Christmas What do you buy a health freak for Christmas

We've all got one - a dusty hall cupboard or cluttered drawer that acts as a halfway house for well-meaning presents bought by loved ones.

As the resident health freak in my household, my personal Aladdin's cave includes leg weights, a self-acupuncture mat, a home body fat monitor (not after Christmasdinner, pleease!) and a rowing machine.

Yes, eBay beckons. To save future wastage I've decided to take the bull by the horns with this definitive list of the of this year's festive trawl for gym bunnies or MAMILS (middle aged men in lycra) alike.


Best foot forward

I'm all for functional footwear. If you can tone your tush at the same time as wearing fluffy Ugg-impersonators, or all weather MBT trainers, why not?

If they are good enough for Heidi Klum, they are good enough for me. My daughter ingeniously calls them Mummy's wobble shoes. I'd be decidedly more wobbly on a pair of Jimmy Choos after festive drinks but she doesn't need to know that just yet.


Gadgets and gizmos

I have more health gadgets then you'd care to know about but the best in my mind is my ki-fit armband which you wear 24/7. It gives you a snapshot of your metabolism (in other words, how much fat you are burning and if you are on track with weight loss) via your laptop or portable pocket-sized device. You might want to remove it discreetly before a love-in with dishy Matt from legal at the office party since it monitors your heart rate too!

When it comes to lotions and potions, gift buying becomes a potential minefield. Give your mother-in-law a new miracle anti-ageing cream and your lover some foot callous softener? Hmm, not what the dinner table diplomat would call a good move.

When it comes to getting what you really want, be explicit, especially when it is a bloke doing the buying. Google map the shop and text the brand and a price expectation so your beloved doesn't end up with body butter when you asked for Crème de la Mer. Yes reader, it happened to me.


Home accessories

'House porn', as seen in Elle Decoration or the John Lewis catalogue, is equally dangerous for a health freak. I now believe that I cannot possibly cook soup without one of those all-in-one soup maker thingies, or that a dependence on George Clooney's Nespresso machine is a healthy one.

A good investment should of course include a juicer - give it to a student who might otherwise be turning an MSG-induced grey in winter months. It is still the best way to get your five-a-day in one go. Also a handy way to use up a well-intentioned delivery box of fruit and veg that has been neglected in favour of yet another festive menu; have a look at the excellent for delivered healthy meals.

To prepare your body for the inevitable January detox, get spicy with your gifts. Pep up a seasonal smoothie with nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and vanilla extract - great for creating an illusion of sweetness without adding calories. Rosewater can also be used but just make sure actual rosewater, not the Jo Malone variety, otherwise it will cost you!

Of course, you can always go down the experience route - a gift that lasts beyond the packaging. Spa vouchers are big business but how about boot camp? Forget the old-fashioned bunk-bed-in-a-bar-style experiences, these days you can get in shape without feeling like you are on a school trip. Shameless self-plug here but visit my website for Five Star boot camp breaks, detox weekends and detox holidays!