Category Archives: Fiber
After a (way too long) hiatus, SkinnyOffice is back to fulfill your snacking at work needs. Let’s get right to the point…I seriously missed writing SkinnyOffice, and as I got busier, it became more difficult to keep up with the site. But then, something amazing happened, and I knew I had to share this new discovery with all the SkinnyOffice fans.
This is what happened: someone who works in PR for Luna Bar (my all time favorite bar) happened to contact me asking if I wanted to try the newest Luna Bar, Luna Fiber. Of course I wanted to try it. I got the samples in the mail last night. Three soft, beautifully wrapped bars that looked like little angels wrapped in foil. And that’s exactly what they were.
I’m a huge fan of the regular Luna Bar. I basically survived 2011 with the help of the Luna’s chocolate dipped coconut bar, and I honestly didn’t think it could get any better. But then I took a bite of the Vanilla Blueberry Luna Fiber Bar…man oh man what a bite that was.
I wasn’t a fan of the flavor name (Vanilla Blueberry, no thanks), but I was pleasantly surprised by the soft, chewy consistency of the bar, and the subtle yet delicious flavor.
With only 110 calories, these fiber bars (which also come in Peanut Butter Strawberry and Chocolate Raspberry flavor) totally beat Luna’s original bars, and they also contain 7g of fiber and 25% of your daily calcium needs.
Buy these, and come back to SkinnyOffice, because we’ve spent the winter stocking up on a zillion great office snacks and we can’t wait to share them with you!
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’?
Chocolite Pecan Clusters
30 calorie a piece/2 pieces per package
1 net carb
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,
This weekend, one of my roommates went out on a date with the CEO of a very big, successful international corporation (the name of which I’m withholding not out of privacy but because it’s long and has a hyphen and I don’t exactly remember it). They first went to Armani to buy her a dress, and then he took her out to dinner. I mean, why doesn’t this stuff ever happen to me? I like Armani! I like dinner! Some girls get taken to Armani and Jean Georges, and I get to eat Mexican take-out in front of the Patriots game. SO unfair.
Anyway, so my roommate had to leave at about 3 in the afternoon for this date, and since she clearly wasn’t going to be eating dinner for a few hours, she had the good sense to have a little snack before she went. I came into the living room, in my colorful plaid Memphis pajama pants, clashing Navajo-inspired sweatshirt, and messy bun, prepared for the afternoon Sex & the City marathon, and my roommate was standing in the kitchen, hair curled, looking all fancy, munching on a mysterious kind of bar. I approached slowly, hoping that she wouldn’t be repulsed by my swamp-thing-like self, and asked her what she was eating.
“A cappuccino Larabar,” she said nonchalantly. I was instantly intrigued–she had me at “cappuccino.”
I scurried back into my room and looked up these bars online. Apparently they’re a new flavor of Larabar (which explains why I hadn’t heard of them, because I have heard of and tried virtually every type of bar–protein bars, granola bars, wine bars…). But these are seriously the perfect bar–they have everything! 4 grams of fiber (I know, I know, I’m like the fiber police, but it’s important!), 5 grams of protein so it will actually help keep you full, and CAFFEINE from the real coffee beans in the bar.
I went out and bought one on my way to bikram yog–uh wait, no, that’s not me. I went out and bought one on my way to Bloomingdale’s. It was not only delicious but also proved to be the perfect pre-shopping spree snack. Which by the transitive property or something means that it would also be the perfect pre-online-shopping-spree-at-work snack.
There’s not much to say about Susie’s Thin Cakes. When I grabbed them off the shelf at the supermarket I didn’t even think about what I was buying–I liked them before I even tried them. I mean, they have the words “thin” and “cake” in the title, which is convincing enough for me. Of course the word cake is deceiving in this particular circumstance. Suzie’s Thin Cakes are more comparable to cardboard than to actual cakes, but with only 15 calories per “cake,” you can top these whole-grain cracker-type things with just about anything and you’ll still have an insanely low-calorie snack. I like to top mine with: cream cheese, regular cheese, hummus, salsa, turkey, and basically anything else that I have laying around.
I would say more about what Susie’s Thin Cakes actually taste like, but really, that’s not the point here (they’re good enough, and that’s all I’m going to say.) The point is, Susie’s Thin Cakes taste like whatever you want them to taste like, if you put the right stuff on top. I guess you could eat them plain, but as your um, “nutritionist” in this situation, I’m going to recommend that you find some dip or spread before breaking open a pack of Thin Cakes. I guess if I’m playing nutritionist for the moment I should also mention that they’re made of brown rice…yay.
Tortilla wraps are pretty boring in and of themselves. In fact, I can’t think of one interesting anecdote or related celebrity news story or little-known fact to introduce them in this post, so I am just going to be direct. Though everybody thinks wraps are always the healthier option, this is not true, as wraps–just the tortilla wrap part, never mind what may be inside–often contain hundreds of calories and little nutritional value. A tortilla wrap can derail a healthy lunch faster than my boyfriend can race out of the room when I start talking about favorite baby names. (Which do NOT include “Blue Ivy,” Beyonce. Despite its “special meaning” to you.)
Luckily, La Tortilla Factory makes “Smart & Delicious” tortillas, each of which is a healthy 100 calories and has 8 grams of fiber. Keep a pack of these in the office, and you can make a healthy and filling lunch or snack out of one whenever you want. No matter what other kinds of ingredients you have lying around, I assure you that you can make SOME creation out of it. That is the beauty of wraps, their versatility–I’ve been known to wrap one around a piece of string cheese, create a chopped-veggie-burger wrap, or eat wraps with nothing but barbecue sauce inside! (Um. Hm. That sounds less appealing in writing.)
With La Tortilla Factory’s Smart & Delicious 100-Calorie Tortillas (did I mention they are low-carb and come in whole wheat!?), there is no reason to eat a mystery-calorie wrap from a restaurant ever again!*
*Unless you’re out to eat. Don’t bring these with you to restaurants or anything. I mean, it’s good to try and eat healthily, but really, that would just be ridiculous. You’d look like a nutcase. I wouldn’t eat with you.
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.
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.
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.
Every weekend Elena and I have a discussion about which days we’re each going to blog for the upcoming week. Usually these discussions take place via text message, and after some negotiations (Georgia: I have to watch all the episodes of Once Upon a Time on Monday so I won’t have time to write a post Elena: Well on Monday I have to write a ukulele song and record it for my YouTube channel so I don’t have time either!) and the exchange of banter so meek it doesn’t even entertain us (Georgia: Wanna start a business? Elena: Ok, what should we do? Georgia: I don’t know, we’re not really good at anything Elena: Bat Mitzvah planning? Georgia: Dog yoga classes? Elena: Eh, I don’t feel like starting a business) we decide on our days and move on to more compelling (but equally mundane) topics.
Some weird twist of fate led to me being the assigned blogger for this Friday, and it wasn’t until late Thursday afternoon that I realized that this post would be the last for SkinnyOffice in 2011! I don’t think Elena was thinking of the date when she JUMPED at the chance to write on Tuesday and Thursday this week, because there is just no way that she would knowingly pass up having the last word of the year. But I’ll take this opportunity to speak for both of us when I say that 2011 (particularly the last few months of it) has been a great year! We started this blog as a fun side-project that both of us could look forward to working on outside of our regular work hours, and it not only met, but exceeded our expectations.
I’m not usually a fan of New Years resolutions. I always feel that making a resolution for a new year seems a bit stupid. Wouldn’t it make more sense to just make resolutions throughout the year as we see fit? Despite my dislike of the seemingly mandated metamorphosis that we all go through each January, I’ve always been a sucker for tradition and I’ve never gotten through a New Year’s Eve without resolving to better myself in some sort of way. Last year I vowed to take on something new and exciting, and here I am, on the eve of a New Year, writing a blog post for a blog I could never have imagined a year ago! So while keeping the success last year has brought in mind, in no particular order, here are my resolutions for 2012:
1. Work harder on SkinnyOffice
2. Go to the gym more (Isn’t this on everyone’s list? Click here for some tips from Gawker!)
3. Compliment people more often (NYTimes Social Q’s said this was a good idea for a resolution)
4. Go somewhere amazingly interesting (This is right up my alley, though I assume there is no gym onboard and therefore goal #2 will have to be disregarded)
5. Eat more applesauce
I don’t know if #4 or #5 is crazier. A train ride through the plains of Mongolia is insane, especially because I’d be willing (and would love) to go on the journey by myself. But a commitment to eat more applesauce? I’m not an applesauce fanatic. I mean, I like it, but that’s about as far as my affection for the fruit purée goes. Well that was until I discovered GoGo Squeez Applesauce Pouches.
GoGo Squeez Applesauce is portable, resealable, and totally delicious. You can drink it à la Gogurt, but for those of us who do not like anything even remotely creamy (am I alone in this?) applesauce is a great alternative to the yogurts and cottage cheeses that are so popular. With only 60 calories a pouch these snacks are as lo-cal as they are savory!
What I’ve always found unappealing about New Years resolutions is the unlikelihood of keeping them. I mean, not a gym-goer never a gym-goer, right? Didn’t make it to Mongolia in 2011, probably won’t make it in 2012! But applesauce, and increasing my intake of it, that’s doable. Bring on the GoGo Squeez packs, 2012!!
SkinnyOffice, see you next year!
I’ve been dying for a muffin for days. Of course the logical solution to this problem would be to go buy a muffin. I do live in the middle of Manhattan– I’m sure I could find a muffin less than 10 steps from my front door. But then I remembered this: muffins from Dunkin Donuts contain 500-600 calories each. Even the reduced fat blueberry muffin has 450 calories and 11 grams of fat! I don’t even want to know how many grams of fat are in the regular blueberry muffin. I don’t know that I’ve ever actually eaten a muffin from Dunkin Donuts and I’m certainly not going to start now, but even reading about Dunkin Donuts monster muffins didn’t quell my craving. I understand that the terrifying nutrition facts about Dunkin Donuts muffins are not reflective of all muffins, but just to be safe I decided to stick with VitaMuffins, the world’s only 100 calorie full-sized muffin! (I’m not actually sure if it’s really the only one in the world, but they’re so good they could put everyone else out of business).
With only 100 calories per muffin, these low-cal, low-fat and high-fiber muffins are perfect for a snack any time of day. But that’s not even the best part. VitaMuffins also makes VitaTops— just the top of the muffin, also for 100 calories. My favorite is the banana chocolate chip, which actually tastes like banana bread, but they come in a variety of flavors including chocolate mint, apple crumb, fudgy peanut butter, and pumpkin spice.
I think it’s pretty common knowledge that the top is the best part of any muffin, and VitaTops really saves you the hassle of having to remove the top from the base, and also eliminates any guilt you may feel about throwing away the entire bottom part of the muffin. You can order VitaTops and VitaMuffins online (along with a variety of other interesting products the company makes).
VitaTops are definitely the best (and healthiest) way to have your
cake muffin and eat it too!
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.
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!
My sister has an amazing snack cabinet in her house. I go over to her house fairly often, and though she may think it’s so I can spend time with her and her three kids, it’s really because I like to check out any new additions to the snack cabinet. There have been times when I’ve come close to trampling my 2-year-old niece, Charley, to death because of my mad dash for the snacks.
It was on one of my snack-stampedes that I came across ZBars. I think one of my nephews had brought one home from school, and loved the bar so much that my sister has been stocking her cabinet with them ever since. ZBars are the kid version of CLIF bars, and though I’m no Sam Sifton, I have to say that in every way, ZBars are better than their parent-food, the CLIF bar. It’s very possible that I’m too old to be eating a kid product, but I overlook my age when it comes to ZBars. They come in seven flavors– chocolate brownie, chocolate chip, s’mores, honey graham, peanut butter, full-moon brownie (whatever that is), and blueberry– and the only one I’m hesitant to try is blueberry. I’m a chocolate chip devotee, which is a point of contention between me and my nephew (Mac is a die-hard chocolate brownie fan).
With only 130 calories a bar, these are the perfect portable snack to throw in your bag as you’re running out the door. And they travel well, too! I’ve never been happier than the time I was starving and alone in Vietnam and I reached into my bag and found a ZBar!
As for my sister’s snack cabinet…I can only hope that her kids don’t outgrow ZBars. But I don’t think they will anytime soon: I’m almost 24 and I’m still eating them!