Holiday drinks without all the calories

By: Health Local Staff Dec 11, 2013
  Article
holiday drinks

Festive beverages that are not only delicious but also calorie-wise.

Deck the Halls. The holidays are here! All year you have been waiting for this time. The holidays represent love and good tidings, yummy foods and drinks that you save your waistline all year to enjoy. The problem is, it’s not as though you are only going to attend one party throughout the holiday season. And given that one holiday meal with desert and drinks could exceed 3500 calories, you find yourself at a crossroads: Do you abstain all season long or do you have fun and live on a wing and a prayer that you don’t gain weight?

Well, neither is really an option is it? If you choose option A, you aren’t really enjoying yourself and you’re depriving yourself. If you opt for the just wing it method, within just a few weeks your pants will be tight and your stress level will pique.

Low-Calorie Holiday Beverages
While portion control and not eating every single chocolate that passes your field of vision will save you in the food department, what about those drinks? With a few modifications, you can actually have the cheer you love without the calories you don’t.

Eggnog
A holiday favorite and with good reason. Rich, sweet, it’s difficult to drink just one. Add the alcohol and you’ve blown your diet for a whole week. The old way of doing things would net you 350 calories and a whopping 19 grams of fat per serving. The new 64 calorie/.5 grams of fat Eggnog:

  • Substitute heavy cream for skim milk or soymilk
  • Instead of regular half-and-half, reach for the fat free variety
  • Use pasteurized egg substitute*
  • Vanilla
  • Artificial sweetener
  • Rum or brandy is optional for that extra zing!
  • Top with nutmeg
  • For even fewer calories, omit the egg substitute

Sour Apple Martini
One of those martinis that only seems to come around once a year, it’s really hard to pass up one of these. Believe it or not, you don’t have to! While most other martinis pack a whopping 250-375 calories, one of these lovelies can be yours for just 170 calories. 2 ½ ounces of sour mix mixed with ¾ of an ounce of your favorite vodka and sour apple liquor, get ready to pucker up! Don’t forget the apple slice for garish.

Any of Your Favorite White Liquors with Diet Instead of Regular
Fancy the Rum & Coke, the Vodka and Cranberry or the 7 & 7? If you have ever looked at the back of a soda can or a bottle of juice, you already know that the added sugar is through the roof. By substituting your usual sugar-laden pop with diet, your cocktail went from over 250 calories to under 100! Of course, using tonic over diet will also do the trick quite nicely.

Hot Chocolate
Is there anything sweeter than playing in the snow or ice-skating and coming home to a cup of mom’s hot chocolate? Well, if you aren’t burning the same number of calories these days, here’s a version that won’t have you regretting you took in the memory.

  • Two teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Artificial sweetener to taste
  • 1 cup of skim or soymilk
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla

Mix dry ingredients together. Heat the milk on the stove almost to a boil or place in the microwave for about a minute. Slowly add the sugar and cocoa to your milk. Stir until blended well and then add the vanilla.

Other Non-Alcoholic Beverages
Combining your favorite juice – say raspberry, grapefruit, orange, grape or cranberry – with ginger ale or other clear soda can give your usual beverage of choice lots of pizzazz. A good starting point is to measure 2 parts soda to 1 part juice, and then alter up or down to taste.

As you can see, with just a bit of imagination, you can enjoy the holidays and not deprive yourself.

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.