The one thing I would like most for Christmas, obviously, is to be with the entire family. As that is not going to happen this year I thought it would be fun to share a few gift ideas. While they all fall into the healthy living category, the prices vary, so there is something for every budget!
1. Yoga mat
This year I sort of fell in love with yoga. It started in February with pregnancy yoga, and after I gave birth I continued practicing from time to time. Not knowing whether this would be a fling or a long-term passion I haven’t bought a proper yoga mat yet. Right now I think it is time to get one, as they are convenient and do not need to be expensive at all.
2. Fitness activity tracker
Garmin, Fitbit, or Moov – the options are endless. For overall fitness, activity trackers are an excellent choice. If you are an athlete that aims for better performance I would go for a proper sports watch with GPS and heart rate tracking.
Can you ever have too many pairs of running shoes? I don’t think so. Plus, the pairs I’ve been wearing (Asics Gel-Nimbus 16 and Brooks Pure Flow 2) are getting pretty worn out. The Asics Gel-Kayano 22 would definitely be on my Christmas wish list, but I’d be happy with other models as well. 😉
This classic about American ultra-marathoner Jurek, who as a totally unknown athlete in 1999 won the Western States Endurance Run, a 100-mile-traverse over the old Gold Rush trails of the California Sierra Nevada, is high on my to-read list. His accomplishments – he won the same race six more times and also set a new American record by running 165.7 miles in 24 hours – are inspiring, and so is the fact that he achieved all this on a plant-based diet. In Eat & Run, Jurek narrates how he could become the great marathoner he is now.
I love making all kinds of nut and seed butters – peanut, cashew, sunflower and almond butter, to name just a few. Small problem though: I recently burnt my food processor. Yes, you read that correctly. The Cuisinart is among the better food processors on the market and gives very smooth results in a short amount of time, so no more hours of processing until you obtain the desired consistency (or burn the processor in my case). Please, Santa, I have been a good girl this year…!
6. Spa voucher
One of the best wellness gifts you can give a loved one, I believe, is a spa, massage or beauty treatment voucher. Is there a more luxurious feeling than a relaxing massage or some time in the sauna, followed by an invigorating jump in the plunge pool?
7. Spices and herbs
If you like cooking you can never have too many herbs and spices. I recently got several new spice mixes from someone who moved out of the country. It made my day and literally spiced up some of my old recipes. Give spices in a glass jar with ribbon and personal note and gift herbs in a nice pot to make your present look extra special.
8. Pressure cooker
A pressure cooker is still on my kitchen wish-list. I had one when we lived in Jeddah and it made life just so much easier. A pressure cooker reduces the time it takes to cook up a batch of beans from over an hour to about 20 to 30 minutes, while stews, soups and rice are wrapped up before you know it. What’s better, they don’t need to cost you an arm and a leg. Tip: Choose a model with a quick pressure release knob.
Since I started experimenting with a plant-based diet I love the Oh She Glows blog by Canadian Angela Liddon and have tried several of her recipes. I would love to try her cookbook, which came out last year, as well. Good news for OSG fans: Liddon is currently working on her second cookbook, which is scheduled to be published in fall 2016.
This DVD is supposed to be good for advanced yogis as well as for beginners like me, although I heard Swenson’s incredible talent may be a tad discouraging for newbies. Sure, the best would be to practice in a yoga studio with a qualified teacher, but if for some reason you are unable to do that a DVD can be a good substitute.
Have a wonderful Christmas!