In case you need an excuse to drink... Drinks w/ Benefits

First, you’ve got to be of legal drinking age to drink.
Second, I’m certainly not saying that these are healthy. I’m just saying that if you are planning on drinking anyway, here are some drink options that you can feel better about…

I am Queen Bee when it comes to rationalizing anything ok… which isn’t necessarily a good thing. In fact, it can often be downright damaging, especially when it comes to my diet (like when I eat 2 bags of M&Ms and somehow convince myself that it’s ok… until the next am when I am horrified by my rationalizing ways). BUT, if I am going to have a drink or a couple, I do like to make it a Drink w/Benefits. Yes, it’s true, I pretty much am always living and thinking Fit. It helps dictate most of my decisions… which is why I am able to stay fit. Does this mean that I don’t enjoy a slice of full-fat chocolate cake and a couple of full-bodied microbrews? Ohhh, I enjoy them… on occasion (and thankfully- here comes the rationalizing part of me:aside from the fat, both have benefits ;) .

Drink to your health?

Alcohol is, in many ways, bad for you. BUT, the intoxicating libation, when consumed in limited amounts, can help your kidneys. Several studies have shown that drinking a glass of alcohol a day can ward off kidney failure and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Researchers believe that the reason for the effect is likely due to alcohol’s ability to increase “good” HDL cholesterol, which protects the kidney. One glass, by the way, is not a vague measure qualified by the size of your cup. A “standard” drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof hard alcohol.

Now I’m not going to tell you to go get sloshed (though I must admit that, in celebration and support of the study’s findings, I did indulge in an evening of excessive consumption- hey it was Krug Rose!), but at least the next time you are out at a bar you have a new fun fact to flaunt.


Rye Beer. Rye is a natural detoxifier, helping up liver function (which might help counteract alcohol’s liver stressing), is rich in Vitamin B which helps boost the immune system and fight off illness and infections, is souped up with iron with helps deliver oxygen to the cells and increase energy, plus it helps regulate blood fat levels thanks to the potassium.

Barley Beer. Similar to red wine, barley contains the same heart-protecting antioxidants, plus its high levels of vitamin B6 keeps our bodies from building up homocysteine, a chemical linked to increased coronary risk. It also has silica, a compound that helps strengthen bones- particularly those made with ample pale malt and hops (i.e., pale ales)

A few Beer faves:
Red’s Rye – Founders Brewing – Michigan
SurlyFest – Surly Brewing – Minnesota
Mild Winter Rye Ale – Goose Island – Illinois
Full Moon Pale Rye Ale – Real Ale Brewing – Texas
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada Brewing – California
Stone Pale Ale, Stone Brewing Co – California

Red wine has been touted for its health benefits for years. But how exactly are they beneficial? Well… It fights heart disease by reducing the production of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and boosting high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Helps minimize blood clots, prevents atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) by promoting the formation of the relaxing nitric oxide, can lower blood pressure when consuming 1-2 glasses with a meal, and reduces the risk of kidney stone formation.

It’s the grapefruit that makes this martini a dieter’s dream. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what works and what doesn’t, but studies do show that people who consumed either half a grapefruit three times a day, before every meal lost an average of 3.6 pounds after 3 months. Another study showed that upping your Vit C (like in grapefruit) can help you burn 30% more fat while working out. AND citrus is a known fat-fighter, minimizing fats’ effectiveness and actually liquefying the sticky stuff, making it less likely to latch on and bulk you up.

Skinny Mojito
Ask the bartender to supplement Truvia or Splenda for the sugar to dramatically cut calories, and enjoy the breath-freshening, digestive-aiding, gas-minimizing Mint AND fat-burning, immune-boosting, allergy-fighting limes. Oh and it’s only about 140 calories.

Beyond the mojito, it’s the Jalapeno that ups the anty on this fab cocktail. How? Hot peppers are natural fat-burners. Fat-burning foods tend to literally be “burning”- mouth burning that is. They also naturally heat up the body while helping to increase digestion, circulation, and the metabolism. If you can find a hot-spiced cocktail at your fave local bar- great! It’s a new trend that is starting to emerge- everything from jalapenos to basil to even ghost pepper!
How to Make Your Own
1½ oz. Rum
12 leaves fresh mint
1 dash simple sweetener syrup (water and sugar mixture)
½ Lime (juice and innards)
Splash of soda
2 slivers Jalapeno
Muddle mint, lime, jalapeno and simple syrup. Add Rum.
Then shake with ice and add soda. Strain into ice cold martini glass and garnish with mint leaf and a wedge of lime.

Bottoms up baby!


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