By Nutritionist and GoodnessMe Box health editor Melissa Fine.
Easter isn’t the easiest time to be giving up chocolate – So instead of saying you’re not going to have any chocolate at all over the holidays, only to end up pigging out on it at the end of the day – why not make some smarter chocolate choices instead?
1) Watch Your Portions
The other day I took a giant, 100 g Easter egg home. Lesson learned. If you feel like an Easter egg, go for it – but have one or two mini, thumbprint sized eggs, or one that’s equivalent to a fun-sized chocolate (around 35 g). Buying a king size egg or tray of choc Easter eggs to ‘last you the whole week’ is easier said than done.
2) Go Dark
“I’ll just have one piece of milk chocolate” goes out the window once I starting eating it, something to do with the fact that milk or white ‘chocolate’ is highly processed and high in refined sugar - which makes it highly addictive.
But with bittersweet dark chocolate that has a high percentage of cacao – at least 80% - one or two pieces and I’m satisfied. You’re also more likely to eat dark chocolate more slowly because of its intense, rich flavour, which really lingers in the mouth long after you’ve eaten it…Dark chocolate really makes you appreciate your chocolate more!
3) Find Healthier Substitutes
Miss your milk chocolate? Check out Well Naturally’s No Added Sugar Milk Chocolate (in the health food aisle at supermarkets). Super creamy and sweetened with stevia (a zero calorie, natural, plant-based sweetener), a couple squares is a good alternative to confectionery-style milk chocolate. Great that it comes in a smaller portion-sized bar too.
I’m also loving mini carob Easter eggs (from health food stores); Carob is naturally sweet, so there’s no need for it to have added sugar. And it’s caffeine free, a good option if you find all that Easter chocolate leaves you or your kids wired. Plus it tastes like fudge ;)
4) Save it for the Celebrations
Dessert always tastes better when you’re out and about with a fun crowd, and when there’s reason to celebrate don’t you think? Popping one mini choc egg after the next after the next while watching telly ends up being not so fun, especially with the bellyache that follows.
5) Don’t be so Hard on Yourself
Ended up going overboard on that giant chocolate bunny in the office? Don’t beat yourself up about it by going to buy a giant Easter egg because you’ve ‘failed’ and ‘may as well gorge on chocolate for the rest of the week’. Aim to make your next meal a healthy one instead, filled with lots of vegies, some good quality protein (like fish, chicken or tofu) and whole grains – You’ll feel better for it.
Also remember that you’re human and no one’s perfect. Besides, Easter’s meant to be a time to enjoy yourself – and with that comes chocolate ;)