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20 Thoughtful Gifts For Dad This Father’s Day

20 Thoughtful Gifts For Dad This Father’s Day

Father’s Day is rapidly approaching, leaving sons and daughters scrambling to find the perfect present for the man who has everything. This year, skip the traditional socks and jocks and give him something money can’t buy: a gift from the heart.

Still stuck for ideas? We’ll make sure you’re the favourite child all year long with this list of 20 thoughtful gifts for Dad.

  1. Cooking Class for Two

father day

    Has Dad sailed through life without setting foot in the kitchen? Transform him into a confident cook (Mom’ll thank you!) this Father’s Day by signing yourselves up for beginner’s cooking classes. You’ll be surprised just how much you can bond over undercooked pastry!

     2. Dad’s Choice of Activities

    Gifts For Dad

      Every father has a hobby that makes us roll our eyes and cringe. Maybe Dad loves camping but can never convince anyone to sleep under the stars? Father’s Day is the perfect time to let him share his favourite hobbies with you. You never know, you might even enjoy it!

      3. Father’s Day Questionnaire

      Questionnaire

        Get out your craft supplies and create a fun Father’s Day Questionnaire. This works best with youngsters, as they come up with the sweetest and most unintentionally hilarious answers. Frame the finished product for Dad to display at home or in the office.

         4.Customized Gift Hamper

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        Customised Gift Hamper

          No one knows Dad like you do! Gather up all his favourite things to create a personalised Father’s Day gift basket. Think sweet treats, salty snacks, fave movies and even tickets to the football.

          5. Netflix Subscription

          Netflix Subscription

            Parents aren’t known for being terribly tech-savvy. Bring Dad into the 21st century with a year-long subscription to Netflix. Then, make his Father’s Day even better with a movie marathon.

             6. Dinner with the Boys

            Dinner

              Once family comes along, boy’s nights can be few and far between. Surprise Dad by getting all his oldest buddies together for a drink and a meal at his favourite restaurant.

                7. Hot Air Balloon Ride

              Hot Air Balloon Ride

                For a unique gift that Dad won’t forget in a hurry, book a hot air balloon trip. Turn the day into a romantic getaway for two by taking Mom and a picnic basket along for the ride.

                 8. King for a Day

                King for a Day

                  Dad’s made a lot of sacrifices since you were born. Make him king again for a day by brewing his coffee, rubbing his feet and letting him choose what’s for dinner.

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                   9. Jar of Love

                  Jar of Love

                    Get crafty and decorate the outside of a clean mason jar with hearts and photos. Then, fill it with sweet little notes listing everything you love about your dad.

                     10. Family Dinner

                    Family Dinner

                      When everyone grows up and moves out, family time becomes more precious. Get everyone Dad loves under one roof this Father’s Day with an amazing family dinner, complete with board games and charades.

                       11.Control of the TV Remote

                      Control of the TV Remote

                        For once, let Dad be the boss and gift him the glorious right to change the channel as he pleases.

                         12. Re-decorate His Man Cave

                        Man Cave

                          Browse eBay for some comical decorations to spice up Dad’s private space, like this Man Cave Rules poster.

                           13. Take Over His Chores

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                          father

                            Let Dad just relax and watch the game with an ice cold beer while you get started on his chores.

                             14. Father’s Day Coupons

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                              Prepare a cute little booklet of coupons for Dad to cash in throughout the year. Coupons can include back massages, car washes or even a whole night of no fighting amongst the kids.

                               15. Paintball Match

                              Paintball Match

                                Paintball is like ‘hide and seek’ for grownups. Bring back some awesome childhood memories by challenging Dad to an exhilarating match.

                                 16. Make a Mix-tape

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                                  Round up all Dad’s favourite songs and a few special tracks that remind you of him, then compile them on one CD for easy listening.

                                   17. Donate to a Charity

                                  hrt

                                    Give the gift of giving this Father’s Day by purchasing a goat for a struggling African village in Dad’s name.

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                                     18. Memory Box

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                                      Decorate a shoebox with a collage of your most treasured family photos. Then, fill it with heartfelt quotes, silly stories and all your favourite memories of Dad.

                                      19. Mug of Love

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                                        Online shopping malls often sell personalised mugs for Father’s Day. Save your money and make Dad his very own special mug by writing on a cup in permanent marker then baking it in the oven. Too easy!

                                         20. Family Movies

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                                          Have all your old family movies transferred from their ancient cassette tapes and onto a brand new set of DVDs, then bring them out after Dad’s big Father’s Day dinner (see #10) and get nostalgic together.

                                          With 20 thoughtful gifts for Dad to choose from, there’s no reason not to get creative this Father’s Day. Give Dad a present that’ll keep him smiling all year long!

                                          Featured photo credit: Dad’s Choice of Activities via flickr.com

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                                          8 Things to Watch for If You’re Considering Being Vegetarian

                                          8 Things to Watch for If You’re Considering Being Vegetarian

                                          Vegetarianism has been around for a long time, finding favor with many people, including Pythagoras clear back around 580 B.C. It’s been presented as one of the most healthy diets around, including being touted by the Egyptians to the point of abstaining from meat and animal clothing due to karmic beliefs. The vegetarian society (vegsoc.org) defines vegetarianism as:

                                          “Someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with, or without, the use of dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish* or by-products of slaughter.”

                                          While it’s pretty obvious that there are multiple benefits to following a vegetarian diet, it’s always good to be informed about the cons of this dietary choice as well.

                                          Outlined below are several things you might want to be aware of before you say good-bye to meat forever. Whether you are a current vegetarian, or contemplating making a shift, keep in mind these 8 things to keep yourself healthy.

                                          1. You could suffer from B12 vitamin deficiency

                                          The B vitamins are especially important for stress management, adrenal health, and brain function. Vegetarians in particularly are at risk for B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is attached to the protein in animal products and without enough B12 you can suffer from depression, fatigue, and an inability to concentrate.

                                          Due to its attachment to animal proteins, B12 is the hardest for vegetarians to obtain when they don’t eat dairy or eggs in their diet. This essential little vitamin can be found in some algae and has been added to some yeast, but research doesn’t currently provide enough information to say whether or not these forms of B12 are of good quality and can provide adequate supplementation.

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                                          The body is unable to make this vitamin, meaning it has to be taken in through food or supplementation. Essential for making red blood cells, DNA, nerves and various other function in the body, a Harvard Health Medical report in January of 2013 found symptoms of a B12 deficiency can present in sneaky ways including depression, paranoia, delusion, and loss of taste and smell.

                                          2.  You could suffer from higher states of anxiety/depression, lower sense of well-being

                                          According to a CBS Atlanta report, vegetarians suffered from a higher rate of anxiety and depression than their counterparts. Read the full report here. Depression and/or anxiety can be a result of many possible deficiencies including essential vitamins and amino acids you can find only in meat products, including Omega-3s from wild caught salmon.

                                          Without the correct supplementation and proper understanding of diet, including the importance of micro and macro nutrients, depression and anxiety can become a serious problem, bringing down the overall health and well-being of vegetarians.

                                          Even though reports on health and lifestyle show vegetarians have a lower BMI and lower consumption of alcohol and drugs, it also shows they suffer from more chronic illnesses and more visits to the doctor than their meat eating counterparts.

                                          3. You could suffer from excess weight

                                          When you go vegetarian it opens up a lot of food, but just because there isn’t any meat in front of you, it doesn’t mean it’s necessary healthy. Though pizza and beer technically fall under the vegetarian diet, it’s not a healthy choice for your waist line.

                                          Just because being a vegetarian is associated with a healthier lifestyle in many cases, doesn’t mean it’s always true. Making bread and pasta your staples and not understanding where your protein sources should be coming from, can pack on body fat, which increases your chances of health issues such as diabetes and chronic inflammation.

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                                          If the choice to go vegetarian happens on a whim without the proper understanding of food control, portion, and nutritionally dense alternatives you can find yourself reaching for vegetarian foods, which could cause serious problems down the road. Nuts are a good example, but just because something is touted as healthy, it doesn’t mean, your should eat it in excess.

                                          Eating too many calories in fat will still cause you to gain weight. Eating too many calories in carbs will cause you to gain weight. Eating too many calories in protein will cause you to gain weight. See a pattern here? Not to mention you’ll miss out on important nutrients the body needs by over-eating in one area and under-eating in another. Re-read number 2.

                                          4. You could have a higher risk of heart disease

                                          Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables should be a goal we all strive for, but when you cut out meat, you also cut out what is known as complete protein, which you find in animal by-products. Complete means more than just the essential amino acids, it means those amino acids contain dietary sulfur. Without enough dietary sulfur, which is found almost exclusively in fish and pasture feed grass beef, the body will struggle with the biological activities of both protein and enzymes.

                                          The effects cascade downward, effecting bones, joints, tissues, and even metabolic issues. In short, a low intake of sulfur associated with a vegetarian diet can result in high blood levels of homocysteine, which may lead to blood clots in your arteries, blood clots raise your risk of stroke and heart attack. To read the full report click here.

                                          5. You could suffer from low cholesterol

                                          I know, at first you’re thinking, wait, low cholesterol is a good thing. Yes, it is, when it’s LDL cholesterol, which you get from eating an unhealthy diet, but low HDL (good cholesterol) can cause serious health issues. HDL, according to the mayo clinic, is in every cell in our body and can help fend off heart disease, not enough of it though, and too much LDL can go the other way, will be building up plaque in the arteries and leading to heart disease.

                                          Cholesterol, the good kind, is actually vitally important to the making of every steroid hormone in the body! There are six, and without cholesterol the body is unable to convert hormones, and it can cause damage in the endocrine system.

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                                          A vegetarian without a balanced diet, meaning enough protein, enough veggies, and enough good fats, could disrupt his or her adrenals, which are directly connected to the endocrine system and the body’s ability to make and synthesize the hormones your body needs. The six major hormones in the body help do everything from metabolizing carbohydrates, to the electrolyte balance, to making sure if you’re a woman you can carry a healthy baby through pregnancy.

                                          6. You could suffer from lower bone density and osteoporosis.

                                          Osteoporosis, the disease where the bones get thinner, weaker, and fractures become a high risk with day to day movements. It’s often associated with the older generation, but your risk for osteoporosis increases with a lower bone density. Bone density can be directly related to diet and lifestyle, along with many other factors.

                                          When it comes to eating a vegetarian diet it’s possible to miss getting enough of the right nutrients, causing the bones to begin to break down. If your vegetarian diet isn’t balanced and providing you with the correct nutrients and the means to absorb the correct nutrients, your body could begin to break down.

                                          Recently, Professor Tuan Nguyen of Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research led a review of both Australian and Vietnamese research around the bone density of vegetarian versus their meat eating counterparts. Helping Professor Nguyen was Dr. Ho-Pham Thuc Lan from Pham Ngoc Thac University of Medicine in Vietnam. The review was designed to sort though years of research surrounded by discrepancies and inadequate clinical data.

                                          At the end of the review, with vegetarianism rising to around 5% of the populace in the western continents, and with wide spread osteoporosis reports – 2 million in Australia and closer to 54 million in America – the decrease in bone density of vegetarians is a serious issue which needs to be addressed, if you’ve cut meat and animal by-products out of your life.

                                          7. You could be at a higher risk for colorectal cancer

                                          Cancer seems to be running rampant through America, and it’s within everyone’s best interest to do all they can to keep their body healthy and happy to prevent cancer from finding a place to grow. In most studies it’s been found vegetarians are at lower risk for cancer, but a European Oxford study with over 63 thousand men and women in the United Kingdom found the risk for colorectal cancer higher in vegetarians than in meat-eaters.

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                                          Extra care needs to be taken when establishing a diet to ensure the body is receiving and able to up take all the important nutritional benefits and requirements from food.

                                          8. You could end up eating more processed food

                                          Depending on how deep you choose to go as a vegetarian, it could create the need to substitute a lot of food and recipe ingredients in your diet, but what happens when you cut out meat, eggs, and dairy and your recipe calls for meat, eggs, and/or dairy? You have to end up using a “healthy” vegetarian alternative which include stabilizers, thickeners, and various other ingredients you can’t pronounce.

                                          Lauren from Empowered Substance puts it into a great perspective with her comparison of Earth Balance, a vegetarian approved butter replacement compared to butter. She points out the ingredients in Earth Balance consist of: Palm fruit oil, canola oil, safflower oil, flax oil, olive oil, salt, natural flavor, pea protein, sunflower lecithin, lactic acid, annatto color. Meanwhile, the ingredient list in butter, is much shorter. It’s butter.

                                          That’s only one example. To appeal to the vegetarian lifestyle food manufacturers have found alternatives which fall under vegetarian, but aren’t necessarily healthy for you. Consider baked goods, which though vegetarian can be filled with more sugars and binders than regular baked goods with diary products. It’s the same with vegetarian items like mac and cheese, without using real cheese you may just be getting oil and thickeners, without even the smallest amount of nutritional value.

                                          The reality is, most vegetarian substitutes contain the same junky alternatives which even meat eaters should be avoiding to remain happy and healthy.

                                          On one final note, whichever lifestyle you choose to work with, remember anything in excess – including protein and animal by products – isn’t healthy for the body. It takes a wide spectrum of food and nutrients to keep the beautiful body you travel around in all day running in prime condition.

                                           

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