Ok, so… Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.
Right off the bat, I have to be honest that I’ve never been a fan. Let me ask you… Has there ever been a more contentious holiday?
Single people hate it. For obvious reasons.
Men in a relationship hate it. Because there is just no winning when it comes to overpriced roses and sky-high expectations. (PS- Men spend an average of $150 on Valentine’s Day while women only spend $74. Men- revolt and do it soon.)
Overly sarcastic women (like me) hate it. Because really Hallmark, I have all the time in the world to pick out the sappiest card in the store.
So, unfortunately, if you love Valentine’s Day you are probably in the minority.
For those of you trying to get or stay lean, you’ve probably noticed that stores have been pushing candy hearts and red tin-foiled chocolate since about January 3rd. Because of this, Americans will buy more than 58 million pounds of chocolate leading up to the big day.
I don’t know about you, but I’m still tired from trying to avoid the sugar avalanche of Christmas.
But like everything else,
A little planning can go a long way.
Before you resolve to lock yourself in and binge watch Netflix (although that sounds good too), I think the notion of Valentine’s Day is fun. We all have someone we love. A spouse, parent, sibling, friend, partner, or even a pet. And I’ll be the first to admit that I often get too busy and distracted to remember to show love.
There is no rule against changing Valentine’s Day into something that aligns with your lifestyle, tolerance for pink glitter, and Paleo status. Read on for tips and ideas for taking back this somewhat awkward and pretentious holiday.
1. Make Your Own Treats
As a matter of health and a matter of principle, I struggle to find value in the garbage candy being peddled as a showing of affection. First of all, most of that candy is cheap and made with processed sugars and soy, artificial flavors, artificial dyes, and other junk. I wouldn’t swoon over a ring that makes my finger turn green, so why would I lose it over candy that is just as questionable for my insides?
Additionally, estimates put close to 40% of the world’s chocolate as being produced in conditions where child slavery is rampant. So unless you are buying chocolate that is noted as fair trade, there is a fair chance that your purchase is tainted.
So when it comes to the perfect box of Paleo chocolates (Hey- Caveman would if he could) why not make your own?
- Mint Chip Truffles by Elana’s Pantry
- Vanilla Raspberry Swirl Cake by Life Made Full
- Dark Chocolate Fruit by Better Nutrition
- Grain Free Sugar Cookies by Against All Grain
- Coconut Pound Cake by Cutie Booty Cakes
- Cinnamon Heart Paleo Cookies with Strawberry Icing by Ditch the Wheat
- Frosted Dark Chocolate Tart by Paleo Running Mama
- Dark Chocolate Mousse by The Healthy Foodie
2. Plant a Flower.. or a Tomato Plant. Whatever.
This probably won’t come as a surprise, but the cost of flowers increases by 33% in anticipation of Valentine’s Day. Additionally, if you’re buying roses, there is a good chance they are grown and shipped with unsustainable practices. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t find that super romantic.
“Gee, thanks for the flowers babe. I hope mother nature enjoyed the punch to the gut.”
Here’s a thought- rather than picking a flower, why don’t you plant something? Plus, you can spin it as a “we can watch our love grow year-round” kind of thing.
- Did you know houseplants can clean your air indoors? Here are 19 Houseplants that Purify your Air.
- Imagine having an endless supply of fresh herbs to add to your scrumptious home cooking… or questionable take-out. Start your own indoor herb garden!
- ‘Tis the time of year to get your seedlings started! And this time in July you’ll have a fully producing tomato plant. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you!
- If you really want to jump off the deep end, consider a full-scale indoor garden. That would bring new meaning to “planting the seeds of love.”
3. Start a New Tradition
As much fun as it is to worry about making a reservation weeks in advance or waiting for hours to get a table at the trendiest restaurant, I think Valentine’s is ready for some new traditions.
Remember what Valentine’s Day is supposed to be all about- spending time with the one(s) we love the most. Get creative and do something that everyone will enjoy!
- Have your very own Galentine’s Day and celebrate all the women in your life. Leslie Knope would be proud.
- Give a piece of yourself- give blood. Besides being the ultimate romantic gesture if your Valentine is a vampire, there are several health benefits to regular blood donations.
- Host a game night with friends, family, or your cats. Really- whoever will make you happy. A night of laughter will leave you feeling loved and fulfilled.
- Because posting “Happy Singles Awareness Day” on Facebook is almost as annoying as gushing a love soaked tribute to your significant other (I said almost), embrace the fact that you are empowered to be single. Treat yourself to a massage, manicure, or host a quirky singles-only party.
- Host a quiet dinner for two. Light some candles, make (or order in) a romantic dinner, and draw the curtains.
- Make a rule about gifts- they must be homemade or unique ideas. For example, Blends for Friends will create a custom tea blend based on personality traits. Or make a scavenger hunt around tourist attractions in your hometown.
- Show Fido some love. Your pets love you all year long, so I don’t think it’s shameful to share the love on February 14. Why not go for a romp in the dog park? Or spend some extra time playing with the laser pointer?
So whether you are single or sarcastic, a lover or hater, I think Valentine’s Day is a holiday that anyone, with a little creativity, can embrace…. or even love.