With Valentine's Day right around the corner (Yikes! Didn't we just celebrate Christmas?), stores are stocked with tons of unhealthy food gifts: candy hearts, chocolate roses, you name it. Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for showing those you love how important they are to you, but showering them with sugar isn't the way to do it. So I've thought of five healthy alternatives that are high on romance and low on calories.
1. Flowers flowers flowers. Okay, I know I'm not the first person to suggest this idea, but I still love it! Flowers are so beautiful and can really brighten up a room or work space, and they last much longer than candy. (Guys: In case you didn't know, most women really love flowers!)
2. Another cool Valentine's Day gift idea is some spiffy new workout clothes! Just as dressing well for work can help us feel good about ourselves and our careers, so too can stylish, well-fitting workout clothes help us feel good about our healthy exercise habits.
3. Instead of those behemoth gift baskets filled with junk food, how about a fruit basket? Pick out some yummy exotic fruits and make a fun date night out of sampling all of them. And gift baskets come with all sorts of other fun ideas - you can even make your own for your honey with things he/she likes, such as books, bath oils, or their favorite DVDs.
4. You can get almost anything personalized or monogrammed online these days, from coffee mugs to water bottles to picture frames to iPhone covers. More of a do-it-yourself gifter? You could look for a beautiful poem that expresses the way you feel about your mate and create a handmade Valentine. Or even write your own poem! (Remember, it's the thought that counts. You don't have to be an award-winning poet.)
5. I'm going to pat myself on the back for this next idea.... Ask your sweetie to pick out his or her favorite recipe on Beyond Diet, then create a special date night at home where you cook the yummy, healthy meal - complete with candles. If you both enjoy cooking, you could even cook it together!
Of course, Valentine's Day isn't just for grown ups. If your kids need to bring Valentine's gifts to school for their classmates, help them create non-food items to hand out. Maybe they could make a simple card for each classmate or give each student a few fun stickers or pencils or heart-shaped erasers. Check out the Dollar Store or online sites for some inexpensive ideas!