Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patty's Day!!

Bundled up to race in 20 degree weather!

Happy St. Patty’s Day to my fellow Irish followers!
I celebrated early yesterday with my first 5k race. It was a shamrock run, a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity! I had a blast! 

Did you know…According to the USDA, serving corned beef and cabbage is an Irish-American tradition and not traditional Irish fare?

I spoke to a co-worker from Ireland about this “tradition” and her opinion on the matter. She stated that it wasn’t a food that her family would frequently have. A typical traditional Irish boiled dinner would actually be smoked pork product (like a mix between bacon and ham) served with potatoes and cabbage.

Pictured: Irish Soda Bread
Corned beef (brined brisket) has been available in Europe but was too expensive for most of Ireland to purchase. When the Irish immigrants came to America beef brisket was inexpensive. They then cured the brisket to make corned beef and this is where the tradition of Corned Beef and Cabbage comes from!

Stay on track today by practicing healthy portions…
Most boiled dinners contain a balanced meal. If you are having corned beef and cabbage you may serve with potatoes and carrots. You have hit all of the major food groups (protein, carbohydrates, vegetables, and fiber) for a balanced meal. Load up on cabbage and carrots, have a 3-4 oz portion of meat (size of deck of cards or smart phone) and 1 small potato. You will have a filling meal that’s reasonable in calories.

Corned beef can be a lean cut of meat (trim fat before cooking) but is high in sodium (~900 mg in 3 oz of meat). I have seen 1/3 less sodium varieties available in the grocery store, which is one option to reduce that sodium content.

Pairing food with a complimentary beverage can make a meal all the more enjoyable. OnSt. Patty’s Day you can’t go wrong with a cold glass of an Irish beer. Below are some descriptions and calorie counts to encourage mindful drinking (everything in moderation!)
1. Guiness is a rich and creamy stout, with chocolate undertones. A 12 oz bottle will set you back ~125 calories, but is the lowest calorie Irish beer.
2. Harp is a light lager that is crisp and dry. You may know as being the other half in a black and tan. A 12 oz bottle is ~142 calories.
3. Smithwicks- A pale ale with light aroma. 12 oz= A 12 oz bottle is ~150 calories
4.  Killians Irish Red- As the name suggests it has a reddish color with a slight caramel flavor. A 12 oz bottle is ~163 calories

Have a happy and healthy St. Patty's Day and drink responsively! :)

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