Easter is just around the corner! Before you assume your long weekend will be filled with sugary binges and consequently an addition to your waistline, try a few of my tips below. I challenge you to make it a healthy and happy one.
1. START YOUR DAY LIGHTLY:
If you are having a large Easter lunch or dinner, then there is no need to stuff yourself silly from when you first wake up. Some healthy options include a fresh vegetable juice or smoothie.
If you are still hungry 20 minutes later, try some protein rich eggs, nuts or seeds.
2. HELP OUT YOUR DIGESTION:
It is hard work breaking down large amounts and varieties of food over the day. Give your stomach a kick start, by starting each meal with juice ½ lemon, or 2 tsp apple cider vinegar, in warm water.
3. WORK IT OFF:
Keep active through the day, to help burn off any larger food portions consumed. Hiking, swimming, surfing, fishing, skiing and other water sports as well as backyard cricket are popular Easter activities. At the same time, gain healthy sun exposure (without getting burnt), to maintain your Vitamin D levels.
4. AVOID THE REFINED AND PROCESSED FOODS:
Ok, so it’s Easter and there will be an abundance of chocolate giving and indulging. Don’t fear, as you can also enjoy the chocolate treats, without feeling guilty about the health consequences.
It all starts with the cacao bean- from which all chocolate is made.
It is within this cacao gem that lays various nutrients that can replenish stores of minerals, vitamins, neurotransmitters and antioxidants in our body. That’s right, cacao surprisingly has many health benefits in the body!
To make chocolate, the cacao bean is ground up into a powder (cacao) and the oil is extract (cacao butter). Yep, it is still healthy.
Next, the cacao powder is put through a process of refinement (makes cocoa) and combined with sugar, dairy, soy and other additives, to make the end product chocolate, and that is what nullifies cacaos health properties.
5. EAT HEALTHY CHOCOLATE!
So how do we get healthy chocolate? Lets go back to the cacao powder.
This is the unrefined version of cocoa (refined cacao). Unlike cocoa, raw cacao still contains an array of nutrients.
When raw cacao, is mixed with natural sweeteners, leaving out dairy and soy, you have yourself a guilt free treat! You can purchase ‘healthy chocolate’ from health food shops, or you can create some delicious treats at home and impress your friends and family this Easter!
Enjoy this healthy chocolate alternative and above all, enjoy a day of relaxation and fun with friends and family.
DIY CHOCOLATE RECIPE
Makes 1 ¼ cups
- 1 cup cacao butter, shredded and grated
- 1 cup coconut oil
- some almonds/ hazelnuts/ shredded coconut for garnish
- 4 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 tbsp lacuma powder (available at Health food Shops)
- 1 tbsp rice malt syrup
- Put cacao butter into bowl over simmering saucepan of 2 inches of water
- Stir until melted.
- Add rice malt syrup and stir until combined.
- Add cacao powder and lacuma and stir until combined.
- Put coconut oil into another bowl over water, stir until melted.
- Add coconut oil to mixture and combine.
- Add mixture to a squirt bottle (sauce bottle) and squirt slowly to half fill
- molds, shaking the mixture in between each mould.
- Add nuts/ shredded coconut to moulds and top with extra chocolate mixture.
- Continuously shake mixture between each mould.
- Freeze for minimum 3 hours.
You can store in fridge/ freezer.
Enjoy & Happy Easter!