Comfort Cravings

How to soothe yourself without food—and how to eat healthfully and mindfully

The Best Valentine's Day Gift for a Mindful Eater

The Best Valentine's Day Gift for a Mindful Eater

If you are contemplating what to get your sweetie for Valentine's Day, you may want to reconsider chocolate if he or she has made healthy eating his or her number one goal this year. Too often, we use food to express love when there are so many other ways to do it.

Chocolate is a great treat. But for the mindful eater in-the-making, unwrapping an enormous box of chocolate or tower of cookies can be a recipe for sabotage and guilt rather than enjoyment. If you want to get your Valentine something that is meaningful and heartfelt, consider these ideas.

1) Buy a cookbook of your sweetie's favorite kind of food (Thai, Italian, etc) and make them a homemade dish. Nothing sexier than someone cooking for you (click here to learn about the term gastrosexual). Not only will it be healthier than going out to dinner, but it will hopefully motivate the two of you to spend some quality time together cooking healthy dishes.

2) If you want to buy a gift, has tons of ideas, mapped out according to your significant other's personality.

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3) If you don't have any cash, the best gifts are always thoughtful and homemade. Making a card, hiding a note under your sweetheart's pillow or on his or her dashboard is a great example. The element of surprise can go a long way. So can time. If you are a cell phoneaholic, commit to turning it off for an entire evening.

4) If your Valentine has their heart set on chocolate, buy a four piece box of dark chocolate. Or, get a single chocolate heart sucker or chocolate covered strawberries. Again, a mindful portion will help your Valentine really enjoy and savor it instead of fighting their urge to mindlessly eat the whole box of 24 pieces.

5) Instead of linking Valentine's Day with food, help your sweetie to relax, take care of themselves and soothe themselves without food.  Buy a gift certificate for a spa day, body lotion, an engaging book, or better yet, give a soothing massage.

So, be helpful to your sweetheart this Valentine's day rather than sabotaging their goal to eat healthfully and mindfully.

By: Dr. Susan Albers, psychologist and author of 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food, Eating Mindfully, Eat, Drink & Be Mindful and Mindful Eating 101.


Susan Albers, Psy.D., is a psychologist who specializes in eating issues, weight loss, body image concerns and mindfulness. 


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