Valentine's Day: Beyond the Sweets

Valentine's Day: Beyond the Sweets

Valentine’s Day is synonymous with chocolates, candy and decadent desserts.  Yet there are plenty of ways to show your love without giving overindulgent sweets.  Express your affection while supporting your sweetheart’s health and well-being by using the following refreshing tips.

Time is the Essence   

Quality time spent together expresses love in cherished ways that candy can’t.   This could be the sweetest gift of all providing precious meaning and memories that last years longer than edibles.

Gifts of Active Time  

On Valentine’s Day, make time to get active together.  Depending on your mutual interests and levels of physical fitness, go for a good walk, hike or bike at a beach, marina, park, favorite neighborhood or mountain trail.  Offer to play tennis, golf, miniature golf, kayak, bowl, roller-skate, horseback ride, or take a yoga or spin class.

Gifts of Recreational Time

Show your love by spending time together engaging in favorite recreational activities.  Go to a museum, gallery, zoo, botanical garden, vintage book or antique store, performance, nursery, amusement park, pet store, outdoor adventure, cooking or dance class, seminar, etc.  Or, stay home and enjoy favorite pastimes: garden, cook together, frame photos, or have fun with household projects, painting, puzzles, arts and crafts, etc.

Gifts of Peaceful Pleasures  

People rarely give themselves the gift of peaceful pleasures.  Give a gift that fulfills your sweetheart’s desire for relaxation:  spa treatments such as massage, facial, manicure or pedicure, a gift box of various teas and an attractive tea cup, a good book, magazine subscription, or theatre or movie tickets.

Light Hearted Sweets

If you choose to give sweets, offer lighter options: fruit dipped in dark chocolate or sweets make from seasonal fruit with pink, red or blue Valentine’s themed hues: gelato, sorbet, parfait, low sugar cobbler, frozen yogurt, or smoothies made of berries, cherries, pomegranate, acai or watermelon.

 Shape Food With Heart

Simple changes can make homemade Valentine’s Day meals feel special.  Shape food to fit the day.  Use heart shaped cookie cutters for whole grain sandwiches, quesadillas, wholesome pancakes, waffles, French toast, fish or chicken filets or veggieburger, turkey or meat patties.  Arrange veggies or fruit in the shape of a heart. 

Teach Love Without Sweets

Teach others the true meaning of this day as a celebration and gift of love rather than focusing on merely giving chocolate and candy.  Help children see other ways of giving their love by making homemade Valentine’s cards using thoughtful words, poetry, colorful paper, glitter, and crafts. Decorate old shoe or gift boxes to fill with Valentine’s stickers, notepads, books, pencils, gift certificates or other fun surprises.

Spread The Love 

The act of giving induces a sense of well-being for the giver and receiver.  Volunteer, alone, as a couple or family, at a local charity, shelter or food bank.  This may be the sweetest inedible and most memorable gift of all.      

 Love Yourself

Give yourself the gift of your own positive recognition.  Take a few minutes to reflect on your life and things you appreciate about your body and yourself.   Consider writing down your thoughts and feelings and post them or keep them with you in your wallet as a friendly reminder of self-appreciation.