Every year I release a list of what I think are some of the best Christmas gifts to give fitness-and-food-loving folk. The list grows every year and every year it gets more awesome. Well, I think so at least :-) I like to put somewhat unusual items in it too, for the kooky souls out there who, like me, like to think outside the box a little bit. So here it is! The 2013 Christmas Gift Ideas For Fitness and Food Loving Souls :-D I hope you like it. I’ve included a short description of each item, purchase links beneath each photo and, when possible, links to external content (usually a video) to further explain what the item is all about. I hope you like it! I have been working on this one for a while and I think it’s pretty sweet. I’ll continue adding stuff to it though! So please do feel free to suggest some of your favorite gift ideas for the list as well.
1. A good quality frying pan is a must for anyone who likes making pancakes. You don’t know the amount of times people send me photos of broken-up pancakes, stuck-to-the pan crepes, and disastrous looking wraps while asking me “what went wrong with my batter!?” Nine times out of ten it wasn’t the batter. It was the pan. A GOOD nonstick pan will pretty much GUARANTEE that your pancakes always turn out like they should. The difference between using a bad quality pan and a good one is astronomical and if you or someone you love is really into making pancakes but their always turn out so so, get them a pan. Get them this one if you’re in the US and this one if you’re in the UK. You could also step it up a notch and get a pancake-specific pan. Like this one (or this one if you’re in the UK). They’re more expensive than regular tefal pans, I know, but oy, they’re in a league of their own when it comes to nonstick frying.
2. Valslides are all the rage. OK. Maybe not ‘rage’ but they’re awesome. I bought a pair two years ago and love them for stretching and working out at home. Here’s a video demoing some of the stuff you can do with them (by the lady who invented them). Here’s another somewhat more hardcore video. You can get them HERE if you’re in the US and HERE if you’re in the UK or EU. They’re pretty fun and a good stocking filler?
3. If you want to get someone a yoga mat, Giam ones are really cool. There are a LOT of designs available if you’re in the US (check it out). If you’re in the UK though you can get the green one – here – which in my opinion is one of their nicest. I’ve added this one to my own list for Santa this year and am hoping he delivers ;-)
4. This is a MUST-HAVE for pretty much ALL my recipes and it’s currently on sale in the US: here. It’s a kitchen essential, especially for making Protein Fluff and all my protein cakes and so on. It’s also fantastic because it’s really easy to store takes up no room in the kitchen (unlike, say, a Kitchen Aid standing Mixer which yes, is amazing, but you need the counter space for it.) Handheld blenders (aka immersion blender) are also GREAT value for money. If you and your partner don’t have one and neither of you mind the idea of getting the other person something YOU get to enjoy, go for it. If you’re in the UK or Europe, go for this one. It’s the one I have and it’s amazing.
5. Obviously a copy of my cookbook (it wouldn’t be a Protein Pow list without it!) The best place to get the book in the US and Canada is amazon.com: here. If you’re in Europe, Asia, or Australia turn to amazon.co.uk – here. If you’re in the UK though *drumroll* you can now also get the book at GNC.co.uk! Here’s the album of how the book was born and where copies now live around the world :-)
6. A waffle maker. Looking at what’s available on Amazon US I’d go with this or this for a more souped-up model :-) In the UK I’d probably say this one. It’s the one I have and does the job :-) Click here to check out some of my Protein Waffle recipes.
7. If your friend, husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, family member of colleage who is into lifting weights, get them some liquid chalk. It’s a great stocking filler. Even if they have some, getting more is always welcome. What is liquid chalk? It’s a liquid you rub on your hands before taking on the big weights. It prevents stuff slipping and I can tell you from personal experience it’s done wonders for both my hands and my deadlifts. My hands just used to look like the scene of a crime until I started using liquid chalk. All thanks to the beast that is Andy Mac who gave me a bottle two years ago. I haven’t gone back to deadlifting without it. It’s the kind of thing that if I get to the gym and forgot at home I get properly sadfaced about, hehehe. You can get it from Myprotein USA or Myprotein UK. The stuff is awesome :-)
8. I’m a big fan of Under Armour bags – great quality, design, and the perfect size for packing one’s shoes, towel, etc. This one in the US (comes in Black and a few other colors too) is pretty sweet. There isn’t the exact same one available in the UK though. But there’s this one!
9. Speaking of bags, Cassey Ho from blogilates designs beeeeautiful gym bags that are perfect if the person you want to give a gift to is into the gym and wants a more girly designer-type gym bag. Cassey created all the bags herself and they’re great – great quality, great pocket-distribution, and they’re ooooh gorgeous :-) Cassey, by the way, also designs yoga mats, gym bottles, clothes and has a DVD out. Check out her site and online boutique. She ships worldwide too!
10. If you have a woman in your life who isn’t too hot on lifting weights – who mostly runs for exercise, thinks weights make women look like Hulk, needs more confidence to enter the weight-floor, doesn’t get why weight lifting is fun or actually beneficial to women – get her this book. I actually fell seriously in love with lifting largely BECAUSE of this book. It’s really basic but really cool! And it makes you fall in love with weight lifting and understand the basics of proper nutriton. You can get it here in the UK or here if you’re in the US. It’s a fun book, it’s well written, accessible, and represents a good intro to actual lifting for women who need a push (or shove) in that direction (the title is pretty funny too so good for Christmas Day lols – a la “Reginald! What is this? Haha, ‘Lift Like a Man Look Like a Goddess’? Oh Reginald, youuuuu”).
11. This is one of the best books you can have in your kitchen and a perfect gift to give to a foodie loved-one, especially if that foodie loved-one is into experimental cooking and getting creative in the kitchen. This book is SERIOUSLY ridiculous. Get it here if you’re in the US and here if you’re in Europe. Your palette will thank you for this one! It’s madness.
12. If someone you know is obsessed with Quest Bars, ehem eheem, get them a box of their favorite kind! If you haven’t had one and would like a flavor recommendation, most people I know are obsessed with the Cookie Dough one. Personally, my favorite is the Mixed Berry bar though and the Peanut Butter & Jelly :-) But if you’re unsure what to go for, go with the cookie dough or with whatever flavor you reckon they’ll like best! Here’s a link to them in the US and here’s a link to them in the UK.
13. This gift idea is out of left field a little but oy… this is such a great book and would make a perfect present to give to someone who likes writing – and reading ;-) The writing is wonderful and the tips it gives for not only writing but life in general are great. You’ll laugh when I tell you how I found out about this book but I’ll tell you anyways: I was pretty bored one night after watching Parks and Rec and I wanted to see if Amy Poehler did any standup. So I went to youtube and did a search. That’s how I found Amy’s ‘Ask Amy’ videos and listened to a couple of them. She’s so sweet. Anyways, in one episode (I think the one where Amy is talking about stress?), she talks about this book. And it got me curious so I bought it. And I love it! And I think you’ll love it too :-) You can get the book here if you’re in the US and here if you’re in the UK It’s a great read and pretty funny too.
14. Here’s an item that I think EVERY household should have: a pullup bar. I use this one which sticks onto a door frame and I really like it. You can get it here if you’re in the US and here if you’re in the UK (but make sure you have a sturdy door frame first!) If you can’t do a single pullup though (because I know a lot of people can’t, especially women), I still suggest you get a bar. Heck, I urge you even more strongly to get one! Read on to the next gift idea to find out why ;-)
15. Pullups are one of the best exercises out there. And it is only by doing pullups that your pullups actually improve. I know that sounds like ‘duh’ but it’s worth mentioning because some people think pullups just happen ‘naturally’ as one gets fitter. They don’t, not necessarily. To do pullups you have to DO pullups. And the best place to get started (I think so at least) is to use resistance bands. They help you get stronger until you can do proper pullups. I have the ones by MP – these ones – and use them if I ever want to bust out more reps than I can do without them. They’re fantastic! Check these out in the US. You can obviously change the bands’ resistance level and so on to ensure you get the strength you need :-) Check out this guy’s blog post on resistance bands to find out more about them.
16. Trigger Point Foam Rollers are a bit more expensive than regular smooth-surface-plain-foam rollers but they’re amazing. You can get one here in the US and here in the UK. Check this out this video if you want to see an example of how foam rollers are used. They’re amazing for releasing tension, assuaging DOMS, and generally making your body feel at its tip-top best :-)
17. I’ve uploaded some Protein Pow T-shirts and Aprons here where you can also customize them if you want to get one. I even uploaded my version of Lettuce Turnip the Beet, hehehe. If you want any other designs to go up there though, just let me know (email me at firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll stick whatever drawing you want on an apron or T-shirt :-)
18. I found this website a couple of years ago and it soon became one of my favorite. It’s dedicated to food and drawing! And every year they release a new cookbook. This is a really cool gift if you have someone in your family or friends’ circle who is really artsy and into food. They make a wonderful addition to one’s library and kids love to leaf through them! You can get their main book here if you’re in the UK or here if you’re in the US. They do a few other cookbooks too so make sure you check out their site. They’re all really creative and beautiful!
19. Speaking of cookbooks, a gift list wouldn’t be a gift list without Matt and Keris’ Fitter Food book, aka Paleo Primer. These guys released their book this year and soon after doing so, Mark Sisson from Mark’s Daily Apple (one of the biggest names in the Paleo world) bought the rights for the US and released it BIG-TIME as the Paleo Primer. It’s an absolutely incredible book and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s gorgeous, contains cartoons, it’s very comprehensive, and the recipes are smashing. I’ve tried quite a few of them and they never disappoint! I also think it’s an awesome gift because it supports what Matt and Keris do which is nothing short of superheroic. Follow them here on facebook as well. They’re game-changers, these guys, and, on top of that, they’re extremely nice people too. You can get their book here if you’re in the US and here if you’re in the UK.
20. I bought a TRX earlier this year and it’s great. I use it at home and take it with me when I travel and know I won’t have access to the gym. Here’s my TRX in the New Mexico mountains this summer, for example. It’s a bit of a more expensive gift but if you’re willing to spend an extra buck – or quid – it makes for a really cool present. I got mine of off Amazon, here. And if you want to learn a bit more about how the TRX is used or what suspension training is all about, check out this video.
21. Get someone a massage voucher. I know it’s not the most original thing in the world but if someone were to ask ME what I’d like for Christmas, I’d probably say a massage voucher. I say that every year (I’m just a sucker for massages, what can I say?) To get someone a voucher, all you have to do is find out what massage businesses are near their house (or accessible by car at least, you wouldn’t want to give someone a gnarly massage voucher for a place that’s thousands of miles away – unless, of course, it was accompanied by a plane ticket, hehehe). Then, just check out a few of them to pick out the best one and boom! get them a voucher :-D
22. If you don’t already follow Jen Sinkler, well… what are you waiting for? Jen’s a fitness writer, coach, former rugby player, ex-fitness editor for Experience Life Magazine, and downright beast. She writes over at jensinkler.com and you can also find her on facebook at Thrive as the Fittest. Her posts are always well-informed, intelligent, and she’s absolutely hilarious. She also creates clothes! These hoodies, for example, were released a few weeks ago and they totally represent what her work is about: getting STRONGRRRRR! Here’s the link to get one.
23. I love books so I actually went out and bought Wendler’s 5/3/1 last year – I bought the first edition; since then he’s come up with a second. I bought it and followed the program for a few months at the gym. I loved it. Now, you don’t NEED to get the book, there are plenty of 5/3/1 templates out there and a ridiculous amount of free information online. But I got the book to go through it, take some notes on it, and to generally have a physical resource to consult and have around the house. I really liked it. The book is very straight-forward and the program is amazing! So if you want to introduce someone to a new lifting program, get them the book :-)
24. Last but not least, you can get your friend or loved one a ticket to one of my upcoming Protein Pow Workshops! The next one is in April, in London, and tickets are out :-D
25. This is called an Egg Skelter. I first saw it a couple of days ago when Pete tweeter me this photo! It certainly makes someone’s eggs – and kitchen – look stylish so I thought to add it to this list. Here’s the US amazon link and here’s the link to get one in the UK. Note: it fits 20 eggs.
26. A Nespresso! This item has CHANGED MY LIFE and I know it will yours too, if you love coffee. It’s a bit pricier than most of the things here but it’s 100% worth it. The coffee is makes is just… madness! Get it here if you’re in the UK or here if you’re in the US. Seriously, whoever you give this to as a gift will love you forever (and remember you every day as they drink this smooth, creamy, and superb espresso!)
27. This one’s for the comics amongst you! :-D Here’s the link to get this ‘powerful’ cutlery set. I actually have a set and they’re pretty hilarious. I mostly treat them as trophies though, hehehe :-)
28. I’m adding Fat Gripz to this list because a lot of people have been telling me they’ve added it to theirs! Here’s a link to get some ‘gripz’ in the UK and one for the US. Oh and here’s a link to their main site in case you want to learn more about them (bear in mind that a pretty I won’t say annoying but definitely loud video automatically loads when you get on their website).
29. If any of you guys need to get a woman in your life a gift and have no idea what to get them, get them a Lulu gift card. If they’re into fitness and trendy workout gear especially, they’ll love you for it. Lululemon is VERY expensive and their clothes are pretty awesome so they’ll definitely approach your gift with appreciation :-) Here’s a link to get a gift card if you want to go down this route. Note: Feel free to send me one too, hehehe ;-)
30. One of the best gifts you can give a coffee lover (besides an amazing espresso machine) is a three or six-month subscription to a REALLY good coffee delivery service. There’s a lot of them out there these days. They’re great. The way they work is this: you set up a subscription for yourself or someone else and, every month, you get a different type of delicious coffee delivered to your door. It’s kind of like an exotic wine delivery service but… for coffee :-) I’ve used Kopi because but there are a lot of other places like it out there, just do a google search and you will find one!