Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Black Friday Shopping Ideas

I have 6 emails in my inbox from people asking what would make good "health-based" Christmas gifts, so instead of answering them, I will just make a quick post. Here are my Top-10 ideas, all available on Amazon.

Oh, and by the way, you can get Amazon Prime free for 30 days here.  This means free shipping on just about everything!

#1 is:

Under $20!

1. Hot Air Popcorn Popper - $18.  I use it almost every night!  I bought these for my Mom&Dad, two brothers and sister for Christmas this year. Apparently I missed this craze in the '70s.  Heck, buy one for yourself!

               1a. Heirloom Popcorn - $13 for two big packages. Thank me later.

2. Tortilla Press - $20. Takes some practice, but homemade tortillas are da bomb!

              2a. Masa Harina Corn Meal - $13 for 4 packages. This is the "real deal" for making tortillas or 'corn dodgers' just like John Wayne (remember this post, lol).

3. Garlic Press - $9. Love this thing!  Has it's own storage container so you can press out a couple day's worth and stick the whole thing in the fridge. Ingenious!

4. Beekeeping Stuff:

              4a. Starter Kit - $213.  This is almost everything you need to keep bees. If you get this for someone, I am available to give free advice!

              4b. Beekeeping for Dummies Book - $18

              4c. Bee Suit - $75.  The starter kit comes with a hat and veil, but trust me, you will get stung!  Buy a whole body suit and avoid unnecessary stings!

5. Food Dehydrator - $225.  This is a professional model with timer.  Works unbelievably well.  Dehydrates green plantains perfectly.  Also great for anything from your garden.

6. Smoked Oysters, in olive oil, 18 cans - $55.  If you like smoked oysters, but can never find them in olive oil, here you go. Perfect for a low-carb lunch. Oysters are packed with nutrition, a can a week is better than any multi-vitamin you can buy.

7. Jack Lalanne PowerJuicer - $99.  Mine is about 5 years old. Makes the most amazing carrot juice you can imagine. You can also use it to make your own "Tatertot Brand potato starch!"

              7a. Jack's book - "Live Young Forever"

8. Blood Glucose Meter - $27. For the "biohacker" in the family.  Not just for diabetics!  No prescription needed. Use to make an insulin sensitivity graph personalized to your meals.  Fun for the whole family, lol.

             8b. 50 Extra Test Strips for the meter - $35.

9. Snowshoes - under $100. If you think snowshoes are old-fashioned and clunky, these are modern, expedition style. I have about 1000 miles on a pair that is 5 years old. Love them!

10. Aerogarden - $150ish. Grow herbs or whatever you like all Winter long.  I just ordered peppermint seeds for mine. Last Winter I tried chives, cilantro, mint, parsely, and thyme...all did great!

Honorable mention: 

Drone with HD Camera - $1200. OK. This is what I want for Christmas.  How else can we keep tabs on refugees?

Happy Shopping!


  1. Tim, I don't know whether to thank you or curse you after you put out that Popcorn-RS article. I'll have to weight for the "mirror effect" after a month or two. I'm using popcorn as my regular carb treat now. For now trying to use only small amounts of butter to stove pop them until I get an air popper. I'm looking forward to experimenting... one idea I had was filling a spray bottle with Olive Oil. Maybe another one with vinegar ;-) Try to make this "vice" a little healthier. When you eat fairly low carb and zero sugar... popcorn is like candy!

    1. The air popper is funny. You cannot put salt on the popcorn as it is too dry for it to stick. All the salt ends up in the bottom of the bowl, so if you want any you have to lick your finger and scoop it up, lol.

      I actually tried using PAM coconut spray on the popcorn as it came out and then the salt stuck to it. But, actually, I find plain, unsalted popcorn to be very good.

      Someone mentioned sprinkling nutritional yeast on it for a cheesy flavor, and the vinegar spray sounds awesome!

      The hot air popper is so much fun to use. You need to get a BIG bowl, the kernals are probably double the size as when you pop them in a pan. Amazing. I use a giant tupperware bowl and hold it right at the mouth to catch the popcorn as it comes out. You'll see!

    2. Hi Tim,

      Love my air popper. Surprisingly, I seem to be able to eat popcorn without consequence. But who knows? I am currently on my back with my feet propped up because my booty be bleeding. Elixa doesn't even give the temporary relief it once did.

      Long time, no post. I visit all the time, though.

      Still not divorced from the Doomsday Prepper of Northern Wisconsin. Could explain the bloodletting and my cholesterol being a cheery 350. When it hits 400 I'm selling.

      Anyway, wanted to pass along my favorite popcorn recipe. Just add olive oil, smoked paprika, powdered chipotle, and salt, to taste. Not so much a recipe as an idea, I guess. You can thank me later.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and your clever fans.

      Your Madison Corrspondent,

  2. Great ideas.

    I want a drone too, for no good reason. They are just cool.

  3. Type in "drone" on the Amazon search bar...unreal. Buy one before they are illegal!

    Look at this: Only $54, and streams live video to an iPhone. How cool is that?

    1. I want a remote controlled small blimp. The problem with these drones is they can't carry a heavy payload. Amazon should be all over this... blimp delivery vehicles ;-)

    2. Blimps? "Oh the humanity!" ;) Sorry, couldn't resist.

  4. Good tip for eating raw onions - Buy good jarred pickles, eat them, and then throw sliced onions in the jar of remaining pickling juice. Store in fridge and enjoy.
    - EF

  5. I don't know whether to put this here or in the subsequent potato hack post, but this thing makes potato chips in the microwave with no oil -- just dry chips, and they come out pretty well:

    (There are mixed reviews on Amazon, so maybe it depends on your microwave. But my microwave is over 20 years old and they come out just fine. The mandolin slicer it comes with slices stuff very thinly, which is probably necessary to get the chips crispy.)

  6. Corn Dodgers...haha. I was thinking of commenting on that post and asking you, "you do realize that Rooster Cogburn is a fictional character, don't you?"

    1. My coffee cup says, "Don't say it's a fine morning or I'll shoot ya."

      Words to live by.

      So, any more disparaging remarks about Rooster, and I'll be saying, "Fill yer hand you sunuvabitch!"

  7. I'll hafta hire my own gunslinger. I think 'Spuds' Mackenzie is available.