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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

st-patricks-day-585St. Patrick’s Day is one of the few holidays that people use as an excuse to party—whether they’re actually Irish or just celebrating their faux-Irish descent. Whether you’re as green as a leprechaun or just a wannabe Irish bloke or lass, celebrate right this St. Patty’s Day, the FBG way!

Green beer
Green food coloring doesn’t add calories to beer, so drink up. Just remember, a 12-ounce glass of a cold light beer has about 110 calories. And while Guinness may seem like it would be a heavier beer, a hunt through the web had conflicting numbers. An article from a head brewmaster, though, put a pint of Guinness at 125 calories.

Potatoes and Cabbage
Skip the French fries and celebrate St. Patty’s Day by eating some mashed potatoes. As fitness guru Denise Austin let us know, potatoes are a powerhouse food. While they may have gotten a bad rap during the Atkins anti-carb phase, the Idaho Potato Commission recently revealed that the potato was the favorite American veggie, chosen by 26 percent of Americans. At approximately 25 cents per potato, each 5.3 oz spud has only 110 calories, contains zero fat and zero cholesterol, provides 45 percent daily value of vitamin C, and also nourishes the body with potassium, fiber and vitamin B6. And if you have any doubt about the importance of the potato, read about the Irish Potato Famine for convincing. Cabbage is also a great choice, with gobs of vitamins K and C, as well as fiber, folate and Omega 3s.

Burn it off
Just five minutes of an Irish step dance will burn off almost 24 calories (based on a 140-pound non-leprechaun), so do a jig on the street or hit a dance floor to make up for the beer. I’m not sure how many calories you can burn by playing darts, which are apparently a big hit in Ireland, but from past experience, I know you can get a sore arm or elbow out of that endeavor.

If you’re going to any type of parade—if you have to fight the crowds and park far away just to get there—even if you walk at a snail’s pace, you will burn 53 calories in 20 minutes. If you walk home, as you should if you’re a bumbling, stumbling fool, you’ll burn 120 calories if it takes you 30 minutes to weave your way home. If you’re actually in the parade walking, give yourself more calorie-burn props for waving enthusiastically.

Whether you choose to get your drink on, walk a parade route or just wear some green, have a safe, festive Irish-inspired day! —Erin (go Bragh!)

Want non-St. Patty’s news? Check out whether to munch after a workout and new fishy findings.

Photos grabbed from SpaceAgeSage, psd and Seamus Murray at Flickr.

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  1. MizFit says:

    man this day brings back memories of college and lots and lots of green beer 🙂

  2. Erica says:

    Cute post- happy st patty’s day!

  3. {cher} says:

    great advice and great post!! Have a good St Patty’s Day!!

  4. Yum Yucky says:

    I want some corned beef, cabbage and potatoes! And I also want to party with an Irish person at least once in my lifetime. It looks like fun.

  5. tfh says:

    Irish step dance…hmmm, haven’t seen a video review for that one?

  6. Easy Diets For Taming Holiday Food Temptations:

    tatistically, Americans gain between 1 and 10 pounds each year during the holiday months starting with Thanksgiving through Valentine’s Day. Temptation is everywhere; it’s at holiday parties, the office, at the homes of friends and even in your own kitchen. So you need to keep a sharper, more vigilant eye on your goal in order to make wise choices – for starters, select smaller portions of those irresistible goodies, avoid the unconscious urge to taste everything that’s set before you and limit your alcohol consumption.
    Holiday festivities traditionally revolve around food and the pressure to overindulge can throw any well-intentioned dieter into a tailspin. So be conscious of what you eat and select smaller portions. Dish out an appetizer-sized serving instead of a towering plate full. Remember to stick to your healthy regimen when you’re not at parties and, by all means, avoid the lunch room at work; it’s a place where baked goods abound during the holidays.
    Be sensible. If you must have a piece of pumpkin pie, a slimmer slice will help promote a trimmer you. If you’re baking for friends, resist the urge to sample your wares and get them packed up and out of your house as quickly as you can. If you’re going to a holiday party, don’t go on empty – have something light to eat first, the less hungry you are to start with, the less inclined you’ll be to overeat.
    Avoid using comfort foods to compensate for a loss. The holidays can be a sad time, especially if you’ve recently lost a loved one. Fill the void with supportive friends and family – not food.
    When the weather turns cold, the temptation is to turn to warm and comforting foods to keep the chill away. Dress right for the cooler weather and stick to your normal eating regimen. Don’t slip into patterns of overeating or start bulking up on carbs as a way to stay warm this winter.
    Most importantly, remember that the holidays are about family and friends – not food. So keep your focus on the real meaning behind the festivities and enjoy the season!


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