With Christmas and the Holiday season upon us, gift giving becomes the topic of discussion. The problem we all face is what kind of gift to give out this year? Do you go the route of fun and enjoyment, practical, or something that is "healthy" for the gift recipient? Since we are interest in healthy living on Your Health First, we've put together some ideas for everyone. Tonight, we will have some of our favorite guests comment on what to consider this season. Remember, "healthy" can still be fun. Below are a few ideas to consider. If you have your own thoughts, send us a message in the form below.
 
Whether you're juicing vegetables, fruits or grasses, juicing is the best and quickest way to take in high volumes of fruits and veggies. Your body absorbs the juice within 20 minutes. Juicing vegetables gives you all the good enzymes, minerals, vitamins, co-factors, chlorophyll, anti-oxidants, phytonutrients and all other nutrients your body craves. I don't know of any better way to energize and alkalize your body naturally.
 
Pedometer (Counting your steps)
A pedometer is a pager-sized device worn on your belt that simply records the number of steps you take based on your body's movement. Some pedometers are analog devices that simply measure steps. Some are fancier digital models that track the distance you walk, plus the calories you burn. But keep in mind, the calorie counters are notoriously inaccurate and those models are more expensive. All you really need is a simple step counter so you can monitor if you walk the recommended 10,000 steps per day.
 
A pedometer is great for the gadget lovers out there. It's also ideal for the person who simply can't find a hunk of 30 minutes-or even three chunks of 10 minutes-in a day for walking. Just be sure to put a safety string through the pedometer's waist clip and pin it or loop it through a belt loop, so the pedometer isn't dropped down a toilet.
 
Medicine Ball
A medicine ball (also known as an exercise ball, a med ball, or a fitness ball) is a weighted ball roughly the diameter of the shoulders (approx. 14 inches). Often used for rehabilitation and strength training, it serves an important role in the field of sports medicine. It should not be confused with the larger, inflated exercise ball.  Medicine balls are usually sold as 2–25 lb. balls and are used effectively in plyometric weight training to increase explosive power in athletes in all sports. Some medicine balls are in the form of weighted basketballs.

Medicine balls are used by boxing professionals to improve the strength of abdominal muscles. This is done by dropping the ball onto the abdomen of the boxer, simulating a punch coming from an opponent. Other athletes use medicine balls to increase their core strength. One common activity is to have athletes hold the ball against their chest and thrust it at another athlete, who catches it against their chest. This strengthens arm, chest, and leg muscles.

Medicine balls throws are also implemented as part of the SPARQ rating, a test of sport-specific athleticism, to assess core strength, total body power and coordination. Different tests involve an athlete throwing the ball behind them and over their head as far as they can, or kneeling and pushing the ball out from their chest for maximum distance.

They are also extensively used by secondary schools as a fitness aid. Example exercises include: lifting the ball or performing different exercises (such as sit-ups and leg raises) with the ball in order to increase the stress on a particular muscle.
Consumer Report-Health (A Healthy Newsletter Every Month)
 
Since 1971, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has been a strong advocate for nutrition and health, food safety, alcohol policy, and sound science. Its award-winning newsletter, Nutrition Action Healthletter, with some 900,000 subscribers in the United States and Canada, is the largest-circulation health newsletter in North America.  Founded by executive director Michael Jacobson, Ph.D. and two other scientists, CSPI carved out a niche as the organized voice of the American public on nutrition, food safety, health and other issues during a boom of consumer and environmental protection awareness in the early 1970s. CSPI has long sought to educate the public, advocate government policies that are consistent with scientific evidence on health and environmental issues, and counter industry’s powerful influence on public opinion and public policies.
 
Hale Groves: Fresh Fruit
Navel Oranges, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Honeybell Tangelos and many more varieties of citrus fruits - a Florida tradition since 1947. Select from Hale Groves' finest fresh fruit and premium citrus, guaranteed to "Wow" family, friends and associates. Hale's premium Florida citrus varieties are always fresh from the groves and are brimming with juicy sweetness.  Our many varieties of Florida Citrus Fruits include: Navel Oranges, Honeybell Tangelos, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Tangerines and a whole lot more. Try them all.
 
Fruit of the Month
Whether you’re giving a gift, entertaining your family and friends, or making an ordinary day just a little more special, you can depend on us to make your gift-giving and entertaining more personal and meaningful. We make it easy to have the kind of celebration everyone loves.
 
The End of Overeating-The Book
In a wide-ranging look at eating habits, David Kessler, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration, addresses America's ever-increasing waistlines in his new book, "The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite."

Former FDA Commissioner David Kessler speaks to WSJ's Jeffrey Trachtenberg about eating habits to avoid.

He interviews the overweight, who say that just the sight of a favorite snack food is enough to make them feel hungry, as well anonymous food executives who admit that fat, salt and sugar are often the building blocks of successful food products. The book was prompted by a question that had long nagged Dr. Kessler: Why is it that Americans continue to crave such foods as potato chips and candy bars long after they feel full? "No one has ever explained what's happening to them and how they can control their eating," he writes. "That's my goal in this book."

Dr. Kessler, a 57-year-old pediatrician, was commissioner of the FDA from 1990 to 1997. He is probably best known for his opposition to tobacco interests and efforts to better label food products. He is currently a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco.

The Wall Street Journal: What most surprised you while researching this book?

[end of overeating]

David Kessler: I wanted to understand why it was so hard to control what we eat. I thought I was going to end up in the world of nutrition and endocrinology. I ended up inside the brain and inside the food industry. The metaphor for the book was: Why did the chocolate chip cookie have such power over me? I saw a woman on Oprah who said she ate when she was happy, when she was sad, before her husband left for work and then after he left. I wanted to understand what was driving her behavior. It was not just that she was eating too much -- she was eating when she didn't want to eat. And nobody could explain why. I wanted to know, how could we help her? What was driving her? The greatest surprise was understanding how highly palatable foods had hijacked her brain.

WSJ: Early on in the book, you suggest that that major food companies know what motivates shoppers.

Dr. Kessler: They know what drives demand, and they were able to design foods to be hot stimuli. The food industry says they only give consumers what they want. But what they want excessively activates the rewards circuits of the brain. They aren't selling just any commodity. They've designed highly stimulating products, and consumers come back for more. Nothing sells as much as something that stimulates the rewards-circuitry of the brain. It's all about selling product.

WSJ: What about restaurant eating?

Dr. Kessler: Much of what we eat in restaurants is fat on fat on sugar on fat with salt. Pick any dish in any mid-American restaurant. What is spinach dip? Fat on salt with green stuff. Look at the average salad we're eating. If you look at the bacon, the croutons, the cheese…it's fats, salts and a little lettuce. 
 
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