A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Five Easy Ways to Have a Healthy and Happy Easter

Can you believe it’s already time for Easter? I feel like people are still making resolutions for the New Year! Speaking of, if you need a change, don’t wait for a new year to roll around; set your changes for tomorrow or next week. There’s no set rule on when you can choose to make a big change for the better in your life.

Photo taken from Chocolate-Covered Katie

Even Easter can be a great time to resolve things in your life. We all focus on living a healthier life, but so many holidays revolve around chocolate and other sugary sweets. I say we can have tasty treats that are actually good for us everyday; it just takes a little thinking. Hey, the brain needs exercise too!

As a kid, I remember consuming tons of candy and what was called chocolate, but nothing like the real stuff. Now that I’m more aware of the food I eat, candy is not a part of my diet (ever) and I’ll only have a little pure bittersweet chocolate in moderation. Of course I do like to treat myself to Annie’s Homegrown Chocolate Bunny Grahams………yes, I indulge too.

For those with children or a child who looks up to you, they’ll pay attention to what you have for special occasions. Help shape their way of thinking about these occasions by focusing mostly on healthier foods with a small amount of “treats” for pleasure.

Even without kids, a healthier lifestyle is something we can all benefit from and enable us to enjoy life better. Where’s the fun in getting outdoors or moving at all if you’re too out of shape?

As humans we aren’t meant to sit inside all day, we should be moving, doing things, enjoying company of others, etc……..just no sitting around and eating crap.

Now that I’m done (for now) with my tiny tangent; here are some ideas on how to incorporate healthier practices this Easter and beyond:

1. Focus on wholesome food that’s till tasty. If you’re having meat, choose lean cuts like rounds and loins; pick boneless, skinless for game and poultry options.

Seasoned right, lean meat is healthy and delicious!

2. Limit the candy to only what is used in Easter eggs for the egg hunt. If you don’t hunt eggs, just limit candy and avoid anything with hydrogenated oils at all costs!! Even better, make your own healthy treats for kids and yourself using recipes like these Chocolate Bunnies on Chocolate-Covered Katie’s Blog.

Another photo by Chocolate-Covered Katie (she takes great pics!)

3. Make your own baked goods! Store-bought breads and pastries are loaded with fats, sugars, and other stuff you wouldn’t find or use in your kitchen. Make something easy like 5-Minute Carrot Cake in the microwave or a cake sweetened with a stevia-sweetened beverage like Zevia (here’s a recipe I posted).

Zevia baked goods in the fore and backgrounds.

4. Keep healthy foods out for the grazers lurking before and after your big meal. Here are 7 healthy “snack” food ideas.

Cayenne Dill Dip served with crudites would be perfect!

5. Roasted veggies are a must! Serve a side of these Honey-Glazed Carrots or cut a medley of vegetables into equal sized cubes or sticks and roast in the oven to bring out their natural sweetness. Here’s a great post to give you some roasted veggie ideas and a recipe.

The pan's not big enough to fit all of my favorites!

It might seem like a lot to handle, but if you take an hour to plan it out, you’ll see how easy it really is. Plus, you’ll feel better and maybe have energy to go on your own Easter egg hunt…..kids can’t have all the fun!

Do you have any healthy tips for Easter or other holidays? What do you think about setting resolutions anytime of the year?

If you celebrate it, I hope you have a Happy and Healthy Easter with friends and family!!

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