By Terrie Jorgenson, RD, LD
Easter is traditionally a religious holiday though many who are both religious and non-religious celebrate it. Many customs from fasting for lent to feasting on Easter Day, decorating hard-boiled eggs, and eating chocolate covered bunnies celebrate Easter and is therefore one of the many holidays where food can be a major focus. Below are some tips to help you stick to your health and wellness goals while still having some fun.
- Buy pre-made Easter baskets or prepare candy free baskets filled with fun toys and games for your loved ones. This will lessen the temptation to sneak a few jelly beans when you are putting them together and you won’t have bags of treats around.
- Stick with your normal eating routine. Space out your meals every 2-3 hours throughout the day. This will keep your blood sugar levels steady so that you will be less likely to overindulge on Easter brunch.
- Plan ahead! Get as much information about the event ahead of time. What will be served? What time will it be served? How long are you planning on staying? This way you can plan out your meals and snacks ahead of time. If they don’t have anything that fits your meal plan offer to bring a dish to share.
- Ask yourself, “is it worth it?” Is that treat or extra portion worth possibly sacrificing your goals? If it is, then slowly savor it and do not beat yourself up over it. You weighed out the pros and cons and made the decision.
- Fun Fact – One small treat like a Cadbury Egg containing 150 calories would take a 35-minute brisk walk to expend.
- Be prepared to politely decline. If you know your Aunt Betty is not going to let you get away without trying her banana cheesecake make sure you are prepared with your response. If you can learn to politely decline without offending people, social gatherings will be much more enjoyable. Here are some examples to help prepare:
- “No thanks!” A simple “No thanks” will go a long way. Sometimes we feel the need to explain our “no thanks!” but this can unintentionally offend others by suggesting what they are eating is unhealthy.
- “No thanks! It looks and smells amazing…maybe later.” No matter what your excuse for saying no is, it is always a good idea to complement the host on his/her food.
- “You know this is my favorite dish but I just don’t have the room for any right now.” Compliment first and then give your reason for declining. “It looks delicious but I couldn’t possibly eat another bite.” Most people will respect your decision to stop eating.
- Enjoy your eggs! Have fun hard-boiling and dyeing eggs this season. One egg packs a nutritional punch containing 6 grams of high-quality protein, B vitamins, antioxidants and minerals that your body needs. Three hard-boiled eggs are the equivalent of one lean protein. Throw a few colorful eggs and a salad into your lunch bag to bring a little joy to lunchtime.
- Fun Tip – use a wax crayon to write yourself an inspirational message on your egg before you dye it.
Recipes to Enjoy this Easter
Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin
- 4lbs pork tenderloin
- 2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- 4 Tbsp. parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
- 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
- ½ tsp garlic, minced
- ½ tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp fine grain salt
- ½ Cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix all the spices and cheese together in a bowl
Rub mixture over the entire surface of the pork
Place the pork in a roasting pan and pour ½-cup water into the pan
Bake about one hour until thermometer reads 145-160 degrees F.
Remove from the oven, cover with foil and let rest for about 15 minutes. Check to make sure the temperature has reached 160 degrees F. before serving.
Green Bean Casserole
- 6 Cups frozen green beans
- 1/2 Cup onion, chopped
- 4 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
- 1 packet Livea Tomato Soup
- 6 oz. water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Combine green beans, onions & parmesan in a medium baking dish
- Mix Livea Tomato Soup with water and add to green bean mixture
- Bake 45 minutes
- Remove from oven and stir
- Bake another 10-15 minutes
- 6 Cups broccoli florets
- 1/2 Cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 Cup light mayo
- 2 packets Stevia/sweetener
- 1 Tb apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 Cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
- Wash and prep broccoli florets to the preferred size and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt, mayo, sweetener, vinegar and salt together and stir.
- Add the broccoli florets and cheese to the small bowl, toss until coated.
- 6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise
- 1/4 Cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Paprika to garnish
- Remove the yolk from each of the sliced eggs and place in a small bowl
- Add the Greek yogurt, mustard, salt and pepper to the bowl and mix well
- Evenly divide up the mixture and place it into the egg white halves
- Garnish the halves with paprika