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So, chocolate eggs? That’s something you’ve been thinking about a lot lately, right? As Easter holidays approach and candy and chocolate are disappearing from shelves at local grocery stores – get ready, you are about to welcome the sweetest weekend of the year.
Easter is the second biggest selling season, and while balance in both shopping and eating is the answer, it’s still, for many, easier said than done. The sweetest holiday, as every year, raise questions on how to keep your health on track and your waistline in balance. Moreover, not only yours, but your children’s as well.
While dark chocolate is a healthier alternative to milk chocolate, and of better nutritional value, you need to encourage your kids to eat healthier and practice a healthy lifestyle. We all know that kids mostly do what they see, and behave the way adults are behaving, so, for both you and your kids, you need to introduce and practice a healthier version of the sweetest holiday.
This is what you should have in mind:
- We make food mistakes
- Often we are manipulated by the brand
- We are victims of our habits
- We often shop for more food than we need
“Every day, we each make around 200 decisions about eating. But studies have shown that 90% of these decisions are made without any conscious thought” (Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink).
Thus, how can you enjoy yourself without ruining your diets and be a good role model to your kids? Don’t panic! With a few good tricks and tips, you can enjoy and relax, and have a healthy Easter.
Try new recipes!
While Easter is a traditional holiday, you can think about introducing new family meals by including something new and healthier into your traditional recipes. It’s easier to go with the food and recipes proven to be delicious, but if you put time into making your dinner healthier, you might be surprised to see how some veggies and fruits can be very delicious. Moreover, many traditional recipes can be healthier if you substitute certain ingredients, or reduce them (sugar or butter).
Ready for healthy Easter cuisine? Then stock the fridge!
Take your time before going shopping and create a detailed list of the food you truly need. Your grocery list should include many fresh vegetables and fruits and delicious, healthy foods you should stock your fridge with, so you don’t reach for candy, cookies or chocolate egg. Find healthy alternatives that can satisfy your sweet tooth. Think about healthier food alternatives for your kids as well.
Watch your portion size!
Kitchen is a famous get-together place for the holiday, and if you will be sitting down to more than one table, watch your portions. Most people will be eating multiple times later in the day, so it’s either watching your portion size or getting your relatives angry and disappointed. Moreover, eating large portions satisfies us only for a moment.
Remember: a standard serving of veggies is the size of a baseball (roughly), while a standard serving of meat is commonly the size of the palm of your hand (without fingers!).
Avoid bulk buying!
It’s alright to satisfy your sweet cravings and eat chocolate, but you should avoid bulk buying. Think of food in terms of quality not quantity. It’s better to buy a small amount of high quality chocolate, rather than to opt for lots of chocolate of poor quality. Dark chocolate isn’t only a good alternative for your kids. Chocolate with more than 70 percent of cocoa is healthier, due to more antioxidants it contains.
Try raw cacao
Cacao is packed with antioxidants that protect against free damaging radicals, strengthening your heart, and protecting your skin and whole organism. Rich in calcium and potassium, cacao raises serotonin levels, improving your mood, so it’s perfect for cooking and smoothies. Moreover, healthy people who regularly eat chocolate have a lower BMI than those who don’t eat chocolate at all. However, the answer lies in small amounts, so small amount of high quality cacao cookies or dark chocolate is great for your overall health.
Remember: eating (healthy) dark chocolate on an empty stomach will only give you an energy boost leaving you asking for more food soon and hungry, very quickly. Keep chocolates and cookies for dessert.
Being a parent on Easter is both hard and wonderful. While it’s wonderful to run around with your children, someone still has to eat all those eggs, right? But you should take advantage of Easter egg hunts, as you will burn extra calories while having an amazing time with your kids. You can search for local Easter egg hunts or take a walk with your loved ones. In 30 minutes, you can burn 100-200 calories. It can be fun doing jumping jacks and other exercises with your kids, and burn more calories.
Keep a food diary
Some people are having a hard time tracking what and how much they eat. If you are one of those people, keeping a food diary is a good option. You can start monitoring your food a few days before Easter – this will help you stop snacking or decrease mindless eating and prepare you for healthier food choices. Researchers found out that people who keep records of the food day eat lose twice as much weight than those who don’t monitor what they put in their stomach.
Drink in moderation or avoid alcohol. The standard beer has between 140 and 170 calories, and if you cannot drink one, it’s better to not drink at all. Although wine is healthy, if you drink wine before a meal, it will stimulate your appetite. Alcohol adds more calories because it temporarily prevents your body to burn fat, interfering with your metabolism. When you are drinking excess amounts of alcohol, your body is not using fat for energy, but calories from the alcohol.
Remember: this is a family holiday, so a glass of wine will improve your mood, but two glasses will do more bad than good.
Easter is a special holiday, but a regular day!
For many of us Easter is a special holiday, but it is also a regular day, like any other. The problem is that we use holidays to “get away” from our everyday lives and to escape from daily routines, but it’s not good to cheat from healthy living. However, you can enjoy a holiday, and still keep up with healthy habits. Make good choices; don’t substitute them with bad ones, even if it’s only for a few days. Use this special holiday to become more conscious about what food you eat and what you can do to improve your nutrition.
Images credit: 123rf.com
Last article update: 4/4/2019