A Healthy Valentine S Day

Valentine”s Day doesn”t have to be celebrated with a bunch of sugary foods and calorie-rich, fat-laden meals. In fact, there are many romantic and healthy ways for you and your loved one to enjoy Valentine”s Day. With a little thought and planning, a healthy Valentine”s Day celebration is well within reach.

Heart-Healthy Valentine”s Day Activities

Heart health can be incorporated into Valentine”s Day in a number of ways. For example, you could go for a romantic walk on the beach or spend an afternoon strolling through the park.

For those who want to be a little more active, you could plan a Valentine”s Day hike or canoe trip. Here are some more heart-healthy activities you can enjoy on Feb. 14:

  • Go on an early morning jog with your Valentine.
  • Go to the gym with your partner and work up a sweat!
  • Play a game of tennis with your partner.
  • Take a yoga class with your Valentine.
  • Take your loved one roller or ice skating.

The list of heart-healthy activities you can enjoy on Valentine”s Day is virtually endless. If you know your Valentine enjoys a particular activity, try to incorporate it into your festivities.

Valentine”s Day for Diabetics

Celebrating Valentine”s Day in a healthy way doesn”t mean that you can”t enjoy some treats, even if you are a diabetic. These days, you can find many low-sugar or sugar-free desserts and goodies in your local grocery store. As a plus, many of these treats are nearly indistinguishable from their full-sugar counterparts.

Additionally, many health food stores and specialty bakeries offer a variety of sugar-free cookies and cakes that can also sweeten Valentine”s Day for any diabetic!

Valentine”s Day Heart-Healthy Recipes

Here are a few heart-healthy recipes for you to try at home on Valentine”s Day. In addition to these recipes, you can make your Valentine Day healthy by serving a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.

For sweet and healthy Valentine”s Day desserts, opt for fruit-based desserts, such as low-fat, low-sugar sorbet and frozen yogurt. Also, consider slicing fresh fruit and topping it with fat-free whipped topping. Or, drizzle slices of fruit with honey.

Glazed Carrots

(adapted from Honey Glazed Carrots from Cooks.com)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound medium carrots (approximately three), peeled and sliced diagonally about 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 Tbsp. Splenda
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish.

Directions

  1. Bring carrots, 1/2 Tbsp. of the Splenda and chicken broth to boil in a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until carrots are almost tender, approximately five minutes.
  3. Uncover, increase heat to high and simmer, stirring occasionally for approximately one minute.
  4. Add butter and remaining Splenda. Toss carrots to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until carrots are tender and glaze is golden, about three minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, add lemon juice and toss to coat.
  6. Transfer to serving dish (or directly to dinner plates if serving alongside entre), scraping glaze from pan. Season to taste with black pepper, garnish with parsley and serve.

Roasted Halibut Medallions

(adapted from Halibut Brochettes from BiblicalHealthInstitute.com)

This healthy recipe makes two to three servings, so don”t feel as if you and your Valentine must finish the entire dish.

Follow this tip to make the cooking process easier: When threading the fish onto the skewers, use two skewers parallel to each other, rather than just one. Separate the two about a finger-width apart and individually thread the pieces of fish on the skewers.

Ingredients

  • bamboo skewers, pre-soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 2 Tbsp. well-drained capers
  • 2 Tbsp. dry sherry
  • 3/4 lb. halibut steak, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • fresh thyme sprigs.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400? F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine capers and sherry and set aside.
  3. Brush the fish cubes with olive oil and thread them on to the skewers.
  4. Place skewers in shallow roasting pan and bake for five minutes. Flip the skewers and bake until the fish is opaque when pierced, about three to five minutes more.
  5. While the fish is cooking, make the sauce. Strain the sherry out of the capers, reserving both. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the sherry and lemon juice. Stir in the capers and cook one minute longer.
  6. To serve, slide the medallions off of the skewers and onto individual plates. Top with equal amounts of the sherry mixture. Garnish each plate with lemon wedges and a thyme spring.

Resources

Biblical Health Institute, Inc. (2005). Halibut Brochettes. Retrieved September 18, 2007, from the BiblicalHealthInstitues.com Web site: http://www.biblicalhealthinstitute.com/Resources/Recipes

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Cooks.com (2007). Honey Glazed Baby Carrots. Retrieved September 18, 2007, from the Cooks.com Web site: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1650,130177-244195,00.html.