Psychology Today

Valentine’s Day Ideas for Sharing Love

Valentine’s Day Treats for Yourself

Alice Baland, America’s Good Eating Expert! ™

 I’ll never forget one Valentine’s Day many years ago. My sweetheart and I had just stopped dating a few days before. When Valentine’s Day arrived I felt empty and heartbroken! No gifts were anticipated from anyone, nor was there someone special to whom I could share my gifts. Love was nowhere in sight!

All I wanted was for the pain to go away, but in a healthy way, not drowning in food or alcohol.  What to do? I decided to spend time at my favorite Barnes & Noble. It was relatively new in those days with cozy reading chairs and lots of wonderful books to peruse. I nearly always find joy in a bookstore or library. But this time, even Barnes and Noble was nearly devoid of people! Walking up and down the aisles, I felt even more lonely and sad. I was weeping inside and out. THAT idea didn’t fill the void within. Maybe my expectations were misaligned.

What next? Supermarkets nearly always fill me with happiness too, especially since as a nutrition professional I spend a lot of time there keeping up with the latest food products and doing supermarket education tours. But this time, even the supermarket was nearly empty, except for a few purchasing flowers for their sweethearts. My eyes feasted on all the colorful, fragrant flowers of every kind there, including roses. I knew that no roses or chocolate awaited me at my little apartment home. How was I to get over this melancholy and find the optimistic me again?

Um. The answer? Create a NEW BELIEF and NEW ACTIONS to go along with it. Being the spontaneous person I am, I decided to buy beautiful flowers and a box of dark chocolates to celebrate myself! Yes, I do love myself – even when broken down, alone and missing being in a healthy relationship.

It occurred to me that Valentine’s Day need not be just for lovers, couples or sweethearts. It actually seems to be designed by companies selling cards, flowers and chocolates more to make a profit (nothing wrong with that, but it didn’t serve my need). Why not be creative? I chose some gorgeous yellow roses and chocolates for myself and took them home to enjoy. Temporary, yes, but satisfying in a way. I was FEEDING MYSELF in a healthy way.

Then I remembered that in grade school all of my classmates would exchange lots of little Valentine cards with each other. What a good idea! I bought adorable little boxes of children’s Valentine cards. Then I addressed and mailed them to family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues and even dropped a few by in person.

That’s when I decided that any holiday need not be spent feeling sad or alone. I thought of all the elderly folks who didn’t have anybody. My dad called me yesterday from the VA to tell me that a little 7 year old girl had brought him a Valentine card! As he read it to me he cried with happiness. I wish I had sent him a card this year! Next year I will! Single college students without someone special may appreciate a Valentine card or thought. I decided that I would send little Valentine cards to clients, family and others in the future to share my love and respect for them.

Yes, I was still sad and lonely that I had a broken heart, I still cried some tears, but thinking of others helped ease my pain. Getting outside of myself is usually a good way to break the BLUE cycle. There are other ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day. This morning I invested an hour in a LifeCycle and weight training workout – a proven way to release feel-good endorphins. I received a Happy Valentine’s Day text from one of my college student clients and replied back to her. I felt happy inside! Make a few quick phones or send a text message to someone you care about. Drop a Valentine card or gift in a mailbox or on a doorstep near you. Get OUTSIDE OF YOURSELF and share your great GOODNESS with others. SMILE! You are here for a reason and someone needs what ONLY YOU have to offer.

Treasure yourself! And if no one has yet told you HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, you’re hearing it from me. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY TO SOMEONE SPECIAL – YOU!

Love, Alice

P.S. Check out my new BLOG at I’m adding new content three times a week! Let me know what YOU are interested in and I’ll see if I can add something. Special areas include: nutrition, weight loss, stress, anxiety, depression, relationships, life balance, mindfulness, binge eating, compulsive eating, food addictions, body image, self-care, meal planning, causes of compulsive behaviors, codependency, grief, career choices, marketing and SAVVY SKILLS FOR PLEASURABLE, GUILT-FREE EATING & LIVING! That’s the subtitle for my book EAT UP THE GOOD LIFE!  By the  way, treat yourself or someone you care about to a copy! Here at this website. And my NEW book CATCH YOUR DREAMS! 

Stress Management, Food Addiction and Addictions

Have you, or anyone you know, ever had good intentions about NOT overeating or NOT eating the wrong things (perhaps lots of cookies, ice cream, cake, pie, for example), yet at the last moment devoured everything in sight? If so, after the binge or compulsive eating, the shame, embarrassment and fear of whether you’d do it again, did you ask yourself “Why did that happen? What can I do to STOP it from happening again?  I had the BEST OF INTENTIONS to not to that, yet I did. I know it’s not good for my weight, my health, my body image or my budget, but I did it anyway. I feel so out of control sometimes! Somebody HELP ME quick!”

If you answered YES to one or more of these statements, then you MUST watch Dr. Kevin McCauley’s Meth Keynote. This is an excellent presentation by addiction expert Dr. Kevin McCauley about how all kinds of ADDICTIONS (FOOD, alcohol, cocaine, meth, etc) grab the MIDBRAIN (the SURVIVAL BRAIN: EAT, DEFEND, SEX/procreate, DRUGS for some) and make it difficult to LET GO! He also discusses WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT!

Dr. McCauley is speaking to therapists in Dallas in the spring and I wanted to find out more about him ahead of time. A former Navy and Marine flight surgeon (think helicopters and more) he also succumbed to addiction after pain medication for surgery and job stress, spent time in the Army’s pen (Fort Leavenworth) as a result, and overcame his addiction to help the rest of us even more!

 He said “It’s never just one little thing that brings us down. It’s a series of seemingly innocent decisions.” His major question: IS ADDICTION A DISEASE? (Choice vs. Disease). Learn about his incredible MODEL! There are very good BRAIN CHEMISTRY reasons for why some of us go through more difficulties in the addiction area than others.

If you or someone you know could benefit, please watch and pass it on. I learned so much!  Dr. Kevin’s speech showed me how vital what I do is to helping others. It’s about an hour and 15 minutes and WORTH IT! You can also find out more at He has a practice in Park City, Utah.

One of the main ways that I help clients is with STRESS MANAGEMENT. The kinds of clients who seek me out desire new and effective ways to help them NOT overeat, restrict food, stop binge or eating compulsively, stop binge drinking or drug use, love their bodies more, eat more nutritiously, control blood sugars and hypoglycemia, and feel CONFIDENT AND HAPPY AGAIN. That’s what I do BEST! How?

Stress triggers each of us in different ways depending on early life history, traumas, body chemistry, soothing skills or lack of, support figures and current life stresses (school, work, relationships, trauma, etc). We all have a different life and trauma history. I figure out what’s going on with you and find faster, more effective ways to identify the core issues and help you reach your goals faster! My main role is as ENCOURAGER and HEALER – joining WITH you to find CREATIVE SOLUTIONS to LIFE’S STRESSORS.

 If you have any questions after you watch, then just ask me! Find out what food, alcohol, drug and caffeine use or addiction have in common. Treating food addictions, stress, anxiety, abuse, trauma, weight and disordered eating are my specialties. Contact me at Warmest regards, Alice. Click on the link below.

 Alice Baland MA, LPC, RD/LD

America’s Good Eating Expert! Personalized Eating & Living Plans
Speaker, Author, Hypnotherapist, Dietitian, Counselor

 You can watch it here: Dr. Kevin McCauley Meth Keynote

About this video:
“At the 2007 Meth Action Coalition Meth Summit here in Bend, our keynote speaker was Dr. Kevin McCauley. Dr. McCauley is a treatment professional who is dedicating his life to helping addicts and their families, and he makes a compelling argument for Addiction as Disease. Please view his powerful presentation. You will never look at addiction the same way again. You may wish to visit Dr. McCauley’s website at the Institute for Addiction Study, There you can order his books, CD’s and DVD’s about addiction.”