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Bottoms Up to Great Health!

By Michelle LaBrosse with Erica Edmond

In our quest to teach all things Project Management, we’ve begun to teach PM philosophies to every day situations and the greener, the better. As we began to dream up recipes and process to make a healthy meal, we found ourselves inadvertently inventing healthy cocktails to help us along our to-do list. The result was a comprehensive list of healthy cocktails one can enjoy anywhere from a dinner party to a Sunday brunch and everything in between.

Project Initiation: We wanted to dig deep into the health benefits of specific fruits and herbs. The first step in our project was to identify some of the tastiest, greenest ingredients and then find harmonious recipes to give one the greatest benefits per sip. It was decided that we’d debut these healthy cocktails at a social gathering for our colleagues and co-workers.

Here is what we deem kitchen must-haves:

  • Agave Nectar: This natural sweetener, is low on the glycemic index and will not cause sharp rises or falls in blood sugar. Agave nectar has anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties and has been found to protect against harmful intestinal bacteria. It is also thinner than honey, pours and dissolves well in both hot and cold liquids. You can find it in the cooking section or near the honey in most grocery stores.

  • Blueberry Juice: Blueberries have the highest levels of antioxidants of all fruits and vegetables so drink it down!  Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals that our bodies produce as part of our aging process. Blueberry juice can curb age-related problems including short term memory loss and coordination. It will also reduce bad cholesterol in the blood which contributes to heart disease and strokes, decrease urinary tract infections, act as an anti-inflammatory, stimulate the immune system.

  • Cranberries: Best known for its ability to prevent but not cure urinary tract infections, there are several other medical uses including preventing ulcers, gum disease and plaque build up.

  • Ginger Root: Ginger has been used by people worldwide to remedy various ailments including stomach upset and nausea. Ginger has also been used for treating arthritis, colic, heart conditions, colds, flu symptoms, menstrual cramps, and headaches. Present day medical professionals often recommend the consumption of it to prevent or treat nausea or vomiting that occurs as a result of motion sickness, pregnancy, and cancer chemotherapy, digestion problems, common colds and flu-like symptoms, and inflammation.

  • Grapefruit Juice: Grapefruits contain a carotenoid phytonutrient called lyopene, which has anti-tumor properties. It can also lower cholesterol, prevent kidney stones, protect against colon cancer, and can help the the productivity of liver detoxification.

  • Green Tea: Green tea has been kicking butt for at least 500,000 years. Recent studies on green tea have concluded that drinking it can reduce the risk several cancers include bladder, esophageal, breast, ovarian, lung and skin. Consumption of green tea has also been found to control the body’s blood sugar levels, prevent liver disease, prevent tooth decay, and boost the body’s metabolism. Green tea also reduces total cholesterol and improves the ratio of good to bad cholesterol found in our bodies.

  • Pomegranate Juice: Full of antioxidants, pomegranate juice aids in destroying breast cancer cells, preventing lung cancer, preventing osteoarthritis, protects arteries, lowers bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol, prevents dental plaque, and protects the arteries from plaque buildup. One study even found that drinking 1.7 ounces of pomegranate juice a day can lower systolic blood pressure by 5%.

  • Orange Juice: It is true–one orange provides you with over 100% of your daily vitamin C need. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and can protect the body against free radicals that cause cellular damage like cancer. It can also aid against cardiovascular disease, lower cholesterol, supply a great source of fiber, prevent kidney stones, ulcers and protect respiratory health.

Project Plan

  • Get ingredients

Seltzer water - 2 half gallons or 4 quarts

Blueberry Juice - 1 quart - no sugar added (or artificial sweetners).

Grapefruit Juice - 1/2 gallon - no sugar added

Cranberry Juice - 1/2 gallon - no sugar added

Pomegranate Juice - 1 pint - no sugar added

Ginger Root - 1 large root

Tazo Zen Green Tea Bags

5 oranges

2 Limes

Organic Cinnamon

Agave Nectar

Ice cubes - 1/2 bag or 4 cups

  • Break out the equipment: 16 oz drink glasses

Project Execution: Just like any good Project Management recipe, you must follow the directions in the order they are listed to reach a successful outcome.

  • Blueberry Pie Drink

Fill the glass with ice

Sprinkle cinnamon on ice

Shake to coat ice with cinnamon

Fill the glass 7/8th full with seltzer water

Fill remaining glass with blueberry juice

Enjoy

  • Pink Flamingo Drink

Fill the glass with ice

Squeeze a wedge of lime on the ice and shake to coat

Fill with 3/4 seltzer water

Put in 1/8th cranberry juice

Put in 1/8th grapefruit juice

Top with twist of lime

Enjoy

  • Napili Iced Tea

Slice up about 1/2 cup ginger root

Boil in 4 quarts water and let steep for at least 1/2 hour

Add in about 10 Tazo Zen Green Tea bags.

Let steep another ten minutes.

Mix in 1/2 cup agave nectar

Fill 16 oz glass with ice

Fill cup about 2/3 full with ginger root green tea.

Squeeze juice from one orange - mix in with green tea

Stir and enjoy

  • Pom Power

Fill a 16 oz glass with ice cubes

Fill 7/8th full with seltzer water

Fill remaining with Pomegranite juice

Top with a twist of lime

Project Control: If you are going to make these drinks for a large group of people, make sure to have your supplies organized and close. Putting them in order is in order. Since many of the drinks begin with ice, keep the ice bucket first on the left. Garnishes like a twist of lime can be at the far right side. Have everything cut up and ready to go with back up close by and also prepared for use.

If you are going to make these drinks for you and your family, take note of which drinks everyone likes the best and which ingredients go the fastest. Keep a running grocery list so you can easily make a note what to stock up on.

Project Closeout: What I have found in my three years of having to live life as the Chief Party Officer without drinking alcohol, people will still have a great time at a party without alcohol as social lubrication - especially if you can maintain the festive attitude that comes from mixing drinks.

Read other articles and learn more about Michelle LaBrosse.

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