This year, I am begrudged to acknowledge Easter celebrations – and I will tell for why. As far as I’m aware, Easter is a time to celebrate, bask in the warmth of extended family and enjoy plenty of the delicious treats that Jesus’ old man (debatable, I know) created especially for us. Besides the fact that I’m a Jew – and therefore not necessarily invited to the Easter party – the conversation at this time of year is also pissing me off for non-religious reasons.
First off; it’s great that the mainstream supermarkets are offering “free from” Easter Egg options to those who actually NEED to avoid dairy; gluten [fun] e.t.c. However, the fact that they are taking up more shelf space than the Easter hero that is the Lindt bunny, is definitely NOT okay. Having conducted an extremely non-scientific (yet pretty accurate) Easter Egg taste-test in my day job, I can confirm suspicions that, yes, an Easter Egg made without gluten or dairy or sugar does taste like dog shite. Well, the ones I can afford do, anyway.
Next, I’d like to address the endless amount of “healthy” Easter recipe options, leaping off the Google search page and into my visual periphery like pepper spray. Why can’t we enjoy the holiday period for what it is, rather than forcing it into our “healthy” lifestyle box? When it comes to optimum health for my body AND mind, there are occasions where the goal can only be achieved with a large quantity of chocolate. Not cocao nibs. Not agave nectar. And certainly not sugar-free Easter Eggs.
If I see one more “guilt-free” chocolate, Easter-themed recipe, I may march down to Whole Foods and purchase all the sugar-free products on the shelves, just so no-one else can buy them. The minute I began associating food with any feelings of guilt and shame was the minute that my food relationship became – for want of a better word – fucked. Committing a crime; stealing someone’s boyfriend; borrowing your friend’s top without asking; that makes you guilty. Eating a beautifully crafted, sweet-smelling, decadent, milk (or white/dark whatever you’re into) egg does NOT.
It’s unfortunate timing that the most chocolate-filled time of year coincides with pre-summer months awash with colleagues banging on about their ideal “bikini bodies” and tube adverts asking us if we’re summer body ready. Whilst this issue obvs requires another blog post in itself, it’s still worth commenting on how, at every time of the year, there’s always something conveniently placed to a) sell us stuff and/or b) make us feel shit about ourselves. As a wise woman recently said to me (coming up in a future interview), “we are active participants in what goes on around us, not passive passengers”. What this means, of course, is that we have the opportunity to opt out of certain experiences that may make us question our self worth for no apparent reason. Humour me – next time you see one of those protruding posters on your way to work, try not to question yourself but instead; where and who the message is coming from. If they’re attempting to take advantage of your vulnerability in order to make a few quid, then mentally tell them to get f*cked and continue on your merry (sassy) way.
When most of your days are filled with supermarket cereal and the same soggy sandwiches, I encourage you to take full advantage of opportunity for variety granted by our nationwide schedule. Think of it like a Bank Holiday – we wouldn’t feel “guilty” for taking a day off work when the country’s calendar instructs you to do so. Easter Eggs, just like Christmas dinner; New Year cocktails and birthday cake; are ALL part of life. Such traditions are in place for a reason – usually because generations past have enjoyed them enough to continue them over the years. Have faith in our ancestors; trust your instincts and value the sanctity of pleasurable experiences. If it just so happens that once a year, said pleasure is found in a cheap, egg-shaped slab of chocolate, then so be it!