This Valentine’s Day, Share your Love through Healthy Food

February is dedicated to heart health. Another day in February that celebrates the heart is Valentine’s Day.

Whether you plan on going out to dinner, or making a cozy dinner at home, there are many ways to make healthy choices.

That’s Amore

If you’re cooking at home, prepare a spinach salad with lots of your favorite veggies, and some zesty fat free Italian dressing. (15 calories for 2 TBSP of dressing).

Nothing says ‘I love you’ quite like spaghetti. I suggest using whole wheat or whole grain pasta. One ounce of cooked pasta (or ½ cup) is just 100 calories. Also add:

  • 1 package of lean ground turkey or ground beef (150 calories per 4 ounce serving) 
  • 1 jar of light spaghetti sauce (50 calories per ½ cup)
  • Tri-color peppers, onion, garlic, any other veggie that you like
  • Homemade Garlic Toast (1 slice toast = 1 serving)
  • 1 slice whole wheat/whole grain bread toasted (60-100 calories depending on the brand)
  • 1 TBSP I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Lite (50 calories)
  • A pinch of low sodium garlic salt

Sweets for your Sweetie

For dessert:

  • ½ cup fresh or frozen berries of your choice (50 calories)
  • Fat Free Cool Whip (15 calories for 2 tablespoons)

This meal averages at about 500 calories per person, but of course, the serving size is crucial. Portion sizes and calories should be determined on an individual basis depending how many calories a person should consume daily

Calorie information is provided by caloriecount.com. Cooking at home can be fun, and easy.

Go out on the Town

If dining out is more your style, remember that planning ahead is key to avoid overeating. Sometimes we splurge on special occasions, but  remember: there are ways to avoid going completely overboard.

Make your reservation and then refer to Calorie King  for calorie information. This resource lists major restaurant chains and their most popular dishes.

Also, consider eating a salad with light dressing or a clear broth soup before the main dish. You could try eating just half of the dish and then either share the res, or get a to-go box.

When dining out, you may prefer a cocktail with your meal. Here are some friendly reminders:

  • 2 drinks = recommended serving for men daily
  • 1 drink = recommended serving for women daily

According to the American Dietetic Association one serving of alcohol is one of the following: 

  • 12 ounces of a beer or wine cooler
  • 8-ounces of malt liquor
  • 5 ounces of table wine
  • 1.5 ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits such as gin, vodka, whiskey, etc. 

Celebrating a special occasion can be done without any guilt. Have a wonderful and healthy Valentine’s Day!

Photo Credit: blentley

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