By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 08:28, 08 July 2020
If you’re trying to stick to a healthier regime, even the thought of Easter and all the chocolate that comes with it can be enough to knock you off course.
Luckily, our experts are on hand to offer their top tips on ways you can minimise the unhealthy habits that are so common at Easter time. You don’t have to miss out on all the fun!
1. Stay Social
When you’re trying to be healthy and everyone’s celebrating – it can feel pretty lonely! But never fear, London’s leading Nutritionist Lily Soutter (www.lilysoutternutrition.com) is on hand with a fabulous dessert recipe you can eat whilst on a diet. Better yet, one that the whole family can enjoy. Lily explains that ‘You can enjoy a weight loss friendly dessert that can satisfy any sweet tooth like skinny avocado chocolate mousse’
Lily’s skinny avocado chocolate mousse (serves 4) – 220 calories per serving
You will need:
1 ripe avocado
1 ripe banana
4 tbsp cacao
3 tbsp coconut oil
100ml almond milk
Blend, place into small pots, or glasses, set in fridge and top with raspberries.
Lily adds, “This decadent mousse makes for a perfect dinner party dessert and really does taste as indulgent as it looks. Whilst there may be a tendency to worry about using avocado within sweet treats, in actual fact avocado is the secret ingredient to the desserts rich and velvety texture.
Avocados are not only bursting with nutrients and heart healthy monounsaturated fats but there is also evidence to show that they may support weight loss. One study demonstrated that those who ate half an avocado with their lunch felt 23% more satisfied and had a 28% lower desire to eat over the next 5 hours.”
2. Prioritise Protein
The UK’s leading nutritionist and author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar, Dr Marilyn Glenville (www.glenvillenutrition.com) explains why you may have cravings – “You might have cravings mid-morning because your blood sugar has dropped since breakfast (or no breakfast which is even worse) and your body is asking for a quick fix perhaps from caffeine and sugar or white flour, which is why you might crave a coffee and a Danish or tea and biscuits”.
To try and minimise such cravings Marilyn advises, “eat a predominantly protein-based meal for lunch, such as a tuna salad with a small portion of brown rice or a rye cracker. If you have a mainly carbohydrate-based meal, such as a jacket potato, it can make you feel sleepy.
Where your body naturally has a ‘post-lunch dip’ in the afternoon, a lunch heavy in carbohydrates will promote this. This can then lead to a battle through the afternoon slump and the need for another quick fix to keep you going mid-afternoon”.
Marilyn concludes that if you’re still hungry mid-afternoon “have a snack combining a protein with a carbohydrate- such as apple with nuts or seeds, oatcakes with nut butter or crudités with hummus.” So, if you’re tempted by some of your Easter egg as a mid-morning snack, opt for a protein packed handful of nuts instead to combat those cravings.
Top Tip: Forgot to pack your favourite protein packed snack? Keep the Natures PlusOrganic Paleo Protein Powder (RRP £38.95, www.planetorganic.com) on your desk for an easy go to option. This formula only includes wholesome, organic, natural proteins – which all pack a powerful protein punch. The combination of Organic Sunflower, Organic Pumpkin Seed, Organic Almond, Organic Flax and Organic Protein delivers 20g of vegan protein, along with beneficial fatty acids and dietary fibre. It’s the ultimate all-round organic, vegan protein powder!
3. Keep it raw
If you want to consume some chocolate (and let’s be honest why shouldn’t you, it isEaster after all?!) it’s a good idea to choose a raw chocolate bar like Ombar’s 100% Cacao.
This little bar of joy is made with only two ingredients and is truly the purest of the pure when it comes to chocolate. Thanks to the best organic Ecuadorian fair trade cacao, and no sugar added, Ombar’s 100% Cacao bar showcases the dark and rich tones of chocolate, in its purest form.
Created using only all-natural, plant-based ingredients, and with absolutely no sugar, it’s chocolate you can feel good about. This super dark vegan chocolate bar is part of Ombar’s core range of 35g chocolate bars and is available from Planet Organic, Wholefoods, independent health food stores and online at www.ombar.co.uk, RRP £1.99 for 35g bar)
4. Control Sugar Levels
With so much sugar surrounding us at Easter time, it can be a daunting time for diabetics. The Type 2 Diabetes supplement CuraLin (RRP £59.00, www.curalife.co)is a natural way to balance your glucose levels. CuraLin is a natural nutritional supplement for people with Type 2 Diabetes and can be taken alongside medication and promotes healthy and balanced blood sugar levels, as well as boosting daily energy levels. If you’re struggling to resist the Easter treats, CuraLin can also help reduce cravings and absorption for sugary foods and carbs, which will help keep your diet healthy!
5. Stay Hydrated
If you find yourself day-dreaming about that hot cross bun, you might not actually be hungry. Nutritionist & Fitness Instructor, Cassandra Barns explains, “not only can drinking plenty of water make you feel more energised and alert, but staying hydrated throughout the day can also help deter you from mindless snacking.
Often we can feel hungry, when actually it may be that we are dehydrated. Drinking a glass of water in between meals may help reduce snacking, as it has a mild effect on quietening down our hunger hormone Ghrelin.”