The holidays are here! With it comes time with family (in person, or virtual), decorations, joy, and SO.MUCH.FOOD. Food is an essential part of the Christmas spirit in my family, and I want you to truly savour your favourite holiday treats. That being said, we’re often gifted 100x more chocolate, cookies, and treats than we could eat. Combine that with Baileys in our coffee, extra adult-y drinks, and 600 calorie seasonal drinks at Starbucks and it’s no wonder we end up feeling crummy come January. The more that is around, the more we eat (it’s human, and studied, not just poor willpower).

So let’s come up with some ideas to ask for yourself, or give to family you know have been working so hard on their health this year!


While still technically food related, these are a great way to liven up many a weeknight dinner in the New Year and food skills and inspiration are essential to healthy eating long term. Some great options below.

  • Whitewater Cooks With Passion – I love this whole series, and the lovely author is based right here in BC!
  • Skinnytaste One and Done has great ideas for the home cook in your life! Broken down into an instant pot, slow cooker, sheet pan, and Dutch oven, these are tasty recipes and lots of healthy options. I love the cheeseburger soup!
  • Eat More Plants is by the wonderful local Dietitian Desiree Nielsen. A fantastic read whether you’re looking for fun ways to spice up your veggies, or to dive deeper into a plant based diet. She is informative, fun, and the recipes are VERY well tested.
  • Fraiche Food, Full Hearts is full of family friendly meals that are as delicious as they are beautiful.

Workout or activity gear

Please make sure that your intended giftee is on board with this one, and already active (don’t use this as a gentle nudge that they should be more active, that’s not very holiday spirit-y). This is a great way to help them buy things they might not buy themselves, make home workouts more fun, or get to do an outdoor activity (especially important this year).

  • Nothing like new workout clothes. Does anyone else feel more motivated? Some of my favourites are Lole (Canadian and really last) and Lululemon.
  • Snowshoes or spikes for your shoes so you can hike local trails, even with a bit of snow
  • A bright waterproof rain jacket or big umbrella to make dog walks with friends more enjoyable
  • Insulated water bottles (my favourites come from S’well but there are tons out there) that keep drinks hot or cold no matter what you’re doing!

Non Food Fun

  • Games! We love board and card games in my family, and this is a gift that keeps on giving. Favourites are Munchkins, Qwirkle, and Exploding Kittens. The Raving Gamer in Langley is a great place to find something new and/or unique.
  • Books – fiction, non-fiction, personal development, whatever you’re into! I love reading an actual book because I spend so much time on electronics. Some of my favourites this year were Little Fires Everywhere, A Woman Is No Man, and Untamed.
  • Subscription boxes – from fashion, to home goods, to stuff for the dog lover, there is something for everyone on your list. And lots of local stores are offering smaller versions of these like The Heart right here in Cloverdale.

Healthy Experiences

Anyone else feeling stuck because they usually do experiential gifts? Us too. There are a ton of local or virtual experiences available that still offer real value and enjoyment.

  • Online craft classes from painting, to wreath making, to knitting for both kids and grown ups.
  • Online cooking classes (or in person classes if your area allows)
  • Subscriptions to an online strength training, yoga or workout program. Right now I use True North Strength and Fitness (they have both in person and online) and AloMoves for yoga online, anytime.
  • Gift certificate for a snowshoeing experience at Cypress or Seymour mountains locally, or your local ski area.
  • Got a horse lover? Barns are outdoors and naturally socially distanced. Locally A & T Equestrian does both adult and kids lessons (and I ride there too!)

I hope this list provides some inspiration both for yourself, and to better love on the person working on health in your life. As always, enjoy the treats you do choose mindfully guilt free. Food is part of the experience (just not the whole dang thing).

Need some help getting your meals for the week balanced and prepared? If you’d like to receive our free Meal Planning Getting Started Guide AND get in on our weekly emails about all things nutrition so you can get clarity and confidence on what you’re eating, join us here!