Well, it’s Easter again….but this year we are certainly having to be innovative with our celebrations!
I thought I would approach this month’s newsletter from the perspective of a traditional treat we can enjoy (namely chocolate!) and how we can adapt some Easter traditions to fit the COVID-19 lockdown.
It is still important to enjoy Easter and thankfully, with the help of the internet we can still be connected with our extended family.
I want to talk about our favourite Easter treat first – CHOCOLATE! Who doesn’t love Chocolate – I would say most of us do!
White vs Milk vs Dark?
There are 3 varieties of chocolate, but are there really? I’m going to point out the differences between the varieties and then explain the benefits of one over another.
White Chocolate – considered sweeter than its sister varieties, white chocolate is often not considered a chocolate at all as it does not contain any cocoa solids, rather it mixes cocoa butter with milk and sugar.
Milk Chocolate – being the “midline” chocolate, milk is not as sweet as white, but is sweeter than dark. It has a creamy texture and generally contains up to about 40% of cocoa solids.
Dark Chocolate – is considered “dark” when it contains 50% + cocoa solids. Not as sweet as the milk and white variety, dark is known more for its bitter / bittersweet taste. It usually contains very minimal milk solids and is lower in calories than milk or white.
Which is “better”?
While you couldn’t say chocolate is healthy or good for you – the dark variety does have some health benefits! So, what are those health benefits (besides less sugar)?
- It can lower the levels of hormones associated with emotional stress and anxiety
- Being high in antioxidants it can assist with improving cardiovascular health and lowering blood pressure
- Contains compounds which can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol
- May reduce fasting glucose levels and insulin resistance
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- May improve brain function and help prevent neurodegenerative conditions (such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s)
So, dark chocolate is the clear winner and scientists certainly agree “the darker the better”. Most dark chocolate is marked with the percentage cocoa solids so look for something at least 70% +.
While we cannot celebrate Easter this year with family gatherings, it is still important (and perhaps more important than ever) to celebrate! So I thought I would mention a few Easter traditions that you may normally celebrate, or perhaps there is something that you could start this year!
Easter Bunny – Jacinda Ardern has declared the Easter Bunny an essential service so you can definitely tell your kids that he will be able to visit!
Family gatherings – still have that BBQ with family, just make it for those you live with and in your backyard.
Easter egg decorating – we all seem to have more time up our sleeve with the COVID-19 lockdown so why not get a little messy and have some fun with your kids! You could set up a decorating competition within your household or with your whole family and share the results online through facebook or Zoom.
Easter cooking – why not spend some time cooking up some Easter treats – check out the recipes at the bottom of this post.
Easter Hat Parades – While this may be something you normally do through your kids school, it can still be done – with a twist! Decorate the hats over the weekend, set up a Zoom meet-up for the Monday and then go ahead and parade in front of the webcam.
I hope I have shown through these few ideas that we can still make the most of Easter, even if we are housebound.
From Get2It Fitness to all of you, I would like to wish you an extra enjoyable Easter!