You successfully bounced back on the health train after the obvious indulgence post Christmas and New Years. The last thing you want is a four-day long weekend to hamper that sculpted waistline.
Guess what, it has come to life – the Easter weekend is well underway. As joyous and exciting this mid-year break is; this time off can also prove to be dangerously harmful for our blood sugar levels and the bum.
Due to the commercialisation of Easter, chances are 70 per cent of you just know Easter to be a chocolate-eating time off work and school. Imagine undoing all your hard work at training with a few bites of chocolate. Breaks my heart to even think about it.
Sadly, this holiday has become more about the chocolate than its traditional aspect. But wait, I’m not here to ponder upon that.
I’m here to save you from the Easter bunny and his alluring chocolate teeth.
Facts about Easter eggs
Easter eggs might be hollow from inside, but these evil creatures are still powerful enough to shake you off your training and healthy eating schedule.
Here’s what you might consume in the coming days, and the kind of training they demand to burn off.
- One giant Easter bunny = 1 hour and 40 minutes of high-intensity jogging or skipping.
- One 200g Easter egg = 1 hour of high-intensity jogging or 2 hours of power walking.
- One 100g Easter egg = ½ hour of high-intensity jogging or skipping.
- One 7g Easter egg (the baby ones) = 10 minutes of jogging or skipping.
Shocking, isn’t it? We don’t realise how much sugar and fat content is packed in these colourful foil-wrapped creatures, and the amount of damage they can really do to our body. These sugary treats just kiss the lips, and forever stay on the hips.
However, this doesn’t imply that you forbid yourself from all treats for the coming days. You’re allowed some treats, but all you need to do is plan wisely and train harder to earn that treat.
Tips for the Easter weekend
- Save a treat for Easter Sunday: The idea of Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies is to have that one special day to really devour the treat. It’s almost like running the last leg of the race and knowing that you’ll have a fountain of water at the end of it. Just because supermarkets start stocking chocolate eggs and hot cross buns from January, doesn’t mean you have to participate in the marketing gimmick and indulge in it. Buy your favourite kind of chocolate egg (a reasonable size) and save it for Easter Sunday. Add more fun and ask your partner/mum/sister/dog to hide it for you in the house. Come Sunday, you would have truly earned that goodness.
- Exercise in the morning: The idea of a sleep-in for the next four days sounds wonderful, but taking out an hour before you put food into the belly is vital for this holiday period. You need to kick-start the metabolism and actually work for all the treats.
- Limit alcohol: You’re already consuming more than usual amounts of sugar; with extra alcohol consumption, you’ll just be loading on unnecessary empty calories. If you can’t surpass the drinks, be sure to steer away from aerated soft drinks. Coconut water cocktails, anyone?
- Sharing is caring: You teach your kids that; now it’s time for you to practice it. Share the chocolate egg, if you can’t put a complete stop to it. When cracking the Easter bunny, eat only his ear – don’t worry, the bunny won’t mind.
- Eggs for breakfast: And I mean, the real eggs with yolk and all. If you have a protein-rich breakfast, you won’t necessarily crave sugar till 3pm.
- No white chocolate: Pick 70% and up variety of dark chocolate, wherever possible, as it’s rich in antioxidants and potassium. Stay far, far away from white chocolate, that thing is no good for you.
- Practice your willpower: It’s a tough weekend, indeed. Supermarket catalogues, shopping centres and excited kids will make you want to indulge in some sugary delights (or demons), but this is when your willpower nudges in. Practice it. Don’t let professionally edited photos of an Easter bunny lure you; you have trained hard enough for this. Don’t let peer pressure pull you down, and most importantly, don’t be embarrassed of your healthy regime. Stand proud and say ‘no!’
- Indulge in ‘good’ fats: The argument of ‘fat being better than sugar’ is a never-ending saga. But one thing is for sure, this Easter, your get-out-of-jail card comes in the form of ‘good’ fats, such as avocado, raw nuts, olive oil. A super tip: have a handful of raw nuts before you head out for dinner; it’ll curb your appetite and avoid binge eating.
- Limit the meat intake: Traditionally, Good Friday is meant to be meat-free. Why not practice it? Consume meat for two, or maximum three meals, during the entire four-day holiday period. Stick to lean meat, wherever possible.
Raw chocolate Easter Eggs
If the sound of a 100% raw, certified organic, vegan, dairy, gluten and sugar free chocolate Easter egg recipe makes you jump out of your chair, then that’s the plan.
Jemma Gawned is the delightful brainchild behind Naked Treaties. Her truly authentic business, based in serene Byron Bay, is packed with love and to further spread that, Jemma has come up with a chocolate Easter egg recipe, exclusively for you all.
If you haven’t tried Naked Treaties handmade raw goodies prior to this, then you need to get to one of these outlets near you. They are to die for.
Enjoy these bake-free, hassle-free, guilt-free raw Easter eggs.
3/4 cup of raw cacao butter
1/4 cup of extra virgin coconut butter (oil)
1 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 cup agave
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract or half a vanilla bean pod scraped (optional)
1) In a metal bowl, over a saucepan of steaming water or a double boiler on a very low flame (or in the sun if you’re still lucky enough to have any!), gently melt cacao and coconut butter. It helps to chop the cacao butter finely.
2) Once melted fold in the raw cacao powder.
3) Once combined, fold in the agave stirring continuously.
4) Pour batter into your favourite chocolate mould (you can buy these in most $2 shops or Spotlight). Add nuts, goji berries or a drop of organic essential oil such as peppermint, lime or orange, on top. You can also leave it plain and chocolaty.
5) Place into the fridge to set.
Tip: For chunky chocolate, that’s even more chocolately, omit the coconut butter and use cacao butter only. A hit with the kids… Yum!
Paleo Hot Cross Buns
The idea of spending Easter without gulping down hot cross buns is almost shocking, but what’s even more shocking is to know that it takes 20-minutes of high-intensity exercise to burn only ONE traditional hot cross bun. And that’s before it’s smothered with butter.
Sydney-based holistic health and wellness coach, Melissa Ambrosini, comes to the rescue here with this gluten-free hot cross bun recipe. This easy version has proven to be a contender of the traditional kind in the battlefield of taste. Check out Mel’s website, Path to Wellness.
Now give it a go, in the name of health!
• 3 cups ground almonds (make sure these have been soaked prior)
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
• Pinch of sea salt
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons raw honey
• Zest from 1 orange
• 2 eggs
• 80g raisins
• 40g organic cacao powder
• Coconut oil (to grease baking tray)
1) Preheat oven to 160 C.
2) Combine dry ingredients (almonds, baking soda, vanilla, cacao powder, salt and cinnamon) in bowl and mix well.
3) Add wet ingredients (oil, honey, orange, eggs) to food processor and mix.
4) Add wet ingredient to dry ingredients and mix.
5) Scoop out 14 small portions and place onto the greased baking tray.
6) Bake for 30 minutes or until golden.
7) Remove and let cool.
8 Serve with fresh homemade jam or eat on its own.
Note – Melissa uses certified organic ingredients wherever possible
Happy Easter, everyone!