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What are some good low calorie alcoholic drinks?  I drink light beer when I go out, but I wonder if there are some mixed drinks with fewer calories.  Thanks! Love your web site!

- In Need of a Cocktail
Dear In Need,

Downing too many cocktails is a fast way to pack on a few pounds. But if you want to have a drink or two on special occasions, there are definitely drinks that are fairly good choices, and ones you should be avoiding at all costs.  For starters, a light beer or a glass of wine each has about 100 calories.  But that's not necessarily better than a mixed drink -- if you know what to mix your drinks with.  A shot of vodka or rum (or most other alcohols) has about 75-100 calories.  So if you mix your liquor with something calorie-free, you can keep your cocktail calorie count to about 100, which isn't bad at all.  Just don't trick yourself into thinking juices are great mixers.  They aren't.  They'll likely add 50-75 calories to whatever you're sipping.  Calorie-free sodas like Diet Coke, Diet 7Up or diet orange are great mixers. Also, calorie-free soft drinks, like sugar free lemonade or Crystal Light are awesome to use in mixed drinks (check out some of HG's cool cocktail recipes).  On the other hand, the things you want to avoid at all costs are frozen drinks like daquiris, pina coladas, and margaritas.  And, of course, you'll want to steer clear of any of those sweet drinks mixed with cream or milk -- like Long Island Iced Teas (which contain something like SEVEN shots of liquor...YIKES!).  Good luck, and remember, if you're drinking anything at all, make sure someone else is driving!

Dear Hungry Girl.

It's office party season and I've been eating really healthy lately.  I'm afraid I'm about to blow it, though.  My weaknesses are cute little hors d'oeuvres, like pigs in blankets, mini quiches, etc.  How bad can they be?  They're so small!

Party Patti


Office parties are NOT easy if you're watching your diet.  But they're a fact of life.  So, the best thing you can do is a.) prepare for them, and b.) arm yourself with all the relevant information you'll need to survive them.  There are a few simple things you can do to avoid going absolutely CRAZY at holiday parties.  First of all, never EVER show up to a party starving.  That's an awful idea.  Always make sure you've had a healthy snack beforehand so you won't be ravenous when you get there.  And drink at least 1-2 glasses of water before a party, which will help you feel fuller, too.  Next, don't make a beeline for the food as soon as you get to the party.  Promise yourself you'll socialize and mingle for at least 15 - 20 minutes before eating anything.  And don't stand on top of the food.  Try to hang in an area that isn't completely food-packed, if possible.  Ok, now on to the facts, and your specific Qs.  Mini hot dogs in blankets have about 60-65 calories each.  That means they're a better bet than those tiny quiches, which usually pack in over 200 calories a pop (eeeks!).  Each fried dumpling you down likely has 150 calories or so, but a bacon-wrapped scallop has just about 65 of 'em.  And skip those tiny glasses of eggnog.  Each one has about 250 calories.  You're better off with a glass of wine or other diet-friendly cocktail (see the above Q).  Try not to indulge in nuts at parties either.  Though they're healthy, it's much too easy to munch on them mindlessly, and end up gobbling 'em up by the handful.  And each pile you grab will probably have about 150-200 calories and 15 or more grams of fat.  Your absolute best bests at cocktail parties are shrimp cocktail, and cut veggies (as long as you ditch the creamy dips and have them plain or with a little salsa!).  Happy partying! here for more of HG's party survival tips!

Today, December 7th, is National Cotton Candy Day. Though it's far from good for you, the average cone of the sweet stuff contains about 100 calories, and less sugar than a can of soda.

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