One of the most rewarding aspects of my nutrition and lifestyle counseling practice is making recommendations that trigger mental, emotional, and spiritual shifts of perspective. Something as simple as visiting a weekly farmers’ market can create a new awareness of food, community, and health. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, my prescription this month might be just as enlightening, albeit a bit risqué: get naughty!

Research has shown a clear link between loving, intimate relationships and better health, including lower blood pressure, higher oxytocin levels (the “bonding hormone”), lower risk of cardiovascular disease, higher levels of immunoglobulin A, better longevity, and greater ability to fight cancer. Of course, a healthy relationship is more than just physical. But the trust, communication, and bonding that characterize a loving relationship is invigorated by a healthy dose of romantic encounters.

If your sex life needs a boost, you might find some medicinal help from several herbs and nutrients that heighten libido and support healthy reproductive function. The male energizing tonic Red Rooster is a natural sensual enhancer with Chinese herbs known to improve energy, libido, sexual performance, stress handling, and focus. Gaia Herbs makes Male Libido and Female Libido, products which include similar herbs plus tribulus (often used to support arousal, erectile dysfunction, and low sperm count in men as well as PCOS and infertility in women), and maca (a Peruvian plant used for male and female hormone imbalances, ED, sexual desire, stress handling, and even immune support). And don’t forget to set the mood for love with the best aphrodisiac of all–the delectable chocolate covered, local, organic strawberries from Peoples Deli!

This Valentine’s Day, take the time to reflect on and nurture your relationship. If you are not in a relationship, don’t fret over Valentine’s Day. Love and nurture yourself and the warm and loving relationships you have in your life, even if not the romantic sort. That said, please don’t ignore your heart’s yearning for love.

My dear friend, local dating expert/coach and TED speaker, Crista Beck says, “You absolutely need to make time for love. In our culture, it’s too easy to get caught up in being busy. When you make love a priority, not only will you have the benefit of a happy companionship, but you improve your health!”

If you are unsure how to manifest love in your life, consider consulting with a dating coach as a part of your self-care plan. You might just live longer!


Allison Horan, MPH, is a nutritionist and health educator. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Texas at Houston. In 2012 she founded Innovate Corporate Wellness, a workplace wellness company that uses a preventive health approach to develop strategic wellness programs for businesses and organizations. Allison has contributed to published research in the field of worksite health promotion and has also lectured at state and private organizations as a part of ongoing wellness initiatives. She is certified in Applied Clinical Nutrition, Ayurveda, and Yoga, and has taught yoga and mindfulness for over 10 years. She is available for private nutritional and lifestyle counseling through Peoples Rx. Call 512-219-8600 to schedule an appointment with Allison.
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