Every Valentines Day all of the shops load their shelves with gifts to tempt us, and almost all of these gifts are chocolate based. It is almost unheard of to give your valentine anything other than chocolate (or flowers), but if you are trying to follow a clean and healthy lifestyle then this can be a real hindrance to all of your hard work.
So here are five gifts that are far better than chocolate:
This is an old favourite for many, but it's still a great gift. Many people see it as a cliché for Valentines Day, but you should never underestimate the power of a beautiful fragrance.
A canvas picture of the two of you
Many websites or even some shops are able to take an image from your camera memory card and print it onto a canvas for you. This would be a lovely gift to have hanging in your house so that you can both look at your favourite photograph as a couple.
Couples board games
If you want to spice it up a bit you could buy one of the many couples 'bedtime' board games available. Nookii and Monogamy are two well known examples...and it will result in a great workout (wink wink).
Tickets to a show/gig
Another old favourite, and if you pick the right event then it will win you serious brownie points. It could either be for the evening of Valentines Day or a future event for both of you to look forward to.
A homemade romantic meal
A lovely, yet inexpensive option. If you can't afford to go out for a meal prepare one at home, this way you can also keep on track with your healthy diet more than you could at a restaurant. I recommend the steak, kale and rosemary sweet potato chips from the Catching Fire guide.
A love jar
Write on 12 separate pieces of paper, 12 reasons why you love your other half, and give them in a jar. They get to open one every month. It doesn't have to stop at 12, you could do weekly (52), or even daily if you have the time (365). A romantic yet free way to express your feelings.
An iTunes playlist...a bit retro like a mixtape
Collate a playlist of all of your other half's favourite songs, and your favourite songs as a couple, then play them as you spend your day/evening together. Very thoughtful and (again) free.
A homemade photo collage of your favourite pictures together
Print out some of your favourite photos of yourself with your other half, and stick them to a board to make a lovely photo collage of your time together so far. This is an even more personal touch to the canvas picture mentioned earlier, and it costs a lot less.
A homemade memory board
Similar to the photo collage, but you get a cork notice board and pin souvenirs of your dates together. For example, your first gig or cinema trip, and a few photos of significant events. It's a beautiful way to remember the times that mattered most to you as a couple.
A box of frozen greek yoghurt-coated strawberries
Cut a few strawberries in half and then dip them in greek yoghurt and freeze, then place into a small tub and give as a tasty but healthy treat. Similar to the chocolate box gift, but much better for you.
These ideas range from practically free to a little more pricey so no matter what your budget you can enjoy Valentines Day without having to include 'the dreaded' chocolate, and because a lot of them are homemade they will potentially mean even more as well.
Have a fabulous day everyone!