by Mariah Edwards-Heflin
It’s Valentine’s Day, the holiday where all are taught to express our undying love with copious amounts of chocolates, desserts, and of course, sex. We’ve all heard that you can burn up to several hundred calories in a sex session with your boo, so who cares if we polish off those chocolates in one sitting, right?
Sorry, but no. 150 pound person can expect to burn just 72 calories during 15 minutes of sex. While fun, your little Valentine’s Day shenanigans won’t replace the calorie burn of the gym.
So does this mean you need to stress going to the gym to lift some weights on the most romantic day of the year? Not necessarily, unless you are really that committed to the #gymlife. Then by all means, be my guest, it’s actually pretty powerful foreplay before the main event. But there are a ton of fun, active, and healthy dates you can do on Valentine’s Day that work up more of a sweat than a roll in the hay.
By Sara Haley, creator of The Daily Sweat
Happy Valentine’s Day! I love holidays because they always inspire me to be creative with my workouts. This year I used some of my favorite sayings from Valentine Conversation Hearts to create a full body workout. (And, since everyone always asks me how I fit in my workouts, now that I’m a mom, I thought I’d share with you what really goes on at my house when I work out at home—see the video below!)
Below is a list of the exercises in the circuit, including how many reps to do. The whole thing should take you around 10 minutes. Put on some of your favorite songs—”Call Me Maybe”, anyone?—and do the moves back to back. Most of all, have fun while you’re doing it—you may even be able to recruit your hubby or kiddos to help you out!
Sara Haley’s Crazy Conversation Heart’s Circuit
Love is certainly in the air this week, but hearts will be broken as we take on the competition as singles. That’s right, no more teams.
What better way to start the week than with a temptation? We are placed in front of tables COVERED with delicious Valentine’s treats. Each item has a calorie count; the person who consumes the most calories wins a two-pound advantage at the weigh in AND can give another two-pound advantage to a fellow contestant. If that wasn’t enough, Alison Sweeny says, “love is blind, and you will be, too.” The lights go out and the ten-minute timer begins.
Will anyone eat? Should I eat? NO, instead I sit down and proceed to do sit-ups, leg-lifts and push-ups. I will earn those extra two pounds. The lights go on and we find that three people ate – Francelina, Alex and Jeff. By only a few calories, Francy gets the two-pound advantage and gives the extra to Alex. Did I make the right decision? (more…)
If you’re a parent, Valentine’s Day means your kid will be offered a tremendous amount of sugar right before he’s sent home from school. Valentine’s parties are tough. You want to send a great treat, but if you’re like me, you have a conscience and you can’t send sugar bombs to kids, it’s just not right.
Never fear, just because you choose not to send unhealthy treats to school, doesn’t mean you can’t be the star of the class party. I’ve had to get creative over the years, but I’ve seen first hand that most kids actually like a unique party favor or a savory healthy snack. Many choose it over the heap of candy being loaded into their Valentine mailbox.
Here are several candy-free ideas to keep you and your kid on track this Valentine’s Day.
Fruit and Veggie Trays. Yeah, it doesn’t sound that amazing, but kids actually like most fruits and vegetables, they’re just not offered very often. I’ve watched a herd of third graders make quick work of a fruit tray and my heart smiled. If you want to add some extra holiday fun, try making your fruit heart shaped. Strawberries can easily be sliced into heart-shaped medallions or melons can be formed into the heart shape as well.
Kind Bars. Have you tried these yet?! You’re going to have a hard time sending them to school because they’re just that good. The KIND bars are mostly nut based and often have dried fruit with them. They are low in sugar and full of natural healthy ingredients. The best part is that kids will probably think they’re candy bars. Check out our KIND Bars giveaway now and win a case of 20! (more…)
Show us your KIND heart this Valentine’s Day!
Share your healthy Valentine’s Day ideas, treats, and cards by posting pictures to our Facebook page. We’ll draw two winners to each receive a limited-edition Valentine’s Day KIND Cube filled with 20 delicious KIND Bars!
Submit your Valentine’s idea by Friday, February 8!
Help inspire everyone to share healthier treats this year and move all of us away from the junked-up processed holiday that Valentine’s has become. We love the homemade cards that capture the essence of what Cupid intended this day be about – fun, silly, sweet, and KIND love!
Some of our favorites in the past are shared on our Feel Good Valentine’s Day Pinterest board, and include the following.
Calling all chocolate lovers! We have the perfect Valentine’s dessert for you and it just so happens to be healthy, decadent and loaded with antioxidants. Finally, a Valentine treat we can actually feel good about.
Inspired by our editor, I created this beautiful bark last week in preparation for Valentine’s Day. Just because we operate a health and diet website doesn’t mean we don’t crave chocolate once in a while (or every day).
The entire time I was prepping the ingredients I couldn’t wait to take a sample bite of the finished product. The luscious dark chocolate, the salty pistachios and the sweet, crisp pomegranates were sure to be a stellar flavor combination. Sure enough, my suspicions were right. (more…)
A lot goes in to a good sex life, and for women it can be more of a mind game with our conscience than anything else: Are my legs shaved? How’s my breath? Am I bloated? What’s he really think of my naked body? It’s common for women to over analyze things and want everything to be perfect to be “in the mood,” but that can be the biggest antagonist of them all.
We’ve got four weeks to get you ready for a romping good Valentine’s Day night. So follow these four key tasks our experts have identified to help you work on body image, toning, flexibility, and a little weight loss. There’s a good chance you’ll be the one wanting to skip dinner and head straight to the sheets…
We all have insecurities about our bodies, but realize how important a positive body image is for enhancing our sex lives.
“Even without changing your body, learning to love it (or parts of it) can do wonders for you in the bedroom,” says Brooke Randolph, LMHC, our resident mental health expert. “If you hate your body and want to hide it, it’s hard to really relax and be tuned into your partner and what you’re experiencing. When you feel good about yourself, you’re more likely to not only try to seduce your partner, but you’re more easily seduced by them as well.”
Try these sexy self-confidence boosters: (more…)
My daughter and I make pancakes on Saturday or Sunday every weekend. We usually do this in our pajamas and we always make a disaster zone out of the kitchen. It’s delicious bonding time that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Except maybe chocolate. But with these pancakes, absolutely no sacrifices are made.
The two of us love chocolate, strawberries, and pancakes so it seemed that marrying these ingredients would be an exciting way to get out of our standard blueberry pancake rut. We were pleasantly surprised. She enjoyed dropping her favorite fruit in to the batter and I enjoyed indulging in something at breakfast that beat just about any dessert I’d had recently.
In this recipe, you get to have a rich, satisfying serving of chocolate without overdoing it, all the while filling up on a whole grain pancake loaded with fresh, juicy strawberries. (more…)
When someone you love dies, you know that you will grieve, but did you know that your risk of experiencing a heart attack goes up 21 times as well? People have spoken of dying of a broken heart for years, knowing intuitively what research is now confirming. The New York Times reported on a study in Circulation that where nearly 2,000 participants who had experienced a myocardial infarction, commonly referred to as a heart attack, were interviewed about the loss of loved ones and the recency of those losses. They were also asked questions about their overall health and other risk factors to make sure all other variables were controlled. While your risk for a heart attack will decline over time, it remains higher for at least a month and is six times higher than normal in the first week after the loss of a loved one. If you have other risk factors for heart attack you are even more vulnerable.
Risk factors include age (45 or older for men and 55 or older for women), smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history, physical in activity, obesity, stress, and use of stimulant drugs. The loss of a loved one is one of the most stressful events a person will experience, so it is not surprising that it could result in such a drastic health crisis. Grieving and all the tasks and events included in the rituals of saying goodbye can lead people to miss meals, experience insomnia, avoid workouts, isolate themselves, and miss medications. None of these things are good for your physical health or your mental health. Yet, such a drastic and extended increase in risk for heart attack cannot be explained simply by these behavior changes. In addition, the emotions of depression, anxiety, and anger, all common during grief, can be accompanied by an increased heart rate.
A visit to New York City is rarely complete without a trip to Serendipity. If you’re in New York City on Valentine’s Day, it’s practically a must-stop for romaticals. Stocked with house-made sweets, and especially know for their chocolate creations, Serendipity is the answer to your sweet tooth’s prayers and the antithesis of any weight loss plan.
Since most of you won’t be in the Big Apple this February 14, and many of you are likely trying to watch your calories, sip on our Frozen Hot Chocolate instead. Inspired by the original at Serendipity, which delivers 340 sugar-sweetened calories, our recipe has only 140 calories and is just as worthy as a second straw.
Frozen Hot Chocolate
- 1 cup low-fat chocolate milk
- 1 ½ Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ Tbsp. sugar
- 1 cup ice cubes
- ½ cup canned fat-free dairy whipped topping (like Reddi-wip)
- Garnish: marshmallows, cocoa powder (more…)
Other than a box of chocolates, the dessert most synonymous with Valentine’s Day is the strawberry. Finally, a holiday with a love affair with fruit!
Strawberries are an incredibly delicious and healthy fruit. They are an exceptional source of antioxidants. While they are a generous source of vitamin C, that really only applies to the freshest of strawberries. After two days they start losing this vitamin’s potency. The bright red berry helps to regulate blood sugar and fight inflammation. One serving of strawberries is about one cup, or eight large ones. By themselves, on top of yogurt, tossed in a smoothie, or lovingly dipped in chocolate, there are innumerable ways to get at least one serving of this sweet fruit on to your plate every day.
For one special day in particular, treat yourself and your loves to dark chocolate covered strawberries. They’re a sinfully indulgent dessert that is completely guilt free.
The most anticipated day for all guests when I stayed at the Biggest Loser Resort was the day chocolate covered strawberries were served for dessert. Two very large, ripe berries were generously rolled in a dark chocolate and delivered to us with just the faintest sign of condensation (we were in the Utah desert, after all!). There, this dessert added only 91 calories to our 1200 calorie day. And we’d most certainly earned it! (more…)