Fitness & Nutrition

How to Have a Healthy Valentines Day

By on 02/13/2015

ARTICLE BY THERESA SHANK, EINSTEIN DIETITIAN

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LOVE YOURSELF, TOO.

Valentine’s Day is meant to be a celebration of love. For many people, this holiday may also bring a personal excuse to eat a 3 course gourmet meal or consume excessive amounts of chocolate and other sugary treats.

Do yourself a favor and don’t ruin all the healthy progress you made between Monday and Friday. Instead, show real love to yourself and follow some of my favorite healthy eating and physical activity suggestions to celebrate.

Trust me, you can still feel the love of Valentine’s Day without feeling the weight of guilt.

DINING OUT:

No matter whom you celebrate with, make sure you don’t ruin your previous weight loss efforts by indulging in a decadent appetizer, entrée and dessert. Choose one course as your cheat-dish, not all three, to save on fat and calories.

PRESENT GIVER:

Take your health or your partner’s health to the next level by purchasing a Jawbone or Fitbit Activity Tracker. You can compete to see who can walk the most steps every day.

CHAMPAGNE TOAST & ALCOHOL:

To keep your calories in check, limit yourself to two alcoholic beverages on Valentine’s Day. You’ll want to skip flavored martinis, cosmos or any beverage mixed with soda, juice or tonic (These options have way too much sugar.)

If you’re being particular, opt for red wine, white wine, sparkling wine or vodka served with club soda and a splash of lime. Maybe this is a buzz kill, but knowledge is power.

Pro tip: Red wine contains resveratrol, an antioxidant that improves circulation, increases levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and protects against artery damage. For weight loss purposes, I encourage males and females to limit alcoholic beverages to no more than four servings per week.

BAKING GOODIES:

Fudge-Zucchini-BrowniesDid you know that in most baking recipes you can cut out ¼ of the sugar a recipe calls for without sacrificing taste? Sugar aids in the browning effect of baked goods, so generally not all the sugar called for in a recipe is actually needed. In my experience, I often reduce sugar by ¼ of what is called for in the recipe, but never eliminate it entirely.

LOVE THE EDIBLE COLOR RED:

Incorporate red foods into your special day. Substitute your morning banana for a red apple or ½ cup of raspberries to increase your fiber intake at breakfast. Try adding cherry tomatoes or roasted beets to your lunch salad for an afternoon dose of antioxidants. Making dinner at home? Find a recipe that calls for red bell peppers such as a stir fry dish or chicken sausage with red peppers and onions.

ENJOY WALKING:

Go on a love walk to reflect on what you love most about yourself or your partner. Aim for a 30-60 minute walk to get in your daily physical activity requirement. Hold hands.
My gift to you this Valentine’s Day is two of my favorite sweet recipes by blogger Chocolate Covered Katie that are under 100 calories!

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Perspectives highlights the expertise and services provided by the physicians, specialists, nurses and other healthcare providers at Einstein Healthcare Network. Through this blog, we share information about new treatments and technologies, top-tier clinical teams and the day-to-day interactions that reinforce our commitment to delivering quality care with compassion. Here, you will also find practical advice for championing your health and wellness. The Einstein Healthcare Network "Terms of Use" apply to all content on this blog.