According to retail experts, Americans purchase about 58 million pounds of chocolate during the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, making Feb. 14th the second-largest chocolate holiday. So, how can you celebrate this day of hearts while still protecting your own heart and overall health?
Here are some light and luscious lessons to love from Carolyn O’ Neil, co-author of The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous!
- Bubbles for you and your babe: Did you know that Champagne is one of the lightest libations on the bar menu? Toast your love with a glass of “Brut” Champagne or other dry (not sweet) sparkling wine such as Spanish Cava or Italian Prosecco at only 78 calories for a 4-oz. glass.
- Choose chocolates with benefits: Ditch sugary heart-shaped candies in favor of Adora, a rich all-natural chocolate fortified with calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. Adora is a win-win for taste and health, with each indulgent disk providing up to 50 percent of the daily value of calcium plus plenty of vitamin D3 and magnesium. Choose dark or milk chocolate varieties.
- Keep the romance heavy and the menu light: Planning a romantic dinner? Eating too much may make you drowsy before the dancing begins. Whether it’s at a snazzy bistro or a cozy dinner at home, choose lean proteins such as sirloin steak, pork tenderloin, steamed shrimp or grilled fish. Go for the greens in side salads and steamed vegetables, plus avoid fat- and calorie-laden fried appetizers.
- Red is the color of the day: So enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner. Studies have shown that drinking red wine in moderation, a glass or two a day, can lower your risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Red wine and chocolate is a great flavor pairing, too, and both are good sources of disease fighting antioxidants.