Valentine's Day Prep

This year for Valentine's Day, I am spending the night with my girlfriend while our husbands go out of town for a Bachelor party together. I know, I am an awesome wife. haha ;)

It got me thinking about love and how we show our love all too often with food. Over the past 5-6 months, I have been really focusing on healing some chronic problems in my body with whole foods and supplements. Going mostly gluten, dairy, and caffeine free has been very hard for me, and although people have the best of intentions with their gift giving, maybe chocolates isn't the way to go this year?

If you are dating someone who is trying to lose weight and/or get healthy and they set a goal for him or herself at the new year, try to be supportive in ways other than taking them to dinner and/or ordering dessert. Valentine's Day isn't that far off from when they began their journey and if you become a help instead of a hindrance for them, this will go above and beyond their expectations.

Here are some ideas for expressing your love in ways other than a dinner date, chocolates, and flowers. All monetary values are included. For simplicity and since Valentine's Day is mostly for the woman (duh), that is how these ideas will be directed:
  1. Rent out an old theater to play her favorite love themed movie just for you two. Maybe have a nice dinner brought in with a good bottle of red wine. Don't know her favorite love movie? Princess Bride should do the trick.
  2. Take a secluded carriage ride (if available). Buy her a new soft down blanket and bring it along for a snuggle with some homemade low calorie hot chocolate. A quick stop to Starbucks beforehand will work if you can't make the drinks yourself, just make sure the order says "skinny" in front of it!
  3.  If money is tight or you can't do something together on Valentine's this year, for whatever reason, send or give her a list of 25 things you want to do together over the next year with her Valentine's card. They could be as simple as getting some frozen yogurt to taking a trip. Just make sure you follow through with the list!
  4. Cook her something healthy, including a healthy dessert like the one below, and spend a romantic night together at home. Build a fire, play some music, and buy her something pretty to put on - maybe a satin robe, massage oils, or other beauty products.
  5. Speaking of massage oils, for the woman who has everything, how about a spa day and while she is gone, clean the house and prep for date night #4 above? Go a step further and hire a cleaning service to come back, repeatedly. 
  6. How about completely washing the inside and outside of her car? Filling it up with gas and new windshield wiper blades or mats will get you bonus points. There is nothing I like more than a clean car.
  7. If she has a dog, what about a cute new collar/harness and leash? Coach makes some really nice ones if you are in the mood to spend, or any pet store will have some too. Check online for cute accessories for their collar/harness as well, think bowtie for boys and flower for girls. Perfect time for a walk afterward to get some exercise!
  8. A lady can spend HUNDREDS at the hair salon. It would probably mean the world to her to have you set up an appointment with her favorite stylist for hair (and makeup?!?) before a special night out. Bonus points if your city has uber or another less expensive car rental, taking one out could be a special treat. You can pull up to a play or other event in style. Be sure to take her through the drive through for a laugh!
  9. Stay-cations can be a great idea for an extended Valentine's Day or two. Staying in a hotel in your downtown or nearby city can be just as exciting as a real vacation, as long as it is someplace new and out of the ordinary it will have the same affect. In our town you can find a cheap last minute rental on the beach, especially because it is off season. Look for rooms/housing with hot tubs and be sure to order room service for breakfast!
  10. Think really hard about something she has always wanted to have or to do. Like REALLY hard. A new jacket (or bathing suit?!?) or touring a local place that she just can't seem to get to? Surprise her with a Pretty Woman-esque shopping spree or tickets. For this one, the thought might just count more than the money... there is always something that we've been "meaning to do."
The list could go on, but the idea is the same, your woman just wants to be thought about. Not getting her chocolates while she is trying to lose weight is step one, planning a date that she would love is just icing on the cake. See? There I go with the food again.

Chocolate-Avocado Mousse


1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, such as Ghirardelli
4 very ripe (8 ounce) avocados, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup agave
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
Fresh raspberries, for garnish

Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Place over a small saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
Place the melted chocolate, avocados, agave, cocoa powder, almond milk, vanilla and salt in a food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Spoon into glasses and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (can be prepared 1 day in advance). Garnish with fresh raspberries and serve.


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