Give the Gift of Health this Year!

December 13, 2011

Giving loved ones a gift that can help them be healthier – is a gift that keeps giving all year long!  These gift ideas can be great hostess gifts or to create the ultimate gift basket to put under the tree for the Movie Buff to the Margarita Maven on your list!!

The Sweet Tooth – If your kids are like mine – they love a little something sweet after dinner.  I have always had popsicle molds on hand – to pour leftover smoothies into – so we have a healthier way to satisfy their sweet cravings.  But recently we discovered that we can make popsicles without the wait!

  • The Zoku Quick Pop maker makes popsicles in less than 8 minutes – kids love it!  Just pour in some 100% juice, leftover smoothie, and voila! Never again will you have to buy popsicles at the store made with artificial colors or high fructose corn syrup!  Kids love to get creative with this and make up their own combinations!  You control exactly what goes into them!
  • The Zoku Quick Pop Recipe Book – is a great addition – it is full of creative ideas.  Check out this recipe for festive homemade Christmas pops.


The Smoothie & Soup Sipper – Someone in your life love smoothies and soups? Create the ultimate gift basket for them.

  • There is nothing better than the Vitamix – the “Mac Daddy” of all blenders. The Vitamix makes the best smoothies, soups, and even can grind nuts and grains – this is a gift of health for the whole family!  It is also a great tool for families with picky eaters – because you can easily hide veggies and nutrition boosts like chia seed.  The Vitamix comes with it’s own cookbook with lots of healthy ideas.  Use coupon code < 06-006248 > to get Free Shipping ($25 value).  Making homemade soups with the Vitamix is a snap, and you can avoid the BPAs, sodium, and flavor enhancers that can be in canned soups, read more about the health hazards of canned soups in Rodale.
  • Smoothie cookbooks like the Green Smoothie Revolution – are also a great idea to get some new smoothie ideas, or try this energizing smoothie recipe.
  • Make sure to include some of my favorite smoothie “boosts” like  Barleans greens powders, Jay Robb Protein powder and some chia seed – a great omega 3 source. Read more about the health benefits of chia seed.


The Tea Drinker – Green tea has loads of health benefits – including powerful anti-cancer properties from the polyphenol catechins.  But if the tea lover in your life is used to using tea bags – wait until he/she tries the whole leaf tea – no comparision!  Create the ultimate gift basket with

  • Whole leaf tea (my personal favorite is Jasmine pearls)
  • tea-infuser
  • Natures Agave nectar if they like their tea sweetened – a healthier choice than sugar or artificial chemical sweeteners.
  • For the coffee drinker who is trying to cut out caffeine or replace their coffee with tea – they might love Teeccino – a caffeine free herbal coffee substitute!  Teeccino is a blend of herbs, grains, fruits and nuts that are roasted and ground to brew and taste just like coffee.


The Margarita Maven – Many margarita mixes contain high fructose corn syrup and artificial coloring.  Create a gift basket with all the key ingredients for a fresh organic margarita, they are so much tastier.  Your margarita connoisseur will be happier and healthier.

  • Natures Agave nectar – pairs perfectly with some organic tequilia – go for the good stuff!
  • Include some high quality sea salt from Sal del Mar (love the cute Christmas Mermaid bag)!  Sea salt contains natural minerals from the sea and is so much better for you than table salts.
  • Include some margarita recipes – such as the perfect organic margarita recipe, or this Winter Blackberry Margarita.


The New Mommy – There is nothing more joyful than baby’s first Christmas.  Putting together a special gift for the baby’s mom (and Dad) can be a snap:

  • The Baby Bullet baby food system is the perfect gift – it can help the new parents save money and provide the freshest organic purees for baby.  The Baby Bullet Turbo Steamer steams vegetables to perfection, and the Baby Bullet purees it all in a snap.  It even comes with date-dial storage containers to help you save the extra and make sure to feed it to baby within a few days.
  • A month’s worth of Freshology’s Fresh Mommy – freshly prepared healthy meals delivered to your door, designed just for the new mom!  Such a thoughtful way to de-stress the new mom’s life, and help her be as healthy as possible!  Dancing with the Stars has all their dancers on Freshology!
  • Give the new mommy a little “me” time. Book her a mani-pedi, facial, or massage at the spa! A little de-stressing and relaxation time goes a long way!


The Movie Buff – A movie night is always better with some popcorn.  But microwave popcorn contains carcinogens. Give your movie buff a healthier way to pop!

  • An air popper pops healthier popcorn, plus it is lots of fun for the kids to watch!
  • Or surprise them with a gift box from 479 Popcorn – beautifully packaged gourmet popcorn made with the highest quality ingredients – try the “Foodie” gift pack.
  • Throw in some good family-fun movies and the whole family can enjoy this gift!!



The Chocoholic! – Do you know someone who lives for chocolate?  I can relate!  The good news is – dark chocolate is on my “approved” list of treats!  Rich in polyphenols from the cacao bean, dark chocolate is heart-healthy, boosts mood, and more.  Read I Heart Dark Chocolate to learn more about the health benefits of cacao and dark chocolate. Fill a basket with everything a chocolate lover could dream of:

  • Organic dark chocolates from Green & Blacks – they offer a package with mini bars of each flavor – including their 70% dark, cherry, and ginger.
  • The Ultimate Chocolate Cookbook – from Green & Blacks for the true chocoholic!!
  • Or for the true dark chocolate lover – get them some raw cacao beans from Sunfood, or the ingredients to make Sunfood’s Panca dark chocolate – there is nothing like this dark chocolate with a hint of spice that you can make at home!
  • Want to surprise the most educated chocolate afficionado – include some cacao tea from Tisano, the health benefits and rich chocolate taste in a tea!




The Yogi – Do you know someone who just loves yoga, or has been wanting to try it soon?  Get them the ultimate basket filled with:

  • A new yoga mat
  • Eye pillow
  • New yoga clothes
  • A yoga music CD or video
  • A subscription to Yoga Journal, or a membership to a yoga studio.
  • Don’t forget your little yogi – they will love this new Whale Yoga DVD – led by Kids’ Yoga Instructor Jodi Komitor, plus a percentage of proceeds goes to the Save the Whales foundation


The Allergen Avoider – Know someone who has recently been diagnosed celiac/gluten sensitive, or that avoids other common allergens?  Food sensitivities and allergies are becoming more and more common, so it is likely you do.  With all the great options out there – they don’t have to miss out on Christmas cookies, pizza or pasta after all.  Put together a “survival kit” gift basket to help them make lots of the recipes they love – just without gluten:


The Chef – The great thing about gifts for the chef in your life, is you probably get to eat up the yummy results!  Surprise your favorite chef with a basket filled with some yummy ingredients and cool new kitchen gadgets:

  • A gift box from Baker & Olive filled with gourmet olive oils and balsamic vinegars.
  • Give them some new inspiration with a new healthy cookbook, or a subscription to a cooking magazine like Cooking Light.
  • Cool new kitchen tools – are always a good addition – check out this year’s top rated tools from Williams Sonoma.


The Little “Top Chef” – More and more kids are watching The Food Network and shows like Top Chef.  so encourage your little “Top Chef” with some cool cooking presents:

  • A kid’s cookbook
  • A kid-sized apron
  • You might also consider finding them a kids cooking class – there are more and more cropping up around the country – such as The Center for a Healthy Lifestyle in Solana Beach – a cool little yellow cottage offering weekly kids cooking classes and private classes too!  Another place offering kids cooking classes is Cups in La Jolla in their cool “lounge”.  Send your kids to a 3 hour “drop & shop” class for kids on December 21st with me – Nutritionist and Cooking instructor Sara Vance.


Stocking Stuffers – Don’t forget about the stocking stuffers!  Do you put a fresh orange in the bottom of each stocking? The orange in the stocking apparently started with Saint Nicholas himself – read more about the orange and other stocking traditions in Will You Find an Orange in Your Christmas Stocking?  Although oranges have been largely displaced with the Pez and brightly colored candies today, you can still put the orange in the toe!  Some other healthy and traditional foods to add to stockings would be nuts or an apple.  Or you can throw in some Vita RocksThese are just like those Poprock candies – but they are actually a daily dose of vitamins, and contain none of that icky stuff like artificial colors, or high fructose corn syrup.  Oh – and have you heard of the Christmas pickle?  I certainly hadn’t either – read about it from our friends at Cultured Food Life.

When you give the gift of health – you are giving so much more than just a gift!  Happy & Healthy Holidays!

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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