Twenty-one Ways to Reward and Celebrate without Junk Food 

Maybe your 2020 resolution was to cut back on sugar. Or maybe eating cleaner was your partner’s resolution. Either way, Valentine’s Day is looming on the horizon, and you’re not sure how to show your appreciation without dipping it in chocolate. It’s moments like these when we realize how integral food is to how we celebrate. With all our new goals, February is a minefield for celebrating with food. But really, couldn’t we all use some out-of-the-cookie-box ideas for everyone in our lives?

Each of these ideas lets you mark a special day or an accomplishment without sabotaging anyone’s goals. Best of all, everyone in a group can feel included regardless of their eating or training plan.

Appreciating Partners & Friends

  • Take a cooking class together—especially one that’s on track with their eating plan.
  • Make the meal you’re already going to share more special. Bring out the fancy dishes, light some candles, and queue up the modern mix-tape (a playlist).
  • Buy a box of Candy Hearts, then dump the hearts in the trash (they taste awful anyway). Instead, fill the box with paper hearts, all containing a reason why you love them.
  • Write them a sincere social media shout-out. Make sure to include a good story and only their most flattering photos.
  • Schedule an active outing together. It could be a new class, a local hike, or the same type of workout in a fun new location.

Celebrating Coworkers

  • Decorate their desk with streamers, confetti, banners, and balloons.
  • Give them custody of a prized office possession set aside just for birthdays: the comfy chair, a trophy, the desk by the window.
  • Have a pot-luck lunch where everyone brings a lunch item to share that’s on the guest of honor’s meal plan. This one takes more coordination but would certainly impress the recipient.
  • Chip in to buy them a massage, cooking lesson, or personal training session—whichever fits their goal best.
  • Buy a small blank journal and let everyone write something sweet, funny, or memorable inside.
  • Record each coworker wishing them well and send it to them as one video.

Celebrating Kids & Teens

  • Fill their room (or maybe just their closet) with balloons while they are at school or sleeping.
  • Plant a tree or perennial shrub together to commemorate their special moment for years to come.
  • Make them the “guest of honor” by letting them pick the menu for dinner, sit at the head of the table, and choose the family activity.
  • Organize a treasure hunt or scavenger hunt. Hide non-food prizes around the house or neighborhood and give them clues to find them.
  • Grant them a coveted privilege: a sleepover, a day off of chores, the dog sleeping in their room, etc.

Treating Yourself 

  • Sign up for a makeup lesson and learn about some new tricks and products to freshen your look.
  • Book yourself a massage, a manicure, or hair service.
  • Set aside a weekend morning for an at-home spa day.
  • Book a session with a personal trainer to liven up your workout and help you set your next goal.
  • Pick up a new piece of workout clothing that reinforces and supports your goals.

This month we’re celebrating ZYIA Active’s third birthday. We’ve come a long way in just three years, and we’d like to celebrate with everyone that has helped us get here, so we want to hear from you. How do you celebrate others or treat yourself without derailing the plan? Tag us on Instagram to share your idea, or just to wish us a happy birthday.