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By Carey Purcell, Special Guest Blogger to The Body Logic

The new mom shows off her post-partum bikini bod, which apparently she attains by "eating nothing." (Photo via Life & Style)

In our culture of instant gratification and crash diets, it’s not surprising that reality TV star Bethany Frankel’s post-baby diet secret is to “Taste everything, eat nothing.”

My response can be summed up quite concisely: Ugh.

First, I’d like to address how ridiculous these “post-baby body” stories are. They’re everywhere, and they’re infuriating. Average women shouldn’t hold themselves to these insane standards. They’re just not realistic. And what’s more, they’re not healthy. These movie stars who drop 30 pounds in three weeks have personal chefs, personal trainers, and hours of free time every day to exercise. Who in real life has that luxury? I am not married, have no children and yet, I struggle work an hour of exercise into my life every day. If you don’t have the same resources as these wealthy celebrities, don’t have the same expectations as them.

Second, is it just me, or does Frankel’s advise sound, um, awful, to anyone else? The idea of eating nothing is not my idea of an enjoyable, healthy life, even if it would mean I’d be photographed in a “teeny turquoise two-piece” bathing suit for a trashy tabloid magazine. Why do celebrities, if you consider Frankel to be one, consider food the enemy? Why is it something that has to be avoided at all costs?

Food is not the enemy. As a former Weight Watcher, I struggled with my relationship with food for years and maybe I would have tried Frankel’s method myself. But now, after achieving a healthy weight and maintaining it for six years, I find Frankel’s mantra to be disturbing and dangerous. Food should not avoided and feared. The sensual and nutritional benefits of food should not be hampered by the PhotoShopped covers of grocery store shopping lane tabloids. (Another reason why I love Trader Joe’s! No magazines there!)

One of the crucial lessons I learned while losing weight was that food should be a pleasurable part of life. Food should be enjoyed. Food should be savored. If you want a treat, you can have a treat. You don’t have to run screaming from a piece of chocolate cake. Just work it into your healthy eating plan for the day or even the week by eating a healthy, vegetable-filled meal or add a bit of extra cardio to your workout the next morning. And if you’re going to have that treat, enjoy every bite of it! Don’t feel guilty. Don’t think, “I shouldn’t be eating this.” Take small bites, chew slowly. Savor it. These are “Naturally Thin” rules to live by. It makes me think … if she really wanted to stay true to her healthy living agenda, Bethenny would have been better off saying, “Don’t eat EVERYTHING; just enjoy everything you eat.”

Carey Purcell is self-confessed health junkie with an intense sweet tooth that she satisfies with small pieces of organic dark chocolate and large amounts of fresh fruit. Her workouts vary between yoga, Cuerpaso and simply commuting from the Upper East Side to Tribeca every day. She is the editor of MindBodySanctuary.com and a frequent contributor to the Health and Wellness section of Alternet.org. You can read her writing or contact her at CareyPurcell.com.

In honor of the impending weekend, let’s talk about: DRINKING!!! Whoo! Quick Disclaimer: If you’re under 21, don’t drink. OK, now that we have that out of the way…

All natural and with only 100 calories per 4 oz. serving, this makes my fiesta!

I don’t watch any of the Real Housewives, because I don’t really care for reality TV dramas involving whiny rich people (with the exception of Tori Spelling, because I’m a 90210 junkie). So I didn’t know who Bethenny Frankel was, until I heard from my sister that it was she who invented Skinnygirl Margarita, a pre-mixed margarita that is all-natural, free of high fructose corn syrup and low-cal…

Let’s backtrack, shall we, for a wee bit of history here: My sister, Emmie, my mom and I ARE OBSESSED WITH Mex/Tex-Mex cuisine and margaritas. We make our own from-scratch salsa and guacamole. My boyfriend, Dan and I love going to a restaurant in Paterson, NJ called La Hacienda with our friends, primarily because they have frozen margaritas that are insanely knock-you-on-your-butt amazing. (The food is killer, too.) If I had to have only one alcoholic beverage for the rest of my life, it would be a margarita. But, sadly, most restaurant margaritas are insanely high in calories and sugar. What’s more, many are made with premixes that are filled with horrendous-for-you chemicals and preservatives, like high fructose corn syrup, sodium benzoate, glycerol abietate (huh?) and FD&C Yellow No. 5. Eww.

Knowing that a homemade margarita (lime juice, triple sec, 100% agave tequila) is healthier, Em and I have done it. But it’s definitely time-consuming. Being that we’re busy gals, pre-bottled Skinnygirl Margarita—made only with quality tequila, a hint of agave nectar, lime juice and triple sec—sounded right up our alley.

We proceeded to hunt down the nearest bottles of the stuff in our respective areas (she’s currently at school in Tallahassee, I’m in Northern Jersey). When her boyfriend managed to find it first, she texted me…

Em: Matt got me skinnygirl magarita!!

Me: Did you try it!?!

Emmie: Yah! Its good. Not sweet enough though but thats cause its low cal

Me: Aw – I wanna try.

About a week later, I found it at our ShopRite Liquor store—$15 for a 750 ml bottle. A little steep, but when it comes to quality—and hey, even “better-for-you”—liquor, you can’t be cheap, right?

I text Emmie: I found skinnygirl!! Gonna try!

Emmie: Good!!

Me: Was it worth it?

Em: I like it. Refreshing and no fuss – and not too sugary, ya know. dont have to worry about disgusting synthetic stuff

(An hour goes by. I’ve bought it, and I’m now at home.)

Me: Mmmm!! I love it!

Em: You got it?

Me: Yes and just had a sip haha (Straight from the bottle, FYI.)

Em: Yum!

And yes, it is yum! I do love it! To me, it tastes just like a real, on-the-rocks margarita you’d get a restaurant. But I love knowing that there’s nothing creepy in it, and I appreciate knowing that it’s relatively low in calories and sugar. So, thank you, Bethenny Frankel – you get four thumbs up from the Brown sistahs!

Pretty much the best white wine I've ever had.

However, if your summer beverage of choice errs more toward a lovely chilled white wine (which clocks in at about 110 calories per standard 5 oz. serving) and/or sangria (which may be more like 200 calories), I highly recommend Conundrum. Whole Foods was heavily promoting this California white wine when it caught my eye. The wine guy at my local WF assured me that it was worth every penny of the $18 price tag, and then after I brought it to a BYOB sushi restaurant on a group date, my friends strongly agreed. A proprietary mix of Sauvignon Blanc grapes, Muscat Canelli, Chardonnay and Viognier, initially, it’s almost too sweet, but then you find that it is actually really balanced. Friends and I agreed that it would be delicious in white sangria. I am gonna have to try that at some point soon!

And last, but not least, when it comes to light beer…

My girls and I are on board with this Bud. (Photo via Anheuser Busch)

Oh so serious beer drinkers will poo-poo most light beers as “watered down” or even “undrinkable,” but when you’re concerned about calories, light beer is often a reasonable option. But I tend to agree that regular Bud Light tastes like drinking beer-flavored water. Bud Light Golden Wheat, on the other hand, tastes like the light version of my favorite regular beer, Blue Moon. I actually don’t know why they haven’t made a Blue Moon Light, because that would be even better. But at least now, we’ve got BLGW – which is citrusy, slightly sweet and awesome. Bud Light Lime is also refreshing and has that margarita-ish kick to it that I love. Also, believe it or not, I tried MGD 64 recently…not bad! For a one-point beer, I’d definitely buy it again.

But no matter which spirit you select, remember kiddies: drink responsibly! 🙂 And FYI: some health benefits of drinking (in moderation).

What’s your drink of choice this summer?[tweetmeme source=”MaressaSylvie” only_single=false http://www.URL.com%5D
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