Happy {Healthy} Valentines Desserts:

First, let me just say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for the warm and genuine reception I received from all of you in regards to my personal response to the controversial Biggest Loser finale. Your response was overwhelmingly heart-warming. The comments, messages and personal conversations I was blessed with in return made every word worth it. So, truly, thank you. Now…enough of the sappy stuff! On to…Valentines Day! I hope you caught that. I don't know about you, but growing up in our house Valentines Day was a big deal. Family dinner was always a requirement in our household, but nothing quite compared to Valentines Day. We would all get a little bit dressed up and sit down to a candlelit table, sprinkled with tiny confetti hearts. The table would be set with red, decorated with the bouquets of flowers dad bought for "the girls". We'd eat something fancy  - anything looks fancy when you're eating by candlelight - and after licking our fingers clean we would lift out plate to find the first of many clues. Clues that had been written and hidden around the house, so that we could scavenge our way to a Valentines Day surprise!

Go to the place where pocketed treasures are lost by you and found by me would lead me to the washing machine, where another clue would be found and the hunt would continue until our final card brought us to a special little something. Usually it was a new pair of pyjama pants, a movie or some other small token we'd ooh and ahh over. I'm not sharing this with you to prove just how awesome my family is (that's a given), but to simply affirm just how much the little things can mean. It didn't much matter what was found underneath all the tissue paper and confetti hearts, but rather, it was the effort, the love, that was poured into quality time together that made the experience something remembered and cherished. 

So as we prepare to celebrate Valentines Day, remember to celebrate the small things. Your relationship status is moot, because regardless of who you're with (or not with), there is always someone you can shower love upon.

- Write a letter (not an email) to someone who needs a kind word.

- Shovel a driveway for a neighbor, scrape off the ice from a strangers car.

- Invite someone over for dinner who needs a friend.

- Schedule a date with your husband or wife.

- Be kind. Let love in.

For those of you celebrating with a night in, be it with your family, your friends or someone you can think about kissing without getting totally sick to your stomach, here are a few healthy sweet treats to share:

 

Chocolate Molten Lava Cake 

Sweet Potato Brownies

Banana Bread Chocolate Truffles

Strawberry Banana Pie

Because what's Valentines Day without a little extra sugar to go around? But after all the dessert is eaten, remember what truly matters. Candy hearts grow stale and flowers fade, but love given and love received can last a lifetime.

Eat well. Live well. Be well.