Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Health-Conscious Holiday Gift Guide

This is a guest post for Zyn22, the hottest (both literally and metaphorically) cycle class I've ever taken. To be honest, it's hard to refer to it as a cycling class because it's more like a dance class. You just happen to be riding a bicycle at the same time. You can find the original blog post here.

Photos taken after my first Zyn22 experience.
Despite my attempts to plan enough in advance for the holidays, in order to prevent the feeling that the day has been stolen from my control-diseased death grip, Christmas always seems to fly by in a flurry. Instead of stressing over wrapping gifts and scheduling enough time to travel among all seven houses we're supposed to visit, I've learned it really is "the thought that counts."

While ideally, I'd like to present a Pinterest-inspired cocktail and wreath to every person I know, my own sanity depends on consciously preserving my creative energy and sticking to the basics. Sometimes, that looks like going to dinner with friends we haven't seen in a while. Sometimes, it's rearranging my schedule to attend a Christmas production at church. Regardless of the extra tasks the holidays inspire, one thing I try my best to do is make sure my gifts are meaningful. That being said, it's important to find ways to make each person feel special. And that, my friend, requires real thought and study for each person to whom you're giving a gift. Nevertheless, these tasks never fail to bring me and those I love true joy.
I have the Ninja Food Processor.

Below, you'll find my ideas for the gym-rat, cardio-bunny or meat head in your life. (The following are in no particular order.)

1. Time (or Effort) Saving Kitchen Utensils

If you know me well enough, you know that the posts/pictures you see of my kitchen creations and meal ideas are simply facades of what naturally occurs when you put a hungry girl in a kitchen full of healthy food. By no means do I intend to pretend that I'm naturally-gifted when it comes to cooking — in fact, I burned the rice on the stove while writing this blog post. Most of the time, my kitchen gadgets deserve credit for any likes or retweets of my recipes/treats.

Here is one of my favorite gadgets.
Aren't these Bia Brasil pants funky?
2. Sweat Swag (AKA Workout Wear)

No matter how confident you are in your own skin, everyone still has days they feel "off" in their workouts. It's those days that something as simple as a new outfit can keep you from skipping leg day. Maybe for you, it's not the outfit, but it's shoes. You can't deny that having a fresh new pair of kicks on when you walk into the gym makes you feel like a million bucks.

Side note: Make sure you really know a person before buying them clothes. The last thing you want to do is buy someone something they feel obligated to keep but don't really like, and that's where a gift card comes in handy.
  • Check out this pair of pants in the Zyn22 line that I can't live without!
Danceaton is like Zumba on steroids.
Below are some of my personal favorite brands.
3. Gym Gear

This takes exercise to the next level.
  • Jumprope
  • Lifting gloves
  • Gym bag (with space for dirty clothes)
  • Towels (embroidered)
  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • Gym boss/Timer
  • Water Bottle
  • Wireless Headphones
4. Reasons to Relax

I always enjoy a good OTF workout with the other coaches.
This may be my number-one personal choice for things I wish to receive. My feet will never be over-rubbed, that's for sure! Many of us workoutaholics don't know how to make time to rest, and this kind of gift can really make someone feel special. Unless your friend is someone who doesn't like people touching them, you can't go wrong with this gift. An added touch would be to find a place that's near your friend's gym or work, so that it's convenient for them to go, or better yet, pre-book their reservation.
  • Reflexology gift certificate
  • Massage gift certificate
  • Spa day pre-booked
  • Manicure/Pedicure

5. Tickets for New Adventures

Groupon and its friends in the online coupon world are great resources for finding deals on new gigs like yoga classes, Zumba classes, rock climbing, body surfing, barre, kickboxing, martial arts and other fun and unique workouts. They're awesome because you can purchase a set of classes for you or for someone else in advance, which helps to keep you and/or your friend inspired to try new things. Keeping your body guessing is one of the best ways to keep your muscles and mind fresh, which makes you feel and look better.

Below are some of my personal favorites.
Talk about core strength!





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