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A Nutritionist's Guide To Staying Healthy This Easter

With Easter – a holiday that’s loaded with chocolate – just around the corner, it’s essential to be armed with some tips. As with most holidays and festivities, people tend to drink more than usual and eat more indulgent foods. 

While a spot of indulgence plays an essential role in a healthy, balanced lifestyle, I encourage people to be more mindful of their food intake. Here are my tried-and-tested tips to eat mindfully this Easter.

1. Prioritise protein

A clever way to keep your blood sugar levels stable is to eat a protein-rich snack before you arrive for the festivities or when you’re between meals. A handful of nuts, my healthy trail mix or two of my sugar-free protein balls hit the spot and help to stabilise your blood sugars, which prevents you from overeating later on.

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"My diet starts tomorrow, Monday"… This is honestly what I said to myself every single Sunday for at least 10 years. I will never forget those Sundays where I was bent over with stomach cramps, because I had just spent the afternoon overeating on all the foods I knew I was about to deprive myself of – knowing that my diet was starting “tomorrow”. This pressure of starting a diet each week caused my mind and body so much stress and anxiety. This mentality was also my trigger for emotional eating and binge eating later on that week. See, the minute we put ourselves under extreme pressure to be on a diet – we strain our relationship with food. Deprivation and restriction around food unfortunately always backfires after a period of time. The mind and body rebels against it. This is also why I don’t believe in fasting. The results and science are there. But it causes us to think about food in an abnormal way, and with most people I meet, the fasting period ends in overeating or bingeing. But diets and extremes are tempting, I get it. However, I’m yet to meet someone who has lasted on their diet for longer than 3-6 months. So, balance has got to be the way we move forward. The healthy life is a forever commitment. This is why I created @jshealth ? We actually have to let go of rigid food rules and extremes around diet to truly find balance. This will help you to experience true food freedom. You will find that suddenly the anxiety around food starts to decrease too. ✨ When I gave up on this diet mentality… my relationship food and my body, changed forever. When we relax with food and make food choices based on self care, not self punishment or deprivation – our relationship with food heals. Sooo from now this is our mantra – " I give up on extremes around food and commit to the healthy life, for life – with balance as my constant ?" Here for you always ✨ Comment below if you feel this mentality has helped you? X J Ps: These are the almond butter bliss balls from the app xx

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2. Eat a balanced meal first

When presented with an array of delicious, indulgent foods, it’s tempting to try a bit of everything. I encourage you to start with some protein, fibre, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. These macronutrients help to keep you satiated and balance your blood sugar levels. Just remember to leave some room for dessert!

3. Don’t deprive yourself 

This is very important, as deprivation often leads to bingeing later on. If you’re craving a slice of cake or some creamy chocolate, then go ahead and enjoy it – but remember to do so mindfully.

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I’m overcoming ORTHOREXIA ? It wasn’t always the case that I could be on holiday, relax and enjoy the food. I was a fad dieter and terribly orthorexic for 10 years – which made me fussy, inflexible, restrictive and too anxious to divert away from my “perfect meal plan”. So as a result, I just couldn’t enjoy. I was far too focussed on making sure that I wouldn’t go over my calorie allowance. I was also too too afraid to put on weight on holiday. And honestly, this mentality is not healthy, balanced or good for the mind, body and spirit. I was sad, deprived and hangry ? I created JSHealth to help people understand you can absolutely live the healthy life, without comprising on joy and pleasure. You CAN can go on holiday and enjoy the food – you should! I make healthy choices where possible, try all the foods wherever I am and indulge moderately. What I’m most proud of that I’m FLEXIBLE. I make healthy choices based on self care but I also make sure to indulge without guilt. It’s just the best feeling. It’s actually freedom. You deserve that freedom too ? So here I am on a family vacay, enjoying the foods, wine and making sure I don’t restrict myself at all ? I’ll literally be starting my 8 week program challenge while I’m away and it’s totally manageable ? Comment below if you are overcoming this restrictive mentality too? I’m genuinely interested to hear about it ?

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4. Eat mindfully 

Take three deep breaths before you eat and chew your food well. While you’re eating, stop to savour the taste, temperature and texture of your food. Tuning into your senses is a simple way to practise mindful eating and it also helps us to eat with joy.

5. Remove the guilt

For many health-conscious people, it’s common to think, “I shouldn’t have eaten that” or “I wish I didn’t indulge”. As a former emotional and binge eater, I can tell you that the negative thoughts are more harmful to our health than the food we’ve eaten. So, remove the guilt and trust that your body is strong and capable of digesting what you’ve eaten.

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Basically.. SCREW diets ? And LIVE. Just went for a swim on Bondi, and was craving a cold and creamy almond ice-cream afterwards. So I listened to my cravings, and ate it this with so much joy ? Yesterday, Dean and I enjoyed a delicious long lunch with rose wine ? Indulgence in moderation – without the guilt and self berating – is a very important part of the healthy life ? It’s as important as eating your greens in my humble opinion. Give yourself permission to indulge. Denying yourself of anything, is not healthy for your relationship with food long term. BALANCE. FREEDOM. … this is the essence of a healthy life – and the JSHealth way forever ? You with me my gals?????

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6. Make something nutritious 

If you’d like to great creative and bring a healthy but indulgent treat to your Easter festivities, try making my salty cinnamon and almond bark. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser and is packed with nutritious ingredients.

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