This holiday season, my meat-lovin-husband (MLH) and I challenged each other to only buy gifts that were NOT on our “lists” in order to keep that element of surprise and truly give from the heart.
Photo cred: Brooke Fitts
I love a good challenge, and it got me thinking how we should all be doing this more often. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting “things on my list” (that’s why they’re on my list- duh), but I also love being surprised by a gift that shows how well a person knows me, or that they were listening that one time when I mentioned my blender being on the fritz, or perhaps I didn’t mention anything at all but someone still knew how much I’d use that crockpot for years to come (true story).
Of course most know by now I’m obsessed with all things wellness, but just because your family or friends might not be doesn’t mean they don’t want to feel better, look better, or be better in their every day life.
Which is why I think this list could benefit almost anyone in your life in some aspect, whether they be an aspiring chef, a mom-to-be exploring a less toxic lifestyle, or simply a seeker of less stress, glowing skin, or better sleep.
BONUS: Giving your loved ones gifts that promote health, happiness, fulfillment and wellbeing in their lives will help them lead their lives more passionately, with more joy and to their fullest potential. So they’ll probably be even more fun to be around, and in your life for as long as possible. And let’s be real, who doesn’t want that?!
For Zen Vibes:
I know aromatherapy may sound like a bunch of fluff, but the blends of oils and extracts have seriously therapeutic powers. When you smell something, the scent molecules are actually linking directly to the brain tissue in your nose. So if you sniff something calming, like lavender, your brain will halt production of the chemicals that cause negative or stressed emotions, helping you rest easy at night.
What’s more relaxing than a hot bath? A bath with calm-inducing lavender epsom salt, obviously!
Headspace has been LIFE-CHANGING for me and hugely instrumental in helping me be more present, calm, grateful and mindful in my every day life. If you or someone you love could benefit from meditation (and I believe everyone could) but may be intimidated by the concept, Headspace truly makes it a simple and easy practice (and only takes 10 minutes out of your day).
I’ve preached my love of adaptogens and medicinal mushrooms here, and am obsessed with the heavy duty stress support they offer our bods (among many other benefits)! I particularly love Four Sigmatic as they offer tasty and affordable blended powders that you can easily toss in just about anything. I prefer them in my coffee bullet style or these dark chocolate pumpkin fudge cups.
Speaking of tea, what better way to serve it then with an adorable and super trendy rose gold tea pot. This one is on my personal Christmas list, hint hint!
I cannot sleep at night without my eye mask (which sounds kind of diva-ish but is super important as it blocks out light and even blue light from your phone that can interrupt sleep). I love that this mask multitasks with cooling gel inserts to de-puff and invigorate skin while you sleep.
I know it’s totally basic, but I’m a sucker for scented candles. However you must be choosy with your candles, as many are made with paraffin, which contains toxic ingredients and releases cancer-causing carcinogens in the air. Stick with a soy candle blend like these Wax Oil aromatherapy candles, which are toxin-free.
The perfect gift to give that busy professional in your life who is driven by all things data and metrics (and most likely severely lacking in sleep).
Okay… this sounds absolutely amazing and the price is totally reasonable to boot!
Although it’s a bit of a splurge, a yoga retreat is on my wishlist for 2017. I particularly love this set of yoga instructors and that the retreat is held in a hot springs resort in the Oregon Wilderness. I dare you to come up with anything more zen, peaceful or renewing than spending 5 days practicing yoga, eating healthy food, hiking in the forest and soaking in some hot springs.
For the beauty-obsessed:
If you follow me on instagram and watch my stories you know I’ve been adding VP collagen to smoothies, soups and even my morning coffee. Why? Collagen is the building block for your hair, skin and nails. As we age, collagen depletes and breaks down easier and our bodies make less of it, resulting in wrinkles and aging skin. By adding collagen into your diet it naturally improves your skin’s moisture, elasticity, tone and vibrance, ultimately combatting any signs of aging. I prefer the marine collagen which is tasteless and adds a nice frothy texture to my coffee.
Okay, so deodorant isn’t the most sexiest gift. But real talk the American Cancer Society released a study that the toxins in mainstream deodorants are linked to breast cancer- YIKES! I think giving a gift of a skin-soothing, effective and gorgeous smelling deodorant that may reduce the risk of breast cancer for any of the ladies in your life is the ultimate act of love.
I’m a sucker for this brand which only uses raw, organic and wildcrafted ingredients. The Cardamom + Coffee Body Scrub smells insanely delicious and uses beans from local fave Caffe Vita. The caffeine from the coffee helps to invigorate, firm, and exfoliate skin, thus minimizing the appearance of cellulite.
For many women (myself included) our favorite thing to do at the end of a long day is take off our makeup and put on an indulgent mask that leaves our skin looking refreshed, glowing and 10 years younger the next day. This mask is pricey, but was created by Gwyneth herself (so you know it’s good) with alpha and beta hydroxy acids that soften and hydrate skin.
I swear by infrared heat therapy, which is an intense, deeply penetrating heat that causes fat tissues to release toxins, ultimately aiding in detoxification, fat loss, youthful skin, lower blood pressure, reduced chronic pain, improved circulation, and a boost in mood. Plus freezing cold temperatures this time of year make it the perfect time to indulge in a hot, cozy sauna. If you’re not planning on buying the sauna itself like Jennifer Anniston reportedly did, there are plenty of spas and wellness centers that offer infrared heat therapy. My favorite local spot is City Sweats, which offers a membership fee of just $38 a pop.
Dry brushing is a technique that improves circulation and promotes lymph draining. By taking a natural bristled brush and rubbing it in small movements on your skin you stimulate your body’s largest organ (which is where a third of all blood is circulated through your body) and thus majorly enhance blood circulation (get that blood pumpin’ pumpin’). These movements also promote lymph draining ( by loosening up toxins from your skin to then be excreted through the lymph system) , help to shed dead skin, get rid of cellulite and will even give you an energy boost. Plus it feels really nice! I use mine every day before I hop in the shower and my skin feels much firmer and softer afterwards.
Full disclosure I haven’t yet tried Herbivore’s products, but I hear they’re absolutely amazing and love that they source the most raw, natural ingredients to create effective skincare formulas. Plus they NEVER test on animals. Their ultimate skincare collection looks TDF.
For Foodies :
Gwyneth you had me at “Delicious Weekday Recipes For The Super-Busy Home Cook.”
It always seems to come down to battle of the blenders with Blendtec and Vitamix. In all honestly you probably can’t go wrong with either one but I’ve had my Blendtec for years and it literally blends anything and everything (think pestos, sauces, smoothies, soups, nutmilks, etc.) It’s my most prized and beloved kitchen product except for my…..
This guy has saved me SO much money over the years. It’s such a luxury to be able to wake up and whip up your own latte in the morning, plus it tastes even better than what you’d get at your local barista. Having this machine has allowed me to get more intentional and healthy with my coffee recipes, and instead of filling them with processed nut milks and sugary syrups I now love making my own bulletproof recipes with powerful ingredients like medicinal mushrooms, coconut oil and maca powder. Blend it in your new blender to add a frothy kick!
Does anything say I love you more than a bar of dark, organic, clean, delicious, rich chocolate? Probably not.
I swear a pinch of one of these flavored sea salts could make almost anything taste better! I love using the vanilla bean sea salt on dark chocolate or desserts and the bright lemon zest tastes amazing on salads, roasted veggies and grilled chicken or fish.
For fitness junkies:
It may sound kind of old-ladyish, but I’ve taken to foam rolling daily after exercising to help relieve muscle tension and soreness. It feels kind of amazing and kind of painful at the same time… but I swear it works and would make an awesome gift for anyone remotely active.
Good tunes are an absolute workout essential, and these headphones ensure those beats stay blasting all through your run. Not only is the sound quality excellent, but the earbuds stay nice and cozy in your ears without causing any sort of discomfort or pain.
Winter months make it tough to get outside as much, but thankfully I don’t have any excuses with all of my winter-proof workout gear, especially this Lulu Lemon Ear Warmer. Because there’s nothing worse than cold ears on a run, plus it keeps those snug headphones even snugger.
For inspiration/ conquering 2017:
I absolutely love reading, but the only time I have seems to be right before bed and I always end up passing out mid-chapter. This is why I love audible, which is a membership where you can download audiobooks and listen to them pretty much anywhere….on a walk, your morning commute, even while cooking dinner. And if you’re wondering what books to buy with your new membership you should definitely check out…
This “self-help” book is really anything but “self-helpish.” It’s inspiring, hilarious, and filled with swear words, which I really appreciate. More importantly it taught me how to have more confidence in myself in order to create the job, relationships and life I’ve always wanted.
Another one of my favorite (audible) reads this year, Wellth’s key pillars to optimal wellbeing and enjoying a truly rich life center around the following:
Eat. Move. Work. Believe. Explore. Breathe. Connect. Love. Heal. Thank. Ground. Live. Laugh.
I love that through the author’s (creator of MindBodyGreen) own stories and experiences he uncovers the basic action steps everyone can take to lead our most meaningful lives.
1:1 Nutrition + Healthy Lifestyle Coaching
Photo cred: Brooke Fitts
And speaking of developing a more meaningful lives, I’m soft launching my nutrition + healthy lifestyle coaching plan well, right now! The full program launch will be happening January, so now is the time to get in and get some end of year savings. Through my program I’m offering 1-1 coaching where I partner with clients on their wellness journey, as a coach, friend, and accountability partner, helping them dig DEEP into what they want to achieve. Whether it be looking better, feeling better, coping with stress, restoring balance or finding and maintaining a healthy weight I’ll empower clients with the tools, knowledge and support to get them there. If you or any of your loved ones are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted or unhappy with their bodies and/or relationship with food and ready for a change I genuinely believe giving them the 1:1 coaching and support could be the greatest gift they’ve ever received. If you’re interested email me for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org
Confession: I actually didn’t even put this one on my list and already ordered it myself because I know how instrumental it is for me to have my goals prioritized and a clear focus on what REALLY matters (i.e. the big picture isn’t getting lost or buried between a million errands and mindless to-do’s). This would make a really thoughtful and helpful gift for anyone who has serious goals or aspirations for 2017. Plus how cute is that palm frond print?!
Last but certainly not least, the Five-Minute Journal has been a daily game-changer for me in a big way. Sometimes, it’s too easy to get hung up on the negative, which only adds to stress and can be detrimental to our wellbeing. Through the daily use of the Five-Minute Journal and it’s prompted, simple and quick approach ( I prefer the phone app which sends me morning and evening reminders) it’s truly helped me to focus my attention on the good in my life, cultivate gratitude and ultimately improve my happiness. And wouldn’t happiness be the best gift of all?!
Well loves, I hope you enjoyed this extensive and lengthy (31 ideas!!!!) list. I can honestly say it’s the most time I’ve ever spent on one post and it truly came from the heart, a gift from me to you and your loved ones. Cheers to a healthy, happy and inspiring 2017!