Gift giving made healthy

Posted: Sunday, December 12, 2010

Editor's note: "Focus on Fitness" is a Clarion feature with healthy lifestyle advice from local and national health and fitness experts. Check here weekly great information and tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Always consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.

Finding the perfect holiday gift is a challenge, especially when your wish is to promote a healthy and environmentally-conscious lifestyle. This year, give the gift of health with these great ideas from www.NaturallySavvy.com:

Gift baskets

Large or small, DIY gift baskets can be customized for each person and inspired by holiday events. Here are some suggestions:

Fruit and vegetable baskets. Many supermarkets prepare (and even deliver) gift baskets all year round, or just seasonally. Ask your local grocer about basket options, or buy a festive basket and put one together yourself.

A basket of all-natural and healthy snacks. Your gift can include trail mix, baked organic potato or vegetable chips (kale chips are delicious), gluten-free cookies and crackers, organic dark chocolate, all-natural chewing gum, or dried fruit.

Gluten-free cookie and cake kits. Include store-bought gluten-free mixes, frosting (all-natural, of course), a rubber spatula, and even eco-friendly cupcake moulds.

All-natural body care products. Paraben and chemical-free hand and body lotions, shampoos, and cosmetics are always welcome gifts.

An arrangement of must-have supplements. Include multivitamins, omega-3 fish oil, vitamin C packets, sea vegetables, and vitamin D.

A basket filled with all-natural products for baby. This can lighten a new mom's stress and will make her day. Include organic and bio-degradable diapers and wipes, organic onesies or other clothes made with organic cotton, BPA-free bottles and toys, and toys made from organic materials.

A basket for the bath. This collection could include hand wash and lotion (there's a plethora of natural brands to choose from), air freshener made without artificial fragrances or preservatives or a fragrant aromatherapy oil, a bar of soap (olive oil soap is lovely and moisturizing), and a 100 percent organic cotton hand towel.

A yoga kit. Include a yoga mat, a month's pass at a local yoga studio, and a video for yoga at-home.

A fitness kit. This is perfect for the friend who complains about not having time to exercise. It could include a set of hand weights, an exercise ball, Wii Fit accessories, or a new exercise mat. Throw in a great fitness video for instruction and inspiration.

Gift certificates

Gift certificates or gift cards are always welcome, allowing the receiver to select a gift at their leisure. Pick up cards for:

A health food store or Whole Foods Market

A local juice bar

A fun fitness program, such as belly dancing, Zumba or boot camp

A vegetarian or raw foods restaurant or food service

A temporary gym membership

An offer to babysit while your friend goes to an exercise class (design a funky 'coupon')

A natural spa

A housecleaning service that uses all-natural products

A gift certificate for an organic food co-op. Some deliver a box of food right to your doorstep.

Stocking stuffers

If you're shopping on a budget or have stockings to fill, look for these items:

Lip palm or gloss, paraben-free and with no artificial colors

Purse-size hand cream made with all-natural ingredients

Aromatherapy oils

A pocket-size daily meditation book

A loofah or body brush

Pomegranate

Travel-size packets of trail mix or dried fruit

Chocolate-covered gogi berries

Fair Trade or Rainforest Certified dark chocolate bar, herbal teas, or coffee (half a pound fits nicely into a stocking)

If you can find them at this time of year, organic seeds for planting in the spring.

Andrea Donsky and Randy Boyer are the co-founders of NaturallySavvy.com, a website that educates people on the benefits of living a natural, organic and green lifestyle. For more information and to sign up for their newsletter, visit www.NaturallySavvy.com.



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