By Brittany Anas
Have your past St. Patrick’s Day celebrations been diet busters starting with Lucky Charms for breakfast and ending with the justification that beer counts as a vegetable serving because you food colored it green?
Fear not, you can celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day with quintessential holiday staples like beer and soda bread while still staying on track with a healthy lifestyle.
Here are five tips for a healthier St. Patrick’s Day.
1. Black and tan with a low-cal beer: We won’t suggest that you drink Coors Light for St. Patrick’s Day because that would be so un-Irish. Stick with an Irish stout like Guinness, but consider drinking it as a “black and tan.” The layered beer drink — when poured correctly — layers the darker, heavier stout with a lighter and lower-calorie pale ale. Like always, moderation is important.
By the way, beer isn’t all bad. In fact, a 2007 on the bioactivity of beer from Jerusalem’s Hebrew University found that a can of beer a day could help increase albumin, a globular protein that boosts metabolism.
(Like beer? Check out coupons and cash-back offers at Craft Beer Club)
2. Get jiggy with it: The lively Irish jig is a folk dance that actually originated in England in the 1500′s. The Irish adopted the dance in the 1600′s and it is now most commonly associated with Ireland. Consider taking an Irish jig dance class at your local recreation center or check out Jean Butler’s Irish Dance master class instructional DVD from Wal-Mart. One hour of high intensity jig dancing can burn in the neighborhood of 400 calories.
3. Healthy snacks: Don’t fall in the trap of green frosted cupcakes or high-calorie, gimmicky pastries. Instead, be creative if you’re hosting a party or want to make a special holiday treat for your kids. How about rainbow kabobs with fruits? The ROYGBIV color code can be represented by raspberries, tangerine slices, pineapple chunks, kiwi pieces, blueberries and red grapes. You can also get creative when chopping up veggies, cutting a green pepper to resemble a shamrock.
4. Brown soda bread: The use of whole-wheat flour and Irish oats in this recipe is a healthy interpretation of traditional Irish bread. One slice is just 160 calories and contains less than 2 grams of fat.
5. Check out a parade: Lots of cities will be hosting St. Patrick’s Day parades in the coming weeks, complete with bagpipes, Irish dancing and cartoon-like leprechauns. Join in and walk along the parade route to get in an entertaining work-out.
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