A Healthy Approach to Easter

I hope you’ll indulge me as I “recycle” this post in honor of Earth Day! I wrote it last year and since many of you are new to the Nourish Blog since then, perhaps it will be new to you. Isn’t that what’s so great about recycling, after all? Besides, I’m hopelessly behind this week and recycling this post is one way I can be gentle with myself – I hope you find your own way to do the same so you can find a little breathing room for yourself to enjoy the weekend ahead!

Easter Treats – Make ‘Em Worth It (originally posted 4-3-10)

It’s Easter weekend and for many would-be healthy eaters it’s a test of endurance to survive the seemingly endless parade of Easter treats that arrive in stores at this time of year. Frankly, whether you celebrate Easter or not, I think the retailers make it hard to resist the onslaught of sugar-laden treats with which they fill the aisles. And that’s all BEFORE the family feast scheduled for Easter Sunday!

My philosophy around Easter Treats is pretty simple. Pick the ones that are unequivocally worth it to you and enjoy them without guilt this weekend.

Personally, I treasure the tradition of an Easter dinner eaten among family and friends, and ours includes a host of Eastern European traditional foods: a rich egg bread called “paska”, baked ham, kielbasa (aka Polish sausage), pickled eggs and beets, freshly grated horseradish, and many other family treasures. I look forward to the annual meal and to the tradition its preparation upholds, so I eat it without a trace of guilt!

As for those sweet treats? My personal “worth it” list includes:

1) Cadbury Mini Eggs…not the kind with the yolk centers but those little pastel-candy-coated-solid-chocolate gems…

2) Starburst Jelly Beans…original flavors please – none of the tropical stuff

3) My newest obsession…Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Babka (oh my word)

I can’t wait until Easter morning when I “discover” my basket that holds those chocolate eggs and jelly beans. And, truth be told, we’ve already cut the first loaf of babka since this was the first time I’ve ever made it and I wanted to make sure it was worthy of an Easter Day appearance…believe me…it is. That’s it, pictured at the top of this post. See recipe via the link above.

My advice to those of you trying to get through Easter without derailing your healthy intentions is to figure out which treats are worth it to you …then have them…and skip the rest. Peeps don’t do it for you? Then by all means, leave the Peeps in the store! But hey, if Peeps are your thing, then enjoy their once-a-year appearance and be done with it till next year!

It’s a bit late to offer up this last idea, but I’d also suggest not opening any Easter treats until it’s actually…well…Easter! While retailers would have us believe we should be filling our carts with candy as soon as Valentine’s Day has passed, in truth, it’s probably best to just wait to buy or make Easter treats unitl it’s time for Easter. This makes it much easier to resist the temptation to open and eat entire bags of the stuff before the holiday has even arrived. (And yes, the same advice goes for Halloween!)

Well, I’m off to go color eggs with my little guys…Happy Easter one and all!

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