It’s no secret that St. Patrick’s Day is the day when everyone is Irish, everyone wears green and many people consume green food and drink (looking at you green beer).  And it also goes without saying that St. Patrick’s Day isn’t known for being a “healthy” food day.  But why not change it up and still have your Irish fun?  Here’s some ways to enjoy the day and still feel good about how you’re fueling your body.

Green Smoothie – Why not start March 17th off right?  Green smoothies are easy to make and packed full of nutrients.  Grab a banana or two, a handful of spinach, some almond milk, some cacao nibs and an avocado.  Boom!!  You’ve got a quick, easy, ready to go morning meal.

Matcha Muffins – For those who need a little added caffeine in the AM, consider preparing some matcha muffins the night before.  Here’s the recipe:

Chickpea, Cucumber and Avocado Salad – This delightful salad is quick, easy and delicious.  Pair it with some warm ginger tea and you’ve got a perfectly balanced lunch for St. Patrick’s Day.  Check it out:

Guacamole and Chips – If you’re headed out for lunch on St. Patrick’s Day, avoid the crowds at the Irish pub and hit a local Mexican restaurant for some appetizing guacamole and chips.  Tasty, healthy and still honoring the green.

Potato & Broccoli Soup – For dinner, enjoy some warm, filling soup.  This one takes a little longer to prepare, but it is definitely worth it.  Here’s the recipe:

As we start to transition into spring, green is the color of choice.  Spring is the time of the liver and the gallbladder in East Asian Medicine and instead of filling your body with unhealthy options on March 17th, why not give yourself the nourishment you need for the upcoming seasonal transition?

In East Asian Medicine (EAM) everything is thought of in terms of yin and yang theory. Yin is often dark, cooling, moist, still and internal, where are yang is bright, hot, moving, dry and outward.  Our bodies are constantly trying to achieve a balance between these two forces. There are even some foods that are considered more yin and some foods are considered more yang. Depending on one’s constitution, some foods might exacerbate a hotter constitution, while others would promote a cooling effect. Each person realistically needs a unique approach to food intake.

Green goes to the liver channel, a wood element.  Foods that are green like Brussel sprouts, spinach, lettuce, kale, green beans, broccoli, dandelion greens and avocado are generally more cooling and contain sulforaphane, an anti-cancer compound, as well as important vitamins like beta-carotene, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B complex and vitamins C, A and K.  While everyone should be eating these, people who have a constitution that tends to be excessive in the liver channel, need to be a little more sparing when consuming these foods.

When the liver is imbalanced, a person may experience symptoms such as bloating, pain in the lower abdomen and the lateral sides of the abdomen, irritability, depression, distension and pain in the breasts, nose bleeds, tremors, tics, anger, thirst, constipation, frequent sighing, moodiness, dizziness, tinnitus, insomnia and irregular menstruation. This is where East Asian dietary therapy can make a huge difference in your health.

When we utilize dietary therapy in EAM, we focus heavily on the thermodynamics of the food and how it is specifically helping or hurting each patient.  To balance the energy of the organ and meridian, the foods being eaten need to be assessed and adjusted.  For example, green foods can help to bring balance back to a liver meridian that isn’t quite functioning optimally.  But like everything, too much can be detrimental too.  It’s finding that delicate balance that brings homeostasis to the system.

Hopefully, this will give you some ideas on how to have a healthier St. Patrick’s Day, should you choose to celebrate it.  And if you would like to learn more about East Asian dietary therapy, give us a call and let’s see how we can bring balance back into your life.

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