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For many people, the festive season can bring too many indulgences, resulting in unwanted sluggishness and weight gain. Why not give your friends and family something more energizing this Christmas? Following are 20 gift ideas to nourish the mind, body, and spirit:

  • Order a box of gourmet fruit, or arrange for a fruit-of-the-month basket to arrive monthly for the next twelve months.
  • Create your own organic food basket.
  • Personally bake a healthy fruity Christmas cake.
  • Give a gym membership.
  • Buy an introductory session with a personal trainer or a pack of sessions.
  • Purchase a pedometer to track steps and motivate increased physical activity.
  • Get a heart-rate monitor for those more serious “athletes.”
  • Rent a treadmill for a defined period, or buy one if you think it will be used in the longer term. This is particularly useful for walking in poor weather.
  • Select some sports and game equipment, such as a punching bag, soccer ball, or tennis racquet.
  • Pick up an aerobics DVD.
  • Pamper someone with skincare products.
  • Find some colorful and fragrant candles.
  • Reward someone with a relaxing music CD.
  • Spoil your friend with a gift certificate for a massage.
  • Prepay for a consultation with a registered dietitian for a nutrition makeover in the new year.
  • Buy a book on health, such as The China Study, The Okinawa Program or Eat to Live. ?? Choose a colorful cookbook that shows how to use more whole foods. Or purchase several inexpensive titles, which you can bundle.
  • Surprise someone with a subscription to an inspiring magazine that includes healthy recipe options.
  • Rent a purified watercooler for a year. Or buy one.
  • Gift wrap a food and exercise diary software program such as CalorieKing Nutrition and Exercise Manager. See

  • Nutritionist Sue Radd is the award-winning author of The Breakfast Book and coauthor of Eat To Live, internationally acclaimed for showing how savvy eating can combat cancer and heart disease and improve well-being. See the latest at

Food Matters

by Sue Radd
From the December 2008 Signs