Nighttime Snacks that won’t take you down
Jan24

Nighttime Snacks that won’t take you down

Last night I ate… a jar of asparagus, a package of seaweed, a handful of cherry tomatoes and a bag of popcorn.   I felt like the very hungry caterpillar. Oh yeah… and a cup of Swiss Miss Light Hot Cocoa (but that doesn’t count, right?)  But… it could’ve been worse (remember, it can ALWAYS be worse!) But seriously, you know those nights when all you want to do is EAT? And when you’re trying to make good choices, gosh-darn you better have something more exciting in the house than carrot sticks.  Let’s face it, most of us don’t eat nighttime snacks out of hunger—it’s more out of habit or to feed some kind of emotional need. (BTW, emotional doesn’t mean that your boyfriend broke up with you and you feel sad or depressed or lonely. Emotional eating simply means that you are eating for reasons other than being physically hungry. You could be exhausted, anxious, bored, or simply happy and relieved that the kids are in bed and you now have some “me” time!) I’m not one who believes that you should eat dinner at 6 and not eat anything again until bedtime (though there are some). Does that bring you joy? Do you think you could sustain that forever? Or does it feel like you’re miserable and hungry and on a diet (If you feel that way you will NEVER be able to do this FOREVER) I think a better way to approach it is to find snacks that satisfy you and don’t trigger the eater in you. So if you find yourself going back for spoon-after-spoon of peanut butter or cup-after-cup of cereal or “just-one-more” mini ice-cream bar, those are not safe snacks for you (at this time).  It’s really just about substitutions and getting more bang for your buck. I’ll give you some of my go-to nighttime snacks—pretty please share them on FB, pin them, forward them to a friend. And I’d love to hear from you! Are evenings difficult for you? What are y’all snacking on after dinner? Please add your comments below. xoxo   Sip on tea It’s incredibly soothing and gives your hands—and lips—something to do! Rooibos (“Red Bush”) Tea—comes from South Africa (where I’m from—but you already knew that, right?) and you can now find it all over the US.  It has all the good properties of green tea but without caffeine. And the best part is it counts toward your water intake.  My faves are Trader Joe’s Rooibos & Honeybush tea and Republic of Tea Vanilla Rooibos >> Read the amazing health benefits here >> Did you know… You don’t have to...

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Healthy Snack Ideas (Weight Watchers Friendly)
Jan18

Healthy Snack Ideas (Weight Watchers Friendly)

My girlfriend asked me for healthy snack ideas, so I quickly threw together this list… and I thought you all might find it helpful too! (Well… do you? Please pin it, share it, and leave a comment below!) Remember the old diet myth that you should have three meals a day and no snacks in-between? Well, that is total and absolute nonsense! You should make sure to eat something every two to three hours and NEVER let yourself get to that point of being so hungry that the best goals and intentions fly out the window.  The key is to learn the difference between a snack and a “treat”. A snack tides you over to the next meal and is healthy and balanced. A treat is… well, you know… a “treat”. When you have a choice, always choose fresh, natural, unprocessed snacks (and food)… but I’m including other options for when you can’t get to fresh. And always try to include some protein which will keep you feeling satisfied for longer. Check labels for sugar and avoid ingredients that you can’t read or understand. If you’re following Weight Watchers, use the (new and improved) handy-dandy app to calculate the points. FYI: SmartPoints are now calculated by calories, SUGAR, protein, and saturated fat. (They used to be calculated by fat, fiber and protein) So some bars that were a good choice before aren’t the best choice now.  Here are some of my go-to snacks—hope you find them helpful. And please tell me yours! Just add them to the comments section below, or on my OrnaBakes Facebook post  >> (you ARE already following me on FB, right?) Remember—don’t leave your house without arming yourself with some healthy snacks! Many of these items are available on Amazon Prime—I’ve linked to them when possible. (I LOVE Amazon Prime!!!) Click here for info on 30-day FREE trial for Amazon Prime >>  Look out for part two COMING SOON: Favorite Night Time Snacks xoxo     Yogurt I always have tons of different yogurts in my fridge. The best choice is a plain, fat free or low fat Greek yogurt and add your own fresh fruit, but when I don’t have time for that… I love Dannon Light & Fit (My fav flavor is Coconut) I heart Eli Quark (which, believe-it-or-not, actually isn’t yogurt – it’s German-style cheese!) (WW Simply Filling) Add some sliced bananas to the Caramel one for a delicious treat. Or bulk up the Strawberry (my fav) with fresh strawberries. You get the idea. Lovin’ thick and creamy Icelandic yogurt which seems to be popping up everywhere. My favs are Siggi’s Acai and Mixed Berries –...

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Friday Food Finds: My TOP SECRET Skinny Soup!
Mar12

Friday Food Finds: My TOP SECRET Skinny Soup!

The first thing I do when I need to get back on track is MAKE SOUP! I’ve only shared my unbelievably delicious, super-easy TOP SECRET 8 Vegetable Soup recipe with a few clients who kept nagging me for it… but now here I am on my Friday Food Finds on YouTube telling you exactly how to make it! (If you aren’t already following me on YouTube, hurry up and do it already!) But… you will have to guess the SECRET INGREDIENT! Hint: it’s a spice So what do I get if I guess correctly? (that’s what you’re thinking, right…?) The FIRST person to guess correctly will receive a FREE signed copy of my book “The Yummier You: 7 Secrets to a Happy, Healthy, & Yummy Life”. (now available on Amazon—Click here to purchase) Just follow OrnaBakes on your favorite social media site (what is your favorite social media site, BTW??) and leave your comment wherever you see “Can you guess the SECRET INGREDIENT?” Oh, and don’t forget to give this vid a big THUMBS UP! Also, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter and YouTube Channel so you don’t miss any new Friday Food Finds. (Next week I’ll show you my favorite store-bought soups) Let me know how you like the soup!...

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Friday Food Finds: Target
Sep13

Friday Food Finds: Target

In the past few weeks I’ve taken you to Costco and Trader Joe’s on Friday Food Finds. This week I take you to one of the best places to get wholesome food at a reasonable price. Any idea where yet? Bet you didn’t guess Target! Target has a wide selection of smart food choices, and lots of Weight Watchers Power Foods. This week I show you a kid-friendly, high-protein pasta, my go-to Weight Watcher’s Simply Filling Breakfast, and some easy meal ideas.             Don’t forget to give this video a big THUMBS UP! Also don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter, and YouTube Channel so you don’t miss a single installment of Friday Food Finds. Where would you like to see me go...

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How I Gained 4 Pounds in 4 Days (NY Confessions)
Jun26

How I Gained 4 Pounds in 4 Days (NY Confessions)

We’re back from 7 nights in New York and Boston, and after a fantastic trip I’m happy to say there’s no place like home! I’m definitely a West Coast girl. Staying smack dab in the middle of Times Square did not a relaxing vacation make. But we didn’t go there to relax! And what a trip to be staying “On Broadway!” (Those of you who knew me in my musical theater days will appreciate that.)     I was sooo happy that I packed my Best Weight Watchers Travel Snacks when we were delayed for NINE hours. (You might have seen my #IHateDelta tweets) Who needs stale pretzels when you have Cosomi Cookie-Crackers? Anthony Bordain’s Kitchen Confidential on my iPad Mini kept me from losing it completely! (Though I’m not sure I wanted to hear what really goes on in the kitchens of NYC just before dining in some of them. Scaaaary.) We checked into The W Hotel at 3:45am (!), and were ecstatic that Hazel had attempted to erase our nightmare travel day with a gorgeous corner suite on the 55th floor. After numerous warnings about teeny-tiny NYC hotel rooms, we were stoked. (Can you say upgrade?!) And so ensued a Four Day Eating Fiasco You must know by now that I’m a bonafide foodie, and despite having a (mostly) healthy food blog, I’m obviously into baked goods, hence the name “OrnaBakes.” So I wasn’t about to miss this opportunity for trying good eats across NYC. It’s a good thing we walked for MILES each day. (Would you believe I forgot to take my FitBit Flex!!!)   Everyone asks me the same thing: What was your favorite food? So here it is!   Eataly (sigh) Wow. What an experience. I mean—there’s an entire Nutella Room! (Check out my Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with Nutella Sauce for the BEST dessert EVER!)       Seriously the best pizza ever to pass my lips—with fresh buffalo mozzarella that tasted like Italy.   And who knew that simple spaghetti in butter, olive oil, parmesan and pepper could taste so unbelievable!   And then of course I couldn’t miss fresh Hazelnut Gelatto. (My top 5 foods on earth)   Fun to watching these friendly bakers effortlessly make foccaccia. (Not sure why there were three of them on this task. But it looks interesting!)   Sam was ecstatic to find his beloved GUS (Grown Up Soda) which is increasingly hard to find in LA. (Gelsons still carries it)   I was so overwhelmed by the shelves and shelves of magnificent Italian confections, that I didn’t even come away with a single one! (Plus I knew if I bought a...

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Dr. Praegers Kale and Black Bean Veggie Burgers (review)
Jun19

Dr. Praegers Kale and Black Bean Veggie Burgers (review)

I was so pumped to find Dr. Praeger’s Kale Veggie Burgers and Black Bean Burgers at my door that I decided to try them today!      My first time getting something on dry ice—I don’t know why that was so pleasing.   This big, giant box for two little boxes of burgers. (Not as green as the Kale Burgers. LOL)   I  am now verrry full. I made one of each to try, and they were both so delish that I ate them both! (Plus a side salad.) I just popped them in the toaster oven and ate them straight up, to get the full flavor.   Here’s the verdict:   Dr. Praeger’s Kale Veggie Burger (Gluten Free) With Quinoa I must admit, it did look a little “grassy” but actually tasted surprisingly delicious. Very fresh and light. Now would I slap this on a burger bun with ketchup? Definitely not. But next to a couple of fried eggs I think it would make for a tasty meal. 3 Weight Watchers Points Plus   Dr. Praeger’s Black Bean Veggie Burgers Let me first say that I am not a fan of black beans. But I really enjoyed the taste and texture of this one—more dense and filling than the others. Very bean-y. And just enough if a kick. Fab with a fruity salsa and/or roasted red pepper hummus. Wrap in lettuce leaves for a low-carb sammy! 12 g protein to keep you feeling satisfied. 3 WW PP   My fav is still the Asian Veggie Burger. Click here for my Veggie Burger Chop Suey Recipe >>   Whole Foods Market carries a wide variety of Dr. Praeger’s products. And you can find the California Veggie Burgers at Trader Joe’s. The California Burger was my go-to dinner for many months when I first joined Weight Watchers. You can find my Veggie Burger Scramble recipe on my Trader Joes shopping List (next to California Burger) >>   But these two new ones could be making their way into heavy rotation!   Click here for where to purchase Dr. Praeger’s Veggie Burgers >>   Simple Start/Simply Filling Unfortunately, since all of Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers have more than 2g fat, they’re not considered Weight Watchers Power Foods. But, if you’re doing WW Simple Start or Simply Filling, I think they’re definitely worth spending a few points on just to add some variety to what you’re eating. (Or I personally might not even count points if I was just having one of these as part of my healthy Simple Start meal. But shhhhh…. don’t tell anyone that I told you that!) BTW...

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