A healthy Valentine’s Day

03.02.14 Eat, Learn, Play Blog SumoSalad
Potato Heart Source: Pixabay

Why is it that every special occasion seems to be celebrated with food or alcohol? A friend told me the other day, that he has managed to lose 2 of the 3 kg that he gained over Christmas, yet it seems that around every corner is some sort of celebration or ceremony that requires us to eat food – and not always the healthy stuff. For those few blokes reading this, Valentine’s Day is coming up on the 14th Feb and unfortunately for those of us trying to make healthy choices, Valentine’s Day is more often than not symbolised by chocolate and champagne – all good for the romantics out there, but not so good for those still trying to stick to their new year’s resolutions.

Depending on who you ask, Valentine’s Day originated as a celebration of St Valentine who was a catholic priest in the third Roman century. The Emperor decided that single men made better soldiers and so forbid any soldiers to get married. St Valentine used to unite young lovers in secret, defying the rulers. As such, once he was discovered he was sentenced to death and thus evolved the tradition of showering the one you love with anonymous gifts and cards.

In an effort to allow you and your loved one to keep up the tradition and not lose any of the romance of Valentine’s Day, I have suggested five foods to increase the romance without the extra calories and the associated guilt trip…

Chickpeas believe it or not, but in Ancient Roman times a chickpea hummus was thought to have incredible aphrodisiac properties, so why not whip up a chickpea hummus with some toasted pita bread? Chickpeas are high in fibre and protein whilst being low in fat, so they make a very tasty, healthy starter to your romantic dinner.

Oysters – you either love them or hate them, but either way, we all know that they are great for getting the heart rate up after dark if you catch my drift. Oysters are also a really good source of zinc, which is important for fertility.

Coffee – what girl hasn’t wished to be the dame standing opposite the likes of Matt Damon/ George Clooney/ Brad Pitt (take your pick) when he has proposed they go inside for “coffee”? There is just something about the potentially intimate experience of drinking a coffee with someone that you love, which really gets the blood pumping.

Strawberries what could be more romantic than whispering sweet nothings to your loved one whilst you both nibble on strawberries? With the benefit of plenty of fibre as well as vitamin A and C which are excellent antioxidants, you can nibble away to your heart’s content.

Anything shaped like a heart – the moment you cut out a piece of haloumi cheese in the shape of a heart and then grill it on the BBQ, you have turned that piece of squeaky cheese into a message of love. Haloumi has less salt than feta but about the same amount of energy and fat, so make sure your hearts are petit. Serve the small hearts with a green salad or roasted vegetable salad for a filling and nutritious meal.

POSTED BY: Georgie Moore

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