We’ve all got one – a dusty hall cupboard or cluttered drawer that acts as a halfway house for well-meaning presents bought by loved ones.

As the resident health freak in my household, my personal Aladdin’s cave includes leg weights, a self-acupuncture mat, a home body fat monitor (not after Christmas dinner, pleease!) and a rowing machine. Yes, e-bay beckons. To save future wastage I’ve decided to take the bull by the horns with this definitive list of the of this year’s festive trawl.

When it comes to lotions and portions, gift buying becomes a potential minefield. Give your Mother in Law a new miracle anti-ageing cream and your lover some foot callous softener? Hmm, not what the dinner table diplomat would call a good move. When it comes to getting what you really want, be explicit, especially when it is a bloke doing the buying.

Googlemap the shop and text the brand and a price expectation so your beloved doesn’t end up with body butter when you asked for Crème de la Mer. Yes reader, it happened to me.

“House porn” as seen in Elle Decoration or the John Lewis catalogue is equally dangerous for a health freak.

I now believe that I cannot possibly cook soup without one of those ‘all in one’ soup maker thingies, or that a dependence on George Clooney’s Nespresso machine is a healthy one. A good investment should of course include a juicer – give it to a student who might otherwise be turning a MSG induced grey in winter months. It is still the best way to get your 5-a-day in one go.

Also a handy way to use up a well-intentioned delivery box of fruit and veg that has been neglected in favour of yet another festive menu; have a look at the excellent www.graze.com for delivered healthy meals.

To prepare your body for the inevitable January detox, get spicy with your gifts. Pep up a seasonal smoothie with nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and vanilla extract – great for creating an illusion of sweetness without adding calories. Rosewater can also be used but just make sure actual rosewater, not the Jo Malone variety, otherwise it will cost you!

Of course, you can always go down the experience route – a gift that lasts beyond the packaging. Spa vouchers are big business but how about boot camp? Forget the old fashioned bunk-bed in a barn style experiences, these days you can get in shape without feeling like you are on a school trip.

Lastly – you could reward yourself with much more commitment to classes and personal training at Whitekirk from January onwards – you know you should!

Amanda Hamilton

North Berwick’s Amanda Hamilton is one of the UK’s most popular nutritionists and health gurus, contributing regularly to TV, press, online and public sector. She also runs her own online healthy diet system and healthy holiday company. She’s a member of Whitekirk Leisure Club and will be contributing a weekly post with tips on health and nutrition.