Monday, June 28, 2010

Can foods be friends? Definitely. Meet some of my crew...

When last we spoke, I wrote about snacking/grazing foods that get me into hot water.  For example, I’m still slightly horrified by the disturbing number of POINTS packed into a tin of Sabra hummus.  I think I always knew that it tasted too good to be true, but I didn’t realize how deadly it was.  I guess it’s good to know your enemies.

Yet, having all enemies and no friends seems like a sad and lonely way to go through life.  I have friends.  I really do!  And I like to imagine that that they like me just as much as I like them.  Even better, my friends are both fun and upstanding, responsible citizens.  They are a good influence on me, and they make me a better person.

Of course, I’m speaking metaphorically as I am referring to my food friends.  [Parenthetically, I feel the same way about the qualities of my human friends.]

The friends I would like to celebrate are my snack buddies.  So what does it take to become one of my snacking friends?  What lofty criteria must be reached to be able to call yourself my buddy?  How does a snacking food become fabulous in my world?  Here are some basic criteria:

  1. You should take a while to eat.  Food works best if it can meet a basic time criteria and create the sensation that I’ve had meaningful eating experience.  If you can be eaten in three bites, you are not a true snacking friend.  Tiresome acquaintance at best.  
  2. You should look larger than life.  That is, you should occupy a significant amount of spatial volume and create the illusion that you are a boatload of food.  Of course, you should be an optical illusion of sorts as you should also have a limited number of calories.  In Weight Watchers lingo, these are referred to as Filling Foods.  
  3. You should taste good.  I tried to be snacking friends with saw dust, but I never could endorse the taste.  I am ambidextrous when it comes to choosing savory or sweet, so my taste can spread a fairly wide spectrum.  It helps that I’m not a picky eater, as this allows me to be fairly promiscuous in this dimension of choosing my snacking friends.  

This apple seems super friendly!  

So without further adieu, here is my current snacking buddy lineup:

  • Apples:  love apples, particularly Fuji apples.  I also appreciate that one apple can be sliced into eights, which in turn can be allocated to two bites each.  That’s 16 bites of food.  And only 2 POINTS.  
  • Non-fat Greek yogurt:  he doesn’t taste awesome by himself, but he plays very nicely with other friends.  He also contains lots of protein with relatively few calories, so he stays with me long after he’s consumed (in other words, he has outstanding satiety – an excellent character trait).  I have been known to organize play dates with Greek Yogurt and an apple.  
  • Grapes:  I heard a friend call grapes nature’s candy, and I have to say that perfectly sums up this delicacy to me.  I love the taste, and they take a long time to eat as long as I spend time with each grape individually.  Which is good.  Grapes also go nicely with the otherwise slightly boring Greek yogurt.  
  • Pop corn:  I’d like to become someone better friends with this guy.  This is another snacking food that takes a lot of time to consume, yet has very little tag-along calories to go with the experience.  My only real issue with pop corn is that I don’t love the smell while they are realizing their metamorphosis from corn to puff.  
  • Salsa ‘n vegetables:  Don’t dis the crudités.  They may not be manly, but they are a more than suitable substitution for chips and crackers.  And they have, in most cases, no POINTS.  I love dipping, so through some salsa into the mix, and I’m a happy camper

These are good friends, but I have a sneaking feeling that I’m going to need a few more friends if I am to succeed in reforming my snacking/grazing quandary.  Who are you all hanging out with during snack time?




  1. Love the veggies dipped in salsa idea...I get a plain low fat yogurt and stir in 1-2 tsp. of Ranch Dip Mix into it and it works great with veggies!! I also rely on Frozen Grapes when it is hot! Exactly 1 c. of grapes fits in a snack zip lock baggie and I throw them in the freezer!

    Nice post!

  2. Chips and Salsa are a good friend of mine as well!

    If we're relating food as people in our lives, would the peanut butter ice cream from Cold Stone (or ANYTHING from Cold Stone for that matter), be the bad boy your parents told you to stay away from, but no girl can resist trying at least once (or five!)

  3. I like white cheddar rice cakes. They're 1 point, take awhile to eat, and are much more flavorful than the plain ones. I just ignore the idea that rice cake = diet, and instead focus on the fact that I LIKE the taste of rice cakes, despite their styrofoam reputation.

  4. 1-Point string cheese and the new WW Ranch flavored Multigrain Crisps. There are TWENTY FOUR crisps in that tiny little 2-Point package!! Pure snacking bliss :)

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  6. All of those items (minus the salsa and veggies - we STILL do veggies with hummus) are on our permanent shopping list. The best non-fat Greek yogurt is from Trader Joe's! Also, I dig the new picture. Sharp!

  7. I love a chocolate vitatop muffin (1 pt) with a cup of 25 calorie hot chocolate (zero points)-- yes, even in the Summer! :) I also love the zero point ice cream bars (in chocolate and orange creamsicle flavors) at Dairy Queen (a healthy alternative when the family goes to get Blizzards!)...

  8. While reading this article, I was eating a snack:
    Apple 8ths, small Smart n Delicious wrap cut into 8 strips, Naturally More peanut butter (a little on each strip). Wrap the strips around the apple 8ths. It was a small apple, so came out to about 2.5 points. And very filling.

  9. I'm also a fan of the frozen grapes! Also, if I'm craving something treat-like, I'll throw some ice, frozen banana, yogurt, whatever other fruit is on its way out, in a blender and make a smoothie.

  10. David, I have found that the "good friend" snacking has been instrumental to my success. I started WW 11 weeks ago and I have lost 51 pounds. I have not gone hungry since I started WW. WW snack bars a a huge help. I believe that snacking keeps my metabolism going and makes me feel fuller, faster at the main meals. Thanks for the article. Craig, Norman, OK USA

  11. Along with grapes, I vote for cherries as super delectable and super filling! Lots of Vitamin C too!

  12. Hi, David,

    This is the only place I can even imagine I might get help from WW. I'm a Lifetime member in good standing and I can no longer post on the WW Facebook page. No reason is given and there is *no* contact listed for the WW FB page. Every time I try to contact WW itself, they tell me they cannot help me and to contact FB. But it's clearly not FB's problem since I can post on every other page.

    I want my access back! Who is the contact person for the WW FB page, please?

    Megan Brown Jarvis

  13. Today I had the WW multigrain crisps and a wedge of the laughing cow light garlic & herb. Let me tell you that was so yummy. It easliy became one of my favorite snacks for 3 points.

  14. one of my newest snacks is dried cranberries... they're small, so they take a while to eat (I eat a few at once), and they're tart and sweet at the same time! I use them for my "it's-after-lunch-and-I-wish-I-had-M&Ms-or-something-similar" snack at work in front of the computer.

  15. I have to say that sugar snap peas are high on my list. Not only can you eat a lot of them with very little points but they also give off a very satifying snack, pop, and crunch. Pineapple is also high on my list because it is sweet and filling and takes away my cravings for sugary foods.