Gourmet chocolates, a bottle of good wine, cream sauces covering large plates of pasta, ramekins of melted butter with lobster on the side. Breadsticks, cheesecake, hand dipped strawberries, February 14th is so often a holiday that revolves around food that goes unnoticed as a food holiday.
So what is a girl supposed to do with the prospect of Valentines day on the horizon? Or even worse… the much celebrated discount chocolate day after holiday! I was reading on twitter, or perhaps it was a blog, about a set of friends that actually celebrate the discount chocolate day as the holiday. I remember buying the marked down candy just after Valentines day for my wedding many years ago. I didn’t ever really get into Valentines day, and that’s okay. Not to say that it isn’t important to celebrate your love and affection for your partner, and also your friends.
The trouble becomes how do you stay healthy and celebrate the traditional way that most couples do? There were a TON of 5k’s this past weekend that many of you participated in. However a 5k really doesn’t scream romantic right? It isn’t exactly the kind of thing you curl up and celebrate, it isn’t something that can be neatly wrapped up in a bow, or sent to someones office.
So let’s face it… most ladies, diets or not are going to be given a box of chocolates this holiday. So what is a girl or guy to do?
Are you planning on going out to dinner for Valentines day? Plan ahead, look at the menu of where you are going out to, or better yet, offer to cook at home! Valentines day is very much “amateur night” in my opinion. Everyone goes out, restaurants end up with long wait times, and by and large the service suffers because they aren’t in general equipped to handle all the 2-tops they have instead of groups of 2 & 4. Cooking at home is a great option, you can know what is going into your food, and you can make sure you are getting great quality ingredients. Even if you don’t know a lot about cooking, making a meal at home can be a great bonding experience for couples no matter how long they have been together. Learning to work together and cooperate is a great skill!
Skipping the wine is, in my opinion, always the best option. I’m not big into drinking calories unless they come from coffee drinks. There are lots of no calorie and low-calorie sparkling beverages out there that you could swap out for. Lately I have been enjoying the sparkling diet cranberry ocean spray juice cocktail drink. It would make a great treat with a roasted chicken dinner!
Think portion control! I know personally I would much rather prefer to have 4 pieces of really good expensive chocolate than a HUGE box of cheap chocolate. This way it makes it more savorable, not to mention portion control is built-in.
Chocolates that are darker, (dark over milk) have more or the good stuff in them, (flavonols) that makes eating them better for you. Opting for dark chocolate that isn’t loaded with creamy centers and jellies cuts out added sugars that your body doesn’t want or need either. Dark chocolate nut clusters pack an added heart health bonus.
If you are looking for a more calorie friendly option with a chocolate punch think about some chocolate drizzled fruit. I say drizzled instead of dipped because it allows you to still have the same taste with less of the chocolate. So take your traditional strawberries and drizzle some melted chocolate over them… but lets step outside of the box and grab a few oranges, after all it is citrus season, and you can get creative too and use any other fruits you like! You can drizzle kiwi, pineapple, bananas, and raspberries too and it is a super satisfying sweet treat!
Now, we all know activity burns calories… so remember to burn off a few extra calories with a walk… or a dance… or whatever other activities you can think of!
Happy Valentines Day Everyone! May you celebrate as you see fit, and may you find a way love and yourself!