Category Archives: Food Finds

Can’t stop poppin’

There was a time I considered myself a sweets eater. Given a choice between sweet and salty, I’d always take the sweet.

Nowadays, though, I find myself leaning toward salty snacks more and more. While I was eating with no brakes, that meant sour cream and onion Pringles, cheddar sour cream Ruffles and salt n vinegar chips from the Maverick across from the office. While I’m on a low-carb diet, chips are off limits, so I turn to nuts—salty, delicious nuts.

But now that I’m back on Weight Watchers again, chips are no longer a no-no. (Thank goodness! Life’s too short to skimp on chips.)

Enter popchips. They’re like potato chips, only better, because the makers of popchips have figured out how to halve the fat without sacrificing any of the flavor.

Given the “eat all the junk” attitude I’ve copped for far too long, I hadn’t picked up a bag of popchips  in about a year—until last weekend. I bought a bag of my favorite, salt and vinegar, when I spotted them on sale at Bashas’. And I proceeded to eat them (over the next several days) without sharing any with the Boyfriend.

Okay, that’s not entirely true. He tried one and didn’t like the tangy salt and vinegar bite. What’s wrong with that man?

My rediscovery timing couldn’t have been better, because the very same day, I got an email from Eileen at popchips. The company’s “more to love” campaign celebrates new, larger bags—providing consumers with “more to love” just in time for the summer snacking season.


I actually noticed the “15% more” emblazoned on the bag—another thing that prompted me to pick them up. (The first? I remembered them fondly from my last stint on WW. Katy’s Kettle Corn, Sweet Potato and Sweet Thai Chili were among my favorite flavors.)

Brand new, 15% more to love bags of deliciousness mean more of the great flavor you expect from popchips, more chips to share with friends and family (Ha. They should be so lucky.), and still only half the fat of regular chips. Better yet, they’re the same great price.

That’s right. Summertime and the snacking is easy. (I didn’t come up with that line, but I kinda wish I had.)

Available in flavors such as sea salt and barbecue potato, and nacho cheese tortilla, popchips will keep you looking cool and feeling satisfied. Whether you’re picnicking in the park, heading out on summer vacation or relaxing by the pool, popchips has your summertime snack needs in the bag.

Want a chance to win a date night, courtesy of popchips? Share your popchips love at Tell them when you first fell in love with popchips.

was it love at first bite? was it a particular flavor that made your heart pop? or did you whip up some dynamite recipe using popchips that impressed all of your friends? we want to know the who, what, when, where, and why of your popchips love story! visit or tweet/facebook/instagram us using #moretolove and share your story for the chance win a sweet (potato) date night!

You can see my entry—just look for my name, Arlene Hittle, and FB avatar (the cover for my Beauty and the Ballplayer).

15% more to love bags weren’t the only popchips discovery I made thanks to Eileen. There’s also a blog with recipes that feature popchips. These Valentine’s treats look crave-worthy. But sweets aren’t the only things you can make. popchips apparently make an excellent substitute for breadcrumbs. Check out the blog here:

I think I found some new recipes to add to my Pinterest boards.

Disclosure note: Popchips offered to stock my pantry with a month’s worth of snacks for writing this post. But all opinions about the product are mine. I really do love popchips, or I wouldn’t have jumped at the chance to write the post.

You want in on Diet-to-Go’s 1,000 meal giveaway

Longtime readers of Adventures in Weight Loss, Cooking and Life have been with me through “I love to spend time in the kitchen” periods and “I have no time to cook” phases. Pretty much ALL of 2013 was one of the latter, unfortunately. When you’re working 40 hours a week and trying to give birth to your first (and second) book baby, kitchen time isn’t high on the priority list.

That’s why, after winning a free week of meals via a Twitter chat last spring,1000mealGiveaway I jumped at the chance to become a Diet-to-Go ambassador.

You can’t beat to-your-door delivery of a week’s worth of flavorful, restaurant-quality meals that fit neatly into the healthy eating plan of your choice (traditional, low-carb or vegetarian). Even if they don’t fit so neatly in your fridge or freezer, they’ll work into whatever food plan you follow.

The convenience is out of this world. Diet-to-Go takes the guesswork out of healthy eating. All you have to do is heat and enjoy. So easy … so delicious …

This month, to celebrate a new year and fresh start, my friends at Diet-to-Go are sponsoring a 1,000-meal giveaway sweepstakes. Entrants can win either one month of free meals, a week of free meals or a $50 Diet-to-Go gift card.

You heard that correctly:

• 5 lucky winners will receive one month of free meals
• 20 winners will receive a free week of meals
• 25 winners will receive a $50 Diet-to-Go gift card

Not too shabby, eh?

I’ve had the opportunity to try both the traditional meals and the low-carb meals. They’re both delicious. (Click the links for details of some of the meals I tasted.) Some of my favorites were the ratatouille omelet and turkey chili with cornbread (traditional) and Italian Meatballs (low-carb).

A Twitter Chat, Too

Want to talk about your New Year’s resolutions (or lack thereof)? At 9 p.m. EST (that’s 7 p.m. my time) Tuesday, Jan.7, Diet-to-Go will host a one-hour Twitter Party. The topic? The Anti-New Year’s Resolution: Using common sense to make lifelong, lasting changes toward health. (It’s not about a diet or quick-fix. It’s about a lifestyle change)

One randomly drawn chatter will win a Fitbit Flex Wristband (like the one I just bought myself) or a Fitbit scale. Three randomly drawn participants will win 1 week of free meals.

Fitbit sleep GraphI love my Fitbit Flex so far. I’m currently using it mainly to collect data. The sleep tracking function is particularly fascinating. For the past two nights, my magic number of times restless is 7.

The first night I used the sleep tracker, I was restless 11 times (see picture at right). Maybe I’ll take some NatureMade Vitamelts Sleep tonight to see if that makes any difference.

Don’t forget to enter Diet-to-Go’s 1,000 Meal Giveaway. I’m having trouble embedding the entry form, but if you click the giveaway graphic (or the link in the paragraph announcing the contest), it’ll take you to the company’s blog post, which includes the easy entry form.

Disclosure: As a Diet-to-Go ambassador, I’m receiving monetary compensation to tell y’all about the sweepstakes. That doesn’t change the fact that I love their meals, and would subscribe in a heartbeat if I weren’t a starving journalist/debut author.

New Flagstaff restaurant and a contest for you

Hi, all — and happy Sunday.
My weekend has been screwy. I ended up working for several hours on Saturday, covering for a sick coworker. Unplanned work — and for more hours than I counted on — made for a less-than-fun day. I’ve really gotten used to having Saturdays to myself.
I made sure to have some fun before work, though: I took myself to the early matinee of “We’re the Millers.” OMG — so funny! It was just the movie I needed to see before heading to the office. At least a laugh a minute.
Now I have to decide between “Elysium” and “Two Guns” today. Maybe I’ll do both.
Nah. I should take a nice, long walk and spend some quality time at Starbucks instead. I have a first draft to finish, preferably before I get edits back on DIVA.
MG entranceBetween seeing the movie and leaving for work, I revisited Modern Grove, a restaurant that just opened in Flagstaff this week. It’s between Dunkin’ Donuts and Jimmy John’s.
MG Italian Chopped SaladYou might have seen on Instagram a picture of the Modern Grove salad I picked up for lunch Friday. I took it to go (and carried it in to Starbucks with me).
The Italian Chopped Salad was a mix of greens, salami, pepperoni, fire-roasted peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, provolone and balsamic vinaigrette, and I loved it. The ratio of greens to toppings was perfection!
I was so impressed — and found so many other tempting items on the menu — that I went back again Saturday.
MG's The RoastThis time, I got The Roast, a steak sandwich with caramelized onions, provolone and tangy horseradish sauce. I added a side of fries, but next time I think I’ll go with a side salad.
There was nothing wrong with the fries, mind you. They were actually pretty darn tasty — lightly seasoned and just crispy enough. But I’m sure the salad is just as delicious, in addition to being a much healthier choice. I’d feel more virtuous with a pile of greens on my plate.
That sandwich … OMG … that sandwich. The steak was tender and cooked just right (the menu called it medium-rare). The melted cheese, the sweet onions, the tang of horseradish all worked together to make a taste treat.
The menu also offers burgers, several gourmet pizzas, and, for dessert, N.Y. cheesecake and salted caramel bread pudding. Breakfast includes yogurt parfaits, quiche and breakfast burritos.
And prices are fairly reasonable, especially given the quality of the eats. Most menu items are less than $10. The pizzas range from $11 to $14 (for gluten-free crust).
Modern Grove didn’t give me anything to write this blog post. I bought both lunches for myself, and will gladly return again to give the restaurant more of my hard-earned money. I have my eye on a couple of their burgers, the turkey sandwich and (at some point) the mac and cheese bites.
MG refrigerator case
Huh. That one turned out a little blurry. It’s supposed to be a shot of the refrigerator case containing salads, cheesecake, fresh-squeezed orange juice and other things I can’t identify.
If you live in Flagstaff, or are planning to visit anytime soon, I highly recommend you do yourself a favor and check out Modern Grove.
Y’all already know I’m a Diet-To-Go ambassador. The company hasn’t specifically asked me to promote their newest contest, the “I Live Healthy Photo Contest,” but I wanted to let you know about it anyway. It sounds like fun, especially for those of us who are already snap-happy.
It starts Wednesday and continues through Aug. 29 — and all you have to do is share a photo of your healthy habits.
DTGPhotoContest.BASICThe top three photos, as chosen by votes on the Diet-To-Go Facebook page, will win their photographers a week’s worth of free meals.
  • The details:
  • Starts: Aug. 14 at 12:01 a.m.
  • Ends: Aug. 29 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Voting Aug. 14-Aug. 31
  • Winners announced Sept. 1
  • Submit entries directly on the Diet-to-Go Facebook page, or tag photos with #ilivehealthy from Twitter or Instagram to automatically enter them.  The contest itself and photo entries will be hosted on Facebook.