Welcome to the holidays! The holiday season is best time to share your love for others, and what a better way than with the gift of health! Each year I love to put together a gift guide including gift ideas for the health minded foodie and health conscious. This gift guide is quite easy to put together in fact, since it’s usually just a list of the things that I want for Christmas this year, or the gifts that I am giving others. The best part is that each and every year there are new products to choose from, proving that our beautiful health movement is growing faster than ever.
If you have yet to experience the benefits of essential oils, now is the time. Essential oils have great capacity to heal and calm the body and further spiritual expansion. They can be used topically, or in a diffuser so that their medicine can envelope a room and be inhaled. I personally use them when I practice yoga and meditate, for self massage to welcome a restful sleep, to ward of illness when traveling, and for cleansing the air in our home. Diffusing essential oils is also a great alternative to the use of toxic air fresheners that are composed of harmful chemicals. The best part is that the diffusers are so beautiful, you won’t mind them being placed around the home. That is why these diffusers from Organic Aromas are on my list this year. They are some of the most beautifully hand-made diffusers, complete with a wood base and custom-blown glass.
No matter how many pairs of yoga pants you have, you are always happy to receive another pair, am I right? That is why these yoga pants by Alo are on the list this year. With their whimsical butterflies they guarantee a smile every time they are worn. Alo is an amazing yoga clothing brand with well-fitted clothing that proves to not only be functional in class, but also for wearing out and about town. Because let’s be real, how many days do we actually get out of yoga clothes….
This one is for my husband, the man who has a true passion for coffee and has somehow turned it into a solid hobby and pass time. So if you have a health minded coffee enthusiast in your life, this is the gift idea to go with this year. Driftaway coffee is a new coffee company that has finally figured it out. They customize your individualized tastes and preferences by sending you a coffee tasting kit. As you try each single-origin coffee you discover which tastes you like and which ones you don’t. From there they customize your subscription, sending you the freshly roasted coffee beans you love each month.
There is nothing better than being able to wear beautiful jewelry that also has a purpose. And that is exactly what the company Tiny Devotions is all about. Tiny Devotions designs unique mala bead necklaces, each with a specific intention or purpose. Mala beads are a string of beads traditionally used in prayer and meditation in Buddhism and Hinduism. When worn, they act as a reminder of an affirmation or intention. Tiny Devotions also adds gemstones, each infused with its own unique power. When worn their unique energies, healing properties and colors support and strengthen your intention. Gift the gift of one of these malas to someone you love so that they can strengthen their intentions and attract the energy needed to manifest their goals and desires.
Have you heard of a veggie spiralizer before? If not, prepared to be wowed. This is the latest health foodie fad, which takes vegetables and turns them into pasta! Think sweet potato pasta, beet pasta, butternut squash pasta and zucchini pasta. Quickly revolutionize the way you eat, instantly swapping out gluten-heavy, carb loaded, nutrient-poor wheat pasta for nutrient-rich, fiber-full vegetable pasta. For anyone who is looking to add more veggies into their diet, lose weight, improve their health, and hide veggies from those picky eaters in the family, this does the trick. The best part is that there are so many recipes to help you find ways to eat your veggie noodles, including those found in the book below, Inspiralized.
The perfect pair to the veggie spiralizer, the Inspiralized cookbook is the fastest way to upgrade your diet and to start on the right path in the coming New Year. Inspiralized shows you how to transform more than 20 vegetables and fruits into delicious meals that look and taste just like your favorite indulgent originals. Zucchini turns into pesto spaghetti; jicama becomes shoestring fries; sweet potatoes lay the foundation for fried rice; plantains transform into “tortillas” for huevos rancheros. Yumm!
I got this gift from my husband a year or two ago and have hardly taken it off since. The FitBit is the best motivation for getting you off your butt and into gear. Simply strap it on and watch it count your steps, stairs climbed, calories burned, miles walked and heart rate. The simple act of monitoring your daily actions inspires you to do more, to move more, and to find the energy to exercise even in times when you can’t seem to muster up the motivation. In addition, it also boosts your confidence, showing you how much you move in a day, even when you haven’t properly “working out.” Finally, the FitBit is great for those who love hiking. By tracking your miles, it helps you know how far you’ve gone, and how much lies ahead.
Ready to have your mind blown? Muse is a headband that READS your brainwaves. Yup, you heard that right. We have come to an age where you can put on a headband at home and instantly learn how busy and anxious, or calm and centered your mind is. Muse is used to help you meditate and to train your mind to calm down. When strapped on, it walks you through various meditations. Through instantaneous feedback, it translates your brain waves into sounds of wind, helping you change your brain patterns. By using it regularly in meditation, it helps to improve the way you respond to stress, reduce symptoms associated with stress, depression and anxiety, and help you to develop a strong meditation practice. I personally have this and I must tell you it is awesome. It is ideal for people who want to meditate, but have no patience to do so. It acts like a game (complete with an app, feedback and progress reports), which for most people in this day and age is the best way to learn.
The Vitamix is the ESSENTIAL tool that anyone who wants to eat healthy must have. I know this sounds like a strong statement, but I can assure you that anyone who has one would agree. While there are many blenders out there, the Vitamix is in its own category. Its individual design blends unlike its competitors, transforming even the toughest and fibrous of foods into silk. This is the magic trick behind palatable, ice cream-smooth green smoothies, nut butters and sauces, raw desserts, banana “ice-cream,” silky vegetable soups and purees, and nut milks. Just trust me, its like love, you don’t know how wonderful it is until you have it.
Have a friend or loved one that adores fresh green juice? How about little ones that crave fruit juice? Ditch the expensive bottled version, most of which are astronomically high in sugar anyways, and invest in juicer. This Breville juicer is the one that I have at home and absolutely love. It is relatively mess-free and easy to clean up, making it a practical choice for day-to-day juicing. It also has multiple speeds, allowing you to juice a wide range of produce from the most delicate herbs to the hardest of roots like turmeric and ginger. While it is not the top of the line for maximum extraction, it more than does the job for its price point and easy of use.
Giving the gift of a cookbook always seems like a good idea right? There is something about flipping through the beautiful pictures and absorbing the abundance of senses that arise. It is almost like you can taste the flavors, smell its aromas and experience the pleasure of sharing the dishes when reading a cookbook. The Love and Lemons Cookbook is one cookbook that came out this year that I will be gifting. It is a plant-based cookbook, one even the carnivore can enjoy. When perusing the recipes, one will hardly notice that no animal products are present since each recipe seems so complete and appetite-stimulating. This is a great gift to inspire more veggies and less meat on the plate, and for opening ones eyes to the delicious flavors that can be experienced in the plant-based world.
My favorite pairing to the gift of a cookbook is a specialty food item. This year it’s going to be this set of Jacobsen craft salts. I had the pleasure of first experiencing their salts when gifted their Pinoir Noir salt. Let’s just say this salt was treated like gold in my home. Just a little pinch transformed my dishes, taking a seemingly basic grain bowl into something to be remembered. Since then, I have been hooked. Their salts are harvested from the cold, pristine waters of Netarts Bay on the Oregon Coast and are far superior to the refined, bleached and nutrient-stripped table salt. This gift set includes the original flake finishing salt, lemon zest, vanilla bean, Stumptown coffee, Oregon cherry wood smoked, and smoked ghost chili flavors.
Just the idea of having this in your kitchen is exciting right? All of us dream of having fresh herbs to pluck, adding that extra dimension to our meals, but somehow the reality falls short. If you are like me, you buy the herbs, and somehow between your aggressive watering for the first week and the inevitable fall out that follows, you find your herbs dead and dried up. Dream, dead. This is where the AeroGrow comes in. With its water not soil platform, high-performance LED lighting system and easy-to-use control panel, it could not be easier to keep these herbs alive.
Okay, how in the world can you not smile when seeing these? These little veggie tattoos are by far and away the cutest little stocking stuffer that one person (yes, they can be for adults too!) could hope to find in their stocking. Tater Tats are temporary veggie tattoos meant to get folks excited about eating healthy and growing their own food. They are not without a cause too! 10% of all sales fund small farm projects. So far the money received from Tater Tats funded fences, seeds, winter growing supplies and mobile chicken coops. Come on, who are you going to give these to this year?
Since moving to cold weather states, this has been one of my absolute favorite things, hot cacao (chocolate) with reishi mushroom. Four Sigmatic came up with the idea of adding the powerful medicinal, anti-aging properties of reishi to one of our most adored drinks, hot chocolate. Made with real mineral-rich cacao (not processed chocolate), palm sugar (no white sugar here!), reishi and blood-sugar balancing cinnamon, you simply blend this powder with your chosen milk. The best part is that they come in to-go packets, so they are the best for bringing on a road trip, or traveling. You can even add a little espresso to make a super healthy version of a mocha. If you are looking to give some real nutrition this holiday season, grab these packets. Ideal for picky eaters and those who can’t handle supplements.
*learn more about reishi in my post here.
Everyone loves lip balm, especially if it comes without the toxic chemicals and junk. W3ll People has been one of my go-to natural makeup brands for the past couple of years, and these lip balms are one of my essentials. They come in a few colors, each subtle enough to give you that natural look you are going for. Another reason to give these this year is that they are really nourishing too. Perfect for the dry and cold winter weather that is coming our way.
Have you heard about the health benefits of matcha? They are vast. Matcha is the powdered form of the whole green tea leaf, complete with a wide range of antioxidants and health-boosting compounds. Steeped in Japanese tradition, Matcha green tea blend is one of the world’s most potent natural sources of antioxidants, free radical quenching flavanols, and catechins (EGCG). Unlike other caffeinated beverages, matcha gives you a calm, centered and focused “high” that allows you to function at your optimum without crash and adrenal burnout. Plus, it has many protective effects against radiation exposure and the stresses of daily living. A great drink to replace your morning coffee or energy drink.
I must tell you, I adore my dry brush. I got this last spring and have been religiously using it weekly. And why? Because dry brushing has the ability to support blood and lymphatic flow – both essential for immunity, cardiovascular health, and for supporting the natural detox process – and for improving skin tone and texture. Dry skin brushing is a powerful detoxification aid, helping to keep the body healthy and resilient. It also helps to removes dead dry skin, improving appearance, clearing clogged pores, and allowing your skin to “breathe.”
Who doesn’t love a nice relaxing bath? Why not make it that much more therapeutic with the addition of “Hot Tub Bath” by Pursoma. Pursoma is a company that I got turned onto a few years ago and have been loving ever since. They make a wide range of functional formulas to add into the bath. My favorite though is Hot Tub Bath. It is made with French Green Clay, an ingredient that has long been used for its natural revitalizing and cleansing capabilities. When used it can help relieve the toxic body burden thus boosting the immune system and restoring health. This product is great to have on hand for when those sluggish days come along, especially when traveling, over-stressed, over-worked or a bug takes hold.
Now this is something that makes you feel truly decadent and pampered – organic rose oil spray. I personally use this daily, especially in the winter, and nothing makes you feel more revitalized and refreshed. You can use it on your face, hair and body, either as a toner or hydration boost. Rose is packed with antioxidants, known to prevent aging and fight those damn free radicals that damage our skin. It can help to refine and renew skin at the cellular level with its powerful anti-inflammatory action and help to boost your mood with its aroma. Win, win.