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Workouts and Wine: The Newest Trend in Napa

wine bikes

You might assume that a trip to wine country means that you have to kiss your weight loss and wellness goals goodbye. But that’s not the case. In addition to breathtaking views, tours of the vineyards, and all the vino a girl can handle, hotels and resorts in wine havens like Sonoma, Napa, and Santa Barbara are adding health and fitness components to the already perfect weekend package. (Talk about making a good thing even better!) Think green smoothies by the pool, bike rides through the vineyards, grape-themed spa treatments, and Pilates classes….all with a glass of wine in hand, of course.

So where should you go? Here are three places we learned about in a recent article on The Huffington Post:

wine cooking

Wine, Women, and Wellness

The Westin Verasa in Napa to learn about the growing demand for fitness and wellness activities for their guests. They now host a “Wine, Women and Wellness” event during Women’s History Month in March, celebrating women’s health and female winemakers. Seminars included demonstrations from raw food chefs, yoga instructors, and makeup artists who create products from the antioxidant-rich byproduct of wine: grape seeds. They even staff a Running Concierge. That is correct: it is someone’s job to guide you through the many paths and trails for a walk or run through wine country. They can ever lend you running shoes! Talk about eliminating excuses.

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2 Bloody Good Summer Brunch Cocktails: Blood Orange Mimosa and Bloody Rosemary

It’s 5:00 somewhere has got to be the best excuse in the book to grab a drink. As I write this, it’s 5:20pm in Lisbon, Portugal. By that math I could have a wine with lunch. But people would scowl and wonder if I had a problem.

And I don’t. Really.

Fortunately, brunch has made it acceptable to start your day drinking a wee bit earlier than lunch and way earlier than 5:00. The happy hour rises at dawn with mimosas, bloody marys, and bellinis! They really can be the perfect complement to a late-morning meal of fresh asparagus and prosciutto crepes or hearty frittatas.

We’ve made over two of our favorite brunch cocktails – the mimosa and the bloody mary. They use whole, fresh ingredients rather than junky mixers and have inspired new tastes on standard classics.

blood orange mimosa

The Blood Orange Mimosa uses three ingredients: Splashes of champagne, blood orange juice, and a hint of fresh basil. Your guests will be toasting you for this delightful addition to brunch. Prettier, sweeter, and possibly more refreshing than a basic OJ mimosa, this one is as charming as it is delicious.
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Work it Off: 3 Ways to Burn Off a 612-Calorie Margarita

This week I met up with a couple of girlfriends for a welcome home dinner. We went out for healthy Mexican food at Porque No?, one of my favorite restaurants here in Portland. They have tasty fish tacos, homemade tortilla chips, and delish guacamole. They also make a mean margarita. I ordered one, but I got way more than I bargained for—a margarita served in a full-on pint glass. (As in, way bigger than the one below:)


A pint of margarita means essentially two cocktails in one, at least. Margaritas are already known for being one of the more sugary, calorie-loaded cocktails out there so I knew I was breaking some sort of rule by drinking it. (At least I stopped at one!) When I checked the calorie count for this tequila spiked treat I found that a 3.3 fl oz serving has 153 calories. Not bad, until you factor in that the one I had was around 16 fl oz! Multiply that number by 4 and you’ve got over 600 calories in a glass!

(Too bad they weren’t following our recipe for a Skinny Margarita!

What are a few ways I could have burned off the 612 calories in this big and tasty drink?
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Indulge in a Smoothie Happy Hour! How a Splash of Booze Transforms Your Healthiest Smoothie Recipe

If you are anything like me, you like to stay fit but have a good time at night, too. I have the perfect answer for you. Below, I have some great (and healthy!) smoothie ideas that will be (almost) as healthy with a splash of spirits!

strawberry smoothie

Girls night, game night, or movie night can be an empty calorie bomb after a few rounds of daiquiris, martinis, and wine. Those calories in alcohol really add up! But when you make a compromise to indulge with a little of your favorite liquor swirled around in your favorite homemade fruit and veggie-based smoothie, then you get to enjoy a little of everything.

Enjoy these five healthy smoothies paired with a splash of somethin’!

Strawberry Whopper +Coconut rum

Strawberries, spinach, cacao powder, and coconut rum?! Somebody stop me! I am dead serious–this smoothie with a bit of rum is so delicious, and completely guilt free. Since this recipe, created by Nutritious America, already calls for coconut water, it is not that much of a stretch to imagine it with coconut rum instead. To avoid the smoothie becoming too watery, substitute half a cup of the coconut water for the rum instead. Voila! Delicious.
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The Oscar for Best Recipe Goes to These 7 Healthy Party Drinks, Appetizers, and Desserts

Okay, I lied a bit. None of these recipes won Oscars. But, hey, all hail from right here on DietsInReview and pair perfectly for the award show.

The 86th Academy Awards air on ABC this Sunday, March 2, so you better rush to the grocery store and stockpile for the party you may or may not (but should) be having! And before you think the recipes will all be super-fattening macaroni and cheese casseroles (I mean it is gold), I am offering up some healthier alternatives for your Oscar night. After all, what would the stars do? (Hint: They would not chow down on high-cal comfort foods; at least not before.)

Let us start off right, like any good party should: with a few beverages.

blackberry martini
A Blackberry & Basil Martini is the perfect option for the 86th Academy Awards. Fancy cocktails were prevalent in at least two of the most prominently nominated movies this year: The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle. Besides that, what better way to feel like you are schmoozing with the rich and famous than with a drink that looks this fabulous? (And isn’t all that bad for you!) Easy to recreate a non-alcoholic version—simply substitute the vodka with some sparkling soda and use grenadine. Yum!

talenti sangria
Another great drink option is our Talenti Frozen Sangria, which tips a hat to the Southern representation among many of the nominated movies this year. Can’t you just imagine Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts sipping on this icy sangria to escape the 90-degree heat? I sure can.
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