7 Healthy Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Gal Pals

By , SparkPeople Blogger
By Debba Haupert, creator of GIRLFRIENDOLOGY.com – the online community for women focused on female friendship

Remember when we were schoolkids and we gave Valentine’s Day cards to everyone? The anticipation of seeing whether each person gave you a greeting and the feeling of having a room full of friends was one of the simple joys of childhood.

For grown-ups, Valentine’s Day is often considered just a romantic holiday for couples--complete with boxes of chocolate, roses and occasional bling, but it doesn’t need to be just that. In fact, in other parts of the world, Valentine’s Day is celebrated as a day to recognize and appreciate friendships. There is even a humorous holiday celebrated on February 14 called “Singles Awareness Day”--a day to gather to celebrate single life and the belief that one needn’t be in a relationship to celebrate the date.

So, in honor of Valentine’s Day, Singles Awareness Day, or any day with friends, here are a few healthy ideas on how to celebrate girlfriends:
  • Movie Date: Get ready for the Oscars on Feb. 22 by going to see some of the nominated films. Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday so you make a day of it and view several films in a row – in the same cinema! Sneak in some healthy snacks and bottled water to avoid candy and popcorn cravings. Then, go ahead and plan your Academy Awards party for all your girlfriends complete with ballots, prizes, and celebrity fashion judging. A la Joan Rivers, add interesting categories to the ballot for worst dress, best hair, most skin showing, best body, etc. It makes the red carpet time much more interesting!
  • ME Party with Your Girlfriends: Before you can fall in love with someone else, shouldn’t you be in love with yourself? Author Christine Arylo created a “Madly in Love with Me” Day on February 13 (today!) to celebrate self-love and independence. Check out her site for ideas on throwing a party with your girlfriends and to download a self-love starter guide as well as a Party Girl guide for creating an event of your own.
  • Wii & Wine Party: Combine some girlfriends with a Wii Fit and add some healthy snacks and wine (definitely optional--it could be a Wii and Tea party!), and you’ll have more fun than Cupid. Wear yoga or comfy clothes and bring fresh veggies, hummus, pita and fruit. You’ll have a great time and get in some exercise together. Laughter uses up calories, too, so you might want to make this a weekly or monthly tradition. Get your Wii Fit competition on with prizes for yoga class coupons, a gift certificate to give a girlfriend a manicure or a certificate for a healthy dinner at a later date.
  • Progressive Dinner Party: Never have enough time to see, much less eat with, your girlfriends? Well, change that in one night by having a dine-around together in each other’s homes. Depending on how many houses are nearby and involved in the party, assign each destination with a healthy meal course--appetizers, soup, salad, main course and light dessert. The focus doesn’t have to be on the food--share healthy tips at each home. Make it an exercise progressive where you start with yoga at one house, walk to another house and have a light meal, then walk to another home for a healthy dessert and finish off the evening with meditation.
  • Oprah-Inspired Gratitude Boxes: What is one thing means the most to women without need for a vase or involving any vices? No heart-shaped box or guilty calories--just gratitude, and Oprah would agree! Who better to give appreciation to than our girlfriends, right? Have a party where everyone writes down the things they’re most grateful for about their girlfriends on a sheet of paper and places them in a box for each person. Check on Oprah.com for some gratitude box ideas to personalize the home of these wonderful testimonies of friendship. You’ll cherish that box, and time together, forever.
  • Friendship Valentines: Remember those childhood Valentines? Silly dime store cards were how we expressed affection and appreciation toward our friends. Now that we’re grown up, why not pretend we’re not? Give Valentine’s Day cards to all your friends (even the drugstore variety). Combine Valentine’s red with going green by crafting handmade cards from recycled materials or buy cards made from recycled paper. Bake some healthy cookies (learn how to slim down your baked goods) or create a small bouquet of spring flowers to accompany the card. Just make an effort--big or little. She’ll appreciate it, and your friendship.
  • Plan a Girlfriend Trip: Nothing like a tempting beach in your future to get you exercising and eating healthier! Plan your girlfriends getaway now and a fitness routine to prepare you for it. Set realistic goals and inspire each other to reach them. Girlfriends who have a fitness goal and work together are twice as likely to reach their goals than those going it alone (or with spouse). So, get the girls together and make some fun plans for a great girls escape!

Nothing against candy and romance, but Valentine’s Day is a fabulous opportunity to show you care for your gal pals, too! It’s a wonderful time to express your girlfriend gratitude--make a card, share some chocolates or healthy treats, send flowers, phone a friend or just get together. Actually, every month is a fabulous opportunity to celebrate female friendship. Make it a healthy, happy and less-stressed month by spending time with your girlfriends. Happy Valentine's Day, Girlfriends!

Girlfriendology is the online community for women based on inspiration, appreciation and celebration of female friendship.
Founded by Debba Haupert in 2006, Girlfriendology inspires women to make new female acquaintances, spend time with their girlfriends, and appreciate those friendships that are vital to women’s health and happiness. Girlfriendology.com features inspiring women in weekly podcasts and live BlogTalkRadio show, contests to share girlfriend stories and provides videos, shopping, reviews, blogs and more.

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My girlfriends and I are getting spa treatments from our favorite spa to celebrate Valentine's Day.. we are truly treating ourselves! Le Petite Retreat Day Spa near Paramount Studios in LA is really the best place to go to relax. Report
I really hate the commercialism of the Valentine's Day hoopla - a Hallmark holiday, IMO. This year, DH and I decided to forgo the usual holiday card exchange and instead bought tickets to a rock concert we both want to see, which doesn't occur until mid-March. It was nice to use V-day as an excuse to buy the tix, I'll admit! Report
Girlfriend and ME time is important, we get together for scrapbooking at least once a month, and over the years I have always found time to have lunch and/or a movie with a friend or two. DH never minded, in fact he encouraged it, and now that I no longer have DH with me, I still have my girlfriends for support fun and companionship. Don't want a party, opt for lunch out and a pecicure. Report
This is a fantastic idea since my hubby was at work most of the day - but then the problem is having a girlfriend's day when she has 5 kids and a husband that needs her too. Report
Our SPARKFRIENDS are REAL people, so I've shared with lots of them! Report
I love Valentines day its a pretty and loving day. I just do not like the pressure it puts on couples, its as if it is not genuine. Report
sounds fun!! almost makes you think it might be more fun than the hubby?!? just kidding . . . love the hubby, and besides we are still celebrating our wedding yesterday !! Report
Hope everyone had a great V-day, whether with a SO or gal pals! :) Report
We have an annual get together for singles at a local restaurant. I sent out an email to my email friends and encouraged them to invite anyone else and so on. We have one married couple that comes every year. Even if a person receives an invite and chooses to not come - they have the comfort of knowing they are spending the holiday alone by choice not because they weren't asked to go out with other people. Last night there was a whole group of 50+ ladies putting kids' tattoos on their arms that one of the ladies brought - we had a blast!!! Report
We had a girls night where we watched "An Affair to Remember" and "Sleepless in Seattle". What a great combination. Two of the greatest love stories ever. Nothing like a great cry over a couple of corny movies together with friends. Report
Thanks for a great article. Report
I dunno. I love my sisters, and we always have a good time together, but they would join me in saying, "Oh, barf!" Report
I am on a ladies bowling league and I gave each one of the ladies a valentine card (27). It was great getting the reaction's from them. I also went to dinner and a movie with my bestfriend (3Jenkins) another Sparkie. Report
Great article...but my day was spent with my parents...my bd is Monday so they came today! It was fun! Report
Excellent Topic, thanks!! Report
A Wii and wine party ? Boy, that's got hilarious written all over it. Can you imagine trying to stand on a Wii Fit board after drinking a few glasses of Merlot ? I can see the accident report now ! ;)

I do like the movie night idea. I love going to the movies.

Surprisingly, I have more fun at times with my women friends than with my Hubby, being that we girls do what we love doing, not a compromise! Bless his heart! We do love each other very much, are married 36 years. A total relief being, he does not mind at all, which is truly a blessing in itself! I do see more movies at the theatre, shows at a theater with my girl friends while Hubby and I watch together netflix movies with each other alternating between what we both enjoy - action without violence, some romance ( he is mellowing in his middle age!) and drama. We do enjoy traveling with each other.

Thank you for this interesting blog!

You have a very Happy Valentines day!! Report
This was a fun topic. Happy St. Valentine's Day! Report
Last night went to the movies and dinner with my best friend. We have fun no matter what we do.

When we were 18 we both were way under weight and would laugh and say we will be sitting on a bench one day real fat. Well we were both headed that way. But not any more. They have a seen in the movie "He just not into you" and it was just what we thought we would be like at that age. Report
What great ideas! Thanks for sharing. Report
Wonderful idea Report
You really CAN celebrate Valentine's Day without money or friends! FlyLady would say to find a way to Finally Love Yourself. Do something that will pamper you! Take a walk, take a bubble bath. - Find someone else who needs something done for them - give a smile to someone you meet or visit a nursing home - Just BE alive and thankful! Report
I am spending Valentine's day with my dog. She and I are going to the beach if weather permits. Report
I live 800 miles away from my best girlfriends and they are jealous of each other. People where I am now have their little groups or just do family things. It's hard at times being a single transplant. I'm having lunch with my daughter who is in law school. My son, is in Virginia going to college so we won't get to see him today (he's 800 miles away with my friends and the rest of our family).
Those are great ideas for people who haven't moved, have tons of friends that all get along and a little money to spend. Report
Great ideas if youre 17. Or a character in a movie! Who has friends like these? Who has money to spend like this if they did? Id laugh if life wasnt so sad.. And how is Valentines a US thing? It STARTED in Europe! lol Report
Thanks for the tips. I love it. Report
In Europe, V-Day is imported. Granted , we have our own lovers' day (and yes, ONLY for lovers) but i still believe a couple doesn't need a "special" day to show love, love should be showed daily. And honestly, a box of chocolates is not the way to impress me LOL Report
down under, valentines is only 4 lovers. Strange to think of giving a friend a card...good alternative ideas here Report
Missing the girlfriends I've lost along the way. Report
It's too bad I have no friends! Near me, anyways... :( Report
I used to meet my friedn for dinner once a week then it became every two weeks then once a month now its whenever we can both get away. We never have long enough time to just catch up. Some of these ideas would really help us commit to taking time for us, and maybe even include our husbands and children for a different movie at the same theater. Thanks Report
I really liked this blog, full of good ideas which will help cement those friendships we enjoy now and will NEED later on. Report
I enjoyed reading this blog. It brought back childhood memories. Why not send your girlfriends a Valentine card or even flowers? I'm going to find time for my girlfriends tomorrow and take them some flowers. Report
Me and my single gal pals are going for drinks, dinner and to see "He's Just Not That Into You" tomorrow night. Other friends are going to a murder mystery theater together. I believe in celebrating my singleness with the ladies as often as possible. Report
Me Three!!! Report
me too! Report
Love this blog! Valentines day sometimes makes us forget that we are special as individuals. Report
And... let's NOT forget our cyber-girlfriends HERE at SparkPeople!! HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!! Report
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