Donna, who specializes in weight management and wellness, developed the 12-week program that became the foundation of the eDiets.com diet. Shes a self-proclaimed expert in agaves, tequila and other fine spirits.

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Cheers To Your Health!

by Donna M. DeCunzo-Taddeo, R.D., L.D.

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The holidays are here already?! They seem to sneak up on us every year. This year take my advice and be prepared for what's ahead.

Dinner with relatives complete with lots of desserts, Holiday parties with friends, cocktail parties. (Be sure to check out my great recipes for low-cal cocktails at the end of this blog!) It's enough to put on a few pounds just thinking about it.

If you have a history of gaining weight between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, make this year different by following some helpful healthy hints!

Maintain your exercise schedule
Don't be tempted by convincing yourself that there is too much to do and that you'll start back in the new year. A sudden stop to burning extra calories is enough to add up to an extra pound or two.

Drink plenty of water
Alcohol and coffee can dehydrate your body -- hydrate with good old water.

Eat regularly
Don't starve yourself all day in anticipation for that big holiday dinner or party. You'll be more likely to overeat due to hunger. Instead, eat your regular meals throughout the day and do not wait to eat too long between meals.

Substitute lower-fat ingredients when cooking, baking
What better way to have some of your favorite dishes without all the extra fat and calories?

Balance and portion
Choose smaller portions of the higher calorie foods and balance your plate with larger portions of fruit, vegetables and salad.

Be assertive
Don't feel obligated to say YES to everything offered. If you aren't hungry, then simply say so. If the person persists, respond, "Maybe later."

Moderate alcohol intake
Moderation in the amount of alcohol you consume over the holiday period and, in the same way as food, try not to over-indulge regularly. There are plenty of lower-calorie beers. If wine is your preference, opt for wine spritzers (half wine, half sparkling soda) and wines available that can help, so opt for the healthier version whenever possible.

And speaking of alcohol...

Try these super yummy low-cal margaritas this holiday season:

250 calories

3 lime slices with skin
3 orange slices with skin
3 oz. Voodoo Tiki Tequila Platinum Silver
1 oz. agave syrup* or simple syrup

Muddle 3 lime slices and 3 orange slices with skin in mixing glass, add ice, add 3 oz. Voodoo Tiki Tequila Platinum Silver and agave syrup, shake up, pour into rocks glass.

*Agave nectar is a natural juice extracted from agave, the same plant that's processed into tequila. Agave nectar is 42 percent sweeter than white sugar but has the same caloric value and a low glycemic index (11), a measurement of the relative ability of a carbohydrate to raise blood glucose levels. It can be substituted in equal parts for honey in most recipes. As a substitute for sugar, use 3/4 cup agave nectar for 1 cup of sugar, and reduce the liquid content by 1/4 cup. Agave nectar is metabolized more slowly and is less likely to cause dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar.

100 calories

1.5 oz. Voodoo Tiki Tequila Platinum Silver
1/2 tsp. Crystal Light powdered drink mix, Berry
5 oz. water
1 oz. lime juice

Combine all ingredients in mixing glass, shake up, and serve over ice.

FROZEN VERSION: Dissolve Crystal Light in water first add to blender with rest of ingredients and 1 cup crushed ice, and blend on high until well mixed. Garnish with a slice of lime. Serves 1 with only 100 calories!

Optional: Add 3-4 whole strawberries into either version for fun (only adds about 20-25 calories!)

Cotton Candy
100 calories

6 oz. Diet Sprite Zero or 7-Up
1.5 oz. Voodoo Tiki Blue Dragon (Blue Kiwi-Infused Tequila)
1 oz. lime juice

Combine all ingredients in mixing ...    Continue

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@ 6:36pm ET on December 1, 2008
I'm going to try some of these cocktails, they sound yummy and only 100 calories, that has to beat a margarita!!

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