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Healthier Cocktail Recipes for Your Summer Cookouts

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Memorial Day is just around the corner and for me that (usually) means summer is officially here!

With the warmer, sunnier, and longer days I'm finding both my clients and my friends are finding more opportunities to drink cocktails, microbrews, chilled wine, (or other drink of choice).

For whatever reason we seem to associate certain activities and seasons with various beverages. Growing up spending summers on The Cape, each afternoon we looked forward to cocktail hour on the porch after burning to a crisp on Neel Road Beach. The adults sipped cape codders and g&t's and us kids sipped ginger ale & cranberry juice.

With the warmer days, it's nice to come home after a long day to sit on the porch, beverage in hand, enjoying the last few hours of sunshine. I don't blame you. But do we really need multiple drinks each night? This time of year, with what seems like more opportunities to drink more frequently, it can be a tough balancing act when trying to lose weight or reach your health goals. 

Last week, I shared my tips for Choosing a Healthier Cocktail with my email subscribers (if you missed it you can download the tips below). I wanted to follow up with some actual healthier cocktail recipes. As always, the goal is not to be on a diet but rather to make healthier choices to benefit your health long- term.


The recipes and tips (above) are meant to help you choose healthier beverages without feeling deprived or like you're missing out on the fun. Because we wouldn't want that!

Keep these in mind for all your summer cookouts!


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Watermelon Mojito

Jessica Levinson, MS, RD, CDN
Culinary Nutrition Expert


Raspberry Blackberry Spritzito

Whitney English Tabaie, RD
To Live & Diet in L.A.

Spicy Strawberry Rhubarb Margarita

Jessica Levinson, MS, RD, CDN
Culinary Nutrition Expert

Soconut Summer Cocktail

Ginger Hultin, RD
Champagne Nutrition

Frozen Mango Coconut Daiquiri

Marisa Moore, RD
Marisa Moore Nutrition

low sugar margarita

Low Sugar Beet Margarita

Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD

healthy spritzer

Pinot Grigio Melon Ball Spritzer (and more!)

Abbey Sharp,RD
Abbey's Kitchen

Abbey also shares tips for choosing lower calorie cocktails, a Mango Kombucha Margarita and a Watermelon Mojito!

cucumber herb spritzer

Cucumber Herb Champagne Sparkler

Sharon Palmer, RD
The Plant Powered Dietitian

skinny margarita

Skinny Margarita

Christy Brissette, MS, RD
80 Twenty Nutrition

bourbon iced tea

Bourbon Iced Tea

Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RD
Shaw Simple Swaps

The next two are mocktails, but do as you please - add your favorite liquor or sip as is.

Berry Lavender Lemonade

Katie Pfeffer-Scanlan, RD
One Hungry Bunny

Strawberry Blood Orange Mocktail (and more!)

Lindsey Janiero, RD
Nutrition to Fit


Thank you to all the fabulous RDs who contributed recipes to this post! Be sure to check out their sites for more recipes and nutrition tips!

When eating healthy becomes toxic...

Thankfully, 'healthy' eating is becoming more and more mainstream. People are looking for fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains more often than they used to. The constant creation of new fad diets and nutrition information coming at us from all directions is for sure overwhelming. 

We all know the friend who won't eat pasta or dairy, is constantly spitting up new nutrition news/trends/facts, and is completely wrapped up in eating 'clean'. (What does that even mean?!) So when does this seemingly well-intended desire to eat 'healthy' go too far?

It goes too far and is even detrimental to a person's health and wellbeing when it becomes an unhealthy obsession or when... gets in the way of his/her social life
This person's strong desire to eat 'clean' or 'pure' may prevent them from attending certain social or food centered events This person may not feel comfortable being around certain foods or around people eating those certain foods.

...he/she judges others on their food choices
The person is in utter disgust that you could possibly eat almonds or olives or whatever it may be, and they let you know it. They want you to get on board with their 'clean' way of eating.

This past fall, I was lucky enough to attend FNCE. FNCE is a national conference where food and nutrition professionals from around the country get together to learn about the latest and greatest research in our field. At FNCE, I attended a session in which a few experts discussed a lesser known eating disorder- Orthorexia. (Heard of it?) Keep in mind, the adoption of a dietary theory is not an eating disorder. It is the unhealthy obsession that makes it so. With this type of disordered eating, the person does not necessarily have a desire to be thin. They often adopt an obsession of being pure or clean. Orthorexia literally means an "obsession with eating the right food." This person is sometimes trying to 'fix' something else in their life through the context of food. 

If you are concerned about yourself or someone you may know. It would be beneficial to reach out to your doctor or dietitian for advice.