SURVIVING ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

Written by Elsie Velazquez Cert. personal Trainer Prescription Fitness

When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day, it is very difficult to not be tempted by the some if not all of the following:  corned beef piled high between two slices of rye bread, green bagels, shamrock cookies, Irish soda bread, and plenty of beer.  Before you head out to celebrate with family and/or friends, here are some strategies to get through the day without completely derailing your fitness goals.

  • Always remember the rule…85% healthy choices and 15% fun! Living a healthy lifestyle should never be about deprivation.  If you plan your day ahead of time, you have a much higher chance at enjoying the holiday and all it has to offer without waking up the next morning angry with yourself!   If it is a cold beer you want, try to stick to just one.  If you want a corned beef sandwich, try having it as an open face sandwich and ditch half the bread.  Making small changes will help keep you on track.
  • Start your day with a workout. Even a 10 or 15 minutes sweat session can improve your mood and outlook and you will be more likely to stick to your goals.
  • Whatever else you do, DO NOT skip a meal to “save up” for indulging later. You should actually do the opposite!  Have a healthy salad made up of  kale and other healthy greens and add a lean protein (chicken, tuna, salmon are all good choices).  Alternatively, have a protein shake before heading out to celebrate if you find you don’t have time to prepare a healthy meal.  Bottom line…if you head out starving, you are setting yourself up for failure.
  • Take a multivitamin if you plan on drinking because alcohol depletes the body of B complex vitamins, Vitamin C, and other vitamins. Alcohol also impairs future nutrient absorption.  When your body is depleted of these vitamins you end up feeling “hungover” and one the easiest ways to counteract the damage is to take a multivitamin before drinking or immediately after.
  • Instead of just wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day, I suggest you eat green too – broccoli, asparagus, edemame, spinach, avocados, and kale are all foods I suggest adding to your meals. The benefits will linger much longer than your hangover!
  • Drink water!!! Alcohol dehydrates your body of fluids, so the more water you drink, the more fluids you replace and the better you will feel.  Down a tall glass of water (or several) before falling asleep and wake up feeling at least a bit better.
  • Above all, enjoy yourself and remember that celebrating St. Patrick’s day should not be all about the food and beer. Focus on the people around you and the connections you are making.

Regardless of what you eat or drink, remember that one day of eating (good or bad) does not define you!  HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!