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7 Healthy Stocking Stuffers

Caitlin Plummer |
December 22, 2013 | 1:51 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

This year, put an end to stockings filled with candy cane sugar bombs (blovelyevents.com).
This year, put an end to stockings filled with candy cane sugar bombs (blovelyevents.com).
While the holidays are undeniably a time of family, happiness and good food, sometimes all of the sugar intake can get out of hand. It's easy to stuff stockings with chocolates and sweets, but it's just as easy to put some healthy gifts in as well. Fill up your family's stockings with these seven stuffers that are guaranteed to help fight holiday pounds: 



1. Tea

The holidays bring about a festive excuse to consume excessive amounts of hot cocoa, eggnog, and sugary coffee concoctions. However, these drinks add unnecessary sugar, fat and calories to your diet. Luckily, there’s a healthier way to warm up: tea is just as warm and delicious, and best of all, it comes with no calories. And if you really need that caffeine boost, caffeinated tea will give you a little energy without leaving you fidgety. 

Recommendations: MarketSpice Cinnamon-Orange Tea – it's spicy, sweet, and currently 25% off.

2. Sugar-free Gum

Not only can gum help prevent you from having that last cookie (let’s be honest, you probably don’t need it), but sugar-free gum is also consistently under five calories. Some brands are even approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) to ensure both safety and effectiveness – meaning that if it claims to help protect your teeth, it actually will.

Recommendations: Wrigley’s Orbit Sugar-free Gum – it comes in countless flavors, and gives you the option of buying a typical gum pack, a “mini bottle,” or a new “Grab & Go” package to maximize convenience.

ALSO SEE: Holiday Gift Guide, Health Nut Edition

3. Water Bottle

My friend once bought a water bottle that came with a hefty guarantee: it promised that she would drink 24% more water simply by owning it. This may seem ridiculous and impossible to prove, but it’s true that owning a good water bottle – especially one that you like  makes you much more likely to keep up on your water intake throughout the day. And as drinking more water is proven to help you lose weight  in addition to helping your body carry out its necessary functions – there is no reason not to embrace a new water bottle.

Recommendations: Any Camelbak water bottle – besides a lifetime guarantee, this is the water bottle that a study by Pepperdine University confirmed will make you drink 24% more water just by owning it. An easy win-win.

4. Pedometer

Whether it be from walking the dog or grabbing lunch down the street, we take more steps everyday than we would probably guess. However, the thousands of steps you already take may not be enough. Recent guidelines suggest that 10,000 steps a day, equivalent to walking approximately 5 miles, is a respectable goal that produces results in both energy and general health. Some fitness programs have developed out of this view, making it easier than ever to motivate yourself. 

Recommendations: YAMAX Power-Walker EX-510 Pedometer – About.com readers chose this pedometer as #1 in the Readers' Choice Awards 2012; even more, it’s in the price range of $25-$35, so it’s not too unreasonable of a purchase.

5. iPhone Armband

There’s nothing more irritating than holding your phone when you run. The cord to your headphones always gets in the way, your hands tense up, and really, you’re focusing more on making sure you don’t drop your phone than actually exercising. That’s why exercise armbands are an awesome gift for any aspiring runner or gym-goer. Your phone is safe, your headphones are out of the way, and you don’t have to think about anything but the pavement in front of you.

Recommendations: Tune Belt Sport Armband – though there are much fancier options, these armbands are adjustable, simple, and will get the job done. Plus, Tune Belt sells armbands for more than just iPhones, so other smartphone users can get active, too.

6. Mini Healthy Cookbook

Some of the biggest problems families find with making healthy meals are 1) finding the time to make it and 2) finding delicious healthy recipes to begin with. A little cookbook with an emphasis on healthy choices eliminates both of these problems, and it’s compact and therefore easy to flip through. It might give just enough inspiration to the cook of the house to begin trying something new and better for you.

Surprisingly, dark chocolate with over 70% cacao content is actually good for your health (in small quantities!) (Theo Chocolate/Facebook).
Surprisingly, dark chocolate with over 70% cacao content is actually good for your health (in small quantities!) (Theo Chocolate/Facebook).
Reccomendations: Healthy Cooking on the Run by Elaine Groen – over 100 recipes complete with nutritional evaluation charts and menu ideas to help busy people eat healthily, too! Plus, its small size (5.27 x 8.28 x .52 in) makes it a perfect stocking stuffer.

7. Dark Chocolate

This is supposed to be a list of “healthy” stocking stuffers, so why is chocolate on the list, you may ask? Believe it or not, organic dark chocolate containing 70% to 90% cacao is actually good for you. It lowers your blood pressure, which decreases the chance of a heart attack or stroke, reduces your chance of select cancers, and of course, improves your mood. What else could you ask for?

Recommendations: Theo Organic Dark Chocolate – made by the first organic and Fair Trade chocolate factory in North America, and it’s available at your neighborhood QFC! The promise of no GMOs does even more for your health than just any dark chocolate.

Reach Staff Reporter Caitlin Plummer here. Follow her on Twitter here.



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