(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 Holiday Serving Guide

Any and all yoga poses while lying on our stomachs were strictly off-limits Sunday night!

holistic entertaining

  • It was our Christmas party open house stuffed with festive appetizers, tables of decadent home-baked desserts, and rooms overflowing with family and friends and friends of friends. We have been hosting the party for years but as my lifestyle has evolved, the menu has been revamped a little too. There is now a designated “Suzanne’s section” on the savoury table which was enjoyed by all!  I was even visited by one guest at work on Monday in search of the gluten-free crackers and creamy cranberry orange nut-based “cheeses” that were served. You can bet I was all too happy to stock up her grocery bag!

To navigate this season’s festive Christmas buffet tables abundant with cheeses, breads and cakes is no small feat, but it gets a little easier as a hostess when you have control over what’s served. For all of the upcoming parties you are hosting this season, these are some tips to make it festively healthy and equally indulgent. We want our guests to eat well and leave feeling amazing!

serving guide

Savoury

Cheeses

  • Cheese is one of our biggest culprits for post dinner bloat, indigestion and lethargy. It is particularly difficult to digest when paired with the concentrated starches of bread which utilizes different enzymes and acidic environments in the stomach than does the animal protein of cheese.
What I served:
  • I set out a selection of nut based cheeses created from a blend of creamy cashews, herbs and spices. These came in a pub style cheese with turmeric, a herb and garlic “cream cheese” and the favourite flavour of festive cranberry orange.
  • You can make your own but I used the ones from Boo Moo nut cheese company found at our local health food store, The Peanut Mill. With no preservatives, they are fresh, light, whole food based, soy-free and decadently creamy!

desserts

Veggies & Dip

  • These fibre rich snacks are staples at our party tables. This year’s veggie platter showcased cucumbers, peppers, mushrooms, classic carrots and celery sticks.
  • Eat the vegetables first to gain their beneficial enzymes to help digest the rest of your meal with fibre to help fill you up on nutrient dense food. Aim for 50% of your plate to be vegetable based at all times. But not so fast! The health benefits of veggies can instantly be compromised with what we dip them into…

What I served:

  • Babaghanouj (roasted eggplant dip) and a red lentil hummus with roasted red peppers and basil pesto. Both were based with tahini (ground sesame seeds) instead of sour cream and were free of artificial preservatives, colours or flavours.

Holistic Life Hacks: look to the ingredient labels first. Aim for fewer ingredients with the most recognizable, whole food ingredients you can find.

Breads & Crackers

What I served:

  • We arranged a  platter of thinly sliced chia baguettes (preservative free), small pieces of poppy-seed bagels, Mary’s seed crackers and rice crackers. All gluten-free, dairy free and soy free. Though breads are more of a gamble, your guests will hardly know that you are serving gluten-free crackers and will feel infinately better for it.

festive

Crunchy Chips

What I served:

  • To satisfy our desire for something crunchy without the oily, fried and processed chips? Trail mix! This one is so festive looking, the moment I saw it in our store I knew it would have to adorn our dinning table. (That is, once I took a closer look and discovered it was food and not a pretty potpourri.)
  • This one has zero added salt, sugar or preservatives (except for a little dark chocolate) and is made with chunky coconut flakes, crunchy raw almonds, green pepitas (pumpkin seeds), red gogi berries and those little chocolate chips for a little sweetness.
  • All fats in this snack are raw (not fried or baked) to preserve their beneficial properties and are not oxidized so long as they are stored in the freezer.

double chocolate

Sweets

As you can imagine, our kitchen has been a whirlwind of nuts and coconut, peppermint and chocolate. We’ve had cakes in the garage, freezers overflowing with truffles and a cold cellar with tins of shortbread and cookies, fruit cake and peppermint patties.

I have never had too much of a sweet tooth, though I do love a treat now and again, but I did make a dessert! Can you guess which one? It features raw cacao packed with minerals and antioxidants, coconut for blood sugar stabalizing fats (to counteract the sweets), and festive dried cranberries. As my mother put it: “These are amazing and there is nothing in them!”  If I wasn’t able to make this as dessert for a function, I don’t know what I’d do!

sweets

What I served:

  • Raw cranberry chocolate macaroons made “double chocolate” as I accidentally dumped in extra cacao. But really, could there ever be too much chocolate? 😉

RECIPE: https://lifeofeden.com/2014/07/11/raw-cranberry-chocolate-macaroons/

Beverages

Pop/Beer/Juice

What I served:

  • Kombuchas instead of pop. These are naturally fizzy fermented teas that, when flavoured in the second fermentation process, resemble the taste of pop. Yet most are virtually sugar free, are a natural source of whole-food probiotics for gut health and come in a variety of flavours. I had the GT grape flavour as the daring pairing to my white party dress.
  • For my grandmother, I bought a case of Zevia, the stevia sweetened cola that she loves and is a much healthier alternative to regular colas with zero artificial caramel colouring.
  • Note: though decaffeinated Colas are often worse for us than the standard colas (due to the process used to extract the caffeine), Zevia colas are naturally uncaffeinated, and the caffeine has to be added into the caffeinated version making the decaf version the best choice!

savoury table

Juice

  • I had frozen a jug of 100% pure, raw, unpasteurized apple cider from my grandparents’ apple trees and thawed it to serve at the party.

The best part about co-hosting is not in having control over what I eat, but in giving our guests all of the healthy and delicious options they could possibly desire! While enjoying cheeses and cakes and other goodies, they were also savouring nut cheeses, vegetable platters and raw macaroons. And who knows, your guests may leave so energised, you might just be joined in that late night yoga class (minus the backbends)!

With a “taste” of our festive feasts,

Suzanne Eden

DIY Holistic Christmas Advent Calenders

Let the Christmas countdown commence!

These DIY advent calendars have been counting us down to Christmas since we were children. They are a fantastic way to infuse holiday traditions with healthy habits as you choose what your children (or grandchildren) unwrap and consume each morning of December.

holistic advent calender

My grandmother started this tradition the year after we force-fed her the soap tasting “chocolate” hidden behind the brightly coloured flaps of our cardboard advent calendars. Slipping soap resembling candy to your children may be one way to reduce the sugar they consume this season, but to protect the tooth enamel and blood sugar levels of our grandparents, this DIY offers plenty of treats without the sweets! They are easy to create, are a stress relieving outlet of creativity, can be reused each year and offer the added environmentally friendly benefit of repurposing all of your old christmas cards lingering around your cellar. And we’re just in time to make them!

 Creating The Christmas Card Boxes

 

Christmas Cards

From Sweets To Treats

A few sweets here and there are okay too, but treats do not have to be full of sugar. The ultimate tip: raid your local health food store! You will find plenty of healthy goodies and these are a few ideas to get you going:

  • Nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans)
  • Seeds (sunflower, pepitas – pumpkin seeds, etc.)
  • Trail mix
  • Dried Fruit (figs, dates, dried cranberries, etc.)
  • A dairy free, soy free dark chocolate square (a little sugar here and there is okay too! Just make sure it is a very small amount and teeth are brushed afterward)
  • All natural lip balm
  • A small bracelet or trinket (it doesn’t always have to be food)
** Note:
  • Not every box needs to be different, just make sure that repeated days are spread throughout the month.
  • You do not need much. We will get 2 dates, 5 walnuts, etc. They are just intended to be small treats to unwrap each morning.
As we eagerly await the days of family gatherings and festive feasts, these adorable calendars are the perfect way to make for a more holistically healthy and sustainable holiday! I cannot tell you how excited I am to create these for my children one day but until then, I will enjoy this final year that my grandmother is delivering these mini treats. The true testament that you are never too old for a little Christmas advent!
In countdown to our holistically healthy holidays,
Suzanne Eden