It was St. Patrick’s Day last week !
The Irish mark this day every March 17 as the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. The holiday began as a religious holiday in Ireland but over time has become a worldwide extravaganza celebrating Irish culture.
Like many Americans, I do have Irish ancestry, but you don’t have to be Irish to enjoy St. Patty’s Day, just Irish at heart. St. Patty’s Day festivals adorn cities and towns all over the world, with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green.
Special foods and green?! Sounds like my kind of party!
You could drink green beer. You wouldn’t be the first.
Or remember McDonald’s Shamrock Shake?
It just wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without a Shamrock Shake.
Or would it?
I’d venture to say it wouldn’t be the end of the world if you skipped the Shamrock Shake. In fact, your health and fertility would probably thank you.
The smallest version of the revered shake has 530 calories and 15 grams of fat. That’s one-fourth the recommended daily calorie allowance for women.
The Shamrock Shake is also loaded with unhealthy ingredients. Here are just a few:
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Mono- and diglycerides
- Artificial vanilla flavor
- Polysorbate 80
- Whipping propellant (nitrous oxide)
- Sodium Benzoate and potassium sorbate
In addition to being unhealthy, these ingredients are simply unnatural for our bodies to process. I feel compelled that when running my spell-checker after initially completing this post, most of the words in the list above showed up as unrecognized words!
Green is supposed to be the color of health and vitality. It seems appropriate that the green in the Shamrock Shake comes from mixing synthetic food dyes because there’s no health happening here.
I think all of our bodies deserve better than this. Think about all the work our bodies do for us – pumping blood, breathing, keeping us alive every second of the day – and trying to get pregnant.
But what’s a healthy-food loving St. Patty’s Day enthusiast to do??
Over the past 5 years or so, I’ve really gotten into drinking green smoothies. The benefits are palpable:
- The nutrition is top-notch. Drinking green smoothies boosts your fruit and vegetable intake. Many of the ingredients you can put in a green smoothie contain nutrients to naturally boost your fertility, like B-vitamins, Vitamin E, folate, iron and magnesium.
- They’re rich in antioxidants. Many smoothie ingredients contain antioxidants, which helps improve the quality of your cells, reducing inflammation and improving egg and sperm health.
- Smoothies are female-friendly. Certain smoothie ingredients can help you manage PMS, if you suffer from that. They can also help you meet the special nutritional needs you’ll have when you get pregnant.
- Smoothies are alkalizing. Green smoothies provide minerals that are used by your body to naturally maintain pH balance. This is important for creating an environment that’s most hospitable for sperm to survive and fertilize an egg.
- They provide their nutrition faster. With smoothies, you’re drinking your fruits and veggies instead of eating them. While food that is eaten takes about 24 hours to go through the digestive system to get the nutrients in a form that can be absorbed by the body, smoothies work faster to give us our nutrients. Depending on the ingredients you put in your smoothie, it can take as little as 40 minutes for the nutrients to get into your system, and certainly no more than a few hours.
- They taste great. Who knew green veggies like spinach and kale could taste so good?! Smoothies are something you actually want to drink!
And the best part is, the green smoothie is a drink that’s actually green. It’s the Real McCoy.
The green comes from healthy leafy green vegetables, not from mixing blue #1 with yellow #5.
Here’s how you can raise a glass to St. Patty’s Day with your own healthy, fertility friendly green drink:
Shamrock Shake Smoothie
- 2 cups unsweetened plain coconut milk
- ½ banana (use a frozen one if you want it a little frothier, that’s how I like it)
- 1 handful spinach (about 1 cup)
- ¼ cup mint leaves
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp. chia seed
- 2-3 ice cubes (optional)
Directions: Put ingredients in blender in order listed. Blend and drink up! Serves 2.
If you drink enough Shamrock Shake Smoothies your fertility might experience some of the luck o’ the Irish.