Healthy holiday gift ideas under $50

Give the gift of better health this year with these health-inspired gift ideas, all under $50

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travel book

Off the Tourist Trail: 1,000 Unexpected Travel Alternatives

This travel guide-cum-coffee table book is an essential for the traveller who likes to avoid tourist hot spots. Take Niagara Falls, for instance, a must-see for visitors to the region that’s packed in the high season. Skip it, suggest the authors, in favour of Iguaçu Falls on the Brazil-Argentina border, or Dettifoss Falls in Iceland. Want to eat your way through Paris? Try Lyon instead, or follow the authors’ suggestions guide to the less-explored (and less-crowded) parts of the city to get a real feel for Parisian life.

$46, at bookstores and

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living gift

A Living Gift from Ten Thousand Villages

What to get for the person who has everything? How about a charitable gift in their name? Ten Thousand Villages offers a range of options, like a $20 “Give Green” gift that will provide tools, vegetable seeds, organic fertilizer and training for a farmer in Guatemala; or a $26 “Give Education” gift that will pay for workbooks and a school uniform for a child in need. Include a Living Gift ornament and card for an additional $4.

From $20,

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Aveda Caribbean Rejuvenation gift set

Aveda Caribbean Rejuvenation gift set

Bring the smell of the tropics to chilly winter days with this set of four travel-size products from Aveda’s Caribbean Rejuvenation line: body cleanser, body scrub, body cream and a bath bar. They’re packaged in a reusable gift box wrapped with Lokta paper from Nepal, which is sourced by Aveda as a way to support the traditional handicrafts of the region and to help protect local forests from deforestation.

$39.75, at Aveda stores

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just 5 things

Just 5 Things

Prove that preparing good food doesn’t have to be complicated with this collection of over 300 recipes containing just five ingredients. With recipes like Caramelized Onion and Spinach Tarts, Roasted Bell Pepper Soup and Baked Fish with Capers and Lemon, there’s enough variety to throw together a multitude of simple-but-delicious meals.

$39.96, in the Best Health Store

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hand care duo

Fruits & Passion Hand Care Duo

The Cucina line from Fruits & Passion is aimed at kitchens, but this hand wash/hand cream duo would look just as stylish in bathrooms. Available in six scents, including yummy Pink Pepper & Anise.

$34, Fruits & Passion stores and

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Ila Dusk personal safety alarm

Ila Dusk personal safety alarm

Women who feel unsafe walking alone at night will find comfort in this personal safety alarm that’s stylish enough to clip to their bag or key ring. When activated, it emits the sound of a woman screaming loudly enough to alert passersby and even startle an attacker enough for women to get away.

$29, at The Bay stores across Canada

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L'Occitane Shea Christmas Essentials

L’Occitane Shea Christmas Essentials

This gift set contains all you need to soothe and soften dry skin, in handy travel- or purse-size packages: 30 mL each of hand and food cream, and 50 mL of body cream, all enriched with shea butter.

$30, at L’Occitane stores and beauty counters and

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T-fal Mini Practic Chopper

T-fal Mini Practic Chopper

Chopping onions, herbs and other fiddly foods can be a pain-and a mess. The T-fal Mini Practic Chopper has a one-cup capacity, perfect for smaller chopping jobs, and the blade and cup can be removed and put in the dishwasher.

$24.99, at The Bay, Wal-Mart and London Drugs

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slow cooker

Taste of Home: The New Slow-Cooker

Slow-cooker fans will love this collection of 225 easy-to-prepare recipes including soups and stews, entrees and even desserts. Bonus: Each recipe includes the cooking time, so you can plan ahead easily.

$39.96, in the Best Health Store

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Ecoholic Home

Ecoholic Home

This new book by Canadian writer Adria Vasil, author of green guide Ecoholic and a Toronto green-living columnist, offers tips on making your house as green as possible, from choices in cleaning products to green renos and moves and is a must-have resource for anyone who cares about their home and the environment.

$24.95, at bookstores and

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Trauma Farm

Trauma Farm

Treat foodies to an inside look at life on a rural Canadian farm by author Brian Brett, whose Trauma Farm on Salt Spring Island is the subject of this memoir of an “18-year-long day.” The honest look at the state of farming and Canada’s food supply won’t fail to be both entertaining and eye-opening.

$35, at bookstores and

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The Foodie Handbook

Please food lovers with this ultimate guide to gastronomy by food blogger Pim, “the knowledgeable foodie that everyone wants as a friend,” according to the cover. With sections on how to eat, drink and cook like a foodie-as well as just be a fabulous foodie-there’s something new for everyone.

$32.95, at bookstores and

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recycling truck

Recycle Truck by Green Toys

Remember years ago, when you were fascinated by the garbage man and truck? Treat modern kids (aged 3 to 5) to an eco-friendly rendition of its modern partner, the recycling truck. This one has a movable recycling bed, open/close rear door and is made from 100% recycled plastic milk containers.

$29.95, at, Indigo stores and other select retailers

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Reversa anti-wrinkle gift set

Reversa anti-wrinkle gift set

Now, you want to be careful who you give this to. (Guys, this is not the right gift for your girlfriend/wife/significant other.) Maybe it’s just a gift for yourself. But the anti-wrinkle gift set from Canadian brand Reversa is perfect for anyone who wants to take care of her skin. It includes 50 mL each of the UV Anti-wrinkle Cream SPF 15 and Corrective Night Cream; both contain glycolic acid for exfoliating, softening and smoothing the skin.

$44.95, at drugstores across Canada

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body shop

The Body Shop Nutmeg and Vanilla gift set

Treat Body Shop fans to a gift set of one of their limited-edition seasonal fragrances: warm and cozy nutmeg and vanilla. This gift set includes shower gel, body lotion, lip balm and soap, plus a matching bath pouf.

$39, at Body Shop stores and

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wii fit plus

Nintendo Wii Fit Plus

For giftees who love their video games, consider the Wii Fit Plus, an upgrade to the classic Wii Fit with more than 20 new activities, such as skateboarding and even a Segway course.

$24.95 for users with the original Wii Fit, $99.95 for complete kit, at and retailers across Canada

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Crabtree & Evelyn Gardeners Hand Renewal

The products in this gift set are aimed at gardeners, but they’re especially applicable to winter-dry hands. You get a Hand Scrub with Pumice, Hand Recovery, Hand Therapy and a Nail & Cuticle Therapy-all in a canvas tote bag they can use come gardening season.

$44.95, at Crabtree & Evelyn stores and

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