Healthy Valentine’s Day Ideas

Cooking-Healthy-Valentine-MealI don’t mean to be a holiday Grinch but sometimes it seems like every American day of festivity is marked with unhealthy food and caloric excess. And, Valentine’s Day is no exception.

Don’t get me wrong I love chocolate as much as the next guy but sometimes too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Take Valentine’s Day, for example – the day that celebrates love. Many Americans mark the occasion with boxed chocolates and rich desserts. Americans reportedly purchase around 58 million pounds of chocolate during the days leading up to February 14th. Are we losing site of what the holiday is really all about?

Here are some ideas to make your Valentine’s Day a little healthier by placing the emphasis on spending quality time with loved ones (without sacrificing the sweetness).

Plan an Activity Date. Treat your Valentine to a new activity you can enjoy together. Some active ideas include checking out an indoor rock climbing gym, going dancing or packing a picnic and hitting up a hiking trail in a local park (provided you’re fortunate enough to be somewhere warm!)

Are you and your significant other foodies?  Sign up for a local cooking class where you can spend an evening together while learning new and hopefully somewhat healthy recipes.

Healthify Sweet Treats. It’s hard to quell a sweet tooth come Valentine’s Day. And you don’t have to! Swap out the crusty old box of mystery chocolates for some healthier options like organic chocolate. Endangered species chocolate is delicious and supports a worthy cause. In the mood for ice cream? Try this nutrient filled Valentine’s Day smoothie instead.

Cook your Date an Organic Gourmet Meal. This year instead of shelling out big bucks for a prix fixe meal at a restaurant try cooking at home instead. Restaurants are notorious for jacking up prices on the 14th, and the menus are usually limited, calorie laden and not all that inventive anyway. Spend some time together in the kitchen making a tasty, nutritious meal. Shop organic at your farmers market or the local section of the grocery store and splurge on quality ingredients – you’ll taste the difference! Cooking Light offers 20 healthy and romantic dinner ideas for two.

Enjoy Some Spa Time. Sometimes you just need a break and Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to pamper yourself. Get a couples massage. You’ll give your muscles some love while spending quiet time with your significant other. Or, treat your lady (or guy) to a manicure and pedicure or facial.

Say It with a Card. Candy and chocolate is sweet but cards are so much more thoughtful. Get crafty and create a homemade card for your love (or kids).  Or, just be sure to spend some time writing a special message. Even the least sentimental folks will appreciate the effort.


Beth Funari is a Sports Performance and Personal Trainer with a passion for helping people meet their goals and feel their personal best. She enjoys creating delicious & healthy recipes, designing quick & effective workouts for her busy clients, reading in bed and traveling with her husband.