Saint Patrick’s Day can be one of the crazier holidays in Chicago. For some of us, we struggle with how to enjoy the holiday, but not feel the hangover 1-2 days after. (A hangover doesn’t always just result from alcohol consumption — sometimes even eating foods we are sensitive to, can leave us feeling bloated and irritated for days after consuming them.)

So, what does a Functional Medicine Physician do to celebrate this holiday that’s typically enjoyed by boozing and eating? The truth is, you can have just as much fun by being more aware of what you are consuming. Keep reading for some of our top tips from our Functional Medicine and Clinical Nutrition team.


St. Patrick’s Day Green Smoothie

Our Streeterville and River North Functional Medicine Physician, Dr. Kristen Halland, DC recommends re-creating this green smoothie for the festive weekend. It has the four main food categories to make a complete meal needed for great blood sugar management: low glycemic veggies to boost antioxidants, protein for healing and repair, healthy fats for blood sugar support, and quality carb for energy

In a blender, mix the following ingredients with 8 oz cold water and ice cubes:

  1. Low glycemic veggies to boost antioxidants =  2 cups leafy greens (kale, microgreens, spinach)
  2. Protein for healing and repair = 1 scoop collagen peptides (or protein powder)
  3. Healthy fats for blood sugar support = ¼ – ½ avocado
  4. Quality carb for energy = ¼ – ½ cup of mixed berries


Corned Beef and Cabbage

This is a classic for Saint Patrick’s Day! Believe it or not, this dish is very nutrient rich when prepared the correct way. By brining the corned beef yourself, you avoid any additives and chemicals that may be found in store-bought corned beef, and it’s pretty easy to do!

Our Deerfield and Park Ridge Functional Medicine Physician, Dr. Barbie Allegretti, DC loves the recipe below by Wellness Mama. Dr. Allegretti adds, “Cabbage is a sulfur rich vegetable. Your brain and mitochondria need a great amount of sulfur to thrive and function optimally. I know we think of mitochondria as the powerhouse of the cell but there’s so much more to it than that! Mitochondria health can support anti-aging, energy levels, and healthy weight.  In addition to cabbage, sulfur is found in broccoli, cauliflower, onions, and garlic.”


For the brisket:

  • 3-4 lb. corned beef brisket preferably brined at home
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic minced
  • black pepper to taste

For the sides:

  • 1 large head of cabbage
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • butter or ghee
  • spices to taste such as caraway thyme, and basil


  1. First, drain brine, rinse brisket under cool water, and put in Crock-Pot. Add garlic, pepper, and enough fresh water to just cover meat. (Do not use the brine … it will be too salty!)
  2. Turn the Crock-Pot on low and cook for 8 hours.
  3. About half an hour before beef is done, chop cabbage, onion, garlic, and carrots.
  4. Saute onions, garlic, and carrots in butter or ghee in large skillet until somewhat soft.
  5. Add cabbage and spices and cook until soft. Add a little corned beef water from the crockpot if it starts to get dry.
  6. Serve the corned beef over the cabbage and veggies. 
Healthy Drinking

While there is evidence that alcohol may get in the way of your optimal health goals, if you do decide to imbibe, you may opt to choose your alcohol wisely (and in moderation). However, some drink options are healthier than others. Click here to view our guild to healthy beverage consumption!

If you’re looking for more health tips or have questions about food sensitivities or gut health, schedule a free consultation with our Functional Medicine and Clinical Nutrition team today!