10 Healthy Holiday Gifts

10 Healthy Holiday Gifts
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By Mary Jane Horton

Sure, there is a time and place for giving someone chocolate or wine, or other unhealthy potables. Those are great gifts if someone is having you over for dinner, for example. But this year, why not make a decision to help all your gift recipients to have a more robust year. Herewith, the gift of health – all available online – for those lucky people on your list:

Fitness trackers have been a big craze this year – we all know we have to get in those 10,000 steps in to be in shape – and now Tory Burch for Fitbit (https://www.fitbit.com/us/toryburch#1) makes one that is as beautiful as it is practical. These stunning sculpted pieces – bracelets and pendants – in gold and silver, look for all the world like a piece of jewelry, and will never give away the secret that they are actually an activity tracker (from $175-$195).

Give the gift of year-round organic fruit from Frog Hollow Farms (http://froghollow.myshopify.com). This California farm simply has the best, most beautiful organic fruit anywhere around. Depending on where you live, and the time of year, it can be awfully tough to get healthy organic fruit. Frog Hollow’s Fruit Clubs (ranging from $176 to $907, depending on the frequency and amount of fruit you send) will guarantee that the person you give this gift to will think of you each time they open the door for the delivery – of nectarines, peaches, apricots, cherries, plums, apples, and more weekly, monthly, or a few times during the year.

What could be better for a holiday-weary friend than a massage, facial, or a day of pampering? While it may be hard to figure out a spa in your friend’s neck of the woods, Spafinder takes care of that. With a Spafinder Wellness 365 Gift Certificate (http://www.spafinder.com), your recipient will have access to over 20,000 spas throughout the country (denominations fro $25 to $500).  To find a local spa, you just use your zip code on the website. The certificate never expires and many well-known spas, including Bliss, Ole Henriksen, and Elizabeth Arden Red Door, are all participants in the program.

Men don’t often go out and by themselves workout clothes (I know this from experience), but they are overjoyed when they get cool workout clothes as gifts, and Lululemon (http://shop.lululemon.com/home.jsp) really fits the bill for this task. What man on your list wouldn’t want a Sweat Session Hoodie ($118), in a cool striped heather cottony Rulu fabric that stretches and wicks or the comfortable Revival sweatpants ($88) that double as super comfortable street-wear and come in go-with-everything colors such as heathered black and heathered inkwell?

Essential oils are something that many of us only experience when we get a massage. They can really help you relax by filling up your senses and lifting up your spirits. You can give a friend a starter package of Mountain Rose Herbs’ Favorites Essential Oil Kit (https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/catalog/aromatherapy/kits).  This well-respected company offers one of the largest selections of certified organic oils around – all meticulously produced by steam distillation of aromatic plant material. The kit  ($72) contains a compilation of eight of the staff’s favorite oils including organic Lavender, organic Cleary Sage, organic Bulgarian Rose and more. Oils are blended from 100 percent pure and unadulterated essential oils, and come packaged in a beautiful gift box with printed instructions for use.

Who wouldn’t want the perfect gym bag from Timbuk2 (http://www.timbuk2.com/), a company known for making innovative and practical bags of all kinds? The Iris Gym Duffel ($129) works for either men or women, depending on the color and the material. Choices include: Black Nylon, Confetti Black Tweed, or Carbon or Cobalt Recycled Twill.  This impeccably made bag has 2 divided, roomy internal storage areas for your shoes, towel, and change of clothes, smaller zipper pockets, and a cell-phone pocket. Designed to be slung over the shoulder or worn crossbody, this duffel is soft and movable. It also doubles as a great weekend bag.

If your friend doesn’t already have one, she or he needs a Clarisonic Skin Care Cleansing Brush (www.clarisonic.com). Developed for professionals, but now scooped up in record numbers by the public, the patented sonic cleansing technology works with skin’s natural elasticity, oscillating at a sonic frequency that produces over 300 movements per second. The resulting action created between the outer and inner brushes works to loosen dirt and oil, removing deep-seated impurities from pores and priming skin to better absorb topical treatments. The holiday offerings are dizzying and range from a simple face cleaner ($99)to a complete system that cleans face and body ($180, a $311 value). Our favorite for women is the cool psychedelic Limited Edition Mia 2 San Tropez ($149) and for men, the Mia 2 Carbon Fiber Holiday Gift Set ($149).

A great inexpensive gift for a friend who loves smoothies is a blender with a to-go cup option. The Oster My Blend Blender (http://www.oster.com/home), in blue or pink, green, or orange ($25), allows you to blend and go in record time. Ideal for protein shakes and smoothies, you simply fill and blend with just a twist of the bottle, change out the blender blade for the lid and off you go. This blender also pulverizes ice and frozen fruit, and the cup is made of BPA-free, dishwasher-safe plastic.

If you want to splurge for a good friend who sits in a chair at a computer all day, the Humanscale Liberty Office Chair ($899), from Relax the Back (http://www.relaxtheback.com/ergonomic-chairs/humanscale-liberty-office-chair.html), will ensure that the recipient is your best friend for ever. This amazingly comfortable chair has a tri-panel, non-stretch construction that “senses” your form, creating body-fitting contours with appropriate lumbar support. It only has two manual controls but other than that it adjusts to your body automatically.  This great chair comes with a silver or black frame and many different seat color options such as: black, graphite, navy, and pomegranate. An extra comfortable gel seat is available for an extra $50.

Wii Fit Game with Balance Board ($39.79), (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VJRU44/sr=8-1/qid=1221415762/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&qid=1221415762&sr=8-1&seller=&tag=esq_autolinks-20), is perfect for those wintery days when your recipient wants to work out and just can’t make it to the gym. You just have to be sure that your friend has a Wii console (or you can buy them one for an extra $120 or so).  You can use this bathroom-scale-sized device to do dozens of exercises, from yoga to skiing. It is designed for every age group and helps you check your daily progress, set goals, and even enter exercises you have done outside of the Wii to the mix.