Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Searching for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, finding the elusive leprechaun, and adorning ourselves in all different shades of green, Saint Patrick’s Day marks a day of celebration for the 36.9 million Americans who claim Irish decent.1 Whether you’re Irish or not, it is a day to celebrate family, friends, and Irish blessings with good food, laughter, music, and fun. What better way to commemorate this special holiday but to try to collect all of your “lucky charms:”

Hearts: Go green! Try adding some fresh veggies to your meals today like broccoli or spinach. Be adventurous and experiment with some kale chips. Dark green leafy vegetables are abundant in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and calcium. They also are rich in fiber which can help lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Clovers: add some spice to your corned beef and cabbage recipe. Cloves contain eugenol, a principle component of its essential oil that can act as an anti-inflammatory.

Horseshoes: Get up and get active. Engage in St. Patrick’s Day festivities by going to a parade or running in a local 5K. The Shamrock N’ Run takes place on March 16 in Rutherford, NJ, and proceeds help the National Brain Tumor Society.

Stars: Stay motivated. Holidays can prove to be difficult for those trying to lose weight or staying on track towards achieving your health and fitness goals. Be mindful of how much you are eating and try your best to make nutritious choices throughout the day.

Blue Moons: One of the many traditions on St. Paddy’s Day is to enjoy a pint of beer. In fact, “on any given day 5.5 million pints of Guinness, the famous Irish stout brand, are consumed around the world. But on St. Patrick's Day, that number more than doubles to 13 million pints.”2 A 12-ounce light beer has 100 calories while a dark beer contains approximately 160 calories. The calories can add up quickly so remember to always drink responsibly.
“May your troubles be less, your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.” Wishing you all a happy and healthy St. Patrick’s Day. Sláinte!

Heather Shasa MS, RD

References:
1Roach, John. St. Patrick's Day 2012: Facts, Myths, and Traditions. National Geographic News. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/03/120316-saint-patricks-day-2012-march-17-facts-ireland-irish-nation/

2United States Census Bureau. Irish-American Heritage Month (March)
and St. Patrick's Day (March 17): 2011 https://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_spe...