A Few of My Favorite Things

Christmas is just around the corner! Thanks to Amazon.com, procrastinators like me can wait until the last minute and almost always be assured the right gift will still be available and in the recipient’s hands by Christmas day! If, like me, you tend to put off purchasing gifts – here are a couple of my favorite health and fitness goodies. I use each of these regularly enough to consider them pretty indispensable, must-have tools in my healthy living toolbox. Consider adding them to your holiday gift wish list or gifting them to others who you know would really appreciate the thoughtfulness!

1) George Foreman Grill: George, I am disturbed that you have named all your children after yourself, but I gotta love your grill. I bought my GFG back in 2005 when I began eating meat again and had to consider cooking it myself. It sat, unused in box for 6 years. Now it is a permanent fixture on my counter and gets used several times a week! 3 pounds of chicken breasts, cooked and ready to go in 30 minutes! Fish fillets, grilled to perfection in 3 minutes?!?!? YES, YES, YES. I no longer have to worry about spills or messy oven clean-up, I can cook a week’s worth of protein in less time, and I cannot even begin to tell you how much easier it is to keep ready-to-eat lean protein in the house now. I only wished I had been brave enough to crack open the box 6 years ago. George has more grill varieties than you can shake a boxing glove at  here.

2) Vitamix: My first kitchen tool and my first big ticket household item, a Vitamix has been an staple in my home since I was 18 years old. I make smoothies, emulsify dressings, grind nuts, and can make my wheat-free flour in 45 seconds at less than half the price. My food processor hasn’t been used in years (probably as long as I’ve had that George Foreman grill) is in a box to be donated to charity. Yes it’s pricey, but it is worth it. Ask anyone who owns one; our pupils dilate a little, our voice gets higher and it’s hard not to get ecstatic at the opportunity to fawn over our high horsepower kitchen tool. You can check out a video on the Vitamix awesomeness here and order one relatively inexpensively here.

3) Garmin Forerunner: I’m an info junkie. I use my Garmin to keep track of my heart rate, mileage, route taken, altitude, direction, and more. It kept me from getting lost running in Paris in the early morning and trekking through small Costa Rican towns. It teases me by displaying my split times so I know if I am going faster or slower than I was the mile before or the day before. And I can download all the data and cross-reference to my heart’s content. I had the 305 for almost ten years and JUST upgraded to the 310 for when I’m cleared to start running again. The 405 is prettier, yes, but consistent in-person and internet reviews indicate that the touch bevel creates more problems than convenience. My advice is to stick with the bulkier but better designed 300 series and opt for the studly, waterproof Forerunner 310 with heart rate monitor.


4)The Flavor Bible: A must-have guide for those ready to delve into kitchen alchemy, this book is probably my top gift giving item every year. Look up apples, see they pair well with sour cream, almonds, and rosemary – then take that to the kitchen and revamp your old sour cream coffee cake recipe. When I discovered persimmons at the farmer’s market one San Diego ‘winter’ and wanted to play with them I brought a few home and created this recipe. The Flavor Bible is a culinary cheat sheet that allows you to boldly step out of your comfort zone. The pages contain whispers of great chefs and menu-making magicians ensuring you can do no wrong. It’s one of my best (and least kept) kitchen secrets and a treasured gem for any food lover!

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