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Go Ahead; Let Them Eat Cake

I found a way to count calories and still have great-tasting treats.

As a mother past the age of twenty-something and even past thirty-something, I am constantly in pursuit of new ways to take off the pounds.

The problem is, I’m a foodie, a freak—obsessed with great foods.

I can’t even dream about a sugary treat without waking up and finding it behind me. (Know what I mean?)

I have it down to a science. If I eat a Snickers, I’d have to run three miles on the treadmill to get rid of it.

And if I want a piece of vanilla-bean cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, which weighs in at 900 calories, I’d have to run three miles, bike five and do the elliptical machine for another half hour.

Forget that mess.

As the manager of my household and family, there’s no way I can swing that much time in the gym every day.

True to my nature, I had to find an easier way.

So, I have discovered five fantastic food finds for 150 calories and below.

1: Java

The first is the lifeblood of my week. I can’t be without my ' short, skinny, extra-hot, vanilla latte. (And I am always surprised the barista doesn’t slap me for ordering it that way.)

At first, the sugar-free taste of the vanilla syrup confuses your taste buds, but after a few piping-hot sips you’re hooked.

It’s even more delicious in light of the fact that it has only 60 calories, compared with a regular short vanilla latte, which has at least 140 calories.

2: Puffs

But for a more substantial snack that won’t break the calorie bank, there's corn puffs.

The corn puffs come in white cheddar and sour cream and onion flavors and are a great substitute for chips or high-calorie popcorn.

The bottom line for me is I can have 2½ cups for only 140 calories. Cha-ching.

3: Muffins

In the morning, I like to keep breakfast simple and low calorie. I have found my perfect match.

Vita Top muffins. They are muffin tops that come in a variety of flavors, but the Cran-bran is my favorite.

The portion is small but filling, and each muffin only has 100 calories, plus 5 grams of fiber. Vita Tops are one of the better calorie deals I have in my repertoire.

4: Greens

When I’m on the go, I like to stick with a good salad.

But it’s shocking that the average restaurant salad has 500 calories, and that’s without the dressing.

That’s why I’m so pleased with the small salad menu at Quiznos. My loyalty lies with the small cobb salad, sans the dressing and blue cheese.

This small delight has the perfect mixture of grilled chicken, real bacon, tomato and boiled egg on a bed of fresh greens.

Without the cheese or dressing, it totals about 150 calories. Perfect for busy days without all the calories.

I had to save the calorie deal-of-the-century for last ...

5: Ice Cream

I love my Skinny Cow.

Skinny Cow ice cream bars are the creation of a culinary genius. The white mint truffle, drizzled with chocolate, is the best ice cream this not-so-skinny-cow has ever tasted.

I would never guess I was eating a low-calorie treat, because there’s no compromise in the taste.

At only 100 calories per bar, one of these ice creams would cost me only 15 minutes on the treadmill— and trust me, it would be worth every minute.

Here are a few great sites to help you along with your calorie counting and nutritional information: FatSecret, myfitnesspal, caloriecount, livestong.

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