Healthy Meal Ideas for a Nutritious Valentine’s Day
Many couples mark Valentine’s Day by dining at a fancy restaurant and indulging in a variety of sweet treats. Although it is just one day, you shouldn’t have to compromise your health to celebrate the holiday. Remember that goal you set for the year 2017? Here is your chance to stay on course! If you are looking to make this year’s Valentine’s Day a little more special and healthy, keep reading for healthy meal ideas for your celebration:
Here are three quick changes you can make to your Valentine’s Day meal to make sure you stay on track with your health goals.
Show your valentine you really care by preparing them a home-cooked meal. Better yet, cook it together! You will already be making a healthier meal by opting to cook your favorite dish in your own kitchen. Plus, teaming up in the kitchen gives you the opportunity to experiment with new dishes and flavors and find healthy dishes that you both enjoy.
Create a Balanced Dinner
Take it one step further by making sure the meal you create is balanced. This means that all macronutrients are represented on the plate: protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates from vegetables and fruit. This will help balance your blood sugars and decrease inflammation. An example is a grass-fed steak (protein), served with bacon (healthy fat), wrapped asparagus (carbs), and a baked sweet potato (carbs) topped with ghee or coconut oil (healthy fat). Your valentine will love this meal and will appreciate how much you care for their health.
Keep Dessert Mindful
Skip the box of assorted chocolates this year. Instead, buy your loved one a high-quality dark chocolate bar (less than 70 percent cocoa) or dark-chocolate-covered strawberries. Dark chocolate has a high amount of antioxidants which are key to maintaining good health, and it tastes delicious. Make dessert interactive by doing a short mindful-eating exercise together. Begin by exploring the chocolate with your senses: notice the texture and color, close your eyes and explore the touch, take a moment to smell it. Now take your first bite, making sure to chew very slowly and enjoy the sensory experience of eating it. Share your experience with your valentine and see where it was similar or different.
For more information on healthy meal ideas and how to improve your nutrition the rest of the year, contact our Integrative Nutritionist, Abby Stanley, MS, RDN, LD. She can help you put together a personalized nutrition plan and provide the support and education you need to make changes last.