Enjoying [Healthier] Easter
Easter can be an exciting and joyful time, but it is also easy to overindulge in some foods (hello easter eggs and hot cross buns!).
We have pulled together our top tips so you can enjoy Easter without feeling guilty about the extra calories you might consume. We also have some suggestions for healthier alternatives to help you keep on track.
Reframing Easter guilt
Food can go beyond just nutrition and nourishment – it is an opportunity to be enjoyed and to bring people together, especially on occasions like Easter. If you are worried about the extra kilos that Easter can cause, try to focus on the positives of the occasion bringing your nearest and dearest together rather than how many hot cross buns you might have eaten.
Can you try to be present and focus on the moment – whether it is an Easter egg hunt with your children, a BBQ lunch with your family, or enjoying an easter treat on the couch with your favourite Netflix series.
These are moments for you to enjoy the occasion without the guilt. However, if you are worried about overindulging and the yo-yo impact that it could lead to, read on for our top tips.
Tip 1: Do not restrict or cut out meals from your usual dietary intake
It is common for people to cut back on calories in the lead up to a special occasion with the thought that less calories in the lead up might counteract the indulgent occasion. Though cutting a meal or reducing caloric intake to allow some extra calories later makes mathematical sense, it can cause increased hunger leading to overconsumption later. It is common for people to go over all those ‘banked up’ calories.
We suggest eating as you normally would in the lead up to an occasion and then being mindful of the tendency to overconsume. Eat slowly, listen to your body, and give yourself permission to enjoy the experience. Then you can get back on track.
Tip 2: Be creative with the food you make
Easter does not have to mean a complete end to your healthy eating!
There are so many great alternatives which means you can switch out energy dense (high calorie) foods, with nutrient dense and lower calorie alternatives. You still get to indulge on the day, but you are not increasing your calories far beyond your recommended intake.
An example of this is using dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate as dark chocolate contains 65 percent or more cocoa solids and has increased health benefits such as high levels of antioxidants and with less sugar compared to milk chocolate.
We all know hot cross buns are an Easter staple and unfortunately, they do contain high amounts of refined sugar and fats. Luckily, we have developed a healthy hot cross bun protein ball recipe for you to try out.
Our hot cross protein balls contain a balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fats) to help balance blood sugar levels and keep cravings at bay. Compared to a regular hot cross bun, our protein balls are packed with vitamins and minerals, contain less saturated fat, and no refined sugar but you still get to feel that you’re having that indulgent Easter treat.
Tip 3: Be mindful
Paying attention to what you are eating can be incredibly beneficial for your physical health but your mental health too. Truly experiencing your food involves using all your senses – to really smell, see and taste your food.
It is common to mindlessly indulge in cheap chocolate which can vastly increase your caloric intake when you can genuinely enjoy a smaller quantity of high-quality chocolate.
Remember to listen to your body. If you feel unwell or very full while eating chocolate, then stop and assess how you are feeling. Be honest with yourself…are you hungry, full, or just want to treat yourself?
While we will always advocate healthy and wholesome eating, it is important that you enjoy Easter too and not completely restrict your food intake or put too much pressure on yourself. Remember that you can be creative with the foods you consume and there are great-tasting alternatives, so you do not feel like you’re missing out.
Have a safe and happy Easter!