After the year we’ve all experienced, let’s just say we can all benefit from giving (or receiving) the gift of healthy. And from food to fitness to relaxing and recharging, wellness-focused gifts can be tailored to suit anyone on your list.
Gifting a series of fitness classes or services are easy evergreen wellness ideas especially if it’s something they wouldn’t typically do for themselves: A package of sessions with a registered dietitian or licensed acupuncturist, a series of pilates or yoga classes that you can do together, or a creative outlet like painting or pottery classes.
For more ideas to get you in the wellness-minded spirit, here are some of my top picks for life-enhancing gift ideas to suit an array of people in your life:
FOR HOME CHEFS + FOOD LOVERS
Farmers Market | A membership or gift certificate to the local farmers market (or a stack of wooden tokens, the ‘currency’ of our local Crescent City Farmers Market), paired with an herb garden starter kit.
Cookbook | Gift them with a wellness-focused cookbook (of course we highly recommend our Eat Fit Cookbook!), along with several of the key ingredients to make one of the recipes inside. Find a full list of retailers or order online at EatFitCookbook.com, with promo code EATFITGIFT for 20% off through the holidays.
In-Home Chef Dinner | Local chefs often offer the option of preparing a healthful meal in your home. Just like a restaurant, they’ll propose dinner party menus that can range from the basics to an exquisite ‘chef’s tasting table’ – right in the comfort of the recipient’s home.
Infused Oils | Spicy or herby, homemade infused olive oil makes a versatile, long-lasting gift. We like to use clear glass bottles with a swing-top latch-style lid, then use paint pens to write the description and holiday greeting down the side of the bottle.
Gachi Tea | Locally owned in the heart of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Gachi sources carefully and directly from small farms. In addition to artisan-crafted loose leaf tea, Gachi also offers tea utensils such hand-made teaware and accessories.
Homemade Baked Goods | Gift friends and family with your own handmade cookies, scones or energy bites. Opting for gluten-free flours like almond flour and coconut flour, a plant-based sweetener in place of sugar, and using coconut oil in place of butter when possible ensures that your holiday sweets will fit a variety of nutritional needs. It’s also an incredible way to introduce loved ones to better-for-you alternatives to holiday favorites.
Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite WGNO segments featuring Ben McLauchlin of Swerve Sweetener, sharing his Holiday Sweet Ideas: Link here to Ben’s Candy Cane Cookies, Dark Chocolate Rum Balls and Banana Bread, and link here to Ben’s Low-Carb Peppermint Scones.
FOR FOLKS ON THE RUN
Meal Delivery companies (like our long-time Eat Fit partner Clean Creations) make it easy to stick with healthful eating, no matter how busy they are. Gift them a week’s worth (or more) of meals to get them started.
Weekly Fresh-Pressed Juice Delivery from juice bars like The Green Fork make it easy for us with weekly delivery of freshly pressed juices. Juices are all made to order so gift recipients can customize exactly what they want, from organic ingredients that are locally sourced as much as possible.
My recommendation for those interested in a juice delivery subscription is to have a week’s worth of juices delivered once a week to save on delivery fees. The shelf life of fresh-pressed juice is just about 72 hours, however, so put the first two or three days’ worth directly into the fridge and freeze the rest. Pro tip: Sip a bit off the top if needed to leave a bit of space for freezing.
Nearly all juice bars recycle their glass containers; just leave them out for the following week’s drop-off and receive $1 back per jar.
FOR FITNESS BUFFS OR WORKOUT NEWBIES
Workout Apparel and Gear will always be appreciated. Not sure about size or fit? You can’t go wrong with a cold-weather athletic scarf or wrap, or a stylish workout tote. My all-time favorites include locally-owned Tasc Performance, Sweaty Betty, Prana, and I always love the quality and style of Athleta and Lululemon. And of course I’m a big fan of our Eat Fit Apparel – our Eat Fit NOLA baseball cap and muscle T are practically part of my daily uniform!
The New Me Yoga Mat [instructions included] means you’ll never forget a yoga pose – 70 poses are imprinted directly on the mat, making it a perfect give for kids or yoga novices alike.
Foam Rollers aren’t exactly romantic, but they sure are effective, serving to relieve even the deepest muscle tension.
Kettlebells are among the most versatile pieces of exercise equipment – plus they’re compact, making them a great fit for the fitness buff in your world.
The Theragun Massager is a handheld deep tissue therapy device is a game-changer, relieving muscle tension with a precisely-calibrated combination of depth, speed, and power. Perfect for athletes or anyone who struggles with chronically tight and sore muscles.
The Bottom Line // A well-planned holiday gift can be a thoughtful way to help enhance the health, wellness and balance in the lives of our friends and family.
Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD is a registered dietitian + nutrition journalist in New Orleans, and founder of Ochsner Eat Fit nonprofit restaurant initiative. Tune in to her podcast, FUELED | Wellness + Nutrition and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @MollyKimballRD. See more of Molly’s articles + TV segments at www.mollykimball.com.