Stuck In The Library, Studying Women’s Health…Have A Glass For Me?

The enjoyment of writing a research paper...


So I have a 15 page paper (part one of a 35+ paper) due on Women’s health internationally on Friday for my capstone international affairs class and therefore do not have enough time to write a post unfortunately. Especially because I really try to take the time out to put some heart into my writings on here and I enjoy doing it so much! I found this article on my research that is perfect for WEDNESDAY WINE NIGHT! Which I hope all of you get to participate in tonight with a nice lovely home cooked meal.  Instead, I will be grabbing a salad from an on campus dining hall =( oh but it will be only a few short months until graduation so I should be soaking up all of the college life luxuries anyways!

This article comes from Time and gives just another reason to raise your glass and toast with your best girlfriends, or guyfriends!


I hope you enjoy and Happpy Hump Day.


Cheers, Ladies! A Drink a Day May Mean Good Health in Older Age

By MEREDITH MELNICK | @meredithcm | September 7, 2011 | 6
Getty Images


In case you needed another reason to raise your glass, a new study links moderate drinking in midlife to better health in older age in women.

Researchers found that compared with women who didn’t drink at all, those who reported having one or two drinks a day in middle age were significantly more likely to maintain good health as they aged. The researchers defined good health as being free of major chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes or heart disease, and having no physical disability, cognitive decline or mental health problems.

The study, led by Harvard researchers, included data on 13,894 women who participated in the long-running Nurses’ Health Study. The volunteers filled out surveys about their eating and drinking habits in midlife (around age 58). The researchers then compared their answers to the women’s health at age 70.

They found that women who drank up to one alcoholic beverage per day in midlife were 19% more likely than nondrinkers to enjoy good health at 70. Women who had one to two drinks a day had even better odds, a 28% greater chance of good health. Even those who drank less, a third of a glass of alcohol a day — or just two drinks a week — boosted their chances of overall good health by 11%.

The study found that it wasn’t just the amount but the pattern of drinking that mattered: women who spread their alcohol consumption over five to seven days, for example, were more likely to maintain good health than those who drank the same amount of booze in three or four days — and both groups were more likely to be healthy at age 70 than women who didn’t drink at all.

But those ladies who squeezed their drinking into just one or two days a week were no better off when it came to overall health than nondrinkers.

The researchers defined one drink as 15 g (or just over half an ounce) of alcohol — the equivalent of a can of beer or a small glass of wine. But the findings don’t suggest that drinking is good for everyone, or that nondrinkers should change their habits. Indeed, other lifestyle behaviors, such as keeping a healthy weight, eating right and exercising, are more likely to encourage good health than drinking.

Studies like the current research can’t prove that drinking alcohol causes good health, just that there’s an association. As reported:

Unlike clinical trials that compare an active drug with placebo pills, studies like these can’t prove that alcohol has a direct effect on long-term health. [Lead author Dr. Qi] Sun [of the Harvard School of Public Health] and his colleagues took into account more than a dozen health and demographic factors that could influence both drinking and aging (such as diet, smoking, educational attainment, and family history of disease), but it’s still possible that the moderate drinkers differed in key ways from their peers.

People who drink in moderation “look systematically different than those who…either binge drink or don’t drink,” says [Dr. Arun] Karlamangla, [an associate professor of geriatrics at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine] who has researched alcohol consumption and disability but was not involved in the new study. And those subtle differences — which might include their social life, eating and exercise habits, and stress levels at home and on the job — may influence overall health independent of alcohol consumption, he adds.

Previous research has also associated moderate drinking with reduced risks of Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease in men and women.

Th new study was published in PLoS Medicine.

Meredith Melnick is a reporter at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @MeredithCM. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

Related Topics: MedicineWomen’s Health

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Participants are the beeezkneeez

Seriously. As a fitness instructor there is probably no better feeling than when participants come up to you to tell you they loved your class, ask when you’re teaching…etc etc etc.

It’s probably why we love our jobs so much. Well that and the endorphins aren’t so bad either!

–Also, if you are a participant never hesitate to approach your instructor and give helpful feedback. It can always help the instructors grow and I encourage it at the end of every class. So let them know if they rocked it or some areas you were confused about or didn’t enjoy!–

After this morning’s 11am Yogafit class I had a lot of participants come up to me after to thank me or ask when I’m teaching next and it was a great start of the day. One really sweet girl in particular wanted me to send her the playlist but I decided to post it on here anyways…so if you’re reading this…hope you like it! and thanks for coming to the class 🙂

It’s just a little different than the playlist I posted previously but here it is! Hope you like it.

Just a reminder–when creating your playlist (if you are the instructor) always be mindful of the population you are teaching to! This was something that was actually discussed at a presentation at the fitness conference led by JMU’s graduate assistant Brittany Guerin. Music is a great tool in your classes. Just make educated and logical decisions when utilizing it in creative ways.

Playlist Yogafit February 29th 2012

Question by The Old 97’s

On My Mind by Donavon Frakenreiter

Are You Lonesome Tonight by Elvis Presley

The Fear You Won’t Fall by Joshua Radin

I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz

Moonlight Sonata by Mozart

Stay With You by John Legend

Can’t Help Falling In Love by Ingrid Michaelson

In These Arms by The Swell Season

Skinny Love by Birdy

Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson

When You’re Smiling by Lous Armstrong

To Build a Home by The Cinematic Orchestra

You’ll Be In My Heart by Glenn Close and Phil Collins

Have a Little Faith in Me by John Hiatt

Tears and Rain by James Blunt

Beautiful Day by U2

Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye (this is one of my favorite songs right now)

I’ll Be Seeing You by Billie Holiday

I Will Follow You Into The Dark by Death Cab For Cutie



2012 Southeast Collegiate Fitness Expo: Part 1

Saturday Morning the song “Hakuna Matata” blares from my alarm at 4 am. This. cannot. be. real.  Oh but it is! Today we are driving to Virginia Tech from James Madison for the fitness expo…a two-day fitness filled event in the southeastern district. Schools involved this year included UF, UCF, Kentucky, UGA, Auburn, ECU, ODU, NC State, Longwood, William & Mary, UVA and more!

We arrive at Virginia Tech around 7:30 after a few minor detours (thank you Australian sounding Garmin)…and we’re the first school there. We sign in and get our packets, T-shirts, water bottles and itinerary for the first day.

Soon other schools begin to pile into the recreation center and blare with excitement for a full weekend of working out. This is also the time where we like to wear our freshest workout shoes and clothes because we know we are surrounded by others who will fully appreciate it in the same respect that we do. Naturally my friend Keala and I spot out the coolest shoes we wanna save up for in the future…bright, neon…that’s the new thing.

I decide to take out the itinerary and plan for the rest of the day.

First up: Hard-Core! Conditioning aka boot camp. Where? Double Gym. Who? All attendees. Presenter: Gay Gasper, Perform Better. Wait. Gay Casper. This woman is basically the reason for group fitness. She is ripped and enthusiastic ready to kick our butts in this boot camp from 8:30-9:45. Yikes.

The class description was:

In this workshop you will learn numerous strength and endurance exercises to target the msucles of the Core. Explore various workout options for all the muscles of the abs and back. The use of equipment such as bosu, tubing, medicine balls and stability balls can be incorporated into this clinic. ACE 0.20 AFAA 1.0

The reality of this class was plyometric work for an hour and fifteen minutes and continuous body weight exercises sans breaks! It was insane!!! Definitely got the blood flowing…but it was intense leading up to a full day of working out. It was catered appropriately towards the population which was hundreds of fitness instructors or personal trainers.  As such, I would not recommend a lot of the moves to be used in a normal class but there were certainly many ideas we could take away from it.

My team described it as “a thousand million squats” which in my opinion is dead on. My hamstrings and glutes DAYS later are still feeling the soreness.

This first session was a master class taught to the entire expo participants. As soon as it ended everyone ran to the next session they were interested in taking…my choice? AU Burn.

Clever name. This was obviously a session held by a woman named Christy from Auburn University. This was a hip hop/athletic dance cardio class…and seriously might even be one of the best sessions I have ever taken. Her philopophy was based on STRIDE which is a similar class created by Shaun T (think…insanity/hiphop abs) where you work in intervals and repeat sets of plyometric body weight work. When I got back to UREC and JMU I taught the moves to the song “we found love” and then performed the dance to “evacuate the dance floor.” I couldn’t believe the response! Participants LOVED it. I plan on using it tonight in the 30% of Zumba where you are free to use outside music and moves.

The choreography (altered a bit by me):

Dance Combo

Hammer up starting with left arm 4 times (teach slow, but fast in combo)

Legs start wide criss cross, hop out, and feet back in.

Roll the body up and punch both arms.

pull back right, pull back left (another option, salsa back right and left)

walk around Right 1-2-3-4

ski feet forward (think 1-2-3, 1-2-3) twice

step R foot out wide then left

hit floor (be sexy!)

shoulder pop single single double double x 2

Athletic combo

 After you complete one set of moving through all of the dance part fast, you go right into two power squats

hands go to ground, extend out to full plank


In plank bring both legs up towards Right side, Middle, Left, Middle

Jack plank (legs go to either side to make a V)

Jump feet in, jump up, go right back to Hammers!! –The goal is to repeat 5 times to elevate the heart rate.

By the end of the class we felt like this:

We still had two more sessions before lunch. Lunch, Demo team and 2-3 more sessions. By the end of the day we were tired but certainly high off endorphins. My next posts will give details about all of these sessions.

…and this was just day number one!!!

Hope you enjoy the choreography and information about this fitness expo. I will try to share as much as possible in related posts!



P.S. dont judge my alarm ringtone “hakuna matata” –it’s the best way to start the day…it means no worries 🙂

Ouch, Hurts Oh So Good

Tonight we arrived back at JMU with new memories, innovative fitness ideas and VERY sore muscles. Tomorrow I intend to write a post encapsulating my experience at the 2012 Southeastern Fitness Expo…but for now I am gaining a closer relationship with my foam roller. This is the best device for relieving the lactic acid build up in your muscles from working out. I found some info on Myofascial release which is what foam rolling is referred to as and have attached it to this post. I encourage you to look online and especially youtube for some ideas. If I don’t have a foam roller nearby I usually have a tennis ball and that works in a similar fashion. My IT band (the muscles that runs down the outer sides of the legs) is usually very tight due to running and cycling. Pigeon pose is a great yoga stretch for it but myofascial foam rolling will be more effective in releasing tension located within the deep tissue. Good luck!
xoxo Jess

Foam Roller Exercises for Easing Tight Muscles

By , Guide

Updated February 13, 2012 Health’s Disease and Condition content is reviewed by the Medical Review Board

Foam Rollers for Myofascial Release and Massaging Tight Muscles
Use a Foam RollerUse Foam Rollers

Photo � E. Quinn

Foam rollers offer many of the same benefits as a sports massage1, without the big price tag.The foam roller not only stretches muscles and tendons but it also breaks down soft tissue adhesions2 and scar tissue. By using your own body weight and a cylindrical foam roller you can perform a self-massage or myofascial release, break up trigger points, and soothe tight fascia while increasing blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues.

How It Works

The superficial fascia is a soft connective tissue located just below the skin. It wraps and connects the muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels of the body. Together, muscle and fascia make up what is called the myofascia system. For various reasons including disuse, not enough stretching, or injuries, the fascia and the underlying muscle tissue can become stuck together. This is called an adhesion and it results in restricted muscle movement. It also causes pain, soreness and reduced flexibility or range of motion3.Myofascial release is a body work technique in which a practitioner uses gentle, sustained pressure on the soft tissues while applying traction to the fascia. This technique results in softening and lengthening (release) of the fascia and breaking down scar tissue or adhesions between skin, muscles and bones.

Myofascial release has also been shown to relieve various muscle and joint pains such as IT band syndrome4 and shin splints5 as well as improving flexibility6 and range of motion.

Foam rollers are inexpensive and with a bit of experimentation you can target just about any muscle group. The latest style of foam roller, the Grid Foam Roller7, has a unique design and construction that provides a more targeted trigger point self massage.

Compare Prices8 All Foam Rollers
Compare Prices9 The Grid Foam Roller | Read Review10
Compare Prices11 Thera-Roll Textured Foam Roller | Read Review12

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©2012, Inc., a part of The New York Times Company. All rights reserved.

Healthy Quinoa Salad

For years I’ve been hearing about how healthy this “quinoa” stuff is.  I am a big wild rice fan so it took me a while to experiment with this new foreign grain.  Mini uhh balls is basically how I could explain it. Gluten Free and healthy!  It doesn’t have much of a taste but it is great with this dish! I’m excited for all of the recipes I will make with this in the future. I decided to make a salad dish I could bring with me to Virginia Tech this weekend for the Southeastern 2012 Fitness Expo.  I remember last year we worked out A LOT so I wanted to bring healthy snacks and drinks to keep it allll balanced out =)

VT Fitness Expo, Click to check out Website!

So I couldn’t come up with a name for this salad other than quino-whaaat?

Begin by Gathering all of the ingredients:

1.) Quinoa

2.) Tomatoes

3.) Spinach

4.) Basil

5.) Type of White Bean (I chose canellini)

6.) Smoked Sun Dried Tomatoes of course…

Dressing Ingredients:

1.) Minced Garlic

2.) Olive Oil

3.) Balsamic Vinegar

4.) Salt and Pepper

5.) Zest of a small lemon



1.) Start with putting 2 cups water into a sauce pan adding one cup of quinoa. Get the water to boil then reduce to a simmer and cover (cook 10-15 min more, until water evaporates)

2.) Cut up tomatoes

3.) Put basil leaves and spinach (2 handfuls) into a food processor or in my poor college student case a blender….

4.) In a bowl add tomatoes, and greens.

5.) Drain beans and add them to bowl.

6.) Start to drizzle olive oil and the vinegar around the dish, along with seasoning (always season as you go!)

7.) Add quinoa once it is finished and mix it all together.

8.) Add minced garlic and lemon zest.

9.) Finish with adding sun dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese if you’d like!

GREAT SNACK/Small meal…it is delicious! I was actually surprised. I think it sitting overnight will be even more flavorful for tomorrow’s full day of working out. Stay tuned in the next couple of days about my experience at the fitness expo!!!  Expo is a great time to learn, workout and critique fitness–so I most definitely intend on sharing my thoughts with you all!

I do think next time I might chop up an onion to create some more flavor and possibly add mini mozzarella balls to accompany the flavors, almost becoming a caprese salad.



bon appetit!



Yoga Playlist…or Music for Studying

Like I mentioned in my last post I have been teaching Yoga for some time now. When I first started teaching I was coached in the art of playing a CD that sounds like drums, running water, chanting…and other strange noises. I actually had to teach to SigEp a  fraternity at JMU and managed to have the luck of sticking in one of the most awkward sensual sounding CDs of all time.

Okay before I continue, just FYI when you Google the word awkward in images…the most ridiculous things pop up…

(ADD moment) Back to my point…

It wasn’t until recently I decided to experiment with music. I create playlists for Spin and Zumba so why not yoga?…As an instructor unless you are teaching under the constraints of Les Mills or similar certifications–the power is in your hands. Obviously the goal is to make it the best experience possible for the participants so I decided I would start to create playlists for yoga and get feedback at the end. IT WAS INCREDIBLE.  So many students came up to me asking for the songs in the playlist…and loving the change and difference it made within the class.


So I have decided to write down my playlist for all to see. This is good music to relax to as well as do yoga on your own time if you’d like….or you can come to my class Tuesday’s at 11am 😉


1.) Question by the Old 97s

2.) On My Mind by Donavon Frankenreiter

3.) Are You Lonesome Tonight? By Elvis Presley

4.) The Fear You Won’t Fall by Joshua Radin

5.) I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz

6.) Stay with You by John Legend

7.) Can’t Help Falling in Love by Ingrid Michaelson (this might be one of my faves)

8.) In these Arms by The Swell Season

9.) Skinny Love by Birdy

10.) Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson

11.) When You’re Smiling by Louis Armstrong

12.) Have a Little Faith in Me by Josh Hiatt

13.) Tears and Rain by James Blunt

14.) Beautiful Day by U2

15.) Sittin by the dock of the Bay by Otis Redding

16.) I’ll be Seeing You by Billie Holiday

17.) Your Song by Ellie Goulding

18.) I will follow you into the dark by Death Cab for Cutie

19.) Imagine by John Lennon



I am almost positive you can find all of these songs on itunes!  Hope you enjoy it!

Also, I hope after reading this you decide to step outside of the box as an instructor and not conform to what you have always taught. There is a need for constant progress in the fitness industry and I encourage you to be the catalyst sparking change!




Yoga Virgin?

I have been teaching yoga for nearly three years now and each time someone asks me about it I say “well…it changed my life.”

WHOA. Bold statement right there.

But it’s the truth. Yoga is more than flexibility and strength. It welcomes you into the present and encourages you to control your breathing, your mind, and your body.

I used to feel that Yoga wasn’t a sufficient workout–I would have chosen a boot camp style class that kicked my booty any day until I gave yoga a chance. A chance does not mean one or two attempts from one instructor with some preconceived notion of what to expect. Try to go into the studio with an open mind and open heart to relish what yoga may bring you. Maybe it’s an hour of your day to just relax. Maybe you start to sleep better, think more clearly, become more flexible and gain the power to refocus yourself at any given time. Yoga teaches you to control your breath–it is called the ujjayi (oo-j-eye) breath which translates to conqueror breath. I like to say once you conquer your breath you can conquer all, because this is the initiation of having control over your mind.

Today, yoga has in fact become very commercialized. There are 32487234 different styles, books, retreats, classes etc. So it can seem a little overwhelming getting to know which is which, or which one is right for you.

I have incorporated several different types of yoga into my practice so I can provide some information about different types. The ones I teach are based on YogaFit protocol which is a national certification–Power, Vinyasa (flow) and Gentle.

Break it down, so we can yoga it up!

1.) IYENGAR YOGA: Created by the yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar–has roots that are based on science and emphasize integrating the mind body connection via perfect alignment. Instructors should use hands on corrections to achieve the purpose of the class. Iyengar believed that the physical alignment automatically aligned the spiritual.

2.) ASHTANGA YOGA: The literal translation of Ashtanga means 8 limbs based on the following:

Yama [moral codes]
Niyama [self-purification and study]
Asana [posture]
Pranayama [breath control]
Pratyahara [sense control]
Dharana [concentration]
Dhyana [meditation]
Samadhi [absorption into the Universal] (Scott 14-17)

This is a popular style of yoga that connects breath with the asanas (poses).

3.) HATHA (Strong) YOGA: This term applies to various practices with the central focus of self realization through controlling the relationship between the body, mind and spirit. Basically defines yoga styles as a group and does not have a central core approach but does usually mean “strong poses.” However, if a studio offers this class, inquire with the instructor of their teaching style.

4.) VINYASA YOGA: The term Vinyasa translates to ” breath-synchronized movement.” Vinyasa styles flow through the practice and allow the breath to serve as the guide changing into different asanas. Therefore breathing is a concentration to this practice while maintaining a natural flow.

5.) BIKRAM YOGA: aka HOT yoga. I recommend trying this style out. Usually the studio is heated to feel like a sauna and you sweat through an hour to hour and half of yoga. The heat serves as a catalyst to get you into the poses a lot deeper than without it. The only thing to be cautious about here is reaching too far into a pose and actually hurting your muscles. This has been referred to as the modern approach to yoga and has taken storm in the west.

6.)KUNDALINI YOGA: Aka the Yoga of Awareness uses chanting and breathing exercises regarded as pranayama in addition to the poses to gain the fulfillment of the practice. It is believed that kundalini energy is inherent to our bodies however we need to gain awareness and control to be able to use it.

7.) KASHMIRI YOGA: This practice is not very different than Vinyasa or Ashtanga but rather focuses minimally on technique. There is little to no form to get hold of. This is more of a means to allow the body to be what is naturally and not altering it in anyway.

8.) POWER YOGA: This comes from a more westernized approach to Ashtanga.  It is the cardio version of yoga and will definitely make you sweat and your muscles sore. I would recommend being a seasoned yogi with Vinyasa style in order to prepare for the effects that power yoga brings. There is very little time for pause in this style. You are constantly flowing and doing a number of sun salutations throughout the practice.

9.) VINIYOGA YOGA: Also referred to as a gentle yoga teaching. Students are encouraged to follow postures in accordance natural movement for an individual’s body and situation. Thus, it is posture rather than form that holds more importance.

10.) INTEGRAL YOGA: Also a form of gentle style yoga. However as the name mentions this form of yoga incorporates a number of styles into the practice. The different branches are listed below.  The point is for the student to reach self-realization through incorporating poses, chanting and breath.

  • Raja Yoga – the path of concentration and meditation
  • Japa Yoga– the attunement through repetition or chanting mantra (sacred sound vibrations) to the inner significance of the divine vibration.
  • Hatha Yoga – the implementation of physical postures
    (asanas) and breathing practices to purify and strengthen body and mind.
  • Karma Yoga – The performance of work as selfless service without attachment to the resultant gain that helps bring the Karma Yogi to becoming a conscious instrument of Divine Will.
  • Bhakti Yoga – the path of devotion to God, a spiritual teacher or incarnation of the Divine that uses this role model to transcend the personality and become a Divine instrument.
  • Jnana Yoga – the use of the intellect and the practice of self analysis and enquiry, so that attachments to mundane existence are released into freedom, freedom, realised through the Higher Self



Which came first the chicken or the egg?

Good morning blogging world! Sorry I missed posting the last two days…school and work caught up to me after the birthday weekend.  Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough time? That’s one of the most popular excuses for not eating healthy. But my friends, food can be fast and STILL healthy! It’s all about preparing and planning. When I know I have a difficult or busy week ahead I plan accordingly. One of my favorite quick meals on the run is mini crustless egg white quiches!  I make them Sunday and they usually last me the entire week when I freeze them.

Below will be a recipe I use, however, I’m not a carnivore so you can experiment if you want to add meat…although challenge yourself to eliminate as much meat as you can from your diet. The health benefits of eating more of a Mediterranean style diet have been shown to have an enormous impact on our health (and will be written about in a post soon after this one)!



1.) Any veggies in your fridge/kitchen…I prefer spinach, broccoli, onions…

2.) 3 Organic Eggs

3.) 3-4 Egg Whites

4.) SUN DRIED TOMATOES (seriously though, a Jess Squared tradition, makes a great addition to any meal)

5.) Non-fat or low fat cheddar cheese

6.) Cooking spray

7.) Seasoning (salt, pepper, caynne)

8.) Non-fat plain organic greek yogurt


Begin by preheating the oven to 375 degrees

Spray the muffin tin really well with non stick cooking spray

Crack the eggs in a bowl and add the egg whites, whisk

Add 1-2 scoops of plain greek yogurt, this serves to give it a little creaminess, very nice addition!

In the egg mixture while whisking add some salt and pepper

Pour just a little bit of the mixture into the tins about 1/3 full

Add the veggies sparingly into each tin

Cover with the egg mixture to fill the tin about 3/4 full

Place in the oven for about 20 minutes, quickly open up oven sprinkle cheese and press sun dried tomatoes into the tops of the quiches

Bake for another 7-11 minutes, the tops should be puffed and possibly starting to brown (adjust accordingly)

Place on a wire rack to cool or aluminum foil/wax paper

EAT UP! Or do what I do and put in a freezer ziploc bag and store in freezer once they have cooled. You will be able to heat in the microwave throughout the week for 30 seconds or so, adjust according to preference. Importantly to note the quiches absorb water so you will want to press a paper towel into it to remove the water. Drizzle siracha (spicy thai sauce) onto it for additonal spiciness! Great snack or have 2-3 for a quick meal!

Also, a great hors d’oeuvres option!

Hope it’s egggselent!


Alohaa online world.

Today I am officially twenty-two years old!


Since I was little I have always believed in the power of birthday wishes. I’m going to disregard the “don’t share it because it won’t come true” philosophy I had in my youth…because my wish concerns all of you!

So on this day my only wish is that you start to motivate others to live a healthy balanced life.

It isn’t too much to ask?

Just try to start cooking dates, recipe chains, inspire your children to choose fruit over candy and to be active! Anything little that will be preventative towards future diseases and increase our lifespan. Change starts with you…as Gandhi most famously said, “be the change you wish to see in the world.” And that my friends, is one of the most motivating lines I’ve ever heard.

Namaste and cheers to a long, healthy and happy life!

Cheeers! Happy anniversary of my 21st Birthday…

Tomorrow is my 22nd birthday aka the anniversary of the birthday that seemed to matter so much in my teenage years…
Whatever you do…don’t consume the “fishbowl margarita” that my ENTIRE birthday table had to help me with on my 21st birthday last year…

Holy Margarita!

This year a few of my best friends are celebrating with me in Atlantic City! Coincidentally they all happen to be healthy group fitness instructors with the same mentality as myself. We are aware of what we consume and although we want to have fun at the night clubs we also don’t want to be doubling our calorie consumption for the day. Ergo, I found this article at WEBMD (one of my favorite websites, I recommend subscribing to their emails!) about low calorie cocktails. I think the key is to keep them simple and I always recommend saying a “splash” of some juice or mixer to avoid the unnecessary calories. Remember most importantly to alternate between water and alcohol because alcohol dehydrates the body…water will prevent a hangover too! That way you don’t skip your workout the next day….
Enjoy the article!
Happpy birthday to me! Hope everyone has a great weekend 🙂
WebMD: Better information. Better health.

February 12, 2012

Low-Calorie Cocktails

5 ways to keep from overloading on calories when you have an alcoholic drink.


5 Tips to Curb Alcohol Calories continued…

Mix cocktails with water, club soda, low calorie juices, artificial sweeteners or sugar-free syrups for easy calorie savings. Fruit and vegetable juices can be good choices because they are lower in calories than some other mixers and also contain disease-preventing antioxidants. Still, “be careful of fruit juices because even though they are more nutritious, the calories can add up quickly,” says Blatner-Jackson.

Some mixers that won’t pack on the pounds include:

  • Diet soda or diet tonic: 0 calories
  • Orange juice (6 oz): 84 calories
  • Cranberry juice cocktail (8 oz): 136 calories
  • Light orange juice (8 oz): 50 calories
  • Light cranberry juice (8 oz): 40 calories
  • Light lemonade (8 oz): 5 calories
  • Coffee, tea: 0 calories
  • Baja Bob’s sugar-free margarita or sweet ‘n’ sour mix: 0 calories
  • Lemon or lime juice (1/2 oz): 10 calories
  • DaVinci or Torani’s sugar-free syrups: 0

3. Skip the mixer altogether. Try ordering your favorite spirit or one of the new flavored liquors on the rocks. “Infused vodkas are very popular because they are not sweetened but infused with flavors, from jalapeno to peach, without adding any extra calories,” says O’Neil.

4. Dilute your drink. Another option is diluting your drink with club soda or sparkling water. Wine spritzers are a low-calorie standby. And if you usually drink vodka and cranberry, for example, try it with club soda, just a splash of cranberry juice, and a squeeze of lime. Garnish with a wedge of citrus or pineapple to add flavor and few calories.

5. Have a game plan. Before heading out to the cocktail party or happy hour, make sure you have a game plan. Decide in advance the number of cocktails you are going to drink and cut back on calories during the day in anticipation. But eat a light snack before you go so you won’t get tipsy with the first drink and it will be less tempted to dive into the food. Always be aware of your own personal limits. Don’t drink too much, and, of course, don’t drink and drive.

How Many Calories in Popular Cocktails?

So just how many calories are in your favorite cocktail? These calorie counts for popular alcoholic drinks are approximate, based on popular recipes, but may vary depending on ingredients and portions.

  • Pina Colada (6 oz): 378 calories
  • Mojito (8 oz): 214 calories
  • Cosmopolitan (4 oz): 200 calories
  • Chocolate martini: (2 oz each vodka, chocolate liqueur, cream, 1/2 oz creme de cacao, chocolate syrup): 438
  • Margarita (8 oz): 280
  • Skinnygirl margarita (4 oz): 100
  • Green apple martini (1 oz each vodka, sour apple, apple juice): 148
  • Martini (2.5 oz): 160
  • Port wine (3 oz):128
  • Bloody Mary (5 oz): 118
  • Red wine (5 oz):120
  • White wine (5 oz): 120
  • Alcohol-free wine (5 oz): 20-30
  • Beer (12 oz): 150-198
  • Light beer (12 oz): 95-136
  • Ultra-light beer (12 oz): 64-95
  • Champagne (5oz): 106-120
  • Coffee liqueur (3 ounces): 348
  • Godiva chocolate liqueur (3 oz): 310
  • Wine spritzer (5 oz): 100
  • Eggnog with rum (8 ounces): 370
  • Hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps (8 oz): 380
  • Hot buttered rum (8 oz): 292
  • Spiced cider with rum ( 8 oz):150
  • Mulled wine (5 oz): 200
  • Vodka and tonic (8 oz): 200
  • Screwdriver (8 oz): 190
  • Mimosa (4 oz): 75
  • Gin and tonic (7 oz): 200
  • Long Island iced tea (8 oz): 780
  • White Russian (2 oz vodka, 1.5 oz coffee liqueur, 1.5 oz cream): 425
  • Mai Tai (6 oz) (1.5 oz rum, 1/2 oz cream de along, 1/2 oz triple sec, sour mix, pineapple juice): 350
  • Rum and Coke (8 oz): 185
  • Rum and Diet Coke (8 oz): 100
  • Mike’s Hard Lemonade (11 oz): 98

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.

Edited on July 18, 2011
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