Many people say that Easter is one of their favourite times of the year. For some it is a break from work. It might be a chance to catch up with family and friends. Or maybe the chance to get away for a few days. Some people simply like the opportunity to stay at home and have a rest.
Just like other ‘favourite’ times of the year, it is easy for Easter to become a time when we overindulge. So we’ve come up with a few tips for staying healthy over the break while still having some fun.
This is a time of year where we often eat and drink a lot. If so it is important to get some exercise. Going for a walk before or after a meal is a good chance to get some in. You can talk while you walk which means you catch up with others in a non-food setting. The break means you are more likely to have the time to exercise so take the opportunity to get out into the fresh air. It is good for your mind as well as your body so make the most of it before the colder weather arrives.
Eat more dark chocolate
Many people will agree that dark chocolate is more flavoursome than regular chocolate. It is also healthier, containing less calories and it is a source of polyphenols, which are good for our health and wellbeing.
Go for quality over quantity
All chocolate is not created equal. You may make the decision to consume a smaller amount of good quality chocolate. While it may be more expensive, the better quality, the better the taste. Taking time to enjoy good quality chocolate may mean you eat less but still enjoy the treat. And generally speaking, the higher the quality of chocolate, the better it is for you.
Try chocolate covered fruit
A healthy treat that still includes chocolate is chocolate covered fruit. Dip whole strawberries, grapes or banana slices in melted chocolate. Microwave the chocolate on 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring between spurts, until smooth.
Give gifts that are not food
If you are buying presents for kids think about buying them something other than chocolate. While it is a time for celebrating, most children will already be receiving a lot of the sweet stuff. Other gifts such as toys, books or clothes are healthier and will last longer.
Enjoy a healthy Easter lunch
If you’re planning a get-together over the Easter holiday, think about healthy ideas for meals. If you enjoy seafood this may be an option as it is rich in protein and healthy omega 3 fatty acids - salmon, mackerel and sardines particularly so. Many people eat fish on Good Friday, and there are some great recipes (you’ll find some on our website) that are healthy but delicious.
Enjoy hot cross buns in moderation
You don’t have to go without hot cross buns, but don’t have too many, and go easy on the butter. If you enjoy baking you could bake your own with wholemeal flour and you can control the amount of sugar that is added. Some bakeries sell these.
Enjoy everything else in moderation too
With most things moderation is the key. There is no point denying yourself all the things that you love about Easter. However whether it is your chocolate consumption, drinking or general snacking and meals, enjoy in moderation.
We hope you have a happy, healthy and safe Easter.