healthNaughty or Nice

50 Good-for-you Gifts That Keep on Giving


By Debra Simon

New Year’s resolutions inevitably include vows to lose 10 pounds…or 50, run two miles…or 20, try yoga…or belly dancing. And that’s true whether you’re a college student at UNC-Chapel Hill, a doctor in Durham or a businesswoman in Raleigh.

Why not provide your friend or relative with a head start on the new year by giving her gifts that promote just-right eating, low-stress living, movement and activity? Give her something she’ll love that’ll love her back!

Carolina Woman asked Triangle experts how to wrap up the gift of health. Their suggestions range from the inexpensive, such as a handmade gift certificate promising to serve as a walking buddy, to the expensive, such as a bicycle or treadmill.

Here are their best ideas:


1. Food of the month clubs — go for fruit, veggies, spices, salsa, tea or coffee
2. Gift certificate for the services of a personal chef who cooks with wellness in mind
3. Well-woman gourmet gift basket
4. Colander filled with packages of whole-wheat faves, such as wild or brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, steel-cut oats, couscous and recipes
5. Thermal lunch tote, which allows for homemade meals rather than food purchased on-site
6. Gift certificate for a wholesome-cooking class
7. Steamer basket or electric steamer for a fit and fresh way to prepare vegetables and other food
8. Cookbook featuring good-for-you recipes
9. Gift cards to natural-food stores
10. Digital food scale to weigh portions
11. Seeds and pots so recipients can grow their own herbs

health12. Cool water bottle made of metal
13. Assortment of tea because — bagged or loose — it makes an antioxidant-richbeverage
14. Home juicer to get the best from fruit and veggies

15. Box of high-quality dark chocolate, which is considered a balanced nibble
16. Nut sampler, including heart-positive walnuts, almonds and other salt-free varieties
17. Fruit basket — organic or exotic, it’s colorful

18. Gift certificate for a massage — whether simple or swanky, it’s peaceful and refreshing
19. Spa hour, day or weekend — from a single facial, manicure or pedicure to the works
20. Foot spa machine or other product meant to relieve stress

healthStress relief
21. Aromatherapy items, such as candles, essential oils and soaps
22. Sound machine aimed at a lovely night’s sleep
23. Flowers and plants, whose appealing looks and fragrance can be relaxing
24. Music — a CD, tickets to a concert, a gift certificate for MP3 downloads, even an instrument — can be mood-changing
25. Personal coupon for babysitting, handywoman work, cooking or anything else you’re expert at that would give someone else a break
26. Self-help in the form of books, CDs, videos or another medium that offers assistance in life’s struggles
27. Art — from painting materials and ceramics classes to finished pieces of art, creativity can lead to a fine frame of mind

28. Gift certificate for a sports or outdoor store
29. Elementary stuff, such as a ball and glove
30. Big items, such as a bicycle, push scooter or ping-pong table
31. Subscription to a magazine about a specific sport
32. N.C. beach or mountain bike trip
33. Depending on her interests, a special golf club or a tennis racket or a waterproof MP3 player health


Workout wear
34. Gift certificate to a store that sells athletic clothing
35. Reflective gear for runners
36. Watch with heart-rate monitor, GPS or other bells and whistles


37. Dance lessons
38. Indoor exercise equipment, such as a treadmill
39. Gift certificate for a yoga or pilates class
40. Session with a personal trainer
41. Gym bag packed with gear such as hand weights and a jump rope
42. Pedometer to track daily steps
43. Membership to a gym
44. Wii Fit or similar video game equipment
45. Personal coupon to walk, run, bike or otherwise work out with the recipient
46. Books or videos on local walking tours, hiking trails or bike paths



47. Gift certificate for teeth whitening or dental restoration
48. Gift certificate for dermatological or plastic surgery services
49. Gift certificate to a medical day spa for everything from hair removal to facial treatment to body therapy
50. Donation to nonprofit medical projects in the Triangle, other parts of the United States or the developing world made in honor of a friend or loved one