Healthy foods and inspiration for your best heart day yet.
Welcome to the Ask Anni series. Every Thursday on the blog, I’ll be answering your most asked questions and giving you evidence-based answers. This week on Ask Anni, many of you are wondering, “How Can I Make Valentine’s Day Healthier?”
The short answer is that it all starts with mindset and by making small shifts towards your goals. What you eat on Valentine’s Day is just one day out of the year unless it contributes to a pattern of behavior you intend to carry out day-to-day.
Read on for my top tips on making Valentine’s Day a holiday to love without forgoing your health habits.
Tip #1: Make meals that you usually eat, but with a heart-y twist.
You can make a magnificent meal without having to sacrifice time with the ones you love.
If you have time and energy to whip up something new -- that’s great! If you don’t, that is okay, too.
Crockpot chili dogs are one of our favorite, easy weeknight meals. The chili can be eaten on its own with toppings or on top of hot dogs.
Especially if you have kids, you know that sometimes their menus are limited to their favorite foods and nothing else -- no matter how hard you try.
The important thing is that you and your family are fed! No need to whip up an exotic, complicated dish, unless that is an activity you truly value and enjoy.
Old standbys can be just as celebratory. For example, instead of shredded cheese as the topping for the chili dogs, I used cookie cutters to shape the cheese into love letters. I also focused on red and white toppings (red bell peppers and white onions) to set a more Valentine’s time color scheme.
Tip #2: Char-heart-erie Boards (What’s not to love?!)
I’m a big fan of charcuterie boards. Although I may not assemble mine in the traditional sense, I love the balance and variety that a well-designed snack platter can bring.
Using heart shaped dishes, cookie cutters, and my how-to guide on assembling a charcuterie board, make a char- “heart” -erie board that meets your needs.
Contrary to popular belief, valentine’s day isn’t all just sweets! Other flavors and additions to your board can help celebrate the variety that your Valentine helps bring to your life.
Tip #3: Get punny, honey.
Puns can help turn an ordinary item into something to celebrate.
Gifts like these can take 5 minutes or less but can make someone’s day! Plus, puns prove that a treat for a sweetheart doesn’t have to be sweet.
Tip #4: It’s not all about the food.
Remember that there are plenty of ways to celebrate that don’t put the focus on food. If you or a family member are nourished alternatively (i.e. feeding tube, are in recovery from an eating disorder, etc.), there are many other items that can help you focus on love and not what is lacking. Stickers, linens, heart shaped cookie cutters, and decorating with the colors red, white, and pink can help bring the feeling of heart day alive even when traditional treats are absent.
Tip #5: Eat what you love.
Some people get so focused on eating healthy that they can’t enjoy the holiday. If you love veggies -- right on! If you don’t, it is more than okay to take a break from your regular eating pattern to indulge on something you truly enjoy eating.
Don’t skimp on sweets just because you “should”. Think about what brings you joy and eat that item intentionally. You’ll escape a lot more over or under eating this way instead of opting for restriction and rules.
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That’s what I am here for! My Meal Planning Made Simple customizable program is all about getting back to the nutrition basics without making it boring. Pre-order today, or contact me about ordering the program as a Valentine’s day surprise for someone you love!