Drink Up! The Top 5 Drinks Of Summer
Most people have a drinking problem.
I hope that got your attention! What I am talking about has nothing to do with martinis. I’m talking about developing a good water drinking habit. Water is first and foremost, the beverage of choice, especially when you’re trying to lose a few (or a lot) of weight. We can also add a few other refreshments that will tote up your liquid quota, without putting on the pounds or rotting your teeth.
But before I give you those lovely libations, let’s talk about water, shall we?
The fact is, your body NEEDS water. If you’re interested in making sure your body uses the nutrients you give it via food, you gotta drink water.
If you’re battling blemishes and want nicer skin, you gotta drink water.
If you’re wanting to avoid constipation -- or what I like to call the ultimate form of procrastination -- you’re gonna want to get friendly with water.
And the best part of being a water drinker is that water totally helps you to pare down the pounds. Never underestimate the very powerful tool of a handy water bottle.
But even a devoted water drinker is going to want a little something else in her glass -- yes, even me!
Top 5 Go-To Drinks For Summer And Anytime!
1) Smoothie Patrol! I love slurping a smoothie, especially first thing in the morning. Just a little plain kefir (good for your digestion) a big handful of frozen blueberries, a scoop of protein powder and some OJ and you’re good to go.
Sometimes I like it thicker and sweeter, so I’ll add a little overly ripe frozen banana. And sometimes, I add a secret ingredient that will make you gag (but you can’t taste it) but ratchet up the nutrients. Wanna know what it is?
Here’s the link to watch me make it!
2) Cranberry Cosmo. We all know the girls from Sex And The City liked theirs straight up, cold and with plenty of vodka! My version is sans vodka and mixed with a little orange juice. Take a glass, add crushed ice, fill half way with orange juice (orange juice is a super food, by the way!) and top with cranberry juice. For optimal nutritional punch, buy the kind in the health food store with no sugar.
3) Lemon Up Iced Tea. This one is simple, easy and extra lemon really helps with the vitamin C quota. Simply brew regular tea, let it cool, squeeze two lemons in a glass, add crushed ice and pour your tea over the top. If you prefer it a little sweeter, try using xylitol to sweeten it up. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol and is available in health food stores. This is a safe alternative to artificial sweeteners for both diabetics and non-diabetics alike.
4) Green Gingered Tea. Brew some green, tea and set aside to cool. In a glass, add some crushed ice, grate a little ginger or sprinkle some dried ginger (you don’t need much!) and then add the cooled tea. You’ll be getting the health benefits of both green tea and ginger in one glass, as well as refreshing beverage.
5) Pomegranate Punch. The new darling of the nutrition world, pomegranate offers much more than a bunch of seeds that are hard to eat. The delicious juice actually has more antioxidants than green tea. Mix the juice half and half with either green or black brewed tea and you’ve got a wonderful (and powerful) antioxidant drink that is both refreshing and very healthy.
That’s it from me on the beverage front. I do need to mention however, that while I love everything listed above, water is my go-to beverage and it should be yours, too.
True Lemon also makes True Lime and True Orange. I have all of them. I can tell you they really do add that extra something to my water.
Stay cool this summer and remember, drink up!
Leanne Ely is New York Times Bestselling author and the Dinner Diva at SavingDinner.com. For more information, check out the website, www.savingdinner.com
June 28, 2010
Worst/Best Mixed Drinks For Summer
The mercury is rising, vacations are in full swing and patio happy hours are bustling – what do all of the above have in common? Frosty, refreshing cocktails!
It sure is tempting to order that frozen margarita or mai tai – but did you stop and think how it might be thwarting your diet efforts? If you’re not careful, cocktails can add thousands of calories to your week and if you are a frequent happy hour participant, this can be enough to slow your progress.
The good news? It is possible to enjoy a refreshing cocktail!
Just choose high calorie drinks in moderation and choose lower calories ones as your drink of choice. Compare the following cocktails and you be the judge!
Skip these Sips!
• Margarita – that sweet slushy stuff isn’t too good to be true – it’s packed with calories! Calorie count: 500.
• Long Island Iced Tea – what do you get when you mix five different kinds of liquors with sweet and sour and soda? A calorie count comparable to a Big Mac! Calorie count: 700.
• Pina Coloda – this island favorite gets most of its calories from high fat coconut milk, save the coconut milk for an occasional curry dish instead! Calorie count: 625.
• Chocolate Martini – it is made with chocolate and cream after all! If this is your dessert, that’s one thing, but I’d rather have a piece of chocolate cake! Calorie count: 450.
• White Russian – are you a brunch libation kind of person? Skip this rich and creamy drink for special occasions. Calorie count: 300.
Savor these Sips Instead
• Tequila Sunrise – you still get the tequila with a sweet touch but with more than half the calories! Calorie count: 200.
• Greyhound – this simple drink of grapefruit juice and vodka packs a flavor punch but keeps the calories low. Calorie count: 200.
• Mojito – now this is an island drink you can feel good about! And, fresh mint and lime will leave you feeling refreshed. Calorie count: 160.
• Cosmopolitan – if martinis are your thing, don’t shy away from this trendy drink. Calorie count: 150 calories.
• Bloody Mary – add another serving of veggies to your brunch (or lunch or dinner!). Blood Mary’s are slim and trim! Calorie count: 150.
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July 28, 2008
Liquid Calories: The Scary Bottom Line
“Think before you drink!”
Great advice that no longer applies to just the act of driving after drinking alcohol.
A Washington Post feature issued that same warning after revealing the high calorie level of some coffee drinks, fruit smoothies, soft drinks and shakes.
Even though warm weather can make you thirsty for a refreshing, cool drink, think twice before sipping a drink that packs upward of 600 calories.
That’s a price I’m not willing to pay to quench my thirst!
As a nutrition expert, I’m well aware of the problems that excessive liquid calories can bring. But this article got me thinking about how our bad economy could also be impacting our drinking habits.
The financial costs of coffee drinks, fruit smoothies, soft drinks, shakes and alcoholic beverages have been rising along with food costs and gas prices.
Collectively, these extra costs (both in calories and cents) should give dieters pause at fast food counters, restaurants, bars, Starbucks, ice cream shops and the like.
No one likes to live under budgetary constraints but I do think that money speaks louder than calories in helping us make good decisions.
For many people, changing drinking habits will go a long way toward helping them better manage their weight – and their pocketbook.
Consider using the money saved toward the purchase of a tap water filter which will mean less money spent on bottled water.
July 8, 2008