Zoom Happy Hour Slim Down

Host healthier virtual meet-ups.

Keeping in touch and virtually catching up with family and friends has been a lifesaver during pandemic. These joyous video happy hours and reunions are typically paired with cocktails, wine and not-so-healthy snacks.

Try these smarter choices and keep the “Quarantine 15” off your waistline.

nutritious bites

Veggies & Dip

If you have time, creating a small but bountiful crudité is very pretty and nutritious. I like to include several colors and varieties of veggies.

Combo #1: Cucumber rounds, radish halves, small grape tomatoes and yellow pepper slices.

Combo #2: Jicama (French-fry style pieces, spritzed with lime and sea salt), red pepper slices, fresh snap peas and carrots.

Serve your veggie plate with one or two of the following dips from Amelia Freer’s Cook, Nourish & Glow.

Mango Avocado Salsa

1 ripe mango (if the store is out of mango, substitute pineapple or peaches)

1 avocado

½ small red onion

1 red chili, deseeded

1 large handful of basil

1 large handful of cilantro

1 lime, juiced and zested

Juice of 1 lemon

A good pinch of salt

1 tsp raw honey

Pepper to taste

Finely chop mango, avocado and onion and transfer to bowl. Finely chop herbs. Add herbs and lime zest and mix. In another small bowl, add lime, lemon juice, salt and honey and mix. Combine the two mixtures.

Season your protein of choice with salt and pepper and sauté until cooked through. Fill lettuce leaves with protein and top with salsa.

Green Veggie Hummus

1 13.5-ounce can of organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3 tbsp tahini

1 clove garlic

Handful of spinach, chopped

Handful of basil leaves

1 avocado, chopped

4 tbsp olive oil 2 lemons, juiced

1 small lemon, zested

1 tsp sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

Almond Kale Pesto (dairy-free)

1 bunch of basil leaves

1 lemon, juiced and zested

½ cup olive oil

1 garlic clove

4 ounces of soaked almonds, drained

¼ bunch kale, washed, and roughly chopped (sub spinach in a pinch)

Sea salt to taste

Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend to desired consistency. Sundried tomatoes, chilis, cilantro and cashews can be substituted for different flavors.

no time to cook?

Pick up easy Zoom happy hour provisions like hummus, guacamole or Bitchin’ sauce at Whole Foods and serve with cucumber rounds or snap peas or any other combo of yummy veggies. For a treat, add stuffed olives, walnuts, pistachios or cashews and a little bit of dark chocolate.

need more sustenance?

Try this easy sheet pan appetizer.

Asian Ginger Shrimp (or chicken skewers) with Creamy Almond Dipping Sauce
Modified from Dr. Mark Hyman

For the Shrimp

¼ cup fresh lime juice

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

2 inch piece of ginger, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

¼ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

1 ½ pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

For the Sauce

¼ cup plus 1 tbsp fresh lime juice

¼ cup creamy almond or peanut butter

2 tbsp coconut milk (full fat, or not low fat) +/- for consistency

1 tbsp plus 1 tsp melted coconut oil

2 tsp unseasoned rice vinegar (can sub red wine vinegar)

Combine shrimp, lime juice, oil, ginger, garlic salt and pepper. Let sit for 30 min. For the sauce, combine lime juice, nut butter, coconut milk, oil, and vinegar. Stir.

Preheat broiler and place shrimp on a cookie sheet, single layer. Broil for about 3 min. Turnover, broil for 1-2 minutes until no longer translucent.

smarter adult beverages

Keep the Zoom happy hour pounds at bay with slimmer drink choices.

The basics: Choose vodka or gin and soda water with a splash of lemon, lime or orange for the lowest carb and most waist-friendly option. Make a skinny marg with tequila and lime juice. (Beer is not your friend. It’s actually the hardest on the waist.)

A dry red wine normally has less carbs than white wine. If you choose white, turn it into a bubbly spritzer—that way you get two glasses instead of one—a better bang for your carb buck.

Drinks by the Numbers

When it comes to happy hour, sugary and high-carb drinks can add up and sabotage your weight-loss goals. Here’s the skinny on liquid carbs. Make your own decision. These numbers should help.

Alcohol

Carbs(g)

Calories

Beer (12 oz)

(ex: Guiness, Budweiser)

9.4-11

125-145

Very light beer (12 oz)

(ex: Michelob ULTRA, Beck’s light beer)

2.6-3.8

63-95

Cider, dry (12 oz)

(ex: Stem Cider, Strongbow Dry)

5-9

140-159

Cider, semi-dry/semi-sweet (12 oz)

(ex: Ace, Magner’s, Sonoma Cider, rose ciders)

9-13

134-160

Cider, sweet (12 oz)

(ex: Woodchuck, Angry Orchard)

21-26

185-200

Dry red wine (5 oz pour)

(ex: pinot noir, chianti, bordeaux)

3.4-3.8

122-125

Sweet red wine (5 oz pour)

(ex: zinfandel, merlot, syrah, cab)

3.8-4.2

122-129

Dry white wine (5 oz pour)

(ex: pinot grigio, pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay)

3-3.8

120-123

Sweet white wine (5 oz pour)

(ex: riesling, muscat/muscato)

5.5-7.8

118-123

Champagne (4 oz)

1.6-4.5

84-98

Port (3 oz)

12

142

Gin (1.5 oz)

0

96

Tequila, pure agave (1.5 oz)

0

104

Rum (1.5 oz)

0

96

Vodka, unflavored or flavored (1.5 oz)

0

85 (70 proof)

Scotch or whiskey (1.5 oz)

0

96

Rye (1.5 oz)

0

98

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