A traditional St. Patrick’s Day breakfast of corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and soda bread is a fairly balanced meal, if a little high in carbs and soda bread. It’s also a much healthier choice than a lot of the other St. Patrick’s Day foods and dishes currently on the menu at a number of chain restaurants. These foods may be green, but they are not exactly good for you! So, if you plan to splurge today, go ahead and enjoy the real Irish deal, not these unhealthy options!
Mint Oreo Creme Donut from Dunkin’ Donuts: This dessert disguised as breakfast is sort of like Ben and Jerry’s Mint Cookie Ice Cream, only in donut form. The bakers at this largely Eastern and Central chain start with a yeast donut, cover it with mint frosting and bit of Oreo cookies, and top it off with a heaping helping of frosting in the center. The thing weighs in at 400 calories, 22 grams of fat, and 9 grams of saturated fat–or about 45% of your recommended daily allowance.
You wouldn’t know it by looking at me, but I’m about as Irish as they come. For whatever reason, my sister got the red hair, then I gave up my maiden name, and unless you are my husband, my “Irish temper” stays under wraps the majority of the time. However, whene March 17 rolls around, I take that time to embrace my lineage that makes me who I am. It used to only mean wearing green. Then I became a runner and the day took on a whole new celebration. Now, most of my celebrations include a race and some of the best food the world has to offer!
There are fun runs, shorter races, long miles, and everything in between when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day race options. Some are clever and offer a 17K or Lucky 7K. Many others like The Leprechaun Lope in Salt Lake City, Utah offer some seriously silly awards for best Irish costume or fastest centipede, which is four runners linked together by a common costume. Not to mention the various distances from 2 mile to 10K have hidden leprechauns along the course for you to spot. (more…)
Every holiday comes with its traditional fare. During Lent the fast food chains bombard us with fried fish sandwiches. People lose their minds over Cadbury Easter eggs each spring. Candy corn makes Halloween more enjoyable. And for most of fall we add pumpkin to anything that will sit still. Few restaurants other than your surly neighborhood Irish pub get any attention on St. Patrick’s Day, but during the last ten years, McDonald’s has moved in on that market.
They didn’t do it with corned beef or potatoes or even soda bread, but instead with something not even remotely close to being Irish. They did it with ice cream.
Their Shamrock Shake has almost become the stuff of drive-through legends, falling behind its popular brother the McRib. With much fanfare the restaurant announces “It’s Back!” and fills customers with this cool, creamy mint shake just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Other than the fact that mint is green and St. Patrick’s day is green, we’ve yet to find much connection between the holiday and the herb.
What we have found is that the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, for the small 12 ounces, will fill you up with 530 calories, 15 grams of fat, and 73 grams of sugar. That last one sent even us in to a bit of shock. Seventy three grams of sugar in a 12-ounce cup is, to put it mildly, a lot. (more…)
We commonly think of clover as the lucky little leaf that has ties to St. Patrick’s Day. But what exactly is it?
Technically speaking, the binomial name for clover is Trifolium, which in Latin means ‘three leaves.’ It can be commonly identified by its three heart-shaped leaves, which are often marked with a distinctive white chevron or ‘V’ in the center. Red and white clover have colorful red and white blossoms that can be easily picked and either dried for use as herbal remedies, or eaten fresh like other edible flowers.
The health benefits of clover are vast. Red clover specifically is found to be high in calcium, magnesium, potassium, thiamine and vitamin C. Menopausal women who take red clover might also improve their cardiovascular health and reduce menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, because of its ability to help balance estrogen levels. And while white clover is not usually eaten or used as an herbal resource like its red counterpart, it is known to be relatively high in protein and is also safe to consume. Clover can also be used topically as a salve, cream or oil to help skin conditions such as eczema. (more…)
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St. Patrick’s Day is fast approaching, and the holiday brings to mind all things green. One of the best ways to get into the spirit is with green food and drink. Rather than adding food coloring to your milk – tried and true, been there, done that and need to move to something more fun – why not try some of these great green drink options? Beware that some are better for you than others, but all are green!
Green Tea – Packed full of flavonoids, green tea is known to have fat burning properties and has been enjoyed in China and Japan for years.
McDonald’s Shamrock Shake – This cult favorite has an enormous following, as is evidenced by a website devoted to “Shamrock Shake sightings”. The shake may be tasty, but it is nutritionally a disaster, with 550 calories in one 16 ounce serving. 13 grams of fat and 96 grams of carbs means you’ve blown your diet in just one drink.
Both St. Patrick’s Day and the first day of spring are right around the corner, making this the perfect time to celebrate with a bit of green! Whether you’re Irish or not, March 17th is as good a time as any to honor the Irish heritage and help usher spring in on the 20th. What are you’re favorite ways to celebrate? Shamrocks, leprechauns and rainbows are just the beginning of all the fun things you can bring out for your St. Patrick’s Day party.
Green beer is fun but let’s be honest, it’s incredibly overdone. There’s nothing wrong with including some but to really rev up the fun, expand your St. Patrick’s Day festivities to the food.
St. Patrick’s Day has very little (in fact, nothing) to do with drinking. According to legend, St. Patrick was responsible for ridding Ireland of bothersome snakes. One can’t believe everything one hears, but St. Patrick is in fact the patron saint of Ireland. His feast day, March 17th, has been celebrated by the Irish for centuries but the first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in New York City during the year 1762.
Even though the origins of the holiday have little to do with the U.S., it’s nice to celebrate the rich culture of the Irish and in the process, have a few Irish drinks. Porters and stouts, while they pack a lot of flavor, contain large amounts of calories. The very nature of Irish beer is the exact opposite of light. Irish style drinks are delicious, and certainly essential to your St. Patrick’s Day festivities, but watch out. Alcohol has a way of packing on the pounds so indulge carefully and as always, drink responsibly.