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Slimmed-Down Sips: Smart Swaps for Your Favorite Winter Drinks

Written on January 10, 2014 at 11:45 am , by

Slim down these tasty treats so there’s no side of guilt. (Photo courtesy of Starbucks)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

It seems that as soon as we set our healthy eating and weight loss resolutions, the blustery winter sends us running into the comforting arms of our favorite coffee shop to down those delicious cold-weather drinks we love so much. They warm us up from the inside out, and let’s face it, they taste like happiness in a cup on the days we really need a lift.

Unfortunately, those daily pick-me-ups come at a caloric cost and it leaves less room for good-for-you food choices. So in an effort to have our coffee and drink it too, we tapped executive chef Anthony Stewart of the Pritikin Longevity Center to serve up the best-tasting ways to slim down our favorite winter beverages from popular specialty chains, rather than ruling them out altogether.

“It’s always good to remember that the food industry is big on presentation and taste but not so much on nutrition,” Stewart says. “So whenever you can dilute or make a simple substitution request, it will serve you well.” Little things like skipping the caramel drizzle, choosing from available fat-free milk and asking for unsweetened cocoa powder can go a long way. So the next time you hit up Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts or Tim Horton’s in an effort to escape from the cold, make these simple requests to save your calories without skimping on flavor.

Starbucks Tall Peppermint Mocha

Original calorie count: 320

Simple swaps:

  • Replace syrup with 1 ½ tablespoons of Crème de Menthe
  • Add 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Request hot skim milk over whole milk
  • Choose frothed skim milk instead of whipped cream

New calorie count: 213

Calories saved: 107

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Light Summer Drinks to Enjoy On-the-Go

Written on July 13, 2012 at 12:45 pm , by

Sip on a refreshing drink to put a little pep back in your step. (Photo courtesy of Starbucks)

Written by Laura Cofsky, editorial intern

If the recent heat wave is any indication, summer is rapidly reaching its peak. And during these dog days of summer, it’s easy to feel like we’re constantly busy as we try to balance work with vacation plans and other fun in the sun activities. But even when we’re on the go, it’s important to take a moment to relax. Sometimes, it only takes a few invigorating sips to do the trick.

Lucky for us, some of our favorite shops have us covered. Keep reading to see where you can get a fast pick me up while still blowing that to-do list out of the water!


Introducing their new line of Starbucks Refreshers, these new drinks total 100 calories per handcrafted serving and contain green coffee extract – perfect for those who want the effects of coffee, but can’t stand the taste. It sounded too good to be true, so we tested it ourselves. The verdict? Yum! Available in summer-ready flavors like Very Berry Hibiscus and Cool Lime, this drink keeps you going while serving a generous helping of antioxidants.

Bonus: If you stop into Starbucks before 3p.m. on Friday, July 13, you can nab a Refresher for free!

Jamba Juice

This smoothie shop’s Fruit Refreshers not only come in a variety of beach-inspiring flavors like Strawberry Lemonade and Watermelon Splash, but they’re nutritional powerhouses too. The 16 oz. variety clocks in around 230 calories and can account for up to 90 percent of your daily vitamin C needs. If you choose the Tropical Mango flavor, you’ll also suck down more than half of your recommended dose for vitamin A. Made with refreshing coconut water, this light sip is bound to re-hydrate a busy girl during an errand-packed day.

Soft Serve Fruit Co.

If you’re looking for something that will hold you over for a while, try a smoothie from this company. Made from their signature soft serve fruit and your choice of liquid (water, skim, soy or almond milk), each pack anywhere from 289 to 338 calories and no added sugar. Our fave? The Berry Blast!

More from FITNESS:

Cool Down: Low-Calorie Summer Cocktails

Sip Smarter: Our Guide to Healthy Drinks

The 8 Healthiest Drinks