September 2019

Eat Your Way to a Sexy Valentine’s Day:
8 Natural Aphrodisiacs to Set the Mood

By Tanya Zuckerbrot

What do Cleopatra and Casanova have in common? They both believed in the properties of powerful aphrodisiacs. The food you consume can have a direct impact on your sex life, affecting your hormones, brain chemistry, energy, and stress levels. Some aphrodisiac foods have psychoactive properties, others arouse because they are psychologically suggestive, and some can actually increase blood flow to the genitals. So, get your heartbeat racing this Valentine’s Day with natural aphrodisiac foods that are certain to spice up your night.

World’s Best-Tasting Aphrodisiac: Chocolate
Eating chocolate causes the release of mood-boosting, stress-reducing serotonin. The sweet stuff also causes a release of phenylethylamine, which produces changes in blood pressure and blood-sugar levels, leading to feelings of excitement conducive to lovemaking. Just make sure to choose antioxidant-rich dark chocolate.

Oysters: A Traditional Aphrodisiac
Oysters have long been considered the food of love, and legend has it that Casanova ate dozens of oysters a day, once even seducing a vestal virgin by sliding an oyster from his lips. Oysters carry a hefty dose of zinc—and zinc has been linked to male fertility, potency, and sex drive, as well as being essential to sperm production. One oyster contains your daily zinc requirement, so imagine what serving your boyfriend/husband an appetizer of a few oysters as an aphrodisiac can do.

Strawberries: The Natural Aphrodisiac Wrapped by Mother Nature
A perfect little red heart, the strawberry is an edible Valentine. Touted as a natural aphrodisiac fruit since the ancient Roman era, the strawberry was a symbol of Venus, the goddess of love. In the French countryside, there was once a tradition of serving newlyweds cold strawberry soup to help promote a romantic honeymoon. And legend has it that if you break a strawberry in half and share it with a member of the opposite sex, you will soon fall in love with each other.

Spices & Herbal Aphrodisiacs
The right herbs and spices in food not only heat things up on the tongue but also in the bedroom. Capsaicin, the substance that gives peppers their kick, stimulates nerve endings to release chemicals. This raises your heart rate and triggers the release of endorphins, giving you the pleasurable feeling of a natural high. Chili pepper and ginger help improve circulation, and hot spices like cayenne, curry, and cumin help warm the body. Also, the intoxicating aromas of exotic spices infuse romance into the atmosphere.

Potent Garlic as an Aphrodisiac
Garlic remains the most popular aphrodisiac among modern-day Greeks. On Corfu, widowers who remarry are feted before the wedding with an assortment of dishes, all of which are heavily seasoned with garlic. Many Greeks believe that chewing 6 heads of raw garlic each day will help them conceive. Since it improves blood circulation, garlic is generally accepted as a potent aphrodisiac. Studies have recently shown that garlic in certain forms can stimulate the production of nitric oxide synthase, the enzyme primarily responsible for the mechanism of erection, particularly in individuals who have low levels of this enzyme.

Say Hello to the Sexy Pine Nut
Pine nuts have more protein than any other nut. Besides providing protein to help increase stamina, pine nuts are heavy in healthful monounsaturated fats, zinc, and other nutrients that are linked with increased sexual desire. Sexier than your average peanut, pine nuts are found on the menus of many gourmet restaurants.

Avocado: The Aztec’s Aphrodisiac Food
According to an ancient belief, food aids the part of the body it resembles. In fact, the Aztecs valued the avocado as an aphrodisiac and named it “ahuacale” (testicle) because it grows in pairs. Though science can neither confirm nor deny that this fruit will get your fire going, it will give you fuel in the form of healthy fats, protein, and potassium.

A Liquid Aphrodisiac: Red Wine
Red wine, like a Pinot Noir wine, is healthy for your heart and your romantic life. Red wine may help prevent blood clots and reduce the blood vessel damage caused by fat deposits. It also is a particularly rich source of flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. Plus, wine relaxes inhibitions and stimulates the senses. So, pair your Valentine’s Day dinner with a glass of red wine and enjoy!

Related Links
10 Great Gifts to Want for Valentine’s Day
Make Your Home Your Love Nest
Find Your Love Match & Every Day Will Feel Like Valentine’s Day

Tanya Zuckerbrot, Health & Fitness Contributing Editor
Tanya Zuckerbrot is a Manhattan-based registered dietitian and the creator of the F-Factor Diet, an innovative nutritional program she founded in 1999. The F-Factor Diet: Discover the Secret to Permanent Weight Loss (Putnum, 2006) debuted in hardcover in January 2007. This common-sense plan, used successfully by hundreds of Tanya’s clients, provides tools for improved health . . . Read more of Tanya’s tips

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Super Bowl Sunday DIY: Make This a “Super” Bowl Party
Whether you watch football or you have to google who’s playing in the Super Bowl this weekend, a good Super Bowl party is great fun. Special-events planner extraordinaire Jennifer Gilbert shares simple, fun tips on how to make your Super Bowl party a win.

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Project Runway’s Mondo Guerra: Win His New T-Shirts
Feel good by looking good this Valentine’s Day! Rock these limited-edition tees designed by Project Runway contestant Mondo Guerra. You could win 2! Just tell us about your dream Valentine’s Day date and you could win these hot V-Day tees for you and the boy of your choice. Click here to enter.

Love Week: How to Order Wine Like a Sommelier

By Anu Karwa

Not that there’s anything wrong with Pinot Grigio, but so often we order that fall-back glass of Pinot (feel free to insert your default wine choice here). Ordering from a wine list can be intimidating, especially when it’s as thick as the Stieg Larssen trilogy and contains nearly as much mystery. Many of us happily pass the wine list to our neighbors, content to forego the decision ourselves. But taking the wine list into your own hands gives you a better chance of enjoying your wine and shows your date/client/in-laws that you’re a confident woman of the world.

Here, a few guidelines to point you in the right direction:

1. Consult the Wine List & Start with Sparkling
Let your dinner companions figure out what they’re eating before ordering wine from the wine list. Waiters MUST STOP asking what you’d like to drink before you’ve surveyed the menu. If you want to order a wine to kick off the meal, start with a sparkling wine such as Champagne or Prosecco. While a quality Champagne may not be in your budget, a Cremant d’Alsace (a sparkling wine from Alsace, France, made from the same process as Champagne) is a pocketbook-friendly alternative that suits appetizers well. You can move onto a red wine for the main course, knowing you’ll have satisfied both the red- and white-wine drinkers at the table.

2. Use Your Resources & Ask the Sommelier
Sommeliers and wait staff love to help. Give the sommelier as much direction as you can. Want a wine that’s food friendly or to drink on its own? Red or white? Bold or subtle? Crisp or smooth and buttery? Ask the sommelier interesting questions and earn the admiration of your dinner companions. “Which wine on your wine list is really interesting?” “Any hidden gems?” “What will you drink tonight?” Alternatively, describe a great wine you had recently and ask for something similar.

3. Know Your Budget before You Look at the Wine List
In a subtle way, make your budget clear to the waiter. Point to the price of a bottle in your range on the wine list, explain that you were thinking of getting that bottle, and ask if the waiter can suggest something more appropriate for the group. A helpful waiter will pick up on your hint.

4. Consider Wine & Food Pairings Before Ordering Wine
If you want to exercise more control over your wine choice, select a wine to complement the meal. An easy method: think about what your dining companions will be eating and try to match wine to the weight of the food. While wine and food pairings can get complicated, generally heavier dishes like steaks or seasoned meats need a full-bodied, hearty wine like a Malbec or a Bordeaux. Fish and lighter fare require a light- to medium-bodied wine: reds like Syrah and Merlot, or whites like Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. A well-matched wine pairing can make a meal.

5. When Ordering Wine, It’s Great to Go Regional
When I’m in a Tuscan restaurant, I choose a Tuscan wine. In a Provençal restaurant, I choose a wine from Provence. Over time, any given region develops wine to complement the local cuisine. That makes the wine pairings easier, as well.

6. Have an All-Purpose, Go-To Wine
If all else fails, order a bottle of red or white that is generally food-friendly and suits a wide spectrum of palates. My “default” wine choices are a dry Riesling from Alsace; a Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon; and a Vacqueyras (a Grenache blend with Syrah or Mourvèdre) from France.

7. Go Stealth & Decide on a Wine Purchase in Advance
If you really want to impress your date, ask the restaurant to fax over the wine list before your meal or see if it’s available online. Then, hit up your wine geek friend for suggestions. You can walk in with confidence and know exactly which wine you will purchase!

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Anu Karwa, Epicurean Contributing Editor

Anu Karwa has been called a no-nonsense walking 411 for a new generation of female wine drinkers and home entertainers since she launched Swirl Events, an in-home and corporate wine tasting events company with a fresh, hip spin. For anyone who thinks Perez Hilton should be required . . . Read more of Anu’s picks

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Win a Meeting with a Matchmaker!
Want to be lucky in love? You could win a consultation package with a top matchmaker. To enter, tell us your worst date ever and invite 3 friends to subscribe to PageDaily. For contest details, click here. ________________________________________________________
In Tomorrow’s Love Week Email . . .
What is Love Week? Really, it’s 6 weekday emails, but Love Week just sounds catchier! Don’t miss our heath and nutrition contributing editor Tanya Zuckerbrot’s Love Week: Eat Your Way to Beauty & Still Lose Weight. And if you missed the other Love Week emails, read Matchmaker Marni Galison’s Dating Do’s & Don’ts: How to Land Your Love Match, celebrity stylist Stacey Mayesh’s Love Week: What to Wear on a Date, and celebrity makeup artist Sue Devitt’s Love Week Makeover: Ring in the New Year Radiantly.

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Caffeinate Your Life with Espresso Machines & Coffee Accessories

By Courtney Bannerot

BMW makes powerful, fast, sexy . . . espresso machines? If you’re as picky about your morning jolt as 007 is about his martinis, the Saeco Primea Touch Plus Espresso Machine from BMW Group Designworks USA is for you. Let’s just hope you have Her Majesty’s Secret Service financing your escapades into coffee perfection. Or, finance it yourself, armed with this math: the espresso machine costs about the same as a 20-month, daily Grande Latte fix from Starbucks. And it may be faster and easier to operate this little beauty than that complicated nonfat, extra-hot, half-caf, partridge-in-a-pear-tree latte your barista preps for you. Instead, go DIY luxe with the press of one button to heat, brew, and froth your caffeine fix—strong espresso or latte to go, go, go.
Buy Saeco Primea Touch Plus, $1,999, at amazon.com

Looking for an alternate mode of transportation? Hail a cab—right after you brew with the Nestlé Nespresso CitiZdot New York espresso machine. This espresso machine’s unique design includes a picture on its side of a NYC skyscraper along with other buildings and those iconic yellow taxis!
Buy Nestlé Nespresso CitiZdot New York, $299, at amazon.com

Top It Off with Coffee Accessories

Don’t ruin hot coffee with that splash of cold milk. The Bella Professional Sensio Bella Milk Frother & Warmer is speedy, convenient, and let’s you top off your coffee with warm, frothy foam.
Buy Bella Professional Sensio Bella Milk Frother & Warmer, $49.99, at target.com

It wouldn’t be the perfect cup of coffee without the perfect cup. I Am Not a Paper Cup Reusable Mug—a chic, eco-friendly design.
Buy I Am Not a Paper Cup Reusable Mug, $18.99, at target.com

Have a fashion or lifestyle question? Tweet @PageDaily or post it on the PageDaily Facebook page. For more of our favorite over-the-top fabulous luxury product picks and their more budget-friendly partners—read PageDaily Desire:Acquire.

Buy I Am Not a Paper Cup Reusable Mug

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Buy I Am Not a Paper Cup Reusable Mug, $18.99, at target.com

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Porcelain

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Caffeinate Your Life with Espresso Machines & Coffee Accessories

Buy Bella Professional Sensio Bella Milk Frother & Warmer

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Buy Bella Professional Sensio Bella Milk Frother & Warmer, $49.99, at target.com

  • Made of stainless steel
  • 3.94″ wide x 5.71″ deep x 7.68″ high
  • Cordless

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Caffeinate Your Life with Espresso Machines & Coffee Accessories

Buy Nestlé Nespresso CitiZdot New York

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Buy Nestlé Nespresso CitiZdot New York, $299, at amazon.com

  • Limited-edition machine designed by graphic designer Lo Toth with inspiration from American comics
  • Imprinted with illustrations of yellow taxi cab and shining skyscrapers
  • Uses Nespresso capsules, available in 16 flavors
  • Automatic standby mode reduces energy consumption

Shop the Full Story:
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Caffeinate Your Life with Espresso Machines & Coffee Accessories

Buy Saeco Primea Touch Plus

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Buy Saeco Primea Touch Plus, $1,999, at amazon.com

  • Designed along with BMW Group DesignworksUSA
  • Fully programmable features
  • Large color touch screen
  • 10 oz. coffee bean container for your favorite blend
  • Integrated frother and cup warmer
  • Costs about the same as a 20-month, daily Grande Latte fix at Starbucks

Shop the Full Story:
Desire: Acquire
Caffeinate Your Life with Espresso Machines & Coffee Accessories