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#31

grisgris

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Posted Feb 12, 2011 @ 11:21 PM

Yes, I read her pedigree about being married to a man in the industry.

Given that the show is based in sort of a cartoon-ish way (which is another huge turn-off) makes me wonder if the Nickelodeon influence is at play here.

There are a few times when I'm craving slaw and I'll go to the broccoli slaw because for a single person, it's cheaper than buying broccoli and whole heads of red and green cabbage that will eventually go bad. And I do not want the Dole brand and I figure that the broccoli stalks might add a bit of extra nutrition. (Sometimes, Semi-Ho is sort of OK...) However, it needs a really good dressing to stand up to the flavor, like something ginger-sesame based. Raw is fine, but I cannot imagine it cooked.

I think that when Lisa used it as a substitute for spaghetti, she was sort of trying to incorporate "suspend your disbelief," but it didn't work.

midge, don't feel alone. I've purchased Laughing Cow or Baby Bell when I want to have something around for cheese and crackers. I've even tried it before (hand in head) to substitute Brie in a dish by Giada and it was awful. While it is nice and spready on crackers, there is something about the consistency that doesn't bode well to melting.

Edited by grisgris, Feb 12, 2011 @ 11:23 PM.

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#32

Futhark

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Posted Feb 13, 2011 @ 4:12 AM

This show is everything that is wrong and unholy about the dieting industry. However, I wanted to defend shirataki noodles. I have celiac, which means I can't have wheat, and I have found them to be a godsend, if prepared properly. You have to rinse them for a good five minutes, then I usually fry mine in a dry non-stick pan for another 5-10 minutes to get rid of the excess moisture, get rid of the fishy smell and improve their texture. I use it frequently in noodle soups and sometimes with a pasta sauce. I've never used the tofu blended ones, I prefer them from the Asian food store. I buy them in bulk and they keep forever. Not everyone likes them, but they do keep their shape very well, and don't get soggy like a lot of rice based noodles do in soups.
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#33

druish princess

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Posted Feb 13, 2011 @ 8:56 AM

I think that when Lisa used it as a substitute for spaghetti, she was sort of trying to incorporate "suspend your disbelief," but it didn't work.

I think that time worked better than when she essentially made a frittata and said it was just like pizza. Yes, they have some similar ingredients, but no one is going to say an egg dish is just like having pizza. IMO this is not a cooking show, it is a dieting show, and would be a better fit on the Oprah network or something but not on the Cooking Channel.

Edited by druish princess, Feb 13, 2011 @ 9:06 AM.

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#34

GabGabs

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Posted Feb 13, 2011 @ 9:05 AM

it is a dieting show, and would be a better fit on the Oprah network or something but not on the Cooking Channel


I wish it weren't on at all, because her dieting "tips" are the worst. She is not promoting healthy eating, but using cheap, silly, dated, and nasty tricks to try and shave off calories here and there, calories that you could, and in some cases should, actually keep.

I have yet to be able to count on all the fingers of one hand a number of her tips that seem sane or realistic. She is a joke, and it's sad some are so desperate to lose weight that they'd follow her instruction.
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#35

qvole

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Posted Feb 13, 2011 @ 11:04 AM

Graham Kerr's later series (not the old "Galloping Gourmet" shows) about healthy eating did a decent job of making "bad" food good for you -- so did Kathleen Daelemans' & Ellie Krieger's programs. There's nothing wrong with the idea, but this woman's execution is seriously awry.

As for Laughing Cow, one of Laura Calder's books has a recipe for "Vache Qui Rit Soup", which sounds kind of intriguing (though I haven't tried it yet).
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#36

GabGabs

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Posted Feb 13, 2011 @ 11:37 AM

Graham Kerr's later series (not the old "Galloping Gourmet" shows) about healthy eating did a decent job of making "bad" food good for you -- so did Kathleen Daelemans' & Ellie Krieger's programs. There's nothing wrong with the idea, but this woman's execution is seriously awry


I don't know about that. Food as a whole is good, so if you use your brain and measure it out correctly generally you will be okay. If you want to use olive oil instead of butter, fine, or brown sugar instead of white, or honey instead of sugar. But again sometimes even the substitutions can end up an issue because no everyone will be able to eat them.

I've always felt that you should figure out what foods work for your body and go from there, eat for your body not from a book is my motto.

But this woman is just off the charts nutso, without a doubt. She makes the Atkins diet look healthy. It's frightening. There is no reason a full sized adult, with a working brain, should feel the need to listen to "hungry girl".

Why would I want to listen to someone who is hungry all the time anyway?

It's like what they say about trusting a skinny chef, heh, be wary.
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#37

vera charles

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Posted Feb 13, 2011 @ 2:47 PM

Futhark re: shirataki noodles.

You have to rinse them for a good five minutes, then I usually fry mine in a dry non-stick pan for another 5-10 minutes to get rid of the excess moisture, get rid of the fishy smell and improve their texture.

And she did none of that. I had a feeling this was a product that would be good in its original context -- as part of an Asian dish or soup. Not so much as the base of a faux fettucini alfredo.

My main gripe with this show is that the host promotes the idea that food is an enemy. Yes, obesity is at an all time high in the US, but that has more to do with the prevalence of chemicals, additives, fake foods, fast food, and huge portion sizes, than any battle people are fighting with real food. But you won't sell ads for processed foods and diet ingredients if you are telling people it's better to eat smaller portions of real food. Which Lisa probably learned during her days as a marketing executive at Nickelodeon.
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#38

spaghettijimmy

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Posted Feb 13, 2011 @ 3:35 PM

The way she eats she must be obsessed with food, personally, I'd rather not think about food all day, but rather have smaller portions of really delicious things, and call it a day. It ain't rocket science, use more energy than you take in--your body doesn't care if those calories come from fake rather than real food, in terms of caloric intake (i'm not talking about nutrition), but I believe that it is bad for the soul to eat all the junk that Lisa is pushing while denying oneself the real thing.
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#39

23 Skiddoo

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Posted Feb 13, 2011 @ 4:08 PM

With all of the quick fix options today like bariatric surgery and liposuction, I'm surprised that people even bother to diet. I think that a lot of people might follow Lisa, but I wonder how many actually strictly adhere to her principles.


Well, most doctors won't recommend bariatric surgery to anyone whose BMI is under 35, and liposuction isn't really intended as a weight loss surgery. The purpose of liposuction is more to recontour and reshape fat than anything, although reshaping fat certainly can make it look like dramatic weight loss has occurred. If the number of ads I see for things like Xenadrine is any indication, though, I'd say that you're right about there being a pretty big market for quick fixes.

I pretty much agree with everyone who's said they hate what this woman stands for. I guess there isn't really anything marketable about telling people to eat normal food in reasonable portions if they want to lose weight, though.
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#40

wordnerd

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Posted Feb 13, 2011 @ 4:44 PM

I'm so glad I found this thread! I admit I get the Hungry Girl emails, because I do Weight Watchers (well, I did, before I got pregnant) and liked her news about new low-calorie products -- like Kim's Light bagels. Those are a GODSEND for me in the mornings for a minimum number of Points. However I would never try half of her recipes, because they're all made up of fake, chemical non-foods.

Another one of her gems? If you need to bread a piece of chicken breast, let's say... she says make "bread crumbs" out of crushed Fiber One cereal, dip the chicken in Egg Beaters and then coat the chicken with the Fiber One. First of all -- I've suffered through eating Fiber One cereal because it's 0 Points on my WW plan, but it looks like dry cat food and tastes like sawdust. I"d rather use the bare minimum of real bread crumbs to coat a chicken cutlet than a whole bag of that junk. Secondly, what's wrong with one freaking egg? One beaten egg can be used to coat the chicken you need, so long as you're not cooking for a football team or something.

The whole thing just smacks of trying to whittle away at the calories until you're surviving off of nothing. If I learned anything from doing Weight Watchers (who do their own fair share of trying to "swap" out as many calories as possible) it's that food is not the enemy. I'd much rather eat a lean cut of steak, steamed veggies, and half a baked potato (which for me would be a 0-Point meal) than all this faux-food crap. It'd probably be healthier, too.
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#41

vera charles

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Posted Feb 13, 2011 @ 5:46 PM

she says make "bread crumbs" out of crushed Fiber One cereal, dip the chicken in Egg Beaters and then coat the chicken with the Fiber One.

I also saw a clip on her website where she made onion rings the same way -- Egg Beaters and Fiber One cereal. I cannot image what that would taste like but I'm pretty sure "not good" would be part of the description.
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#42

selkie

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Posted Feb 14, 2011 @ 10:05 AM

With all of the quick fix options today like bariatric surgery and liposuction, I'm surprised that people even bother to diet.


I've had a few friends decide to go through bariatric surgery in the past couple of years. Part of the program with that is a very carefully controlled diet both pre and post-surgery.

Fiber One products give me the heebie-jeebies. I actually really liked the flavor of their muffin mixes, but stopped buying because the quality control process at their manufacturing plant was so poor that I found bits of hard plastic in the mix.

And I want to thank y'all for getting me to give the show a second chance. First bit of it that I saw was a relatively inoffensive segment about toasting lavash and using it as a potato chip substitute. Which, while not quite potato chip-like, isn't too different than a number of commercial pita chip products out there. I've now got the show added to Tivo and the first episode description involves broccoli slaw so I'm psyched.
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#43

Skittl1321

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Posted Feb 14, 2011 @ 1:41 PM

Thanks for the links. Those noodles sound disgusting.


They are truly disgusting. I am a huge pasta lover, and on HG's recommendation tried these. Rinsing and drying them was tough enough with the smell, but trying to eat them- GROSS. I could barely choke them down. DH ended up eating them in a stir fry, which he said was a bit better than cooking them as pasta with sauce- but still pretty gross.

I used to like Hungry Girls emails, but they got way too repetitive and with too many splenda/cereal swap outs. I'm not shocked to see she has a TV show, and not at all shocked that it is awful. I have no idea how she has managed to publish multiple cook books with the swaps she does.

That's not healthy eating!
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#44

Baba Yaga

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Posted Feb 14, 2011 @ 1:59 PM

I have no idea how she has managed to publish multiple cook books with the swaps she does.


People continue to think that eating her way is good for them. They're terrified to consume an unnecessary calorie or fat gram, and would rather eat out of a heavily-advertised test tube than a farm stand. I've gotten into arguments with some who try to tell me "fat-free" is very healthy and infinitely preferable to "fat." Real fat and sugar, in moderation, is fine . . . but you know that.

I realized that the Hungry Girl and her food substitutes were a fraud years ago and I'm glad to find others that agree with me.
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#45

LivenLetLive

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Posted Feb 14, 2011 @ 4:04 PM

Her concept also rips off Dean Ornish's "Eat More Weigh Less" except that Ornish preached a low fat vegetarian diet that used fresh vegetables for bulk. With all the chemicals this Lisa person eats no wonder that her skin is that odd shade of orange.
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#46

EmmeLee

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Posted Feb 15, 2011 @ 3:03 AM

That's not healthy eating!


I agree. I don't think a lot of her food suggestions or recipes are actually healthy. They may be low-fat/low-calorie/low-carb for sure, but most of it is processed crap. I think the people who like her recipes and think she gives good food advice are the same ones who take diet pills to be thin. They care more about losing weight than being healthy.
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#47

grisgris

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Posted Feb 19, 2011 @ 8:28 PM

Today's show introduced us to the Fiber One onion rings. It didn't seem that horrible. I "oven-fry" a lot of stuff, simply because I live in apartment and have an electric stove and I've never had much luck trying to fry food.

Moving on... I would like to see a fast food joint that would put your sandwich in a lettuce wrap. As far as "do-it-yourself," in my experience, there is maybe one measly lettuce leaf on the burger and would hardly suffice as a wrap. Advice like that makes me wonder when this show was really created. Lisa seems out of touch that today,because you can get flame-broiled burgers and healthier options for your salads. You can also choose what goes on your sandwich. That's why there are HAMBURGERS or CHEESEBURGERS. I would not advocate a steady diet of fast food, but you can make sensible choices, or if you don't eat that way very often -- have fun!

The "island burger" -- a piece of grilled pineapple with the core, a veggie burger teriyaki sauce, fake processed cheese, lettuce, tomato, fat-free mayo and a "lite" bun. Morningstar Farms actually makes veggie burgers that look like the real thing and taste good. I like to have them now and then for lunch, especially when I don't feel like grilling ground beef. Whatever product Lisa demonstrated looked awful. I've had fat-free processed cheese before and it's awful. Full of chemicals.

I had a glimmer of hope with the faux apple pie because I thought that Lisa was going to use phyllo dough and maybe a tablespoon of butter. Wrong. I was shocked that she used actual sugar.

What I hate the most about this show is the "guilt-free" aspect. Eating is part of life. Why should you feel guilty about keeping yourself alive? Should we feel guilty for drinking water -- or breathing?

I wish The Cooking Channel would get this hack off the air -- pronto!
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#48

orchidgal

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Posted Feb 19, 2011 @ 8:46 PM

I have been reading the posts here with great interest and caught one episode of the show - and yes, one episode was more than enough for me - and I feel everyone's disbelief and anger.

Food is not the enemy, and yet that is exactly the platform from which Hungry Girl operates. Therefore, in her opinion, if one must put that nasty stuff in one's body, then this is the way to do it... What a load of crap. No wonder she is hungry when she is always chasing away the good stuff and substituting chemicals and fake foods for the real thing?

And yet people pay her money to hear her crap. Go figure.

Edited to fix html codes. Why can't they be consistent in the characters they use?

Edited by orchidgal, Feb 19, 2011 @ 8:49 PM.

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#49

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Posted Feb 20, 2011 @ 10:50 AM

I had neither seen nor heard of this show until yesterday (though I think I've seen a few of her books in Target and so on). I threw yesterday's episode on in the background while I was puttering, and was FREAKED OUT.

Without even commenting on the recipes -- because I was listening more than watching, and have no idea how things looked or turned out -- I really think this show should be pulled off the air because of all the over the top calorie shaming and unhealthy behavior she promotes. Every time I heard those horror movie screams after she "revealed" a calorie count, I jumped out of my skin and thought "oh, THAT's not a potential relapse trigger for anyone who's ever struggled with an eating disorder or anything."
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#50

rustyspigot

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Posted Feb 20, 2011 @ 12:12 PM

Yeah, fast food places give you giant lettuce pieces all the time.

I would feel sorry for her a little bit if I actually believed her stories about her lusting after her friends eating habits.
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#51

mousie

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Posted Feb 20, 2011 @ 12:35 PM

Well if she's from California, In n Out Burgers will serve the hamburgers wrapped in lettuce. They call it "protein style". It's part of the secret menu. It was a big trend when the low carb fad was thriving.
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#52

selkie

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Posted Feb 20, 2011 @ 3:19 PM

I was at a Fresh Market earlier, and noticed they had a big display of lavash crackers. So much for her trying to pass them off as some sort of super sekrit shortcut deal.
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#53

courtandspark

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Posted Feb 20, 2011 @ 3:48 PM

I don't find her diet to be particularly unhealthy unless one is comparing it to someone who only eats "perfectly" - no snark intended.

The recipes I've seen don't seem to be odd. While I am not a fan of a pineapple burger particularly, the intent behind it is to dress it up so that it provides more *mouth excitement* than just sticking a boca burger on a bun. I have her cookbook and like any cookbook, some recipes are more appealing than others but I can't fault the basic idea of dressing up your boca burger.

Similarly she has provided a lot of variations on an "egg cup" - which is egg beaters (pure product there but easier than discarding a yolk of a whole egg) which are microwaved in various flavorings/veggies etc. and are a tasty quick breakfast.

The apple tart had quite a high percentage of apples as compared to sugar when divided among the portions. Egg roll fillers are considerably better in terms of containing a juicy filling than phyllo dough. Now I love baklava, b'stilla and spankopita but when made without lots of layers and melted butter, the results are pretty awful.

ETA - I don't have any problems with her revealing the high calorie counts of restaurant food. In my experience, many people are completely unaware of exactly how high in calories something is. I remember a friend being stunned when I told her that a level tablespoon of mayo has 50 calories - and a level tablespoon is much smaller than would be used for a standard tuna sandwich. It's making small adjustments in what one eats rather than completely transforming that is probably going to be most successful for most people in the long run.

Edited by courtandspark, Feb 20, 2011 @ 3:53 PM.

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#54

ToothbrushFence

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Posted Feb 20, 2011 @ 7:19 PM

The recipes I've seen don't seem to be odd. While I am not a fan of a pineapple burger particularly, the intent behind it is to dress it up so that it provides more *mouth excitement* than just sticking a boca burger on a bun. I have her cookbook and like any cookbook, some recipes are more appealing than others but I can't fault the basic idea of dressing up your boca burger.

YMMV, but I think her recipes are filled with weird ingredients that other chefs/TV cooks (with the exception of Sandra Lee) make a point of avoiding. The pineapple burger looked nasty - fat free cheese, fat free mayo, and the weird teriyaki sauce she used. Every other TV chef, including Ellie Krieger, generally advises not to use fat free dairy because the quality is so poor compared to the reduced fat versions. Not to mention the condensed soups (used as marinara?!), Cool Whip, etc.
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#55

selkie

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Posted Feb 20, 2011 @ 7:45 PM

Condensed soups have really horrible sodium amounts if you're at all salt-sensitive.
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#56

MelsW

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Posted Feb 21, 2011 @ 9:53 AM

YMMV, but I think her recipes are filled with weird ingredients that other chefs/TV cooks (with the exception of Sandra Lee) make a point of avoiding. The pineapple burger looked nasty - fat free cheese, fat free mayo, and the weird teriyaki sauce she used. Every other TV chef, including Ellie Krieger, generally advises not to use fat free dairy because the quality is so poor compared to the reduced fat versions. Not to mention the condensed soups (used as marinara?!), Cool Whip, etc.


I agree completely. Just try a bit of fat free cheese or fat free mayo, it is like ingesting pure chemicals. Growing up my mother went through a phase where essentially she cooked like Hungry Girl and believe me, that stuff is N.A.S.T.Y. Cheese and mayo are fat by definition. If you fear all fats then perhaps you should rethink eating cheese, mayo, etc. at all. I would rather use ingredients that taste like food, just use less of it.
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#57

GabGabs

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Posted Feb 21, 2011 @ 3:06 PM

I would rather use ingredients that taste like food, just use less of it


Preach.

I refuse to get on board with the idea that cramming fake or so called healthy yet heavily processed and chemically manufactured foods down your throat could ever be good for you. I'm sorry, it does not compute.

There is healthy eating and then there is fad, diet eating and Hungry Girl showcases the worst of the worst of that style. She doesn't promote common sense or eating for your body type, there are a lot of people who could easily get sick eating the way she cooks, or doesn't cook. That to me is irresponsible which is her biggest offense.

She's touting techniques and eating habits that could harm more than help, and that, in my eyes, is careless of her and of Cooking Channel to air her nonsense.
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#58

courtandspark

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Posted Feb 21, 2011 @ 3:36 PM

I must be watching another show as many of her dishes are not fake overly processed foods - and to the extent some of her stuff is, it is replacing higher fat equally processed foods.

Hungry CHick Chunky Soup - boneless chicken breasts; tomatoes and beans

http://www.hungry-gi...nky-soup-recipe

Ginormous Fuit Salad Surprise

Fresh fruit doctored with orange juice; rice vinegar and mint

http://www.hungry-gi...surprise-recipe

Chop Chop Beef Stir Fry - while not the most authentic stir fry recipe I've ever seen, it's made with the "real" ingredients and a high proportion of veggies versus meat

http://www.hungry-gi...stir-fry-recipe

Even the PB n Chocolate Bread Pudding is not filled with ingredients that anyone but a fanatic might not eat - bread, chocolate chips, soymilk, eggbeater etc.

http://www.hungry-gi...-pudding-recipe

The show is aimed at a particular niche for sure and you might not be the niche for it. This kind of dieting does work for lots of people who can't naturally regulate the weight. Most Americans aren't existing on diets consisting solely of home made beans and organic vegetables. A person may or may not like a particular substitute in their diet but since the average woman needs about 1500 calories to maintain her weight, subbing out 100 calories of wasted calories in the form of full fat mayo can make a lot of difference - i.e. it's pretty hard to be satiated as well as be healthy within a 1500 calorie diet especially for those people who do miss their 400 calorie Starbucks Frappucino and are delighted to find a healthy substitute.
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#59

shawnadammit

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Posted Feb 21, 2011 @ 3:55 PM

I find this woman and her 'food' horrifying.

I started Weight Watchers a couple of months ago, and I really love most of their recipes - real food, good for you, etc.

Since Hungry Girl is somewhat affiliated with WW, I bought one of her cookbooks... Every other recipe calls for "egg substitute" and a packet of artificial sweetener. How hard is it to separate an egg?

I am so glad to read all these comments and see I am not alone in thinking that this is a terrible way to think about (and eat) food. I thought perhaps *I* was somehow off.
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#60

courtandspark

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Posted Feb 21, 2011 @ 6:14 PM

Since Hungry Girl is somewhat affiliated with WW, I bought one of her cookbooks... Every other recipe calls for "egg substitute" and a packet of artificial sweetener. How hard is it to separate an egg?


It's not hard to separate an egg but what do you do with the yolk. Egg substitute is just egg whites - If you take a look at Eggbeaters or the generic eggs substitute that are sold. It's not a frankenfood.

Similarly, sugar substitute is in quite a lot of WW desserts as well as other diet recipes. You can choose to eschew products made with sugar substitutes like Splenda but it's not as if HG is unique in utilizing them as part of a diet plan. Quite a lot of the foods that she does recommend like Vitamuffin tops are made with natural sweeteners FWIW.

Sugar isn't the healthiest of foods either but one can certainly sub sugar if one chooses and cut calories in some other way.

In the scheme of things her diet plan is far healthier I suspect than what most people are eating on a daily basis. Candy bars, Oreo cookies, chips and fast food represent a great health threat for the vast majority of people than FF mayo - which you might not like but which for many people is a completely satisfactory replacement when weighed against 50 or 100 calories for the full fat version.I don't like full fat American cheese or Velveeta so I'm hardly going to enjoy anything made with fat free Kraft American cheese but I would suspect that those who eat Kraft American cheese don't have particularly developed palates.
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