Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Many say that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, and agree or not, it’s a fun day to celebrate with festive outfits to nostalgic meals! You may even have your own themed workout class, like the ones we are hosting today at The Wellness Center. You just may already have your boiled dinner simmering in the crockpot, so we are going to look at some healthy options for how to still eat after a big feast day like today. That’s right, eat! You don’t feast one day and starve the next. These tips aren’t just important for St. Patrick’s Day but anytime you’ve enjoyed lots of great food.
First things first, drink your water! We need water daily, but especially on days where we might have over enjoyed lots of salty foods or alcohol the day before. Think of your first rule today and every day, to get and stay hydrated with lots of water. If you want to add in fruit slices or herbs, go for it, but try to drink plenty of plain old water today until your big meal. If St. Patrick’s Day involves alcohol for you, this is your sign to drink more water now, before you hit the Guinness. Then use tomorrow and the next few days as your rehydration days. Corned beef, Shepard’s pie, bangers and mash, and other Irish foods can carry a lot of sodium. Help your body out by drinking extra water!
Next, enjoy your meal. Yes, humans eat food, so they should enjoy the food they eat. Take some time to look at your meal on your plate, position it just how you like it, enjoy the aromas and savor the taste. Many people only enjoy certain foods on certain days, so enjoy them. If you take a little extra time and put in a little extra effort you can make each meal and snack a more satisfying experience. Notice how each food looks different, tastes different and offers different textures. All these mindful tips will make each bite last a little longer and may keep you from eating more than you’d like. Eat mindfully until you are satisfied and then be done.
Following, plan your next move with leftovers. Do you want to eat any of this again? Some say you shouldn’t waste food, but others say it can go to waste or waist, so don’t feel pressured to eat anything for days on end if you don’t want to. If you aren’t going to eat it, yes you can compost it, or you can ask someone if they want your leftovers. Make a plate and bring to an elderly person or neighbor – they will love you for it. If you know you want to eat it but not soon, you can get it ready to freeze! If you don’t want to eat or freeze it but plan to use the leftovers in new ways, great. Maybe you will make eggs, soup or sandwiches the next day to get creative. Or maybe you are looking forward to having that meal again soon. If you aren’t going to eat it soon, go ahead and plan to share, prepare or transform your Irish goodness.
Next, go green! Yes, before, during and after St. Patrick’s Day, is always a good time to go green, aka eat your veggies. Yes, many people enjoy cabbage, corn, potatoes and carrots for their meal, but let’s add in greens too. Especially after days of eating richer foods, greens seem to help get us feeling back on track and more energetic. Make a fun salad for lunch today or for tomorrow. Throw some spinach in your eggs. Steam a bag of broccoli. Enjoy some veggie soup too. Making sure that you have greens and veggies in all your meals will help you to feel satisfied and balance out some of those less nutrient-filled St. Pat’s foods. No one is asking you to take anything away, but to add in – add in a little green, you’ll be glad you did.
Lastly, get moving. If you enjoyed a large feast today, that means you have so much fuel for your workout tomorrow! Walk around your neighborhood, workplaces, etc. Add in some extra movement where you can. If you don’t “exercise” but are able-bodied enough to walk – walk! Days after holidays/feast days are some of the best days to lift weights and break a sweat. Take advantage of all the fuel and use it as a tool to help you get out of your comfort zone and move today. Movement clears the mind and refreshes the soul, something we can all use more of.
We think if you use these tips, you’ll feel extra lucky today and for many more days to come. So in the theme of the day: May nothing but fun and health come through your gate and may lots of greens land on your plate!
Director of The Wellness Center