Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and whether you have a partner or are single, chances are you will be partaking in the rich foods and alcohol that are hallmarks of the day. In fact, Canadians consume approximately 488 million litres of wine and spend nearly $1.5 billion on chocolate every year. Here are some tips to help you feel your best on both Valentine’s Day and the day after.

• Eat a small meal or snack every 3-4 hours. Going long periods between eating causes blood sugar to drop and shifts our metabolism into slow gear – breaking down muscle mass for energy and storing fat. Stick to high fibre, protein-rich choices such as veggies and hummus, fruit with nut butter, or steel cut oats with hemp seeds and agave syrup. This will also help offset the rich foods that will likely be eaten later in the evening.

• Be a steady sipper. Since our metabolism relies on water to function efficiently, taking in enough fluids will keep energy levels high and stop us from feeling bloated and lethargic come late afternoon. As an added bonus, studies have shown that drinking two cups of water before each meal can increase weight loss by approximately 50%. Try sipping herbal tea or water spiked with fresh herbs and lemon.

• Include natural aphrodisiacs throughout your day. Research has shown that saffron, nutmeg, maca, panax ginseng, and chocolate may have aphrodisiac effects. Begin your day with a romance-boosting smoothie: frozen banana, almond milk, cocoa, nutmeg and maca powder.

• Bring on the red wine. There are many reasons to enjoy a glass or two of your favourite vino. Scientists have found that red wine and the compounds in it may improve sexual health, prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, reduce cancer risk, and protect heart health.

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Eat while you drink. Food slows down how quickly alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream, and helps prevent the dreaded hangover. Eating will also help slow down how quickly you drink.

Hydrate. Sip on non-alcoholic drinks throughout the night to offset the dehydrating effects of alcohol. Alternate alcoholic beverages with sparkling water or add extra ice to your cocktails.

Snack before sleep. Have a small snack before bed that includes both protein and carbohydrate, such as cheese and crackers or peanut butter and toast.

With these tips, you will feel your best and most confident this Valentine’s Day, which is best way to put yourself in a romantic mood!  If you are in Kelowna or the greater Okanagan and would like to get more individualized guidance from a dietitian, contact us today!