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How To Have a Healthy Valentine's Day

Blog

How To Have a Healthy Valentine's Day

Sarah Stanley

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Once a month I get the honor of being a guest on Everyday Health #HealthTalk on Twitter. Today we chatted about how to have a healthy Valentine's Day. Here's the recap (and a few bonus thoughts that just wouldn't fit in 140:))! Eating on Valentine's Day

photo (80)
photo (80)
  • Don’t let a holiday ruin your healthy eating plan! Use it for a chance to cook with real food.
  • Splurging doesn’t mean consuming harmful ingredients like coloring dyes, HFCS, BHT. Choose to eat real ingredients from real food!
  • Having a sweet treat is fine, it’s what kind of sweet treat it is. A cookie made w/ real organic ingredients (organic whole wheat flour, raw honey, Celtic sea salt, grass-fed butter, pastured eggs, cacao nibs) is very different than an oreo that is made in an industrial plant with harmful ingredients that cause diseases.
  • Healthy Valentine’s date ideas: acroyoga, cooking class, cook a made-from-scratch red theme meal (red beets, kidney beans, strawberries, rhubarb, red apples, pomegranate, raspberries, heirloom tomatoes, red onions, red fingerling potatoes).*Make sure they are organic!
  • Make an aphrodisiac food meal at home! Avocado, banana, almonds, raw honey, basil, arugula, figs, and cacao are all aphrodisiacs.

Which chocolate is healthier- dark or white?

  • Answer: Dark chocolate is healthier! It contains antioxidants (helps remove free radicals in body) and flavonoids (for a healthy heart).
  • White chocolate isn’t actually chocolate. It’s just cocoa butter, milk, sugar. No health benefits in that!
  • Cocoa butter is used as an ingredient in chocolate, but straight cocoa butter is not chocolate.
  • When buying chocolate be sure to look for the fair trade and organic logos. Chocolate is routinely produced by slave labor.
  • When buying chocolate be sure to read the label ingredients. Should not contain cocoa liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin/soy lecithin, vanilla, milk fat, artificial flavors.
  • Some brands we recommend are Ritual Chocolate, Righteously Raw, Alter Eco.

Do you know the difference between cacao and cocoa?

  • Cacao is not just a different spelling of cocoa! The two are vastly different.
  • Cacao is raw and contains the essential nutrients whereas cocoa is processed, stripping away all the good stuff.
  • Raw cacao contains iron, magnesium,polyphenols, flavonols, antioxidants, theobromine and omega fatty acids. Three cheers for raw cacao!
  • You can bake with cacao just like cocoa. You may need to adjust the sweetener as cacao is more bitter than cocoa.
  • You can get raw cacao and cacao nibs from Navitas Naturals

If you are single, do you plan any fun, healthy activities with your friends? If married, do you stay in or go out?

  • Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be single awareness day! Invite some other single friends for dinner, meet up at local cold-pressed juice shop.
  • Instead of candy hearts, have conversations with your friends! Invite over to your home for board/card games. Serve red veggies and fruits. Pomegranate Mocktails, anyone?
  • Going out to eat is out, cooking at home is in! Try some new recipes at home. Buy a cookbook and cook recipes from it together.

What are 3 of your heart-healthy, sweat-producing, favorite fitness activities?

  • February is heart month, so why not get active this Valentine’s Day? A healthy heart is a happy heart!
  • Snowshoe, run, rock climb, deep water run, yoga, Pilates, ride a bike, walk...there are plenty of ways to move your body!
  • There are new fitness spaces opening up all the time- many offer a free first class or a special discount for new members. Take advantage of them!

Recipes!

We love to create new recipes! Here are some of our favorites:

Chocolate Bliss Bites

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Popcorn

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Almond Cacao Truffles

Cover photo credit: epSos.de