Love to Eat or Eating for Love?

By Beth Hubrich, RD, Calorie Control Council Contributor —

February 8, 2012 -With Valentine’s Day approaching, I thought I would share a little on love and eating.  To be perfectly honest, I have never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day.  It seems very contrived, in my opinion.  Who wants to get flowers from their significant other because they feel they have to.  But as of last year, Valentine’s Day has taken on a whole new meaning.  On February 14, 2011, the most wonderful bundle of joy entered our lives.  A room full of Valentines stacked to the ceiling wouldn’t come close to expressing how much love and joy he has brought our family.  And, even though I cannot believe he will be 1 soon, I so hate to see the coming of his birthday.  Because once he is 1, it means I have just 17 years left before he “officially leaves the nest.”  (A lifetime of birthdays would not be enough for me – 18 is way too short.)

Since my son is a “Valentine baby” it got me thinking about all that we do on Valentine’s Day.  And, for many it’s not just an excuse to buy overpriced flowers, it’s also an excuse to overindulge.  But I think we should begin to think about this holiday (and others) in a different way.

Do we love to eat or are we eating for love?

I will be the first to admit that I do love to eat.  (Last week I had fried dill pickles with a totally delicious sauce, French fries and a Monte Cristo sandwich.  Come on, you have to give the “prego” a pass every once in a while.) But, what I should be doing is eating for love.  What exactly do I mean by this, you ask?  What I mean is this.   If I am eating for love, then I am eating to take care of myself so that I can take care of others – my children, my unborn child and my husband.  So, this Valentine’s Day why not focus on delicious foods that can help you eat for love – that is eat better?  Here are a few quick suggestions:

  • Opt for a small piece of dark chocolate. Research suggests that dark chocolate contains antioxidants that are good for the heart.
  • Instead of going out for an overpriced, fancy dinner on Valentine’s Day, make a date to exercise.  Perhaps it’s a long bike ride or a hike up a mountain. Either way, the exercise will get your heart pumping and you’ll be spending quality with each other, instead of excess calories.
  • If you drink, do so in moderation and opt for a glass of red wine.  Again, research has shown that red wine contains good for you antioxidants.
  • If you are preparing a special meal, go light on the sauces.  Grill or bake instead of fry and opt for delicious fruit as a dessert with a small amount of whipped topping.
  • Check out the many reduced-sugar, sugar-free and light options available.  There are plenty of reduced-calorie recipes available that can still make a tasty treat and feed your craving.

For more tips, check out the following article.

Or, fall in love with some of these recipes.

Hope you all have a happy and healthy Valentine’s day!

faq2Do you have questions about low-calorie sweeteners? Want to learn more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle? You asked and we listened. Our resident Registered Dietitians answered the most popular questions about low-calorie sweeteners.

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