Diamonds and chocolate and overpriced roses, oh my! Why not make this Valentine's Day one you can feel good about? Vicki Vara, founder of the comprehensive wellness program known as the v.method, outlines creative, healthy and wallet-friendly ideas for you and your loved one to fall head-over-heels for.
Think a bit outside the box (of chocolate) to transform the normal routine to a romantic one
Plan the day together. Schedule a Valentine's Day pre-date to determine what activities would make both you and your partner equally happy. Runners? Plan a moonlit route. Movie buffs? Pick out a flick you'll both enjoy, and buy tickets in advance. When each side has the opportunity to input their ideas, the couple tends to enjoy the date more.
Table for two-at home. Plan a romantic dinner at home. Better yet, cook it! Most restaurants are crowded and have fixed Valentine's Day menus. (Do you really need two desserts?) Plus, not only can restaurant dining be unhealthy; eating out can be quite pricy too. Choose a meal you'll both enjoy, plan the shopping list and set a day when you can hit up the grocery store together. Cook your meal, and then make him do the dishes.
Couples yoga. Enjoying the peace and mental freedom of a great yoga class will help you feel more connected to your loved one. Yoga allows your minds to open to each other's strengths and weakness, enabling you to develop a deeper emotional connection. Bonus: You get to check each other out in some fantastic poses!
Drink, don't get drunk. Limit your alcohol intake by ordering small bottles of wine. (Check out this website for great half-bottles.) Smaller bottles of wine also give you the option to sample different kinds of vino without the temptation (or calories) of chugging the entire jug.
Take a hike. Walking after meals is shown to improve digestion and re-energize the body. After a candlelit dinner, invite your loved one out for a stroll. Not only will it give you time to chat without household distractions, but you'll also burn a few calories to boot.
Fondue for dessert. It wouldn't be Valentine's Day without chocolate, but that doesn't mean you have to eat the whole Hershey bar! Forget giant truffle-filled heart boxes and make chocolate fondue instead! Three dark strawberries yield the same amount of calories as a single ganache-filled candy. Vegans can get in on the fun too by choosing a high-quality vegan dark chocolate and stirring in almond milk.