Easter is upon us – and this means we are surrounded by eye catching, beautifully wrapped Easter Eggs and cute little Easter bunnies, all begging us to pick them up off the shelf and gobble them up (probably before Easter). Then we go back and buy some more … for you and your friends and kids for Easter Sunday, and then why not head back and buy more when they are all reduced for the post-Easter sales?
I don’t know about you, but I was brought up believing in the true meaning of Easter – the resurrection of Jesus, and ‘new life’. My focus from when I was very young has always been on Jesus, not on chocolate.
I guess this has made my transition into the low-carb lifestyle a lot easier in some ways. If my focus had always just been on what chocolates I was going to be getting and if I got more than my sister or cousins, I guess I’d be pretty disappointed knowing that there would be no more Humpty-Dumpty Eggs (I always received one of these every year – it was my favourite!) and that Easter was nothing but another holiday.
But to our family, Easter is much more than chocolate! It is time spent with family – we have a caravan, and Easter is another perfect time of year for us to get away and enjoy each others company (with or without chocolate!).
I have 4 kids (2 mine, and 2 wonderful step-kids), and a partner who is almost as passionate about this way of eating as I am. My daughter is with us full-time, my eldest has moved out of home and the other two come every second weekend. So I really only have ‘control’ over what my daughter Charli (born in 2005) eats. She understands that she won’t be getting traditional chocolate for Easter. When she is given traditional eggs, she only eats a few and then re-gifts the rest. I have raised her to understand that junk ‘food’, chocolates and lollies are NOT ‘treats’. She knows why we eat what we eat and the consequences of her actions. She knows how she feels after eating ‘bad food’ and how her skin looks or her quality of sleep changes or her moods are affected. She is acutely aware of these things, which makes me so happy and proud as a parent. My 2 step-kids soak up the information when they are here. My step-son has started growing his own SCOBY after taking a keen interest in my kombucha brewing!
My son Samuel was born back in 1996; he was the first grandchild (and great-grandchild) – and was showered with chocolates and goodies from my friends, family and of course, me. We didn’t really know much about nutrition back then, but we still ate healthy meals (thank goodness mum instilled that in me from very young!) But, as most people did and still do, we had soft drink occasionally and loved ice cream and/or custard with fruit or cake for dessert and at family gatherings and birthdays. We still ate processed foods, drank fruit juice, flavoured yoghurts and sugary snacks. I remember sometimes we use to head down to the Cadbury Factory in Hobart and come back with so many goodies I’d have to empty our the crisper in the fridge to fit them all in!
These days, I regret EVERY SINGLE one of those times. Why? Because my son didn’t get the start to life that he deserved. He wasn’t give the chance to grow and develop as he should have. He is a gorgeous boy now and I love him to pieces, but I would give anything to be able to go back and raise him again, knowing what I do now. He lived overseas with his family in Ecuador for a while and ate quite badly, and during that time he gained a lot of weight. At one point (aged 9) he gained 10 kilos in 10 weeks! I remember skyping with Samuel, and his grandmother was joking and pointing to his tummy saying in Spanish ‘Oooohhhh .. cellulitis!’ It took us about 4 years to get him back to a healthy weight. He has suffered from digestive problems and skin problems ever since, and to this day, he gains weight very easily. I blame my self and his father for what we fed him and how we raised him.
Thankfully now he has taken a healthy interest in what he should be eating to feel better. He has started drinking kombucha and cutting back on the ‘bad foods’. He doesn’t live at home anymore, so I do what I can when I see him, and answer his ‘help! I don’t know what to eat’ phone calls. And Charli will set him on the straight and narrow if she sees him eating or drinking something he shouldn’t be. It’s quite funny to see!
What we feed our kids has PERMANENT effects on their health not only as children but also as adults. We need to think about this as we shower them with what we think is making them happy. What child is going to be happy knowing that they are know as ‘the fat kid’ or the one with ‘cellulitis’? I was never fat – but in year 7, I had glasses and braces on my bottom teeth – and I was teased for that! Far out – I’d hate to imagine what being overweight must be like for a child.
I must admit, that the first Easter I had as a low-carber, I hunted around for every low-carb Easter Egg I could find! I was on a ‘mission’! Now , I know what brands are good and where to get them, but my focus isn’t on that – it’s on spending time with my family, getting the kids something they will love, appreciate and be able to hold onto.
One year we headed to Cania Gorge in our caravan for 5 days. We made the kids some Easter ‘hampers’ with a David Attenborough box set and some blocks of sugar-free and low-sugar chocolate, some Easter car games, some clothes, an Easter egg decorating kit and an Easter painting. They wore bunny ears, ate the low-carb hot cross buns I baked and we read the Easter Story out of the Bible. http://www.thoughts-about-god.com/easter/easterstory.htm
This year my daughter will be flying to Tasmania to spend Easter with family and friends, Chris’s kids will be with their mum, and it will be our first without going away in the caravan! Our van is for sale and we have a new one being built. I’m sure Chris and I will find a way to have a great Easter without the kids this year – it gives me plenty of time to experiment with more hot cross bun recipes!
These are some of the chocolates we love (ON OCCASION!!) 🙂
Remember, the higher the % of coca the lower the sugar (generally – PLEASE CHECK THE BACK/NUTRITION PANEL FIRST!
- Lindt chocolates are natural and delicious! http://www.lindt.com.au/shop/excellence-85-cocoa-aus
Cocoa mass, fat reduced cocoa powder, cocoa butter, demerara sugar, vanilla.
- Carbs. 19.4 per 100g. Comments: Average amount of carbs, but all natural ingredients
2. Well Naturally
- Ingredients: Cocoa mass & cocoa butter (70% cocoa solids), poly dextrose (soluble dietary fibre), erythritol, soy lecithin, natural flavour, stevia (natural sweetener).
- Carbs per 100g: 5.4g Comments: This one does contain a few ingredients I typically avoid, but as a treat, it’s OK by me. Lindt is all natural, but this is super low-carb so it’s a matter of preference 🙂
3. The Carob Kitchen http://www.thecarobkitchen.com.au/site/CAR_movie.htm (these guys have great Easter Eggs!)
- Ingredients: Milk solids, Cocoa Butter, Organically grown Carob powder (25.5%), Natural Vanilla extract, Emulsifiers,(GMO free) Soy Lecithin.
- Carbs per 100g: 41.6 Comments: All natural (but they do contain soy which we tend to avoid), but is higher in carbs.
What are you doing this Easter? What are your plans and ideas?
Please, share them with me. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Here are a few Hot Cross Bun Recipes for you to try!