Oh my gosh! The holidays are coming right up, and if you’re anything like me, you want someone to narrow down your choices so you don’t needlessly waste time searching for great gifts for your health-conscious (and “sciency”) family and friends.
I would love to present to you my Healthy Holiday Gift Guide (with a bit of science thrown in, of course)!
The best part of this is not that I’ve curated amazing ideas for a healthy holiday, but since they’re all available for online ordering (with some affiliate links), then you don’t even have to tolerate those packed parking lots and endless store line-ups to get them!
You’re welcome! 🙂
Oh, at the very bottom I’ve embedded one of my favourite Christmas songs. The meaning of the lyrics always makes me think about what the holidays are about, and how they can make people feel (and I freaking love things that make me think!). I hope you like it!
1 – For the socially conscious
I’m personally more impressed with the thoughtfulness of a gift, or quality time spent together with people I care about. Not to mention making memories and having amazing food. Can we agree that those are what’s really important at this time of year?
My favourite book of all time is “Your Money or Your Life” which guides you through several steps to understanding financial intelligence, financial integrity, and financial independence. It’s quite an “anti-consumerist” book that helps you align your income and spending with your values.
I put this book at my first recommendation for a reason:
Please don’t take this post as encouragement to spend any more money or purchase any more things than you really need to. 🙂
Oh, and the song I embedded at the very bottom talks about the “comparisonitis” that can well up around this time of year. (affiliate link)
2 – For the person who wants to stay warm and look awesome
While, I’m someone who enjoys winter (sitting by the fire while the snow gently falls), I’m also someone who enjoys staying warm!
You may know someone who wants to stay warm AND look awesome too. (Or that may be you?)
Check out some of her freaking gorgeous creations here:
Plus, if you want a custom order, or vegan yarn, you can contact her directly right here.
You can also follow her on instagram here.
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FREEWAY | cool cream | This is from our 15/16 Collection | keeping it warm since 2006 | because great design deserves only the best materials | using only the finest natural yarns #urbanorchard #Handmade #canada #yarn #collection #fallwinter #handmadeincanada #finest #knits #newyorkdesign #autumn #fall #autumnwinter #warmallwinter #Toronto #Iceland #London #Finland #Sweeden #customorder #shoponline #naturalfibers #fiberart #streetstyle #fashion #fashionmagazine #magazine #highenddesign #freeway #greatdesign
3 – For the person who needs to know they’re already awesome
The Wizard of Oz is my favourite movie because the main message here is that you shouldn’t think that you’re missing a part of yourself, or that you need to follow someone else’s path in life.
That whole “follow the yellow-brick road” was a distraction from Dorothy’s ability to go home (i.e. wake up) all on her very own. She always had that power. And getting that witch’s broomstick was a task that the wizard wanted done because he himself was afraid of the witch – that was based on his own personal fears (not to mention his lack of concern for Dorothy and her crew). 🙁
Of course at the end, everyone found out they always had everything that they were looking for inside of them (e.g. heart, brain, courage, etc.).
YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED WITHIN YOU.
Now go out and rock the world with your awesomeness! (affiliate link)
4 – For the person who could use less stress
Adult colouring books are all the rage, and YES I have several! I even have my personal stash of 100-pack of Crayola coloured pencils!
This is NOT news! I literally bought this colouring book from the university book store when I was taking my Human Anatomy course. (affiliate links)
Let me tell you, there are SO many beautiful ones of flowers, animals, landscapes, mandalas, and inspirational quotes.
I post some of my colouring on Instagram (are you following me there yet?):
I’ve seen some colouring books full of tattoos or swear words, or books with racier versions of anatomy…
The scientist in me loves the one below on fractals, and this one on visual math. This one reminds me of my Master’s thesis in toxicology. There’s a series on brain science too: Brain science, Meditation, Anti-Stress. How about these on physiology, microbiology, seascapes and ocean creatures, zoology, and botany.
And here’s one with black backgrounds that caught my eye. (affiliate links)
5 – For the person who likes their hot drink to stay hot (and cold to stay cold)
I love, love, love this mug!
It keeps hot stuff HOT and cold stuff COLD. It is stainless steel inside and out, easy to seal/unseal with the pop of a button, and I’ve been throwing it in my dishwasher for years with no problems. (affiliate link)
This is an epic travel mug!
6 – For the cook who has (almost) everything
I just got my Instant Pot!
First recipe: Rice.
Verdict: All things considered, I made 3x the volume of rice in half the time as my rice cooker. Not to mention, it’s stainless steel, so I’m kinda happy to *finally* be done with my decades-old plastic rice cooker. #happydance (affiliate link)
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First time for my Instant Pot! .. 3 cups rice + 3 cups water. .. High pressure for 4 minutes. .. (Plus pressurization time & 10 min depressurization = total ~20 mins). .. Yields about 6 cups; then 8 after fluffing with a fork. 😃 #rice #pressurecooker #pressurecooking #foodfordays #instantpot
7 – For the health conscious person who likes quick and easy food prep (and cleanup)
I seriously love my Vitamix.
I don’t just use it for smoothies! Although it can turn soaked almonds into a creamy, smooth delicious drink!
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Hot drink after walking home from school on a cold wet day. Three decaf chai lattes. 2 decaf chai teabags 4 pitted dates 3 cups boiling water, divided 2 tbsp smooth almond butter 3 tbsp tahini Soak dates & teabags in 1 cup boiling water for 5 mins. Remove teabags. Add tea, soaked dates, almond butter & tahini into high-powered blender. Fill to 3-cup mark with boiling water. Blend on high until creamy & foamy. #delicious #vegan #decaf #chai #latte with some #calcium #dates #almondbutter #tahini #tea #hotdrink #chillyday #rainy #cloudy #snack #afterschool #blender #Vitamix #creamy #foamy #dairyfree
PRO TIP: When I’m baking I add all of the wet ingredients to it, and blend it up so I don’t have to dirty a bowl and mixer arms! (Bonus!)
And the Vitamix cleans up nicely if you rinse the food out, then add a few cups of soapy hot water to it and blend on high for 30 seconds!
Awesome blending capability and self-cleaning?
I, in fact, don’t know a single person who made the investment in this and doesn’t absolutely love it. Seriously!
How can you not consider this? (affiliate link)
8 – For kids…all of them
There is one book, hand’s down that I recommend (and give) to just about every kid I see at this time of year.
It was first given to me by my scarf-designing knitting guru sister Sonia several years ago, and it instantly became my absolute favourite kids holiday book of all time.
It actually talks about how the animals stumble upon a shopping mall at this time of year, and how they interpret what all of the people are doing there. The line-ups, the frenzy and the consumer objective of buying happiness.
This book is amazing – especially the last 2 pages.
Plus, it was written by Thomas King, a professor at my alma mater, University of Guelph. (affiliate link)
9 – For everyone
Sorry, I can’t get off my soap box (pun intended), but we really need to consider:
- Antibiotic resistance;
- That next week is National Handwashing Awareness Week in the US (how do I even know this?); and,
- That my favourite scientist of all time was Ignaz Semmelweis (otherwise known as “the doctor who championed hand-washing”.
What Semmelweis had discovered is something that still holds true today: Hand-washing is one of the most important tools in public health. It can keep kids from getting the flu, prevent the spread of disease and keep infections at bay.
Now, the bottom line of all of these very important things to consider is that we should be washing our hands properly, more often than we do. And we do NOT need to use anti-bacterial soap (in fact the US FDA banned a few antibacterial ingredients from soaps last year).
Here’s what I personally use in my house (and I’ve been known to gift them to friends on their birthdays!). It’s got natural ingredients, and the pump dispenser “foams” it up so a small amount goes a long way (and it’s easy for kids to use too). Not to mention it’s from a family-run Canadian company! I love it!
I just ordered a 4L jug… I’m set for a looooong time! 🙂 (NO affiliate link)
And, yes, there is an “official” proper way to wash your hands!
10 – For biology and chemistry nerds
I’ve bought some nerdy art pieces lately. And I love them.
Check out The Baby Biochemist’s Etsy shop. I bought myself the caffeine a.m. & resveratrol p.m. downloadable printable image. 🙂 She also has some neurotransmitters and other biochemicals. (NO affiliate link)
Codex Anatomy has some cool prints they ship from Lithuania. I love the flower prints. I have the ribcage and heart. (NO affiliate link)
11- For the online biz/blog in Toronto
If you have a website, you have some photos of you on it. Professional photos are a great way to make sure you have quality images that reflect your brand.
If you’re in the Toronto area, and are considering updating your online photos (or have any other need for a portrait photographer… weddings, etc.) feel free to check out my sister. She’s at Urban Orchard Photography. You can let her know that I recommended her to you. 🙂
Her work is on my website too! (NO affiliate link)
12 – For the online HealthPreneur who wants to rock social media in 2018
13 – For the seriously nerdy health enthusiast (do you know anyone like me???)
If I didn’t already have it, I would still want access to the amazing supplement information that Examine has! (affiliate link)
There are stack guides, their Supplement-Goals Reference (which, as a nutritionist, I refer to several times per week), as well as my new subscription to their monthly Research Digest.
The people at Examine are the bomb when it comes to supplement science. I never make a recommendation without checking their info first!
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- Hate diets? Get behind No Diet Day;
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- Love the doctor who championed handwashing? Promote non-antibacterial soap for National Handwashing Awareness Week!
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And for the grand finale of this Healthy Holiday Gift Guide…
Watch one of my favourite Christmas songs:
Green Christmas by the Barenaked Ladies.
Not only is this band from my home town of Toronto, but the words are really meaningful. The “green” they’re talking about is what I call “comparisonitis,” that envy that can pop up when you see “perfect parcels tied with perfect bows…”
Have an awesome holiday!
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I'm Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N.
Health writer – Blogging expert – Research nerd.
I help health and wellness professionals build their authority with scientific health content. They want to stand out in the crowded, often unqualified, market of entrepreneurs. I help them establish trust with their audiences, add credibility to their services, and save them a ton of time so they don’t have to do the research or writing themselves. To work with me, click here.