Do you have holidays on the brain? How about holiday shopping? You're not alone! I love thinking of new, personal and creative gifts to give to others. Usually it takes all the willpower I have to not give gifts early. I just get so excited! And OK, I won't lie…I don't mind receiving gifts from my own wish list either.
If you're looking for a small, but thoughtful gift for a friend or loved one (or even for yourself), I've rounded up a dozen of my favorite healthy products that won't break the bank (and will even fit into your stocking).
180s Smart Phone Workout Gloves
I run and walk all winter long, usually with my iPhone in tow so I can listen to music, use my fitness apps, and even answer calls as they come in. But when you're wearing thick gloves, the touch screen doesn't work. Until now! Maybe I'm behind the times, but it wasn't until last year (after Christmas) that I got myself a pair of winter gloves that still allow me to work my Smartphone. I got two, actually: the one pictured here at left, which is thinner for runs that are cold but above 20 degrees Fahrenheit. And a second, super thick pair for my sub 20-degree endeavors. These let me switch songs, pick up a call and unlock my phone to view my running app without missing a beat—and are surprisingly affordable, too.
Total Body Sculpting Workout DVD
SparkPeople's new DVD is available in time for the holidays and is already getting RAVE reviews by major fitness magazines, including SELF, Shape, All You, PEOPLE Style Watch—and members like you. With three 20-minute workouts and trainers demonstrating three varied intensity levels, this title has something for exercisers of all levels, especially if fitness is on your list of goals to work on in 2013.
SmartWool Workout Socks
I am a sucker for wool: socks, shirts, scarves—I wear it all when I exercise outdoors come winter. One of the best investments I ever made in my exercise wardrobe was my wool socks. They cost more, yes. But they also last longer—and you need far fewer pairs. I blogged in the past about the benefits of working out in wool, and these socks are my go-to pieces of gear year round, actually. But they are especially warm, insulating and breathable in the winter. They make a great gift for anyone on your list!
Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Sport Bottle
Water drinkers who are trying to stay away from plastic but still get their H20 fix (that includes me!) love stainless steel water bottles, such those by Klean Kanteen. This particular bottle is long lasting, easy to clean and care for and has a sport top that makes drinking during workouts easier. This model even comes with its own cage to attach to a bicycle so that your new workout bottle will fit your bike—score!
butter London nail polish
I came across butter London when researching for a type of nail polish made without the harmful chemicals that give nail polish its strong scent). butter LONDON products are formulated without the use of the harmful ingredients like formaldehyde, toluene, DBP or parabens. I wouldn't say they are 100% "chemical free" but they're a great alternative. The smell is barely noticeable compared to traditional polishes, which means I'm "taking in" less chemicals into my system, and that makes me happy! They come in tons of great colors, from very traditional neutrals and pinks to bold blues and (my favorite) dark grey. In my experience, the results are just as great and long-lasting as traditional polish!
Clif Shot Gel
The endurance athlete in your life will love a stocking full of their favorite gel shots, which are used mid-workout (or race) for energy when your nutrition stores are becoming depleted. My favorites are Clif brand, and I've tried just about every flavor, but this Citrus one is the best (although Mocha is a close second).
Flavored Drink Packets
If you love water—and like flavored water at least occasionally—then some "water booster" packets can make a great gift. My favorites (pictured) are by Emergen-C (raspberry is the best!). You can buy them in large boxes of 30 packets, smaller boxes of 10 packets or even individual packets. These are a favorite treat of mine after a long, sweaty run when I want to rehydrate and get a few extra vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. Others may prefer Gatorade (I'm partial to the low-calorie G2), Crystal Light, or even Propel flavored drink mixes.
Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm
This lip balm is the bee's knees! I have used no other lip moisturizing product in almost a decade. It's all natural, lasts a long time, and has a delicious minty flavor. I use it year round and especially in the winter. If you suffer from dry, chapped lips, you'll love the minty tingle of Burt's Bees. This original one, which goes on clear, is my favorite—and my husband's, too. But it also comes in tinted colors and other flavors (like pomegranate).
This is a smart and practical gift for any walker, runner, cyclist or outdoor enthusiast (think camping, hiking, hunting). It's reflective for low-light visibility, small and lightweight, and fits to any pair of athletic shoes—or even a belt or lanyard. Inside is a personalized card with the athlete's name, emergency contact information and other life-saving or medical details. This allows for greater peace of mind in the event of an emergency.
Healthy Energy Bars
Forget the cookies, cakes and candies; you and your fit friends would rather receive some good-for-you snacks that also taste great, right? One of my favorite food bars is the Larabar, pictured at left. These raw, vegan, all-natural food bars have no fillers, no sweeteners and nothing artificial; in fact, most clock in at fewer than 5 ingredients. Yet for approximately 200 calories, they make a great snack and energy boost. My favorite flavors: Peanut Butter Cookie and Carrot Cake. Mmmmm…
Ecotools Makeup Brushes
I love Ecotools applicators. The handles are made of sustainable bamboo; the bristles are cruelty-free taklon and even the ferrules are made of recycled aluminum. Despite all these green details, they're also easy on the wallet and on the eyes, which a clean, simple design not only for the brushes but also for the various carrying cases that you can buy with the brush sets. These are a green girl's best friend!
Endurance Stainless Steel Straws
I bought a set (4) of these over a year ago and I'm so glad I did! I drink a lot of smoothies and protein shakes, which means I use straws pretty much every day. Since I try to reduce the amount of waste I create, I figured I'd give these a shot. They are great! I clean them with warm water and a pipe cleaner by hand, and even throw them in the dishwasher. I have used them hundreds of times in the last year. You can't go wrong with these and even just one set should be sufficient for a small household.
Which healthy gift would you like to pull out of your stocking this year?
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