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MissouriFamilies eNewsletter

February 13, 2017



“Love is the outreach of self toward completion.”

~Ralph W. Sockman



Woman outside taking deep breathLove and respect self first

Linda Rellergert, former Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, St. Charles County, University of Missouri Extension

February brings up love, hearts and caring for others. This month, we are encouraging readers to show love and respect in a health-promoting way — and to focus on yourself first. If we don't take care of ourselves, we won't be able to help anyone else for very long. Here are some ways you can begin to show care and love to yourself.

  • Appreciate your body for all that it has done for you — legs that help you get wherever you need to go, arms that hug and comfort a friend, hands that offer a gentle touch, lips that smile and eyes that see the beauty in the world.
  • Eat well for pleasure and health. Eat consciously and attentively. Savor the sight, aroma and flavor of food by engaging all your senses as you eat. Respect your body by eating when hungry and stopping when full...

For more reminders about how we should take care of ourselves, see the full version of this article at

Illustration of 2 figures forming a heartLove languages: Understanding how you and your partner love

Amanda Kowal, Ph.D., former Assistant Professor, Human Development & Family Studies, Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri

Researchers and clinicians have found that one key to happy love relationships is understanding the type of love that is important to both you and your partner. Gary Chapman, author of the The Five Love Languages series, refers to the different kinds of love as “love languages.” He believes that your love language describes how you want to be loved and how you show love.

It is important to figure out what makes you feel loved so that you know what you want and need from your partner. It is also important that you understand what makes your partner feel loved so that you can make him or her happy...

To learn more, including how to determine the love language for yourself and your partner, see the full version of this article at

Couple enjoying time together at a parkKeeping fun in our relationships

Kim Allen, former State Specialist, & Christina Crawford, former Extension Associate, Human Development & Family Studies, University of Missouri Extension

Remember those first days of falling in love — the endless talks, the long walks and that feeling of happiness? Sometimes we get in a rut and have to remind ourselves of the importance of keeping fun in our relationships. Having fun with your partner may not seem as important now as it once was. Life can get very busy, especially when trying to balance work and family, but that is why it’s so important to make time for fun. Having fun can be a release from all the pressures and stresses of life. This relaxed and playful time between partners is important for developing long-lasting bonds between two people...

For a list of fun activities (at little or no cost) that you can plan for Valentine’s Day, or anytime you and your partner have time together, see the full version of this article at

Chocolate covered strawberryChocolate covered strawberries: A healthy alternative

Tammy Roberts, MS, RD, LD, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Bates County, University of Missouri Extension

On February 14 there are lots of gifts exchanged between people who want to show their affection, respect or love... If you want to indulge your Valentine with chocolate, give chocolate covered strawberries as a more healthful alternative.

Chocolate and strawberries both contain antioxidants, which are thought to improve immune function and lower the risk for infection and cancer... Strawberries are also a good source of vitamin C....

To learn more about why dark chocolate and strawberries are a healthier alternative to other treats, see the full version of this article at

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