So giving in to the commercial hype, this week I’ve got a few sugar-friendly tips to help with some typical sweet Valentines scenarios….
First up, eating out…
Generally, a Valentines meal is going to be more than one course, so go for a starter and main rather than a main and a dessert. At best, fill up on a starter & main and share a dessert if you have to, even just have one bite? (beware – this can be difficult and dangerous for someone who’s had a former love affair with sugar). If you don’t quite trust yourself with that yet, a cheese plate or sugar-free coffee is always an option.
If you can, look at the menu before you go. You can often get hold of menus online these days, and it gives you time to weigh up your options so you aren’t distracted from your loved one by over-analysing the menu when you’re there.
Look for a decent portion of protein to fill you up and bulk up your meal with as many vegetables as possible. To really fill up and satisfy yourself, look for the fat source. Remember, saturated fat isn’t the complete evil, so a steak, some cheese or some buttered vegetables are all healthy sources that will help you avoid sweet temptation at the end.
Dealing with gifted treats
As you know, Valentines Day also screams chocolates, sickly sugar-coated hearts and all sorts of other red and pink-coloured sweetness. It’s an annual occasion where it’s also hard to refuse things, particularly if someone has bought them for you as a sign of love and you don’t want to be ungrateful.
Focus on the communication of your preferences…
If your loving partner is prone to go all traditional with flowers and chocolates, you need to set and manage expectations in the run up. If you don’t ever say anything, you can’t blame them for buying you chocolates, can you?
Now, of course you don’t want to ruin all of the surprises, but you do need to take responsibility for laying down a few subtle hints if you’d really rather not be shown love in a way that’s going to de-rail your careful fructose recalibration efforts. You could try hinting that you’d prefer flowers, would love a poem, or are more favourable to some other simple gesture that similarly shows thought and appreciation.
Single sorrow drowning
Now this year I happen to be a token singleton, so unfortunately I don’t have the privilege of trying to dissuade someone from buying me chocolates (shame!).
If you know you’re likely to turn to sugar in terms of comfort, which is a common issue, then you need to go in search of some extra nourishing other soul foods.
Look at ways to dial up your human connection, and maybe schedule some more time with friends and family. You could also try some extra endorphin- busting physical activity or just allow yourself a little extra self care where you do something that you really love for a few extra hours this week.
I’m actually heading out with some girlfriends on Friday for a few drinks to celebrate. For me I know, some laughs with good friends is the best soul food I can give myself, so bring it on!
What are your difficulties with Valentines Day? Do you find the sweet stuff in shops completely excessive? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.