Friday, 20 October 2017

When A Celebrity Photographer Turns His Lens To Homeless People

Over the past 10 months, Martin Schoeller has photographed and interviewed more than 180 homeless people in Los Angeles in a makeshift studio set up at the corner of Sycamore and Romaine in West Hollywood, where they are served dinners by an aid organization, the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition.
“In photographing the homeless, I find that it’s the young people I meet who are the most heartbreaking,” Schoeller says. “There was one girl, Kemi, who’s 19 years old and has been in and out of homes for five years. When you talk to them, what resonates the most is that these were people who were never loved in their lives — and sometimes more than that, being abused and abandoned by parents — and they have this strong underlying insecurity. It’s easy to see why these people don’t find a way in life, why they don’t find a job. If you don’t have that basic confidence in your own capabilities, it’s really tough to do anything.
“I started this whole project with the idea of bringing awareness, [and] with the idea of giving homeless people a face and a voice. We see homeless people or perceive them every day, but we don’t really meet any of them ever in our daily interactions. My goal was to basically have them step forward and talk about their life and explain why they are homeless.”



“I’m actually a cosmetologist and I prostitute when I can or escort or whatever ‘cause I know the evening and I know how to do night clubs. Even if it doesn’t have to do with sex, I know how to be a partner and just have a good time and I can handle my drinks and whatever else. You know what I mean? And every gentleman needs a lady.”



“It depends on how they do it [meth]. Now somebody that shoots it in the vein can basically…it can last up to three days to four days and…I’m talking about you’re going on for days…No sleep for three days. That’s how I did my paralegal work. I would shoot it. I would shoot it and then basically I’d stay up working on a case. I had a full-time job at a law firm and then I was going to movie sets and then basically I was doing porn on the side. That’s what I love. I wanna get back into it right now. So basically I am on a website right now, though as an escort. I’m working my way back into it.”



“I made some poor choices. I suffer from depression. And so I had things going on in my life and I got really depressed and I pretty much gave up from that. And now I’m rebuilding as you could say. But it’s helping me re-find myself. It’s going pretty good. I’m learning a lot of new things that I didn’t know before, which is kind of cool considering I’m 40 and I started transitioning in 2002. All my life I knew I was different. I grew up in a small town where I had to pretend that I was just like everybody else, but I knew I was different and when I turned actually 21 that’s when I started doing research to figure out what I was supposed to be, like what the term was, what I was feeling…if anybody else felt like that, and really got comfortable with the idea that I was a woman. Even after the transition, my whole thing has always been acceptance and now it’s like I got the acceptance, the respect and everything but I’m trying to figure out who I am and what I wanna do in my life.”



“I’m 19. I turned 19 November 13th. I’ve been out here on and off for four years ‘cause I used to run away from a group home. I’m working on getting my housing so I might be off the street soon…I have a dog too that they’re gonna allow me to have because he’s a service animal. He’s a service animal for emotional support — depression and anxiety. I kinda developed depression just being out here on the streets and being alone all the time…It’s kinda just something that I developed with me because I stopped eating and I stopped sleeping because I was so scared before I got my dog.”


“I have been on heroin 25 years. I got a lot of other habits too so…Ohh, I’m so blessed, yeah. I’ve had full-blown… I was diagnosed with full-blown AIDS in 1991. Yeah. God, whatever it is, he, she… I don’t have any answers for us, but there’s something there. I don’t believe in some ultimate control or… I don’t see any reason why I’m here after all that. I’ve had wonderful health too. I run several miles a day.”


“I went to a recruiter’s meeting today. I work at the LGBT center now, I do outreach, sexual awareness, and anything else. I get sent out to the streets teaching, educating; peer mentor, they call it. I live on the streets because my family doesn’t agree with me being gay.”


“As far as my history goes, I was a 24-year member of the motion picture industry. And when that went south I wound up working at a couple companies that went in Chapter 11. Then I wound up working as an executive accountant for a company that was selling computer software. One of their employees did something wrong, I don’t know what the real deal was but the Federal Trade Commission came in and shut the place down. So then I ended up trying to get any kind of little part-time job I can get to try to keep me above water. And I wound up working for a day laborer company and after a couple of months I wound up getting in an accident and that’s how I became blind. I took about a 40-foot fall through a hole in the floor that was unmarked or not barricaded. I’m on disability. I know that the homeless situation in our city is, in our country, is over the top and there is just not enough housing for everyone. I understand that. However, I know someone in a disabled situation, such as myself, that I can’t afford to be out here on the street. I have already been a victim of violent crime several times.”


“I stay with my [street] family. I was 13 when I first came out here. I was entered into Hollywood by a pimp, human trafficking. A pimp bought me and they pretty much brought me out here. I did drugs back then, so it was like I was already hooked on methamphetamine since 9 when they were drugging me up …
“At 9 I was forced to have sex with people by my own family. My uncle put me in human trafficking. My parents were split — North Carolina. My dad never spent time with us. The last time I seen him I was 7. He came one time and it was my birthday but he only spent maybe 10 minutes with me, that was the last time I seen him. My mom is an alcoholic. She gets plastered drunk until she falls asleep. She was no help. They didn’t believe me about my uncle until one of my nieces came up missing and my cousin found her with him in an abandoned building. It happened.
“Then I got laid off from my telemarketing job. My manager liked women very much where it’s OK for him to touch on females. And what happened to me in my past, I’m not a touchy person. So right when he touched me, I kind of flipped out a little bit and they fired me. I did telemarketing for five years but three of the years I was homeless.
“Section 8 [rental assistance] has quite a long waiting list. I have been waiting for five years, I’ve been out here for 16 years. The Step Up program is mental health and drug use and I’ve been sober seven years. I am 26.”
“I have been living on the street about four months. Before I was in the hospital. They said, ‘Instead of letting you go for your charges of vandalism, we believe you require psychological treatment and evaluation.’ And, before I left, I told them [the judge], ‘You need a psychological evaluation and to be sodomized, fuck you.’ And they took me out. They took me to a mental hospital. I stayed there for two years and seven months.”


“My girlfriend is currently pregnant. I’ve called many housing programs before and it’s all the run-around with…they either say, ‘Well, you have to come back tomorrow or come back some other day or earlier or you have to call in advance or there’s a waiting list.’ And then there’s been times where one program would refer us to another program and that program would say, ‘Well now we’re full, you can check out this program.’ Which is just literally the program that referred us to that program. It’s all just the same thing over and over.
“I ended up living on the street when I turned 18. My mom said, ‘Son, you have to go. Your sister is getting old, I need my privacy, she needs hers, your brothers have all left…’ and she’s kicking my brother and his wife and his two kids out to. It was a two-bedroom house. It’s small. She needs her privacy. I understand. I love my little sister and I’d rather have her somewhere to stay than me…
“Me and my girlfriend work when we can. So I mean we try to save up as much as we can and when we need to eat, we eat. Work our way up. At night what we do is we sleep at a church, a well-lit area. And sometimes, if we have to, we ride the bus all night, sleep on the bus if it’s too cold. We’ve been together for a year and a little more than a half already. I’m happy. And she’s having my kid so… I love her and I already love my little kid. We stay away from drugs, I’ve seen what it does to people. I used to have a friend who was on meth. My girlfriend works at a KFC. Yeah. She works minimum wage. She got promoted about a year ago to supervisor. So they bumped her up to ten [dollars an hour].”


“As a street mom I basically, I try to, like, steer them on the right path, try to keep ‘em as much out of harm’s way as possible. ‘Cause I came out to the streets when I was really, really young. I ran away. I’m trying to keep them from bumping their heads like I did. You know what I mean? Any way I can…
“It sucks when I lose one. I think over the years I probably lost only four of them. One went to prison because his friend stabbed a lady on Hollywood Boulevard. One got murdered. The other one, she moved away and married a guy who was very abusive and he ended up beating her to death. And I had one son that got killed in a car crash. A drunk driver hit him. But out of all the ones that I raised so far, which is like 26 altogether so far, 13 of them went back to school, one is studying to be a crime scene investigator, an analyst. She’s amazing. She was my problem child but now she’s got two kids of her own, she’s going to college in Westwood.”


“I started gang banging at 12 years old. I started doing this stuff right here and really getting involved in the streets of L.A. I got shot when I was 15 and the bullet came out here and came out there. And then I lost two brothers in gang banging. They got shot and killed. I got them tattooed right here, rest in peace. I had a twin brother and I had an older brother who got murdered out here so I put them out here on my hand and then I got my ink to signify my stages of life.
“I been to the penitentiary already, you know what I mean? And now I just dress like a regular guy and just grow my hair out and don’t shave my head. ‘Cause I have a big ‘1-3’ on my chest. You know what I mean? I was from a gang called Watts Varrio Grape Street in Watts. When I went to prison, I ran with the southerners so obviously I have a ‘1-3’ to signify my membership.
“Jail gives you a lot of alliances and connections, it’s really like a big crime school. It ain’t hard to get nothing if you put your mind to it. I’m gonna keep it real. Excuses are like assholes, everybody has one and they stink. That’s why when they’re like, ‘How did you get out of the gang?’ I just left, dude. I could go back, sure. But out of sight, out of mind. So when people go, ‘Oh, I can’t get out, they’ll come look for me.’ That’s a lie. Nobody’s gonna leave the ‘hood to come look for you. They’re over there. You’re over here. That’s the best part about being an American.”


“I have PTSD from Desert Storm. I got shot over there, came back, and it’s like the government basically forgot I was here, that I fought for my country. And that sucks. It’s not fair. Society tends to look down on people who are homeless without knowing the full scale of why they’re homeless. And it’s hard. Because they’re sitting there pointing fingers at us when they have no reason to. We’re no different than anybody else, we just fall on hard times.”


“From like second grade all the way until I graduated from high school, I was in long-term foster home with three African-American women from Texas. They were elderly. There was always a dozen kids at a time there so you didn’t get like the attention that a normal kid would get. I have one blood brother and one blood sister. She has two kids. My niece and nephew, they are wonderful kids. I see them whenever I can, whenever I have some money to buy them something or do something for them, rather than just showing up like Charlie the bum with nothing and saying, ‘Hey, I’m just gonna hang out for a day or two.’”



“I am 19 and I have been on the streets two or three months. My family had a fight and they kicked me out for being trans… I’m not worried about it because I’m still gonna do me and be me and no one is gonna change me.”

Mom Tweets Conversations With Her 7 Y.O. And They Are Taking Over The Internet (17 pics)

Kelly Oxford, a New York Times best-seller author and screenwriter, is tweeting funny conversations with her 7-year-old daughter Bea and they are going viral. 

Thursday, 19 October 2017

15 Best Foods for a Flat Belly

Eat your way to a flatter belly

When you're trying to slim down your stomach, core exercises and ab workouts go a long way—but what you eat also plays a huge role. In addition to drinking enough water, eating fresh produce and healthy fats, and avoiding notorious belly-busters (think alcohol, soda, and sugar), certain foods are particularly good for shrinking your gut.

“If you want your abs to feel flatter, choose foods that will help decrease bloating in your stomach, such as water-packed fruits and veggies,” says Keri Gans, RD, a New York City-based nutrition consultant and author of The Small Change Diet.

These 15 foods will help keep your waistline slim by reducing bloat, boosting metabolism, and giving your body important nutrients that encourage weight loss.


Thanks to the flavonoid antioxidant quercetin (which reduces swelling) and a high water content of 96%, cucumbers “can definitely help prevent bloating,” says Gans. This crunchy veggie is also extremely versatile: eat it in a chopped salad, sprinkle on top of yogurt, or munch on cucumber slices with homemade hummus.


As a member of the super-nutritious pulse family, lentils—along with other seeds that grow within pods like chickpeas, white beans, and dried peas—are packed with protein and fiber, which increase satiety. They're also a good source of iron; this is important because studies have shown that being deficient in the mineral could slow down your metabolism.

“Add lentils to salads or use in place of whole grains like brown rice,” says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health's contributing nutrition editor. “They also make a great ‘bed’ for a serving of lean protein, along with a generous portion of veggies.”


Craving an afternoon snack? A banana may be your best bet. In addition to potassium, bananas are packed with resistant starch, a healthy carbohydrate that your body digests slowly, which keeps you full for longer. Resistant starch also encourages your liver to switch to fat-burning mode, giving your metabolism a boost.

Even more good news for your abs: “Bananas may help prevent water retention in our bodies by regulating sodium levels,” says Gans, “decreasing the risk for bloating.”


This perennial herb offers some serious benefits for your belly. “For centuries, fennel has been used to improve digestion, relieve GI spasms, and reduce bloat,” says Stephanie Middleberg, RD, founder of Middleberg Nutrition in New York City.

You can eat fennel raw or cooked (try sprinkling it on pizza or making Tomato-Fennel Soup). And fennel seeds have slimming properties, too: In a previous interview, Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, recommended sipping on fennel tea to de-puff your stomach before a big event.


There are lots of reasons to love this brightly colored tropical fruit, which is a rich source of vitamins A, C, E, and folate. Papayas also contain an enzyme called papain, which helps your GI system break down difficult-to-digest foods, in turn preventing inflammation and belly bloat.

In addition to eating papaya whole and fresh, “it’s wonderful in a smoothie, in salads, or thrown on the grill with a drop of olive oil,” says Gans.

Whole grains

Gluten-free diets may be trendy, but carbs aren’t your enemy (unless you've been diagnosed with Celiac disease or a gluten intolerance). In fact, whole grain carbohydrates actually help you stay slim. Whole grains are a great source of filling fiber, which aids digestion and increases satiety. In one recent study, researchers found that women who regularly consumed whole grains had a 49% lower risk of major weight gain over time.

“Whole grains help better regulate blood sugar and insulin levels compared to refined grains,” explains Sass. She recommends starting your day with oatmeal, snacking on plain popcorn (yes, it’s a whole grain!), and choosing quinoa or brown rice over white.

Chili peppers

Spicy foods like chili peppers kick-start your metabolism, and they may also help you stick to your healthy eating goals. According to a 2011 study from Purdue University, capsaicin (the active component that gives chili peppers their heat) may help prevent weight gain. Researchers found that participants who ate capsaicin-rich foods had fewer cravings for fatty, salty, and sweet foods, as well as a lower preoccupation with eating in general.

To reap the fat-burning benefits, “add chili peppers to an omelet, salads, or stir fry, or just bite right in,” says Sass.


You already know that asparagus is full of antioxidants and may even act as an aphrodisiac. But did you also know it can promote a slim stomach? This super-healthy spring veggie is a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which your body digests slowly—keeping you full for longer in between meals. And as a natural diuretic, “asparagus facilitates the removal of water and waste to decrease discomfort and bloat,” explains Middleberg.

She adds that asparagus also contains prebiotics, which “act as fuel for healthy bacteria in your gut.”


Like asparagus, yogurt is great for your gut: It contains beneficial probiotics, which help balance microflora and prevent bloating. Eating yogurt may also increase feelings of fullness, thanks to 17 grams of protein per serving (that’s almost three times as much as is in an egg!).

“Try adding it to your morning smoothie, use it in your favorite dip recipe, or enjoy with berries for an afternoon snack,” says Gans.


If you’ve ever sipped on a glass of ginger ale while sick, you know the drink can do wonders to calm an upset stomach. Turns out the root is also good for keeping your belly slim. Thanks to compounds that help move food through your GI tract, “it has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to treat bloating,” explains Gans. Ginger may also help with weight management: In a 2012 study from Columbia University, researchers found that participants who drank a hot ginger beverage felt fuller after meals.

“An easy way to include it in your diet is to make a ginger tea with ½ teaspoon of ground or freshly grated ginger and one cup of hot water,” she says.

Peppermint and chamomile tea

Feeling stuffed after a big dinner? Help your stomach recover by brewing a hot cup of peppermint or chamomile tea. Both varieties relax your GI muscles, easing digestion and helping your body dissolve gas.

“Peppermint tea can help reduce bloating, which can make your stomach look flatter,” says Sass. “And chamomile may help improve sleep—and too little sleep has been linked to an increase in belly fat.”


Go ahead, put avocado on your toast, pasta, brownies, pudding, or even banana bread—your belly will thank you. The superfruit (yes, it technically is a fruit) contains 2 grams of filling fiber and 4 grams of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, which may help keep the pounds off. In one recent study, researchers found that people who regularly ate avocados had smaller waistlines than those who didn’t.

And in addition to keeping your stomach slim, avocados may benefit the gut, too: “Healthy fats like avocados are vital to gut health, as they coat the stomach and allow for ease of digestion,” says Middleberg. “They also help the body increase its absorption of other nutrients and antioxidants.”

Dark chocolate

If you have a sweet tooth, take heart: Not all chocolate is off limits. “Good quality dark chocolate (anything above 65% cacao) is actually very good for you,” explains Middleberg. Like avocados, dark chocolate contains healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, which may help speed up metabolism. One study from the University of California, San Diego found that adults who ate chocolate more frequently had lower BMIs than those who didn't eat much chocolate. 


For a guilt-free snack, reach for a handful of almonds. As with dark chocolate and avocados, the nut contains monounsaturated fatty acids, which may help your body burn fat and fight hunger. One recent study in the International Journal of Obesity found that when people had a serving of almonds as part of a low-calorie diet, they lost more weight than those who ate a similar diet but had a carb-heavy snack instead of almonds.

Green tea

This ancient beverage is packed with important antioxidants that help combat inflammation, increase energy, and burn fat. And science has repeatedly linked green tea to weight loss: For example, one study found that drinking five cups a day helped people lose twice as much weight, mainly in their midsections. In another, researchers looked at dieters and determined that those who drank green tea lost more weight than those who did not. 

15 Sugary Drinks That are (Almost) as Bad for You as Soda

Stop sipping so much sugar!

We all know water is the number one drink to quench your thirst. But when you're in the mood for a little something more, you might order up a juice, cocoa, margarita, or iced tea. Problem is, those choices can be deceptively high in sugar and calories—and in some cases, you'd be better off drinking a soda. Sugary drinks make up almost half of all added sugar in the average American's diet, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. That's why making smarter choices about these sips can pay off big time for your waistline and your health. Here are 15 places to start. 

Fruit juice

You'd think juice would be healthy—it's made from fruit, after all. Problem is, while fruit is rich in fiber, juice is not. So even if you opt for 100% fruit juice and avoid drinks with added sugar (like cranberry or grape cocktail), they're still high in the sweet stuff. For instance, a cup of grape juice contains 36 grams of sugar and a cup of apple has 31 grams—not far off from what you'll find in a can of lemon-lime soda, which racks up 44 grams.
Make over your drink: "I don't recommend juice ever, even 100% fruit juice," says Ilyse Schapiro, RD, author of Should I Scoop Out My Bagel? ($11; "You'll feel much more full from eating the fruit, which has fiber, versus drinking the juice," she says. 

Hot cocoa

The sip is practically necessary on a chilly winter day (post-snowball fight, natch), but keep in mind that it's more of a dessert than an afternoon snack, says Chicago-based nutritionist Renee Clerkin, RD. A typical 16-ounce mug with whipped cream packs 400 calories and 43 grams of sugar—more than a can of cola.
Make over your drink: When you need a winter warm-up, Clerkin recommends DIYing a mix of non-Dutch processed cocoa and sugar. That way, you control the amount of sweetness. Start with one teaspoon of sugar and gradually increase the amount to taste. (One teaspoon contains 4 grams of sugar.) Adding spices like a dash of cinnamon or cayenne will add even more flavor, allowing you to use less sweet stuff. 

Sweetened iced tea

Tea is no doubt a good choice; it's full of disease-busting antioxidants. But syrupy-sweet iced teas contain a wallop of the white stuff, practically canceling out the health benefits. One popular brand has over 30 grams of added sugar in one bottle. Yep, that's more like dessert.
Make over your drink: Unsweetened iced tea is your best bet, whether you're getting a bottled or at a restaurant, since it contains zero added sugar. If plain is too bitter, Schapiro suggests adding 1 teaspoon (or one packet) yourself—it will still be less than a pre-mixed tea. Squeeze a lemon or orange on top for an additional flavor boost. 

Flavored coconut water

Part of the reason coconut water is so hot right now is because it's packed with electrolytes, like potassium; one 16-ounce container supplies more than 25% of the mineral you need in a day. "Electrolytes are minerals that help keep the body's fluid levels in balance so that the body is hydrated," says Clerkin. "You probably don't need to sip coconut water all day, but it can be helpful if you're sweating a lot during the summer or activity," she says. Read labels carefully, though. Flavored versions, like pineapple or mango, can pack more than 30 grams of sugar per 16-ounce container. Some have less because they use calorie-free sweeteners.
Make over your drink: Stick to plain coconut water, says Clerkin, which doesn't contain added sugar. "Drink it when you need to hydrate, not just casually throughout the day," she says. "Remember it still contains calories." 

Energy drinks

Even though they usually don't contain a ton of calories, an 8-ounce serving can run you more than 25 grams of sugar—and no, they aren't healthy just because they're fortified with B vitamins.
Make over your drink: Skip these entirely—and not just to save on sugar. Drinking just one Rockstar energy drink raised healthy people's blood pressure and norepinephrine (a stress hormone) levels more than a placebo drink, revealed a recent study in the journal JAMA. That may not be good for your heart. If you need a boost of caffeine, opt for a cup of coffee instead. 

Sweetened yogurt drinks

Probiotics is such a hot buzzword right now because, as research shows, the beneficial bacteria help keep your gut healthy. So you may be trying to get more in your diet. Enter probiotic yogurt drinks or kefir. They can be a healthy choice, but flavored versions rely on sugar to decrease yogurt's traditional tang. A small bottle may pack 26 grams of sugar, and contain multiple forms of the sweet stuff, including sugar, fructose, and fruit puree or juice.
Make over your drink: Plain versions are your best bet, since the only sugar they contain is from the milk itself. (A typical 1-cup serving of plain contains around 12 grams.) If that's not happening, consider skipping non-fat varieties and going for low-fat instead. In one popular brand, making that switch could save you nearly two teaspoons of sugar per serving. 

Sweetened non-dairy milks

Non-dairy milks like almond milk, cashew milk, and soymilk say they're better than cow's milk, but choose the wrong one and you'll end up with a sugar bomb for breakfast. "A glass of chocolate plant-based milk can have the same amount of sugar as a handful of cookies or a chocolate bar," says Shapiro.
Make over your drink: Read the ingredients and nutrition panel before you buy. That's because even deceptively innocent "plain" or "original" varieties may contain added sugar, says Schapiro. Look for unsweetened, unsweetened vanilla, or new reduced sugar flavors. And try the different types of plant milks—almond, cashew, rice—until you find one that you like the taste of when unsweetened, she says. 

Tonic water

You're probably sipping this as part of an alcoholic drink, not on its own. But if you're doing it because you think a "gin and tonic" is healthier than a "rum and coke," you're out of luck. Twelve ounces of tonic water adds 124 calories and 32 grams of sugar to your glass (that's 8 teaspoons). Compare that to a cola, which isn't too far off at 182 calories and 44 grams of sugar per 12 ounces. Whoops.
Make over your drink: When you're ordering up a booze beverage, ask for seltzer. Why? It's sugar- and calorie-free. 

Fancy coffee drinks

"Most people are blown away when they look at the calories and sugar in their lattes and Frappuccinos," says Schapiro. Case in point: a grande white chocolate mocha Frappuccino at Starbucks has 67 grams of sugar. Sure, some is from the milk, but most is from sugars that add up to nearly one-third of a cup of the sweet stuff. A vanilla latte is better, but still comes in at 35 grams of sugar for a medium size.
Make over your drink: Stick with coffee with milk, adding a packet of sugar yourself or sweetening it up with a shake or two of cinnamon or nutmeg at the barista bar. Want something fancier? Go for a cafĂ© misto (coffee with steamed milk), recommends Schapiro. 

Sports drinks

Finish a bottle of one typical sports drink, and you'll have downed more than 50 grams of sugar. No surprise, considering sugar is listed as the second ingredient after water on the label. If you're training for a marathon, that makes sense; the sugar supplies carbs that help keep up your energy during the tough workout. Sitting at your desk all day? You don't need the extra sugar and calories.
Make over your drink: "Unless you are seriously training for a marathon or triathlon, you do not need to consume sports drinks," says Schapiro. Even if you regularly exercise three to five days a week, she recommends hydrating with water only.   


Your favorite Cinco de Mayo sip is among the worst cocktail options. "A margarita made with a bottled mix can have more than 500 calories and more than 35 grams of sugar. That's the equivalent to the sugar in two and a half to three pieces of cake," says Clerkin. And you wouldn't wolf down three pieces of cake in one sitting, right?
Make over your drink: Not all cocktails are off limits. Your favorite booze plus soda water and a squeeze of lemon or lime is a great bet because it's almost sugar-free. "Pure alcohol, like vodka or tequila, does not have any carbs, protein, or fat," says Clerkin. A 1-ounce shot of tequila mixed with soda water and a squeeze of lime juice sets you back just 70 calories.  

Flavored "nutritional" waters

It's just like drinking sugar water—even if it does have vitamins added to the mix. Some bottles pack 30 grams of sugar (7 teaspoons) or more. "Even if they don't have added sugar, they have to be flavored somehow," Schapiro says. "This means they may contain artificial sweeteners or Stevia. And just because it uses a more natural calorie-free sweetener doesn't make it healthy." (For example, studies show the sweet taste can spur cravings for more sweet.)
Make over your drink: There's nothing wrong with not loving plain H2O. To spruce it up, add natural, sugar-free flavor by infusing water with lemons or fresh fruit. Do that either using a water pitcher with a built-in infuser (like the Prodyne Fruit Infusion Pitcher, $20; or simply put cut up fruit in a water jug and enjoy. 


You know lemonade is sweet, of course. But it sounds like a better option than soda, right? It's got lemons! It's practically a fruit! Here's the kicker: you're probably drinking mostly sugar water. Consider a powdered lemonade drink mix; the first two ingredients are sugar and fructose (also sugar), plus artificial colors. Another lemonade brand uses high fructose corn syrup. 
Make over your drink: Now's the time to make it at home to cut down on sugar. Try this recipe for rosemary lemonade (which contains just 10 grams of sugar per cup). 


Walk into any high-end gym and you'll see a smoothie bar. Safe to assume they're healthy, right? Not so much. Even though they're packed with fruit, you really can have too much of a good thing. "Fruit is healthy, but too much fruit adds up in calories and sugar, leading to blood sugar spikes and crashes," says Schapiro. One popular green bottled smoothie may advertise "no sugar added" but all of the juice and fruit purees add up to 53 grams of sugar per bottle. And, it's green, so you'd think it'd be a smart option.
Make over your drink: Schapiro prefers that you eat your fruit whole, but a smoothie can pack a lot of nutrition in a handy container you can run out the door with on busy mornings. Rather than buying a bottle at the store or hitting up a smoothie place, make it at home where you can control the ingredients. 


It's all about what—and how much—brewski you're knocking back. Drink a Bud Light Straw-Ber-Rita (beer + margarita) and you'll get 198 calories for a tiny 8 ounces, double the amount in the same amount of soda. Even if you're drinking traditional beers, they tend to contain more calories and carbs compared to wine and spirits, says Clerkin. The higher alcohol content of beer, the more calories, too. With rising alcohol content—especially in some craft brews (double IPAs, we're looking at you)—some contain 300-plus calories in one 12-ounce bottle.
Make over your drink: First order of business—make sure you stick to the recommended one alcoholic drink per day for women, and two for men. Now that that's out of the way, if you like beer, you can opt for light versions to save half the carbs and 50 calories per brew, says Clerkin. Other options: Guinness (126 calories) or Sierra Nevada Nooner Pilsner (161 calories) and Summerfest (158 calories). If you want something fruity, opt for a radler, a mix of beer and fruit soda, which keeps alcohol content low. A Stiegl-Radler Grapefruit is 125 calories per 12-ounce bottle.