10 Tips for a Healthy Valentine's Day
Couples all across the world take Valentine's Day very seriously spending an average of $13,290,000,000. V-Day is also one of the biggest restaurant nights of the year which often involves appetizers, heavy dinners, lavish desserts, and drinks. Celebrating this special day with your loved one is awesome, just in case you want to enjoy your night without adding inches to your waistline, here are some tips!
#1 Hold The Bread!
I either decline the bread completely or make sure the basket is as FAR away from me as possible. If you would like a piece of bread, take one and keep the basket moving! My father has a cool little trick of only eating the crust of the bread if that is helpful to you.
#2 Customize Your Meal!
Don't be afraid to ask your server to make modifications to your meal. When I am out to eat I always put the sauce or dressing on the side so I can control how much goes on, and substitute green veggies for the carb. Notice how the item is prepared in the description on the menu. Stay away from anything that says: deep fried, pan fried, basted, batter-dripped, breaded, creamy, crispy, scalloped, Alfredo, or in a cream sauce. Stay with items that are steamed, broiled, baked, or sauteed.
#3 Start The Night Off Healthy
Consider ordering a light salad or shrimp cocktail to start the night off with. This will help to fill you up some before the main dish and dessert come! I always go for a side garden salad without cheese or croutons with oil & vinegar on the side.
#4 Practice Portion Control
It's all about huge portions here in the U.S. Most meals at restaurants are way more than one serving which can cause an issue when you are trying to stick to a plan. Get familiar with what proper portion sizes are for the different food groups. That way you know how many servings you are actually eating when you are out.
#5 Avoid All The Extras
Pay attention to what you are adding to your meal. For salads avoid croutons, creamy dressings, bacon, and cheese (you can also ask for these things on the side so that you control how much goes onto your salad).
#6 Stick With The Reds
Red fruits and veggies such as red bell peppers, radicchio, cherries, strawberries, red beans, red onions, and tomatoes, are packed with vitamins and nutrients as well as cancer-fighting antioxidants or cholesterol-busting fiber and protein. When it comes to your alcoholic beverage, red wine is believed to keep the cardiovascular system in shape. Avoid sugary mixed drinks and go for the heart health!
#7 Keep it Dark!
If you are giving the gift of chocolate, stick with dark chocolate preferably with 70-85% cocoa. Dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants, may improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, and improve brain function. If you are going to give chocolate, keep it dark and healthy!
#8 Consider Dining In
Who says you have to go out to dinner to have a meaningful night? A great way to enjoy some alone time with your special someone while also avoiding calories, spending too much money and crowds is to take things into your own hands at home! Grab a bottle of red wine, dark chocolate, and cook yourselves a healthy meal at home. If you are looking for some recipes, click here!
#9 Don't Deprive Yourself
Moderation is the key word here! Valentine's day is about enjoying the people you love. If you happen to break out the chocolates, or go for that decadent dessert, do so in moderation. Maybe have 1 chocolate instead of 12 or a small piece of cake instead of the whole thing.
#10 Don't Forget the Meaning of the Holiday
The bottom line is no matter what you do for Valentine's day, make sure that you remember what the holiday is about. It's not about how much money you spend, or what gift you give, but celebrating your love for the people closest to you in life. If you keep your focus there, you will be good to go!