Keeping Healthy During Easter
Easter is one of those holidays which can throw moderation out of the window! Both adults and children alike can be guilty of giving free rein to enjoy whatever, whenever (by which we mean chocolate of course!). While this is obviously hugely enjoyable (and who doesn’t love to eat chocolate without stopping sometimes) you may be trying to build a healthier version of yourself and this unrestrained indulgence might be exactly what you are trying to kick.
If this is the case, aim for an Easter in which you make an active contribution to your body’s health and wellbeing. This is certainly not about deprivation or avoidance of certain foods, but rather about positively changing how you fuel it over Easter: nutrients and satisfaction are the holy grail here!
Here are a few practical and sensible ideas:
- Filling and Satisfying Breakfasts:
Starting the day off with a nutrient-packed and fibre rich breakfast can make a surprising amount of difference in curbing your cravings and balancing the hunger pattern for the rest of the day. After waking up, fuel your body with lean proteins such as eggs or a protein shake. If you prefer slow burning carbs to start your day, a bowl of porridge – topped with a nut butter and berries of course – and on the side, a green smoothie full of leafy greens, is your best friend over Easter. There are endless options for a delicious and nutritious breakfast, so if porridge or scrambled eggs do not appeal, an acai bowl or veggie-based burrito should do the trick. Throughout the day, you should notice less hunger (especially for sugary foods) and greater energy, allowing you to enjoy the day without your body paying the price.
- Stay Hydrated:
An obvious tip – and an extremely important one – is filling up on water little and often throughout the day. Drink before, during and after meals to ensure you stay fuller for longer and help your body function optimally during the busy Easter weekend. Just to name a few great benefits, staying hydrated will improve the processes of digestion, circulation, transport of nutrients and brain function, all of which will make your day more pleasant. Stay on top form during Easter by keeping well hydrated all the time.
- Savoury Before Sweet:
Focus on filling up on the proteins, veggies and complex carbs before demolishing your Easter eggs! Whatever your traditional Easter meal, ensure that this – rather than 10 Easter eggs – is the bulk of your food intake for the day. Only once you are full of your balanced main meal should the chocolate feast begin. That way, desert will be the finishing touch rather than the main event.
- Eat Slowly:
We are all guilty of excitedly diving into a meal only to find a few minutes later that the food on our plate has already been cleared and our stomach is uncomfortably bloated. Eating slowly is not only a way to savour your meals more, but it is far healthier and improves digestion. During your main meals, chew slowly in order to allow the release of the hormone, ghrelin, which controls how full you feel. Eating slowly will allow your brain to more accurately process when you are full, a vital aid in avoiding a midday candy binge and the blood sugar roller-coaster that comes with it.
- Look for Healthier Substitutes:
Staying healthy over Easter does not mean you have to deprive yourself of any enjoyment of your sweet treats. Indeed, indulgence is much needed and creates a healthy part of a good relationship with food. With that in mind though, try to purchase chocolate rich in cocoa: preferably 70% plus dark chocolate which will be rich in antioxidants, iron, flavanols and cholesterol lowering properties. Quality dark chocolate is in fact nutrient rich and should be really enjoyed, so swapping your milk chocolate Easter eggs for dark chocolate versions will benefit your body enormously. Challenge yourself and see what interesting chocolate eggs you can find to give for Easter gifts (and some for yourself of course!).
Have a wonderful and happy Easter!