Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is a great way to show your Irish pride. Whether you’re visiting your local Irish pub for green beer and some traditional food, or you’re heading to a parade, this day provides endless amounts of fun for all Americans.
If you’re trying to stay healthy or at least make it through the day with as little digestive discomfort as possible, then you’ll need to take some extra precautions to avoid binge eating and drinking.
Follow these tips for staying healthy on St. Patrick’s Day so you can get the most out of your shamrock celebration!
Some Americans go all out on St. Patrick’s Day. If you plan on starting your celebration early, then be sure you’re well hydrated before leaving the house.
Drink water early and often, especially before having that first green beer at breakfast.
It’s also advisable to bring water with you throughout the day to make sure you stay hydrated between meals and bar hops.
Here are some other tips to help you stay hydrated:
Ask For Drinks “On The Rocks”
You can sneak more water into your diet by asking for your drink “on the rocks.” In other words, add ice to your drink. Sip it slowly so the ice melts and you stay hydrated.
Avoid Carbonated Mixers
Carbonated mixers increase the rate of alcohol absorption, according to researchers at the University of Manchester. Instead, mix your alcohol with fruit juice or water.
Fool Your Guests
Order a drink that looks like alcohol but isn’t, such as Coke and ginger ale. Your friends will think you’re drinking rum and coke and won’t give you a hard time for not drinking alcohol!
If you choose to drink alcohol, sip it slowly while chatting with friends. This will help naturally decrease the amount you drink.
Make Healthy St. Patrick’s Day Food Swaps
Traditional St. Patrick’s Day foods include Irish soda bread, fried eggs, fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage, and Shepard’s pie.
These foods tend to be inflammatory, fatty, and starchy. They sit heavy in the stomach and can lead to unwanted side effects, such as heartburn, bloating, and lethargy.
You can reduce many of these digestive complications by giving some of your favorite traditional St. Patrick’s Day foods a healthy makeover.
- Make oven roasted fish and chips using almond flour as breading and whole potatoes instead of French fries and other fried foods
- Use a gluten-free dough and non-starchy vegetables for Shepard’s pie (or eat the insides only and leave the pie crust)
- Serve sauteed vegetables with fried eggs instead of potato fritters, pancakes, or other starchy carbs
- Load up on cabbage and have a smaller portion of corned beef
- Use healthy oils to cook with, such as olive oil, in place of canola oil
- Enjoy a green salad first before other heavy meals to help fill you up and improve digestion
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of St. Patrick’s day, especially if you are celebrating with friends.
Remember to pace yourself if you plan on bar hopping, participating in a parade, or drinking all day long.
Set a timer on your phone to schedule breaks for water, resting, or using the bathroom. You may even want to get some sleep if you have time for a nap!
Practice Portion Control
It’s OK to enjoy small amounts of foods and beverage that you normally wouldn’t. Just remember to keep your portion sizes down. This will also help manage any unwanted symptoms that stem from overeating and binge drinking.
A good way to cut down on calories is to share a dish with a friend. This allows you to enjoy smaller amounts of your favorite foods without overloading your digestive tract.
Focus on Other St. Patrick’s Day Traditions
Green food and beer is a big part of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s not the only way to have a good time.
If you have food sensitives or you are trying to avoid alcohol, then there are plenty of other ways to celebrate, such as:
- Dress up as a leprechaun (or dress your dog up)
- Throw a party for your kids
- Wear all green to avoid getting pinched
- Participate in a St. Patrick’s Day run or walk event
- Volunteer at festivities (pass out water at run or walk events, be a parade volunteer, or help clean up after an event)
Become the Designated Driver
If you’re feeling pressured to eat or drink when you don’t want to, offer to be the designated driver for your friends to ensure that everyone stays safe without looking like a downer.
Serve Healthy St. Patrick’s Day Foods
None of your guests will complain about the food you serve at your St. Patrick’s Day party as long as it’s green. Luckily, many fruits and vegetables naturally fit this description.
Here are some healthy green foods to serve this St. Patrick’s day:
- Slices of avocado served with prosciutto
- Bacon-wrapped asparagus
- Green salad made with spinach, kale, and arugula and a lemon and olive oil dressing
- Green melon chunks
- Kiwi slices
- Cucumber sandwiches made with deli ham and cheese
- Cheese board served with green olives, green grapes, and pickles
- Garlic roasted green beans served with corn beef
- Broccoli and green pesto dip
St. Patrick’s Day TCM Remedies
If you follow these tips and still find yourself dealing with stomach or fatigue issues due to overeating and drinking, then there are several things you can do for relief.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), overeating is linked to impaired spleen function. The spleen organ system transforms nutrition from foods and liquids that we consume into qi (vital life energy), blood, and body fluids. When we overeat, we overburden the system.
With excessive fluids, our body can develop excessive dampness which turns into phlegm, resulting in symptoms of phlegm-dampness. Digestive symptoms include feeling like your bowels can’t completely empty, feeling bloated, excess sweat and mucus, snoring, and strong body odor.
Many TCM remedies are available to help reduce symptoms of heartburn, low energy, gas and bloating, and upset stomach.
- Ginseng tea: Sipping on ginseng tea after a large meal can help settle your stomach and reduce indigestion. It can also replenish lost body fluids to help you stay hydrated and promote energy and vitality due to low energy from overeating.
- An Ji Le: An Ji Le is a form of TCM that helps alleviate headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, and indigestion. You can take it in capsule form to help you get through the day.
- Digestive enzymes: Consider taking an enzyme supplement to help break down food after a big meal. This can help reduce symptoms that make you feel weighed down and tired, such as bloating, fatigue, gas and stomach pain.
The Day After St. Patrick’s Day
Try an herbal soup and some ginseng tea the day after St. Patrick’s Day to help replenish lost fluids and settle nausea, ingestion and stomach discomfort, which often gets worse the day after binge drinking or eating.
Research shows that red ginseng can help reduce the severity of a hangover. Meanwhile, herbal soup is an ideal meal when you’ve indulged in the wrong foods the prior day and don’t have much of an appetite.
You can also try taking pure chicken essence to restore strength and immunity the day after wrecking havoc on your body. It also helps eliminate fatigue, enhance concentration, and restore health.
Remember to focus on rest and recovery if you overdid it during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday and go easy on yourself next year!
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