However, Valentine’s Day does not need to derail your health and weight loss efforts.
Here are a few ideas to help keep you on track:
1. Back, neck, or foot massages are free and have no calories. Even children enjoy back massages.
2. Dark chocolate, at least 70%, 1-2 squares, eaten slowly and savored.
3. Show yourself some love with a hot bath with Epsom salts (1-2 cups dissolved in bath water); add essential oils if you have them.
4. A homemade meal. If finances allow, splurge with some grass-fed steaks or roasted chicken, and some killer vegetables like this one: https://paleovalley.com/articles/full/paleo-mac-n-cheese-with-crispy-lardons (note: this is not made with pasta or cheese!). Or if you are working all day, have a special crockpot meal waiting for you. Consider a roast with chunks of sweet potato and cauliflower florets. A green salad can be added to either. My green salad tips that make them super yummy is to add 3-4 other ingredients like celery, avocado, onion, black olives, sunflower seeds, carrot slices.
5. Chia seed pudding for dessert. Here are some good options: https://wellnessmama.com/59344/chia-seed-pudding/, although I would decrease or eliminate the maple syrup and use a bit of stevia instead. Blend in raspberries or strawberries for a nice festive pink color.
6. Baked apples for dessert is another sweet option. Scantily sprinkled with salt and liberally sprinkled with cinnamon, of course.
7. Heart-friendly exercises: Go for a family walk after dinner or pull out the jump rope.
8. Do mini Valentine or love-themed jigsaw puzzles together.
9. Play a game.
10. Leave the TV off and have meaningful conversations.
11. Reminisce over old photos. If married, get out your wedding album.
12. Put any candy received (besides 70% or higher dark chocolate) in a ziplock bag and stick it in the freezer, thereby having iit available if needed for company. Or better yet, throw it away. The sugar-deprived children in China will not find out. I promise.
13. Make a fancy beverage with sparkling water, lime & muddled berries. (For those who don’t need to abstain from alcohol and you want an extra treat, add a little gin or vodka.
14. Hand out little packages of nuts, stickers, dark chocolate, pencils/pens, or other little non-sugary snack or small items with homemade or store bought Valentine cards to classmates, neighbors, clients, and/or co-workers.
Valentine’s Day does not need to be another downer holiday filled with regrets and self-disappointment. Let’s go with a no-sabotage day instead. Plan ahead. Plan to be strong. Plan to have lots of fun!