8 Ways to Stay Healthy this Valentine’s Day
Gearing up for another holiday during a pandemic might feel like a bit of a drag since it might not be celebrated the same way as you have in the past. However, this Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be one without love! You might think that the typical celebration of love is done through chocolates, sweets, and extra indulgent dishes, but there are plenty of other ways to show your loved ones how much you care about them. Maybe this year is the perfect time to start a new tradition! Below are eight ways to butter your sweetheart up this Valentine’s season without the butter (or extra calories).
1. Quality Time
Spending time together is one of the most meaningful gifts of all. This can be expressed in a number of ways, and a great way to decide on how to do this is to communicate with one another on what would mean the most to each other. Some examples on how to spend quality time with your loved one are snuggling up next to a fire together, looking at old photos, or even telling your favorite stories or memories of your time together.
2. Make a Change
This might sound a bit strange for this holiday but bear with me! A great way to establish a change in order to create a healthier habit is to have a reason to do it. Pick out one small thing within your lifestyle that you would like to change, like switching to skim milk from whole milk, or practicing meditation more often. Having your loved one know what you want to change can not only aid in more accountability, but it can show them that you are willing to be the healthiest version of yourself for them.
3. Try Something New
What better way to liven up the mood on a day of love than trying something new? Have your loved one dare you to try a new fruit or vegetable in a recipe for you both to enjoy. Hey, you never know, it might become your new favorite food!
4. Food for Your Heart
A great alternative to a juicy steak is a thick cut piece of salmon. Did you know that salmon is an awesome source of omega-3 fatty acids? It is recommended to consume one serving of grilled or baked fish at least twice a week. Not a fan of salmon? Well, rest assured there are plenty more options to choose from like trout, herring, mackerel, or tuna. Be sure to season your fish with lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil instead of using cream or frying.
5. Get Moving
Another great way to spend time together would be through enjoying your favorite activities like taking a hike, hitting the slopes, or snowshoeing through the woods. If you find yourself in a warmer climate, there are still ways to stay moving and grooving. A few would be taking a walk, going on a run, or riding your bikes together. If you can't get outside, make a playlist of your favorite songs or a band you saw together in concert and have a dance party in your living room!
6. Spice it Up
Seasoning your meals at home this Valentine’s Day with healthy and fresh options will be sure to please your loved one. Try adding in some spice with fresh peppers or use fresh or dried herbs to liven up your favorite dish. Check out this Ultimate Spice Guide from Cook Smarts to see how you can incorporate more flavor into you and your Valentine's dinner!
7. Indulge a Little
If you’re planning to have a cocktail on Valentine’s Day, what better way to kick back and relax than to enjoy a little red wine. Red wine has some really cool health benefits too, when consumed in moderation. Red wine contains resveratrol, which is an antioxidant that can improve blood flow and circulation. It also has some benefits for heart health like increasing levels of your good cholesterol (HDL) and protecting against artery damage. Women should limit consumption to one five-ounce glass of wine per day while men to two a day. Try pairing your glass of wine with a piece of dark chocolate for dessert!
8. Don’t Forget the Food
We have discussed some ways to incorporate healthier options but finding what to cook for this special day to show your special someone you care can be a real conundrum. Cooking something that you both will enjoy while being more health-conscious can be a real challenge but it doesn’t have to be! Here are a few ideas to try:
Sautéed salmon with citrus salsa
Sheet pan chicken with roasted baby potatoes
Spin on your favorite classic, chicken Alfredo with veggie noodles
This Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to stack up to years before. Take the pressure off and show your special someone you care with shaking things up and starting a new, healthy tradition together.
Written by: Michealia Skleres, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern