Is the Easter Bunny overly generous in your household?

Posted by Eleanor Marshall on 9 April 2015

Is the Easter Bunny overly generous in your household?

For most people Easter equates to spending time with friends and family, enjoying some time off work, fitting in some extra training time, pottering around the garden, travel or something similar.

It can also mean indulging in a few extras, such as chocolate in some shape or form.

Chocolate does contain a high amount of saturated fat and sugar which are typically related to diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Therefore it should be consumed in moderation as part of a well-balanced, nutritious diet. However more recent studies suggest cocoa beans contain a type of phyto-nutrient called catechins that may have a role in the prevention of certain degenerative diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

This phyto-nutrient is an endorphin, like the body’s own happy hormone. The “high” from eating chocolate is similar to the “high,” runners get from endorphin release. This may explain people turn to chocolate when they feel down? A Swiss study showed that eating 40g a day of dark chocolate lowered stress hormones in the bloodstream making people more resilient to stress.

Catechins can also be found in fruits and vegetables, but the body needs to capture as many different types of catechins as possible, such as those found in tea and chocolate.

However if you have an abundance of chocolate surrounding you, here are some tips for reducing the urge to eat ALL your (or your family’s) chocolate straight away:

  • Stop feeling guilty. Practice mindful, intuitive eating (eg. Don’t eat whilst watching television, when you are rushing around).
  • Break up good quality 70% cocoa dark chocolate and mix in with unsalted nuts for a high protein, high energy snack during a training through the hills.
  • Keep chocolate somewhere out of eyesight to resist nibbling on continuously.
  • Larger quantities can be melted down or put into cakes/muffins and shared with work colleagues, friends and family (eg. Beetroot & choc cake, blueberry & choc muffins).
  • Start a new tradition next year of exchanging gifts, such as pyjamas, instead of chocolate.

 For more information on recipes and your nutritional health speak to our Nutritionist, Eleanor Marshall.