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Festive gifts for healthier lives

Monday, December 14, 2009 - 12:01 am

We searched the country to find interesting, healthful gifts for you to give your family, friends and co-workers to help them live a healthier, happier life and here they are:

Healthy and motivational books

One of the best and most practical cookbooks out there is “Hungry Girl: 200 Under 200: 200 Recipes Under 200 Calories,” by Lisa Lillien (St. Martin’s, 2009), available on for $9.98. Lisa also just came out with “Hungry Girl Chew the Right Thing: Supreme Makeovers for 50 Foods You Crave” (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2009), which is a recipe card set available on for $11.55.

Are you old school? “The CalorieKing Calorie, Fat & Carbohydrate Counter 2010” (Family Health Publications, 2009) pocket calorie guide by Allan Borushek is a nice gift for those interested in knowing the calorie content of what they eat. Available for $8.99 at

Have a friend or family member with a newborn? How about “Feeding Baby Green” (Jossey-Bass, 2009), by noted pediatrician Alan Greene, on sale at for $11.53. Dr. Greene (author of “Raising Baby Green” and the famed Web site has included everything a parent needs to know about creating healthy meals for their babies and toddlers.

“Great Races, Incredible Places: 100+ Fantastic Runs Around the World” (Bantam, 2009), by Kimi Puntillo, is a neat book for the runner/traveler in your group. Puntillo has run almost everywhere, including the Great Wall Marathon, and the book tells you about all the interesting places in the world you can run. It’s $10.88 on And if you have a bicycle enthusiast on your list, there’s “Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities,” by Jeff Mapes, (Oregon State University, 2009). It’s available for $13.57 on

Have a few foodies to buy for? Check out “The Harvest Eating Cookbook: More than 200 Recipes for Cooking with Seasonal Local Ingredients” (Running Press, 2009), by Keith Snow. It’s a beautiful book with fantastic recipes that use fresh, seasonal foods and whole, natural ingredients. Available on for $19.77.

Slimming clothing

Miraclebody Jeans by the makers of Miraclesuit can slim you down just by putting them on. The jeans are made with twice as much Spandex as the average jean and have a contoured waist and canvas strip that hold in your tummy and eliminate “muffin” tops. They’re $110 at


Healthy living never looked so good. Wearing clothing with healthful fruits and vegetables and cute sayings helps keep you motivated. Plus, you’ll be setting an example and showing off your healthful lifestyle. And they’re adorable. One features a peace sign made out of berries with the words “Have-A-Peace.”

Other favorites include an image of an upside-down banana with the words “Downward Dog” below it, a celery stalk that says “Stalker,” and beets that say “Heart Beet.” (These products are affiliated with Available from starting at $22.

Alphabet Plates: “Loves Broccoli” is an adorable customizable plate that will motivate your children to eat healthfully.

Let’s say your child’s name is Jessica; you can order a personalized plate or placemat that says “Jessica Loves Broccoli” or “Jessica Loves Watermelon”. The 10-inch melamine plates are BPA-free and made in the USA. The company also offers loads of other non-health related items. Starting at $22 at

Charles Stuart Platkin is a nutrition and public health advocate and founder of