Barbara Quinn, On Nutrition: Christmas Shopping – Monterey Herald

By | December 3, 2019

And here we are in December. I don’t understand it, but this year — for the first time in a long time — my Christmas shopping has been extremely easy. So far, I’ve happened upon gifts that are handmade or personal and not too expensive. I love when that happens.

So for those of you who missed Black Friday (I did) and would like some inspirational ideas, here are a few you may want to consider:

Plant a tree in one of our National Forests for a special someone who doesn’t need another tie or bathrobe. It’s a gift that gives back for generations. By the way, did you know that Arbor Day originated in Nebraska? Contact the Arbor Day Foundation at or call 888-448-7337.

Give clean water. Help someone save the cost of bottled water with a product like Zerowater that filters solids (including lead) out of tap water in a simple filter-enclosed pitcher. It’s pretty and sits on your counter. What could be more personal? Get more info at or call 800-503-2939.

Supply a flock of chicks in someone’s name. A perfect gift for those concerned about feeding our world. Really. A flock of chicks ($ 20) can enrich the inadequate diets of families from Guatemala to Zambia with nourishing, life-sustaining eggs. Besides valuable protein, eggs are rich in choline, which is needed for brain development. Contact Heifer International at or call 855-848-6437.

For the ‘shroomer on your list, I am not making this up, you can buy him (or her) a mushroom log kit. Soak it in water, place in a cool, dark place and voila’! Home-grown mushrooms. Even better if your gift recipient is from Georgia. This kit is made with salvaged logs and organic spores straight from this southern state. Find it at or call 888-365-0056.

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Or maybe a nutrition book! This is a total plug, but if you’re in the area on Dec. 13, join me for some Christmas cheer at the 501 Office in Carmel Square, San Carlos and 7th Street in Carmel by the Sea. I’ll be signing copies of my book, “Quinn-Essential Nutrition: The Uncomplicated Science of Eating” from 5 to 7 pm.

Give yourself a special treat. At the end of the day, allow yourself a cute little ball of sweet rice dough surrounding a dollop of peppermint ice cream. It’s a fun product call My/Mo Mochi found at most major grocery stores. And if you eat just one, you won’t spoil your resolution to get through this season in reasonably good shape. Happy holidays.

Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator affiliated with the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. Email her at

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