Q. I usually celebrate St. Patty's day with beer and corned beef, but this year I want to celebrate and stay shredded. What should I eat and drink instead of the usual corned cow and Guinness? Any healthy substitutions?
Opting for the healthy route on St. Patrick's Day isn't as hard as you might think. Corned beef is made from brisket, which is one of the 29 cuts of beef that meets the USDA classification for "lean."
When buying corned beef, you should specify that you want lean corned beef. Lean corned beef contains 80% less fat than regular corned beef. You can further drop the blubber by trimming off any remaining visible fat.
You can cut the fat, but you can't slice the salt: Because it's a cured meat, corned beef has a high sodium content. The day after your St. Patty's celebration, your abs might be a little blurred, but it isn't anything that a good workout and ample water won't get rid of ASAP.
On Your Side
To go with your lean corned beef, skip the classic Irish soda bread and potatoes; instead, head straight for the cabbage. Cabbage is a perfect lean-body food, and remains so even when prepared in the Irish tradition—paired with high-antioxidant spices like cloves and allspice.
Cabbage is low-carb, high-fiber, and jam-packed with antioxidants that will keep you healthy, satisfied, and lean. Just be weary of excess butter. Some St. Patty's Day cabbage recipes will use boatloads of butter, which will rapidly increase the total calorie count of your overall feast.
Shake It Up!
If your friends decide to swing by McDonald's to widen their waistlines with a Shamrock Shake (which contains 77 grams of sugar), you don't have to miss out on the fun. You can keep your blood sugar in check and enjoy the festivities with a little culinary creativity.
Try my "Dr. Mike Shamrock Smoothie," made without any crazy food dyes or high fructose corn syrup. My smoothie also packs a solid dose of protein and enough nutrients to satisfy any muscle-head:
Dr. Mike's Shamrock Smoothie
- 1 cup 2% Fat Greek Yogurt
- 1 cup Kale
- 2 tsp Powdered Green Tea
- 5-6 Ice Cubes
- 1 cup So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk
- 1 1/2 scoops Vanilla Protein Powder (a casein-rich protein powder works best to keep your shake thick)
- 1-2 drops of Peppermint Extract (use less initially, taste, and add more if needed)
- Combine all the ingredients in a blender, blend until thick, and enjoy!
Dr. Mike's Shamrock Smoothie (160 KB) PDF