Winter is not the healthiest season of the year. Sometimes people eat too much, drink too much and exercise too little. Experts tell us that the average person gains a pound every holiday season—and that pound is never lost.
But does it have to be this way?
This year make winter a healthy season and start by giving healthy gifts.
• Massage. No one disputes the health benefits of massage. From stress reduction to pain relief, massage supports your body and lifts your spirits. Gift certificates for massages using hot stones or essential oils are an especially nice treat. If a massage is too pricey, sign up for a deal-of-the-day website like Groupon and watch for specials. If you’re really daring, buy some oils and give the massage yourself.
• New Organic Sheets. Fresh, soft sheets can be a real luxury that not only feels good but also helps you sleep well. Investigate bamboo sheets. The fiber is very soft and bamboo is easier on the environment than cotton.
• Organic Skin Care. Heated winter air can be very drying, even on young skin. Give your loved one a new scented lotion to enjoy. Be sure to read the label. Look for the fewest ingredients possible and check for ingredient names you recognize and can pronounce.
• Tea Gift Basket. Many teas soothe the nerves and provide valuable antioxidants. Create a basket of your favorite teas and decorate it with a ribbon. For an extra touch, include a small jar of locally harvested honey.
• CSA Membership. A Community Support Agriculture (CSA) farm offers “shares” or boxes of locally grown produce to its members every week. The boxes are a great way to eat local, organic food and to try vegetables that you’ve never had before. Each farm has a different membership plan, so call around to compare.
• Essential Oil Collection. Pure essential oils contain many health benefits including reducing stress, relieving pain and killing germs. Buy a pretty zipper bag and include Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint for a personalized starter kit.
• Fitness Toys. Kettle Bells, balance balls, stretchy bands… People who work out love their workout toys. Give a simple collection of stretchy bands and your workout addict has options when he can’t make it to the gym.
• Spicy Nuts, Herbal Olive Oils. Everyone loves homemade treats. Find simple recipes and beautiful jars or bottles. Fill the jars, tie them with a ribbon and you have an affordable, healthy gift for the foodie on your list. To make it even easier, use the recipes in this newsletter.
• Workout Mix. Look through your music collection and find your best workout music. Pick music with a strong beat and an uplifting message. Burn the music onto a disc or copy it to a thumb drive.
Infused Olive Oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs, (such as thyme, rosemary, marjoram or chives)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Combine herbs, salt and oil in a small bowl.
Tips & Notes
Gift Idea: Consider buying pretty bottles at a vintage store and filling them with your infused olive oil. These gifts taste good and look nice on your shelf.
Per tablespoon: 128 calories; 14 g fat ( 2 g sat , 11 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 0 g carbohydrates; 0 g protein; 0 g fiber; 295 mg sodium; 12 mg potassium.