Conversation Starters

With Valentine’s Day coming up next week, you may be looking for a way to connect with your spouse, and what better way than conversation and chocolate?! 

If you have been together for a while, you may roll your eyes at me and say there’s nothing to talk about other than kids and chores!  But what if there was a way to connect the way that you used to?  When was the last time you asked questions to get to know your spouse like you did when you were dating?  You may feel that you already know all of the answers already, but I’d like to challenge you to ask them again.  They might have changed since you dated.  Now normally I don’t encourage couples to go on their phones when they are on a date, but this is one exception.  John & Julie Gottman have provided a few different exercises that give you different ways to connect, and they can take you from ho-hum to humour!

If you search Gottman Card Decks on your smart phone, you will find 14 different “card decks” that can help spur different types of conversations for you as a couple.  There is Love Maps that helps you to learn about and know your partner’s inner world.  The purpose of these questions are to provide some laughter and fun in your conversation.  The Salsa questions are provided to put some pep in your sex life.  These range from mild – where the questions are for those that prefer romantic and non-sexual suggestions to hot – where the questions help couples who want to explore more wild sexual fantasies.  One last example is the Rituals of Connection deck which helps you to have conversations about what you want your rituals to look like – everything from being greeted after work to how you want to do Christmas.

To complement your conversations, here is a recipe for a healthy chocolate pudding.  This one incorporates one of my favourite foods, cacao powder.  Cacao is the purest form of chocolate you can consume.   It’s raw, which means it has no added sugars or fats and is much less processed than all the other chocolate we usually eat.  The cacao fruit tree produces cacao pods which are cracked open to release cacao beans (which are sometimes referred to as nuts), and in my opinion, you’ve got to be nuts not to eat it.  Cacao is loaded with anti-oxidants (15 times more than the amount of anti-oxidants in wild blueberries) which help to protect against free radicals.  It is also high in magnesium, iron, manganese and chromium which are important nutrients for blood building and keeping blood sugar levels stable.  As well, it is rich in phosphorus, zinc and copper which are necessary for healthy bones, teeth and the nervous system.  Add it to smoothies, yogurt or coffee and never feel guilty about eating chocolate again.

Our hope for you this Valentine’s Day is that you are able to connect with your spouse as you enjoy some good food together.  Let us know how it goes in the comments below!

Lisa Catallo and Glenys Bowers, R.H.N.