Why I’m Never Spending Another Dime On This Holiday Gift!

As I was online holiday shopping, I came across several “edible” gifts that made my head want to explode. These are gifts that I now refuse to buy or eat for that matter. There’s no way that I’m going to send unhealthy, disease-promoting gifts to people that I care about. There’s nothing that I value more than my health and the health of my friends and family. After seeing all the advertisements and mall kiosks for this junk, I knew I had to write about these so called “gifts.”

Now, please don’t call me a scrooge or yell “ba humbug” at me for sharing this info…I’m only the messenger!

Holiday Gifts That I’m NEVER Buying (…again)

I’m embarrassed to say that several years ago I used to buy gift baskets from Mrs. Fields Cookies for some special occasions and as holiday gifts. My college girlfriends even would send me them during hard times like when I had a romantic breakup or before exams. As much as I love cookies, once I found out the truth I never spent another dime on their products. I got the complete list of ingredients in their holiday gift baskets and let me tell you, they are filled with ingredients that let’s just say, Santa would call really naughty!

Mrs. Fields Holiday Gift Baskets make the NAUGHTY LIST! 

  • Partially Hydrogenated Oils – Mrs. Fields uses margarine and partially hydrogenated oils as a substitute for real butter in their cookies. While their cookies contain some butter, partially hydrogenated oils take a front seat as one of their main ingredients. These oils are the primary source of artificial trans fat in our diet, which have been shown to increase “bad” cholesterol and decrease “good” cholesterol, leading to heart disease. As reported in Scientific American, “It took decades for scientists to realize how deadly trans fats could be, partly because the food industry and the cardiovascular prevention community dismissed concerns over adverse effects on health, but the evidence continued to mount”. Finally in 2013, the FDA tentatively determined that partially hydrogenated oils are no longer GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) due to these health concerns, so no one should be eating these oils – even during the holidays!
  • Mono & Diglycerides - This is another (somewhat sneaky) source of harmful trans fat.
  • Soybean Oil – This oil is heavily processed and almost always extracted with the neurotoxin hexane, a cheap byproduct from gasoline production. It’s also high in omega-6 fatty acids (which the American diet is too full of) increasing the risk of inflammation, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) – Your body doesn’t process HFCS the same as regular sugar (sucrose), and excessive high fructose corn syrup consumption has been shown to increase the risk of developing diabetes.
  • Enriched Bleached Flour – This is the worst type of flour because it’s been stripped of fiber and nutrients, and comes from a heavily hybridized wheat crop, which may have been pre-harvested with Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.
  • Parabens – Mrs. Fields cut-out frosted holiday cookies include methylparaben and propylparaben as ingredients. You may have heard about these ingredients in cosmetics, shampoo and lotions, but not realize they are in food too. Parabens have been found to be endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are linked to breast cancer (sources: 1234), and reproductive problems. This ingredient made the EWG’s top 12 dirty dozen food additives - which means it’s one of the worst food additives in existence!
  • Genetically Modified Ingredients? – Several of the ingredients used by Mrs. Fields typically come from genetically modified (GMO) crops. When we called Mrs. Fields customer service and asked whether they use any GMO ingredients, the agent did not seem to understand what we were asking. They have not responded to email requests. I will update you here when (and if) they respond. These ingredients are often derived from GMOs and can be found in Mrs. Fields holiday gifts: Sugar, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Soybean Oil, Mono & Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin, Citric Acid, Cornstarch, Canola Oil, Fructose, Xanthan Gum, Cottonseed Oil, Glycerin, Food Starch.

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Food Babe’s Holiday Gift Guide

You have the opportunity of doing something LIFE CHANGING for someone – Give The Gift of Health this Holiday Season!…

Below are my favorite Stocking Stuffers and Gifts for Under the Tree – I’ve included the links where you can find these items in the new Food Babe Shop or elsewhere!

Here’s to Healthy Shopping!

Food Babe’s Favorite Stocking Stuffers:

Yoga Classes – Buy one or buy many, Yoga classes are the perfect gift to give someone who’s been wanting to try Yoga or for a loved one who is a long time Yogi. There are so many great studios where I live – Yoga One being my absolute favorite – classes start as low as $5-15 dollars! Like Johnna reminded us in class today – The physical benefits of yoga is just the icing on the cake, practicing Yoga’s primary purpose is to detox your body from the inside out. Imagine awakening this in someone who has never tried it before?

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Scuba Diving Lessons – Scuba Diving has changed my life. I only wish I found it sooner. Did you know you can be as young as 13 to get Scuba Certified? It’s one the activities that I plan most of my travels around and fills my life with so much joy. There are so many amazing things to see under the sea. The first time I swam with a school of sharks, I found beauty that I never thought I found find. Sharks are such calm and graceful creatures, completely opposite from what I had in my imagination. Lessons make the perfect gift for an adventure seeker in your life! Also – This is a perfect activity that will keep you active while on vacation burning hundreds of calories. I received my scuba diving training here in Charlotte at Paradise Island Divers.

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Vegan or Juice Cleanse – After witnessing the miracles that can happen to people after going on a Vegan and Juice Cleanse – I seriously couldn’t wait to put this on my list. Elle Palmer is the perfect coach and leader who does Vegan Cleanses locally here in Charlotte. Vegan Chef’s Rian and Ami from Home Healthy Market run an amazing 5 day Juice Cleanse. If you’d like more information let me know. If you don’t live in Charlotte – search the internet for others like them that lead people through cleanses in your area. Buy one cleanse for yourself and a loved one to do together!

Tarte Cosmetics – Looking for a lead free and toxic alternative to lipstick and lipgloss? Tarte Cosmetics make the most awesome Lip Tints that stay on your lips for hours and look FABULOUS. I own every color :) I am obviously a huge fan!

Pacari and Righteously Raw Chocolates – Looking for a small editable gift to give? Convince a loved one they don’t need dairy or refined sugar in their chocolate to taste good! These are my favorite organic chocolate products on the market. The chocolate covered golden berries from Pacari and the Goji Righteously Raw bars are delectable. These sweets will look so adorable tucked into stockings or wrapped and tied into cellophane gift bags.

Organic/Local Food Gift Cards – One of my favorite gifts to give every season is the gift of experience. Treat your family and friends to an organic or farm to table restaurant gift card. Or even a personalized dinner created by a local vegan chef like Julia from Ethical Glutton. My favorite restaurants picks in town are – Luna’s Living Kitchen, Woodlands, Fern Flavors from the Garden, The Liberty, and Halcyon Flavors from the Earth.

Organic Food Delivery or Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) Subscriptions – Can’t convince a loved one to buy only organic? Sign them up for an organic food delivery like Absolute Organics or a local CSA. They will soon get hooked on the taste, variety and freshness of their order each week. The more we support organic food the more we reduce the use of pesticides on our earth. You’ll being giving a gift for someone and the environment.

Food Babe’s Gifts for Under the Tree:

A Juicer – Juice is medicine, plain and simple. This may be the most powerful and rewarding gift you could give yourself or a loved one. Drinking green juice will awaken you to health, vitality and wellness. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without juice and will certainty thank the person who bought you the juicer until the end of days. For more information on juicing – check out my past posts on juicing here.

Bodum Jars – Storing your juice, Hari Shakes or other green smoothies is easy thanks to air tight Bodum Jars. Having these jars are a real luxury, making it a perfect gift. I discovered these jars long ago when I received a wedding gift from my cousin in Louisiana. She filled each jar with the dry ingredients to a cookie recipe. Incredible! You could even fill these jars with organic hard candy like butterscotch and cinnamon candies from Yummy Earth and wrap the outside with a ribbon before you put it under the tree.

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Green Pan – This pan is a must for any healthy kitchen.  It is non stick but isn’t coated with toxic teflon and can help you reduce the amount of oil you use in your cooking dramatically – I stir fry things almost dry using only a 1/2 teaspoon of oil or vegetable broth without anything sticking. It’s completely safe and eco-friendly. I have both the Wok and Crepe Pan.

Superfoods – I bet there are lots of people in your lives that have never tried a goji berry or raw cacao nib. I am always introducing superfoods like these to my family and friends any chance I get. A perfect gift would be to get a cute basket from a craft store and fill it with different packages of superfoods. Navitas Naturals and Sunfood are my favorite sources for the best quality organic ingredients. You could also make mix the superfoods in a trail mix and put them in Bodum Jars too!

Klean Kanteen Reusable Bottles – Have a loved one who wastes countless hours buying cases of bottled water and filling landfills with plastic bottles? Get them a nice BPA free reusable stainless steel bottle they can carry with them everywhere. I carry my Klean Kanteen 64 ouncer to work with me everyday. There is nothing better than having fresh filtered water from home with you ready to go – I try to always finish the whole thing before coming home. This makes knowing I am fully hydrated very easy – especially taking those Hot Yoga classes after work. They make all sorts of sizes – my next favorite is 48 ounces – perfect for workouts at the gym or yoga studio and keep in the car for long days running errands.

Pure Olive Oil Soap – Don’t show up empty handed at a party this season. Pure Olive Oil Soap is the perfect for hostess gifts. Wrap three in a cute reusable kitchen towels for a nice eco-friendly wrap.

Reusable Ziplocs – Ever count how many ziplocs you and your family go through in one week? Imagine the waste and money you will save if your family just adopted Lunch Skins. This super eco friendly item is a reusable snack and/or sandwich bag that you can use over and over again and can get magically clean in your dishwasher. They come is so many cute patterns. I recently bought some from Ecolicious in Plaza Midwood. The shark pattern is my FAVORITE! Perfect for little kid’s lunch boxes too!

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Heart Rate Monitor – Not knowing how hard you are working in the gym is a big mistake if you are serious about getting in shape and continuously trying to challenge yourself to see results. This is one of the best tools I ever bought and now I am in the best shape of my life because of it. It gives me instant feedback on how hard I am working and how many calories I am burning. Having this watch on my wrist is a constant reminder to make each minute count when I am working out.

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Hot Water Kettle – I have 2 hot water kettles. One that I keep at home for morning hot water with lemon and hot tea and another one at work so I can enjoy fresh hot tea anytime I like. Breville has a few versions of kettles that I highly recommend that are BPA free – all the way from a basic stainless steel water kettle to a tea maker that does everything for you.

Glass Drinking Straws – This gift will be perfect for your favorite eco-friendly smoothie drinking friend or family member. The more plastics you can eliminate in someone’s life the better!

Stainless Steel Lemon Juicer – Teaching someone about detoxing first thing in the morning will be a lot more fun if you give them this gift. I love this lemon juicer because it is stainless steel, isn’t made of plastic or painted with potential harmful chemicals that can leach into your water or food. Hot water with lemon in the morning will be an easy ritual with this!

Knowledge – There may be no better gift, than the gift of knowledge. Give your loved one a favorite healthy lifestyle book. These are some of my favorite books to give right now –

Got other organic, healthy, holistic, and eco-friendly gift ideas? I’m all ears! If I like your product or suggestion and feature it here on the gift guide and you will receive a holiday gift from me!

Just submit your ideas on my Facebook Fan Page or comment section below or via email!

Wishing you Good Cheer, Lots of Healthy Eats, and Peace this Holiday Season!

Food Babe

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