December 2006 Issue

FOOD FUN FACT: Don't Buy These Veggies & Fruits...
CHRISTI'S COMMENTARY: Unique Holiday Gift Ideas
FOOD CORNER: Make Smarter Food Buying Choices
UPCOMING EVENTS: Boston Marathon Nutrition Program


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Unless you buy the organic version, that is.

In October, the Environmental Working Group released a new version of its "Dirty Dozen" list.  This list identifies the 12 fruits and veggies that are most contaminated with pesticides (like apples and sweet bell peppers). 

The list also highlights the "Consistently Clean Dozen" - those fruits and veggies that contain the lowest amount of pesticides (like asparagus and broccoli).

This list is very important for those of you who don't buy organic produce all of the time (although, I want to remind you that spending a little bit extra on organic now will save you lots of money in doctors' bills and medication in the future... it's money well-spent).

Washing and rinsing produce does NOT get rid of pesticides, which can have toxic effects on those who consume them (particularly children).

If you must make a choice about which foods to buy organic and which to buy conventional, PLEASE make sure to download the wallet-size Shoppers' Guide and take it with you the next time you head to the grocery store.

There have been several revisions to the original list... so please check out the latest version.




I recently facilitated a "How to Have a Stress-Free Holiday" workshop for members of The Downtown Women's Club.

During the workshop, I led them through my 'non-action' exercise, where you take the things on your to-do list that make you feel stressed and you choose to: Delete, Delegate, or Diminish them.

If you want to read more aboutmy non-action approach, check out last year's December newsletter.

Personally, I'm a big fan of delegating gift buying to people who have a knack for it.  

My husband, Ben, is an amazing gift buyer. He seems to hit the nail on the head every time (and he's an amazingly patient shopper and bargain-finder, to boot).  I delegate a lot of our gift-buying to him, because he's so much better at it than me.

When it comes to gifts, I may not know a lot about the latest fashion trends or the latest and greatest kids' toys... but I do know a lot about buying gifts with a health/wellness twist. 

So I was excited to get an email from one of my readers, Patty M. from Carlsbad, CA who wrote me with this question:

"Christi, thanks for the three Thanksgiving weight loss tips - I've never read these tips anywhere before, they were very original and realistic.  Now that Thanksgiving is taken care of, I'm wondering if you have any thoughts about healthy, useful gifts for the holidays?  I'm sick of giving the same old lotions, candles, and books."  

Patty, I'm delighted to help!

I've compiled a list of gifts that are perfect for health-conscious recipients (or health-conscious givers!).  If you're stressing at all over those last few names on your gift list, just delegate the brainstorming to me. 

Please note: if you've subscribed to my newsletter for a while, you know that I don't normally make brand name recommendations. That's because I'm very, very picky about what I recommend to my clients and readers. I only make recommendations about products or services that I have used personally, and gotten great results from, as well.  Except for the products that are sold on my website - - I do not make any money from the products I highlight in the list below.

Take a few moments to look down this list and see if any of these ideas might be good matches for the people on your list.



A private or group session with a personal trainer (in Boston, I personally recommend Helen Hendrickson, who helped me get my pre-baby body back, and runs group and individual fitness training and health counseling from her Central Square training facility)

The Yoga Card deck – great for working out and relaxing at home or on the road (available at any bookstore)

Dance lessons – how about belly dancing or salsa? (in Boston, I recommend The Goddess Dancing and The Dance Complex)

Snowboarding or skiing private lesson (I can also recommend a great ice climbing instructor in NH, if you're buying for someone like my husband who likes sports that involve danger and lots of gear!)

Gift certificate to REI or EMS

A warm, cuddly fleece vest or jacket



A high quality chef's knife

Gift certificate to Whole Foods or Wild Oats

A herb garden starter kit

Crock pot or rice cooker

Cooking lessons

Tea Forte - gorgeously-packaged, deliciously yummy teas that make dramatic gifts (these are one-of-a-kind)




A meditation CD

Pure cotton sheet set from

A shiatsu session in your home (in Boston, I personally recommend Joy Flood, who will come to your home, and has the most soothing, kind, calming energy)

A yoga session in your home (in Boston, I personally recommend Barrett Lauck, yoga instructor extraordinaire, who also teaches at several places around the city)

A bottle of Bach’s Rescue Remedy (buy from local health store or

Free month of home produce delivery service (in Boston, I recommend Boston Organics)

Gift certificate for a pedicure or facial

A massage (in Boston, I recommend a massage/hot tub experience at Urban Oasis in Cambridge... or Nancy McGrath, a massage therapist who will come to your house if you live in the Cambridge of Metro-West area of Boston)

A bottle of lavender essential oil to dab on the pillow at night... and a bottle of peppermint essential oil to take away headaches or indigestion (available from a local health store or




Alternative Gifts International - for the price of a traditional gift, you can provide a wheelchair to a child in Cambodia, clean drinking water to people in the Andes, etc. My brother, Mike, turned me on to this website which has wonderful alternatives to traditional, material gifts.

A coupon for a night of free babysitting (can you tell I'm a new parent?!)

A coupon for a home-cooked meal

A fun picture-filled calendar or DVD from an online picture studio like

Delivery of fresh flowers throughout the year

Homemade treats (see my brownie recipe on the right for inspiration)

A lunch with you at a restaurant in town



"Supersize Me! The Movie" by Morgan Spurlock

Christi's "Healthy Shopper" DVD

Subscription to Natural Health magazine

One of Christi's teleseminar recordings




If you need help finding a perfect gift for someone on your list... please email me and let me know how I can help.

If you would like to share a healthy holiday gift idea with my readers, please email me and let me know what you’ve done in the past.


Loved this Christi's Commentary?  Hated it? 

Let me know...


I’d absolutely, positively love

to hear from you!






I've decided not to schedule live lectures or teleclasses during the month of December this year.  It's my way of keeping my schedule free to spend more time with family and friends.  It's also my way of encouraging you to do the same :)




If you are looking for inspiration around healthy living, please check out the archived copy of all past teleclasses that I keep on my website.

If you are looking for a holiday gift for someone who's health-conscious, please check out

my Healthy Products.




Online Nutrition Program for Marathon Runners

Are you a marathon runner who wants to learn how to use food to improve your performance during your training season?

The "Peak Performance Nutrition Program" (PPNP) is a 19-week online program that teaches you the dietary changes you need to make during your training season in order to avoid bonking, gaining weight, getting an upset stomach, or getting sick of carbs!

To learn more about this program, Click here.

Running the 2007 Boston marathon?  Your PPNP starts December 11.  To sign up, click here.





Do you ever feel intimidated by the health food store?

Are you looking for some new cooking inspiration?

Are you trying to convince your kids or spouse that healthy eating is the way to go?

If any of these questions rang true for you, I want to introduce you to a DVD that has helped hundreds of my readers.

My "Healthy Shopper" DVD is a fun, information-packed DVD that follows me through Whole Foods as I give a condensed version of my traditional health food store tour.

Curious?  Want to learn more?

Here's the main DVD page, where you can find out all the details.

Here's a testimonial from a busy mom who bought the DVD:

"I was REALLY IMPRESSED with your DVD. It was not only full of great information and tips, but it was beautifully produced too.

I was surprised by how professional it was!

Not only did I like it, but my 5 year-old-son and my 2 year-old- daughter loved it too! You're a celebrity at our house now. My kids want to meet you and "play at your house" (the highest compliment) but more importantly -- they want me to bring home some beets & daikon radish to try! (I bet you didn't even realize you were making a kid-friendly video!)

My father was here when I saw the video and he's going to order one for himself too. GREAT JOB."

- Sarah Zeldman, Solutions For Busy Moms


If you're thinking about buying the DVD for someone's holiday gift, please note that I can only ship out Healthy Shopper DVDs until December 15. After that, I'll be in CA for the holidays.

So, make sure to place your order before December 15!

Orders placed after December 15 will be shipped out on December 27.  The DVD is only $15 plus S/H.


Reader responses to Christi's November Newsletter:

"Your Nov. newsletter was one of the best I've ever read!  I love that the tips are REALLY practical, instead of things that are nice ideas but ones you know you'll never try. Sometimes, health advice is so strict and impractical.  With this article you managed to avoid both of those usual traps!" - From "Nourishing Nuggets" reader Amy V.

"I loved the Nov. newsletter - I am a nutrition/health fanatic, but I'd never read any of those tips before. They were all original and realistic!

Although I love to eat healthy, I'd break my mom's heart if I didn't eat her stuffing (the recipe was passed down from my grandmother), and my sister-in-law's if I didn't eat her homemade apple pie!

With your tips, there are no hurt feelings."
- From "Nourishing Nuggets" reader Kristie L.

To view past issues of Nourishing Nuggets, click here.




Now, I know the recipe title sounds a bit strange. When my colleague sent it to me a few years ago, I was a bit skeptical.

Who ever heard of garbanzo beans in

brownies?  Well, I'm here to tell you these brownies are a HIT!

I take them to my lectures, and bring them to family functions all the time.

There are only five ingredients to this recipe, so the actual baking process is quick and easy.

- 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips or carob chips
- 2 c. garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup brown rice syrup (or 1 cup agave nectar)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a small bowl melt chocolate or carob chips in microwave for 2 mins.
3. In blender or food processor, combine beans and eggs.
4. Add sweetener, baking powder, and chocolate.  Process until smooth.
5. Pour batter into a 9" or 8X8" non stick pan. Bake for 45 minutes.

Top with chocolate sauce or raspberry jam, if so desired.

Check out other

Delicious Holiday Recipes!





Christi Collins, H.H.C., AADP, is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.

**Are you wondering what a Holistic Health Counselor is?  This description may help!

Christi studied Eastern/Western nutrition and modern health counseling at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City and earned a B.A. in Honors in Communication Arts from Villanova Universty.

Christi's goal is to help people fall in love with "The Big Three": Healthy Eating, Juicy Living, and Guilt-Free Self-Care.

She works with very busy women who are struggling to eat healthy and take insanely good care of themselves... without feeling stressed or guilty about it.

Christi is a three-time marathoner and triathlete, an avid pianist, and a newly converted Red Sox and Patriots fan.

She is the author of the forthcoming book "You Don't Have to be Superwoman to be Healthy: 50 Ways to Reclaim Your Health."

To read more fun facts and stories about Christi, click here.

Christi can be reached by email or phone (978.494.0144).

To visit her website, click here.

Here are recent pictures of Christi's baby, Evan!



About "Christi's Nourishing Nuggets"

Note: the information in this newsletter is presented for educational purposes only. This information is not intended as a substitute for diagnosis and treatment by a licensed professional. To suggest topics for future "Christi's Nourishing Nuggets " issues, please contact me.

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