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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Healthy Holiday Gifts

This season, give gifts that inspire good health. Here are my top picks for encouraging your loved ones to lead healthier lives, from reducing exposure to toxins and indulging in good-for-you treats to doing more home-cooking and making exercise easy and fun. You'll even find choices to fit any budget.

Dark Chocolate Gift Pack
Healthy compounds like polyphenols, flavonols, proanthocyanidins, and catechins in dark chocolate have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, and cancer. Some dark chocolate bars can be bitter and dry, but the ones from Green & Black's are creamy and smooth. They're also organic. This gift box contains four bars, two 70% dark and two 85% dark.

Burma: Rivers of Flavor by Naomi Duguid
This cookbook has something for everyone. Based on simple staple ingredients that include anti-inflammatory herbs and spices, this books contains beautiful photographs, inspiring stories, and healthy recipes. Follow this link to find my other picks for healthy cookbooks.

Marble Mortar and Pestle
Every home cook should have a mortar and pestle to make quick work of grinding herbs and spices, many of which contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. This set is made from gorgeous gray marble and its deep design is especially user friendly. It goes well with the book Healing Spices by Bharat B. Aggarwal.

Matcha Green Tea
Matcha is especially high in epigallocatechin gallate-3 or EGCG, an antioxidant in green tea shown to stimulate detox pathways in the liver, increase elimination of chemicals associated with diabetes and insulin resistance, help prevent cancer, and protect the brain from heavy metals. Read more about the health benefits of green tea in general and match in particular on page 68 of my new book, The Prediabetes Detox.

Matcha Tea Set
This scoop and whisk from Chasen will help prepare the perfect cup of match tea.

Non-Toxic and Eco-Friendly Jute Yoga Mat
Some yoga mats contain toxic compounds like BPA, phthalates, heavy metals, and formaldehyde. Made from natural jute fiber, this one is toxin-free and eco-friendly.

Natural Rubber Yoga Mat
This yoga mat is made from non-toxic natural tree rubber.

Jump Rope with Removable Weights
This jump rope comes with removable weights, to add some strengthening exercise to aerobic workouts. Its small size makes it easy to pack and take along on travel or trips to the park.

Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bags Set
This set of reusable sandwich and snack bags from LunchSkins are made with lightweight cotton and a BPA-free, phthalate-free, food-safe liner.

Organic Cotton Produce Bags
Made from organic cotton, this set of reusable produce bags are a non-toxic alternative to plastic ones.

Organic Cotton Lunch Bags
These stylish lunch bags are made from organic cotton.

Stainless Steel Better Bottle
This non-toxic stainless steel water bottle from CamelBak is attractive and lightweight.

French Press Tea and Coffee Maker
This glass French press can be used to make coffee or tea. Unlike other models, the inner mechanism can be rotated to stop steeping and prevent beverages from becoming too strong or bitter.

Bamboo Salad Hands
Every meal should contain a healthy serving of green vegetables and these bamboo salad hands make easy work of tossing and serving up salads. My friend Juliah gave me a set for my birthday 8 years ago and I still use them almost every day.

Stainless Steel Soup Pot
Pots and pans lined with non-stick coatings can release harmful toxins into food. Stainless steel cookware is a great alternative. Pair this attractive soup pot with a healthy cookbook like Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison.

Enameled Cast Iron Skillet Set
Cast iron cookware is another healthy alternative to non-stick pots and pans. Cast iron heats food evenly and it can be used on the stove top or inside the oven. Enameled cast iron skillets can be expensive but they don't have to be. This set of skillets is reasonably priced and so is this enameled cast iron Dutch oven.

Sunshine Simulator
This Verilux HappyLite can be used to simulate sunshine during the dark days of winter, support well-being, and prevent or reverse seasonal affective disorder.

The Prediabetes Detox
This book will inspire resolutions for better health in the New Year. Learn how toxins in the environment increase the risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease and cancer, and how the safe, effective, at-home cleansing program I've been using in my practice for more than a decade can help remove environmental toxins, reduce the risk of chronic illness, and restore optimal health.

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