Category Archives: Creamy

Chocolite Pecan Clusters

Dear Skinny Office,

I have been reading your blog for several weeks now and I thoroughly enjoy it. One minor difference for me is that I am not a skinny girl, in a skinny office. I am a chubby chick surrounded by other fellow chubby co-workers. The vending machine isn’t far from my desk. Even though my knees hurt from my weight while walking to select my favorite junk snacks, I push it that extra burn to get to my prized food of choice. And not to put myself down, just telling it like it is, I suppose if I used the same amount of energy to exercise I’d be better off, none the less I do move to get my food, does that count for anything? However, all kidding aside, your blog has helped me to begin to change my habits. At first, I will not lie, I felt sad thinking why can’t I think like they do and just eat skinny food for skinny people. But, after a few reads of your food choices and that you actually do eat the stuff you write about, I thought why don’t I follow their suggestions and at least try.

The reason I am writing this, is because after taking in all that you have been teaching me on your blog, I have started an exercise regimen and even joined a weightloss group and I have set a weightloss goal! (Do you realize how many woman who are struggling with their weight, are stuck in their mindset of eating all the wrong foods, continually making poor food choices, who can benefit from the information you write on your blog? And you even make it light and cheerful and smart and funny!) The fact is that I like what you have to say, and yet I am not as skinny as either of you (by the looks of your logo and the few scattered photos I have seen on your site, I see that you are in fact skinny true to written form). Nor am I as skinny as the majority of NYC’s young, lithe, office workers in their fabulous fashions. But just maybe if I do make the healthy choices that you suggest, I will maybe be one step closer to my target weight and hey, if you wanna be healthy skinny, do as skinny office girls do.

Now trust me, I have enjoyed getting to the poundage I am at now. The food was wonderfully satisfying, until I stood on the scale after gorging. Understand though, I do believe people are beautiful in all sizes, big and small. But for me, I also want to feel good, and well, being overweight does not make your body feel good. It is a burden especially walking, and most painfully walking up and down stairs, and when you start to wobble, well that is a clear indication that you pretty much have to start to reduce. And quite frankly, I wasn’t born fat so I really should not be fat. An extra meatball, a pizza slice and pretty much an extra of anything I could get my grubby little hands on (as well as stress) led me to this unwanted and unnecessary weight gain.

Your blog and sense of humor have been slowly inspiring me to see the ‘light’ (in snack food). And even though you and I are not similar in physical and gastronomical respects, I do enjoy the healthy snack ideas that make the two of you stay so very slim and trim, and I tried a few of your suggestions and I can actually say that I can eat this stuff and feel satisfied. For instance, I find the mini babybel light cheeses quite tasty and a great idea for on the go when you have to rush out the door without breakfast or lunch.

Most importantly, I started to take control of my situation and my health and my life. Thanks to you girls, I even started to do some research on my own, looking for a healthy snack that can be substituted for one of my fave junk food items and I found an online website that carries this DELICIOUS candy snack that is actually low-cal, low-carb and high fiber and it tastes like one of those chocolate turtle candies that I can buy in any weight per bag candy store! I kid you not skinny girls, this chubby girl found something that even you and I can be on the same level playing field with, CHOCOLATE, and it is not the high calorie scrumptious chocolate, but it’s every bit as pleasing to the taste buds. The new prized food “Chocolite Pecan Clusters” (the website sells several different varieties of chocolate candies). Believe me and I know you will, considering I am a walking resume of knowing my food. This stuff tastes great, and it can actually be eaten without guilt!!! Don’t ya just love me? I mean ‘it’?

Here goes:
Chocolite Pecan Clusters
30 calorie a piece/2 pieces per package
1 net carb
6g fiber

Chocolite website:
http://www.healthsmartfoods.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1

Well, there you have it, I just want to share this with you girls and all of my sister tribe out there, no matter how big or small you are. Girls unite for a firmer derriere and a healthy body, mind and through-the-roof confidence and maybe even a whistle or two when you walk down the street.

Thank you so much Skinny Office,
On my way to being healthy skinny and still being fabulous all the way to my goal,
Your virtual office friend,
Kate K.

Sugar-Free French Vanilla Coffeemate

The one main reason that I can function throughout the day like a semi-normal human being also happens to be my best friend: coffee. I love having coffee any time of day and need it for just about everything I do. I think my passion for a good cup of joe began when I worked at the “alternative” coffeeshop in my hometown, the one where nobody except my own friends went to, and even they only came after I lured them with promises of free coffee. No wonder it went out of business soon after I left…whoops.

So I used to be what many might call a coffee purist, meaning that I take pleasure and pride in looking down upon those who need sugar or milk, or those who use any sort of weird flavoring in their coffee. Which is totally hypocritical because I always take skim milk in my coffee, and when I am at Dunkin’ Donuts I only ever get their hazelnut coffee. But whatever, I’ve already made peace with the fact that I’m going to be one of those “do-as-I-say,-not-as-I-do” moms.

Any fake coffee snob's weakness

But my biggest crime as an already-not-so-pure-coffee-purist is using Sugar-Free French Vanilla Coffeemate. It’s creamy AND sweet, the two things coffee connoisseurs despise most, but it is just SO GOOD and makes coffee taste like a happy dream (before you wake up and realize you’re not BFFs with Beyonce after all). And since the best thing about coffee is that it is calorie-free–God bless whoever invented it!!!–the fact that this sugar-free coffeemate is only 15 calories per tablespoon means that you don’t have to feel at all guilty about using it with every cup.

P.S. This Coffeemate also goes GREAT in Diet Hot Chocolate for a little touch of creaminess (thanks to one of my BFFs Katie for this delicious discovery)!

Hot Chocolate and Greek Yogurt– a winning combination!

I’m a huge fan of the Today Show. I watch it every morning, and I truly feel like I’m part of the Today Show family. I cried on Meredith Viera’s last day as co-anchor. I counted down the seconds with Matt Lauer until Justin Bieber’s Christmas performance. And I spend every moment of the 4th hour wishing that somehow– despite the fact that I’m 23 and a half years old and have two wonderful parents– Kathie Lee and Hoda will adopt me. Yes, I know me being adopted by two 50-something talk show hosts is a stretch…but a girl can dream!

Me and my friends, Kathie Lee and Hoda.

So yesterday morning, while Kathie Lee and Hoda were enjoying their weekly Boozeday-Tuesday, I was sitting on my couch scheming ways to get them to notice me. My attention was diverted though, when Today Show nutritionist Joy Bauer appeared on air to give Kathie Lee and Hoda low-calorie food options to beat their cravings. Kathie Lee craves eggplant parm– Joy suggested a baked (not fried) version. Hoda craves mashed potatoes, and Joy suggested a half mashed potato half mashed cauliflower creation that sounded delicious but a bit too ambitious for an amateur chef like me. I was a bit turned off by all this– not because of Joy or Kathie or Hoda (there’s nothing they could to do make me dislike them), but because none of the options I saw were simple enough for a kitchen-phobe like me.

But then they started talking about chocolate.

Just add hot chocolate!

I’m in no position to be blogging about recipes. As I’ve mentioned before, I rarely cook. And by ‘rarely’ I mean you’d be more likely to find me in a Rikers Island prison cell than in a kitchen. But despite my lack of expertise (and lack of interest) when it comes to cooking, I’m going to stray from the typical SkinnyOffice snack recommendation today because I think you all deserve to know about the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard on a morning talk show.

A delicious chocolate snack for 150 calories: mix 6oz of nonfat plain Greek yogurt with one package of low fat hot chocolate (like Swiss Miss). It’s essentially chocolate pudding, it’s completely delicious, and it has close to 20g of protein. Joy Bauer calls this “protein pudding”, and call it whatever you want, but it’s amazing.

This “recipe” is easy enough even for me, and it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever seen on the Today Show. Other than this, of course:

Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal

I am all about convenience and efficiency. I like to brush my teeth in the morning as my coffee is brewing. When Georgia won’t shut up about Kate Middleton’s latest hairstyle, I mentally create my week’s to-do list. After a workout, I take my sports bra into the shower with me to wash it (whatever, like you don’t have your own weird habits that you’re secretly convinced are brilliant).

So when I have to rush out to work (because I’ve changed outfits twenty times and eventually decided on the one I started with), and forget to grab a yogurt for breakfast, I make it a goal to try and get my coffee and breakfast at the same place. You know, because otherwise it’s like, I get my coffee, and then when I stop at a deli I’m balancing my coffee in one hand, reaching through the crowd of fellow commuters for a Luna bar, all the while my handbag is swinging around wildly hitting everyone, and I’m trying to get out my wallet and whoops, that’s my birth control!, and then my coffee spills all over everything and I feel compelled to buy half a pound of cole slaw or something because I feel so bad for this deli that I am there.

Nobody's perfect, but clearly oatmeal can be!

Anyway back to the point: coffee AND breakfast in the same place is optimal. And that place means Starbucks, because getting my coffee there is just a sine qua non (I was looking online for synonyms for the word “necessity” and found that gem. Apparently it means “indispensable condition.” So sophisticated!) Fortunately, Starbucks seems to understand that it could make a lot more money from poor addicted souls like me and has come up with Perfect Oatmeal. In fact, Starbucks really must have my number because they called it “perfect,” and I am lured to perfection just as little fish are lured to this big scary one called the anglerfish that attracts its prey with this deceptive light hanging in front of its mouth. I don’t know why I know that, I really liked this one marine life book when I was little.

An anglerfish. You may recognize this one from his role in Finding Nemo.

Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal really deserves its title, with 140 calories and the option of adding either brown sugar, dried fruit, or a nut medley for another 50-100 calories. And you should add one! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and the more satisfied you are, the more you will be able to actually maybe concentrate on your work and not waste the whole morning wondering whether or not Justin and Jessica are actually, really, TRULY engaged.

Pirate’s Booty

There’s something about the holidays that always makes me feel an uncharacteristic surge of hometown pride. This news might not be particularly shocking if I grew up somewhere with the unsurpassable charm of Paris, or the breathtaking beauty of the Swiss Alps. It wouldn’t even be surprising if the place I called home was Manhattan– there’s nothing wrong with running back to the most interestingly diverse city on earth! But the lust I feel when I arrive in Glen Head, New York, is almost inappropriate, given (a) the appearance of the strip of shops that Glen Headers call “town”, but is actually just a sad looking block with a Chinese take-out place and a nail salon (b) the fact that I don’t spend my time in Glen Head doing anything more nostalgic than smiling in a bored-and-annoyed sort of way when I drive past my high school (c) that the town I’m actually feeling this overwhelming delight for is not Glen Head at all, but the neighboring town of Sea Cliff.

About a six minute drive from Glen Head, the entire town of Sea Cliff is only one square mile, and is in fact, perched on a cliff overlooking the sea. The sea is, of course, the now-polluted Long Island Sound; and the cliff is a bit weathered, so the town’s Victorian houses don’t float majestically above the water as they did in its heyday (town lore has it that Sea Cliff, not Manhasset, is actually the East Egg of Gatsby fame). But literary prestige or not, Sea Cliff has a singularly lovely appeal that’s evident in every inch of that square mile, from the carefully manicured baseball fields to the deli that is as iconic (if exceedingly more popular) as the tiny town history museum. Sea Cliff certainly has it’s own brand of charisma, and with residents such as Natalie Portman and GooGoo Doll Johnny Rzeznik I don’t think the town needs my help attracting any new blood. While I’m happy to sing the praises of this little town by the sea, I’ll stop with my wistful tales of summers spent playing in backyards, trying to lick popsicles faster than the sun could melt them, and countless other sweet, happy, memories. It’s time to put sentiment aside because Sea Cliff is home to something far more interesting than a few kids holding sticky ice pop sticks: Sea Cliff is home to Pirate’s Booty.

Pals who are all from East Egg.

That’s right, Pirate’s Booty, Greatest Cheesy Snack  to come out of our (fleetingly) great country, was founded and has remained, through its worldwide popularization, in Sea Cliff, New York. Little town by the sea isn’t so little anymore, is it??!  Sea Cliffians boiled with excitement when Natalie Portman, in her all Star Wars glory, bought an old Victorian not far from the Sound. When 90’s pop idol Johnny Rzeznik bought a place for himself and his fiancee everyone really thought that this was becoming the Hollywood of the East (or at least of Long Island). But there was no excitement as palpable, no buzz as audible, as when Pirate’s Booty opened up their headquarters on the town’s main drag.

Hello, neighbor!

With only 130 calories per bag, no cheesy chip has ever been so deliciously, naturally healthy. I do not believe that there is anyone on earth who dislikes cheese dust– that magical powder that clings to the sides of Cheetos and Cheez-Its and Sour Cream and Cheddar Lays chips, and here it is in an all-natural, real aged white cheddar form. I’m not telling you to buy Pirate’s Booty because of it’s connection with my beloved Sea Cliff, though that’s as good of a reason as any. I’m telling you because I know what it’s like to brood with jealousy after seeing a picture of Shiloh Jolie-Pitt strutting the streets of New Orleans, one little arm draped casually around her mother’s shoulder, the other clinging fast to a bag of Cheetos. Oh Shiloh, enjoy those Cheetos until your metabolism kicks in. Call me when you turn 22, I’ll send you a bag of Pirate’s Booty. I kind of know the owners.

SkinnySubmission: Individually Packaged Cottage Cheese

Activia also makes a cottage cheese that is just as delicious as this one!

 

…such as Activia or Breakstone’s brands.

This is the perfect office snack for many reasons. It is individually packaged so you won’t go overboard, it has 10 grams of protein and only 90 calories so it will keep you full, it tastes great in the morning, afternoon or evening, and it is plain enough for you to spice it up with some toppings, but not too bland to eat it all by itself!

Stellina, 22, Sales Assistant

Diet Hot Chocolate- Swiss Miss Sensible Sweets

While Elena was tiptoeing around her boyfriend’s apartment, wiping shards of mini candy canes off her feet, I was in my bed a few blocks further uptown still recovering from what will go down in history as The Coldest Night of my Life.

Cabs have been increasingly difficult to find the over past week or so in NY, and while I usually don’t mind a brisk walk home, I was not entertained by the lack of cabs on Saturday night at 2am on Avenue B. I’ll admit that the walk home only took me about 15 minutes, and that I was wearing (actually, clinging to) my knee-length puffy jacket. But no amount of down feathers could have prepared me for the bitter temperature and roaring wind in the East Village the weekend before Christmas. I guess I should’ve been better prepared (hat, scarf, gloves…pants?), I mean, I have lived my entire life- other than a 4-year-stint in DC- in New York. But alas I was not, and I scurried my freezing self home at a much faster pace than I ran the Jingle Bell Jog a few weeks ago.

Enjoying the party at Elena's boyfriend's apartment before freezing to death. Katie is looking very festive with that candy cane!


By the time I woke up on Sunday morning I was still cold. My bones were cold, even though I was wrapped in a blanket that Kourtney Kardashian once said was the best blanket in the whole world. Thanks for nothing, Kourt. Since Kourtney’s blanket was utterly unhelpful, the only thing I could think of that might warm me up was hot chocolate: Swiss Miss Sensible Sweets hot chocolate, to be specific.

Swiss Miss Sensible Sweets looks and tastes exactly like their non-diet variety of the same product (at least I think it does– it’s been more than a decade since I’ve tried the original Swiss Miss so you might not want to take my word on that), but contains only 25 calories per powdery pouch. Just like regular Swiss Miss, adding boiling water or hot milk to the powder will give you a delicious warm cup of hot chocolate. Of course making it with milk adds a few calories, but even with a cup of skim milk (90 cals) you can still have a delicious and creamy mug of hot chocolate for under 130 calories!

I didn’t end up leaving to buy Swiss Miss Sensible Sweets until later in the day, when I had already warmed myself up with a combination of large sweatshirts and a bowl of very old butternut squash soup that I had lying around my apartment. But Swiss Miss Sensible Sweets is certainly a more, um, sensible way to ward off the winter cold!

-Georgia

Andes Chocolate Mints

Last night after work, Elena and I had a SkinnyOffice dinner party. I shouldn’t really call it a dinner party since it was just me and Elena sitting on the floor of my apartment eating sushi, but this time of year everything is more festive, and with my Christmas tree in the background, even two people sharing a few slabs of raw fish seems like a holiday get-together.

Elena didn't even take off her jacket before begging me to take her holiday shot

We were singing along to the Glee Christmas album, dreaming of Christmas (and Hanukkah) presents, and Elena was feeling so jolly she made me take pictures of her standing alone next to the tree. Maybe it was the smell of the tree (or the smell of the pine-tree-scented candle I lit), but by the time we finished dinner we were feeling so lighthearted that we decided to have dessert. I don’t mean some frozen grapes and a shot of limoncello, the kind of dessert you may assume people who write a blog called SkinnyOffice would eat. We’re talking real dessert: a bag of week-old cookies, a few handfuls of red and green M&Ms, some Hershey’s kisses, and some very stale Almond Joy Pieces (why are all my desserts old?).

Overcome by the holiday spirit, we didn’t want to leave any seasonal treat uneaten, but the only thing left to eat in my apartment was Andes Chocolate Mints. I insisted that Andes mints are not a holiday candy– mints are ALWAYS in season, right? Elena disagreed. Since I was in a particularly generous mood last night, I gave in and we indulged in one last treat. But it turns out it was not an indulgence at all! Andes Chocolate mints only have 25 calories EACH!

Putting them in a star-shaped bowl makes them look more festive

Andes Chocolate mints are made of one sliver of mint sandwiched between two pieces of dark chocolate. It really is a winning combination. I know we’ve talked about holiday miracles before, and it seems that the 2011 holiday season is turning out to be even more miraculous that I had imagined (snack-wise, of course!)

I’ve already filled my jacket pockets with Andes mints. God forbid I’m on the subway (or anywhere) without a snack…now I can just pull a chocolate mint out of my pocket, and 25 calories later, I’m satisfied!

Spicy Hot V8

There’s this little dieting trick I’ve been using for years. It’s not exactly scientific, and the American Dietetic Association would probably issue a warrant for my arrest if they knew that I was suggesting this, but it’s really hard to eat right around this time of year and sometimes one must go to extremes to maintain their figure!

The trick is this: fill your desk drawer (or your home fridge) with snacks you DO NOT like. You may still be tempted to snack on them, but the more disgusting the snack, the less you will eat of it.

I can't eat any more of this.

Recently, a friend of mine suggested that I swap the maddeningly delicious Cool Whip I usually keep in my freezer for Marshmallow Fluff. I protested: Marshmallow Fluff is disgusting. It’s the worst food in the whole world. “That’s the point!” she told me. The next day I bought the Fluff. I was right. It is the worst food in the whole world (that is, if we can call whipped marshmallows “food”). But it was sweet enough to satisfy my craving for dessert, and I didn’t even finish the entire serving size (2 tablespoons, 40 calories) because it was too gross.

This brings me to Spicy Hot V8. I hadn’t had a can of V8 in years…until yesterday. I have very fond memories of V8– I used to drink it when I took plane rides when I was little– and when I heard that Spicy Hot V8 tastes just like a Bloody Mary without the alcohol, I ran right to the deli to buy some. Spicy Hot V8 does taste like a virgin Bloody Mary– plus the contents of a medium-sized pepper shaker.

I have a fairly high tolerance for spiciness, but Spicy Hot V8 is heat-inducing. I actually had to take off my gloves and scarf because I was sweating as I drank it. The taste of the V8 isn’t offensive like Fluff is, and the flavor of it is actually pretty good. I was able to finish the entire can, and I even enjoyed a few sips (when I wasn’t too busy wiping the perspiration off my forehead). With only 70 calories a can and a long list of nutritional advantages (2 servings of vegetables in every 8 oz. serving!), V8 is actually a healthy snack choice, while eating Fluff is no more nutritious (or delicious) than eating dog hair.

So while Spicy V8 doesn’t have the same run-for-the-hills effect as Fluff, its hotness lingers on your tongue for hours. No point in eating anything else when you can’t taste anything but pepper!

Don't say I didn't warn you

Bobbi’s Fat-Free Roasted Garlic Hummus

So it’s Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, and I’m trying to get out of my parents’ house as fast as possible. I stuff my ten unused Thanksgiving outfit options into my suitcase, leave a couple of shopping receipts on my mother’s desk  (“You told me I could put that fur vest on your card! Don’t you remember? Well I NEED it!”), and run downstairs. Well, more like practically fall downstairs with the force of my suitcase behind me. Anyway, as I run out the door my mom hands me a Links of London bag.

The source of my mother's deceptive antics.

“Here, take this,” she insists. I stare at her with an intrigued look on my face. Did she get me that bracelet I wanted? Did Hanukkah come early? I knew I was good during Thanksgiving weekend, but I didn’t know I was THIS good. But what the hell, I’ll take it.

I get home, exhausted from a car ride with my father during which we talked about my future and career and a horrible concept called “self-sufficiency,”  and finally look in my bag to retrieve my present. Is it a new watch? No. Is it that bracelet I’ve had my eye on? No. Is it even jewelry or even from Links of London? No and no. It’s cracked pepper turkey.

The only thing more depressing than finding cracked pepper turkey when you were expecting a gold necklace is the thought of calling your mom to say, “Thanks for the cracked pepper turkey, Mom.” And who even wants to eat turkey after Thanksgiving weekend?? Well okay, I do, but she doesn’t know that.

I get into the office today, clutching my turkey in my Links of London bag, hoping that it makes me look like I casually stop by the store on weekday mornings to pick up some new jewelry all the time, and realize that I can’t eat this turkey plain, as delicious as it is. And since Georgia and I have decided to cut carbs due to the unspeakable amount of food we ate during Thanksgiving, I don’t want bread with it–I just want a condiment. And I know just the one.

I run to our SkinnyFridge and pull out Bobbi’s Fat-Free Roasted Garlic Hummus. Now, I have something to say about hummus: it is tricky. First of all, it can’t decide whether to be a dip or a condiment. It’s like, just decide, hummus! Second of all, everyone thinks it is soooo healthy just because it’s made of chickpeas, and people just looove to slather it all over their falafel and act like they are so healthy and hipster as they talk about PETA and gender bias and the problem of bourgeois hegemony–okay, so I went to Brown–but everyone is wrong, my SkinnyFriend. Most of the time, hummus is fattening and caloric and is very dangerous in uncontrolled portions. So unhealthy and SO unhipster.

It's no Links of London either, but it's very good!

But Bobbi’s hummus is fantastic-tasting and is not dangerous at all! It’s creamy and garlicky (don’t eat it before a date) and is everything one could want in hummus. It is fat-free and has only 20 calories per two teaspoons, which is AMAZING for hummus and by my calculations means there are only 240 calories in the whole container. So if you end up accidentally eating half the container when you anxiety-eat your baby carrots at 10:30 pm, no need to feel suicidal!

My rolled-up-turkey-slices dipped in Bobbi’s hummus ended up being a great carb-free SkinnySnack. PLEASE go out and try this hummus, because not only will you like it but you will also be supporting Bobbi, the mysterious mastermind behind this hummus, so that maybe she can come out with more delicious products. Thanks, Bobbi! (And okay, okay…thanks for the cracked pepper turkey, Mom.)