I love this holiday. It’s all about showing people how much we care about them. Whether it be a spouse, sweetheart, parent, child, sibling or friend, they can all benefit from a small, thoughtful gesture, and of course the one that benefits the most is the one doing the giving!
Looking around the shopping areas near me, however, I’m a little disappointed at how difficult it can be to get something for our loved ones that isn’t full of fat, salt, sugar, chemicals, and all sorts of other things that are not very good for them. Fortunately, I have alternatives-and lots of them! If you’re looking for something safe, nourishing, and healthy for that special person in your life, here are some great ideas.
1) “Do it yourself” bath and body recipes. Tired of trying to find massage oils, foot scrubs, or bath products that aren’t full of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances? How about making your own? My friends at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics had a great idea-instead of buying something that’s full of ingredients you can’t pronounce, why not make it yourself? You’ll avoid all the chemicals and add that special ingredient-your love. Their site has some really inventive “recipe cards” for making your own bath and body products, and they’ve put them in cute card formats that you can e-mail your friends and loved ones. It’s easy, thoughtful, personable, and fun!
2) Dark chocolate. If the person on your mind has a sweet tooth, you can still get her something good for her by wrapping up some blissful dark chocolate. It has more good-for-you antioxidants than even blueberries, green tea, or red wine, all from the main ingredient-cocoa beans. These antioxidants have been linked to great things like cardiovascular health, healthy blood pressure and healthy cholesterol levels. In addition, dark chocolate can provide a healthy pick-me-up with his naturally occurring stimulating ingredients. You’ll find lots of Valentine’s gifts touting their dark chocolate content this year, but for the healthiest option, just choose the plain dark chocolate with a high antioxidant content, and leave all the cream fillings and frosted toppings behind. Better yet, melt a little bit and combine it with some fresh strawberries. Yum!
3) Fruit basket. Fruit is sweet and it’s good for you. What better combination on Valentine’s Day? EdibleArrangements.com has some adorable holiday fruit baskets you can have delivered right to your loved one’s door. We’re talking fruit that looks like flowers. You can even make one of your own-follow the recipe on this site.
4) Heart-shaped anything. When you think about it, you can make any meal feel like a special Valentine’s meal by using heart shape. Try heart-shaped whole-grain pancakes with blueberries for a healthy breakfast, heart-shaped vegetable sandwiches, Jello low-calorie heart treats (just use a heart-shaped cookie cutter after the Jello has set)-the possibilities are endless. Best of all, you control the ingredients!
5) Donating to a foundation in someone’s name. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone who has lived with cancer, make a Valentine’s donation in his name to his favorite cancer organization. That could be a nearby cancer center, or any of the many organizations working to find a cure. ( Think Before You Pink, Immerman’s Angels, Spa 4 the Pink, and the Breast Cancer Fund are just a few possibilities.) Then send a card to your loved one that announces the donation.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Do you have healthy ideas for this holiday? Please share them with our readers!
Photo courtesy the ediblearrangements.com.