Top tips from Holistic Nutritionist Natalie Brady on making healthy choices at Easter.
Always start your day with a nourishing breakfast
Starting your day on the right foot helps to set the intention for the day and often can have a positive knock-on effect throughout the day. Make sure your breakfast contains protein (eggs, protein powder, nuts, seeds), good fats (avocado, nuts, seeds, nut butter, yoghurt) and greens (spinach, kale, rocket, watercress). This will ensure your blood sugar levels are stabilized and it will keep you satiated for hours, making sweets less appealing. Good options include an omelette with rocket and avocado, a protein smoothie with nut butter, protein powder, spinach, berries, chia seeds or a yoghurt breakfast bowl with nuts, seeds, yoghurt, berries, banana.
Shift your focus
Overindulging is often the focus around Easter, and that habit can be challenging to break if you’ve been giving into it for years, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, shift your focus to enjoying the holiday with family and friends and relaxing. Put your feet up, unwind, grab yourself a nice new book or magazine, go for a walk daily in the fresh air. Food, although wonderful to share and enjoy with family and friends doesn’t need to be the centre of attention. Shifting your focus slightly more to your health and relaxation can be very empowering.
Encourage healthier gifting
When shopping for Easter treats choose good quality dark chocolate, and seasonal favourites like Hot Cross buns made with organic ingredients. Or, try a handmade festive gift – this cacao face masque is a great wee treat packaged up in a glass jar for someone special.
Be honest and realistic with yourself
Try to be realistic about your health goals this Easter. Remember, deprivation isn’t the answer. Food is both for nourishment and pleasure. Allow yourself to enjoy these foods in moderation, guilt-free! Remember food is abundant, you don’t need to binge on chocolate, the chocolate it’s not going anywhere, so enjoy a small amount and know you can have it again at a late date. Make sure you keep your health on track around these treat meals. As mentioned above, always start your day with a nourishing breakfast, and make sure your lunch and dinner meal also contains protein, good fats, lots of fresh vegetables and some whole grain carbs. This way you’ll be less inclined to reach your hand into the chocolate bag as the wholefoods would fill your body with goodness leaving you feeling good and nourished.
Homemade Chocolate Bark Recipe
This dairy free, gluten free and refined sugar free recipe is so simple and so yummy! It contains raw ingredients, making the chocolate vitamin, mineral and antioxidant rich.
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
Pinch sea salt
2 tbsp coconut flakes
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp cranberries
Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Allow to cool.
Add cacao powder, maple syrup and salt to the cooled coconut oil, and stir until well combined.
Line a squared slice tin with baking paper and pour in the chocolate, roughly 1cm thick.
Sprinkle the seeds, coconut flakes and cranberries evenly over the top. Refrigerate to set (about 20-30 minutes) then cut into triangles and enjoy!
Written by Natalie Brady, Holistic Nutritionist