Healthy Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day brings with it a lot of good fun, good friends, and most importantly, good food. But for those who are trying to stay healthy (even during the holidays), how can we avoid fried snacks, sugary drinks, and fatty meats? Well, we can’t avoid the temptation, but we can provide some pretty solid alternatives for staying fit while you feast.
Let’s dive into history, traditions, healthy snack substitutes, low-calorie drinks, and even St. Patrick’s Day-themed exercises! Before you know it, you’ll be able to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day without overloading in indulgence.
Let’s get green, gang!
What is the Origin of St. Patrick’s Day?
FUN FACT: St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival!
St. Patrick’s day has been about feasting since it’s origin, so it’s no surprise that everyone wants to eat, drink, and be merry. Specifically, St. Patrick’s Day started as The Feast of St. Patrick, held on the 17th of March - the traditional death date of Saint Patrick himself, the foremost patron saint of Ireland.
By the 17th century, St. Patrick’s Day was made into an official Christian day of feasting observed by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Anglican Communion, and the Lutheran Church.
Nowadays, it is widely celebrated in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Canada, and North America (by US citizens and Irish immigrants alike) to celebrate their heritage!
What are Some St. Patrick’s Day Traditions?
Alright, aside from the feast, what are the typical ways we celebrate old Saint Patrick? Let’s get into the most common ways to live it up:
Wearing a Shamrock
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, St. Patrick believed the 3 leaves of a shamrock represented the holy trinity. Nowadays, the meaning has moved from religion to a symbol for St. Patty’s Day as a whole! Whether they’re on your shirt, cheeks, or jewelry, everyone rocks a shamrock for St. Patrick's.
“Drowning the Shamrock”
Figured it might not be too long until we got to the boozier part of St. Patrick’s Day. “Drowning the Shamrock” essentially means to drink yourself silly, even if it means a nasty hangover. Supposedly, even Saint Patrick himself would get himself a full glass of whiskey when he went to the bars!
Wearing Green, Of Course!
Another fun fact: People actually used to wear blue to celebrate St. Patrick’s, as the Saint was often seen wearing blue. However, once the myth of leprechauns came into play, people started rocking green.
Why? Because leprechauns apparently can’t see green, of course! And if they can’t see you, they can’t pinch you. Speaking of which…
Pinching People Not Wearing Green
Legend has it that leprechauns pinch anyone not wearing green on St. Patrick’s, so what’s to stop us from doing the same? We suggest wearing green to avoid the pinch.
How to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (the Healthy Way)
Believe it or not, this isn’t as impossible as it sounds. We can still eat good food, drink a couple cocktails, and keep our fitness routine going! We’ve got everything you need to stay on track without ruining your great time:
Healthy Green Foods for a St. Patrick’s Day Party
We’ve got great news, folks: turns out, most foods that are green are also pretty good for you, so we’re killing two birds with one stone! Here are some fun, healthy, and tasty treats you can make for yourself, your friends, or your fam:
Alright, so maybe it’s not the healthiest, but this recipe has made this timeless meal a little easier on the body at only 321 calories per serving. All the goodness without the guilt, we say!
Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie
This recipe has taken the potato out, but don’t worry - the mashed cauliflower it uses is just as good, and even better for you. Full of fiber, low-carb, and a perfect way to get all your veggies in. Plus, it looks beautiful as the main entree on any table.
Ireland and potatoes go hand in hand, and spinach is, well, green. Maybe the greenest. Anyway, this tasty recipe is super tasty, super low-cal, and pretty good for you!
White Bean and Cabbage Stew
Nothing like a stew to get you back on your feet. This would be a great hangover cure, or even just a hearty lunch to get you going before the party starts. Plus, it has all the Irish essentials - cabbage, potatoes, and carrots!
For Dessert: Matcha-Chocolate Bark
This dessert doesn’t just look the part, it tastes it, too. Super easy to make, so beautiful to look at, and honestly not that bad for you. White chocolate, matcha, cherries, flake salt, and some nuts are all you need to make this green dessert.
Healthy St. Patrick’s Day Mocktails
We don’t have to drink to be merry! Stay healthy and sip something a little more lightweight for the holidays. We can still keep the calories out of the celebration with these handy, healthy, low-cal drinks:
This drink is so green, you’ll feel like you’re taking part in some kind of juice cleanse. You’re not, but you can pretend.
Anyway, you’ll want to puree some cucumber chunks, mint leaves, a little bit of sugar, and some lemon juice until the texture is completely smooth. Pour over ice, add some thin-sliced cucs to garnish, and you’re ready to sip!
The Green Ceasar
Wow, this is the coolest name for a mocktail, possibly ever. This staple actually comes from Canada, but we’ll keep that secret between us.
This drink has all kinds of crazy stuff in it: arugula, spinach, lemon, tomatoes, cayenne, coriander, worcestershire sauce….it’s like a bloody mary, but not. This recipe is great!
Matcha Green Tea
Matcha is healthy, tasty, and super green, so you’ll fit right in with your drinking buddies. Just heat up some water, add some matcha green tea powder, and you’re golden!
St. Patrick’s Day-themed Exercises to Detox
Incorporate self-improvement into St. Patty’s Day with some exercises that will keep you in the spirit without ruining your good time! These drills are great for all ages, so you can keep your kids active, your friends fit, and your family feeling like they just ran a marathon.
20 Green Goblet Squats
You may think that we’ve just renamed regular exercises to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day, and you’d be right. That’s exactly what we did.
Here are the steps to complete this totally-not-just-a-regular-exercise:
Step 2: Put your arms out in front of you, and keep your weight in your heels and balls of your feet.
Step 3: Brace your core, bend at your hips, and push your butt back. Keep your knees in line with your feet.
Step 4: Squat down until your hip joint is lower than your knees. Anything less and you’re not doing it right!
It’s important to note that even when done correctly, this exercise can do a number on your knees. To keep them protected, we recommend getting some copper-infused knee compression sleeves. They protect you from injury, help with recovery, and promote bloodflow!
4 Leaf Clover Planks
This is like a plank, but different because we need it to be for this blog. Also, you make your hand look like a four-leaf clover, kind of. A stretch? Sure. Effective? Yes!Step 1: Start in a plank position.
Step 2: Extend one arm forward, and make a clover shape with your hand. Put it back in position.
Step 3: Lift your right leg up and say “four leaf clover” 4 times, then place back down.
Step 4: repeat with opposite limbs, 5 times each.
“Pulling Up Clovers”
This is just a bent-over row, but more fun if you imagine your ripping clovers out of the ground like some kind of clover-hating animal.
Step 2: Place your right hand and knee on the bench, and pick up the dumbbell with your left hand.
Step 3: Pull the dumbbell straight up to the side of your chest, ensuring your arm stays close to your side at 90 degrees. Lower back to the starting position.
Step 4: Repeat on the other side. Complete 3 rounds of 10.
Like the goblet squats, this one can also be hard on your joints. Try some elbow sleeves to keep them protected!
“Pot of Gold” Running Drill
You need an actual yard or running space for this, plus 3 kettlebells. But it’s worth it, we promise. This one is great for cardio, and actually slightly related to St. Patrick’s Day!
Step 2: Sprint towards the first “pot of gold”, touch it, then sprint back. Repeat for the 2nd and 3rd “pots of gold”.
Step 3: Continue the pattern until you’ve completed them all, then repeated 3 times.
Get it? Rainbows? Because of, uh…okay, you get it. Anyway.Step 1: Start sitting down, feet flat on the ground, and a medicine ball in hand.
Step 2: Twist the ball to your left, and slam it into the ground. Catch it again.
Step 3: After you’ve caught it, lift it over your head (in the shape of a rainbow, of course), and slam it into the ground again. Complete 3 rounds of 20 each.
This exercise is actually great for getting some energy and anger out. For a ltitle extra support for your arms and hands, try the full arm sleeve to keep all those joints and muscles protected.
See? There are way more ways to celebrate without getting nuts and eating fried foods - even if you have to get a little creative with it. Don’t forget to check our blog for more fitness fun, and our website for the latest and greatest deals.
Happy St. Patty’s Day, everyone!