We've gotten to this modern era of December being the unhealthiest month of the year, and then we see an unusual surge of gym memberships in January. It doesn't have to be like that every year. With the holidays fast approaching, Healthy Options has recently unveiled its holiday offerings, but of course, with health in mind. The holidays, of course, will not be complete with some decadence and lots of sweets, but these can be made consciously healthier. A little cut in sodium, or replacing unhealthy sugars and unhealthy fats with something better, can make a big difference in the whole Christmas season. 

They invited us over to their Uptown Mall BGC store, which is their biggest in the country. It's so big it's already like a supermarket. 

Pam So-Suarez, Director of Brand Marketing, shared that: “We’ve had our Christmas gift sets for 20 years now, and this 2019, we’re taking it a level higher. As the country’s top organic and natural store, we want to encourage all Filipinos to spread the gift of health with deliciously delightful, all-natural food and beauty products that only Healthy Options can provide.”

They displayed all the curated sets and baskets for this holiday season. 

And within the store, they already have a lot of themed displays, to give customers gift-giving ideas. Ingredients for popularly served dishes like roast meats and pasta will do well with most people.  

Snacks are always a safe idea, as everyone will always need something to munch on during the holidays. 

Of course, consumers can freely curate their own gift sets with the expansive selection of items in the store. While the curated gift baskets are great, sometimes, there are recipients with extremely specific wants or needs that it's much better to get them that exact item they really wanted.

We also got to try curating our own gift sets! I got 'For the young at heart' from a fishbowl, and I took this as some sassy aunt who's cool, but has cholesterol problems. I actually thought of her as me 20 years from now, as I wanna live with a forever young vibe, but realistically, heart disease runs in our family. 

I chose healthy Sahale snacks as they're addicting but healthy. And then, I chose Nature's Path Maple Nut Instant Oatmeal because oatmeal is a staple for cholesterol-battling people, but plain oatmeal is too boring. Of course, there was no shortage of Omega-3 suppplements, as it's also another staple. For the hair I chose Tints of Nature 6N color, as I think most middle aged people have white hair problems, but I feel that coloring white hair with black dye makes it look worse. It should be just a medium brown. Lastly, I selected Derma-E Hydrating Day Cream because this person will most probably prioritize having glass skin. 

And tee hee here's a selfie of me with my curated set. I honestly don't know if my gift set makes even sense at all, but I thought that these are the things I would like to receive 20 years from now, as someone with cholesterol problems lurking around.

Another important point to this event was the food! Most PR events have catering of some sorts, but for this event, it's special because they really came up with a meal created with healthy ingredients. For instance, instead of rice, they had a vegetable quinoa stir fry. Heck, I didn't even know you could keto-fy Tuna Maki!  

They were also able to make breads and baked goods that tasted good, but were obviously not too dense nor oily.

This entire meal proved a point that if you were willing to tweak things here and there, choose healthier ingredients, or make healthier substitutions, it's possible to come up with a meal that's healthy, filling, and still delicious. This meal felt like a holiday feast to me, even though I actually walked out the store without feeling uncomfortably bloated after the affair. I can't remember a holiday feast wherein I didn't walk out feeling bloated, so this is amazing. 

For those who are interested to see their holiday offerings, here are some stills from their Holiday Catalog. The catalog can also be accessed from their website at https://www.healthyoptions.com.ph/, and of course, you could see these baskets in-store. 

If you want to give the gift of choice, they also sell gift cards in Php500 and Php1000 denominations. 

And weee a selfie with Kate. See you when I see you! 

Doll Up Mari: Top Beauty and Female Lifestyle Blogger Manila, Philippines