‘Tis the season for sinful treats, which can make shopping for health-conscious friends and family a challenge. Not to worry–we have the ultimate assortment of nutritious goodies, fitness gadgets, and wholesome stocking stuffers to help your loved ones stay in shape through the holidays (and beyond).
We asked some of our favorite fitness, food, and lifestyle bloggers–and two One Medical Group nutritionists–for their must-have healthy holiday gifts. Here are their ideas:
1. Homemade Nut Butters
Rich in healthy fats, almond and peanut butters are easy to make from scratch! All you’ll need is a blender or food processor and your nut of choice. You can also add ingredients such as maple syrup, chocolate, or raisins for a unique spin on your favorite blends. Present in mason jars with fun, colorful ribbon and you’re done! Nut butters are perfect for many different taste buds, plus they offer great health benefits.
2. Foam Roller
Think of a self-massage, without the cost and inconvenience of making a professional massage appointment. This fitness tool is a great gift for anyone who suffers from tightness, knots, or even the occasional sore muscles. This dense foam acts by evenly applying pressure to your muscles and creates a myofascial release. Not only will you feel more relaxed after “rolling out,” foam rollers offer numerous health benefits: less post-workout soreness, faster muscle recovery, and increased mobility just to name a few.
3. CSA Box from a Local Farm
I subscribe to my local CSA program weekly, which is a partnership with a farm where you pay in advance for a share of its upcoming harvest. Everybody wins, since the farm is promised a consistent market, and the customer gets to take home a box brimming with beautiful, local, organic produce. This season, I’m going to gift a few of my favorite cooks with a CSA box brimming with local winter produce ready for all kinds of culinary experimentation. I’ll tuck a few recipe cards in the box to help spark creativity!
4. Organic Beauty Products
I adore the One Love Organics line for their collection of gorgeous, effective skincare that is derived from plants and doesn’t contain any of the bad stuff (fillers, parabens, etc.) Their naturally derived ingredients are full of nutrition powerhouses like chia seed extract and farm fresh Bulgarian rose oil, and a set of a few lovely skincare products would make the perfect gift for my mom or sister.
5. Healthy Homemade Treats
For example, these Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Bites are easy to make and crazy addictive. They’re also surprisingly healthy, with no flour, no butter, and absolutely no refined sugar whatsoever!
We got our Sodastream back before they were sold everywhere–and it definitely changed our lives. Not only has it saved a ton of bottles, it has also made grocery shopping a lot easier. I’d like an upgrade for the holidays; the one we have right now is first-generation, and they have some classier models available now.
I first learned about this “miracle condiment” at a workshop held at the Japanese American National Museum this past spring. It’s a great alternative for those looking to lower their sodium. It also tenderizes protein, aids digestion, and instantly adds umami flavor. Not many people know about it, but once you do, it’ll quickly become their secret ingredient. It’s easy to make a large batch at home, package it into cute mason jars, and spread the Koji love.
I’ve been enjoying Paleta meals for years. Not only is this the best daily food delivery I’ve ever had the pleasure of trying, I love the founder, Kelly Boyer. She’s a sweet and talented chef who gets all the diets right–from vegan to gluten-free.
This is the perfect gift for anyone on your list–especially if they work in an office! Each month they will receive five full-size packages of healthy snacks ranging from natural and sweet to savory and crunch treats. I first learned about the company more than two years ago and until our move I looked forward to my box each month. I especially love their spiced nut mixes for afternoon snacking! They have a great discount on the site if you buy a gift subscription, which reduces the monthly price.
10. New Balance High Visibility Gear
If anyone on your list walks, runs, or bikes outside before or after work, then any piece of gear from this new collection will help keep him or her safe in style! There are options at every price point, ranging from the $150+ high-tech running jacket to the reflective water bottle.
11. Entry to a Race
This gift is so easy to do and would make any runner happy! If you know the upcoming races a runner you know would like to participate in, register him or her for the race and present the person with a bib number to show them registration is taken care of. Some races are expensive, so make certain you know what race they plan to run.
12. Fitletic Pouch
I swear by these on all my long runs when I have to carry fuel. I actually forget I’m wearing it most of the time, they work so well! I recommend opting for the double Fitletic Pouch, which is perfect for a phone, fuel, keys, and ID–and no bounce.
13. Slow Is the New Fast Shirt
I love fun shirts and this tank is my new favorite. It’s cute, lightweight, and I can run in it and wear it out in public. I love the heathered color and the ruching on the back of the tank as well.
14. Timex Easy Trainer Watch
I love this watch. It’s easy to use, doesn’t have too many features to get overwhelmed by, tracks both time and distance, and comes in attractive colors. The best part: It holds a charge like a champ.
15. High Quality Dark Chocolate
Intense dark chocolate like the Dark Blackout bar from Alter Eco makes a great stocking stuffer for someone who appreciates good dark chocolate.
16. Yoga Mat
A yoga mat from Lululemon. A fancy mat–great for any new yogi–is well worth the investment because it helps prevent slippage during vinyasa class.
17. Cooking Class
A gift certificate for a local cooking class. I like San Francisco Cooking School, the most progressive culinary school in the city. Help others get inspired and increase their confidence in the kitchen!
18. Salt Block
For the foodie who has everything, give this salt block, which is great for grilling.
19. Quantified Self Tracker
Keeping track of both dietary intake and exercise are primary motivators when it comes to implementing positive change. This holiday season, help a loved one enhance his or her motivation level, and health, with a quantified self gift like a Fitbit Flex, Jawbone UP, or Nike FuelBand. All of these devices are relatively inexpensive and are easy to use to help keep track of basic health indicators, including activity levels and hours of sleep–they even sync to dietary tracking tools! I find these devices enormously helpful in enabling my patients to recognize patterns–the first step in the process of positive change.