For a month that generally boasts the fewest days of the year, February is a big shot.

Host to two widely celebrated events that nudge their way into public consciousness (and store shelves) in late December, February offers plenty of opportunity for hoopla.

While Groundhog and President’s Day, Mardi Gras, Black History Month and even Library Lovers’ Month each have their own charm, Super Bowl Sunday and Valentine’s Day hog the spotlight.

In the Midwest, heaven knows we need plenty of distraction during the shortest month that can feel like the longest, but in the midst of all the revelry and indulgence that comes with the aforementioned celebrations (read: alcohol and massive food consumption), can we just give a shout out to two equally-deserving February observances?

American Heart Month AND National Cancer Prevention Month.

I know. They just don’t incite the same level of enthusiasm.

Bringing spinach dip and a pitcher of margaritas to an American Heart Month party just makes you feel all sorts of weird, right?

I realize I come at this from a divergent perspective, but can you imagine throwing as much advertising, planning, hype and $$ at saving hearts and preventing cancer as we do celebrating a third-century martyr and the NFL?

And why in the world must celebrating and taking care of ourselves be mutually exclusive?

I’m not suggesting DON’T celebrate – I know how much your cosmo means to you. It’s more about trying your best to do really good things for your body – more often than not – this month and beyond.

For example, could you?

  • Alternate each alcoholic beverage with a tall glass of water
  • Have a pre-party protein + plant snack so you’re not ravenous
  • Choose a celebratory restaurant that offers healthy menu options
  • Avoid artificial, high-calorie, low-nutrition food and drink choices
  • Commit to eating out less, cooking more (even for one day!)

Because the longer and healthier you live? The more Valentine’s Day and Super Bowl Sunday parties you can attend. And THAT’S worth celebrating.

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