(20)15 Gifts For Every Wellness Enthusiast On Our List

For those of us with an appetite for the world of wellness, the feast of advocates for sustainability, the soul seekers and rejuvenation junkies, we may beg the question: what on earth does one buy for us?! Well, if you’re thinking earth, you’re on the right path. A path paved by aloe plants, bouquets of kale and petals of Echinacea, if it’s earthly and earth-wise, chances are we’ll dig it!

For us wellness enthusiasts and every holistic personality on our list, this is our ultimate holistic gift guide of 2015!

 Gift guide

For The Scent-sational

This is the individual who is seduced by the allure of perfumes and fragrances but forgo’s the chemical cocktails linked to neurotoxicity, asthma, migraines and irritability. The ones distributing fragrant pine branches throughout the home, with simmering pots of blood oranges and cinnamon steeping on the stove top…

1) A Diffuser + Essential Oils

  • My work party did something very special this year. We all regifted items from our home, (funny or otherwise) drew numbers and decided to open a new gift or steal someone else’s. It’s a great way to reduce excessive Christmas spending, rid your basement of lingering junk, and is all fun and games until the diffuser you stole gets stolen from you! I begged, I pleaded, I drew the “I’m new” card, to no avail.
  • At the top of my list, essential oil diffusers make the perfect home air fresheners without the synthetic chemicals. These oils also offer a host of medicinal properties when you are sick (oregano) and the ability to relax and enhance sleep (lavender) or revigorate and energize (citrus).
  • They can also be used as perfumes (forgoing the up to 3,000 chemical constituents of conventional fragrances) and in beauty products.

For The Wild Soul

 

Those of us with a flaming passion for wildlife, the preservation of endangered species and the deep longing for the safari’s of Africa …

2) “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas”

  •  Give or receive an ACTUAL hippo! My guinea pig, Aussie, was my “all I want for Christmas” last year, but animals (even miniature ones) are big, daily commitments. Not yet ready for that responsibility? Thankfully there are “pets” we can give with  no clean up, free to roam their natural habitat, and bypass the aggressively deadly behavior of the territorial hippo. Sadly, no, the house hippo is not a real thing.

aussie

Remember this? Though he no longer fits in the palm of my hand, Aussie still loves Asian pears too (the perfect stocking stuffers)!

For The Holistic Culinary Adventurist

Those of us who are no strangers to the kitchen. The ones who dare experiment in the mishaps, the joys, the dangers of blenders on turbo and the triumphant successes of gluten-free, dairy-free baking, this is for you!

3) CUPCAKES

  • Kelly’s Bakes Shoppe cookbook is topping off my list this year as I’m eager to replicate their decadent baked goods in my very own kitchen. Featuring dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free recipes that would trick even the most health weary members of our family. To all local family and friends; expect some special deliveries with the overflow of desserts guaranteed to be wafting through my home.
  • Order here: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/made-with-love-more-than/9780147529831-item.html
To give you an idea of the truly special treat you’re in for, check out my review of the bake shoppe; https://lifeofeden.com/2015/07/24/restaurant-in-review-kellys-bake-shop-burlington-on/
triple fudge brownie

For The ACTIVE-ist

The trail runners, the rock climbers, the insatiable ACTIVEists. For those of us who can’t last the movie without a good stretch..

4) Yoga Membership

  • The gift of exercise, stress reduction, increased circulation through the winter and detoxification sounds like the holy grail of gifts to me! Bonus; there’s minimal wrapping required.
  • Deals on memberships surface this time of year to entice us in for our resolutions of the New Year but should this be too much, opt for an instructional yoga DVD (Crunch Yoga Body Workouts) or the Yoga Girl series you can purchase from her website here: http://practice.rachelbrathen.com/
 christmas tree

The Lovers Of SOUL-itude

Those of us silently retreating beneath the christmas tree for steaming herbal teas with a juicy soul read…

5) Eckhart Tolle’s : The Power Of Now

  • Or any Eckhart Tolle. Originally brought to light by Oprah Winfrey, he has been a transformative spiritual spark for millions. If you have yet to read this, add it to your list!

 

6) A Course In Miracles

  • Coming about the same way Eckhart Tolle did, I’ve seen, heard, and read about this book everywhere recently, taking its spot on my wish list!
  • For a more easily digestible read, showing how to apply the principles of A Course in Miracles; opt for “A Return To Love” by Marianne Williamson.

7) Robin Sharma’s: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

 

  • An equally eloquent and insightful writer, this book is a soulful adventure laced with meaning, purpose and inspiration. A must read for us all.

 xmas tea

8) Japanese Tea Steeper

  • The all-in-one Steeper and mug and the necessary companion to every warming read. Pair with a loose leaf bag of herbal tea, particularly digestion reliving peppermint or cleansing chai.

For Us Who Know: Theres No Place Like OM For The Holidays

For those of us who beg the question:”are they resting… or meditating?”…

9) Oprah And Deepak’s Latest Meditation Series

  • With Oprah and Deepak as our guides, we are whisked into effortless meditation, relaxation, rejuvenation and empowerment. This, in my personal opinion, was their most powerful series yet. Welcoming you whether you are a seasoned meditator or are new to the experience, we will all benefit from coming OM for the holidays.
  • For only $39.99, this CD pack comes with online access to meditate anytime, anywhere. https://chopracentermeditation.com/store/product/116/become_what_you_believe_streaming

Beanth the christmas tree

To Our Natural Beauties

Those of us whose beauty routine is practically edible, doubling as a wholesome breakfast and equally exfoliating skin mask…

 

10) Giddy Yoyo’s Edible Body Butter

  • Made from cacao butter, coconut oil, olive oil and vanilla, you will smell (and taste) like chocolate! Need I mention it’s organic, vegan and cruelty free? Oh, and it all acts as a natural lubricant… Just be sure to remove this tip when sharing this gift guide with your mother. 😉

11) A shower head filter

  • Want  shiny, healthy hair and smooth, glowing skin? This is a must! If not filtered, that water is flowing with chemicals including chlorine which binds to hair and strips it of its natural oils leading to oily, frizzy and unruly hair as well as dandruff and an irritated scalp. It also disrupts the beneficial bacteria on our skin causing excessive dryness and irritation.
  • The water flowing over our skin (the largest organ of our body) is absorbed into our blood stream, intensified in hot showers where our pores are open.  This lending the case that we are not just what WE eat but what our BODIES eat. For our healthiest, most radiant hair and skin, this is a MUST.

The Rejuvenation Junkie

Likely to be caught soaking in a tub of epsom salts (a great socking stuffer) with lavender essential oils and the soulful harmony of Trevor Hall, our rejuvenation junkies will revel in gifts that sooth their wellness souls.

 

12) A Bed Of Nails

  • It is the de-stress mattress of 2016. Though it doesn’t sound comfortable, it feels amazing! The acupressure mats have thousands of non-toxic plastic spikes that stimulate energy to induce deep relaxation, stress reduction, improve clarity and mental alertness.
  • Some find the experience intense and may benefit from a sheet or shirt between themselves and the mat. I, on the other hand, enjoy the full effect and will stand on it, lay bare backed on it and even sit on it.
  • Find them here: http://bedofnails.org/products/

Acupressure mats + Aussies

Tip; its rejuvenating effects are amplified when coupled with your favourite Aussie!

13) Himalayan salt lamp

  • Responsible for the eery, luminescent glow from my bedroom, these lamps are soft, non stimulating lights with medicinal and rejuvenating properties from its illumination of negative ions. I received this last year and use it all day everyday until I go to sleep at night as we should aim for total darkness for the adequate release of our sleep hormone melatonin.
  • Disclaimer; for these potent benefits, be sure you are purchasing one made with authentic Himalayan salt.

For The Foodies

For those of us more enticed by the unveiling of the christmas feast than the unwrapping of gifts beneath the tree…

14) Giddy Yoyo Dark Chocolate

  • Of course we love chocolate! Chocolate is a superfood after all, so long as it’s done right.
  • Real chocolate is high quality  with at least 70% cacao (which means less sugar is added), and only real, whole food ingredients. With a rainbow of flavours to choose from, there is something for everyone on your list! My top picks;
    • Spicy for those who love their chocolate with a kick (my personal favourite)
    • Vanilla salt, or raspberry, for those who enjoy the sweetness
    • And mint which comes in 76% and 100% dark.
  • Read more here: http://shop.giddyyoyo.com/chocolate-bars-1

 

15) Kale Bouquets

 

Whether this is your wish list or your cheat sheet gift guide to the holidays, grab your favourite ones and share! 🙂

 

Happy shopping wellness enthusiasts!

Suzanne Eden

 

 

 

Your Holistic Guide To a Greener White Christmas (In just 14 steps!)

Dreaming of a green Christmas but a little stumped on where to begin?

Tuesday afternoon my step father and I bundled in fluffy coats and warm winter mitts and set off to scout out the perfect little Christmas tree as the evergreen centre peice to our family room. Nessled in a swirl of pine we spotted just the perfect one with a full, dense, bottom, white frosted tips and a bald spot at the nap of the long spindling neck. It was beautiful and though the car ride home savoured a road side stop as the trunk flew open, we made it home with the tree still intact. Success! Now getting it out was the real test of strength. How many Christmas tree enthusiasts does it take to yank a tree from its snug fit in the back of the car? Answer: 3.

With the tree perched in the family room, awaiting tomorrow when we will be trimming its branches with DIY decorations, I snuck a branch to my room to satisfy my lust of the aromatic pine. The perfect, chemical free air freshener as it is. And in the spirit of chemical free and green, let us spruce up this Christmas with an evironmental twist. Here are my top easy holistic steps to a greener white Christmas!

A Green Home

  1.  “Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how real are your branches?” – Buy a real christmas tree
  • There has been much debate over whether or not to go real or fake with both sides issuing a valid debate. But I will continue to support real trees. Though chopped down each year, at least they are grown in the first place and continue to be. Bonus: they are recycleable!
  • Make it green:
    • Buy local
    • Choose from farms that utilize the least chemicals possible
    • Recycle your tree after Christmas

2. Make all natural air fresheners

  • Whether or not your fresh pine tree is enough freshener, there are plenty of delicious smelling, stove top recipes that simmer and fill your home with aromatic fragrance. You can see my pinterest here: http://www.pinterest.com/Lifeofeden/  for recipes. The board: Christmas Cocoa and Fairisle Sweaters.

3. Save your energy putting up the lights

  • Save time and electricity but using lighting sparingly. This goes for inside and outside the home.
  • Opt for energy efficient, LED light bulbs.
  • Set a timer to turn them off around your bedtime.

4. Decorate with natural decorations

  • Instead of bowls of christmas bulbs, have vases and bowls of festive edible fruit arrangments (apple, oranges etc.) and nuts
  • Utilize pine cones and fallen branches etc.

ever green

Gifts that keep on Giving

5. Less is more

  • There is no need to go overboard on gifts. Focus in on less gifts that mean more.

6. Create a wish list

  • Others will thank you (we all want to give you a gift you will love) and you will recieve something you actually want. Bonus: you can relax your facial smiles – no forced smiles needed!
  • Make it green:
    • When making your list, think more about what you need instead of want. Ask for things you would have had to buy anyway, things that you will use time and time again, things that will last. And, of course, sneak in an item or too that is a complete splurge. Something you want but wouldn’t otherwise buy yourself, you deserve it!

7. Please Purchase Responsibly

  • Look for fair trade, support small local buisness as much as possible, less is more for packaging and steer clear of anything from China.
  • Bonus: When buying at small, local buisnesses, you tend to avoid the massive crowds of the Christmas mall rush and inevitable run ins with “Canada’s worst drivers” in the parking lot

8. Go DIY

  • Make as many gifts as possible! Or get crafty and think outside the box. Gifts don’t have to be store bought, they can be your friends’ favourite cookies (with – gasp! – your grandmother’s secret recipe for them), or skating lessons, a yoga membership, a gift card for something you two can do together, you name it!
  • Bonus: Buying something active will save that person from the post christmas overload of consumer workout equipment purchases and you may not have to wrap these gifts at all!

9. DIY your cards

  • Commercial cards use an expansive amount of waste. Make your own, make them smaller and add your personal touch. I am the official card writer in my family because of my quirky (or otherwise utterly corny) sayings littered with puns, but a nice, little handwritten message will go a long way
  • Make it green: the best and easiest way is through e-cards! Nothing to dispose of, just be sure to add your own personal touch to these too.

10. “Packages, boxes or bags!” Reusable wrapping!

  • From our adorable printed bags (no doubt from China) popping with tissue paper, you would never guess that they are moderatly eco-friendly. But what’s encased in them isn’t the only surprise, many of these bags have been in my family since I was a child. And the tissue paper is used until it’s brimming will holes. I, myself, try to get away with reusing it as much as possible so don’t look at your wrapping too closely 😉
  • Make it green:
    • Reuse your bags and gently tear the tissue paper from them as you unwrap them so that you can fold it neatly and reuse them next year. This can be done with bows, tags and even wrapping paper too.
    • I like to use old newspapers for wrapping. One Christmas I was able to fit a Christmas tree crossword on the front of my Mom’s cookbook and Dexter (one of the shows he watches) with blood splotches on the front of my brother’s gift.
    • Choose hemp or wrapping paper from recycled materials

11. TAPEr this down

  • Use tape sparingly or not at all. My step father uses tape at every crease possible. The tell tale sign he wrapped the gift: tapping the paper to the gift! TAPEr this down.

12. Regift!

  • This is a fantastic trend! Have something you don’t want or need but know someone who will appreciate it? Pass it on!

flowers

Festive Feasts

13. Splurge on the Bird

  • This is not the time to be cheap. Opt for a turkey that is local, free range, organic, grass fed, antibiotic and hormone free! Now thats a roast to feast on. By buying local, you can reduce your ecological footprint up to 75%!

14. Taste, don’t waste

  • On average, Americans waste up 96 billion pounds of food each year, according to the USDA
  • Keep it green:
    • Take a taste of the food and remember, you can always go back for more.
    • Utilize the left overs. Something you don’t think you can eat before it goes bad? Freeze it or divi it up for your guests to take home and savour the next day. I’m sure they will appreciate not having to cook for that meal.
    • To make good use of this, let your guests feed themselves! It easier for you and it allows them to take only what and how much they want.
    • Plan your meals and how much food you will actually need to avoid waste later. Compost what doesn’t get eaten and cannot be salvaged

I will still be wishing for a white Christmas of course, but will be doing my part to make it a green one too!

Sprucing up Christmas,

Suzanne Eden