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…)