The Easter holidays are usually a time when we switch off from the routines of the day-to-day and take the time to connect with family, friends and loved ones over good food and conversation. Whilst getting stuck into the Easter choccies and hot cross buns can be a highlight of the Easter break, it can also be a time when feelings of guilt and shame arise around the food that you’re eating (and how many Haighs bunnies and eggs you’ve devoured!).

It’s important to remind yourself that Easter comes once a year, and it should be a time when you allow yourself to enjoy your favourite chocolates, buns and desserts without beating yourself up about it. A few treats isn’t going to ruin your progress—all things can be enjoyed in moderation—and you don’t need to punish yourself post-Easter by engaging in restrictive dieting behaviours or excessive exercising. 

So, how can you ensure you maintain a healthy relationship with food over this Easter period?

We reached out to Happy Way nutritionist Rach, who shares her top tips so you can enjoy your stash of Cadbury creme eggs minus the guilts!

TIP #1 

Easter Hot Cross Buns

Allow yourself to enjoy chocolates and buns and then forget about it. Don’t beat yourself up over what you’ve eaten—enjoy it and then move on, guilt-free. If you’re spending the Easter break with friends and family, you may not be able to control what’s being served at the Easter festivities, but that’s ok. The more forbidden we perceive chocolate and hot cross buns, the more desirable they become, and this is when we tend to lose control with our consumption and let our cravings take over. 

TIP #2

Maintain a healthy diet around the treats—try to start each day with a healthy breakfast. Drink plenty of water and enjoy a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats within your meals, where possible. Try to fill up on healthy and nutritious meals first, and then you can enjoy your Easter goodies afterwards, rather than binging on chocolate first thing in the morning!

TIP #3

Try to keep active. After a big Easter lunch or chocolate indulgence, take some time for a “digestion walk”—simply moving the body will help how you feel both mentally and physically. If you’re keeping up with your regular exercise routine during the Easter break, well done you! You deserve to kick back and allow yourself to enjoy some Easter goodness.

TIP #4

Tray of Easter cookies

Give yourself permission to have treats in the house—they don’t all need to be consumed over the Easter weekend so you ‘get rid of them’ and therefore eliminate the temptation. Binging on your stash of goodies in a couple of days is likely going to make you feel worse than if you were to have a choccie egg (or 2?) after dinner over the weeks that follow. Trust yourself and the healthy boundaries you set—you’ve got this!

TIP #5

Practice portion control. Use smaller plates when self-serving, eat until you’re satisfied (but not bursting at the seams), and allow yourself a breather so your tummy can settle before deciding if you want seconds. Sometimes just giving yourself a few minutes to digest makes you realise that you’re not actually still hungry, and perhaps your eyes are just bigger than your belly (yep, guilty!). There’s no harm in saving it for later—plus, who doesn’t love a fridge full of leftovers?

HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES

So, what are some healthy alternatives when visiting your local Haighs or gifting your loved ones this Easter? See some of our suggestions below. 

  1. Choose smaller chocolate eggs, ones that are hollow rather than solid.
  2. Opt for dark chocolate over milk or white chocolate. 
  3. Gift things like Easter pjs, Easter-scented candles or Easter-flavoured teas as an alternative to chocolate.
  4. Make healthy hot cross buns rather than buying from the local store or bakery (see our recipe below).

HEALTHY HOT CROSS BUNS

Healthy Hot Cross Buns

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE BUNS:

  • 175 ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 7 g dry yeast
  • 30 g Nuttelex, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 scoops (45 g) Happy Way Like A Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 300 g bread flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar-free maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp all spice
  • 100 g sultanas
FOR THE CROSS:
  • 20 g plain flour
  • 20 ml water

FOR THE GLAZE:

  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup sugar

METHOD

  1. Heat the almond milk in a saucepan until it’s lukewarm. Remove from the heat and add to a medium bowl.
  2. Add the raw sugar and the dry yeast and stir thoroughly. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes or until small bubbles start to form on the surface. 
  3. In another bowl, whisk the melted Nuttelex and the egg. Then stir in the protein powder, blended oats, sugar-free maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice. 
  4. Fold through the sultanas.
  5. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and allow the dough to rise and double in size. Allow around an hour. 
  6. Preheat the oven to 200˚C fan forced.
  7. Divide the dough into 10 balls and place on a lined baking tray. Set aside and allow it to expand further, leaving it for around 30 minutes
  8. To make the crosses, combine the 20 g of flour and the 20 ml of water and mix well. Pour the mixture into a piping bag and pipe a cross on the top of the buns.
  9. Cook for 15 minutes or until golden, and enjoy. 

    SOME HEALTHY POST EASTER REMINDERS

    Two girls dressed with bunny ears

    • Remember, no guilty feelings about your recent eating—Easter is for enjoying, and it’s done now.
    • If you have leftover chocolates, allow yourself to enjoy a couple after dinner over time rather than eating them all at once.
    • Try to reimplement your healthy habits but be kind and patient with yourself in the process. 
    • Choose meals that will nourish your body and are full of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats.
    • Find ways to bring activity into your life, whether this be a daily walk, the gym, bike riding or whatever movement you find enjoyable. 
    • Retune your appetite control. During the holidays, it’s common to overeat and ignore our body’s signals of feeling full. Try to practise portion control—have smaller meals, listen to your body and stop eating when you feel satisfied.
    • Drink lots of water—this will help with appetite control and hunger cues.
    • Plan your meals to help you stay on track. 

    Happy Easter from all of us at Happy Way! xx

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