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Monday
Nov252013

Staff Gives: 7 Healthy Gift Ideas

Whether it's your first holiday season since you committed to a healthy way of life or your tenth, a health journey can change your perspective in perhaps unexpected ways. For instance, do your healthy lifestyle choices influence what you’ll be giving (or would like to receive) this holiday? What are you pining for this season that you could never have imagined wanting before? What are you looking to give others to spread the promise of healthful habits? Check out these healthy gift ideas from the Flourish staff and see how they might fit your holiday list. Finally, be sure to share your own ideas for a healthy holiday!

Anika Christ, Senior Program Manager of Life Time Weight Loss

My favorite "gift of health" to give is actually the gift of massage. My mother looks forward to this gift from me every year in fact! Massage is something I truly believe needs to be in every person's healthy living regimen. Most of us look at it as a personal luxury or occasional indulgence when we should really be doing it on at least a monthly basis to help manage the daily stress we put ourselves through. Giving a massage as a gift (whether it be a gift card to a spa, etc.) is a great reminder to someone that they deserve to relax and treat themselves. The same point is true, of course, when we’re on the receiving end!

On a more homemade note, my family does the "Great Food Exchange" every year. I have six siblings, and instead of buying each other material items, we compete to make and share the "best" food gifts with each other. Think homemade granola or spiced nuts given in mason jars or homemade sangria. Every year we look forward to the event, including the bit of competition around who can come up with the best idea or most creative “presentation” style. 

Paul Kriegler, Corporate Registered Dietitian

A healthy gift I’d recommend any day is a set of blue-light blocking glasses like Gunnars to wear in the evening if the recipient is exposed to artificial light or direct screens (this includes many of us of course). They’re a must for anyone who wants deep sleep and maximal melatonin production.

Another sleep related gift I like is the IllumiShine wake up clock. If you can't sleep in until the sun comes up (especially during these darker months), at least wake up to a gently brightening environment with this wake up clock that works with your iPhone or iPad.

As for something along the lines of relaxation, if you can't treat yourself to a regular massage, at least spend some time working out tension with this at-home system, Yoga Tune-up Balls. Better than foam-rolling or just stretching, these tools actually get into small knots and spaces to loosen up tension. 

Mitchell Keyes, Program Manager of Life Time Training

We recently bought a Spiral Slicer a few months ago and have used it just about every week since. We’ve been posting pics of our “zucchini pasta” and have gotten so many people wondering how we were making it. It’s a great gift that’s so easy to use and relatively inexpensive. We got ours for less than $30. It only takes a few minutes to prep and cook, and presto! Consider it a means to eat more veggies while getting your Italian food fix.

Samantha Bielawski, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach

For the movie buffs you know, consider the movies Food, Inc. and Genetic Roulette! I’m giving them to a few people for the holidays myself. In a society where time and convenience are an issue, food quality often flies under the radar. These movies expose what’s really behind our food production--and the scary politics involved.  

For kitchen gifts, I’m a big fan of pressure cookers and mandolin slicers. They save time and can make food preparation easy with a gourmet-looking final result. 

Finally, if you have a runner on your list, consider a gift card to a place that can make custom orthotic inserts for runners. You could even round it out with a package of supplements such as UCAN and Q-best and/or a foam roller. 

Corey Grenz, Personal Trainer

First and foremost, I would recommend the Motoractv HR (Heart Rate) Monitor. It also has a pedometer, GPS and an IPod feature. I got it for Christmas last year and have really enjoyed this. 

Another health related gift I’d recommend is a good fitness book to encourage someone on their fitness journey. Consider their approach to fitness and areas of exercise they enjoy. When I was an eighth grader, my sister bought me the Arnold Schwartzenegger Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. It got me started on a personal fitness path.

Cindi Lockhart, Senior Program Manager of Health and Nutrition Coaching

I recommend a NutriBullet, an easy, convenient way to puree your fruits and vegetables to ensure you get your recommended 7-9 servings in a day--in a tasty beverage! It's actually on my personal wish list this year. I know many people with NutriBullets, and they love them!

If you’re looking to give (or receive) a more sizable kind of gift, I’ll put in a plug for an in-home infrared sauna. I have one from HealthMates. It’s amazing and well worth the investment. It’s easy to assemble and offers the ability to regulate heat so you can stay longer. InfraRed technology assists in pulling toxins and heavy metals out of the cell/blood through the skin via sweat. It’s a relaxing way to detoxify--and a perfect gift for the cold season. (Bonus: They even come with a Bose stereo system if you or your recipient so desire!)

Thanks for reading today, everyone! What healthy gifts you would you like to give (or hope to get) this holiday season? 

Written by Flourish Staff

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

 

 

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