. I followed her a few years back, until I realized alot of food she endorced was processed (and possibily sponsoring her?) and didn't seem the right way to go for me. That being said, we all have to have our indulgences once in awhile! This week, mine comes in the tiny skittles packets I bought for the trick-or-treaters.

Valerie @ City|Life|Eats said...

agreed about hungry girl - the original concept is smart, but she uses way too many processed foods and artificial sweeteners.

My processed indulgences are things like Green Mountain Gringo salsa, Mary's Gone Crackers (and Sticks and Twigs), brown rice tortillas, Daiya vegan cheese (though I have managed not to have any in like 2 months, yay!), boxed non-dairy milks (have yet to get myself organized enough to make my own), and the occasional raw crackers or chips (though I mainly make those at home). Oh, and Amy's Organic meals, though somehow I have also managed not to have any in like 3 months :)

Kirsten said...

I'm a Diet Coke fiend. And it's shameful.

Valerie @ City|Life|Eats said...

I did think of another processed food I like - Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise. I hide it in back of my fridge, but once in a while I really enjoy it.

Megan said...

I drink Coke Zero like its going out of fashion - very bad!

Leslie said...

I can't believe I'm going to admit this: Ramen. I haven't had it in forever but so good, especially with melted cheese!

Claudia said...

I eat WAY too much processed food...but it's sooo good! (Not good in a healthy way, haha, but I love the taste.) I'm a diet coke fiend (unfortunately) and just ate a 2-lb bag of candy corn. Candy, cookies, taco bell. I can't help myself!!

Globetrotting Cacti said...

I have a sneaky can of coke when I am cleaning the house (but that is the only soda I drink). LOVE Dairy Milk chocolate too!

Never heard of Hungry Girl - off to check out her site now.

Lauren said...

I've been getting HG's emails for years but I've never made anything;I like the food product/restaurant news. I agree,the ziti didn't look too bad.
I've been trying to limit processed foods but I love candy and sweets, Amy's products some other frozen products(some better for you but still processed).

TheAnalyst said...

I have muscular calves too...I totally understand. Boots can be tricky!

I am a fan of Coke Zero and Pepsi Max. And once a week, I splurge and have the real Pepsi, calories and all. Sigh. I try to balance healthy food with indulgences. I know I don't eat as healthy as I would like to, but it isn't always easy.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is addicted to soda because of the caffeine and sugar/non-sugar sweetners, but really it is TOXIC POISON. Check out the movie FOOD INC. After watching that movie, I have never had fast food or soda again, in over a year.

My indulgences are organic dark chocolate from Trader Joes or Whole Foods, r organic ice cream. Just stick to organic or all natural and your appetites will go to normal. Mine definitely has. And since I have stopped drinking coffee, I have lost 20 pounds without even trying much! Eating the right foods is easy, just stick to ORGANIC whole grains, lean protein, fruits, and veggies, and stay away from processed foods and sugars, and EXCERCISE. You can eat anything in small quanities as long as it from a health foods store. Organic chocolate & candy products are awesome! Especially if they are from Europe!