Our back door was the scene for Easter every year as kids.
Because, of course, the Easter bunny used to leave our chocolate eggs or bunnies on the back door step.
So, my sister and I would excitedly wake up, and tip toe to that back door – I still remember that door, because the handle was so high up – wondering if we would find some chocolate-flavoured goodness waiting for us.
And there each year, sitting on the prickly door mate, were our foil-wrapped Easter eggs. Sigh.
Good on you Mum… ah, I mean Easter Bunny.
And we had the best Mum when it came to Easter chocolate situations – as in, she let us eat some before breakfast. We were allowed to fill up on chocolate and not much else.
Which meant, for me, that most of my chocolate egg or bunny would be gone by sundown.
There was no guilt about eating all that chocolate. Just regret. Regret that I’d eaten the darn Easter egg so quickly… and now had nothing to look forward to tomorrow. Sigh.
Between then and now so much has changed – like I don’t eat a whole giant Easter egg in one day (nice), and our culture seems to revel in making itself feel bad about enjoying food (not so nice).
I saw a meme on Facebook the other day that I love so badly!
In it a woman is standing there looking sad, in her speech bubble she’s saying, “oh no, I’ve been so bad, I ate chocolate cake!” and the lady next to her replies, “For f*cks sake Sharon, it’s just food! You didn’t burn down an orphanage!”
And (excuse the language), but honestly, I’m siding with Sharon’s mate right there. It’s just food.
And now even the life is being sucked out of Easter, with headlines like:
“5 Tips To Survive The Easter Holidays…”
Survive?! It’s not a flipping zombie apocalypse Sharon!!
It’s a delightfully long weekend, where those of us who love Jesus get to remember the amazing sacrifice He made for us.
And everyone gets to share some chocolate-flavoured goodness. What’s not to love about that?!
So, in the spirit of embracing Easter and all that Easter food goodness, here are my:
5 tips to Make Easter a Happy + Healthy Weekend.
1. Drop the Easter Guilt
One meal or one day of food does not destroy your health. Nor does one Easter weekend. Let’s keep it in perspective. It’s the habits you create for a life-time that enhance your happiness and health. Celebrating Easter each year with some delicious chocolate and a nice warm, buttery, hot cross bun (if that’s your jam) is not a life-ending calamity.
2. Pay Back is a B!tch – Don’t Restrict
Sorry my language again. But honestly, if you’re going to restrict your food intake in the leadup to Easter you’re asking for trouble. A hungry brain is going to search and discover that chocolate like a heat-seeking missile hunting down the baddies in the last Minions movie.
Do not turn your brain into a heat-seeking missile. When you are hungry – eat. When you are full – stop. Just like every other day of the year. Let yourself arrive at Good Friday with a comfortably full tummy that doesn’t feel the need to reek havoc in your kitchen cupboards.
3. Remember Chocolate is Available 52 Weeks of The Year
#fact – if you restrict your access to chocolate, you’re more likely to overeat chocolate at Easter. Our brain does not take kindly to being told what it can and can’t eat. Bit like a rebellious teenager in that regard. You’d do well to listen to its mutterings. Give it some freedom and a little respect and you’re less likely to wake up Easter Sunday to a foil-strewn, chocolate-smeared path of destruction through your kitchen (“Oh my goodness I ate all of the kid’s Easter eggs too!” Cue massive waves of guilt).
4. Don’t Buy or Eat Yucky Chocolate
Seriously. Chocolate should not have the mouth feel of a piece of Tupperware plastic. If it does – you can be fairly sure your loved ones (?) have supplied you with some palm-oil infused budget chocolate. Do not eat chocolate you do not enjoy. If you love it, savour it – if you don’t love it, don’t eat it. Post it into the rubbish bin.
5. What Would Jesus Do?
He would have celebrated for sure – with food! And the reason for the season is Jesus – who was crucified and rose again. His sacrifice is what we celebrate at Easter. And celebrate we should, cos Jesus loved to celebrate! In fact, He described heaven as being like a wedding banquet – which sounds pretty cool to me.
So let’s enjoy our Easter weekend, ditch the guilt and the marketing hype, and instead come together to share and celebrate with good food and good times.