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Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas

December 21, 2009

Let’s be honest, it’s pretty easy to just say “to heck with it” and stop by the local store and buy a box of fancy chocolates to give to a friend.  They’re yummy, they’re wrapped prettily, and hey, it’s the holidays, you’re supposed to indulge during this time, right?  If you’re like me (and I’m assuming you are since you are reading a blog aimed at people who are interested in health and fitness and making lives better), you’re looking for ways to be healthy and give healthy during the holidays.  I’ve come up with a few ideas below, and even if they aren’t within your ballpark, hopefully they’ll spark an idea or two for you.

The Aerogarden I received an Aerogarden for Christmas two years ago and I can’t get enough of it.  It is by far one of the best presents I have ever received.  They’re fairly easy to find (you can order one online or you can often find them at stores like Macy’s or JC Penney’s in the kitchen sections).  They are a tad on the pricey side, so this gift would be best suited for a very best friend or a close family member.  The 6 and 7 pod Aerogardens usually run around $150, with the 3 pod versions pricing at about $70.  They are great for the cook who loves fresh herbs.  It takes about 3-4 weeks for the herbs to grow to the point of harvesting, but once they hit that point, they grow like weeds!  I constantly have to trim my herbs back and bring in Ziploc bag-fulls to my coworkers, I just can’t keep up with it!  The standard Aerogarden comes with a mixed herb pack.  When its time to replace your plants, you can order the standard packages (they come in herb, flower, lettuce and pepper varieties) or you can create your own special package mix on their website (for a couple extra bucks).  As stated before, it’s a little on the pricey side, but soooo worth it for the right person.

Great Health Books & DVD’s Just do a basic search on Amazon for health books and dvd’s and you’ll get all sorts from which to choose.  However, since I’m the one writing this blog post and not the content editors of Amazon, we’ll focus on the ones that I dig!

  • Eat This, Not That 2010This is the most recent in a series of books that shows you the choices you can make to eat a little bit healthier while dining out, even when faced with what looks like the world’s worst choices.  There are hidden calories and fat in places where you’d least expect it and this book helps you weigh your food options.  Amazon’s description:  The authors created Eat This, Not That! 2010, to empower you with the knowledge to battle a food industry bent on sabotage your waistline with unwanted and unnecessary calories. In this new-and-expanded edition, you’ll find fresh restaurant and supermarket comparisons, an encyclopedia of food packaging lies, and the invaluable guide to eating healthy on a budget. Essentially you’ll learn how to make effortless food swaps that will help you strip away 10, 20, 30 pounds or more.
  • Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-Free Eating in the Real World:  The recipes are simple, easy to make meals that won’t kill your diet.  Plus, they’re recipes for ‘real’ meals, like pizza and fried chicken!  Okay, so it’s technically not fried and it’s not the same ingredients, but the point is that you get basically the same taste by learning when and where to make recipe substitutions so that you never feel you are depriving yourself.  I am in love with the Fancy Schmancy Oatmeal, it is to die for.   Amazon’s description:  Just because you’re watching your waistline doesn’t mean you need to go hungry. Recipes from Hungry Girl–like the Fiber-Fried Chicken Strips [click here]–feed your every craving without piling on the calories. What’s more, Lisa Lillien’s lighthearted love for food and fun shines through in every recipe, making it easy to follow her healthy example and even come up with your own simple calorie-saving shortcuts.
  • Jillian Michael’s 30 Day ShredJust as you see her on The Biggest Loser, Jillian is out for blood through your DVD player.  I purchased this DVD as a means of easing myself back into working out after a stint where I had been a little on the negligent side.  I mean, the workout was only for 20 minutes, how tough could it be?  Holy moly, I was standing in a pool of my own sweat by the end of that seemingly endless 20 minutes, and I had only done Level 1!  If you want to give the gift of fitness this year (and hopefully have friends who won’t hunt you down and kill you after you’ve had Jillian whoop their butts), then this is the DVD to give.  Amazon’s description:  There is no formal description on Amazon, so I suggest checking out the reviews, they all sound just like mine…this woman is out to get you!

Gifts for Gym Rats For this part of the post, I have no specific suggestions other than doing a little bit of research to find out where your friends/family currently work out and see if they are offering any deals such as BOGO boot camp, yoga or personal training sessions or perhaps see if you can pay for one month of their memberships.  Of course, you can also check out their gym gear to see if they need some updates.  See if their water bottle could use a BPA-free upgrade or if they need new hair ties because their current ones just aren’t cutting it.  I will put in a plug for one of Girls On the Run Atlanta’s sponsors, Goody, as they have a line called Stay Put that really does make your hair stay put.  I have the world’s longest, thickest hair, and once I put my ponytail in place with these bands, it ain’t going nowhere!  New additions to the gym wardrobe are always welcome as well, just be sure to gauge whether they prefer loose fitting or form fitting clothes for their workouts.  And of course, you can never go wrong with a gift card to their favorite sporting goods store.

If you’ve got some great gift ideas for health and fitness nuts, please comment below and let us know, we love to learn about new products to help create and keep a healthy lifestyle!

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