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2.10.2015

Ask a Health Advocate: Do you have any healthy Valentine’s Day gift ideas?

Don’t be afraid to look beyond the traditional Valentine’s Day gifts. Embrace some new gift ideas this year to show your loved ones that you care about them and their health. Here are some great options to choose from:

Heart-shaped fruit. Make a healthy dessert for your loved one. Cut melons, apples and pineapple into heart shapes with a cookie cutter. Serve with low-fat strawberry or cherry yogurt for dipping.

Nut brittle. Include some healthy protein and fat sources in your sweet treats! Almonds and walnuts in particular are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Try this recipe for Healthy Fruit & Nut Brittle.

Dark chocolate delicacies. Studies show that the flavonoids in dark chocolate may be able to positively influence your health. Buy a box of dark chocolate candies, or strawberries dipped in dark chocolate. Be careful choosing your chocolate—white and milk chocolate is less healthy than dark chocolate!

Massage time. Treat your loved one to a massage! Massages reduce muscle tension that can build up from chronic stress. Your gift will help your loved one take a little time out to relax.

A sincere card. A nice card can express how much you care for your loved ones. Sharing expressions of love brings greater feelings of love and well-being. Buy one you like or make your own!

Homemade coupons. Make a little coupon book for your loved one and include coupons to help make their life easier. You could make coupons for a home-cooked meal, completion of chores around the house, a weekend vacation…the possibilities are endless! All you’ll need to make these coupons are some colorful paper, markers, and a little creativity.

Flowers. Everyone loves to get a beautiful floral arrangement. Studies have shown that people can be happier and more productive at work when they have a plant or flowers nearby. You don’t have to stick to traditional red roses—consider a vase of vibrant purple irises, potted African violets, a bamboo plant, or even an arrangement of fun cacti and succulents.

The gift of time. One gift that’s always appreciated is spending time with your loved one! Cook them a healthy meal that you can enjoy together, or take them out for a fun activity like ice skating or visiting the zoo. The time you spend together is the most valuable gift of all.

If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the Wellness Coaching program, reach out to your Wellness Coach for more healthy Valentine’s Day ideas.

Have a question for a Health Advocate? Email nhess@healthadvocate.com, and your question may be the topic of an upcoming “Ask a Health Advocate” column!