How to have a healthy and mindful Easter06 April 2017
With Easter just around the corner, Dietitian and British Dietetic Association (BDA) Spokesperson, Dimple Thakrar, explains how you can enjoy Easter without sacrificing your health.
The BDA, founded in 1936, is the professional association and trade union for registered dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals with over 9,000 members.
Often special occasions like Easter are accompanied by family gatherings that are abundant in traditional food items that can be high in fat and sugar. Easter is no exception with chocolate in all shapes and forms and those freshly baked hot cross buns. Family celebrations and enjoying traditions are important for our happiness and wellbeing. Enjoying celebrations like Easter can be fun, happy and healthy if you apply some simple top tips.
Have a mindful Easter
"Mindfulness is about being in a state of awareness and this can be applied to enjoying food – known as mindful eating – where you are fully conscious in the moment when you eat and you are truly aware of what you are eating.
"Easter is often associated with excessive consumption of chocolate and other sweet treats, and then the feeling of guilt that follows this. However it is important for us to develop a healthy and positive relationship with food and mindful eating can help with this.
"Start by being aware of portion sizes – as a guide, a portion of chocolate is roughly the same size as your index finger – and think about moderation when it comes to consuming foods high in fat and sugar. Begin your holiday break by agreeing with yourself how much chocolate and sweet treats you feel is appropriate to enjoy.
"Then when you do choose to indulge in the sweet stuff, make sure you do so mindfully – away from distractions like the television or your phone for example. Make sure to look at the food you are eating and really savour the texture, smell, taste – enjoy it in a guilt free way. This will help you feel more satisfied and reduce the likelihood of over-eating (however it is important that if you do over indulge, don’t beat yourself up about it – accept the situation and move on!)."
Interested in finding out more about mindfulness? Check out Dimple’s video Mindful Eating with Dimple Thakrar.
Additional tips for a healthy Easter:
1. Enjoy the benefits of oily fish! Traditionally some religions encourage abstaining from meat consumption on Good Friday. Why not take this opportunity to add some oily fish into your diet? Oily fish like salmon or mackerel are tasty, nutritious and rich in heart healthy oils and fats.
2. Kick start your Easter with a healthy breakfast! To ensure you start the day with a healthy and filling breakfast, think about swapping those chocolate eggs for poached, scrambled or boiled eggs on Easter morning. Combine this with some wholegrain toast to boost your fibre intake, along with some mushrooms or tomatoes lightly fried in sunflower oil, to go towards your 5-a-day. Not only are eggs an affordable, low-fat source of protein and essential amino acids, starting the day with a combined protein/carbohydrate source reduces cravings and encourages stable eating habits during the day.
3. Up your veg intake! Often Easter lunch in the UK will involve a traditional roast. This can be a really good opportunity to include plenty of vegetables. As well as being quick and easy, boiling and steaming are healthy ways to cook vegetables as these methods maximise the amount of nutrients you will obtain from eating, without adding to the calorie content. Also be aware that condiments like cranberry sauce and mint sauce can be quite high in sugar, so enjoy these in moderation.
4. Get moving! Use the bank holiday weekend to get outdoors and do some fun activities – a great way to enjoy the Easter break whilst keeping fit and healthy. The current recommendations for exercise are 30 minutes of exercise, five times a week. Regular physical activity is so important for heart health, wellbeing and weight management. Maybe go for a walk in the park with your family, or attend a gym class with a friend.
For more information on portion sizes and healthy eating, visit the BDA's free Food Fact Sheet resource: https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/home
For more information / interview requests, please contact the BDA Press Office on
0800 048 1714
Notes to the Editor:
- Visit the BDA website at www.bda.uk.com and on Twitter at @BrDieteticAssoc
- Registered dietitians are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems at an individual and wider public health level. Uniquely, dietitians use the most up to date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease, which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.
- Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be statutorily regulated, and governed by an ethical code, to ensure that they always work to the highest standard. Dietitians work in the NHS, private practice, industry, education, research, sport, media, public relations, publishing, Non Government Organisations and government. Their advice influences food and health policy across the spectrum from government, local communities and individuals.