Last month, someone wrote in from a Florida gift basket company, asking for suggestions of what to put into Christmas and Hanukah holiday baskets for diabetics. My first thoughts drifted back to the days of being the recipient of "diabetic" Christmas gifts from caring family and friends. No matter how beautiful or whimsical the packaging, inside it was always the same boxes upon boxes, Christmas after Christmas, of "diabetic cookies" that tasted like saccharin infused cardboard, had the texture of sand, and looked like real cookies - wayward - third - cousins -once - removed. I always smiled, saccharinely, said thank you and went up to my room to play Billy Holiday and Nina Simone records. They were the only ones who understood my burden and blues. I was a bit melodramatic in those days. Fortunately, times have changed and things are different in the new millennium.
Hey, gift baskets for diabetics! The possibilities could be brilliant. Whether you are on the giving or receiving end, here are some holiday gift basket ideas that work very nicely. If you are one of us who are hoping to receive a new millennium diabetic gift basket, download and print this list immediately. Place discreetly in obvious places for those who are doing the shopping. Better yet, e-mail it to Santa.
Hand-le With Care and Dancing Feet Basket
As a pleasant reminder to inspect hands and feet daily, a gift basket containing a few of the many wonderful, natural, organic, essential oils, and antibacterial cleansers, lotions and soothing creams, plus little extras, like a good nail brush with pumice stone attached, natural loofah mitts or gloves from The Body Shop, and a pair of reflexology socks from Hands-On- Feet (800 330-2109), make a useful, thoughtful gift.
If you make it a "dancing feet" basket, use a shoe box or a pair of cozy slippers, as a basket. If it is "Hand -le With Care", lay out a pretty soft cotton hand towel, place jars and tubes on top and gather corners with a bright ribbon.
A couple personal favorites that do good work on dry skin are, Udderly sMOOoth Udder cream, (yup it's for cows, but my doctor recommended it to me, and it works on humans, too) 800 345-7339, and Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Creme (800 849-7112), which is particularly good to slather on tired feet at the end of a day. Don't forget to slip on your reflexology socks.
A Healing Through Pampering Basket
An easy and wonderfully thoughtful gift is the gift of massage. There are excellent certified therapists throughout the country. Massage is an ancient healing art that reduces stress and stimulates circulation. If you really want to pamper the recipient of the gift basket, buy a big fluffy terry robe and stick the gift card in the pocket. And for the basket .... A big wicker laundry basket always comes in handy.
Book Bag Basket
We all know how important education is when it comes to diabetes. If you know someone who has been newly diagnosed, good basic reads are Diabetes For Dummies and the Diabetes Cookbook For Dummies. There are, of course, a garden variety of good books in the diabetes field nowadays. Diabetes Mall carries them all, at special holiday discounted prices. Call (800 988-4772) for a catalog or download it here. You can get the catalog and select a few books yourself, or give the catalog with a gift certificate, pen, a few notepads, and a reading light. Place it all in a book bag, and know you've done a solid.
Fitness Afoot Basket
Exercise is an integral part of good diabetes care, and sometimes the part most difficult to get motivated. A fabulous gift is a gym bag with gym shorts, T-shirt and sweat band, plus membership or classes at a local health club, Y, or gym. Throw in a couple workout videos, such as an aerobics program and yoga, stretch or pilates tape. This just might be the nudge a person with diabetes needs to start moving.
A Gift Basket Of Information
It can be extremely helpful in managing one's diabetes to be in touch with other diabetics . It lends support, camaraderie, information and a certain bond of communication that has the potential to inspire good care. A gift of membership in one or several of the organizations that offer such support, such as the American Diabetes Association (800 ADA -ORDER or www.diabetes.org), Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (800 212 689 -2860 or www.jdfcure.com) or International Diabetic Athletes Association (800 898 IDAA or www.diabetes-exercise.org), may trigger a positive response to take a more proactive role in a person's diabetes. All organizations publish informative newsletters or magazines. Give subscriptions, a pair of reading glasses and box of herbal tea and tea cup to enjoy, while cozied up to read the latest issues.
A basket filled with packages of healthy foods, in the form of whole and vibrant complex carbohydrates is one sure to be appreciated. Since it is the carbs we eat that have the most profound effect on bg's, it is wise to pick and choose those that offer a good nutritional return for our work at balancing the seesaw of carbs and blood sugars.
Line a big basket with a bright kitchen towel and fill it with de boles artichoke pasta, whole wheat couscous, bulgur, French lentils, unhulled barley, brown basmati rice, stone ground cornmeal, millet and a variety of colorful legumes. This pantry basket will come in handy for incorporating interesting, delicious, nutritious carbohydrates, loaded with fiber into the good diet. Visit your local health food shop to pick up the best and freshest variety.
Made In The Kitchen Basket
How could we not stop at Recipe Central to have some fun mixing and whisking up a few homemade holiday treats for diabetic friends ......or ourselves. Packing up a kitchen basket can be as much fun as preparing the foods. The creative possibilities are endless. Here are a few to get you thinking ...... If it's salad dressings you are making, place jars or bottles in a beautiful wood bowl, with salad hands, those great little wooden "hands" available at most kitchenware shops. They are the easiest and most practical utensil, outside of using your own clean hands, for mixing salads.
For baked goods, a large mixing bowl with a spatula, a sturdy whisk, measuring spoons and cups, may be the trick to turn out the best cookies, muffins or quick breads. Access to good ingredients and the right tools always make a cook smile. Come over to Cyber Kitchen now so we can prepare some fun holiday goodies.
|Blended With Inspiration, Love And Magic: Parsley Oil Vinaigrette|
|Wash and dry a nice bunch of flat leaf parsley. This type, sometimes called Italian parsley, has a fuller flavor than curly, or American parsley. Trim off lower half of stems and discard. Add washed and dried parsley to 1 cup extra virgin olive oil in a container large enough to submerge parsley. Cover and let the flavors marry overnight at room temp. Next day, whirl briefly in food processor or blender, and strain into clean bottle. This is best stored on door of refrigerator. The parsley oil, along with a lovely vinegar, a flavorful mustard, French sea salt, a pepper grinder filled with mixed peppercorns and a few bundles of fresh or dried herb, will inspire joy in the kitchen.
Nutrition Information: Serving Size: 1T, Fat: 14 grams (77% mono, 9% poly, and 14% saturated), Calories: 120, Carbs: 0 grams Protein: 0 grams
To make a tasty vinegar, simply combine peel from half a pineapple, a chunk of the fresh pineapple, 2 T. brown sugar, and 1 quart water, in a large glass jar. Cover tightly and set on sunny windowsill for a few days. Remove half of the peel as the mixture begins to ferment. Wait a few more days until the liquid changes color. Remove the fruit and remaining peel. Wait 2 weeks, strain into a sterilized jar or wine bottle and store in cool place. This makes a pale honey colored, delightfully mild vinegar to use or give as a gift alongside a bottle of parsley oil.
Nutrition Information: Vinegar is a free food with negligible nutritional value, Serving Size: 2T, Calories: 5, Carbs: 2 grams, Fat: 0 grams, Protein: 0 grams
|Fresh Jam Session|
2 cups fresh fruit of choice, peeled and finely chopped
* I recommend using this very fresh jam within 2 weeks. Keep refrigerated. For a gift basket, try making several jams, using fruits such as apples, pears, mangos, berries, or pineapple. Add 2 or 3 boxes of interesting wholegrain crackers, and a ramekin and spreading knife for the jam to complete the delectable gift.
Nutrition Information: Serving Size: 1 T, Calories: 15, Carbs: 3 grams, Fat: 0 grams, Protein: 0 grams