8 Last-Minute Healthy Gift Ideas

Written by Marina Chaparro, RD, CDE, MPH

The holidays just may be the most challenging time of year when it comes to healthy eating and keeping your portions in check.  The parties, the cookies, and the holiday cheer (aka wine or other alcoholic beverages) mean schedules are squeezed, carb counting gets more complicated and there’s less time to exercise.

Then comes the New Year which finds many of us desperately seeking the reset button.The holidays, of course, are also a time of giving and receiving. So, wouldn't it be nice if some of the gifts we received gave us a jump start for the weight loss and regular exercise resolutions we’re bound to make?

Thanks to the internet and the proliferation of health and wellness products, it’s easier than ever to find gifts that will motivate both the fitness-loving brother and the not-so-health-conscious sister! Below are my top gifts ideas for a healthier 2018:

#1. Make Water Tastier

Dislike the taste of plain aqua but want to stay hydrated? Say hello to flavored water without the calories! I never leave home without my favorite flavor-infuser water bottle which makes it easy to jazz up water by adding flavor from fresh fruit and herbs like mint, cucumber, and strawberries.  Two that I like are the Avoin Fruit Infuser and the Uncommon Goods Flavor Infuser Water Bottle. 

#2. A Pretty and Motivating Fitness Planner 

If you are “old-school” like me and need paper to stay organized, this healthy combo is for you. I love these health planners because they include motivational messages and weekly progress sheets where you can log food, workouts, weight and more. I also recommend the Fitlosophy FitBook.

#3. Wearable and Stylish Technology

The Fitbit is the future of weight loss and even diabetes care. Whether a watch or bracelet, Fitbit can help you keep track of your activity, sleep patterns, weight and more.  And, Fitbit recent announced a partnership with the continuous glucose monitoring company, Dexcom. Dexcom users will soon be able to track blood sugar readings through their Fitbit. How amazing is that? 

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#4. Make Beautiful (Veggie) Noodles Together

The veggie spiralizer food trend is not going away anytime soon. It’s a simple, fast way to transform raw veggies into alternative “pasta” dishes. Works great with beets, zucchini, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and more. If you are looking to decrease your carbohydrate consumption but hate the idea of giving up pasta, this veggie spiralizer will instantly lower your carb intake without cutting out the flavor. Check out these the ScharfPro and the less expensive OXO Good Grips 3-Blade.

#5. Healthy Recipes Get the Job Done
For inspiration and guidance regarding healthier dishes, sometimes a good, old-fashioned cookbook is all that's needed. People with diabetes don’t need to deprive themselves of foods they love to eat. Because I believe that food should not be boring I love to keep plenty of cookbooks in my kitchen. Some personal favorites: The Overworked Person’s Guide to Better Nutrition by Jill Weisenberg, Eat What You Love Diabetes Cookbook, by Lori Zanini and 28-day Plant-Powered Health Reboot by Jessica Jones and Wendy Lopez.

#6. Build a Better Lunchbox

Forget the brown bag for packed lunches, jazz them up with these colorful bento boxes. I’m a big fan of bringing my lunch to work and have bento style left-overs which help me keep my portions in check. Plus they force you to add variety and make it more difficult to overeat. 

#7. Plates that Encourage Portion Control

Continuing with the theme of portion control, the key to managing healthy habits, in the long run, is to change your environment. Using pre-portioned and smaller plates (such as Halsa Dinnerware by Livliga) is another simple strategy that can help you eat less and be more mindful of the external cues around you.

#8. Air Fry Me to the Moon 

Love the crunch but hate the added fat and extra calories? An air fryer could be the perfect solution. Air fryers allow you to prepare favorite dishes using just one teaspoon of oil. Food turns crispy without the need for lots of added, unhealthy oils. A slightly more-expensive gift to give this holiday, but you can find small, single basket air fryers that are less pricey. Some good choices:

Black n Decker Purity 2-liter air fryer (smaller and more affordable)
Go Wise USA (affordable with good value)
Dash 900W (single basket air fryer)

Those are my picks. Have a wonderful holiday season and I'll "see" you in the new year!

 

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