When I was a small child, my parents used to hide Easter eggs in our garden early morning on Easter Sunday. It always was very exciting, and they would call my brother and me, telling us "the Easter Bunny was just here and hid some chocolate eggs in the garden. Quick! Quick! If you hurry, you might still see him!" We would rush out with excitement...but we always missed him.
Except for one year, when I was convinced that I saw the Easter Bunny's woolly tail as he jumped over the wall to our neighbours. I was beside myself with excitement. My elder brother and sister scoffed at me, but I insisted that I saw him. It was then that they very cheekily told me that the Easter Bunny did not exist. However, I refused to believe them and stuck to my story. I know what I saw!
Today I still have a vivid imagination, and I still have a love for chocolate eggs. It's these little traditions that create great childhood memories. The only problem with my love for chocolate nowadays, is that it tends to leave memories as well - around my hips.
So, with Easter around the corner, what are we to do?
The answer is very simple: you can still enjoy some chocolate but go for the dark variety. Dark chocolate contains less sugar and fat than its paler cousins and is rich in flavonoids - antioxidants that are believe to improve heart health and boost your immune system.
Dark chocolate also helps to lower blood pressure and improves your body's sensitivity to insulin. And, last but not least, it provides you with energy and puts you in a great mood thanks to the amino acid tryptophan which is used by the brain to produce the feel-good hormone serotonin. The latest research has found that chocolate could even help you stay thin!
Remember to enjoy your chocolate treats in moderation and go easy on the kilojoule-loaded hot cross buns. Rather focus on the message of Easter and enjoy the togetherness with your loved ones.
- (Birgit Ottermann, Eat well newsletter, March 2012)