Leslie's favorite things - Secret Santa edition

I’ve said it before but I’ll pat myself on the fricking back and say it again: I love my readers and will go to great lengths for you, including blogging about horrifically embarrassing incidents like having my cankles called out on the street by a teenage punk or when that author contacted me for an interview for a book he was writing about how ugly people succeed. Ah, memories. Anyhow, that’s why, just as I did in December of 2007, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks having my home and in-box turned upside-down/inside-out from FedEx and UPS packages arriving faster than paparazzi flocking to Britney’s latest hair salon appointment. In those boxes and bags? Ideas for holiday gifts - all with some kind of fitness or self-care angle. And just like last year, our second bedroom once again looks like an 86-year-old compulsive hoarder has taken up residence. The result: A slew of fun, fab holiday presents for me to tell you about and – dare I say – reward you with?! (Foreshadowing...ooh...) Head on over to my Locker Room Diaries website after reading this blog and then do what I’ve told you to do; Thou shalt be handsomely rewarded. And be sure to let me know if you've tried any of these!!

(Note: ‘Leslie’s Favorite Things’ is not to be confused with Oprah’s Favorite Things - check out the difference between 2007 and 2008. Those poor, poor audience members!)

Edible Arrangements
If I could have one totally extravagant material possession handed to me in this world, it would be fresh cut fruit every morning. And if the pineapple happens to be shaped like little hearts and stars, so much the better. This company does it – and for a little something extra special, they’ll hand dip giant strawberries in white and dark chocolate, coconut and almonds. I cannot be responsible for any spontaneous orgasms this may produce, though you can send thank you notes to me, c/o iVillage.

Ahnu shoes
Hello, new favorite shoes in the whole world! Ahnu makes uber-funky yoga, hiking and running shoes…The Mirage is cute and sporty-looking, rugged and will keep out water in the Chicago snow, so if you live anywhere else besides this hellishly cold tundra, you’re definitely safe.

The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl
Shauna Reid worked her way down from 351 pounds, losing 175 pounds over seven years. Her memoir is honest, warm, funny no BS. I read it in Cancun while everyone else at the pool pored over those vampire books. Bo-ring!

Oral B
This is my favorite new toothbrush – I first heard about it from Jillian Michaels when I interviewed her (The Biggest Loser contestants used these puppies, too). It’s the Oral-B Vitality Precision Clean – crazy powerful, super-cleaning (I always feel fresh-from-the-dentist and no, I was not paid to say that) and honestly, who doesn't want a vibrating toothbrush that needs to be plugged in?

Softlips PURE Lip Conditioners
I wrote about these last year... they come in yummy flavors (pomegranate and honeydew), are USDA-certified organic and are a perfectly slim size for tossing in your purse, gymbag or pocket without looking like you have a salami stuffed down there.

Go Red For Women
You’ve heard it before, but I’ll tell you again: Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women is dedicated to raising awareness of this largely preventable disease. And they sell all sorts of red (duh) stuff to raise money to do so. Like a Love Your Heart yoga mat, Yankee Candles in Macintosh (apples are red, too!) scent, and more.

Stamina InTone Folding Recumbent Bike
You know how some mornings it’s cold and sleeting and you’re crunched for time and the gym is such a shlep but you still want to workout? How nice would it to be have something like CSNStores.com’s Stamina InTone Folding Recumbent Bike in your closet for such occasions? In case of emergency, break open and ride.

I’m more of an Americano and oatmeal kind of girl, but Starbucks’ limited edition Christmas Blend is apparently delish – even if you are a Hanukah gal like me - and, as always, it’s a high-octane, nearly calorie-free way to start the day.

Lucy Cardio Pant
You all know how I love lucy. They’ve got a new cardio pant that sits low, comes in tall and petite sizes (yay!) and just flat out makes your butt look good.

Revaléskin skincare
CoffeeBerry is the new acai, all antioxidant and trendy and good for your skin. The Revaléskin skincare line features this fashionable ingredient – they have a face wash, day cream with SPF 15 and a night cream with CoffeeBerry extract. Sure, it smells a wee bit like java, but it’ll help with dry winter skin and may even keep you awake during that boring 10 o’clock work meeting.  And their new Eye Therapy had a waiting list before it came out in dermatologists' offices. Fancy!

The Bacon Lunch Box
Honestly, bacon makes every single thing better – even if you’re a health nut. Bacon Freak is your chance to shower your loved ones in cured meat products. How psyched am I to wear this shirt?

Bonus: Cookbook author and former iVillage cooking coach Holly Clegg has concocted this delish BBQ salmon recipe using everyone’s favorite meat candy. I’m trying it tonight – looks mouthwatering!

Barbecued Salmon
Makes 4 servings
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 strips center-cut bacon, cut in pieces
1 red onion half, thinly sliced
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 9 × 9 × 2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Lay salmon in dish and season to taste. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Top with bacon pieces and onion slices.
3. In a small bowl, combine barbecue sauce and honey. Spread over salmon.
Bake for 20–25 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with fork.
Nutritional information per serving
calories 281 | Calories from fat 22% | Fat 7 g Saturated Fat 1 g |
Cholesterol 91 mg | Sodium 284 mg Carbohydrate 17 g | Dietary Fiber 0 g |
Sugars 16 g | Protein 35 g
Diabetic Exchanges1 carbohydrate | 5 lean meat

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