Change Your Choices

Change Your Life…Tips for a healthier you

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

on March 16, 2012

Yes, I’m a day early but I want to give you time to plan and make some healthier choices.  A local pub has a sign that says “St. Paddy’s Day is our favorite Alcoholiday!”  Keeping in the spirit of the day…

It wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without beer so let’s take a look at the calorie counts on some Irish Favorites.  Because these are “heartier” beers, the plan is to drink only 1 or 2, which will save calories. These tips are for those 21 and older, please.

1. Guinness Draught. Twelve ounces of this dark and rich beer has just 125 calories! Makes me want to do an Irish jig!

2. Harp.  This cousin of Guinness comes in at 142 calories for 12 ounces.

3. Killian’s Irish Red.  This popular beer has 163 calories in a 12-ounce bottle.

6. Smithwick’s Irish Ale. If you aren’t a fan of the darker beers, try 12 ounces of this Irish ale that has a reasonable 150 calories.  Pronounce it Smit-icks.

7. Irish Car Bomb.  This drink has a whopping 237 calories and will knock you back on your shamrock so drink responsibly!

3/4 pint Guinness stout
1/2 shot Bailey’s Irish Cream
1/2 shot Jameson Irish whiskey

Add the Bailey’s and Jameson to a shot glass, layering the Bailey’s on the bottom. Pour the Guinness into a pint glass or beer mug 3/4 of the way full and let settle. Drop the shot glass into the Guinness and chug. If you don’t drink it fast enough it will curdle and increasingly taste worse.

You  will probably want some food with your beer and the obvious choice is Corned Beef and Cabbage.

The Good News:

Cabbage is a great source of protein, thiamin, calcium, phosphorus, copper, and a very good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, folate, magnesium,potassium and manganese. It has no fat, very low sodium and just 19 calories in one cup.

The Bad News:

While corned beef is a good source of protein, Vitamin B12, and zinc, it is VERY high in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol.  A 3 oz serving (which is quite small) has 251 calories, 19 g of fat (6 g saturated), and a whopping 1134 mg of sodium- almost half of your daily allowance.  YIKES!  If this is something you enjoy once per year- go ahead and have some.  Just be aware that your blood pressure and heart rate might increase for several hours so don’t do anything too strenuous and drink plenty of water to flush the sodium out of your system.

Here’s a “healthier” version of Corned Beef and Cabbage in the form of a reuben sandwich.

Kind of  a Reuben!”

1 tsp Dijon mustard=45 calories (Nu Val 6)

2 slices rye bread  Pepperidge Farms Jewish Rye=80 calories per slice (Nu Val 29)

1 slice Sargento reduced fat, reduced sodium Swiss Cheese=60 calories

2 oz. thin sliced smoked turkey=60 calories

2 tbl. sauerkraut, drained=5 calories (Nu Val 39)

1 tbl. Walden Farms Zero Calorie 1000 Island Dressing=0 cal (Nu Val 4)

Canola oil=120 calories per tsp. ( Nu Val 24)

Spread mustard over each slice of bread.  Place cheese on 1 slice, add turkey.  Top with sauerkraut and dressing. Top with bread, mustard on the inside!

Heat canola oil in skillet over medium-high heat.  Add sandwich to skillet, cook 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

This sandwich, as shown, is about 450 calories.  You could opt for a cooking spray instead of the canola oil to save even more calories.


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