Valentine’s Day is a day to treat our loved ones and ourselves, but do you really want that same old box of candy? While a piece or two of high quality dark chocolate now and then is good for you, trust me: the chocolate that comes in the box with the big red bow is simply dressed-up sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.

This year, if you really want to love your sweetheart AND yourself forgo the bonbons and consider these non-food ways to show your love… without sugar coating it.

♥ The American Heart Association (the authority!) votes for a gift from the heart, such as a poem or love letter. Choose one of your favorites and hand-write it on beautiful paper, or create a poem, letter or love story of your own. Need some inspiration? Check out this collection of love poems on Amazon.  In between relationships? Write yourself a loving, “non-negotiable” list – all the things you will never put up with in a relationship ever again. Get inspiration from Ginger Emas’ book, Back on Top.

♥ Go old school with a “mix tape” of your favorite songs – romantic, funny, dance-able, sensual. Make a play list and download it to your sweetie’s iPod, phone or tablet, or wrap it up on a flash drive. If you are too young to remember the 80s check out The Lost Art of the Mix Tape. And everyone knows that dancing is sexy! Make a mix tape for yourself to listen to on your walks or during your workouts, or to dance around to in your living room!

♥ Do something different together or by yourself! Always wanted to take up scuba-diving or Italian cooking? A comedy class or glass-blowing?  I took dance lessons last year and it was a blast (not to mention it burned a few calories and created some new brain paths – good for memory retention.) Check out your local dance studio — partner optional!

♥ Frame a favorite moment. The one downside to all of our digital devices is we rarely take time to print and frame our photos anymore. Choose a picture from your gallery files and print it on an oversized canvas for a modern, museum-y look. Then hang it in your home (or his) and wait for the surprise reveal! Look for February sales at or your local drugstore.

♥ Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse for a Girl’s Night Out or a house party for friends. Make a fire, serve heart-healthy treats with sparkling water and raspberries, and play a game of Catch Phrase. Check out the Top 10 Board Games for Adults for more ideas.

The above suggestions are non-food nourishment (also known as Primary Food) – and it’s important to find ways to treat yourself on a daily basis! As a health coach, I always encourage my clients to explore food-free ways to take care of themselves. You don’t always need to reach for something sweet, salty or gooey. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to indulge in fun!

5 Ways to Show Your Love Without Sugar Coating It
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