Happy St. Patrick's Day! According to my extremely reliable source (sarcasm) Wikipedia, St. Patrick's Day began as a Catholic holiday and later turned into an official "feast day." When St. Patrick was 16, he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland and held captive but later escaped and returned to England. When he returned to England, he became a priest, went back to Ireland as a missionary converting a variety of influential people. The holiday was established to celebrate his Christian impact on Ireland! Wikipedia also reports that St. Patrick's color was actually blue, however, he used the shamrock to explain the trinity during his mission work and over time, he became associated with the shamrock and green. Again, not the most reliable source, but interesting none the less :). Somehow it has morphed into wear green and drink beer holiday.
Guinness has been an exceptionally successful beer developed in the 18th century. It is the best selling alcoholic drink in Ireland of all time. Profits exceed 2 Billion Pounds (around 3.06 billion US dollars) a year. An interesting nutrition fact about Guinness is that in the 1920s, it adopted the slogan "It Is Good For You" because people said it made them feel good when they drank it. Many years ago the company was prohibited from using that slogan and to this day, the drink makes no health claims.
The American Dietetic Association recommends limiting alcohol consumption to 2 drink per day for men and 1 drink per day for women (1 drink = 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine, or 1.5 oz of distilled spirits).
I hope you had a wonderful St. Patrick's Day and remember: Don't Drink & Drive!
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While riding in the car with my brother who has been in town this week, he inspired this blog. He said something that I hear often from clients and my friends. He said, "I feel like I know all the things I should not do, but that doesn't help me know what I SHOULD eat." Let's focus on what we should eat. Let me make a quick disclaimer, this does not account for any allergies or disease that may alter what you should eat. This is for the generally healthy people out there who want to know what they SHOULD be eating.
First, grab some fruit. It makes a wonderful snack or great dessert. Peaches and strawberries are coming in season soon - indulge yourself! Most people need from 2-4 servings of fruit per day. Plan ahead so you have it in your kitchen and pack it in your lunch.
Second, make sure to get plenty of calcium and vitamin D. Diary is the best source of calcium in our food supply. Try to get at least 3 servings of dairy per day and at different times of the day. Do not have milk with yogurt and string cheese all in one meal. Spread it throughout the day because your body can only absorb one serving at a time. For those who are lactose intolerant or have a milk allergy, make a conscious effort to consume large quantities of green leafy vegetables, preferably cooked. Although these foods contain calcium, they also contain oxalic acid which can interfere with calcium absorption. Cooking can help to neutralize the oxalic acid and increase the absorption. Soy products many times are fortified with calcium and can be a good source as well. If you are not able to meet these goals nutritionally, supplementation would be a good option (talk with your dietitian or physician). As it warms up, get some sunshine to produce enough vitamin D but not enough to get skin cancer!
Lastly, eat some vegetables with that! All vegetables (except corn, peas, and potatoes) are minimal in calories, packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and help you to feel satisfied without eating excess calories.
These are just a few tips of what you SHOULD do to help you maintain a healthy and well balanced diet! Yogurt parfait anyone?
Nutrition from the dietitian
Blog of Abrea Nutrition.