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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Making it a Happy and Healthy Valentine's Day!

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I am a big celebrator of holidays. There are lots of traditions around food and celebration. Changing my view of what makes a celebration is one of my biggest challenges. Where I am enjoying some traction is by making sure what I do to plan a celebration is healthy and mindful (aka thoughtful). Today is Valentine's Day-- how to celebrate love and make it healthy?

Turns out, love itself is very healthy! A healthy relationship with a loved one is key to good health. "Love and intimacy are the root of what makes us sick and what makes us well, what causes sadness and what brings happiness, what makes us suffer and what leads to healing," Dean Ornish, M.D., writes in his book, "Love & Survival: the Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy." "Our survival depends on the healing power of love, intimacy, and relationships."

So how to make this day an expression of healthy love? Here are some ideas I plan on using:

Do something nice for someone you love. I started the day by making my loved one a low calorie latte. I then created an "eye candy" moment with a red napkin and flowers. Doing something nice for him felt good! Not only does this make your special someone feel good but it will also make you happier and healthier too!

Share a funny story with a friend.  Turns out laughing is really good for your heart. Not only will your friend be glad to hear from you and share a happy moment, you will have also shared the gift of health with them by laughing together!

Make it a goal to give out at east 10 hugs today. Many studies have been done that now show us that touching, including hugs and hand holding, has a truly positive physiological effect. It reduces the effects of stress and is therefore good for reducing our heart rate and blood pressure. No wonder the French have less heart disease!

Toast the good people in your life with a glass of red wine. So much research has proven the benefits of drinking red wine from longevity of life to a good nights sleep. A stout beer is also good for your health!

Snuggle with a special pet. It is proven that having a pet (or snuggling with someone else's pet) is incredibly therapeutic. It positively effects our mood. One study showed that those who had pets actually had less visits to the doctor!

Take a long soak in the bath tub with Bath Salts. At the end of the day, after we have helped and loved others, it is time to close the bathroom door, fill the tub with hot water, pour in some aromatic bath salts and ease into relaxation mode! I plan on adding a cup of Honey Vanilla Tea and a good book to the experience. I may even add some mellow music. Sounds like a great way to end a healthy and happy Valentine's Day!

There are many more ways to make it a loving, happy and healthy day....what are some of your ideas?

With a smile on my face, a latte in hand and well wishes in my heart...

I wish you a HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! ~