Holiday Gift Guide 2017 for a Healthy and Happy Season
Well...it is here. We are now in the thick of the holiday season.
If you're like me, you haven't gotten all your gifts yet. Fortunately, we live in an age of extra-fast shipping, so there's still time (but not much! 😳). Almost everything here can be bought on Amazon if you're a Prime-aholic like me, and everything listed is currently in stock and able to be shipped in time for Christmas, while many don't require shipping at all.
To save you from coming up with ideas, I've compiled my top 15 gift recommendations for this year. All of these ideas are designed to improve the health and happiness of its recipient, and all are an excellent value - well worth their price point. Ranging from $5 to over $1000, there are options for everyone on your list and every budget.
Thrive Market Membership - $59.95 - This online health food store is like a modern-day co-op, but minus the volunteer time. Join with an annual membership, but save like crazy on all your favorite organic / natural / health foods...you know, the stuff you’d normally spend a ton of money on at Whole Foods. Seriously: all items are 25-50% normal retail price, you can often get free shipping, and frequently you’ll find bonuses and surprises in your package. Thrive Market even offers a savings guarantee, so no matter what, you won’t be out any money from your membership fee. That said, buying a loved one a membership is a fantastic gift they are sure to love. After all, you’re not just buying them a membership to an online health food store; you’re helping them save money all year long.
Black Mountain Products (B.M.P.) Stackable Resistance Band Set - $32.99 (sale) - This resistance band set is the only that converted me from thinking that bands were “lame” (what?! 🙄) to realizing that they are a highly functional and efficient tool that nearly everyone should have. While I encourage you to purchase directly from B.M.P., check out Amazon to see the reviews on this set: 4.5 stars with almost 6500 reviews! This set is excellent for travel, small spaces, outdoor workouts...honestly, I think every gym bag should have a set. While it can’t do everything, it is one of my top recommendations for people who are just starting to build up their home equipment collection and/or are on a budget.
Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebells - $39.99 - $249.99 - Kettlebell Kings is a local Austin company, but that isn’t why I’m recommending them. In my years of lifting, I’ve tried all kinds of kettlebells out there...most of them not very good, to be honest. The ones that were good were so expensive as to be out of reach, especially once you factor in shipping costs. I’ve been fortunate to try out Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebells in a few local gyms, and I gotta say: they really and truly rival the other “best” kettlebell brands out there, but with better prices and FREE SHIPPING. 👏👏👏 Don’t get me wrong - kettlebells are a bit pricey no matter how you slice it, but these are excellent quality bells at a very competitive price point for the quality. Unsure of what sizes to buy? Of course, that depends on how fit the recipient is, but for beginners, I would generally recommend 8-12kg for women and 12-16kg for men. If they are more advanced, anything from 16-32kg for women and 24-44kg for men would help round out their training.
Spiralizer 5-Blade Vegetable Slicer - $26.99 - While I’m most definitely not Paleo, there are some things about the trend that I certainly appreciate. One that tops the list is that it popularized vegetable “noodles.” Now, to be clear, I’m not anti-noodle, either. I just like that it provides another option, and it is great for people looking to increase their vegetable intake, those with a gluten intolerance, or for folks looking to trim down. These days, spiralized noodles are so commonplace that most average grocery stores actually carry them pre-made, but this option can get price. Let me assure you, spiralizing is actually very easy and very quick...this coming from someone who doesn’t enjoy meal prep. With modern-day Spiralizers, even hard root vegetables are “noodles” within a minute. Plus, its kinda fun to do. 😁
OXO Good Grips Salad Chopper and Bowl - $24.95 - If chewing big ol’ pieces of lettuce like a giraffe isn’t your thing, try chopped salads! Really, it can make all the difference if you find yourself getting tired of chewing halfway through a salad (LOL) or if you simply want to mix it up for a more interesting salad. Don’t underestimate the power of texture in a good salad! The OXO Good Grips Salad Chopper and Bowl is the go-to product for making chopped salads at home. Plus, you can eat your salad right out of the bowl. 😉
Habit Nest Morning Sidekick Journal - $33.90 - This is going to be my journal of 2018. These days, there are a lot of amazing journals out there, each with its own spin or focus: gratitude, productivity, creativity, just to scratch the surface. The Habit Nest Morning Sidekick Journal is a science-based journal that focuses on helping you make the most of each morning in only three minutes. It also works in phases so you could make this - you guessed it - a habit. Out of all the journals I’ve looked at in recent months (which is a lot, actually), this is one is my favorite. Give your loved one the gift of powerful mornings and healthy habits for 2018.
Gym Gypsy Workout Journal - $18.00 every 3 months - But if you’re seeking more of a fitness log, this Gym Gypsy journal is one of my favorites for tracking workouts with pen and paper. It is aesthetically pleasing, simple to use, and designed for people doing strength and conditioning style workouts. They make “men’s” and “women’s” journals, but let’s be real: you can buy either one, the designs are just different. They also make sticker packs to go with it, for funsies. Note that these journals come on a subscription basis, once per quarter, but it can be canceled at anytime. This gift is another excellent all-year gift, although the journal will be delivered upon their existing timeline, so you may wish to give a small gift card or one of the DIY gifts (see #14) at holiday time.
Meditation and/or Yoga App Subscription - about $10-20 per month - This one is such a great gift for nearly anyone. Truth is, almost everyone can benefit from sloooowing down these days. Our lives are inherently frenetic and stressed, and admittedly, our workouts can encourage that. To balance it out (and aid in muscle recovery), meditation and yoga can be extremely helpful. Here are some popular options for both:
Headspace - $12.99 per month or $95.88 for one year paid in full - Possibly one of the more popular meditation apps on the market right now. To be quite honest, it isn’t my personal favorite, but I do see its appeal: They have made it simple to get started and build meditation as a daily habit by starting with 2-minute meditations based on a progressive series. Great for meditation beginners.
Simple Habit - $19.99 for 2 months, $49.99 for 6 months, or $99.99 for one year paid in full - This one is my current favorite paid meditation app. It has more variety, but might be better suited for those who have already started on their meditation journey.
Calm Premium - $12.99 per month, $59.99 for one year paid in full - Another really good meditation app, with more of a stress-relief focus. This one is a bargain for the full year at basically half of what most other apps charge, but with no loss of quality.
Yoga Wake Up - $5.99 for one month, $29.99 for six months, $46.99 for one year - Yoga Wake Up is exactly what it sounds like: this app gently wakes you up (beats the sound of the actual alarm by a long shot) and coaxes you into starting your day with yoga. You can choose if you want to do your yoga in bed (um, yes please) or not, with options for meditations as well. It can also be used for yoga at other times of the day.
Yogaglo - $18 for one month, $54 for 3 months, $108 for 6 months, $216 for 12 months - Oh, how I love Yogaglo! I’ve been a member for years, and will continue to be so. The breadth and depth of yoga, meditation, and philosophy classes - taught by some of the world’s best instructors - is unparalleled in my opinion. For all levels, all types, all durations, there are many options.
Gaia Yoga - $9.95 per month, $20 for 3 months, $95.40 for one year paid in full - Okay, so I’m going to be totally honest: I’ve never used Gaia. I have heard it is good, and it is more competitively priced than Yogaglo. Take that for what it’s worth. 😊
ROMWOD - $13.95 per month - A less traditional suggestion! I am a huge fan of ROMWOD. At its core, it is essentially yin yoga; a type of yoga where postures are held for a loooong period of time...but marketed toward the CrossFit community. I can wax poetic about ROMWOD for a long time, but it is a very accessible way to introduce yoga and meditation as a tool for muscle recovery for the CrossFitter in your life, and highly effective. Great even for non-CrossFitters who want to ease their stress and anxiety.
Anjou Aromatherapy Diffuser + Top 6 Essential Oils - $25.99 and $16.99 ($42.98 for the set) - This is one of those gifts that almost everyone can enjoy and benefit from, but people are rarely inclined to buy it for themselves. Help ‘em out and gift one! (Provided your recipient isn’t sensitive to real fragrance, of course.) This one is attractive with color-changing lights, two different wood bases to choose from, automatic shut-off, and timer options. If you’re feeling extra generous, maybe toss in a nice bottle of jojoba oil to be used as a carrier oil if your recipient wants to use the oils topically as well.
NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp - $56.99 - If you or your loved ones live in a place that gets gray and gloomy during winter, there’s a good chance you’ll experience some blues or even seasonal depression as a result of low vitamin D. It may not be sexy, but one of the best solutions is to add light therapy as part of the daily winter routine to boost vitamin D levels. It can also help to regulate your circadian rhythm if you find that the shorter, darker days are throwing off your sleep patterns. There are tons of kinds and sizes out on the market, but a tabletop variation such as this one is a good start for most people.
FringeSport Barbell and Bumper Plates - Prices vary, on sale for 10-30% off + FREE SHIPPING - FringeSport is another local Austin equipment company, and just so we are clear: Yes, I used to work there and still do personal training out of their facility, but no, I am not making commission off this link. I really and truly believe in the products, especially their barbells and bumpers, which I have been using for years. The quality plus value is unbeatable. While you really can’t go wrong, I recommend the Wonder Bar (currently $170 - $199). You could even go so far as to buy them a barbell + bumper set (currently $478 - $1138) and trust me...they would be grateful AF. Man, what an amazing gift! (Hint, hint 😍) Lots of other great gear is on sale now too, including the Bodyweight WOD Pack and Bootcamp Essentials Pack and garage gym packages. As always, there is FREE shipping on all orders, or save 10% with local pickup. Order now for guaranteed delivery by Christmas!
Cocokind Holiday Face and Body Beauty Set or Holiday Basics Beauty Set - $85.99 and $58.99, respectively - Cocokind is a beauty startup based out of San Francisco but is quickly building a fanbase all over the country. Their product line is entirely organic, paraben-free, and made with food-grade ingredients; I mean, you could eat the stuff if you really wanted to (although I don’t recommend it 😉). Appropriate for use by both men and women.
Six Pack Bags The Cube - $39.99 - This is a cooler...but cooler. (That was a lame pun, but I’m totally gonna leave that in.) Six Pack Bags makes an assortment of insulated coolers / lunch bags, specifically designed with gymrats in mind. Perfect for that friend who is always on the go and wants to take their food with them. While Six Pack Bags sells a variety, I like The Cube because of its modest size and ultimate usability. Comes with three leak-proof containers, two freezer packs, supplement container, as well side pockets for water or shaker bottles, with three color options to choose from.
DIY Shower Steamers, Bath Melts, Lip Balms, or Milk Baths - About $5-15 per batch - Feeling crafty? DIY gifts never get old, y’all. I know they can seem lame because we feel like we need to spend money for a gift to “count,” but it really isn’t the case. Make a batch or two from this list of DIY “spa” gifts, package it up nicely in a reusable jar with a ribbon and a heartfelt card, and trust me - they’ll love it. While these gifts are luxurious, they are also designed to help naturally reduce stress and aid in better sleep and relaxation. Tip: Feel free to substitute epsom salts for the Dead Sea salts in the bath melts and milk bath if it is more accessible for you.
Personal training, online fitness and/or nutrition coaching, or 60-minute coaching call with me - $50-975 - You knew this one was coming, right? 😇 I’m running holiday specials on ALL of my services through Sunday (12.17.17). If you have someone in your life that you know for a fact is looking to make a change but needs guidance, this can be an excellent gift to set them on that path. To be totally honest: This option isn’t for everyone. The recipient has to actually want this, not for you to want it for them. But if you know that it is what they want and need, and they are ready to take action, this can be a fantastic gift that will keep on giving for the rest of their life. That’s pretty sweet!
What's on your wish list this holiday season?