Valentine's Day Ideas
- Wednesday, 08 February 2012
Valentine’s Day is coming, which means love is in the air! And there is nothing we love more than fitness, besides fitness with your honey! Walks on the beach, bike rides to the perfect picnic, and yoga for couples are a few of our favorite couples activities. Whether you are cooking, stretching, or breathing deeply together, you’re using your senses to bond over a fun experience. Your loved one could be a friend or lover, mother or brother. Whoever it is, grab the person that lights your fire and get passionate together! Here are some fun, healthy Valentine's Day ideas for you and the loves of your life.
Valentine's Day Idea #1: “Enjoys Walks on the Beach…”
The sentence “I enjoy walks on the beach” is so cliché, we almost couldn’t bring ourselves to write it! But why is it that the stereotype of a dating ad lists “Enjoys walks on the beach” every time? Is it that everyone loves walking on the beach, or is it that every man and woman dreams of being with someone that enjoys beach strolls? If we consider what a walk on the beach promises, we think of nature, fresh air, and a space without concrete or cars. But, most importantly, a walk on the beach is the perfect environment for intimate, romantic conversation without interruption. Even in a restaurant or at home, there are phones ringing and other people present. So, if nature and time alone is the true gem behind why we “Enjoy walks on the beach,” create this where you are. Find the nature in your area and take a walk with the one you love, breathing in fresh air, noticing your native plants and animals, and enjoying the quality conversation of your loved one. Leave the mobile devices at home!
Valentine's Day Idea #2: Pack a Perfect Picnic
Grab your bike and fill your basket with your picnic supplies, and have a picnic! Your loved one will be thrilled with the thought you put into creating an experience that is made just for the two of you. Sounds simple, right? It can be, but can also turn bad if something is overlooked. A spill with no towels or wine with no opener can put a serious damper on your good intentions. We’re here to make it easy! Here’s a suggestion on how to fill your basket:
A machine washable blanket, or if you are going to a park with tables, a table cover. Most markets sell disposable table covers.
Music. Bring a portable mp3 player to play background music. Get creative and make a playlist of songs that you and your partner enjoy.
Plates, napkins, drinking cups. Serving spoons, bottle opener if needed for beverages. Paper towels.
Thin, whole grain pita chips
Organic mini carrots, celery sticks and sliced cumbers for dipping.
Creamy dip: combine Greek yogurt, one thawed 10 ounce package of frozen spinach rinsed with excess moisture squeezed out, 1 – 2 tbsps. extra virgin olive oil, 1 garlic clove minced, and fresh chopped dill and mint to taste.
Seasonal fruit, washed, sliced, and ready to enjoy. Try sliced watermelon, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, and/or grapes.
Beverage of choice. Try Aqua Pana Bottled Water, San Pellegrino flavored sparkling waters, a thermos of hot tea or hot chocolate, or try Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir if you prefer wine. If desired, bring ice.
Chocolates, preferably dark chocolate. Not only is chocolate the perfect dessert for a light picnic, but chocolate packs antioxidants that are good for fighting all kinds of diseases and in promoting good skin health. Dark chocolate is higher in antioxidants than milk chocolate, but be sure your partner likes the taste of dark chocolate, because it is bitterer than milk or white chocolate.
Empty bag for trash.
With your picnic basket well planned, you’ll be able to enjoy your partner’s company without the fuss of figuring out what to sit on or where to put your trash. A well-planned picnic is a thoughtful, romantic, and fun way to spend an afternoon.
Valentine's Day Idea #3: Yoga for Couples
Yoga for couples sounds fun, right? It is! But there’s more to it than getting twisty with your loved one. Benefits that come from down dogging with your sweetheart include a sense of intimacy that comes from the communication you’ll share, while gently stretching each other. When practicing any form of yoga, your mind must constantly cue your body how to twist and move, and then give encouragement to hold the pose. In yoga for couples, each partner works to create one beautiful pose. Like a single body, the yoga couple must give cues as to what feels good and what tension is right or wrong. Once the pose is reached, each partner holds the pose, breathes into it and shares a knowing that “You can do this”.
Try stretching together by sitting on the floor, facing each other with your legs in a wide straddle. Put your heels up against his, and hold hands. Gently pull towards your partner, while keeping your tailbone to the ground. Feel the deep stretch along your hamstrings and inner thighs. Widen your arms to adjust to your flexibility. Be sure to ask each other how the pressure feels. Once you’ve reached your maximum stretch, hold here. Take deep breaths in through your nose, and lean in a little deeper with each exhale. Stay here for 10 breaths.
To get a nice spinal twist, sit crossed legged on the ground, facing each other. Twist to your right and grasp your right hand to his left, and left hand to his right. Gently pull to feel a nice twist, again monitoring how your partner feels in the stretch to get the correct amount of pull. Take air in through the nose, exhale and lift up taller in the spine, reaching through the crown of the head. Stay here for 5 breaths.
Use each other in these poses to feel deeply supported, and to also support your partner. You’ll feel great, and will have shared a nice intimacy. For more on this topic, try the book Partner Yoga: Making Contact for Physical Emotional & Spiritual Growth by Cain Carroll and Lori Kimata ND. It is full of information and photos that will keep you and your partner moving!
Valentine's Day Idea #4: Spaghetti and Meatballs Made With Love
Food and romance go hand in hand. Tie an apron on your partner, light some candles, set Pandora to the Frank Sinatra station, or any station that will help set the mood, crack open a nice bottle of red wine and let’s make spaghetti!
Just like in the Disney classic Lady and the Tramp, you and your partner can share this traditional plate that will feed your tummy and your senses. A few healthy swaps can take your traditional spaghetti and meatballs from delicious, to delicious and nutritious. Try using whole-wheat pasta. Make your meatballs using extra lean ground beef, and mix the meat with organic milk and Wheat Germ, instead of white bread. This way, you skip the bleached flour and add a healthy fiber. Spice it up with a bay leaf, oregano, basil, and thyme. Top with Parmigiano – Regiano, which is a flavorful hard cheese, relatively low in fat, and a little goes a long way. Bon Appetite!
Valentine's Day Idea #5: Create your own Aromatic Bath
This idea is for lovers only! At the end of a long day of walking on the beach, practicing yoga with your partner, picnicking, and cooking dinner together, an aromatic bath is a great way to begin a romantic night with your loved one. Create an oasis in your bathroom by using only fragrance free candles for lighting, or a diffuser for essential oils. Candles with fragrance can clash with the essential oils you are using in your custom soak, and some candles with fragrance may contain toxins that can be harmful to the sinuses. To create a sensual bath, you’ll need a carrier oil such as olive oil, and then your choice of sandlewood, rose, ylang ylang, patchouli, neroli, or jasmine. You can find essential oils at most health stores. Choose your oils based on the properties they offer, and the fragrance that appeals to you. Rose essential oil, for example, brings feelings of happiness and joy. Sprinkle a few drops of your essential oils directly into your steamy bath, and add a few tablespoons of olive oil. Top the bath with a rose pedals, diffuse some of the rose oil in a candle diffuser, and you’ve got yourself a romantic, rejuvenating, and cozy bath for two!
Written by Katrina Goldberg, Rockit Body Pilates