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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9 Great Gifts for Foodies
Nov20

9 Great Gifts for Foodies

This AWESOME iPad stand inspired me to put together a little Holiday Gift Guide. I hope you find something for yourself or your favorite foodie.  SWIVEL Kitchen iPad Stand     $36.95   My tech-genius hubby (you know… Sam, of Sam & Company) researched this before getting it for me, (we also tried two others) and I LOVE it! it rotates you can purchase extra bases and then move the stand around the kitchen (or remove it when not using it) looks way-cool in your kitchen also works as a cookbook stand!    Check out The SWIVEL Kitchen iPad Rack / Stand / Holder for all 7  – 10 inch tablets, e-readers and smartphones on Amazon >>   Minion Baker     $16.48   Great stocking stuffer for any-aged Despicable Me 2 fan! Mine sits on my kitchen window and it makes me smile.   See the cute little Minion Baker on Amazon >>   Sunbeam Cupcake Maker     $40 My hubby got us this last Hanukkah and it has become a favorite in this house! Great for summer cupcakes because no need to turn the oven on! Your littles will love it!   Check out the Sunbeam Cupcake Maker on Amazon >>   Trader Joe’s Swag Bag     $6.99 Stuff a super-cool (cool… get it?) TJ’s Insulated Bag with your favorite goodies. Your friends will love the personal touch. Some of my favs: Coconut Oil Spray (Fab on popcorn!), Trader Joe’s Seriously Stuffed Peppers with Olives, Capers and Garlic, TJ’s Everyday Seasoning, Dried Persimmons, Smoked Trout, Menage A Trois Wine Favs from peeps who posted on my Facebook page (thanks y’all for writing in!): fig butter, pumpkin coffee, mini gingerbread men (check OrnaBakes on Facebook for more ideas) Check my Trader Joe’s Shopping List for even more ideas >>    Post pics of your customized gift bags on my OrnaBakes Facebook page!   Oxo Cookie Jar filled with homemade cookies     $16.99 Try my South African “Crunchies” (oatmeal-coconut-squares-of-goodness) My most popular recipe—now shared 726 times on Facebook. (Thank you peeps!) But this awesome jar will keep any cookies fresh. Wrap it up in a bow and you’re done!   Check out the Oxo Cookie Jar on Amazon >>   Dutch Oven (Enameled Cast Iron Pot) My favorite pot to cook in. I started with a 5.5 QT red beauty, and just got this yellow 9 QT LeCreuset on sale from Sur La Table. Look around for deals. This is a great time to invest in one—trust me, it will bring you joy! Heats evenly and goes from stove to oven to table. Fab for making stews, soups, braises—you name it. ...

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Friday Food Finds: Costco
Sep05

Friday Food Finds: Costco

In the most recent installment of Friday Food Finds I took you to Costco to show you some of my go to food picks that my family and I love. I showed you some smart grab and go snack ideas to help tide you over if you hungry in-between meals. I also showed you one of my favorite new cheeses, and some quick and easy meal ideas. Costco is really a great place to save money while making smart food choices. Don’t forget to check out my YouTube to watch the most recent Friday Food Finds, and to catch up on our first installment where I show you some great choices in one of my favorite stores, Trader Joe’s. Follow the Orna Bake’s YouTube so you don’t miss out on all my great food...

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Keep It Poppin’ (My Kettle Corn Obsession)
Aug18

Keep It Poppin’ (My Kettle Corn Obsession)

I used to drive all the way to the Main Street Farmer’s Market in Santa Monica.  Park my car.  Go for a 30 minute run. Pick up my bag (or 2, or 3) of kettle corn.  Then drive home. Do you remember the little white bags they’d fill up with fresh kettle corn, and then stick it in a plastic bag and tie it up with a wire tie?  If I convinced myself to only buy one or two that week, chances are I’d find myself at the Westwood Farmer’s Market on Wednesday buying another bag. When I say I was obsessive, I’m not kidding! Then I joined Weight Watchers and discovered that my little white bag—overflowing into the clear plastic bag, neatly tied with a wire tie—was FIFTEEN POINTS.  Not worthy! Eventually, after LOTS of sugar snap peas (zero points) and carrots (zero points) during the day to make up for my kettle corn habit at night, I decided to try Orville Redenbacher’s 94% fat free kettle corn instead.  Not quite the same experience, but at 3 points a bag (on the old points system), it was a much better value than the regular kettle corn. And then began the new habit of an entire bag of “diet” kettle corn… every single night. If I was out for dinner or at a family gathering, everything was compared to my 3-point kettle corn at night, and nothing measured up to my alone-time with my kettle corn.  I know, seems pretty sad.  For me, that huge bag of popcorn every night was filling an emotional void; it was pretty much my boyfriend!  Only when I found the love of my life did I manage to completely kick the habit. Then one day, Sam’s mother sends him home with a large sample of Angie’s Kettle Corn from Costco.  (Does this woman have it in for me or what?)  He didn’t quite get it when I told him that I have a thing for kettle corn!! Back to Basics Now when I need to get back on track, the first thing I change is to go back to my 94% fat free Kettle Corn as a nighttime snack. It’s on my Top 10 Weight Watchers Power Foods list. There’s nothing quite like it when you’re craving a sweet-and-salty fix! The difference is that now I really only need a 100 calorie bag. Before, the huge bag was just feeding myself emotionally and was a habit that I wasn’t willing to break. I find that the danger with the big bag varieties is that once you’ve had one cup, it’s far too easy...

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