Healthy holiday gift ideas

9 Ways to eat mindfully on Valentine’s Day
February 13, 2017

Stuck for gift ideas for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list? Why not give a gift that inspires vitality and wellness?

Here are four gift ideas that will inspire health:

The gift of an experience.

What do you get someone who has everything? How about an experience? For example, I love receiving fitness passes as a gift, which allows you to try a new fitness strategy without having to invest long term.

My body often feels stiff – so I love to go to hot yoga. Especially when the weather is cold, the hot yoga studio helps give me the heat that I crave! And, I get a great sweat and full-body workout at the same time! And – yoga is not just for women. Lots of strong and muscular men go to yoga too!

Cycling classes

Another experience to consider is the Winsport PowerWatts cycling classes. This is a small-group cycling experience where you wear a heart rate monitor while riding a stationary road bie. Then, as you ride, you receive immediate feedback about your ride, that is tailored to your age, weight, sex and fitness level. By the end of the ride, you see how far you rode and will have had a fantastic training experience. Details are here. I have gone to this class – it is a great workout! I’d love to see this experience under the tree!

Outdoor experience gear

Renting cross-country skis, snow shoes, an e-bike or other outdoor experience gear can all provide a fun and social experience for someone while enjoying the great outdoors. Promise to cook your special someone supper afterwards and you’ve now given someone the gift of an experience and your time!

The gift of inspiration that keeps on giving!

I love reading wellness-inspired magazines. Personally, I love receiving hard-copy magazines. Some of my favourites include Eating Well, Real Simple and Cooking Light. While there are great tablet Apps like Next Issue, I find I am too distracted with pop-up notifications from Facebook and Twitter. Having a hard copy of a magazine allows me to rip out the recipes I want to try and file for later. Or, if there are lots I want to try, I will mark with a sticky tab.

It seems there is a magazine for everyone. I once sat on a plane beside a man reading a bridge magazine, as he prepared for a bridge tournament! What does the person you are buying for like to do for fun? For my husband, I bought him a mountain biking magazine subscription. When we fuel our passions outside of our work, we help keep our stress levels managed and our minds clear.

The gift of food!

Is it just me that loves to unwrap food? You can create a basket of some interesting foods to try to add in a little adventure to everyday living.

Loose leaf tea sample packs. I find I need to be careful about how much caffeine I consume in the day if I want to have a good sleep at night. In the afternoon, I find I am craving a warm drink and have started to enjoy a variety of loose leaf teas. There are lots out there to try.

Two of my favourite caffeine-free teas include the Aveda Calming Tea, as well as the Throat Rescue tea from David’s Teas. Both teas are flavourful by themselves and don’t require any extra sweetener! Pair together the loose leaf tea with a tea infuser and you are set! I just bought this one from Restoration Hardware for a stocking stuffer.

Supper helpers – We all need a little help with our meals. Fill a stocking with a few pre-made mixes for vegetable dips, dressings, soups and other suppertime helpers like pulled pork or slow cooker beef. You can find a variety of supper helpers at your mainstream grocery store. Or, you can find fancier helpers at specialty stores like the Cookbook Company Cooks.

Specialty oils and vinegars – Specialty oils and vinegars are a fun way to add simple flavour to your meals each day. A splash of aged balsamic vinegar takes a salad dressing from ordinary to extra-ordinary. Flavoured olive oils infuses new yet simple flavour into a stir fry or a sauce, helping to add in restaurant quality taste to your everyday home cooking.

Speciality oil and vinegar shops seem to be popping up all over the place. My favourite is Blue Door Oil and Vinegar, with specialty olive oils, dark and light balsamic vinegars. You can also find specialty oil and vinegar shops at the farmer’s market as well as some shopping malls.

The gift of helpful kitchen gadgets

Of course, being a nutritionist, I love kitchen gadgets. Some of my favourite gadgets include:

  • Lemon squeezer – you will get so much more juice out of your lemon or lime with one of these gadgets. Adding in freshly squeezed citrus to your cooking and your water are simple ways to add in some zing to your meals.
  • Glass prep bowls – My friend once bought me a set of prep bowls in different sizes. I love using these bowls in my cooking as well as in my storage.
  • Rasp – anyone who has attended any of my cooking classes knows that I love to use a rasp for grating garlic, ginger and citrus zest.
  • Nesting measuring cups. Because these measuring cups nest into each other, my kitchen storage looks a little tidier.
  • Meat thermometer – never overcook your food again! Enjoy succulant and juicy meat, fish and poultry with confidence knowing that it has been cooked to the right temperature. For guidelines, click here.

There are so many ways you can inspire health this holiday season. I hope you have found something in this list that will inspire your holiday gift shopping.

If you know that your hard-to-buy-for someone is serious about getting healthier in 2017, an experience can also include a gift certificate to see a healthcare practitioner. If you are interested in investing in an experience with a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, you can contact me.


Enjoy the holiday season!


Kristyn Hall
Kristyn Hall
Kristyn Hall MSc, RD Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian Calgary, AB.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.