Melinda Gale

Fitness & Lifestyle

Sara Siskind's Hearty Valentine's Swaps

Valentine's Day is next week and with it brings a ton of AMAZING yet unhealthy treats. I have to physically restrain myself from buying bags and bags of Reese's hearts. Sara Siskind, a Certified Nutritional Health Counselor and founder of Hands on Healthy has come up with 5 Hearty Swaps for you to indulge in this Valentine’s Day.

Valentine's Day Swaps -

Not So Hearty:  Milk Chocolate Box of Candies

Hearty: A Fruit Chocolate Box- choose from a variety of fresh fruits like cherry’s, strawberries, raspberries, bananas and dip them into melted dark chocolate.  Let sit until dry and package in a pretty heart shaped box.

Not So Hearty: Sweetheart Candies

HeartyDark Chocolate Pistachios. Pistachios are a wonder nut loaded with antioxidants, protein and fiber that keep you feeling full.  Pair it with dark chocolate and your body will feel energized and oh so satisfied. Make them yourself, or buy them conveniently packaged by Setton Farms.  Look for their resealable bag of Dark Chocolate Covered Pistachios. 

Not So Hearty: Alcohol, Soda, and Fruit Juices

Hearty: Red Berry Smoothie.  Before hitting the sweets, fill up on this nutrient packed smoothie that looks as good as it tastes.  Your body will thank you for it later.  1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup frozen berries, 1 cup banana, ½ cup chopped celery and 1 tsp of almond butter. Blend until creamy.  Serves 2.

Not So Hearty: Chocolate Truffles

Hearty: Chocolate Cocoa Protein Balls.  Truffles are sublime and definitely a favorite Valentine Day treat but why not have the taste plus tons of protein and nutrients too.  These are so easy to make, require no baking and truly hit the spot.  Find the recipe at

Not So Hearty: Cravings

Hearty: Balanced meals that include healthy fats, proteins, complex carbs and enough hydrations to keep your cravings at bay.  Ideally, 4-6 ounces of lean protein or fish, ½ cup brown rice, quinoa or sweet potato, a large leafy green salad with olive oil, sea salt and fresh squeezed lemon juice and a cup of your favorite sautéed veggies.

About Sara Siskind

Certified Nutritional Health Counselor, Sara Siskind is the founder of Hands On Healthy, cooking classes for adults, families and teens based in New York. Sara has dedicated her career to educating clients on how food and lifestyle choices affect health, and how to make the right choices to look and feel your best each day. Sara translates the complexity of integrated nutrition into usable tools with easy-to-cook recipes that appeal to the entire family. Sara counsels privately to offer highly customized health and nutrition plans for her clients. She also works with parents on shopping and cooking smarter to create healthier homes. In addition, she teaches beginner to gourmet cooking classes with her signature "toss it in" approach. In addition, Sara regularly works with corporations and non-profit organizations to lead workshops and lectures on healthy eating.