Healthy Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

In the last century, the feast day honoring St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, has become synonymous with good beer, face paint, loud music and greasy food. But you shouldn’t feel pressured to act like a college student just to have a good time on this holiday.

There are healthier ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, while still having a boatload of fun!

Try these memorable, safe, and healthy ways to enjoy the festivities:

1. Make it yourself. It is possible to have beer and good food without breaking the caloric bank. Rather than heading to a bar, host a small get-together in your very own backyard or living room. Prepare variations of traditional Irish menus and substitute for healthier ingredients.

• You can make a traditional Irish dinner of corned beef and cabbage by simply placing the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning and serving in the evening. Or create Kebabs using your favorite vegetables and marinated chicken on the grill.

• St. Patrick’s Day wouldn’t be the same without a cold beer. This tip is very simple; just choose the beer of your choice in a low calorie version. By doing so, you may be able to drink two low calorie beers for the same amount of calories as a regular brew.

• If you’d like to have St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes, use angel food mix as your base. And add a simple glaze to pour over top. It’s a simple desert, but the taste of a traditional cupcake is still present without ingesting 200 calories for just one cupcake.

2. Run a race. Many cities are now having a “5K on St. Patrick’s Day” event. Join the race and burn off the calories that you’ll eat later on in the evening for your St. Patrick’s Day feast.

• You’ll feel rejuvenated and can rejoice in the fact that you’re balancing both fun and health on one of the most common food and booze holidays.

• Running a 5K is not only a fun way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s also an effective way to welcome fitness into your spring routine. Many avid runners rightfully put a stop to their daily running efforts due to the weather. What better way to welcome the warmer weather than to train for a 5k St. Patrick’s Day race?

3. Family Night at the park. If you have many family members in the neighborhood, invite everyone to the park for a night of grilling and variations on traditional Irish recipes, fun games for the kids, and a night of socializing for the adults.

• Corned beef and cabbage isn’t the only traditional Irish recipe you can make on St. Patrick’s Day. Put a spin on traditional corned beef by grilling the meat and serving in a sandwich. Potatoes and soda bread are other common ingredients in most dishes.

• Planning a night of games, such as 3-legged races, sack races, egg balancing games, and Frisbee tossing are all sure to make the night a hit for people of all ages.

Yes, St. Patrick’s Day is often celebrated with excess, but keep in mind that you can have a fun day without the burden of gaining weight, getting a hangover the next morning, or partying until the sun rises.

As with any holiday, St. Patrick’s Day festivities should be centered on activities that are tailored to your specific lifestyle. If that means eating gluten free cupcakes alongside corned beef sandwiches while balancing an egg on a spoon, so be it! As long as you can enjoy your day, you’ve succeeded in planning a great holiday.