“Easter time is the time for Eggs and the time for eggs is Easter time. Chocolate eggs, sugar candy eggs, and lots of coloured hard-boiled eggs.”

Many Australian adults are familiar with this catchy little ditty. If you’re a parent, you may remember watching your kids sing this as they walk around on Easter Hat Parade day. Or, like me, you may remember singing it yourself. Back then, folks with food intolerance or sensitivities were as rare as hen’s teeth, and we all ate chocolate bunnies and hot cross buns with vim and vigor. Nowadays, things are a little bit different. Is it possible to keep on track during the chocolate season? IS there such thing as healthy Easter treats?

The results of the CSIRO Healthy Diet Survey of 40,000 Australian man and women showed that these adults consumed, on average, 3.3 serves of chocolate per week. That’s the equivalent of 32kg of chocolate per year. In your shopping basket at Coles, that’s 16 Cadbury family sized blocks of chocolate, or 32 Lindt Golden Bunnies.

how food intolerance can make or break your weight-loss and training goals

Even though they’re often used interchangeably, food allergies, intolerance, and sensitivities aren’t the same thing. Food allergies are an immune mediated response to a substance (allergen) that stimulates the production proteins (allergy antibodies). These antibodies act to identify and react with foreign substances; you can read more here. Symptoms of food allergies can include hives, swelling of the lips or face, wheezing, difficulty breathing or even anaphylaxis.

Food sensitivities however, can be a little less dramatic and noticeable. They can cause bloating, excess gas, bowel disruptions (either constipation or diarrhea). Less obvious signs are sinus, irritability, migraines or a foggy brain. Food sensitivities can be harder to pin-point, and may be more difficult to test for. It’s the inflammation from eating trigger foods that can really wreck havoc on your fitness successes.

HOW do you STAY ON TRACK OVER EASTER?

The same way you stay on track with your usual gluten-free, dairy-free, goal smashing routine; by being prepared. There’s been many parties I’ve gone to and, in attempt to not ‘put out’ the host or ‘be difficult’, I’ve eaten the foods lovingly provided. This has resulted in an influx of symptoms the following day. I understand that cooking gluten free hot-cross buns, or sourcing dairy-free chocolates may be difficult for some family and friends. This is why I’m usually prepared. Here are some tips to make it a bit easier to stay on track, and keep Easter healthy.

  • If your family or friends wish to gift you sweet treats over Easter, simply ask that they gift a non-food item instead. I like ask for a house plant or bunch of flowers.
  • Have a Pot-Luck Sunday lunch. If friends and family are planning a big gathering for Sunday, consider making it a Pot-Luck meal. Each family/couple/flying solo adult brings a dish. If you make something you know you can eat, you’re guaranteed to have something there to enjoy.
  • BYO. When in doubt about what options may be provided, just pack enough snacks and a meal to last the duration of the function.

WHAT ABOUT SUGAR?

I’m a big fan of ‘everything in moderation’, but I also understand that some foods are better for us than others. Too much sugar in your diet can lead to fatty liver disease, increase your cardiovascular disease risk, cause inflammation in your body, and may attribute to poor gut function. Here’s a great article on sugar.

If you are making your own sweet treats this Easter, consider experimenting with some of these refined sugar substitutes. Yes, it’s still a ‘sugar’. Yes, even too much for the natural stuff can make or break your gym goals, but at least you’re getting some cheeky bonus vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

  • Mashed banana
  • Pureed apples
  • Dates
  • Maple syrup
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Real fruit jam

want to DYI your ‘healthy’ Easter treats?

This week I will be sending out a bonus newsletter or two with some super tasty, super easy, not-going-to-undo-your-hard-work-in-the-gym recipes. Make sure you’re signed up for the newsletter, Light Snack. You’ll also get my bonus ebook, 5 workday snacks!

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