Healthy Valentine’s Day Sweets for You and Your Sweetie

By on 02/11/2015
valentines day raspberries

valentines day foodValentine’s Day is the first major speed bump after the most popular New Year’s resolution to get in shape and lose weight.

As it is, our holidays tend to stack up on each other… Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. From October 31 until Jan 1, it’s pretty  much an eating marathon. Even worse, it’s all during winter, and as it turns out, scientists have proven that we have a natural, biological tendency to eat more calories during the cold, dark months. A little leftover survival desire from our ancestors, I guess.

My point is this: most of us gain weight during the winter and holiday season. Our scales start to reflect this and as we approach New Year’s we see the light at the end of the tunnel. No more parties. No more sweets. Spring is just around the corner. It’s our chance to  make a break for it and sprint towards that weight-loss goal we have been pondering since first noticing how tight our pants have gotten.

… and then BOOM! Valentine’s Day! A day of chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. Also, candy hearts, and cookies and usually a big, fancy dinner full of not healthy foods. And let’s not forget the alcohol too. Did you know the average glass of red or white wine contains 130 calories? (Champagne contains about 80 calories per glass, so I say go for the bubbly!)

(Here’s a random fact that I find hilarious: February is American Heart Month where we are supposed to recognize the important of eating healthy… HA! I doubt that is something most couples are discussing over their boxed chocolates and booze.)

In the interest of keeping us all on track with our health, I present to you my plans for an enjoyable healthy Valentine’s Day dinner with these healthy Valentine’s day recipes!

(An added perk: no crowded restaurants with stressed out waiters and poorly cooked foods on one of the busiest dinning days of the year!)

Our drink of the evening will be Laurent Perrier’s Ultra Brut Champagne.

(At only 65 calories per glass, it is delicious and also a very health-conscious choice. )

Laurent-Perrier-Ultra-Brut-with-Box-Hi-Res
Our appetizer will be a simple, house salad with tomatoes, shaved carrot, chick peas and a fat-free Ranch dressing.

Eating fibrous veggies helps fill you up with a bunch of healthy nutrients and low calorie foods before you gorge on the usually less healthy main course. Because it’s Valentine’s Day, I will also be adding some cute heart shaped eggs to the salad for both added protein and added cute. Tutorial is here: How to make heart-shaped eggs.

heart shaped eggs

Our main course will be indulgent, filling, and still healthy: steak and roasted veggies.

Before you draft that poorly worded email to me telling me how terrible red meat is, consider this: you may just be wrong.

As it turns out, in moderation, the right kind of red meat is actually very good for us. When eating organic, grass fed red meat, you are actually getting a ton of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, as well as meat that was healthy when alive and thus healthy now, as your meal. Factory raised cows that are fed corn and grain, live in abusive environments and are pumped full of hormones and other chemicals are usually sick and stressed. The result is meat that is full of toxins at the cellular level and those toxins will be passed on to you. For a more in depth read on this point click here.

grass-fed-beef-infographic

So for our romantic Valentine’s Day dinner we will dine on a properly portioned chunk (about 4oz) of organic, grass fed and grilled to perfection steak. That protein bomb is not only delicious, but will keep us full and satisfied for a long time, meaning we will be less likely to want to overeat our dessert.

For the most amazing roasted veggies you’ll ever have:
  • Shred a bunch of brussels sprouts and slice a few red onions once longways (from stem to root) and then cut each of those halves into 5 slices. Keep these separate as they will cook on 2 different cookie sheets!
  • Coat everything with olive oil and then salt and pepper to preference (I tend to over-salt as a lot of it ends up on the pan in the roasting processes and the veggies will come out a bit bland).
  • Put the red onions on one cookie sheet and the brussels sprouts on another. Toss both into a 450 degree oven.
  • Set the timer for 12-15 minutes. When the brussels sprouts look mostly browned and crispy, remove them from the oven and then leave the onions in for another 10 or so minutes. They should come out when their edges are browned and they are squishy to the touch.

Voila – delicious and nutritious veggies!

And finally, the best part, dessert! Raspberries stuffed with white chocolate!

This is the easiest, simplest dessert that will taste like a million dollars when paired with champagne.

You can make it ahead or right as you eat it, because it. is. simple.

Ready?

  • Rinse some organic raspberries and pat them dry.
  • Stick one white chocolate (or milk chocolate, whatever!) chip into that perfectly sized hole.
  • EAT IT.

valentines day raspberries

Healthy tip: Don’t stuff every berry with chocolate. Leaving some raspberries empty will reduce the sugar/fat content but not the taste.

Finally, after indulging in your delicious and healthy Valentine’s Day dinner, why not top if off with a romantic walk?

Research shows that taking a 15 minute walk after eating can increase metabolism, and help move food through the stomach quicker. This reduces that lethargic “stuffed” feeling we all get after a big meal. Additionally, researchers have found that a post-meal walk also helps regulate blood sugars. Blood sugar typically rises and falls after eating, but large spikes and variations (like after a large or unhealthy meal) can raise cardiovascular risk and potentially signal diabetes.

 Happy Valentine’s Day!

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About modernhealthproject

Hi there! This is my little blog project where I am trying to learn more about health, wellness and living a balanced life, while also sharing a bit of my silly side as well. By "silly" I mean sarcastic. And by "a bit" I mean way too much. Sorry about that.♥ - Anna

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