Valentine’s Day is the first holiday that happens after New Years–At least the first one that is primarily celebrated with food- fancy dinners, chocolates, candies, and sweet treats.  It’s a holiday that you either love, or hate. I’d like to think I fall somewhere in the middle of that, but really, I’m still such a girl—I want to draw hearts on my notepads and get excited about a special date night.

 

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This holiday can also be the first of many pitfalls for those of us trying to eat healthy and stay on track. I know many of you are trying to keep up with your New Years resolutions to be healthy this year. Remember those?  I have confidence in you that this weekend will not kill your goals and your plan to be healthier!

Valentine’s day is a perfect day to remind yourself of what your resolutions were all about. Essentially, they are about you. But in a much grander way, they were about taking care of a body that you were given to manage and treat well, and to love.   

 

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For a long time, I killed my body through unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise and overall dissatisfaction with where I was. I woke up one day, nineteen years old, inspired by several different influences, and decided it was the day to put all of that behind. For me, it wasn’t about looking ahead to a day in the future where I would be a specific number on a scale or a tiny jean size, but it was about focusing on the day at hand and choosing a healthier lifestyle and ultimately choosing joy. I’ve found that I need to focus on reaching my daily goals first and eventually my long-term goals are achieved.

Now five years and one hundred pounds later (and lighter!) I’m learning to love and appreciate a body that works and moves. More importantly, I am learning how to take care of it in the right way. I’ve learned a lot over the last five years about how to keep on track with my health and fitness plans.

 

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That last word is key: PLANS. When I plan out my week and make sure that I include gym time and meals, my week is instantly healthier. I don’t overbook myself, and I know that there are good meals at my house for me to eat. I like to keep this mindset when I look ahead to holidays too.

For Valentine’s Day, I made some dark chocolate hearts topped with nuts, dried fruit, seeds, and granola. They don’t kill my diet and satisfy my desire to have some chocolate during such a sweet time of year and the leftovers (minus the chocolate) topped my morning yogurt for an extra special breakfast.

 

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As I write for Plan to Eat, I hope to share more and more of my story with you. In the coming months, I am going to be blogging through a cookbook with you called Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci. Her goals are to change the way you eat vegetables and create healthy alternatives, which is exactly how I reached my goals!   

Plans are key to keeping your goals alive!

Now, for a recipe for those delicious dark chocolate hearts! Enjoy! 

Print Recipe

Dark Chocolate Hearts

Source: www.plantoeat.com/blog

Course: Desserts

Prep Time: 15 Min

Total Time: 20 Min

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Dark chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried banana chips chopped
  • 1/2 cup Oats or Granola
  • 1/2 cup mixed nuts chopped
  • 2 Tbls. Sunflower seeds

Directions

  • Lay out wax paper on a cookie sheet.
  • Melt Chocolate in double boiler or microwave and stir often
  • Add chocolate to piping bag (with small tip) and pipe chocolate into heart shapes on the wax paper. Fill in hearts with a thin layer of chocolate.
  • While the chocolate is cooling on the wax paper, top with chopped nuts, seeds, fruit, oats or granola
  • Move the cookie sheet to the freezer or refrigerator so they will harden.
  • Don’t be afraid to top these sweets with your favorite additions! Enjoy!

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