As with most holidays, Valentine’s Day is sure to be filled with delicious and caloric dishes and sweets. From chocolates to truffles and five-course dinners, those calories are practically impossible to escape — until now. If you have the right guide, you can be mindful of what to eat and what to avoid.
With simple substitutions from Dr. Howard Shapiro, a New York City-based weight loss specialist and New York Times best-selling author of the Picture Perfect Weight Loss series, you and your special someone can share the romance without worrying about your diet.
If you want to give something sweet, be mindful of your choices. Although criminally delicious and a great gift to give a loved one, just eight chocolate truffles can have 560 calories — sad, but true. For the same delectable taste, you could get your sweetie eight chocolate-covered strawberries for only 240 calories.
After enjoying a nice meal at your favorite restaurant together, there is always the great debate about what to indulge in for dessert. Often times, the choice is between a slice of a fruity tart or a piece of chocolate layer cake. Most weight-conscious people would avoid the chocolate and choose the fruit-forward dessert, but one 4-ounce slice of chocolate layer cake and one 4-ounce slice of lemon tart both contain just 480 calories. So this Valentine's Day, indulge in that delicious chocolate cake without feeling guilty.
Or, if you want to skip the restaurant dessert and save the treats for back at home, satisfy your sweet tooth by enjoying healthier chocolate treats such as Tootsie Pops or chocolate Hershey's Kisses. After taking your valentine out to dinner, make a delicious frozen yogurt dessert or heat things up next to the fire with a mug of hot cocoa in the comfort of your own home.
By substituting these chocolate sweets for candies you thought were diet-friendly, such as sugar-free caramels or Raisinets, you could cut out more than 450 calories.
Still the same romance, only half the calories — talk about a success!
14 Heart Healthy Desserts for Valentine’s Day
I love Valentines Day! Mostly because it’s full of chocolate and getting to spend time with the people that you love! This year we’ve been trying to be a little better about all the sugar and desserts we’ve been consuming, so we’ve decided to take a small break (just a break, we’ll still eat those assorted chocolates) and share with you a few heart healthy desserts for this Valentine’s Day!
Frozen Raspberry Mousse Tart
Dark Chocolate Frozen Banana Bites
Cream Cheese Stuffed Strawberries
Orange Pineapple Fruit Dip
Skinny Chocolate Raspberry Milkshake
Easy Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Chocolate Fruit Dip
Strawberry Chocolate Cups
Skinny Strawberry Shortcake
White Chocolate Fruit Dip
Thick and Creamy Chocolate Mousse
For Love Muffins Who Love to Relax
Eating healthy should still be delicious.
You know what we could all use a little less of? Stress. Give your sweetheart a chance to relax, unwind, and soak in some sweet scents while you fix them a romantic dinner for two.
- Panda Cooling Eye Gel Pads, $7 - Chill the pads, place over your tired eyes, and slip away into bliss.
- LUSH Bath Bombs, starting at $5 - Any gift from LUSH is a guaranteed winner, but we particularly love the bath bombs. These fizzy spheres release oils and scents to turn your soak into a sensational spa moment.
- Face masks, starting at $3 - Treat her to a spa-like experience with facial masks in the comfort of home. Each one is different, so find a scent or a treatment that best suits her style.
- Sweet-scented candles, $10 - There is no wrong time to gift a candle. Target&aposs Sincerely Me candles offer fragrant dessert-inspired scents. You can also opt for more classic candle scents like Fresh Cut Lilacs and French Cade & Lavender.
- Body butters, starting at $10 - Body butters are to lotions what Mercedes is to Toyota. Lotions are great, reliable even. But body butters? Once you go body butter, you never go back.
- Lucia Guest Soap Pack, $16 - For the gift that gives again and again, wrap a pack of these small essential oil-infused, 100% certified organic soaps for your Valentine. Each one can be enjoyed in the shower for a few washes, or are a great way to take a little bit of home with you on the road.
Healthier Valentine’s Day Food Ideas
Just because you are avoiding buckets of sugar and artificial dyes doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun foods. Check out these excellent ideas for healthier valentines day foods:
- Avoid red #40 by making this Very Berry Naturally Pink Frosting at home by Real Mom Nutrition. It does still contain sugar, but since it IS a very special occasion (and it doesn’t have any red #40), this is still a win in my book. And, you can use it as a great example to teach moderation (1 cupcake).
- These Conversation Cuties from Mom Always Finds Out are way too cute. I’ve already made these at home!
- Make festivepink Valentine smoothies using red fruit such as cherries or strawberries.
- Give fruit with a fun message to your valentines. Cake Whiz has some witty ideas for Valentine’s Day Fruit with Messages.
- With the heart shaped cookie cutter the possibilities are endless. You can even do heart shaped fruits and vegetables out of melon, cucumber, pineapple, and apple. You can serve them on a tray, fruit salad, or these Valentine Fruit Wands from A Few Shortcuts are especially fun and festive!
- Here’s a fun breakfast idea for Valentine’s Day Egg in the Basket from Reclaiming Provincial.
This post contains affiliate links. Muscle and Manna does receive a small commission when you purchase a product through an affiliate link. However, this has no effect on the cost of the product for you, the consumer. Your support is appreciated and help keep this blog running!
It’s happened to the best of us: we stick to our New Year’s diet resolutions like glue … until the boxes of chocolate start popping up in the grocery store. By the time Valentine’s Day rolls around, you’ve already eaten a few boxes of conversation hearts, and everything goes out the window when your partner makes you a delicious, decadent, but wildly unhealthy dinner. Fitness goals: obliterated. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Life & Style spoke exclusively with some of the leading healthy chefs to find recipes you can make your loved one (or yourself) for appetizers, dinner, drinks and dessert that won’t ruin your resolutions!
“My husband and I rarely go out on Valentine’s Day,” revealed Katie Webster, the classically trained chef and former food stylist behind Healthy Seasonal Recipes. “Not only is it super crowded, but the restaurants try to get you in and out as soon as they can because they’ve got so many two-tops to serve. Instead, we put the kids to bed, light a fire and have a stay-at-home date night.” Luckily, Katie and cookbook author Diana Keuilian of Real Healthy Recipes have plenty of suggestions for what to make at home for the special day.
Pomegranate Lemon Drop Martinis. “If you’re feeling festive, it’s always fun to start with a pink-hued cocktail,” Katie suggested. The delicious beverage is perfect for the romantic holiday, and only takes five minutes to whip up!
Katie Webster, Healthy Seasonal Recipes
Roasted Grape Crostini With Goat Cheese and Walnuts. “Here’s an appetizer to share with your honey: roasted grape crostini with goat cheese and walnuts drizzled with honey,” said Katie. “They’re super flavorful, and your significant other can nibble on them while you make the main course.” One crostini is just 67 calories, and who wouldn’t be impressed by this luxe little snack?
Beet Salad With Pickled Eggs. “Please only attempt this recipe if you are in a really fancy mood,” teased Diana of her surprisingly easy recipe. “Put on your gourmet, award-winning-chef hat and fancy things up!” This high-end sexy salad is only 177 calories a serving, so you can feel as good about it as you feel about your boo!
Katie Webster, Healthy Seasonal Recipes
Moules Frites. “For the main course, I think it would be so fun and relaxing to make home-made Moules Frites,” suggested Katie. “Mussels are one of those ‘only order at a restaurant’ meals, but they’re actually super easy to make at home. Wow your valentine by making them from scratch, and open a bottle of good French wine. I’d pour either a white Burgundy or Cotes du Rhone.” Find her recipe for mussels here, and her killer skinny oven fries here! Combine them to make the amazing, chic dish.
Spicy Orange Shrimp with Noodles En Papillote. Diana suggested “spicing things up” with this colorful, flavorful recipe. The high-end dish takes just 30 minutes to prepare, and has under 200 calories per plate. We can only imagine how much it would wow your significant other!
Diana Keullian, Real Healthy Recipes
Moroccan Spiced Chicken and Squash. If you’re in the mood for a “cozier” dish, Diana offered up her killer Moroccan chicken recipe. This gorgeous plate clocks in at 336 calories, and will put you in the mood to cuddle up and enjoy a movie together right after.
My Healthy-er Treat Picks
I pulled these family favorite treats from my archives. Enjoy!
This marbled fudge is very, very good and makes excellent use of coconut butter.
Have you tried my chocolate sourdough cake with (probiotic) cream cheese frosting?
My spelt lemon cake can be made with sprouted or soaked flour (I recommend spelt or whole wheat pastry). It may look plain, but take note: once the cake is baked, you pour a fresh lemon juice syrup over all and it soaks in, permeating the cake with ribbons of slightly tart lemon syrup. So the delicious drizzle is inside and boy, is it ever scrumptious! This is my favorite cake ever.
And not on this blog, but definitely one of our favorites: Avivah's Peanut Butter Cups. I double the chocolate layer and omit the nut meal entirely. Also, I keep the honey at about half what's written. There's nothing like these!
That's it for my selections. Visit my Desserts category for more!
For the humble runner
Admit it: The swag is totally awesome when you finish a race! This chalkboard-backed race bib and medal holder not only provides a place for your lover to hang their race goodies, but it also has a spot for him or her to brag about in their race PRs. This is a great way to show your sweetie how proud you are of all their sports accomplishments—which beats a bouquet of roses any day. To really impress your boo, brush up on the best nutrition for runners with this Eat This, Not That! for Runners Guide.
54 Sweet and Healthier Valentine's Day Treats
According to the Census Bureau, Americans ate 24.3 pounds of candy per capita in 2009, and at least part of that was consumed on and around Valentine's Day. With boxes of chocolate so easily accessible--and so many varieties to try (just a nibble won't hurt!)--it's easy to see how the calories and empty wrappers add up. (That could amount to more than 10 pounds of extra weight a year!)
We're here to keep you and your sweetie in tip-top shape this Valentine's Day. We surveyed members and the SparkPeople team and compiled a list of better-for-you sweet treats, including several that are either calorie-free or will burn calories. I present to you the good, the "bad" and the chocolate-y!
This one from ARIZONAMARY was my favorite: One year we were beyond broke. I made 50 hearts out of construction paper (see below!) & hand wrote a different reason I loved him on each heart. I got a glass jar with hearts on it from the thrift store & filled it with the hearts. Now 10 years into our marriage, he still has it. along with the hearts inside.
A Healthier Valentine’s Day!
Valentine’s Day is coming up next week and that means two things: chocolates and flowers! Flowers definitely won’t impact your weight loss goals, but chocolates might be a bit more problematic. We’re here to offer a few tips to avoid ruining your diet completely on this special day and to make you feel just a little bit better for some of the choices that you make that you might think are bad.
Have A Game Plan:
If you are going out to dinner with your significant other, or even with friends, have a plan of attack ready before you head out the door. Preparation ahead of time can help you make better, healthier choices during the dinner. If you know the restaurant and can access the menu beforehand, you will be able to do some research on the entrees and choose something that fits into the boundaries of your diet. Also, leaving things up to the last minute can lead to more impulse selection of unhealthy options. If you are planning on having dessert, which is highly likely on Valentine’s Day, go ahead and skip the appetizer course.
During dinner you probably want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage and you certainly shouldn’t deny yourself a few indulgences on Valentine’s Day. If you do have alcohol, you are better off drinking wine — preferably red wine. Red wine actually has some health benefits when consumed in moderation according to many studies. Dry wines tend to have less sugar than others, so try selecting something close to a cabernet. These studies cite flavonoids, antioxidants and resveratrol in red wine as having health benefits for fighting cancer and actually being good for your heart. Again, this is in moderation and if you aren’t used to consuming alcoholic beverages, consult your physician when making major changes to your diet.
If you are going to eat any chocolate on Valentine’s Day make sure it’s dark chocolate. Dark chocolate in moderation has a lot of health benefits for the heart and brain. Studies have shown that dark chocolate also is rich in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that help to lower blood sugar and even harden tooth enamel! Again, remember that it’s in MODERATION, so don’t go out and start eating a ton of dark chocolate based on these conclusions.
If you have chocolates leftover, there are a couple of things you can and should do. Try to get rid of them by taking them to your company’s break room at work or give directly to co-workers or friends. You can also try putting them away for another day—out of sight, out of mind!
It’s Only One Day:
If all else fails and you want to indulge a bit, by all means go ahead and do so. Celebrate the special day guilt-free because you can always just get back on track tomorrow!
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
Kate Miller, mom of 5, is on a mission to stay fit and healthy. As HealthyWage's Community Manager, she's fortunate to be surrounded by inspiring success stories day after day. Although she does get paid by HealthyWage, she is an independent mom blogger who works with HealthyWage because she thinks it is an incredible weight loss tool. In 2012, Kate lost 50 pounds and documented most of her journey right here on the HealthyWage blog. Since then, she's had to learn the subtle intricacies of staying on track by mastering the daily ebb and flow (and parties and holidays and periods of extreme laziness) of life.
Healthier Valentine’s Day Ideas
Do you have plans for Valentine’s Day yet? Is one of your plans to show yourself some love? By making some simple changes you can commit to a healthier Valentine’s Day and a healthier you! Keep reading to get some tips on Living Healthier and read Edgar’s Living Healthier success story.
Simple Ways to Have a Healthier Valentine’s Day
This Valentine’s Day make it healthy by starting small! If you’re going out to dinner with a loved one or having a girl’s night stay away from sugary beverages and opt for sparkling water or a mocktail instead. When thinking of things to do with your beau make it a healthier Valentine’s Day by taking a couple’s bike ride or stroll through a park. You’ll have the chance to spend some quality time together and focus on each other’s health too. For kids, cut back on the amount of excessive sugar in their classroom on Valentine’s Day by sending fresh fruit liked sliced apples, berries, and banana with a honey and Greek yogurt sauce.
Be Healthy Beyond Valentine’s Day
If you’re looking to make a change that will last more than one day, use Valentine’s Day to set some self-love goals. These can be committing to a workout routine where you can focus on yourself or practicing mindfulness when eating. Or, if you have a chronic illness like COPD or CKD your goal can focus on living a healthier lifestyle while managing your illness! No matter what your goals, a Living Healthier coach can help. Living Healthier is our free, confidential, and bilingual health coaching hotline. Our coaches provide encouragement, accountability, and resources for you to have a healthier Valentine’s Day and beyond!
How Living Healthier Helped Edgar Love Himself
Edgar is a Living Healthier participant. He has also been encouraged by his coach, Hector, to join the Community Challenge to reach his goals. The #CommunityChallenge has given Edgar the motivation to lose weight, lower his blood sugars, and lose weight. He also said “My Living Heathier Coach has also provided me with some online tools and the support I need to set and meet my goals.” And not only has Living Healthier helped Edgar, but it’s gotten his wife involved too! Edgar is “eating healthier with the foods she researches and prepares to meet my needs.” Living Healthier has helped Edgar reach his goals and make healthier food choices, one of the best ways to show your body some love!
Valentine’s Day is all about love, and this year we want to challenge you to celebrate by loving yourself! Set a SMART goal to have a healthier Valentine’s Day. It could be cutting down on sugar, committing to “me time” at yoga, or getting in control of your diabetes. No matter what your health goal, if you need help one of our Living Healthier coaches can assist. Start today by calling 1-844-262-6224!