So, the Easter weekend is nearly upon us. Maybe you are already surrounded by foil wrapped chocolates and hot cross buns??
Easter can be a time when we overdo it. After all, it is a holiday that just seems to be loaded with chocolate! But with a bit of careful planning, you can avoid overdoing it and still enjoy some treats along the way
Here are my top tips:
Start the day with a good breakfast
Try and eat a good breakfast with protein, fibre, complex carbs and healthy fats. This will help to stabilise your appetite and keep your chocolate cravings in check. If you get this bit right, you will probably feel more motivated to keep up healthy habits for the rest of the day and less likely to slip into the all or nothing mindset! And how good will you feel knowing that you have got 33% of your daily nutrients sorted in just one meal!
Good options would be a spinach and salmon omelette, avocado and scrambled egg, porridge with nuts, seeds and berries
Eggs don’t have to be chocolate!
Real eggs are a great source of nutrients including zinc, selenium, vitamin D and protein. And they are a perfect food to have for breakfast as above.
- Don’t be tempted by the hot cross buns at the supermarket till. They are laden with sugar. Some have 20 grams of sugar per bun! And this can put your body on the blood sugar roller coaster and cause havoc with your hormones. Read the full impact of sugar on your health here https://greendenenutrition.com/2021/03/24/ditch-the-sugar-balance-your-hormones-and-feel-great/
But if you really do want to include hot cross buns as a special treat though, why don’t you have a go at making your own? And then you can swap out some of the refined sugar for some more natural ingredients. This recipe is vegan, contains some veg and doesn’t have any added sugar. A great one to bake with the kids! But do remember, moderation is key here as they do still contain some natural sugars which will spike your blood sugars too.
Make protein the star of your snacks
If you want to avoid the chocolates which may be scattered around the house and seem to stare you in the face wherever you look, stock up on nuts and seeds instead. If you’re meeting friends outside for an Easter egg hunt, take a few nuts with you. They are a clever way to keep your blood sugar stable. They will hit the spot and stop you reaching out for, or accepting sugary snacks.
Arrange an Easter egg hunt outdoors
Arrange an Easter egg hunt outdoors or egg and spoon race with the family. You will you be getting some fresh air and exercise as well as a good measure of Vitamin D. Amongst other things, vitamin D supports your immune function and keeps your muscles and bones strong. And exercise will not only improve your blood sugars, but improve your mood and just make you feel calmer all round. No stressed out Easter bunnies here!
Remember that supermarkets are not generally open on Easter Sunday. So, make sure your fridge is stocked with lots of healthy foods. It’s so much easier to avoid those sugary snacks when they are not there!
Enjoy a traditional Easter meal
If you are having a traditional meal of roast lamb over the Easter period, remember that there are plenty of seasonal foods around at this time of year which provide some great nutrients. All of the following are in season right now – cabbage, cauliflower, onions, spinach, spring greens. So, if you are celebrating with a roast, don’t forget to pile your plate high with lots of veg too. These are full of antioxidants, fibre and essential vitamins and minerals to support your health.
When you do have a treat, stop and savour the taste and texture. Mindful eating has been shown to regulate your appetite and leaves you far more satisfied. And remember that the treats don’t have the be the main focus of the meal!
Take time to practice self care
If you have time off work, take your time to really relax. We all know the impacts of stress on your health. It can increase your blood pressure, zap your energy , increase your fat stores, suppress your immune function and digestion and wreak havoc with your hormones.
So why not dust off your bike, go for a run or get out to go for a long walk. Your body and your health will thank you for it
And finally choose your treats wisely
Remember that not all chocolate is created equal. Ditch the sugary milk chocolate for dark chocolate which is full of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Opt for quality over quantity. Always go for dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa. And the strong flavour may mean that you eat less!
So here’s to a wonderful healthy Easter break. If you would like to know more about heathy nutrition and lifestyle, I would love to hear from you. And why not download my guide on how to transition through your menopause in a happy and healthy way.
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