You’ve worked hard to restore and maintain your health from chronic disease. Embracing a healthier eating life served as an essential component of your recovery protocol. But, when combating an ongoing illness, a day of food binging could derail your progress. So this year, for V- Day, skip the decadent box of chocolates tied with a pink ribbon and swap for healthy Valentine’s Day swaps.
Suppose you are looking for an opportunity for an eating spree. In that case, there’s a year’s worth of food and beverage holidays to choose from National Cream Puff Day, National Blonde Brownie Day, National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day.
Holidays and special occasions can become obstacles to your health and wellness. For the sake of your health, you can’t abandon your eating protocol for every holiday and special occasion.
Healthy Valentine’s Day Swaps
Reducing inflammation is an essential component to overcoming chronic disease. Preparing meals with anti-inflammatory foods. Lyme disease specialist Dr. William Rawls suggests “a diet rich in vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids (fish, shellfish, flax, chia seeds) promotes prostaglandins [ biochemical messengers] that diminish an inflammatory response.“
You can prepare a meal that looks festive, tastes great, and nourishes your body. I’ve said it before and will continue to say it: food is an essential component in restoring and maintaining your health. Most likely, you are combating a chronic disease or illness, so ingredients matter more now than ever.
Do you feel stuck in a cooking rut? Especially when it comes to special occasions? Maybe you haven’t warmed up to the idea of a cooking life. But, remember, you can recover from cooking fatigue or culinary disdain the same way you learn to incorporate exercise into your day.
By taking one small step.
My Healthy Valentine’s Day Recipe Collection offers several dining options.
When you are battling a chronic disease, consuming alcohol will delay your recovery. However, you can minimize inflammatory foods like alcohol by drinking mocktails.
Here are Six healthy mocktails beverage swaps:
- Grapefruit & Thyme Sparkling Water
- Virgin Raspberry Mojito
- Pink Drink with Coconut Milk
- Sparkling Pomegranate Limeade (contains Monk Fruit, but you can use maple syrup or leave out the sweetener altogether
- Classic Virgin Sangria (use no-sugar-added cranberry juice)
- Hibiscus Iced Tea
And two warm drinks for sipping after dinner:
Yes, it’s true. You can have dessert even when following a specific healthy eating protocol (you’re welcome).
Hang on, let’s talk chocolate for a minute. You can’t just eat any type. Look for high-quality chocolate made with cacao, the raw, unroasted seed from the cacao tree. Less processed, cacao offers more nutrients than cocoa.
Aside from its anti-inflammatory flavanols, cacao provides minerals like manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc.
Enjoy chocolate featured Valentine’s Day desserts:
Desserts Made With Grain
Now, it’s time to mention desserts made with grain. I only recommend using flour milled at home. Grain is a problematic food because of the high gluten content. In addition, gluten proteins can damage the gut lining, which causes digestive dysfunction.
Digestive dysfunction could be one of the biggest obstacles to your health recovery.
Many people with chronic diseases suffer from digestive dysfunction. Without proper digestion, your body does not absorb nutrients or remove toxins. All of which affects other body systems.
Processed grain, the flour sold at the grocery store, removes the two most nutritious components of the grain berry (seed). Flour mills strip the germ and bran from the berry, which leaves the starchy, glutenous endosperm.
Removing the bran and the germ allows the grain, once milled, to endure long-distance shipping and shelf life. But unfortunately, this process of stripping the bran and germ devoids the flour of any nutrients.
Flour mills “enrich” the processed flour with synthetics to further exploit grain. Enriching flour is a way to replace the natural nutrients with fake ones.
Humans have difficulty digesting the high content of gluten in the endosperm. In addition, gluten tends to irritate the lining of the gut.
Processed wheat flour contains an even higher concentration of gluten. However, consumers want fluffy white bread, so scientists alter the wheat berry for higher gluten content.
Desserts made with milled grain or gluten-free flour
Healthy Valentine’s Day
A healthy Valentine’s day doesn’t compromise the celebration. Choosing to maintain your healthy eating protocol validates your new lifestyle. For now, every day of healthy eating counts toward restoring your compromised immune system, healing your gut and digestive dysfunction, and supporting body systems.