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Healthy-living gift ideas

Monday, December 17, 2012 - 12:01 am

Here are a few healthy-living gifts to give family and friends this holiday season.

S’well

Why: A water bottle may not seem like a great gift — but this bottle will impress anyone. It comes in a variety of great colors (including stainless teel), keeps your drink cold for 24 hours and hot for 12, and the maker donates a portion of sales to WaterAid.

Description: “Double walled, insulated construction allows beverages to stay hot or cold for a long time. Constructed of the highest quality stainless steel (18/8 food grade), these bottles are non leaching, toxin free, virtually unbreakable, yet lightweight, with a wide mouth to allow for easy cleaning, adding ice cubes and most of all, enjoyable drinking.”

Size: 17 ounce/500 milliliter

Price: $35

Where to buy: http://swellbottle.com/

Mio Alpha Heart Rate Monitor

Why: Having a heart rate monitor that you wear just like a regular watch with no bulky chest strap is a treat for anyone who is exercising. I tested this for a couple of days and it's great. It continuously tells you your heart rate. You have to hand it to Liz Dickinson, the founder of Mio; she's been at this a long time. In fact, it's been more than 12 years since she released the original strapless heart rate monitor. It is the first heart rate monitor that accurately records heart rate continuously during a workout, even at performance speeds of up to 12 mph.

Description: “Two light beams and an electro-optical cell 'sense' the volume of blood under your skin. Because the blood volume pulsates in the rhythm of the heart, so does the signal from the electro-optical cell. This signal is processed by an advanced electronics circuit and passed on to a highly specialized computer program that is embedded in the Alpha. To date, the stumbling block with this type of technology has been the arm movements while walking or running strongly interfere with the electro-optical signal to the point that it is no longer possible to extract the heart rate from it. In order to solve this problem the Alpha has been provided with a separate motion detector. The computer program is able to use the information from this detector to compensate for the disturbance that is generated in the electro-optical signal by walking or running motions. As a result, the Alpha can display an accurate heart rate even during motion-intense activities.”

Price: $249 MSRP (launch date is Thursday)

Where to buy: www.alphaheartrate.com/

Neoprene Double Pouch

Why: This is a cool version of the outdated fanny pack. You have to keep your things somewhere while you exercise, and this is a nice gift for any active person.

Description: “Neoprene water-resistant double pouch — will fit most phones. This two-pocket design is perfect to keep your energy gels, keys or camera separate from your phone. Inner pocket will keep your ID/credit cards safe and secure. Reflective strips for nighttime safety.”

One size fits all (adjustable). Hand washable — cold water — dry flat.

Price: $26.95

Where to buy: www.ifitnessinc.com/

SendaFlyingCard.com

Why: It's a flying disc with a greeting card imprinted right on the surface — and if you actually use it to play you will burn serious calories.

Description: A flying card is a completely customized, high-quality, full-size plastic disc (approximately 9 1/4 inches in diameter, weighing 100 grams) that will be delivered for you in place of a greeting card or invitation, no envelope and no packaging, just the flying card. You completely customize the flying card for your recipient with your own message (unlike a greeting card) and you can even add a picture for free.

Price: $16, which includes free first-class shipping. (On sale for $9.99.)

Where to buy: SendaFlyingCard.com

1,000 Low-Calorie Recipes by Jackie Newgent, RD (Wiley, 2012)

Why: Great low-calorie recipes from Jackie Newgent, a well-known nutritionist and culinary instructor.

Description from the publisher: “features great-tasting 'real cuisine' under 500 calories. (And most recipes provide less than 300 calories a serving!) The exciting compendium can be considered a dieter's recipe 'bible.'”

Price: $35

Where to buy: www.amazon.com, www.bn.com

Yonanas

Why: You're right. You probably will not use this very often, but getting kids to eat healthy, well, it's not easy. That's for sure. So a machine that allows you to make a frozen treat right before your eyes is pretty cool. Yes it's like a blender, but the coolness factor weighs heavy.

Description: “Yonanas is a small machine that enlists a high torque blade that emulsifies the fruit into a thick and creamy frozen treat, with patented technology that's superior to a blender or food processor. It is easy to clean, dishwasher safe and has safety features so kids can take part in the process.”

Price: 49.99

Where to buy: Yonanas is sold in Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and online at www.yonanas.com

Limited Edition Kind Bar Cubes

Why: They're made with ingredients you can pronounce, and they're about 180 to 200 calories per bar. The best part is that you can send this gift with confidence. “KIND has partnered with health-loving do-gooders and notable tastemakers Arianna Huffington, Bobbi Brown and Grace Potter to help you snack the KIND way while giving back to charities of personal importance for each partner. Each limited-edition cube is custom designed and personally curated by either Arianna, Bobbi or Grace!” When you pick the celeb you are also picking the charity to which the funds are donated. Plus, the gift box design is awesome — the box pops open with all the bars inside — nice.

Description: The limited-edition cubes have 20 bars selected by the celebrity. Check the website to see cube style design and the various flavors.

Price: $42.95

Where to buy: www.kindsnacks.com/kind-store/kind-healthy-gifts

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