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5 Ways To Have A Healthy Valentine’s Day

Search “Valentine’s Gifts” on Pinterest and you’ll get a lot of pretty (and girly) crafts involving candy and chocolate. And sometimes pepto bismol. It’s pink, after all, and all that candy’s not going to digest itself.

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This year, why not skip the refined sugar and create an evening for you and your lover that doesn’t involve acid reflux? Or any pink at all really, unless that’s a colour the two of you actually like.

We can start by acknowledging that most men aren’t that into crafts. Or pink. Or stuff that serves no purpose other than a decorative one. Instead, try some of these simple gifts that any couple can enjoy, that solve the problems of overeating, overpaying and under-enjoying on your special day of love.

1. Give a houseplant instead of flowers

Fresh-cut flowers are beautiful, but is it really worth it to pay an inflated price for flowers that’ll be dead within a few days? Is giving your partner a gift that withers and dies a good symbol of your enduring love and appreciation? Unless your lover has some particular interest for flowers, probably not.

A houseplant, on the other hand, is very much like love. It responds to loving care. It lives on and gives back to the home by purifying the air, absorbing carbon dioxide and mood-boosting oxygen and increasing humidity into the air – important in the frosty month of February.

2. Take time to get some exercise together, preferably outdoors

For busy couples, there’s no gift like the gift of time. By spending some of that precious time outdoors, you’ll get those endorphins pumping, reduce stress and anxiety, and find yourself better able to express your love for each other.

3. Switch roles for a day

If you partner usually does the laundry, makes the meals and cares for the kids, why not give him or her a day off? Attack the tasks you’re most often accused of neglecting – pick up your socks, put your dirty laundry in the basket, and throw your car keys in the basket where they’re intended to go.

Doing your partner’s job for a day will help you to appreciate just how hard they really work, and it lets them off the hook for a day. Who doesn’t appreciate a day off?

4. Cook your lover a super special meal

Spend time on this one. It will be especially effective if you don’t normally cook. Travel to as many stores as necessary to collect your ingredients. Don’t be afraid to try something a little beyond your skill level. Being cooked for is universally appreciated; what else could explain the attraction of restaurant food? This is a gesture that’s sure to hit home, even if you do char the main course.

Great libido-boosting foods include berries, broccoli for the ladies, sweet potatoes, avocados and almonds. Eat as lightly as possible. Avoid heavy red meats and alcohol, particularly if you’re hoping for some hanky panky after dinner. If dinner’s just not dinner without a stiff drink, why not share a glass of wine, preferably early in the night, then serve sparkling water with dinner.

5. When in doubt, sex and compliments are a sure bet

It may seem simplistic, but Valentine’s Day is a good time to renew your physical bond with your partner. Libidos get low in the winter. It helps to have an excuse for a good romp – take full advantage of it.

Tell your partner how much you appreciate them. Be specific. I love that you always change the oil on my car for me. I love that you keep our house tidy. Talking to you really makes me think about stuff I never thought about before. Write it down. Ladies, make a craft project of it if you must.

Most importantly, when your lover does something nice for you, even if it’s not particularly up your alley, accept it with open arms, even if it is pink, half way to dead, burned or just plain not your thing at all. Appreciate what your partner is trying to express. You are important to me. I want to do something special for you. No matter how clumsy or off-the-mark, every gesture says something.  And showing your partner appreciation and love is a good way to get appreciation and love back.