Here Comes February

Posted: Feb 11 in Weight Management Strategies by

Here Comes FebruaryHave you recovered from the long weeks of excessive food pushing and eating? It’s part of our culture. We start with peanuts and candy corn in October, slide into apple and pecan pies in November, top off Christmas with red and green M&M’s, and wash it all down with champagne at New Year’s celebrations! How many of us swore this behavior off in the first days of 2014? Congratulations and best wishes for a healthier, more nutritious year! But wait! We have yet another winter barrier to hurdle!

Valentine’s Day!

Think of this occasion as another big marketing boom for the sugar industry. Do you know anyone whose body NEEDS all that sugar? The history of the day is interesting; St. Valentine’s Day began as a liturgical celebration of Saint Valentine. The most popular story associated with Saint Valentine was that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. During his imprisonment, he is said to have healed the daughter of his jailer. Legend states that he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell. Today, Valentine’s Day is an official feast day. The day was first associated with romantic love in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”). Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. Who doesn’t love receiving a sweet card and a box of chocolates? Overachievers may write a love letter, or take their heartthrob out to a succulent dinner or perhaps prepare a delicious, healthy meal at home. Any of these are wonderful ways to celebrate this holiday of love. The quandary comes when we open the chocolates! How many times have you tasted the first one and then quickly devoured the entire box, no matter how large it was? The challenge is to do it differently this year!

How will you work this puzzle?

You have to be completely honest with yourself. Can you freeze the candy and ration it out on a daily or weekly schedule? Can you give away the candy that you’re least crazy about? Your goal is to deal with those chocolates in a way that makes you free of any guilt involving the goodies! Throwing them away is better than feeling sick from eating too many of them.

Enjoy your healthier Valentine’s day!

Tracy Boykin, RDN

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