Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine’s Day: What’s Food Got to Do With It?

Valentine's Day should not be a big production, but a time for lovers to celebrate their bond by spending good, old-fashioned quality time together. Photo from

DEAR READERS: I am Janet Cook aka NYC Healthy Chick. I am also part of a huge mission through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to create a ripple effect of happier, healthier and more joy-filled people in this world. After a 25-year span of "livin' la vida loca," I finally learned that my core happiness, joy, health, well-being and wealth were in danger. Living my best life ever required my willingness to change, correct and improve myself every day. If I can inspire you twice a month on Wednesdays through my articles on VEVLYN’S PEN to have the courage to take action to change, go outside of your comfort zone or rewrite your "herstory" or "history," then it is job well-done for me as a Certified Holistic Health Coach.

My articles will always be related to nutrition because food is everything – career, relationships, physical, spiritual, and actual nourishment for the body. Keep an Eye Out ... because you never know what I'm going to write about. I'll definitely keep you wondering, fer sure fer sure.


(aka Saint Valentine’s Day) was originally created to celebrate love and affection between intimate companions. In recent decades, however, it has become increasingly commercialized.

What's on the menu for V-Day? Peruvian Roast Chicken can fill the bill. Photo from Whole Food Markets.

Rather than an occasion on which two people commemorate their regard and passion for each other, Valentine’s Day is celebrated with expensive gifts and dinners that include excessive consumption of alcohol and unhealthy foods, particularly desserts and candies.

With this in mind NYC Healthy Chick suggests 5 Ways to Personalize Your Valentine’s Day – without breaking the bank or overindulging in eats and drinks. Note: If you have kids ask a friend or relative to take them for the night.

1) Stay home for a change. Together, prepare a beautiful light, healthy meal that you both really love or try something a little different. When you overeat or have a meal laden with fat, salt or sugar, the romance factor suffers because you are likely to be too tired to stir up any passion.

Toast the evening with a glass or two of sparkling wine. Photo from Shutterstock.

Try a fish or chicken dish such as Peruvian-Style Roasted Chicken. On the side serve a green leafy vegetable and a grain.

2) If you plan to drink, share a bottle of Champagne (or sparkling wine). Sparkling wines have fewer calories than most alcoholic beverages and consumed in moderation have a number of health benefits such as brain protection.

3) For dessert try dark-chocolate covered strawberries instead of candies. Sure, the latter come in a big, pretty box but they are just going to go to all the wrong places.

Who needs heart-shaped candy when there are stawberries - covered with dark chocolate. Photo from Whole Food Markets.

4) Agree to just exchange cards. If you must bestow gifts on each other, be creative with ones that both cost little or no money and that support and nurture your relationship. Ideas: "Love Coupons" - be a little naughty. Another is to frame a favorite photograph from a trip or event. Sure to elicit moans of gratitude: a sensual massage with hot oils.

5) Watch a romantic movie while snuggling on the couch and see where things go from there.

Happy Valentine’s Night!

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