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The scoop on how sweets could sour your sweetie: make Valentine's Day sweeter by giving gifts from the heart

Connie Bennett MSJ, CHHC is a former sugar addict and author of Sugar Shock! (Penguin Group). Her book has been endorsed by many experts, including Oprah, regular and bestselling YOU author Dr Mehmet Oz, who says it 'spills the beans.'...

Hey guys (or ladies), if you think you're scoring high points for caving into your loved one's sugar cravings by giving her a box of chocolates or candies, think again. Your harmless, well-intentioned gesture could backfire. And your heart-shaped "treats" could lead to undesired, unromantic outcomes.

More to the point, your sugary gift could instead cause your sweetie anguish and take her out of the mood for love and possibly make her moody, wiped out and low on libido.

Actually, your lady might pretend to like your gift but later get angry at herself for polishing off the box of chocolates within a day or two, dread getting on the scale for days afterwards, bring the box to work just to get rid of it or even secretly flush the alleged "goodies" down the toilet to keep herself away from them.

So, rather than incur your honey's wrath or passive-aggressive anger, this Valentine's Day, consider giving a sweet, non-sugary gift.

"Valentine's Day is about recognizing your sweetie on a special day. Since you guys and gals are sweet enough, there's no need to add sugar to the mix," says relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle, author of Don't Bet on the Prince! and founder of www.DrGilda.com.

Besides, adds nutritionist Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D., author of 10 Habits That Mess Up a Woman's Diet and frequent "Today Show" contributor, "In some ways, giving chocolate for Valentine's Day is almost a cop-out. It's easy for a guy to grab a box of candy that's wrapped in red and feel like he's done his job."

Here are some tips from the experts for more romantic, heartwarming, non-sugary gifts from the heart:

  • "The best way to show love is to spend time with her," Somer points out. "Give your woman some quality time and make some memories together like planning to take some walks together or go to the mountain or beach."

     

  • Robyn Spizman, one of America's foremost gift experts and author of The Giftionary, recommends more non-sugary gift ideas: "For friends, you could buy a subscription to a nutrition magazine and include a card that says, 'No one is sweeter than you.' If you're newly dating someone and don't know what to do, you could give him Sports Illustrated and tell him, 'You're a good sport.' Within minutes, your gift is sent from the comfort of your home. If you're out with him that night, you could have it sent by the time he's home."

     

  • You also could get your loved one some beautiful, blown-glass, non-edible "candy" designed by Hulet and Hulet that comes in a heart-shaped box and is available at www.LightOpera.com, Spizman suggests. "Or you could get pears from Harry and David wrapped in gold foil from and give it with a card that says, 'Glad I've paired up with you.' And if you want to be romantic but don't want to spend a lot of money, you could give a single rose and include a note that says, 'I only have eyes for you' or 'You're the one.' That one rose becomes a symbol of your love."

     

  • "Celebrate your relationship by giving a special coffee table book he's had his eye on," Dr. Carle recommends. "Or, take him to new heights in a hot air balloon. Or, let her know you care by doing a week's worth of household chores that she normally does. It's about showing your love and celebrating your relationship."

     

  • "Give him a message in a bottle," advises Julia Havey, author of Awaken the Diet Within. "Write a love letter, put it a bottle and fill it up with confetti and give it to your intended," explains Havey, The Master Motivator" for www.eDiets.com. "You also could give some cute romantic things from www.RedEnvelopes.com."

     

  • Naura Hayden, author of the # 1 New York Times bestsellers How to Satisfy A Woman Every Time� and have her beg for more! and How to Satisfy a Man Every Time� and have him beg for more!, has a number of sexy ideas. "One fun gift is a small bag of grapes, with every two of them skewered on a toothpick or an edible 'spike.' You and your guy each put one end of the toothpick in your mouth and work your way to your own grape. When you each eat a grape, your lips are touching and it becomes a very sexy grape-taste kiss. But if you happen to get first to not only your grape, but his too, then you eat both, and you get to tell him what you want to do to him and have him do to you. Or if he eats both first, then he gets to tell you what he wants you to do to him and what he'll do to you. In other words, whoever eats both grapes first is in charge of hugging, kissing, etc. The idea of giving your beloved a Valentine's card and gift is to show him how much you love him. And letting him know you love him is the sexiest gift and the biggest turn-on there is."

     

  • Finally, psychologist, relationship expert and happiness coach Pauline Wallin, Ph.D. recommends, "On the morning of Valentine's Day, leave a humorous note or love messages all through the house in your husband or wife's underwear drawer, in the bathroom, in the car, etc. This shows effort. You're doing something that no one else can do but you because no one else knows the routine," adds Wallin, author of Taming Your Inner Brat: A Guide For Transforming Self-Defeating Behavior.
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