Whether it’s one final flute of Champagne or a bonus bite of chocolate, Valentine’s Day can lead to its share of overindulgences. But romance doesn’t have to come at a steep price, at least in terms of calories. Stay true to that New Year’s resolution and show your body some love on Feb. 14 with the following dining tips—and a fabulous chocolate dessert recipe.
1) Celebrate with a glass of Raspberry Lemon Italian sparkling water (available at any Whole Foods). Pour it into a Champagne glass and decorate it with a few fresh raspberries to make it even more festive. Water is crucial to our well-being, but many people forget to hydrate. By incorporating more fresh water into your diet, you will move your lymphatic system, decrease bloating and improve your skin.
2) As a starter, try a fresh spinach salad and accessorize it with strawberries and walnuts. Drizzle the salad with low-fat balsamic vinaigrette. Spinach is fabulous for your liver – your largest organ that is responsible for detoxing your entire body. Strawberries are full of fiber, which helps slow down the release of sugars; and walnuts supply your body with essential Omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation. How about that for a super salad?
3) If you are craving an alcoholic beverage, opt for a glass of red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or a Pinot Noir, both of which are lower in calories than mixed drinks. Red wine is also known for resveratrol, a type of antioxidant that is heart-healthy in moderation. And don’t forget to have some food before you take your first sips!
4) For the main course create a waist-loving meal of side dishes. My favorites are grilled Portobello caps stuffed with red peppers and a little bit of vegan cheese; and baked golden sweet potato and roasted broccoli, asparagus or cauliflower. Because vegetables take less time to digest than animal proteins, they can help you avoid a food coma and leave you more energetic after the meal.
5) For dessert, try my chocolate mousse recipe—it’s decadent and heart-healthy at the same time. Unlike a traditional chocolate mousse that has high-fat dairy and cholesterol, this avocado-based wonder (don’t worry, you won’t taste their flavor here), is full of good fats, fiber and bloat-reducing potassium.
2 ripe avocados
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk or coconut water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Raspberries and coconut shavings
Preparation: Blend first 6 ingredients in a Vitamix (or other high-power blender) and enjoy! Garnish with raspberries and coconut shavings.
About Alina Z.
Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef who lends her expertise to individual clients as well as the likes of Boca-based DeliverLean. Prior to moving to Florida, Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat healthy. Follow Alina on Facebook (facebook.com/fabulousfoodAZ) or Twitter (@FabulousFood)—and catch the Green Goddess every other Wednesday at bocamag.com.