by Judy Weitzman, Diet Coach
Here we go again … Thanks to the greeting card industry, we have another big holiday to celebrate! The beauty of Valentine’s Day is that it celebrates love and heart health! Let’s talk about the best ways to observe this holiday and not sabotage our waistlines.
Wear something red to be festive. To take this outfit up a notch, wear something that is a little snug so you are less inclined to overeat.
Ladies, wear red lipstick … and seal that envelope with a kiss. And red nail polish is always a nice touch!
Gentlemen, pick out a red tie to wear to work today.
If you don’t wear ties, a red polo shirt will put you in the holiday mood.
By eating a heart healthy diet, exercising regularly, not smoking and limiting your alcohol intake, you can maintain a healthier heart for life.
Heart healthy foods include salmon, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and spinach, to name just a few.
You don’t have to eat anything red, but if you want to, strawberries are an excellent choice. Who doesn’t love strawberries? In addition, they contain protective antioxidants and are good for you.
One cup is only 49 calories. You can even enjoy a chocolate-covered strawberry for only 30 calories each!
Red peppers are another great treat for Valentine’s Day and they are tasty plain, roasted, or dipped in hummus.
Are you going out to dinner this year? If you go out, share your entrée with your significant other. It’s a great way to shave off some calories.
If you don’t want to share, take half home to enjoy for lunch the next day. At the end of the day, it is all about portions … you can eat anything if you keep the amount small.
Since we are focusing on heart health … having something like salmon is a great choice since it is packed with Omega-3’s. Eating at home, you will have much more control over your menu this way. You can make a romantic dinner with your Honey’s favorite foods.
More importantly, set the stage. Use candles, the good dishes, and turn on some tunes.
Being a work night, you might want to use the slow cooker to make your meal. That way, when you get home from work, you just have to toss the salad and make the side dishes.
Other ideas would be to make shell fish which is very low in calories and easy to make … just leave the melted butter in the kitchen.
Make love to your food by eating slowly and savoring the flavors. When you slow the pace, you tend to eat less. No need to rush a lovely evening.
Traditionally, we plan a romantic dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Why not change it up?
Have fun together by going dancing (salsa dancing is great exercise!), going bowling, or making a date to meet at the gym. The focus does not have to be on food.
It is okay to have a cocktail or two. Just keep it simple.
No doubt a lot of the restaurants and clubs will be serving drink specials on Valentine’s Day. These are usually very high in calories, so take a pass.
Instead, enjoy some champagne (flutes only hold five ounces) which is about 100 calories per glass. Or have a simple cocktail or glass of wine to celebrate. To take your wine up a notch, freeze some grapes, put them on a skewer and use them as ice cubes.
Since Valentine’s Day is on a Thursday this year, it will be easier to drink less since it is a “school night.” One way to limit your intake is to start with a glass of sparkling water and save your cocktail for dessert!
Speaking of drinking … water is your best friend. You should try to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day.
According to webmd.com, a new study shows people who drank more than five glasses of water each day were less likely to die from a heart attack than those who drank fewer than two glasses a day.
This holiday gives Halloween a run for its money! Every candy maker in the world goes over the top with all kinds of wonderful chocolate and other candy treats.
Since chocolate seems to be the number one choice on this holiday, here are some ways to enjoy your chocolate without adding a pound or two:
First, if you are given a box of chocolates, extend the joy. Only have one piece per day till the box is empty. This way it will last for a few weeks.
Second, when you are eating chocolate, take a small piece of chocolate and suck on it till it disappears in your mouth. By not biting or chewing it, you will have time to savor the flavor and be sated. This way you only need a very little bit.
Wishing you a Valentine’s Day filled with good times, good health and lots of laughter!
(published February 7, 2013)
Judy Weitzman, known as “Diet Coach Judy,” has experience in the weight loss industry that spans more than 30 years. She is the author of How to Eat When Life Gets in the Way. Besides her professional experience, she lost 50 pounds nearly 30 years ago and has maintained her lower weight. Judy has successfully helped her clients lose weight and keep it off by helping them change their behaviors. Each program is individualized and the daily support she offers helps ensure her clients’ success. To learn more about Judy, visit her website at www.dietcoachjudy.com.