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Easter treats with no guilt

Easter is a time for a little indulgence, enjoying tasty treats and having fun times with family and friends. However, during the Easter period, our nutrition and training schedules in advance of the Flora Women's Mini Marathon 2012 can get a little sidetracked.

At Flora, we believe that you shouldn't have to compromise on taste when choosing healthier options. Nutritionist, Dr Patricia Heavey offers some helpful guidelines that will allow you to treat yourself without suffering any serious setbacks to your Flora Women's Mini Marathon preparation.

>A little of what you fancy There is nothing like avoiding all temptation to bring on the urge to splurge and so have a little of what you fancy. Always choose dark chocolate as it contains far more antioxidants than milk or white chocolate and is also proven to have positive effects on blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

>Take care when eating out If you are eating out at restaurants, be aware that it's easy to eat more than you realise in a social setting. Try to eat slowly and stop when you are full. Also, try not to snack on bread or other nibbles before your meal arrives. Share a starter or a dessert with a friend instead.

>Watch the alcohol intake Try and monitor your alcohol consumption as we all conveniently forget about the amount of calories that can be absorbed in this way.

>Homemade treats Make your Easter desserts yourself rather than buying them. The delicious Flora brownies are a favourite but there are lots of other great heart-healthy dessert recipes on www.florawomensminimarathon.ie.