Summer means a lot of things: tanning, day parties, bikinis, vacations and a lot of food at BBQ’s, cookouts, and/or a boozy brunch. Unfortunately, a lot of these food options probably aren’t conducive to your bikini and vacation plans. Lucky for you (as opposed to my clients who go on their honeymoons never to return *ahem*), you have me. Here are some of my best food swaps for the summer so you can stick to your fitness goals but still enjoy yourself.
So instead of…
1. Ice Cream
Make banana soft serve with frozen bananas in a food processor. You also have the option to add in peanut butter if you want a nuttier taste—and I’ll even let you keep all your toppings.
2. Hot Dogs
Go for chicken or turkey dogs instead of pork or beef (it’s way leaner), and if you want the extra credit, do a naked dog and nix the bun. Go crazy on the mustard, be careful with the ketchup, and ditch the mayo completely.
The easiest thing to do is to lose one or both buns. If you’re eating out, maybe places will do a lettuce wrap instead of the buns (if you’re in a city with In-n-Out, the protein-style burgers are my jam). This way you could split a serving of fries without the carb overload.
Be a bougie betch and pick sparkling water. Throw in a slice or two of lime/lemon and you get all the fizz, with none of the sugar (even the fake one in diet sodas, they’re equally bad for you).
5. Chips And Dip
Okay, this is a rough one. Swap corn chips for bean chips for added fiber and protein, and stick to salsa and yogurt dips. Steer clear of like… those 7-layer dips (I know that you know that already sounds crazy, girl), buffalo chicken dips, artichoke dips, spinach dips, etc. I mean, you know those are full of fat. Just because they have a vegetable in the name does not mean you can eat it; their main ingredients are mayo and cream.
6. Popcorn Shrimp
Ok, so I don’t know if this is summer food to anyone, but I love me some popcorn shrimp, so I’ll just add it to this list. Popcorn shrimp would be fine if we can stop at like, five pieces, but who can really do that? Instead of this breaded diet grenade, grill up some well-seasoned shrimp and focus on making super flavorful dips for your shrimp instead, such as a spicy chili-lime dipping sauce made with lime juice, chopped peppers, salt and ground pepper.
I have never met a margarita I didn’t drink (this is not limited to summertime, btw). But here’s the thing: a margarita is a sugar bomb. So my thing is, do a super-skinny margarita. I add tequila, a lot of fresh lime juice (fresh is key) and an optional splash of agave nectar (I skip this). I cut up jalapeños into my margarita as well.
Making these healthy food swaps will slowly become second nature over time; the key is to stay consistent with your changes and make the best choices for your body and fitness journey. It’s all about balance and keeping nutrition first. So many times we focus on food and it’s either all or nothing: either we’re super strict and don’t even eat at the family BBQ or we’re going in and trying to eat off Aunt Edna’s plate. Remember that the main objective of these social gatherings is time with family and friends—it’s not really about the food. Make the most nourishing aspect of any of these events about the time with people you love. Food will always be there, this isn’t your last supper. This way, you get to eat a little and still feel hot enough to change into your bikini.
Unless you’re like, a Stepford Wife in training, the odds that you’ve promised to bring “like, really cute cocktails that will get us so drunk” to a dinner, pregame, or pool party, and then totally dropped the ball are pretty high. If you are a Stepford Wife-in-training, I’m going to need you to stop taking Snapchats of the mildly interesting meals you cook for dinner and captioning them “wife me.” If you’re like the rest of us, read on.
Nearly every single time I’ve ever promised to bring a cool drink to a get-together, I’ve spent an hour at work scrolling through Pinterest, saving ambitious cocktails, and forgetting about them when I realize that someone’s probably watching me. Then, the event rolls around, and I’m already like, 20 minutes late, and have no interesting ingredients. I have found myself at so many bodegas, convenience stores, and even gas stations, desperately typing in the depressing selection of ingredients I saw in front of me into the Pinterest app with the word “cocktail” behind them. So here are some of the tastiest summer cocktails you can make when you are somewhere that doesn’t even sell tampons with plastic applicators, let alone triple sec or peach schnapps. Oh, and, all of these recipes make enough to fill a pitcher. You’re welcome.
- 1 cup Malibu
- 2 cups pineapple Juice
- A full bottle of prosecco
Literally just pour a bottle of prosecco into a pitcher and add a bit of Malibu and pineapple juice. Feel free to play around with the proportions, but note that this basically tastes like a bubbly Capri Sun so you will end up texting someone you shouldn’t.
Get the full recipe here.
White Strawberry-Lemon Sangria
- 2 lemons
- 1 apple
- 1 cup of strawberries
- 1 bottle of white wine
- ½ cup of rum
- 4 cups of lemon-lime soda
Sangria is a solid option, because it’s such a vague kind of drink. I mean, what even is sangria? Just wine with a bunch of other sh*t poured into it? I think so. Anyway, this recipe is just a light suggestion. You can basically throw anything into a pitcher of wine and let it sit for like, four hours, and it’ll be decent. For the wine selection, I’d advise a dry white wine or even white zinfandel, because even liquor stores with the lamest selections will have a box of Franzia or a bottle of Barefoot White Zinfandel. It’s just a fact of life.
Get the full recipe here.
- 1 ½ cups of silver tequila
- 4 ½ cups of grapefruit soda
- However many limes you feel like using as garnishes
Okay, so there are plenty of ways to make a Paloma, but if you’re just swinging by a corner store, you probably don’t have time to find all of the garnishes or actual grapefruit juice. This recipe will make a pitcher of Palomas. It calls for the juice from six limes, but like, if you’re swinging by a bodega last minute on a Friday night, your options may be limited. It’s totally fine if you just grab however many you feel like slicing and use them for garnishes instead.
Get the full recipe here.
White Wine Spritzer
- 1 bottle of white wine
- 12 oz of lemon flavored seltzer
- Sliced lemon or lime wedges
Wine spritzers are another really great cocktail to make when you’re totally unprepared because again, what even is a wine spritzer? They can truly be as half-assed or as extra as you’d like. Just dump a bottle of wine into a pitcher, and then throw in some seltzer and lemon or lime wedges. If you’re in the mood to blackout, you could even use a Spiked Seltzer.
Get the full recipe here.
- Coconut Water
- Pineapple Juice
Guess what? This recipe doesn’t tell you how much of anything to use because it’s not a real recipe. It’s basically a non-disgusting version of the Redneck Margarita from Queer Eye. I literally just once texted my dad from a gas station while I was on my way to visit friends because I had promised to bring stuff to make margaritas, and forgot to. (Save the judgment. This is who I am as a person. Back off.) He was like “IDK, just throw some coconut water, pineapple juice, and tequila into a shaker and pour it in a cup. And also, when’s the last time you got an oil change?”
Anyway, another gem I learned from this phone call was that you can actually just use two solo cups as a shaker. Because, obviously, I do not have my life together enough to carry a shaker everywhere I go, and you probably don’t either. Sorry.
Images: Pexels (1), Giphy (3)
I don’t know about you, but this heat wave is seriously fucking me up. After spending all winter becoming one with my couch, I was really ready for another four months on my couch to get back out there this summer. Instead, I’m finding myself yearning for the days when lying under a blanket didn’t feel like entering a sweat lodge. SO: even though we all get a pass on going outside this week, summer should be your most social season—and dating is no exception. Sunlight makes people happy, happy hours make people drunk, and drunk, happy people have more fun on dates. It’s basic math. Of course, not all summer dates are created equal. So while you’re fielding texts from Hinge matches, keep in mind that many invitations are still worth ignoring. Here’s what these date locations say about your date’s intentions.
Their Local Coffee Shop
In non-summer months, this has potential to be a fine option if you’re on antibiotics. It’s easy to cut short, requires minimal dressing up, and is overall a low-cost alternative to meeting for drinks. And going to the guy’s usual local spot can give you a sense of his overall vibe, though the implication that he’s hoping you’ll go home with him obviously stands.
During the summer though, this invite is all kinds of sus. If they’re trying to meet you at 2pm on a Saturday down the block from their apartment, they likely haven’t left their apartment in six weeks and will be rolling out of bed, wiping Cheeto crumbs off their shirt, and contemplating cancelling five times before they finally walk down the block. Oh, and they’ll probably try to steer the “date” back to their place to continue whatever TV show they were binging within 30 minutes of meeting you. With all the outdoor options and day-drinking venues summer has to offer, if the best they can do is a non-alcoholic beverage in their zip code, they either don’t give a shit about this date at all, have no social life to speak of, or both.
Picnic In The Park
Whether or not this is a red flag is kind of subjective. If you’re a fan of watching ants climb all over your food while dodging Frisbees, enjoy! (Yeah I hate picnics. Sue me.) The plus side of a picnic invitation is that it’s (meant to be) romantic, so the person who suggests this is definitely making an effort. The downside is that they require a ton of work to pull off effectively. So in Scenario A, your date shows up with a small suitcase worth of supplies (coolers, something to sit on so you don’t get grass stains, etc). While sweet, it also makes it painfully evident how much effort they put in and could be a turn-off early on. It also makes it impossible to continue the date afterward because they’re carrying around 10 pounds of picnic supplies.
In Scenario B, your date brings two 99 cent cans of Arizona iced teas and nothing else, you’re both covered in sweat and grass stains within 10 minutes, he gets embarrassed and tries to act like you’re too high maintenance to cover up that he planned a shitty-ass date. Ultimately, inviting you to a picnic means they’ve thought about this date way too much (and have probably done this exact date with their ex) or way too little. You can appreciate the gesture, but I do not recommend going on this date.
^The last time someone actually enjoyed a picnic.
Rooftop Bar With Their Friends
This is also kind of a mixed bag, but for different reasons. If they invite you to this a few days in advance, it’s ideal. It likely resembles the weekend plans you would have made for yourself anyway, and it means they want you to meet their friends. Win-win. If they invite you to this while they’re already there, it’s a very different story. This means they got drunk and horny, and are too awkward to actually meet someone at the bar full of equally drunk singles. Instead, they started going through their phone and messaging their last week of matches. While the commitment to not meeting people is admirable, you’re better than this. Being available on-demand for whenever they’re done with the social part of their night and just want to get laid is never a good look.*
*If you’ve been on a few dates already, this could be a cute “had a few drinks and started thinking about you” type text. But keep an eye on whether they actually introduce you to their friends when you show up, or if they just try to hustle you home.
Weeknight Dinner Reservation
Like the coffee date, this is normal/fine other parts of the year. But IMO, scheduling an 8pm dinner on a Wednesday is a little formal for a summer date. Has he never heard of happy hour? And is he just expecting you to waste prime drinking hours just to exchange information about your siblings and hometowns over cloth napkins? This date option implies that they’re highly traditional, operate by a strict schedule, and are probably not that much fun. This holds especially true if the restaurant they choose also offers a happy hour menu and they purposely choose not to do it. Who hurt you????
Their House In The Hamptons
This date is the easiest to decode. If they invite you to their house in the Hamptons, MARRY THEM. Seriously. Lock that shit down before the next heat wave rolls through.
Ultimately, dating in the summer is easier than dating in the winter. But because we can’t have nice things, that doesn’t mean some red flags don’t apply. Summer is the time to be your most fun self, taking advantage of long summer nights and half-off drinks. If their best self doesn’t crave margaritas after 12pm from June-September, think carefully whether this is someone you’re interested in dating. And maybe give your number to the people you see out at your favorite summer bars instead. At least you know they have good taste.
Images: Giphy (5); Jelleke Vanooteghem / Unsplash
As we get on into the scary shit that is adulthood, there are certain skills every betch should possess. Knowing how to fold fitted sheets (still unsure if this can be done), submit taxes, unload a dishwasher, book appointments, and even take care of an animal are all on the list. Feeding, and more importantly, drinking like a king are also up there. Knowing how to make classic drinks without consulting the internet so as to keep yourself and your friends drunk is super fucking important. Here is our definitive list of the drinks you need to memorize and know how to create for whoever walks through your door.
1. Gin & Tonic
It’s two goddamn ingredients, and if you can’t figure it out you don’t deserve to share space with those who do. Add about 2 oz. of gin to a tall glass filled with ice. Squeeze in 2-3 lime wedges, then add them to the glass. Add 3-4 oz. of tonic water and stir.
Ah, the margarita: a great and terrible decision, all wrapped into one. Luckily for you, making one isn’t really that difficult, since we’re going the classic route and not the blueberry burnt orange top shelf tequila dusted with fair trade sugar route. Run a lime wedge around two glasses and dip the rims in salt (or sugar if you’re a lil bitch). Set aside. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine 4 oz. white tequila (NOT Jose Cuervo), 2 oz. Cointreau, and 1 ½ oz. fresh lime juice. Shake that shit for about 15 seconds. Fill the rimmed glasses with ice and strain the margarita into the glasses. Garnish with lime wedges and serve.
A real martini is made with gin, which, while making you a psychopath for drinking it, isn’t all that bad when added to a simple concoction like the motherfucking classic dry martini. Combine 2 oz. of dry gin with 1 oz. dry vermouth and 1 dash of orange bitters (optional) in a cocktail glass that’s been chilled. Stir well and twist a piece of lemon peel over—then use as garnish. Olives are a faux pas, BY THE WAY.
4. Old Fashioned
Since this is like, probs the OG cocktail, you better know how to make it. Classic recipes abound and it’s not all that difficult. Put 1 tsp sugar in a glass, douse with 2-3 dashes of bitters and a few drops of water. Add whiskey and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add ice, stir to chill, and garnish with an orange slice.
We admit Sarah Jessica Horseface ruined this one for us, but it actually isn’t that bad of a cocktail. I mean, it’s kinda sweet, kinda tart, and kinda really fucking easy to make. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 1 ½ oz of citrus vodka, ½ oz. Cointreau, ½ oz. cranberry juice, and ¼ oz. fresh lime juice. Shake that shit well and strain into a cold cocktail glass.
6. Mint Julep
So this may be the most difficult of the bunch, and that isn’t saying much. If you live in the dirty south or raise horses/make bank on horses in Kentucky, you better know how to make this recipe as well as you can stalk an ex’s girlfriend’s mother’s brother within 30 seconds of finding out their middle initial. Place 2 tsp. simple syrup in a tall glass and add about 10 fresh mint leaves. Muddle that shit until they’re bruised, but not totally destroyed. Half fill the glass with crushed ice and add 3 oz. of good bourbon, stirring to combine. Add more crushed ice and add a few sprigs of fresh mint on top. Serve with a short straw.
Congratulations, and welcome to society, ya filthy animal.
Heading to a bar with someone you’ve been on less than two dates with can be … eye opening. Without having to speak a word, a betch should be able to read subtle ques and signs which point to whether you have a pro, a bro, or a fucking dud. To save you time from being wasted and hair from being torn out in a not-meant-to-be relationship, here are what your guy’s drink order says about him.
1. Gin and Tonic
He probably has money and is a little boring. He also is pretty even-keeled and isn’t likely to want to be spontaneous, and prefers staying in and watching Netflix to going out. Enjoy a boring, possibly rich life. Alternatively, he might just be your grandpa.
2. Craft Beer
He loves Obama, loves talking to literally everyone, is intellectual, and can be a fucking pain. Like, if you’re into outdoor activities and discussing politics, go for it—but also, we don’t really know why you’re here. And it goes without saying, but he’s definitely a fucking hipster. Do not proceed unless you’re fine with being second to this guy’s food Instagram and his Bernie 2020 Facebook page.
He’s showing he’s in charge and attempting to be fancy. He’s likely to be more into commitment and real relationships. Shit, if he goes so far as to make it a gin martini with a specific gin, twist, etc.—sink your claws in. He’s also good in bed because he’s likely studied every single James Bond movie, so, win.
He loves the beach and partying literally all the time, just like you. He’s great for a fling and for heading to a summer concert series and rolling with. However, a steady soulmate he is not—he’s probably got some perplexingly feminism mannerisms to go along with his girly-ass drink order. Just beware.
5. Old Fashioned
If it’s a guy in his 20s, he probably idolizes Don Draper and is gearing up to take over his dad’s company in a few years. Do not go out with this dude—he’ll probably initiate conversation by “negging” you and thinks Brock Turner is “just misunderstood.” However, if he IS actually an older dude, he probably is a Don Draper type, and we say proceed. Then again, Don Draper was a huge fuckboy—fuckman?—so like, IDK. I know whiskey is supposed to be the “manly” drink and all, but proceed with caution.
6. Jager Anything
If any guy is out there still ordering Jager at a bar, he’s stuck in 2009. He probably follows The Situation on Instagram for fitness tips and laments the day when gelling your hair vertically stopped being cool. He is probably from Staten Island or Jersey or some other place you never want to step foot in. I shouldn’t have to say it, but DO NOT TAKE HIM HOME. If you do, you may never get the smell of Axe out of your sheets.
He’s mature but kind of a pussy. He has his go-to’s—in this case, wine—and he sticks with them. He’s confident and can probably discuss great stock options with you, but, yah, snore. If he orders white wine, he’s either gay or European.
If your date starts ordering fucking shots, he’s either a) still in college b) an alcoholic, or c) loves the Fast and Furious franchise. Run. He also probably loves Express Men and hair gel.
9. Domestic Beer
Meh. He’s just a dude. He’s not a big fan of branching out, he fucking loves football, and has never eaten Indian food. He also thinks salads are weird and worships steak.
10. Rum drinks
Take him on vacay to Punta Cana and he’ll be right at home. If he’s drinking shit like the Captain or Bacardi with cola, he’s kind of sheltered and never grew out of his college days. He also may be your creepy uncle. However, if he’s asking for muddled lime with his Mount Gay’s or Gosling’s, he’s manly and worldly. He’s also kind of a know-it-all, but if you enjoy listening more than talking, he’s a good catch.
Unless you didn’t get on Instagram yesterday, you may have noticed that we had a casual blizzard in NYC. In MARCH. Because the streets are literal sabotage this morning, and not because I spent yesterday’s snow day pounding red wine and binge-watching Riverdale, I fell multiple times on my commute this morning. After busting my ass three times on the sidewalk it’s safe to say I’m so fucking over winter and am already counting down the days until
I can live my best life summer. I mean, is there anything better than blacking out on a beach with a marg in your hand? Oh wait. We can’t do that either because science just proved that margaritas can give you a skin rash. *Prays this is an alternative fact*
We’re feeling personally victimized by the American Academy of Dermatology rn because they just announced that margaritas, aka our summer beverage of choice, are apparently causing skin rashes. This is not a drill, people, this is the real deal and it’s already fucking up v important aspects of my life. Like brunch and that adult spring break I’m planning instead of answering emails at work.
In a public service announcement the AAD warned people against phytophotodermatitis, a kind of skin irritation that results from a combination of citrus fruits and sun exposure. So basically if you’re drinking anything super citrus-y in the sun (i.e. mimosas, margaritas, anything that brings you joy, etc.) you could break out in a rash.
Hold up, what? No, no, no, no. First, 2017 gives us a giant Cheeto for a president—which should be punishment enough—but then Brad Pitt goes and sends Jennifer Aniston a “u up?” text and I’m just like, okay, that’s fucking enough. But now 2017 wants to take away our only coping mechanism to get us through this shitstorm of a year? Just fuck me up right now then.
To be clear, the skin irritation and resulting hyperpigmentation (aka dark spots—as if this couldn’t get any fucking worse) isn’t from sipping. THANK GOD. It’s only a problem when the citrus juice gets spilled directly on your skin and then activated by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. So basically, don’t be like my sloppy friend Amy and spill your shit everywhere and you’ll probs be fine. Side note: I am our sloppy friend, Amy.
So don’t you dare let anyone use this announcement to try and take your
will to live summer beverage away from you. As a preventative measure you should avoid directly handling lemons or lime—WAIT, does this mean tequila shots are off the table too?? It’s like someone read my diary and all my deepest, darkest fears. Well played, 2017, well played. If you’re like me and don’t listen to medical professionals refuse to give up on something that brings you joy, The American Academy of Dermatology recommends washing your hands thoroughly after touching citrus. If you don’t want to do that/are too lazy to go to the bathroom in between tequila shots, the organization did not come out and outright say to designate the ugliest person in your group as the citrus handler, but they basically implied as much. #Loophole
And if you do happen to notice a rash coming on, you’ll need to apply a neutral healing ointment or a hydrocortisone cream. You’ll also want to slather more sunscreen on your body than my pale AF friend Tina does when we go to the beach, as the rash is typically followed by post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Side note: I am also our pale friend Tina.
Great. If you need me, I’ll just be
internally screaming at my desk contemplating my will to live processing all this information.
To my friend and the glass of alcohol she’s holding at all times,
A lot of our friends are happy to drink when it’s “socially appropriate” aka at a Saturday night pregame or Sunday afternoon brunch, depending on who you ask. It’s kind of a given that both of us will already be wasted by the time we show up to those events, but we can def appreciate the effort that they’re putting in (and be envious that they’re drunk after just 7 or 8 shots).
You, on the other hand, are a drinker of a totally different breed, meaning you’ll gladly order a cocktail anytime and anywhere. When the waiter accidentally includes the drink menu at a Wednesday morning breakfast, you’ll be the first to say “Actually you can leave it, we’ll take a look.” You’ll suggest pregaming innocent events like apple picking, and you’ve never not ordered a pitcher of margarita when that’s an available quantity.
You’re always down, which means we can avoid the “should we or shouldn’t we” dance that occurs with others. I only have to sit through 10 seconds of, “A glass of wine sounds nice but I don’t really need it. Are you having one? Maybe I could. Actually, I’m all set” to have me both extremely shook and appreciative of your existence. With you it’s never a question of if we’re drinking, but of how much and which kind of vodka we want, and I’m so grateful for that.
So thanks for being so reliably thirsty, and enabling my own
clear alcoholism desire to turn up at all times. My liver hates you, but my heart will always love you. Actually my heart is currently palpitating, but you’re still really, really fun.