"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire... Jack Frost nipping at your nose..."
Those are my favourite words to hear sung (slightly off-key) around this time of year. The images and ideas the Christmas song brings to mind are what the season is truly about. It's not about the gifts...
Environmentally conscious behaviour is a strong aspiration of mine and I try to keep the consumerism of the season down to a minimum. I've even toyed with the idea of going zero-waste over the holidays and not giving gifts, but instead spending time with family over the holidays.
That said, as shopping season hits full swing, I find myself day dreaming about the perfect gift for my husband, daughter, mother, siblings, in-laws, friends... it's such a beautiful feeling to be planning a surprise for another. I just love pampering my fave peeps with things they may not splurge on/think to get them selves.
So, I've decided that I will always participate in gift giving, because whether giving or receiving the gift, it's about the time, attention, and love that's put into it.
If you have similar taste to mine, hopefully the following list will help you put your wish list together so you can continue your wellness journey. Or, if you're shopping for your fave health nut and don't know where to start, this list has your back. The links below are NOT affiliate links, I just wanted to put you directly in touch with the items.
Whatever you choose to gift a loved one, just know that any gift given with love will be well received.
Without further adieu, the list...
Whether you go for a 12 inch or a smaller 8 inch, cooking in cast iron is definitely a trend. We love using it at our home for making the best pan-seared steaks with a side of pan-seared whole tomatoes. They are also a great way to get more iron into your diet. Cooking in cast-iron is one of the healthiest materials as they don't react with food and also aren't covered in Teflon or any other harmful chemicals. I love the Lodge brand as they come pre-seasoned, last for decades, and come with a silicone handle cover. Available at Amazon.ca or Home Depot. (TIP: Pairs nicely with a cast iron cookbook!)
Holy moly this stuff is good! It's seriously the best honey I've ever tasted. This honey is great drizzled on anything from a salad with goat cheese to oatmeal with fresh fruit. If you didn't already know, Newfoundland is one of the few areas in the world that does not have the tracheal or varroa mite. A pest that infects bees worldwide and impacts their health and the health of their wax, pollen, and honey. Here on the island, pesticides are not necessary. Paradise Farms Inc. also claims zero use of drugs or chemical treatments on its bees. Available at local markets or by contacting Paradise Farms directly.
The latest in health tech devices, the MUSE headband is an EEG monitor that you can use to help you learn to meditate without guessing and reap the benefits of less stress and better focus. The device plays audio that gets louder as you lose focus, which provides real-time biofeedback to keep you on track. MUSE 2 is about $50 more and tracks heart rate, body posture, and breath too. If there's a health tech-y on your main list, this may be the coolest gift under the tree this year. (www.choosemuse.com)
If you know me well, you know I have a thing for planners and organizers. I was gifted a Gold version of this planner this fall and I LOVE it. Part of the reason I'm always trying different ones, is that it's hard to put my work and personal goals in one place while maintaining focus on what matters, without it turning into "the everything" book. What I love is that you can start any day and the pages are not dated, so if you fall off track for a week (or two) you can jump right back in where you left off. https://90xgoalplanner.com/
This journal turned app has brought the idea of the gratitude journal into 2018. I have not paid for an app on my phone until this one came along - and I love it. It gives you scheduled reminders to list the items you are grateful for and to make note of the amazing things that happen each day. It takes less than 5 minutes to do. The questions/process is backed by research showing that it improves mental health. Find it in the App Store or Google Play.
If you love making bright beautiful salads, you are going to love using the World Cuisine Spiralizer. It also spiralizes zuchinni, beets, carrots, cucumbers, onions... just about any veggies can be prepared with the spiralizer into beautiful thin ribbons and curls, amking your dish look like something on pinterest. Honestly, I tend to resist extra kitchen gadgets/appliances, but this one definitely hit my favourites list immediately after I tried it. I most often use it for spiralizing the big bags of Zuchinni from Costco into delicious and paleo-friendly Zoodles. Even better, the parts go through the dishwasher! (Because if it can't go through the dishwasher, it doesn't belong in my kitchen, lol). Available on Amazon.ca.
Shameless self-promotion time! I have put together a package of 4 meal plans to make eating healthy as easy as following instructions. The meal plan includes the shopping lists and recipes you need for each week too. I've also included a prep guide document for each week that will ensure you can be as productive and efficient as possible with the time you spend in the kitchen. Whether you purchase this as a gift or for yourself, it's bound to make your meal time experience much saner and healthier over the next month.
Laura Nurse, BBA, ND
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