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Top Health Gifts for 2017

Every year, I post my top 10 list of “health” gift ideas. This list might be an excuse to give yourself something for all the hard work you’ve done this year! Or, of course, to treat someone you love.

As your faithful servant, I test out many products through the year: kitchen gadgets, health products, etc. There are some products that I keep using year after years, and others that fall short of expectations.

So let’s first look at the products that were featured in previous years but didn’t make the cut this year:

  • The Coconut Grater. I found an excellent coconut grater similar to the ones you see in Asia, used to make your coconut cream. But how often do you make coconut cream? The result: I’ve only used it a couple of times.
  • The Zojirushi Mug: It’s good to carry your water bottle everywhere, but I found a better product that you can also use while traveling to places where water quality is questionable.
  • The FitBitCharge: I used this fitness tracker for a few months until I stopped. I still don’t know what to think of fitness tracker. I think I will end up testing other types before I find the one that can deliver on its promises. FitBit Charge was good as a fitness tracker but horrible as a watch you’re supposed to keep on your wrist all day.

Westbrae Mustard Stone Ground No Salt

$12 for a pack of 3

Maybe mustard doesn’t regularly make it to a list of top-10 holiday gifts, but I don’t see why it should be left out! You can comfortably fit a few jars of mustard in a Christmas stocking. Well… let’s just jump into the reasons why I love this product. This year, I finally decided to ditch the salt habit. However, I still enjoy tasty condiments. The problem is that it’s challenging to find them without salt. I tested a few products and discovered this fantastic salt-free mustard. It’s delicious, and I don’t miss the salt at all. (On what do I put mustard, you may ask? Dressings, for once, but also potatoes. But please don’t judge me). Get it on Amazon. 

Benson’s Table Tasty

$30 for a 6 pack

Staying with the no-salt theme, this is the “saltiest” salt-free seasoning that I have found. It’s essential to convince anyone to go salt-free and get all the health benefits. Dr. Klaper introduced me to this product, and I am grateful ever since! I’m not so sure that it would make a good Christmas present for everyone, but I know one person who will love to receive it: you! Get it on Amazon. 

“That’s It” Fruit Bars

$20-25 for a box of 12.

Still my favorite “power bar.” Look at the ingredients of a typical protein bar, even the so-called healthy kinds, and you’ll find a ton of ingredients that you don’t want in your body. And some protein bars pack over 300 calories a bar!

But the reason to eat a bar is to curb hunger until you can eat something more substantial — not to fill up on your protein requirements for the day (let alone more fat, refined sugar and salt than you need).

Enter: That’s It. I discovered this bar a few years ago and loved it. I always travel with them. As the name implies, they only contain fruit, and that’s it!

Get the sampler pack on amazon

NOTE: My favorite is the apple-pear.

Instant Pot

$90

This is a classic, but worth mentioning again. Get it! The price is lower than ever. It is an electric pressure cooker that also turns into a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, skillet, and more. I use it to make beans and to cook greens, and big pots of soup (literally in 2 minutes for greens). I love the “set-and-forget” aspect of it. You don’t have to worry about the pressure cooker overcooking everything. Just press a button, and you’re done! Interestingly, this year they have a tiny 3-quart version available, in addition to the other models. Get it on Amazon.com

Dream Sleeper

$32

This year I finally had to replace my sleep mask, and I upgraded from my beloved mask by PJ Health, to “Dream Sleeper,” which turned out to be even better. Both products are very similar, but this one is slightly more comfortable. In case you’ve never tried one of those higher-end masks, you’re in for a treat. They are nothing like the uncomfortable, tiny sleep masks you find at the pharmacy. I’d never thought I’d become a dude who sleeps with a sleep mask, but sleep is not a place to make a fashion statement! Using a good sleep mask can make a real difference in your sleep quality. Get it on Amazon.

World’s Finest Ear Plug

$35

I don’t wear earplugs on a daily basis when sleeping, but I travel with them to block out the sound in the too frequent noisy nights that we encounter abroad. My problem with earplugs is that they don’t stick in my ears, and are not that effective in blocking out all of the sounds. So I tried the brand that claims the most sound blocking, but they haven’t been nearly as good as this kind. Best of all: I don’t lose them during the night! Combine that with the “Dream Sleeper” mask, and you can sleep through anything! Get them on Amazon. 

Chilipad

$500-1000

 

I thought I would be disappointed by this product, which was recommended by Tim Ferriss on his podcast. I was hesitant at first, due to the cost and some negative reviews on Amazon. I must say, against all expectations, that it works just as advertised!

We could call it an air-conditioning system for your mattress. I used it all summer long with success.  If you’re a hot sleeper, you will get the best sleep of your life with this. It’s also great for areas that get hot at night when you’re sensitive to too much air conditioning. Only con: it’s expensive. Get it on Amazon.

Artelegno Cutting Board

$115 for large

 

You can’t go wrong with this gift as everybody can use a good cutting board. This is my favorite one. There are many things that I like about it:

  • The wood quality. It cleans quickly and doesn’t easily absorb odors and colors from vegetable juices.
  • The sturdiness.
  • The magnet under the top right corner. You can drop your knife there, and it will stay in place
  • The design, making it possible to slide a plate under it. Perfect for throwing cut ingredients there.

It’s available on Amazon.

Icebug Shoes

$50-100

Last winter, I got a pair of shoes to defy all elements. Now, nothing can stop me: ice, mud, snow, you name it. The company is Icebug. The shoes are vegan, and there are some models based on your needs. I think it would make an excellent gift for anyone living in a cold climate. Check them out here.

Jupiter Citrus Juicer

$105-120

 

I still use this juicer on a regular basis! In fact, citrus the only type of food I regularly juice. There’s not a particular health reason for it: I just enjoy a tall glass of orange juice once or twice a week (with blood oranges being my favorite). What I like about this juicer is that there’s almost nothing to clean. It’s so easy to decide to make a glass of juice on the spot. And it will last forever, without electricity. It also works well for pomegranates.  Get it on Amazon.

Bonus Gift Idea: Aquaovo Frio Bottle

This is the very best water bottle with an integrated filter I have found. It will filter river, lake and tap water anywhere in the world. Check it out directly on their website.

Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude

Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.


Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.