A Healthier Spin on Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine's day!

Happy Valentine’s day

Happy Love Week, everyone! Depending on where you are in life, your relationship status, and your admiration or abhorrent opinions of “Hallmark holidays,” you either just rolled your eyes at me or smiled. As this month’s Healthy Housewives cover model, I want to chat a bit about how to use this week to your advantage, by sharing love with others and yourself in a healthy way.

I’m not sure why Valentine’s Day gives everyone permission to push health by the way side and go out for too much wine and too much dine. When I asked a few men what their plans were for the big day, I heard dinner reservations, mounds of chocolate, and pastry breakfasts among the surprises for the ladies in their lives. I sat quietly as most boastfully shared their delicious displays of affection with me, followed quickly by sarcastic comments about the cost and stupidity of such a day. Interestingly enough, I had a difficult time finding ladies who already planned out what they were doing for the men in their lives. Ladies, let’s not drop the ball here! Nowhere does it say that man is in charge of celebrating Valentine’s Day, and women are to always be the recipient of delicious fare as a sign of affection. What a great way to surprise the man in your life and take the pressure off that’s historically been placed on him. I have a feeling you’ll win in the long run.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, below are some healthier suggestions and ideas to show your special Valentine that you appreciate them, with the added bonus of celebrating their health goals, too.  Feel free to add one or two (or all) of these to your game plan for February 14. Oh, and I am speaking to both men and women with these suggestions!

Couples that run together stay together!

Couples that run together stay together!

  1. Plan a morning run or morning workout together. Nothing says, “I think you’re swell” by meeting for a sweat together. Let’s face it, nothing is sexier than sweat, and since we all look like Greek Gods/Goddesses when we are sweating, this could lead to more fun.
  2. Prepare or purchase a healthy breakfast to show that you appreciate the person’s commitment to their own health and wellness. Plus, you’ll get to benefit from a nourishing meal to start your day of love.

    Food shaped in a heart makes your loved one smile!

    Food shaped in a heart makes your loved one smile!

  3. Create something by hand—a card, poem, drawing. If you have to send it electronically, scan your creation to the person, so they can see the personal touches and time spent on the work of art. Giving your time and energy to such a gift will leave the other person feeling loved and appreciated.
  4. Do both of you love music? Log into your iTunes account and make your Valentine a playlist with songs that fit your relationship. This no calorie option could lead to an invitation to work out together, and you know what that could lead to… endorphins!
  5. Who doesn’t love a scavenger hunt? Get your Valentine moving by placing small clues and/or surprises at various places you’ll know they’ll be throughout the day… Make them find a flight of stairs to walk up before opening a clue; the next clue has to be opened while walking; the next clue is at their gym’s check-in counter (make sure you know schedules first); the final clue has dinner plans attached or is stuck to a movie for movie night. Be creative and personalize this activity.

    Create a Valentine's scavenger hunt!

    Create a Valentine’s scavenger hunt!

  6. Infuse a few bottles of water for their day with strawberries, cucumbers, blueberries, or any other favorite fruit. As they hydrate throughout the day, you will be thought of… and so will your thoughtfulness.
  7. Send your Valentine out the door with a Salad in a Jar. This clever, homemade lunch is healthy and personalized with the person’s favorite salad ingredients. Start with a basic mason jar, pour the dressing on the bottom (a little goes a long way) then put other (heavier) veggies, nuts/seeds, then place spinach on top of them, and for some sweetness, maybe a few strawberry slices or blueberries. A nice note attached to the lid is a sweet addition.

    Salad in a jar is a fun concept!

    Salad in a jar is a fun concept!

  8. Is your Valentine a child? Start them out right with nourishing habits and make heart-shaped banana pancakes or strawberry (pink) French toast. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to send them away with a sandwich that’ll remind them they are loved. Better yet, hide a few heart-shaped dark chocolates in a baggie of granola for a snack. Of course, decorate the bag.
  9. If your valentine is far away, and the use of technology is inevitable, make it good. Set up a dinner date via Skype, and see who crafted the healthiest Valentine’s dinner. Whoever wins can receive a prize… hopefully in person at a later date.
  10. Finally one of my favorites… forgo dinner altogether for some time together at the spa. Part of health and wellness is rest and relaxation, so don’t under-estimate how much your Valentine will appreciate the opportunity to do absolutely nothing, compliments of you.

Finally, remember that Valentine’s Day isn’t just a day to show someone else love. Perhaps this is your year to share some healthy love with YOU. Plus, treating yourself on Valentine’s Day ensures a great story when someone asks what your Valentine gave you this year. Here’s wishing all of you great health this Valentine’s Day!

Enjoy the precious time you have with a loved one!

Enjoy the precious time you have with a loved one!

Thanks for reading my blog,

Lacey Pruett



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