9 Gifts for a Healthier New Year!

12/04/2013 at 01:18 PM ET
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Getty; Inset: Courtesy Harley Pasternak

Harley Pasternak is a celebrity trainer and nutrition expert who has worked with stars from Halle Berry and Lady Gaga to Robert Pattinson and Robert Downey Jr. He’s also a New York Times best-selling author, with titles including The Body Reset Diet and The 5-Factor Diet. Tweet him @harleypasternak.

‘Tis the season  of cookies and candy…but some of the best holiday gifts are the ones that will keep you fit and fab! Here are some of my favorite things that I’m either wishing for or gifting to others this holiday season. Some are more extravagant than others, but they’re all sure to bring a healthier 2014.

Courtesy Bed Bath & Beyond

Popcorn can be a great snack. It’s delicious and high in both fiber and protein. However, most popcorn is fried in oil and thus loaded with calories. This popcorn maker keeps the snack low-cal by air popping kernels in less than 3 minutes. Plus, it looks good on your counter, and there’s no oily mess to clean up.

Courtesy Vitamix

I love blending so much that I based my last book on simple, healthy recipes using a blender. I’d be overjoyed to receive this heavy-duty Vitamix from Santa. It’s the Cadillac of blenders!

Courtesy FitBit

This is the best activity monitor in the biz. Not only does it keep track of your steps, it also tells you how many stairs you climbed, calories you burned and hours you slept (including the quality of sleep). Best of all, you can compete with your friends and coworkers by linking your devices, or compete with yourself by setting and tracking personal goals.

Courtesy Purity by Monster

These headphones are a game changer. I go back and forth between work calls and my music playlist all day—in the car, at the gym, around the house—so these never leave my ears. They’re comfortable and have the best sound of in-ear headsets that I’ve come across. Bonus: They’re tangle resistant, so I save time and aggravation.

Courtesy Netflix

I’ll admit it: It’s boring to walk on the treadmill. But since my wife got us a Netflix membership, I actually look forward to burning calories. Are you an Orange is the New Black fan like me? Give yourself a challenge and take your pace up to a run for 15 seconds every time Alex touches her glasses.

Courtesy Amazon

On a busy day, it’s hard to be away from your email and text messages. With this watch I love that I can go for a jog and stay connected—without having to hold my phone in my hand. The watch lets me know who is emailing, texting and calling my cell. Very Dick Tracy.

Courtesy New Balance

The hugely popular 1400v2s are super lightweight and come in some awesome color combinations. They’re favorite of my wife—I think they’re on her wish list twice!

Courtesy Williams-Sonoma

While this may fall in the category of “things you could totally do without,” I love this kitchen tool. I eat a ton of Hass avocados (they’re loaded with healthy fat and they’re delicious), and slicing them can get a bit messy, especially if you want your dish to look nice (like if the avocado is topping a salad). This gadget could make a great stocking stuffer for the chef in your family.

Courtesy Amazon

I’m allowed a bit of shameless self-promotion, right? But seriously, my book is perfect for those whose New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight and get healthy! You can drop those holiday pounds in 15 days and then keep them off for good.

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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