Archive | December 2015

Do You Know Your Blood Type?

Do you know your blood type? There are many health reasons to know your blood type. You may have questions about your health issues that your blood type can answer! You can also find out if you have a potential for any serious health issues due to your family history and blood type. And if there are health goals that you want to achieve, knowing your blood type can help how to best achieve your goals. Below is an article describing 10 reasons for why knowing your blood type is important. 

If you don’t know your blood type, you can order a home blood type test kit for $9.95 and shipping is free. I just ordered mine because I don’t know mine as well! The website is: http://www.4yourtype.com/original-home-blood-typing-kit?gclid=Cj0KEQiA496zBRDoi5OY3p2xmaUBEiQArLNnKz7oTxFGIgLeQORndAadTadtMV92uoHAoeK0lLbb7CkaAl3U8P8HAQ

True Blood: 10 Reasons Why You Should Know Your Blood Type

http://mamiverse.com/blood-typing-importance-70158/

True-Blood-15-Reasons-Why-You-Should-Know-Your-Blood-Type-MainPhoto

Just because sexy movie vampires don’t seem to care about blood typing as they guzzle, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. If you remember testing your blood in high school (where at least one person was sure to pass out) then you know there are only four major blood types: A, B, AB, and O. Guess what? Knowing your blood type could save your life.

Your blood is an individual ID kit. Knowing your blood type can help you determine your susceptibility to certain diseases and ailments. It can let you know how medication will affect you or whether you’re a carrier of a less than desirable genetic trait. Need more evidence on the benefits of blood typing? Here are 10 reasons why determining blood type is key.

1. Blood Clots
Danish scientists have identified a link between those with AB blood type and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVTs are blood clots in the lower legs that can be life threatening if they break free and travel to the heart or lungs. Those with A or B type blood are at a slightly higher risk.

Read Related: Your Child’s Risk for High Blood Pressure

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2. Heart Disease
The risk of coronary heart disease may also be linked to blood types. And AB was found to have a much higher risk than O, A and B were both slightly higher than O.

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3. Fertility
If you’re having trouble getting pregnant,you should start with blood typing. Studies have shown that those with type O may have fewer viable eggs than other blood types.

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4. Stomach Cancer
Other factors have to be considered as well but, a those with type A blood have a higher risk for stomach cancer.

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5. Stress
Blood typing can be used to help you manage stress. Research shows that people with type A tend to have higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

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6. Gut Bacteria
People from different origins around the world have developed digestive tracts to accommodate their diets and environment. Blood type can also provide information on the state of your gut andintestinal bacteria.

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7. Nutrition & Weight Loss
Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo introduced the Blood Type Diet in the late 90s. Whether or not it has scientific merit is still up for debate.

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8. Transfusion
Blood typing is important to consider when donating or receiving blood because some types aren’t compatible. In an emergency, knowing your blood type can mean the difference between life and death.  If your type is extremely rare, you might consider banking some of your own blood for emergencies.

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9. Pregnancy
When you’re pregnant an Rh test, which detects a particular protein in the blood, is standard. If you are Rh positive, you don’t need to worry about the baby’s Rh. However, if you’re Rh negative and your baby is Rh positive you may have issues with subsequent pregnancies. Luckily, with medication and monitoring mom and baby are usually fine.

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10. Helping Others
Everyone, who is able, should donate blood. Hospitals are usually short of type O, the most common, and O-negative which is the universal blood type and is used for emergency transfusions.

Healthy Christmas Dinner Recipes

Christmas is right around the corner! Making your holiday dinner delicious and healthy is easier than you might think.  Isn’t it great to know that a delicious Christmas dinner doesn’t need to include unhealthy and high amounts of fats, high cholesterol, high amounts of sodium or high amounts of sugar and butter?  Below are recipes for a healthy Christmas dinner. Enjoy, Happy Holidays to Everyone!

16 Recipes for a Healthy Christmas Dinner

Nutrition

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/16-recipes-for-a-healthy-christmas-dinner.html

11_ChristmasDinner.jpg

If you are hosting the big Christmas meal this year, kill two turtle doves with one stone and eliminate the stress of deciding what to feed your guests and the stress of worrying about weight gain by choosing from the recipes below. We’ve rounded up tons of healthy, lighter versions of Christmas classics sure to satisfy the health-conscious and taste-conscious guests on your list.

Main Dishes

Apricot Citrus Stuffed Ham: Stuff your ham with a light, vibrant fruit and a touch of honey for an interesting and vitamin-packed spin on a Christmas pig.

Rack of Lamb with Warm Apple Lentil Salad: Let them eat lamb! Earthy lentils with warm apples make this rack of lamb dish a comfort food that’s surprisingly easy to prepare.

Pork Chops with Apple Cider Sauce: Pork chops and apple sauce–there is no combination more classic. Make that apple sauce apple CIDER sauce and we have a winner!

Salmon with Mushrooms and Red Pepper Sauce: Who says the main event needs to be meat? Wow your crowd and give them a healthy dose of Omega-3s by serving up salmon. Even the biggest carnivores will be asking for more.

Side Dishes

Acorn Squash with Cranberry Apple Stuffing: Nothing says winter like acorn squash. Bake up this healthy squash and instantly have an elegant serving bowl for the tangy cranberry apple stuffing your guests will ooh and ahh over.

Brussels Sprout Sauté: Convert Brussels sprout haters with this easy sauté. Pancetta adds a salty crunch to this bright and light dish. Top with a poached egg to really impress.

Savory Broccoli Cauliflower Roast: Keep it simple, stupid, with this roasted vegetable dish. Citrus and green olives add an interesting twist to your table.

Grilled Endive with Sage Vinaigrette:Expose your friends and family to the joy that is endive. This simple grilled endive recipe from Integrative Nutrition with a zesty vinaigrette over your Christmas table is the perfect way for them to meet.

Apple, Leek and Butternut Gratin: Skip the potatoes and slip in layers of fruit and vegetables for a gratin that’s just as satisfying as the usual cheesy, carby counterpart. Trade in the fat and calories for fiber and beta carotene with this hearty recipe.

Accordion Potatoes: Potatoes get a bad rap, but it’s undeserved. White potatoes pack a healthy dose of protein, fiber and potassium. Let them shine in all their carb glory with simple toppings like olive oil and herbs.

Cauliflower Couscous: A great dish for vegetarians AND veggie-phobics, this dish is a Christmas dinner miracle.

Vegan Sweet Potato Corn Bread Recipe:The natural sweetness of the sweet potato adds a complex flavor to the corn bread, as well as a dense, creamy texture even non-vegans will love.

Zesty Orange Quinoa Stuffing: Quinoa is a whole grain powerhouse, full of protein and calcium. Use it in place of bread crumbs for a nutrient dense stuffing with a citrus twist.

Desserts

Cinnamon and Vanilla Walnuts: Walnuts are a great source of heart healthy fats. Dress them up with a little cinnamon and vanilla for a sweet treat you can feel good about.

NO Bake Pumpkin Tarts: These pumpkin tarts are gluten-free, dairy-free, bake-free and vegan. The only thing they are full of is flavor and awesome nutrition!

Apple Crisp: With a ton of fiber coming from the flax, apples and oats, this dessert is the perfect way to cap off your Christmas meal: full and satisfied without one ounce of guilt- or weight gain.

Kelly Turner is a Seattle-based ACE-certified personal trainer and professional fitness writer. She began writing after becoming frustrated with the confusing and conflicting fitness information in the media and the quick-fix, gimmick-centered focus of the fitness industry itself. Her no-nonsense, practical advice has been featured on DietsInReview.com, FitnessMagazine.com, Yahoo! Shine, and she has a regular fitness column in The Seattle Times. Kelly has her own blog atwww.kellyturnerfitness.com or follow her on Twitter @KellyTurnerFit.

Natural Remedies For Body Aches and Pain

Body aches and pains can be debilitating, getting in the way of everyday activities. They can also get in the way of your emotional wellness, as being in pain can bring negative moods to light. The cold weather tends to increase pain and negative mood. I personally experience neck and back pain on a regular basis so I understand the negative impacts very well. However as an optimistic person, I look at different ways to manage pain. Exercise, aromatherapy and soothing bubble baths are just a few methods I use. At times I need to use Ibuprofen which works well, as it reduces pain and allows me to go on with my daily activities. Painkillers are at times necessary, but can bring much drowsiness and fatigue. However there are some natural remedies you can use for pain management as described in the article below. Live well!

PAIN MANAGEMENT
6 Cheap, Natural, and Quick Chronic Pain Remedies
By Kathleen Doheny

http://www.everydayhealth.com/news/cheap-natural-quick-chronic-pain-remedies/


iStock Photo; Shutterstock; Getty Images Supplements, grapes, and turmeric may help ease pain symptoms.
Chronic pain affects about 1 in 5 people in the U.S., making it difficult if not impossible to work and enjoy family and social time.

If you have chronic pain — typically defined as longer than three months and not responding to treatment — your body hasn’t turned off the pain messages to the brain, even though the original source of the pain may be gone.

The pain may be linked with a condition such as arthritis, to a sprain or other injury, or to any number of more elusive causes.

While medications abound, some prefer more natural or holistic methods to quell the pain. Others find that medication doesn’t quite give them enough relief, and are looking for natural treatments to add on to their standard treatments, or replace them.
Complicating the picture is that doctors still don’t understand chronic pain, but they do know that what works for one person may not work for another. So, in this case, try, try again is good advice.

RELATED: How You Can Eat to Beat Back Pain

Next time chronic pain is dragging you down, consider trying a more natural route to relief. And, because pain is individual, ask your doctor for specifics about these treatments, such as doses and time to continue trying them.

1. Exercise. “People who exercise and maintain a good aerobic condition will improve most pain conditions,” says Charles Kim, MD, assistant professor of rehabilitation medicine and anesthesiology and a certified medical acupuncturist at Rusk Rehabilitation at NYU Langone Medical Center.
When we work out, he says, the body produces its own version of painkillers, such as endorphins, hormones that actually increase your pain threshold. Endorphins interact with brain receptors and can change our perception of pain.

When patients tell Dr. Kim they are in too much pain to exercise, he suggests they start slowly, and do even a little burst of walking or other activity — then build up.

In one review of non-pharmacologic treatments for chronic pain, researchers concluded that exercise was moderately effective.

2. Fish Oil. Fish oil is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and inflammation plays a large role in pain, says Michael Cronin, ND, a naturopathic physician in Scottsdale, Az., and immediate past president of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
In one study, researchers instructed patients with neck or back pain to take 1200 milligrams a day of fish oil supplements with eicosapentaenoic and decosahexanoic acid. After 75 days on fish oil, more than half of the 125 patients who reported back said they had stopped their prescription painkillers.

3. Turmeric. Also called Curcuma longa, turmeric is basically a root, Kim says. “It’s often found in spicy foods, very much in Indian cooking. Studies have shown it has definite anti-inflammatory properties.”

Researchers who tested a combination of turmeric with two other substances, Devil’s claw and bromelain, on patients with pain from osteoarthritis found the mixture gave noticeable pain relief. Patients took two 650-milligram capsules either two or three times a day.

4. Resveratrol. Found in red wine, grapes and berries, resveratrol is known to have many beneficial effects, including anti-cancer, brain protective and even life-prolonging benefits.

Recently, researchers reported that the substance works on a cellular level for pain regulation.

5. Heat Therapy. Using heat as well as cold therapy are time-honored ways to quell pain, Dr. Cronin and Kim agree.

“Hot Epsom salt baths relax the mind and change the nervous input from the body to the brain,” Cronin says. “Using ice is a well-accepted modality that decreases inflammation locally.”

The key is to know when to use which.

“When you have an acute injury, put ice on it right away,” Kim says. For instance, you twist your ankle and it’s painful and swollen. Using heat in this situation will increase blood flow and increase the swelling, he says.

“If you have lingering back spasms, heat would be the best for that,” Kim says. He suggests taking a warm shower and massaging your neck or back (or whatever body part hurts) under the warm water.

6. Meditation. Meditation can quell pain, Kim says. While some people get anxious, thinking they have to do meditation a certain way, Kim tells them it’s just not true.

“Meditation is not scripted,” he says. While you can get instruction, you can also look up approaches and follow instructions, such as this information on the approach known as mindfulness meditation.

Researchers who assigned 109 patients with chronic pain to either a mindfulness meditation program or a wait list found that those who did the meditation reported more pain relief, as well as lower anxiety and depression and a better mental quality of life, than those who did not.

Last Updated: 1/8/2015

Music For Wellness

Music is so important for health and wellness. We all have our favorite kinds of music and songs that enhance our emotions and bring out each kind of energy in our minds and bodies. Below is an article about Music Therapy for Health and Wellness. 

Music Therapy for Health and Wellness

Music has been studied as an integrative therapy for many conditions.
Posted Jun 21, 2013

Catherine Ulbricht Pharm.D.
Natural Standard

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/natural-standard/201306/music-therapy-health-and-wellness

Being a pharmacist, you may think I would always suggest a bottle of something for what ails you. However, first and foremost, I believe in the “do no harm” motto when it comes to healthcare. To me, that means to first try the least invasive route to feeling your best as possible, like a stress-preventing measure, special diet, or exercise program before popping a “magic pill.” Lifestyle changes can help prevent adverse effects and interactions associated with some drugs, herbs, and supplements. It may be a cost-effective and comparatively safe addition to your health and wellness regimen. “Do no harm” to your pocketbook as well.

For most people, music is an important part of daily life. Some rely on music to get them through the morning commute, while others turn up a favorite playlist to stay pumped during a workout. Many folks even have the stereo on when they’re cooking a meal, taking a shower, or folding the laundry.
Music is often linked to mood. A certain song can make us feel happy, sad, energetic, or relaxed. Because music can have such an impact on a person’s mindset and well-being, it should come as no surprise that music therapy has been studied for use in managing numerous medical conditions. (http://www.naturalstandard.com/databases/hw/all/patient-musictherapy.asp (link is external))

All forms of music may have therapeutic effects, although music from one’s own culture may be most effective. In Chinese medical theory, the five internal organ and meridian systems are believed to have corresponding musical tones, which are used to encourage healing.

Types of music differ in the types of neurological stimulation they evoke. For example, classical music has been found to cause comfort and relaxation while rock music may lead to discomfort. Music may achieve its therapeutic effects in part by elevating the pain threshold.

Music may be used with guided imagery to produce altered states of consciousness that help uncover hidden emotional responses and stimulate creative insights. Music may also be used in the classroom to aid children in the development of reading and language skills. Receptive methods involve listening to and responding to live or recorded music. Discussion of their responses is believed to help people express themselves in socially accepted ways and to examine personal issues. (http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/10673229.2011.549769 (link is external))

There is strong scientific evidence supporting the use of music therapy for mood enhancement and anxiety/stress relief, according to Natural Standard research.

Effectiveness:

Here are five other conditions for which music therapy has been studied, supported by good scientific evidence:

Autism

Autism is a brain disorder that is associated with a wide range of developmental problems, especially in communication and social interaction. According to the American Psychiatric Association, autism is classified as a type of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These disorders are characterized by problems with communication, social interaction, as well as unusual, repetitive behaviors. Some professionals use a broader term, called pervasive development disorder (PDD), to describe autism. In addition to autism, there are four other disorders that qualify as PDDs: Asperger’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Rett syndrome. (http://www.naturalstandard.com/databases/genomics/all/condition-autism.asp (link is external)?)

People who have autism spectrum disorders often show a heightened interest and response to music. This may aid in the teaching of verbal and nonverbal communication skills and in establishing normal developmental processes.

Dementia

Dementia refers to a loss of cognitive function (an intellectual process resulting in an understanding, perception, or awareness of one’s thoughts and ideas). Dementia can be caused by changes in the brain such as those associated with disease or trauma. The changes may occur gradually or quickly. Cognition is the act or process of thinking, perceiving, and learning. Cognitive functions that may be affected by dementia include decision making, judgment, memory, spatial orientation, thinking, reasoning, and verbal communication. Dementia may also result in behavioral and personality changes, depending on the area(s) of the brain affected. (http://www.naturalstandard.com/databases/genomics/all/condition-dementia… (link is external)?)

In older adults with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other mental disorders, music therapy has been found to reduce aggressive or agitated behavior, reduce symptoms of dementia, improve mood, and improve cooperation with daily tasks, such as bathing. Music therapy may also decrease the risk of heart or brain diseases in elderly dementia patients.

Depression

Depression or depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. Depression is considered a mood disorder. Depression affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about life situations. Unlike normal emotional experiences of sadness, loss, or passing mood states, depressive disorders are persistent and can significantly interfere with an individual’s thoughts, behavior, mood, activity, and physical health. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), depressive disorders affect approximately 18.8 million American adults or about 9.5% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. (http://www.naturalstandard.com/databases/conditions/all/condition-depres… (link is external)?)

There is evidence that music therapy may increase responsiveness to antidepressant medications. In elderly adults with depression, a home-based program of music therapy may have long-lasting effects. In depressed adult women, music therapy may lead to reductions in heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and depressed mood. Music therapy may also be beneficial in depression following total knee replacement surgery or in patients undergoing hemodialysis.

Infant development

There is evidence that music played to the womb during late pregnancy may lead to children being more responsive to music after birth. Soothing music may help newborns be more relaxed and less agitated. Pre-term newborns exposed to music may have increased feeding rates, reduced days to discharge, increased weight gain, and increased tolerance of stimulation. They may also have reduced heart rates and a deeper sleep after therapy.

Sleep quality

Insomnia is difficulty in falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up too early in the morning. It is a common health problem that can cause excessive daytime sleepiness and a lack of energy. Long-term insomnia can cause an individual to feel tired, depressed or irritable, have trouble paying attention, learning, and remembering, and not be able to perform fully on the job or at school. Severe insomnia can result in neurochemical (brain chemical) changes that may cause problems such as depression and anxiety, further complicating the insomnia. (http://www.naturalstandard.com/databases/conditions/all/condition-insomn… (link is external)?)

In older adults, music may result in significantly better sleep quality as well as longer sleep duration, greater sleep efficiency, shorter time needed to fall asleep, less sleep disturbance, and less daytime dysfunction. There is also evidence of benefit in elementary-age children or stable preterm infants. Music therapy may also be as effective as chloral hydrate in inducing sleep or sedation in children undergoing EEG testing.

Safety:

Just as certain music can help induce relaxation and peaceful states, other music may cause agitation. There is evidence that music that reflects the listener’s personal preference is more likely to have desired effects. It is possible that music through headphones during medical procedures could interfere with the patient’s cooperation with the procedures. Also, listening to music at high volumes may damage the ears and lead to hearing loss.

Music should not be used as the sole treatment for potentially dangerous medical or psychiatric conditions. Use is not recommended in those who do not like music therapy as this may result in agitation or stress.

As always, please consult a doctor or pharmacist before trying any new complementary or alternative therapies. Talking to a medical professional may help you choose the most effective treatment to suit your needs.

– – – – –

Natural Standard is pleased to announce the availability of NEW multi-media audio recordings of over 200 evidence-based English Bottom Line Monographs. Audio will be available for all English Foods, Herbs & Supplement topics in the coming months. These recordings will serve as a brand new way to learn about herbs, supplements, and other integrative therapies.

An audio recording for music therapy is now available on our website! Access to the full audio recording is now available here (link is external).

The Effect of Art on Emotional Wellness

As an artist myself, I personally experience the positive emotions that making and looking at art brings to one’s life. Art is one of my passions, painting is one of my main outlets to express both emotion and creativity! Painting is exciting, fun and also brings me peace and sense of calm. It helps me to resolve negative emotions and bring more positivity and light to my life. It propels me to keep moving forward and persevere and it is truly a gift to my emotional wellness!

There are so many forms of art that can enable you to bring out your creative side. Below is an article describe how the arts impact emotions, creativity and healing. Cheers To Your Emotional Wellness!

Healthier Holiday Mocktails

Who says you need alcohol to make a great drink? Here are some delicious recipes that taste great without alcohol and that are just as enjoyable. Enjoy and drink up!

Non-Alcoholic Holiday Drinks

http://www.punchbowl.com/p/non-alcoholic-holiday-drink-options

If you’re planning on hosting a party this winter, giving your guests the option of non-alcoholic holiday drinks is a good way to make sure that everybody can find something that they like. This is an especially good idea if it is a big family gathering and there needs to be an assortment of holiday drinks for kids as well. Find festive non-alcoholic alternatives!

Here’s a list of some delicious and festive non-alcoholic holiday drink ideas:

  • Mulled Cranberry Cocktail: Super seasonal and yummy! Combine 1 quart cranberry juice, 1 cinnamon stick and 2 whole cloves in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. Meanwhile, combine ½ cup cranberries, ½ cup sugar, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir gently until the cranberries pop and are coated with the sugar mixture. Pour the mulled cranberry juice into four mugs and garnish with the sugared cranberries.

Non-Alcoholic Holiday Drinks

  • Christmas Punch: You can still use your punch bowl to serve this non-alcoholic version of a party classic. You’ll need 20 ounces of frozen raspberries in syrup (partially thawed) and 12 ounces frozen lemonade (thawed). Combine and blend until smooth. Strain this mixture into a punch bowl, being careful to remove all seeds. Stir in 46 ounces pineapple juice and add 64 ounces chilled lemon-lime soda right before serving.
  • Spiced Lemonade: This beverage can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Combine 9 cups water, 1 cup fresh lemon juice, 2 cups orange juice, 1 cup raw sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla and ½ teaspoon ground cloves in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar has dissolved, you can reduce the heat to a simmer until your lemonade is fragrant. Serve with lemon slices for garnish.
  • Toasted Marshmallow Shakes: One of the most original and decadent non-alcoholic holiday drink recipes you’ll come across! Toast 5 jumbo marshmallows under a broiler or flame until they start to crisp evenly. Blend together 1 tablespoon whole milk, 1 large dallop plain yogurt, and 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream, being careful to not overmix (stop just when you see your shake sticking to the sides of the blender). Next add three of your toasted marshmallows to the blender until they are broken up and distributed evenly. Pour your shake into a tall glass, top with whipped cream, garnish with your final two marshmallows and serve with an extra-wide straw.

Other choices for a classic holiday drink recipe are traditional apple cider or hot chocolate. These non-alcoholic holiday drink recipes will add a delicious touch to your party! Now get your mocktail party started with this free Christmas party invitation!

Healthy Holiday Cocktails

It is so easy to drink your calories due to the high amounts of sugar and fat in your drinks, especially in the winter season because you are trying to warm up.  But what if it didn’t have to be that way? Below is an article with 12 healthier drink recipes for the winter! Drink to your health and stay warm!

12 Healthier Holiday Cocktail Recipes

http://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/holiday-drinks-recipes/

12 Healthier Holiday Cocktail Recipes

When it’s time to celebrate the holidays, there’s nothing like getting together with friends and family and toasting to a great year. But be smart about what’s in that glass you’re raising! Do you really know what’s in that cocktail? Most of us assume holiday weight gain comes from festive cookies and treats, but sugar-laden booze can pack on a significant amount of calories. If you’re being mindful of your food and drink this holiday season, there are still plenty of cocktails — sangria, mojitos, cosmos and more — that are just as festive. You can have your booze and drink it, too! For a happy and healthy new year, try making these lighter holiday cocktails from some of our favorite food bloggers.

RELATED:How Many Calories Are in Your Cocktail? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Winter-Sea-Breeze

1. Winter Sea Breeze
The sea breeze gets a cold weather makeover with this cheery cocktail! Mix vodka, grapefruit juice, tonic syrup and soda water together and garnish with mint leaves and pomegranate. The festive presentation will wow guests, and the flavor won’t disappoint either. Photo and Recipe: Jillian / Catch My Party

Winter-Sun-Cocktail

2. Winter Sun Cocktail
Sip on this citrus concoction to brighten dreary winter days! A colorful way to add flavor, clementine and lemon juice provide immunity-boosting vitamin C. For those keeping a close watch on their sugar intake, skip the sugary rim or opt for stevia instead.Photo and Recipe: Dulcie and Sarah / Two-Tarts

Apple-Cider-Sangria

3. Apple Cider Sangria
White wine and gluten-free vodka get all dressed up in this truly delightful drink. It has all of the seasonal flavor you crave — cinnamon sticks, honey, apple cider and orange — but none of the simple syrup you’d find in your local bar’s cocktails. Double (or triple!) the recipe easily depending on how many guests you’re expecting. Photo and Recipe: Alexis / Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

RELATED:8 Drool-Worthy Holiday Cookbooks for Healthy Holiday Recipes

Hot-Toddy

4. Gingered Cider Hot Toddy
This drink delivers a one-two punch when it comes to warming you up! Warm cider infused with tea (go with decaf if it’s close to bedtime) gets can extra kick from a shot of rum or bourbon. Ginger and honey can help you recover from a cold and a bit of alcohol helps with restless sleep, so try making one the next time you’re feeling under the weather. Photo and Recipe: Gina / Kleinworth & Co.

White-Wine-Sangria

5. White Wine Sangria
This fruity wine “punch” is incredibly easy to make for a large crowd. Plus, adding nutritious fruit is a great way to liven up cheaper wines. Just add pears, apple, mango, grapes and clementines to your carafe the night before serving. The soaked fruit and sangria will taste even better the next day! Photo and Recipe: Alissa / Girl Makes Food

pomegrante-mojito

6. Pomegranate Mojito
Champagne adds festive fizz to this pom-tastic holiday drink. Save some calories by opting for white rum instead of dark rum, but don’t skimp on the vitamin C-packed lime juice! Serve the drink after garnishing with some fresh pomegranate arils. Photo and Recipe: Jennifer / Peanut Butter and Peppers

RELATED:Avocado-Pomegranate Frise Salad Recipe

Passion Fruit Cocktail

7. Passion Fruit Cocktail 
Tropical passion fruit is rich in iron, folate and protein, and its fruity flavor perfectly complements dry champagne. Garnish your cocktail with a few raspberries for extra style points! Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote /Life by DailyBurn 

Rosemary-Gin-Fizz

8. Rosemary Gin Fizz
Cheers to a refreshing drink that only takes a few minutes to make! Muddle the fresh rosemary, lemon juice and honey to release the flavor and help it bind to the gin. Bonus: Rosemary can aid digestion, which may come in handy if you’ve eaten too many appetizers.Photo and Recipe: Kate / Cookie and Kate

Ginger-Cosmopolitan

9. Ginger Cosmopolitan Cocktail
Give the classic cosmo an upgrade this holiday season. A zing of ginger spices things up and delivers numerous antioxidants while white cranberry juice packs healthy vitamin C. If you’re comfortable with muddling and using a cocktail shaker, impress your guests with this festive treat! Photo and Recipe: Adam / Inspired Taste

Egg-Nog

10. Low-Fat Eggnog
Ditch the cream and use skim milk to make a lighter version of this holiday favorite. Spike your ‘nog by adding white rum or bourbon after the eggnog has chilled for a few hours in a fridge. Dress up your creamy treat with a sprinkle of fresh ground nutmeg! Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by DailyBurn

Cinder-Rum-Punch

11. Cider Rum Punch
Perfect for winter get-togethers, this cocktail brings together the season’s best flavors. Lemon and apple cider enhance the flavor of dark rum, which has a naturally sweet caramel flavor. Since darker alcohols are denser, heavier and more caloric than other alcohols, add club soda to lighten the punch. Photo and Recipe: Mike / Verses From My Kitchen

Dark and Stormy Recipe

12. Dark and Stormy Cocktail
Lighten up a cozy, wintertime favorite by using homemade ginger syrup instead of sugary ginger beer. At just 185 calories, this drink won’t weigh you down like a creamy eggnog. Grab your favorite dark rum and some friends! Photo and Recipe: Emily Miller / Life by DailyBurn

Cheers to a healthier you, and remember to imbibe responsibly! Let us know what your favorite holiday cocktail is in the comments below. 

Originally posted December 6, 2013.