Picking our the perfect gift for friends, family, or colleagues can be a daunting task. Finding a gift for those with more health-conscious lifestyles can be a downright debacle. In some cases, it’s as easy as getting an organic or non-GMO version of an existing product. Other cases—no so much.
Healthy Gift Guide
Before you break out your wallet there are some important considerations to make. Shopping through a “healthy options” section of your favorite store might be a fruitless endeavor if nothing there matches up with your receivers’ lifestyle. For example, quality Yoga mats are a great healthy gift idea—if the recipient practices Yoga.
Another concern is whether or not your recipient may already have a certain gift—the more affordable and more common the gift, the higher the chance. For example, salad spinners are great gifts under $25. Most people that would appreciate one already have four.
Cooking one’s own meals is just part of living healthy. There are some healthy on-the-go options out there in the world (more every day) but the majority of food options are typical Standard American Diet (SAD) choices. Entering the kitchen mindset can help you envision a better gift healthy gift choice. One item that often flies under the radar is an apron. They protect clothes from grease during cooking, have nice big pockets to hold cooking tools, and will be well-received by anyone that spends time in the kitchen. For added effect, choose an apron made from natural or organic materials.
Anything with sugar is generally well-received. The problem is that most health-conscious friends know a secret that you don’t—sugar kills (R). Now that you’re scared, let’s course-correct a bit. Not all sugar is bad and not all things with sugar in them are bad. As with everything else, moderation and balance are key. What is always a bad option are things with refined sugars, hydrogenated vegetable oils, or processed sweeteners. Things like Aspartame, partially-hydrogenated soybean oil, and usually anything that says “flavoring” without the “natural” prefix. Even “natural flavoring” can be suspect sometimes. Aside from these major red flags, more health-conscious choices would include products with Organic, Non-GMO, and maybe even FairTrade ingredients. Check out the Bateel Signature Collection for some ideas.
Yoga has taken the Western world by storm. Even if you don’t practice Yoga yourself it’s easy to appreciate how popular it is. Try walking through any major general retail store without spotting a Yoga section. Probably you can’t. The issue, as with many surging markets, is that the Yoga market has been flooded with cheap and poor-quality options. You can’t buy a decent Yoga mat at Wal-Mart or TJ Maxx. Practicing Yoga with low-quality mat is like trying to walk on ice. If your gift recipient is serious about yoga they will only appreciate serious Yoga gear. Take a look through the Manduka catalog for quality options.
Juicers (NOT blenders) help unlock the micronutrients tucked away in the cellular walls of plants. Making fruit and vegetable juices at home is a commitment that not all are willing to make. It takes time, education, and lots of refrigerator room. Ever wonder who the hell buys those ten-pound bags of organic carrots you see in the produce section at the grocery store? People with juicers. Them, and maybe people who raise horses. There are several different types of juicers: centrifugal, masticating, twin-gear juicers, and even those just for citrus juicing. Centrifugal is probably the safest bet, but masticating ones are great for leafy greens. You can spend as much on a juicer as you want but there are some truly quality options in the $75-$125 range. Best for the money, in our opinion, is the Breville Compact Juice Fountain.
This is a deep category of gift ideas and encompasses several different approaches, all of which offer some notable benefit in the preservation of food. Remember, healthy people generally spend a lot of time cooking. Offering up a gift that helps them preserve their healthy meals will put you on the fast track for Best Gift Giver. At the top of the charts is the type of food savers that encompass things like vacuum sealers or canning kits. These are the tools used to store foods for long periods of time. Check out the Food Saver website for a guide on these. On the other end of the spectrum, you have the single-serving saver selections that encompass things like Tupperware, vegetable-shaped plastic containers, and even lunch boxes. Your insight into your recipient’s preference should guide you here.
Big, round, embossed tubes of foam are huge in the fitness world right now. Unlike many other items in the fitness world, foam rollers do have some solid scientific study to back up their claims (R). Using these tools to “roll” one’s muscles before and after workouts has proven to help increase muscle performance and range-of-motion. That’s a pretty big claim for such a small and affordable product. There are lots of options here, as with many items on this list. Try joining your healthy gift recipient for a workout to get a better idea of what type of foam roller may best suit their needs. Check out the TriggerPoint website for more info on foam rollers.
Everyone loves steamed vegetables because they’re perfectly tender right? Your health-conscious gift recipient likely also knows that steaming, as opposed to boiling, can also help unlock (and preserve) higher nutrient profiles. Steaming tends to provide the highest possible nutrient density, compared to completely raw, or any cooking method (R). This can also help the bioavailability of nutrients compared to eating them raw, similar to juicing (sort of). Steamers come in many varieties from custom stand-alone solutions to simple screens one sits over a regular kitchen pot. For a full crash course on all things steamer-related, check out the JosephJoseph Steaming Guide. They make some of the most innovative kitchen products on the market and know a thing or two about steaming vegetables.
Essential Oil Diffuser
Essential oils have a medley of health benefits attributed to them. They can help address many health conditions naturally, can be used scrounge bacteria and viral compounds from one’s home, and smell downright pleasant. The problem is that they are very potent and continually applying them can be problematic. After all, two or three drops of most essential oils are enough to empower an entire room with its scent. Traditional essential oil diffusers made use of absorbing stick-like objects that evaporated essential oil-laden water into the air. These work OK, but modern technology has come to the rescue. Electronic essential oil diffusers allow one to fill an entire reservoir up with an oil + water mixture and periodically disperses a mist into the air. Wellness Mama provides a great guide essential oil diffuser guide to get you started here.