Enjoy your Easter eggs…. at Easter
Easter is a hop around the corner, which often means four days of entertaining with family and friends, Australians spending $190 million on eggs and bunnies and yes, chocolate galore. How does one navigate this holiday celebration to be in line with your healthy lifestyle, and I don’t mean swap your chocolate eggs for carrot sticks and hummus. Follow my top nutrition tips for enjoying your Easter “egg”stravaganza.
Choose quality over quantity
Choose a high quality dark chocolate egg or bunny over large bags of chocolate that are often made of compounded chocolate and low in nutritional value. When you choose a high quality chocolate, you’ll eat less; savour the flavor and enjoy the moment more.
Go to the dark side
Dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa has high levels of polyphenol flavonoids (protective antioxidant) and also has naturally lower sugar content than milk chocolate. Many studies (of very willing participants) show these antioxidants help lower blood pressure, protect against heart disease and reduce age-related cognitive decline. Milk chocolate has less polyphenols due to its lower cocoa content, and has more sugar and milk added for a wider taste appeal, whilst white chocolate has no cocoa and is not really chocolate at all. Dark chocolate with 70% cocoa is naturally bitter and as such, we are happy to have a small amount, but yet feel totally satisfied with this.
Be mindful and be timely
Choosing a small-sized, individually wrapped egg of high quality dark chocolate is a great way to consume less chocolate over Easter. Be mindful; stay present and enjoy your chocolate moment and often you will naturally eat less. Have your chocolate at the end of your main meal with a coffee or tea, so you’re not ravenous and don’t think of chocolate as your hourly snack. Beware of the marketing ploy at supermarkets which encourage you to buy and consume your Easter eggs for the three months leading up to Easter. Easter is a day event, not a month long event, so reserve your special family traditions of hot cross buns and chocolate bunnies to this day.
Look beyond the eggs at Easter
Create new family traditions over your four day weekend such as different food themed days (seafood festival, outdoor picnic), family games and sports, Easter treasure hunts, day at the beach, MYO eggs, crafts, markets, local events and farm stays. Consider other presents to include in the Easter basket such as pyjamas, books, lego and mind puzzles.