Tuesday, December 04, 2007
I've put together a short list of health-related, family-friendly gifts that might "spark" some ideas when you're out shopping this holiday season!
For the chef in the family:
Deceptively Delicious- I heard about this cookbook when Jessica Seinfeld (the author) was on Oprah, so I decided to order it. I am always looking for healthy meals to cook for my 1-year old. Although a lot of the recipes are things I probably wouldn't make for her yet (she's a little young), most of them are very easy dishes that both kids and adults can enjoy. It's a fun book with lots of great pictures and information on nutrition, so I'd recommend it!
Click here to check it out!
For the "hard to buy for" family member:
We all have those family members that seem to have everything; so gift buying can be a struggle. Why not give a gift to charity in their name? Here's a site that gives information on a lot of charities so that you know your money is going to good use:
One of my personal favorites is Heifer International . Their goal is to help people around the world obtain a sustainable source of food and income. This is a gift that can make you feel just as good as the recipient!
For the dad (or mom) who needs to squeeze in a workout at home:
This definitely wouldn't be a gift you'd buy spur of the moment, but last winter I decided to buy a treadmill and I'm so glad I did. Being a busy mom, I have to fit in workouts whenever I get time, and a treadmill (or any other piece of home equipment) allows me to workout first thing in the morning while Ava's still sleeping, or when she's taking a nap. I always check out Consumer Reports before making a purchase like this, and this treadmill was recommended. I bought it off of Amazon and it came with free shipping (which is a big cost savings for something so heavy). It was a big expense at the time, but I've been very happy with it so far.
Click here to see my treadmill!
For the mom (or dad) who needs to relax a little:
I never used to be a big fan of spa services. The idea of getting a massage made me more uptight than relaxed. But once I tried it a few times (massage, manicure, pedicure, etc.), I found it was a great way to de-stress and feel good about myself. Is someone in your family always taking care of others? It's time to take care of them! Here's a website to find spas in your area. Can someone send this to my husband please? Haha J
For your little one:
I haven't actually purchased one of these yet, but I know that plastic bottles aren't good for the environment and can be bad for your health (bacteria, toxins, etc.) So I wanted to get Ava a bottle like this one that's stainless steel. They come in different sizes- this is the smallest one that even has a sippy spout. They are a little expensive but come with a warrantee and will likely last much longer than any cheap plastic bottle I would buy.
Check out the Kleen Kanteen!
For the family to enjoy together:
Here's a gift for the family that doesn't have to cost a lot of money, but can be a great way to spend time together (and being active). Plan a family outing(s). A lot of families take summer vacations but might not make time for other kinds of activities through the year. Now is a great time of year to plan activities that promote good health and can be done close to home. Schedule monthly or quarterly outings for the family for next year. Present this holiday gift to them complete with details of the outings, brochures about where they might be going, etc. It gives everyone something to look forward to! Some examples include:
· Spend a day at the park- riding bikes, playing Frisbee, etc.
· Go horseback riding
· Visit the zoo or a local museum
· Go ice skating or roller skating
· Plant a garden
· Find a volunteer project
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Coach Nicole sent me the link to this awhile ago, and I thought it was totally fascinating and wanted to share.
It's amazing to me the differences in how much money is spent, what kinds of foods people eat (and how much they eat), and how that varies so much from country to country. Can you imagine only spending $1.23 per week to feed your family like the picture from Chad?
Were there any pictures you thought were interesting or surprising? If so, why?
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
A new study from the October issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows that stretching helps with more than just flexibility and range of motion. Participants also increased strength, muscular endurance, and jumping. Although they stretched for 40 minutes, 3 times a week (which is a lot), smaller amounts of stretching should have benefits too.
There's still debate as to when to stretch- before exercise (always after a warm up), after exercise or both. But no matter when you stretch, it's certain that it can help relieve muscle tension- and plus, it feels good!
So if you're one of those folks who finishes their workout, jumps off the treadmill and heads for the car, stop and think about what you're missing. Even if it's just 5-10 minutes after a workout, you'll likely see a difference in flexibility and how you feel by taking the time to stretch!
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