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Hey HG!

Spring break is coming up, and my family and I are going on a vacation to the Caribbean. I love fruity drinks, but I have a feeling they're loaded with calories. Do you have any ideas for lower calorie alcohol-free drinks to order by the pool that are still festive and tasty? Thanks!

Seeking Sips
Dear Seeking Sips,

Good question! Sitting around a pool is fun, but those sweet tropical drinks can be loaded with a gazillion calories and sugar grams. Even virgin daiquiris and margaritas can have hundreds of calories (unless, of course, you're making virgin versions of HG's guilt-free ones!). Some people don't realize this, but even fruit punch and juice-based beverages are calorie-packed. Still, sticking with diet soda alone can be boring. I like to change it up by ordering lots of different seltzer-based fruity combos. Ask for club soda over ice with just a splash of your favorite juice or juices -- I like a splash of pineapple juice or a splash each of pineapple and cranberry. Sometimes I'll go for seltzer with some OJ or grapefruit juice. Also, take advantage of the fruit garnishes at the bar (lemon and lime slices, orange wedges, and sometimes even pineapple chunks) -- those are great for flavoring up your beverages without adding lots of calories. In addition, I ALWAYS keep those "on the go" pouches of sugar-free drink mix in my purse or beach bag -- then I spike my water, club soda, or unsweetened iced tea with one. SOOOO GOOD! Two of my favorites are Crystal Light On The Go Lemonade and Disney Magic Selections Sugar Free In An Instant Grape Drink Mix Sticks, but I keep dozens of 'em in my pantry at all times -- so I just grab whichever ones look good to me as I'm running out the door. Toss an assortment of those in your suitcase, and you'll never get bored at the bar! Have a great trip -- and remember to use sunscreen!!!

Hungry Girl,

Sometimes I get emails from you that seem like ads. Are these actual paid ads? How can I tell the difference between your editorial content and advertising? I'm new to the HG world. Please clarify for me.

HG Confused
Dear Confused,

I get questions like these a lot, and so I like to answer them every few months -- I really want HG subscribers to know exactly how Hungry Girl works and how much I value the integrity of the brand. The content you see every day in the HG emails -- the products featured in our News stories, Chew the Right Thing articles, Weekly Weigh-In reviews, etc. -- is all editorial, and NONE of that is paid for. I name names (instead of being vague or general) because I like some specific products more than others, and I'd rather tell you which ones are good so that you won't need to waste money on the bad ones. Hungry Girl DOES accept advertising, but ONLY for foods and products I like and would (and often do) write about anyway. I have turned down many food companies who have wanted to buy ads on HG, because I didn't like their products. When we do run ad campaigns, they appear in several forms -- one is a separate dedicated email (that typically has the words "Side Dish" in the title, and you'll never get more than one a week!), and there are also "Guilt-Free Groceries", "Hungry For More...", "News You Can Use", and banner ads within some of the daily emails. I try to keep all HG content -- whether it's editorial or advertising -- fun, entertaining and useful. That's why the ads often include coupons, specials, and/or recipes. My goal is to keep the advertising as interesting and helpful as the editorial. Hope that clears up any confusion. Have a great day!

Hey... February is National Hot Breakfast Month. Check out these AWESOME b-fast recipes from HG, and get ready for TWO new ones coming up next week! Yum!!!

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