Stay Safe this St. Patty's Day!

Every year, people congregate on March 17th and celebrate Ireland's Patron Saint by drinking.  This is often not just a drink here or a drink there, but a LOT of drinking.  While we think having fun is great, binge-drinking on alcohol has some serious health side-effects that last long past the weekend.  And we're not just talking hangovers!

In a 2009 CADCA study, 40% of drunk drivers got into fatal car accidents.

So if you're going out to celbrate this year for St. Patty's Day, please be aware, and make sure that if alcohol is involved, you have a sober designated driver to take you home.

The Cornerstone Striders are celebrating this month's Irish pride by running the Shamrock 1/2 Marathon and Marathon!  Check them out to see their other events and to join them on Saturday, March 18th for the race!

Can you find the four-leaf clover in this clover patch?

Did You Know...

That if the amount of fluid in your body drops even 1%, you feel thirsty?! Losing 2% of your body fluid can affect your performance, focus, and appetite.  Unfortunately sometimes, our sense of being thirsty goes away if we get more dehydrated, which can make things worse.

Fun Fact #1

1- In Ireland, Saint Patrick's Day isn't considered a drinking holiday.  In fact, most bars and pubs are closed for the day, by law!

A little Leprechaun came to visit!

Nurse Charity's little girl Kennedy is getting big!  From a 3lb, 12oz preemie, she is now up to 12lbs and is starting to have quite a personality of her own.  And she loves apples!

Fun Fact #2

2 - The color green, although popular to wear today in the US, used to be considered very unlucky.  Might be why those leprechauns are so tricky!
The Ins-and-Outs of Alcohol
A note from Angela Spencer, RD
March is known for being the start of Spring and Saint Patty’s Day, which is often associated with a nice tall glass of beer or two or three or four… Although alcohol can have some health benefits, the ins-and-outs of alcohol consumption can be a bit confusing.  One news story seems to suggest it is good for our hearts and another that it raises blood pressure or cancer risk.  While we're still learning and studying alcohol's effects on us medically, we have learned some things already.  Below are some tips that can be helpful regarding health and alcohol (of course, if you have liver disease or alcoholism, then your best bet is to abstain):

1. If weight loss is your goal, alcohol can be your enemy.  Alcohol gets first priority in the body since it is recognized as a toxin; therefore, if you are eating and drinking more than 1-2 servings at a meal, the food will get pushed aside and stored as fat rather than being utilized as energy.  Further, it decreases your inhibitions, and you are more likely to choose unhealthy foods.  Alcohol provides 7 calories per gram with no nutrients, which add up.  Here are the stats:
  • Spirits 100 calories 1.5 oz
  • Light Beer 100 calories 12 oz
  • Regular Beer 150 calories 12 oz
  • Dessert wine 180 calories 4 oz
  • Table Wine 100 calories 4 oz
  • Margarita 370 calories 8 oz
2.  When alcohol is consumed in moderation, the liver can usually handle the job and this might even increase your good cholesterol. However, in excess, alcohol can be metabolized into triglycerides, which leads to increased blood levels.  Elevated TG increases your risk for diabetes, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease.

3.  A couple of servings of alcohol a week may indeed help to lower blood pressure, but more than that can actually increase your blood pressure.  The tug of war on your blood pressure!

4.  Alcohol can disrupt sleep patterns.  You may feel like alcohol helps you to sleep, but how good is that sleep?  There are different sleep stages and the deepest stages are the most important because that's where your body truly rests and restores itself.  Alcohol prevents you from entering the deeper stages of sleep, leaving you tired the next day.  Not getting adequate sleep can lead to weight gain, and can also lead to other issues such as migraines, high blood pressure, depression, hallucinations, hand tremors... the list goes on!

So although benefits can be found in alcohol, it should be something used in moderation.  If you enjoy a drink on this St. Patty's Day, try one or two instead of four or more, and have fun and remember the celebration of Ireland's patron saint!
What’s in Season:

Popeye loved it, and you should too!  Spinach not only made Popeye big and strong but also protected him from chronic disease and inflammation.  Spinach is a great source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and is a great addition to many dishes such as salads, soups, scrambled eggs, and sauces.
Sautéed Spinach and Garlic with Sliced Almonds
2 large bunches of spinach
1-2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
Salt to taste
Sliced almonds
1.  Wash & cut off spinach stems
2.  In skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat
3.  Add garlic and sauté for 1 min – don’t burn
4.  Add spinach – flip to coat evenly with oil
5.  Cover & cook for 2 minutes; flip spinach after 1 minute
6.  Sprinkle with salt and almonds and serve
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Newletter Writer/Editor: Jessica DuBois
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