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5 Low-Calorie Cocktails for a Healthier Happy Hour

05/13/2015 04:53 pm ET | Updated May 13, 2016

One of my foodie philosophies for a happy, healthy life is balance and moderation. I think it's important to listen to your body and know what foods make you feel good both physically and mentally. Instead of looking at my diet as a black and white list of what I can and cannot eat, I'm an advocate of the grey area in between by doing what makes me happy and healthy!

I love to eat clean every opportunity I can. I always have a reusable water bottle with me to stay hydrated and I cook a majority of my and my husband's meals at home and from scratch using real foods. That being said, I'm also addicted to French fries, love getting fro-yo and with too many candy toppings (I eat enough fruit at home, I'm here for the chocolate), and live for wine nights with my girlfriends.

On that note, alcoholic drinks are definitely a "food group" that can add unnecessary sugars and calories and are definitely not top on my list of healthy choices. But with balance and moderation and the right ingredients, I have found you can still enjoy that occasional cocktail, sans the extra sugars and calories, without skimping on taste. If I'm making a cocktail that calls for soda, for instance, I like to opt for a zero calorie, naturally sweetened alternative like Zevia that still provides all the flavor and bubbles without the added sugars and calories. Plus, their beverages are certified vegan, kosher, gluten free, and soon to be non-GMO certified this year!

Below are some simple cocktails to get you started for your next girls (or boys) night in.

Skinny Tangelo Tequila Sangria
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Here's a sangria with a serious twist, but it's a good one! Lots of fresh fruit and none of the added sugar found in many sangrias you find at food chains and bars. Get the recipe here.

Skinny Margarita
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Restaurant-made margaritas are some of the worst offenders when it comes to calorie and sugar content. This option has a much fresher taste and none of the artificial ingredients. Get the recipe here.

5-minute Red Wine Sangria
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This drink checks all the boxes because it is (a) sangria and (b) one that can be made in 5 minutes but tastes like it's been soaking for hours. Make it sustainable with eco friendly products like BPA-free wine glasses and reusable straws that I'm using in this video. Get the recipe here from Wild Mint Shop.

Kiwi Fresh Cocktail
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Something fruity for you tequila lovers. You can skip the tablespoon of sugar in this recipe for even fewer calories. Get the recipe here.

Skinny Sparkling Blueberry Mojito
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Using liquid Truvia instead of regular simple syrup helps keep the sugar content down in this light and fruity drink. Get the recipe here.