Healthy gifts for grown-ups
Naughty Nana and Roo Roo have arrived for Christmas!
What is it about grandparents and funny names? Saying them in front of other people is a bit like giving out the e-mail address you thought was cool when you were younger. Things like sexyhotminx@gmail (not mine!) are a bit embarrassing on a CV or when you enter the prize draw at Gorham's, and yet we can't help ourselves.
Once you arrive at something like Naughty Nana there really is no going back. And though Naughty Roo would be much more appropriate than Roo Roo, these terms of endearment are set into the language of our children forever.
At least the visit is off to a good start. With Chloe's school play on day one, these are the parenting moments I live for. Watching her joyfully belt out Christmas songs while dressed in a snowman suit and an oversized hat was amazing.
I would suffer a hundred bad bedtimes for that. Little Belle was cast as the Whoops A Daisy Angel in her play — a well-meaning angel that was always late and in a muddle. I can't help but wonder if my frantic drop-offs type-cast her in that role? She was so good at it. Too good. Where did she learn all that from I wonder?
Nevertheless there have been a few alarming moments too. Roo Roo fell out of bed on to his dodgy knee — painful at the best of times but worse when you have new hardware in there.
As a concerned daughter-in-law, I offered him the girls' old bed rail but that seems to have been rejected. Stiff upper lip and all that. Nothing that a plate of bacon and a sugary tea can't sort out (you see, naughty)!
But Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without a set of grandparents or two. Our girls have been overexcited since December 1 so the extra help at home has been a godsend.
Once the kids are settled in their beds we all collapse downstairs with a glass of wine for some grown-up conversation and festive planning.
With most of the shopping done I am fairly relaxed this year. So if you are still frantically searching for the perfect gift, let me help! We handled children last week, so let's go through some good healthy options for the grown-ups — whether they are pretty healthy, on the fence, or a lost cause. Here goes!
For the health nuts:
• If you are looking for a big gift, try gift certificates for nutrition programmes or gym classes. Facebook is awash with offers at the moment.
It wasn't until now that I realised how much competition I had! Still, different things work for different people so do your research and look for the best fit.
Just remember the golden rule — only give someone the gift of health and fitness if they have expressed an interest or are already a convert. People need to be ready and look forward to getting started! If they aren't, this kind of “gift” comes with stressful pressure and expectations.
• You could also consider a nutribullet, ninja, vitamin or some other high-end but oh-so-worth-it blender. These will whip up their smoothies so they are light and fluffy, no matter how many chia seeds they put in them!
• Do they have every kitchen gadget going? I bet they don't have a yoghurt maker. These are fairly inexpensive (usually less than $30 online) and work really well. You can get culture starter kits here in Bermuda.
• Bear with me on this one, but consider stocking someone's freezer with grass-fed beef! I got this idea from a client who was doing this for her brother. He's a big believer in traditionally raised beef but it comes with a hefty price tag. This gift means he can enjoy peace of mind without worrying about the cost. Perfect! It you like this idea, try the Dakota grass-fed beef from Supermart.
• Cheaper stocking stuffer ideas include Ombars (healthy chocolate!), Warrior Bars (Chia snack bars), Ultima Replenisher (natural rehydration powders) and Nourish organic cosmetics — all from Supermart. You can also try reflective gear for runs or workouts at night, and all sorts of other fitness gadgets from Sportseller.
For the reluctantly healthy:
• The nutribullet is a very user-friendly gadget but do buy a book with recipe ideas too. If someone is on the fence when it comes to healthy eating it's easy to get overwhelmed. Even printing out your favourite recipes and passing them on would be handy. Maybe buy some superfood add-ins too — nut butter, chia seeds and goji berries!
• There are some pretty inspirational DVDs out there which are great for getting people motivated — without you having to do it yourself! Food Inc is the classic “unveiling” of the American food industry. Then we have Fed Up (an amazing sugar documentary) and Genetic Roulette (an eye-opener when it comes to the implications of the effects and reach of GMOs).
• Try what I call the “happy medium” cookbooks, things that give everyday dishes an enjoyable but healthy make over! My favourites are the 100 Days of Real Food Cookbook and Deceptively Delicious, both at Brown & Co.
• Ingredients jars: One of the best gifts if you have time! Buy everything someone could need for the dry ingredients of one of your healthy recipes. Mix or layer it in a jar and add a ribbon and message that explains what ingredients they need to add and how to bake it. Think of this as a major upgrade on a Betty Crocker cake box! This concept works really well with the Holy Crap Cookies and the Nutrifit Banana Bread (see my Facebook page for recipes).
• Gift certificates for programmes that will meet people halfway. One of the reasons why our Beat the Couch and Nutrifit programmes are so successful, is that you can make them as radical or as non-threatening as you like. As long as people cover the basics they will get results that make them feel miles better. If they can do more, the potential is off the charts. We teach in a really fun and non-threatening atmosphere, attracting clients from 17 to 70. Check the website to see what we have coming up in the new year! www.natural.bm
• Stocking stuffers — more middle of the road (but still better!) choices include fair trade dark chocolate eg the Divine after dinner mints and Justin's organic dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Also consider organic (non-GMO) popcorn kernels and small gift certificates for smoothies at Down to Earth.
For the lost cause:
• Sometimes it's kinder and easier to introduce people to more natural healthcare with treatments rather than programmes. Hayley Bennett's reflexology is second to none.
It's seriously like getting eight hours' sleep in a one-hour session. Her office is below mine at 9 Gorham Road in town and you can contact her at email@example.com or on 531-8304.
• Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead is a fantastic documentary about a fun-loving, beer-drinking Australian guy that faced his addiction to junk food head-on by travelling across the United States with a juicer in the boot of his car. He's entertaining to watch and most people can relate to his love of the bad stuff. But his transformation and self-belief is extremely motivating. It's great without being sensationalist.
• If you'd like to try giving the lost cause in your life a cookbook, try Thug Kitchen from Brown & Co. It's bad language abound so you'd have to be okay with that, but it is so funny. Great recipes without all the healthy eating rhetoric!
• Ingredient jars might not work for this person. So try baking it all yourself and hand-delivering. They might love it so much they are inspired to try it themselves, so include the recipe!
• Stocking stuffers: A bottle of organic wine (Supermart), xylichew or Glee gum (Down to Earth), fun gadgets to encourage home cooking/baking (the Chef Shop or Gorham's). Finally, if they will read a nutrition book, try In defence of Food by Michael Pollan which lays out what is so awfully wrong with our food system, in a very matter of fact and easy to understand way.
So that's it from me! Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions about the ideas here, otherwise I will be back after Christmas week. Have a wonderful time one and all!
The advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns BA Hons, Dip ION is the managing director of Natural Ltd and a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. Please note that she is not a registered dietitian. For details, please go to www.natural.bm or call 236-7511. Join Catherine on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nutrifitandnaturalnutritionbermuda