As I get older and hopefully a bit wiser, my perspective on gift giving (and receiving) has changed from when I was a young thang.

I’m personally not one to have a lengthy wish list anyway, but the list is much different in content these days. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a new pair of running shoes or an innovative kitchen gadget to make my food preparation experience even more fun.  But when it comes down to it, I’d much rather be given things that help me grow as an athlete, a Sport Dietitian, and a better human being. Alternatively, just spending time with loved ones is a gift to be better appreciated by us all.

Having said that, I would like to propose a couple gifts to consider giving yourself and/or someone near and dear to you.  I consider these “learning” gifts rather than material gifts. Pardon the semi-shameless plug here, but these learning gifts are services I offer as a  Sport Dietitian:  nutrition coaching and physiological testing. 

You may ask, “why these gifts?” or “what benefits are there?”

These are gifts that provide an individual to learn more about their health and physiology.

  • Nutrition coaching enables me to assess you personally, to understand your health and/or athletic performance goals, and provide customized nutrition guidance all while addressing your concerns and questions. Kind of like your personal trainer or massage expert, but in the nutrition realm… as your nutrition trainer of sorts.
  • The physiology testing I offer uses gold standard equipment and protocols to better understand the factors that affect health and athletic performance such as the metabolic efficiency level of the body (in terms of carbohydrate vs. fat utilization and implications upon health/performance short-term and long-term), calorie expenditure, fueling needs for training and competition, and your sweat sodium concentration.

These are some of the things you “get”, although my professional style and nutrition coaching support provide an extra layer of value that my clients greatly appreciate.  I take pride in giving my all to my peeps.  When I’ve been on the other side of that table, I think it speaks volumes to have a healthcare professional who actually gives a darn - it shows in their work ethic and relationships, and the outcomes of the clientele.

So, if you’re like me these days and want to give (or receive) a gift that may have a more meaningful impact than typical material gifts, consider an educational health gift that can benefit most any individual.

And folks, if this idea isn’t up your alley, but you’re still reading this, how about making a donation to a charitable organization instead or someone in need?