Celebrating Valentine’s Day can involve many things, including romantic dinners filled with unhealthy temptations. When trying to maintain healthy eating habits, it’s important to tackle this special evening with a plan. Whether you plan on celebrating this Valentine’s Day alone, with a significant other or your family, keep these tips in mind for a healthy celebration:
- Skip the chocolates and opt for flowers or homemade gifts instead: Whether eating out or enjoying an intimate meal at home, dessert is likely to be involved. So avoid the extra, unnecessary calories that come from gifting a box of chocolates. Or instead, buy a bouquet of flowers, prepare a low-calorie sweet indulgence or a Medifast Meal Makeover like the Valentine’s Day Whoopee Pie!
- Prepare for the night ahead: Don’t attend your Valentine’s meal starving. Eat small, regular meals throughout the day to help you stay full and energized. Also, make sure to eat something light two to three hours before dinner, so you’re less likely to overindulge.
- Go easy on the alcohol: While it may seem only fitting to celebrate the love you share with some bubbly, try not to overdo it! If you plan on finishing a bottle, alternate each alcoholic glass with a glass of water. If choosing other alcoholic beverages, stick with light beers or plain liquors with zero-calorie mixers or chasers.
- Considering cooking: Prepare a home-cooked meal for your loved one, or better yet, cook together! This way, YOU control all aspects of the meal: ingredients, portion sizes, cooking method (i.e. baked vs. fried), etc. Try this simple, homemade, lean and green Valentine’s Day Recipe!
Sauted Scallops with Cherry Tomatoes, Green Onions and Parsley: (Lean & Green)
1 Leanest | 3 Green | 2 Healthy Fat | 3 Condiments
Yield: 2 servings
Per serving: 350 calories | 43g protein | 19g carbohydrate | 11g fat
- 1 ½ pounds large sea scallops, side muscles removed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 large green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Rinse and drain scallops; pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallops; sauté until browned outside and just opaque in center, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer scallops to plate; cover.
- Add remaining oil to same skillet; add white parts of green onions and sauté until almost tender, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and green parts of onions and sauté until tomatoes begin to burst and release juices, about 5 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons parsley, lemon juice, and paprika. Return scallops and any juices to skillet and stir just until heated through, about 1 minute.
- Transfer scallop mixture to platter. Sprinkle with remaining parsley, and enjoy!
If you choose to dine at a restaurant, the Medifast Dining Out Guide can help you select menu items that fit the nutritional profile of the lean and green meal, so you can stay on track! Here are some ideas from popular restaurants that count as a complete lean and green meal:
- Carraba’s Italian Grill: Carrabba’s Caesar Salad with Shrimp or Chicken, Light Balsamic Dressing
- Olive Garden: Herb Grilled Salmon with Broccoli
- Outback Steakhouse: Caesar Salad with Chicken
- Palm Restaurant: Nova Scotia Lobster Salad
- Romano’s Macaroni Grill: Warm Spinach and Shrimp Salad
If you’re interested in more options, check out our Dining Out Guide!