Local weight-loss experts say you can have your Easter treats and still lose weight.
For many people, Easter’s festival of chocolate is one of the most challenging times of the year. Most of the overweight people in Ireland who are trying to lose weight think they have to avoid Easter holiday temptations, but there’s good news according to local weight loss experts from Slimming World.
Pauline Bliss who runs the Slimming World group in St Kieran’s Community Centre, Athlone, says Slimmers can still enjoy Easter treats without guilt.
“Easter can be an extremely tempting time for people trying to slim down in time for summer, as Easter eggs line the supermarket shelves, adverts for chocolate treats dominate TV screens and the smell of freshly-baked hot cross buns and cakes seems to fill every room.”
“So often we think that losing weight means going hungry and giving up all of our favourite foods – after all, that’s what so many diets tell us to do!
But it is possible to have your cake and eat it this Easter, and start this summer looking and feeling great. Members who join Slimming World to lose weight discover that we’re not about dieting and deprivation. What we do in group is help each other make healthy changes to the way we shop, cook and eat and learn to make healthy choices,” Pauline stated.
“Every week at group we share tips and ideas and support each other to overcome challenges. We have countless recipes and menu ideas that shows how you can enjoy tasty Slimming World food on the plan.
“In our groups every week, our members swap recipes and tips, share ups and downs and it’s fantastic to see the members support each other achieve their weight-loss dreams,” Sinead Morris who runs the Slimming groups in The Shamrock Lodge Hotel, remarked.
“All our food ideas and recipes are based on Slimming World’s famous Food Optimising eating plan which allows Slimmers to satisfy their appetite on filling, lower calorie foods like pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit and vegetables, lean meat, poultry and fish. At Slimming World these foods are called free foods because members can enjoy them freely to satisfy their appetite without weighing, counting and measuring,” Yvonne Briscoe who runs the Slimming World group in The Shearwater Hotel, commented.
“I never thought I’d be able to lose all this weight whilst still enjoying chocolate every day. Before I joined Slimming World, as a member myself, I thought I’d have to say goodbye to all of my favourite foods.
“With a few simple swaps and a little bit of forward planning though, I found it easy to enjoy lots of different meals and I never felt like I was missing out.
“I’m a self-confessed chocoholic, so obviously Easter is one of my favourite times of the year! This year I’m planning to whip up some healthier versions of my favourite chocolatey treats so that I can enjoy the Easter holiday without going overboard.
“These chocolate brownies can be made in minutes and are so delicious, the whole family will enjoy them,” Carol Doran Joyce who runs the Slimming World group in Ballybay Hall Kiltoom, asserted.
For details of how to join your local group, pop onto www.slimmingworld.ie or see the Slimming World advert in this paper.
Guilt Free Chocolate Brownies Recipe
Ready in 50 minutes, plus cooling
2 large brown-skinned sweet potatoes (about 500g ), peeled and diced
100g porridge oats
3 level tbsp sweetener
1 medium egg
12 dried medjool dates, stoned and roughly chopped
2 level tbsp low-fat spread
6 level tbsp cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder, available in larger supermarkets )
½ level tsp icing sugar, to dust
Preheat your oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4 and line the base and sides of an 18cm square loose-bottomed cake tin with non-stick baking paper.
Steam the sweet potatoes for 10 minutes or until tender (use a steamer or put them in a covered colander placed over a saucepan of boiling water and steam over a high heat ).
Leave to cool slightly.
Put the oats into a food processor and blitz until you have fine crumbs.
Add the sweetener, egg, dates, spread, cocoa powder, sweet potatoes and a pinch of salt, and whizz to a thick, smooth paste.
Pour into the prepared tin, level the surface and carefully poke in the raspberries (placing them so that each brownie will get one raspberry ).
Bake for 35 minutes then leave to cool in the tin.
Turn out on to a board then peel away and discard the baking paper. Cut into 16 squares and dust with icing sugar to serve.