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valentines day



You Can Have Better Sex by Valentine’s Day – Our Experts Show You How

A lot goes in to a good sex life, and for women it can be more of a mind game with our conscience than anything else: Are my legs shaved? How’s my breath? Am I bloated? What’s he really think of my naked body? It’s common for women to over analyze things and want everything to be perfect to be “in the mood,” but that can be the biggest antagonist of them all.

We’ve got four weeks to get you ready for a romping good Valentine’s Day night. So follow these four key tasks our experts have identified to help you work on body image, toning, flexibility, and a little weight loss. There’s a good chance you’ll be the one wanting to skip dinner and head straight to the sheets…

Body Image

We all have insecurities about our bodies, but realize how important a positive body image is for enhancing our sex lives.

“Even without changing your body, learning to love it (or parts of it) can do wonders for you in the bedroom,” says Brooke Randolph, LMHC, our resident mental health expert. “If you hate your body and want to hide it, it’s hard to really relax and be tuned into your partner and what you’re experiencing. When you feel good about yourself, you’re more likely to not only try to seduce your partner, but you’re more easily seduced by them as well.”

Try these sexy self-confidence boosters:
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Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pancakes Will Wake up the Weekend

My daughter and I make pancakes on Saturday or Sunday every weekend. We usually do this in our pajamas and we always make a disaster zone out of the kitchen. It’s delicious bonding time that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Except maybe chocolate. But with these pancakes, absolutely no sacrifices are made.

The two of us love chocolate, strawberries, and pancakes so it seemed that marrying these ingredients would be an exciting way to get out of our standard blueberry pancake rut. We were pleasantly surprised. She enjoyed dropping her favorite fruit in to the batter and I enjoyed indulging in something at breakfast that beat just about any dessert I’d had recently.

In this recipe, you get to have a rich, satisfying serving of chocolate without overdoing it, all the while filling up on a whole grain pancake loaded with fresh, juicy strawberries.
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Heart Break Can Lead to Heart Attack

When someone you love dies, you know that you will grieve, but did you know that your risk of experiencing a heart attack goes up 21 times as well? People have spoken of dying of a broken heart for years, knowing intuitively what research is now confirming. The New York Times reported on a study in Circulation that where nearly 2,000 participants who had experienced a myocardial infarction, commonly referred to as a heart attack, were interviewed about the loss of loved ones and the recency of those losses. They were also asked questions about their overall health and other risk factors to make sure all other variables were controlled. While your risk for a heart attack will decline over time, it remains higher for at least a month and is six times higher than normal in the first week after the loss of a loved one. If you have other risk factors for heart attack you are even more vulnerable.

Risk factors include age (45 or older for men and 55 or older for women), smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history, physical in activity, obesity, stress, and use of stimulant drugs. The loss of a loved one is one of the most stressful events a person will experience, so it is not surprising that it could result in such a drastic health crisis. Grieving and all the tasks and events included in the rituals of saying goodbye can lead people to miss meals, experience insomnia, avoid workouts, isolate themselves, and miss medications. None of these things are good for your physical health or your mental health. Yet, such a drastic and extended increase in risk for heart attack cannot be explained simply by these behavior changes. In addition, the emotions of depression, anxiety, and anger, all common during grief, can be accompanied by an increased heart rate.


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Sip on a Frozen Hot Chocolate for Valentine’s Day

A visit to New York City is rarely complete without a trip to Serendipity. If you’re in New York City on Valentine’s Day, it’s practically a must-stop for romaticals. Stocked with house-made sweets, and especially know for their chocolate creations, Serendipity is the answer to your sweet tooth’s prayers and the antithesis of any weight loss plan.

Since most of you won’t be in the Big Apple this February 14, and many of you are likely trying to watch your calories, sip on our Frozen Hot Chocolate instead. Inspired by the original at Serendipity, which delivers 340 sugar-sweetened calories, our recipe has only 140 calories and is just as worthy as a second straw.

Frozen Hot Chocolate

  • 1 cup low-fat chocolate milk
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • ½ cup canned fat-free dairy whipped topping (like Reddi-wip)
  • Garnish: marshmallows, cocoa powder
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3 Ways to Make Chocolate Dipped Strawberries for Valentine’s Day

Other than a box of chocolates, the dessert most synonymous with Valentine’s Day is the strawberry. Finally, a holiday with a love affair with fruit!

Strawberries are an incredibly delicious and healthy fruit. They are an exceptional source of antioxidants. While they are a generous source of vitamin C, that really only applies to the freshest of strawberries. After two days they start losing this vitamin’s potency. The bright red berry helps to regulate blood sugar and fight inflammation. One serving of strawberries is about one cup, or eight large ones. By themselves, on top of yogurt, tossed in a smoothie, or lovingly dipped in chocolate, there are innumerable ways to get at least one serving of this sweet fruit on to your plate every day.

For one special day in particular, treat yourself and your loves to dark chocolate covered strawberries. They’re a sinfully indulgent dessert that is completely guilt free.

The most anticipated day for all guests when I stayed at the Biggest Loser Resort was the day chocolate covered strawberries were served for dessert. Two very large, ripe berries were generously rolled in a dark chocolate and delivered to us with just the faintest sign of condensation (we were in the Utah desert, after all!). There, this dessert added only 91 calories to our 1200 calorie day. And we’d most certainly earned it!
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