St Patrick’s Day is a day where irish I was Irish. Amber ale turns clover, sausengers, praties and neeps abound and there’s a bit of extra luck in the air. It’s also a day where you can easily be dublin your calorie intake. Here is my nutrition advice for St Paddy’s Day so you can be a wee bit healthier.
Green is everywhere on the 17th March so why not focus on eating your greens too. Leafy greens are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre and extremely low in fat and sugar. They’ve been shown to reduce the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. To be sure you’re getting a wide variety of nutrients eat a diverse selection. The healthiest greens on the planet are spinach, kale, broccoli and chard.
Choose a healthy, green salad if you’re out and about or a green smoothie or smoothie bowl. If you’re cooking at home, then add some extra greens to an Irish stew or enjoy a green veggie soup. Vegetarian pastas with greens are delicious or make a green cucumber dip using lots of herbs. Make yourself some matcha pancakes for dessert or grab a green sorbet or Irish coffee – minus the cream.
Choose healthier options if you’re out eating traditional Irish fare. Savoury soda bread is a healthier choice than sweet varieties full of sugar. Cabbage based dishes tend to be healthier but watch corned beef as it’s laden with salt. Potatoes are an Irish staple that are full of vitamins, minerals and fibre so don’t be afraid to scoop these up.
A home party can be a fun and healthier way to celebrate. Start with an avocado dip with celery sticks and some corned beef and cabbage sliders. Serve up some beef and Guinness pies along with colcannon – potatoes with bacon and cabbage – green beans, peas or a spinach salad. Have a craic at a healthier dessert like rainbow popcorn, matcha brownies or green fruits such as grapes, pears, apples, kiwi fruit and rockmelon.
It’s hard not to gargle a few pints of Guinness on St Paddy’s Day. I’m all for a few gats and they do contain less calories and have a lower alcohol content than your average beer. Magners cider has a similar nutritional profile. Pace yourself with water or a green tea. If you celebrate all day you may find yourself suffering from the beer blues in the back of a paddy wagon.
St Patrick’s Day is known as the Feast of St Patrick so make sure you celebrate Irish culture with your mates and don’t restrict yourself too much. If it means a green beer and leprechaun cupcakes to you then I say shamrock and roll. I hope you have O’Reilly great day.