Sweet Chocolate Heart Lava Cake for Valentine's Day

Show Your Tummy Some Love This Valentine’s Day!

If you struggle with digestive problems, the odds of making it comfortably through the night after a typical V-Day feast are definitely not in your favor. Here’s how to indulge and still feel like dancing the night away.

Valentine’s Day should be the holiday that has little to do with clean eating and is all about indulgence, right? If you struggle with digestive problems, the odds of making it comfortably through the night after a typical V-Day feast are definitely not in your favor.

Here’s how to have your cake – and all the other goodies you want to share with that special someone – and still feel like dancing the night away.

Watch what you eat!

Prep with healthy snacks/small plates

Let’s face it: now one makes a good decision on an empty stomach. Everyone knows that you shouldn’t grocery shop when you are hungry, so why would you go to a restaurant with a ravenous appetite? Simply eating a light, high protein snack before you leave can help keep your diet on track.

How to avoid trouble while dining out

Easy ways to reduce your carb intake

The bread basket

Those artisanal rolls, fluffy and warm from the oven, are not your friend. You may nibble your way through a full meal’s worth of calories before you even get to the entree. Just say ‘no’: if it never touches your table, it won’t end up in your mouth.

Avoid the pasta and rice

Pasta is another obvious source of carbs. Clear soups or green salads with three ounces of lean protein (grilled chicken, salmon, ahi tuna) are better choices. An antipasto plate can also provide a filling alternative.

While sushi may seem like a healthy option, remember that the rice is the star of every roll. Choose sashimi or a grilled salmon filet – hold the (sweetened) teriyaki sauce.

Lay off the sauce

Sauces are another hidden source of unwanted fat, calories and carbs. This can be especially true when eating Chinese food that’s designed to appeal to an American palate. Americanized recipes often cut prep time by call for cornstarch; this makes it unnecessary to slowly stir a sauce until it thickens. If you need a little extra flavor, get the sauce on the side.

Go grilled

“According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database, a chicken breast with skin fried in batter has 590 calories per 226 grams, or 1/2 pound, as well as 29 grams of fat and 20 grams of carbohydrates.” Frying not only adds fat,  the wheat and added sugars in breaded coatings add unwanted carbohydrates.

Drink wisely

Alcohol substitutes

Punch is a buffet staple at large gatherings. It’s easy to make, can be thrown together days in advance, and has a low cost-per-serving. If you’re counting carbs or are cutting back on your sugar intake, even a glass of punch can undo all your hard work.

‘Spiked’ or not, it’s the fruity equivalent of a mixed drink. You can never be sure of the ingredients; some of which may include carbohydrates, acids, sorbitol, FODMAPS, acetaldehyde, and other no-nos for gas sufferers.

Best cocktail/wine/spirits choices


Low-carb Cosmo

Mixologist notes: avoid diet cranberry juice (it may contain some of the irritants listed above) and Swerve. Instead, buy unsweetened cranberry juice and add a quarter of a teaspoon of Now Foods Organic Stevia.

Avoid all carbonated beverages, including club soda and other soft drinks, mixed drinks, and beer. The sugar content in many mixed drinks is another potential source of digestive upset.

Wine and spirits

If you choose to drink alcohol, whiskey (or another hard liquor) is the better option. Depending on your gender, weight and medical history, you may also tolerate one or two glasses of a dry wine.

Unsure of how to decipher the wine list? Bookmark Wine Folly’s handy chart and you’ll know whether to order a Sauvignon Blanc or a Sauternes.

For further information, give VeryWell.com’s Alcoholic Beverages on a Low-Carb Diet a read.

Recipes for a romantic, stay-at-home celebration


Heart-Shaped Pancakes


Valentine’s Day Salad

Side Dish

Roasted Asparagus


‘Tulip’ Salad

Give this recipe a Valentine’s Day upgrade with either lobster- or crab salad in place of the recommended chicken- or tuna salad.


Easy Oven-Baked Salmon With Herbs

Seared Scallops

Balsamic Hanger Steak with Greens and Parmesan

Mojo Flat Iron Steak


Strawberries Covered in Dark Chocolate

This Valentine’s Day tradition romance is delicious and tummy-friendly. Use dark chocolate that’s labeled with a 70% cacao content. This percentage ensures the chocolate will have higher levels of antioxidants, which actually help your body fight inflammation and remain balanced.


Stemmed strawberries (rinsed and patted dry)

16 ounces of dark 70% cacao chocolate

A little prep helps speed the process (and clean-up!). Tear off a  that’s a bit smaller Line either a rimmed baking sheet or a walled tray with a sheet of waxed paper. Break the chocolate into quarter-sized pieces so it melts  quickly and evenly.

Dig out your double-boiler.  (Improvise with a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan inside a larger vessel. Make sure the larger vessel contains enough water to reach halfway up the side of the smaller pot. Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat.

Melt the chocolate. Occasionally stir with a heatproof rubber or silicone spatula (to avoid the mess of later having to scrape chocolate off a spoon). You’ll be ready to dip when it’s smooth.

Holding a berry by the stem, slowly lower it halfway down into the chocolate. Allow the excess to drip back into the remaining chocolate, then either place it point up on the waxed paper or lay it on its side.

Berries and ‘Whipped Cream’

The more you are able to replace butter, sugar and simple carbohydrates with fruits, the better you will feel at the end of the night. A simple cup of raspberries and paleo ‘whipped cream‘ is enough to make you feel like you got a real treat without overdoing it. This easy recipe, courtesy of Elana’sPantry.com swaps canned full-fat coconut milk for heavy cream. (Skip the honey to eliminate as many carbs as possible.)

Stick with high-fiber fruits that have lower sugar content. Raspberries, blueberries and strawberries are all great refreshing choices, especially in the middle of a long winter.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Those who follow a gluten-free diet are familiar with this tempting treat. It  only looks like an indulgence.. You omit most of the carbs found in conventional recipes, but lose none of the flavor.

You can opt for a variation that’s just perfect for the holiday: Winter Spiced Molten Chocolate Cakes with Rum-Ginger Ice Cream.

This Bon Appétit recipe calls for a scoop of rum-ginger ice cream at serving time.  Substitute softened almond- or coconut-based packaged ice cream, fold in chopped ginger and return to the freezer until 15 minutes before serving.

If you just can’t pass up your Valentine’s Day favorites, two CharcoCaps® capsules will help you enjoy them without worry!

CharcoCaps® dietary supplement relieves gas and bloating FAST!*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


What are FODMAPs?


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