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

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


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, 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

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