We all know what the love-filled, romantic Valentine’s Day holiday tends to bring to us: chocolate and indulgent meals and treats. However, there are plenty of ways to celebrate your love and special someone without ruining your health or fitness goals! Here we will provide suggestions and solutions to the sugar-laden chocolate and other indulgent traditional Valentine’s Day foods.
- Rather than going out to eat at a restaurant that is likely to be high in calories and unhealthy fats and sugars, opt instead to have a romantic, candlelight dinner at home. It can be especially enjoyable if the meal was prepared together. If this is not an option for you, search ahead of time for healthy restaurant options, or better yet, find a fun, interactive cooking class for a more active dinner experience.
- If you do go to a restaurant, opt for heart healthy options including salads or veggies and heart healthy proteins. If you just can’t skip the chocolate dessert, choose a rich variety that will help you be satisfied after one or two bites. Best yet, if you need dessert, make or buy your own healthy options to have with you or at home for later after your meal, so that you aren’t left with only the restaurant’s unhealthy options.
- Instead of giving chocolate or other candy for showing your love and affection on Valentine’s Day, instead choose something like flowers, jewelry or a watch, or other non-food treasures.
- A great way to build and share love with your spouse is to spend time together giving care and service to others. This helps to boost your joy and connection as lovers.
- Never underestimate the power of a sincere, heartfelt card, note, or poem. This will mean more and will be more deeply meaningful than a box of chocolates or a stuffed bear.
- Many of us often are too busy and overscheduled to get a chance to spend as much quality time together as we would like. So instead of celebrating with unhealthy foods, spend this special day together cuddling up to a romantic movie, enjoying a nice bubble bath, or having a fun and interactive date night, such as bowling, a comedy show, ice skating, or mini golfing.
- Remember that chocolate and candy aren’t the only things you can give that are sweet. Nature provided sweet candy in the form of fruit. Instead of sending chocolates or candy, send a basket or bouquet of fruit.
- Get active! Go for a walk or a heart-healthy jog together, or any other physical activity that you enjoy doing together, such as tennis, biking, or hiking.
- A great way to boost relationships is to explore and try something new together. Instead of focusing the holiday around sweets, choose something you both have never done and give it a try for the first time. This could be anything from cooking a new, healthy dish together, to learning a new skill, to skydiving. Get creative and have a fun time doing it together!
- Give service! Do something special and meaningful for your special someone today. Whether this be preparing their favorite meal, giving them a needed massage, or doing their chores, do something out of the ordinary to serve and appreciate them this Valentine’s Day.
- Remember that even if you do decide to indulge in chocolate and candy on the holiday, it doesn’t mean you have to eat the whole box, especially all at once. If this is too much of a temptation, share your treats, freeze them for later, or don’t be afraid to toss the rest away.
- Also, not all chocolate has to be bad for you. Raw or organic dark chocolate can now be found in nearly all health food stores. Healthy chocolate is also very simple to make at home (see recipe below). Traditional foods like chocolate can still be enjoyed in healthy ways.
As you shift your focus away from food and sweets this Valentine’s Day and instead focus on the meaning by spending time together doing new, fun, and engaging activities, not only will you be healthier, but you will likely create new and lasting memories that you’ll have forever.Homemade Chocolate(makes about 16 chocolates)1/2 cup melted coconut oil1/2 cup + 1 tbsp cocoa powder1 pinch saltAnd more. . . . Get the full recipe at EconomiesOfKale.com