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Hungry Girl Today: 12.22.10

Hi Hungry Girl,

Are there any stevia-sweetened drinks out there that taste good? I haven't been impressed with the few I've tried...

Naturally Sweet Sarah

Hi Sarah,

It took me a while to get on the stevia bandwagon, especially since many of the first drinks to hit shelves weren't very good at all. But there's definitely some good stuff out there now. Here are my picks...

True Lemonade - These 10-calorie packets come in regular and Raspberry and have no aftertaste whatsoever. They rock!

Blue Sky Free Soda - I was beginning to think that a TRULY great-tasting, calorie-free, stevia-sweetened soda could not possibly exist. But this soda is seriously delicious. I haven't tried all the flavors, but the Creamy Root Beer is really good (and I don't even like root beer)!!!

Tropicana Trop50 - This line of juice drinks isn't sugar-free or calorie-free, but it has HALF the sugar and calories of regular juice. And it tastes great, especially the original OJ version and the Pineapple Mango (my personal favorite).

Activate Drinks - OMG, I love these. There are vitamins in the lids (you add 'em right before you drink), and they come in a bunch of great flavors -- Fruit Punch is my favorite.

Vitaminwater Zero - I wasn't crazy about this line the first time I tried it, partly because I really loved Vitaminwater10, the low-calorie lineup it replaced. But the citrus-y flavors of V. Zero are actually pretty good. And these are really easy to find at supermarkets and convenience stores, which is a definite plus.

Try 'em out and let me know what you think! BTW, not all of these are readily available, but you can find them at high-end grocery stores and specialty chains like Whole Foods... or order online!

Hi HG!

With the holiday party season here, do you have any tips for me? I'm a sucker for all those fattening hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, and desserts. Thanks!

Party Girl

Hi, PG!

I love party food and cocktails too... so much so that I devoted an entire cookbook to them! But unless you're catering the party yourself with guilt-free recipes on hand, chances are you'll be facing a slew of super-fattening stuff. Luckily, you can still enjoy yourself without consuming a crazy amount of calories. Here are my top tips...

Never show up to a party starving. Some people do this because they want to save all their calories for the party. It's a bad idea! You're much better off having a protein-packed snack or a light meal beforehand so you won't be ravenous when you get there.

Stick to single-shot cocktails with guilt-free mixers. Skip the gloppy nog and the alcohol-heavy Long Island iced teas. (Do you really want to wind up dancing with the Christmas tree?) Instead, order a vodka with club soda (tonic has lots of sugar and calories!) and just a splash of juice. Wine and champagne are also good options. Cheers!

Make a beeline for the crudit