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Forget aphrodisiacs: Recipes for a sexier you

February 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A juicy steak, a pile of pasta and a glass of wine makes a romantic meal for many. But if you're in the mood for love, that's likely a recipe for failure.

"Feeling sexy is all about a fine-tuned brain that sends messages clearly and quickly, a heart and blood vessels that are squeaky clean and work efficiently," said Elizabeth Somer, a dietitian and author of "Eat Your Way to Sexy."

Elizabeth Somer's message is suggestive in a unique way.

"All that circuitry and circulation is built entirely on what you eat, so really if you eat junk, guess what? You're going to feel like junk," she said.

Sure, pasta and a porterhouse have their place, but what you eat can help - or even hurt - performance of any kind.

"A heavy, big fat meal lowers testosterone levels in males and can affect brain function by up to 180 days," she said.

Two things that aren't sexy are dieting and stress. Both can leave you feeling exhausted and generally feeling old.

Somer says if you eat whole foods, real foods, you're pretty much going to be sexy sensibly.

Out of everything you eat, three out of four bites should come from real, unprocessed foods.

Start your day with breakfast of whole grain carbs, satisfying protein and colorful produce. A breakfast wrap or sandwich has all three.

For lunch, aim for foods that have a lot of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, like chicken, salad and black beans. Plus, the lean protein will keep you on top of your game.

In the late afternoon, reach for a snack that will boost your brain's feel-good chemical, serotonin. Figs and ricotta, apple peanut butter and whole grain crackers are all good choices.

"Dinner is a great time to start thinking about your No. 1 sex organ, which by the way, is your brain," she said.

Yes, your brain.

Put a salmon steak under the broiler and add some steamy broccoli and brown rice for some tender, loving care.

"Every time a bite goes into your mouth, ask yourself, 'Is this good enough for me? Is this fueling my health?' And if it isn't, you're too good for that," Somer said. "You deserve better. Put it down and find a food that will fuel your looks, your energy, your mind, your mood and your sexy."

Check out foods that will help you feel sexier.