Here’s a post I wrote for the M.I.S.S. Healthy Bites column on MISS Omnimedia way back in 2010. I think it still applies. Check it out to find out how you can make a heart-healthy dinner for the special someone that holds your heart.
So the saying goes, “The way to a person’s heart is through the stomach,” and for this Valentine’s Day, hook up your special someone with some good food for the stomach and for the heart. If you really care about someone, show them that you want a piece of their heart by feeding them more than just a piece of red velvet cake. Sure, chocolates and candies are nice and sweet, but those are not always the best thing to eat. Open your mind to other ways of showing love and hopefully your sweetie will open their heart to you. And since it’s American Heart Month, it’s just as important to take care of the hearts of those you love.
Don’t think that heart-healthy foods have to be bland and boring, causing your love interest to run to the door- or worse- the bathroom. Foods that are good for your heart can be hearty and tasty, all it takes is a little bit of that special ingredient: LOVE. Skip the fancy dinner and instead, turn your kitchen into a hot spot for a hot date. It’s great to have a night out for some wine and dine alone time, but that can also be done at home, on a nice budget, that will leave plenty of time for dessert- in bed. You’ll share the experience of a home-cooked meal with your honey, and you’ll know exactly what goes in your food. Hopefully, this special dinner won’t be only for special occasions, because it’s important to give some lovin’ through your oven as often as you can.
What are some good eats for your honey? Try these tips to give your babe a healthy meal for a healthy heart.
- Watch the fat. Fats are essential for a healthy diet, but some fats can clog arteries, so make sure that what you’re cooking won’t break any hearts. Limit the amount of saturated fats and trans fats, ie. butter and margerine, from your meal, and instead, cook with olive oil or safflower oil. Here’s a hint: if it says “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredients list, it’s a bad fat!
- Some fat is good. Fats found in nuts and even avocados are great for your body. Top a salad with almonds or crumble cashews over a stir fry to get some of that good fat in. Although avocados are not in season right now, it could be a nice time to plan for a sexy summertime picnic rendezvous.
- Get low, get low. Get low-fat, that is. Every meal should consist of protein, so make sure to choose the low-fat version so you two will still have the energy to play around after dinner. Great choices would be lean meats, chicken, and even fish. Salmon, for instance, contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and can reduce the risk of heart attack and lower blood fat levels. If you’re doing a vegetarian meal, go for beans and soy products can fill that protein need.
- Be fresh. Let fresh fruits and vegetables be the shining star for your dinner. Fruits and vegetables all contain fiber that help to clean out the system, thus helping to prevent cardiovascular disease. On top of that, fruits and veggies of different colors can benefit the body in different ways. For instance, foods that are naturally red naturally help the heart. Whatever you do, don’t fatten up your foods by adding cream or butter, or frying them, and instead, find different seasonings or marinades that can really let the flavors out.
- Don’t salt the game. Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, and if you’re really wanting to show your chef skills, skip oversalting everything you serve. After all, the only salt that you should be tasting is off of a hot and sweaty body! Try low-sodium versions of your store-bought condiments, and if possible, cook everything from scratch. Many processed foods contain high sodium levels, so remember that fresh is best!
- Don’t complain about whole grains. You give your love your whole heart, so why not give them whole grains? Whole grains can help the heart, and they’ll fill you up faster so you won’t be as stuffed. You can get whole grain varieties of pasta, breads, rice, and more.
- Too much is enough. You don’t want to spend all day cooking up enough food to feed your whole family, because you might just end up eating it all! And a stomachache at the end of the night could get in the way of any romantic plans you may have. Cook just enough for you and your partner to be satisfied, so you can leave the rest of the night for more satisfaction.
- Work it out. After a good, sexy meal, get your sexy on with some physical activity with your partner. Maybe a little chair dancing? Strip tease? A good frolic in the bed will also burn some calories and get your cardio on. Just make sure you’re giving enough lovin’ to get your heart pumpin’.
As for dishes…save them for the A.M.! Hopefully your sweetheart will have a heart and do the dishes for you.