Wellness Wednesday – St. Patrick’s Day Edition 3/17/21
We’ve come a long way since the first St. Patrick’s Day, which “started as a Christian feast day celebrating the life of St. Patrick and the spreading of Christianity to Ireland.” In American fashion, St. Patrick’s Day has evolved into both a reason to gather together and eat “Irish” cuisine and, more importantly, an excuse to enjoy an extra glass of Guinness. The great thing about St. Patrick’s Day is that you don’t need to be Irish to enjoy a good time and some beer on tap. To keep your mind off cancelled parades and continued restaurant restrictions, we’re letting our Irish flag fly this week. From potatoes to green smoothies to healthy, cultural meal ideas, get ready to get your Irish on (in typical Boston fashion.)
Potatoes are a staple within the Irish diet and a key ingredient of some of the country’s most popular dishes. I know what you’re thinking: but what about the carbs? I hear you, but even carbs are literally the body’s main source of energy, and are vital to life in moderation, but that’s an article for another day. Potatoes are a good source of both antioxidants and fiber, which lowers cholesterol and maintains blood sugar levels. Moreover, according to this article by Sushmita Sengupta, potatoes may also be linked to reducing inflammation, regulating blood pressure, improving brain health, promoting sleep and more. The article also says that you don’t need to consume the potato to enjoy the benefits; the skin of the potato can be used to create face masks that help treat acne and dry skin and reduced the appearance of wrinkles and eye puffiness.
You may be thinking, it’s time to make some baked potatoes. Consider shaking things up with something completely out of the ordinary: potato juice. According to organicfacts.com, potato juice is high in vitamin c, potassium, various vitamin B vitamins, calcium, iron and more. It also boosts energy levels, immunity and digestion. Scroll down to the bottom of the article for a detoxifying potato juice recipe!
It’s important to note that while potatoes possess these benefits, deep frying them or dressing them heavily with bacon and sour cream are not the healthiest choices. Instead of reaching for the nearest bag of Lays, try making one of these healthy potato recipes instead. But don’t be afraid to indulge in creamy mashed potatoes once in a while. Everything in moderation.
Go Green, On the Inside
St. Patrick’s Day is all about getting your green on. While you pick out your favorite green shirt and scally cap (as my dad will) make some time to put green inside your body as well. Eating leafy green vegetabes is one of the best things you can do for your body, as they are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants while being extremely low in calories. Check out Healthline’s list of the 13 healthiest leafy green vegetables for information on what each veggie has to offer.
Eating more vegetables doesn’t need to be a chore either. If you’re sick of looking up salad recipes, try a green smoothie instead. Green smoothies are a great way to start your morning or give you that midday boost while increasing your fruit and vegetable intake. I relied on green smoothies after having my wisdom teeth removed and my stepdad drinks them religiously. This article provides five tips to get you started, plus offers a recipe, timely titled “Beginner’s Luck.”
Pro-tip: if you already have a preference for berry smoothies, consider adding spinach or kale to them. They may change the color slightly, but I can affirm that they don’t change the flavor and are a great way to add vitamins to your smoothie. I add spinach to my favorite mixed berry smoothie every single time and the taste never disappoints.
Healthy St. Patrick’s Day Dinners
Just like every other year, my Irish father will be celebrating by enjoying homemade corned-beef and cabbage for dinner. For those looking to celebrate without the guilt of enjoying a little extra alcohol, first check out these ways to eat right this St. Patrick’s Day, try one of these festive recipes:
Eat Right: recipes included are leprechaun dip, shamrocks, corned beef and cabbage, and Celtic pasta with peas.
My Recipe: this is a great recipe for corned beef and cabbage that’s only 321 calories per serving!
GOOD READS & WATCHES
In Irish Eyes. In 2017, Irish author Áine Greaney wrote about her first time experiencing an “American St. Patrick’s Day” celebration. Check out her reflection here.
Rainbow Connection. This article discusses the “secrets of the best rainbows on earth” and the Hawaiian cultural significance (pot o’ gold not included, sorry.)
As a film enthusiast, I simply have to provide my St. Patrick’s Day movie recommendations that are perfect if you’re spending the night safely indoors.
Brooklyn (2015): In one of my all-timers, Academy Award nominee Saorise Ronan plays an Irish immigrant who moves to Brooklyn in the 1950s. While navigating a new country, she falls in love with a young Italian man played by Emory Cohen, and what follows is a beautiful story of romance, family and following your heart.
Leap Year (2010): Amy Adams stars alongside Matthew Goode in this heartwarming, hilarious rom-com about a woman who travels to Ireland to propose to her boyfriend while he is on a business trip. With entertaining twists, earnest performances and stunning shots of Ireland’s beautiful landscape, this is the perfect choice for date night.
Far and Away (1992): Tom Cruise with an Irish accent. Need I say more? In this classic romance, the “Mission Impossible” star plays Joseph, who travels from Ireland to Boston with his landlord’s daughter, played by Nicole Kidman. While I do believe that this is a cheesy, borderline laughable film, it’s also endearing and a heartwarming story that takes place close to home. Definitely worth the watch.