Gifts of Health and Happiness

Trying to decide what to buy for your friends and family? I compiled a list of items all oriented to help your loved ones live healthier and happier lives. This guide is intended for the holiday season, but you can use it any time of year when shopping for birthdays, client gifts, a housewarming, or other occasions, too! 

As always, I only recommend products and services that I’ve personally tried. So, if you have any questions or need clarification on anything, please feel free to ask. Happy Holidays and wishing everyone a wonderful year ahead.

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Kitchen Gadgets + Healthy Swaps:

Many people know to avoid plastic water bottles (they ALL leech chemicals into your water), but they don’t feel like spending money to upgrade their own. Glass or stainless steel are both great options. For a commuter, I’d go with the steel as it’s lighter.

Two of my favorites: BKR Bottle (glass) and Steel Vacuum Insulated Bottle – keeps it hot for 12 hours or cold liquids cold for 24 hours.

A reusable bottle can save coffee and tea drinkers time and money as well. Kleen Kanteen comes in different sizes, colors, and lid styles.

Coffee is one of the most heavily pesticide sprayed crops, so if you’re looking to put together a gift bundle, add some organic coffee to the mix. I like to shop locally, and my favorite coffee shop in Boston is Polcari’s Coffee in the North End (their Organic Mexican blend is fantastic, and they do online orders too).

Opting for organic tea is beneficial as well. My favorite brand is Traditional Medicinals (try green tea with ginger). Whole Foods has a huge selection or if you’re local to Boston, Cambridge Naturals has a lot as well (along with gift boxes that are great ideas too!). For the Type A gift recipient, a tea organizer will be a big hit.

Or, buy some loose tea and get a French Press which can be used for either coffee or tea. Espro is pricier but is the BEST press I’ve found (no rogue coffee grinds in your cup because of the double filter), comes in a few sizes, and looks nice on your countertop.

Lastly, get an electric kettle to speed up the brewing process. It heats water in seconds and is our most frequently used kitchen appliance (we drink hot water with lemon each morning, and after big meals).

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Cookbooks:

Maybe I’m just a health nerd, but I love a good cookbook! Having recipes in your hands vs. spending more time staring at screens (and then forgetting where the recipe is next time) makes cooking more relaxing. Some of my faves:

  • For the kitchen newbie: Minimalist Baker only has recipes that are either 30-minutes or less, use one bowl, or use less than 10 ingredients (sometimes all three!). They’re all plant-based and mostly gluten-free. Try the taquitos!
  • For the meat lover: NomNom Paleo has incredibly flavorful meals and a fun personality. Try the slow cooker chicken or cauliflower rice.    
  • For the vegan with some cooking skills: Oh She Glows has gorgeous photography and delicious meals, but some are more involved. Try the tomato soup!

Add an extra touch by including a cookbook holder so you don’t have to touch the pages with dirty hands – this is a game changer! They have some styles with a splashguard so if your person is extra messy I’d recommend one of those 😊

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Additional Kitchen Staples:

For leftovers, help your loved ones avoid plastic again by upgrading them to glass Tupperware. We got this Pyrex set as a wedding gift and had to buy a second set because we loved them so much. For smaller leftovers (and a lighter option), these Stasher bags are fun, plastic free, and better for the environment.

Life is all about balance, so here’s something for the wine lovers! I wrote about what’s in your wine glass, and highly recommend gifting Dry Farm Wines for a bigger gift. You can get a bottle for a penny to start! Opting for organic or “paleo” wine decreases the headaches, hangovers, and interrupted sleep that can come with wines filled with additives. We’ve gotten deliveries of both red and white over the last 6+ months and have really enjoyed it.

Want to stock up on healthy pantry staples while giving back to those in need? A Thrive Market subscription is $59.95 and grants you access to products at 25-50% off retail prices (!!) and your first order has an additional discount. When you become a member, you’re also sponsoring a free membership for a low-income family. Win win.

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Self-Care Supplies:

For the Mind:

Headspace is an amazing meditation app and offers everything from quick 2-minute sessions to thematic packs/sequences (such as stress, sleep, pregnancy, cancer, and more). It makes meditating accessible and approachable… and it’s like a gym membership for your mind. A subscription is a great way to give someone the gift of greater physical, mental, and emotional health.

For the Soul:

Encourage self-reflection and/or a gratitude practice through the gift of “The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes A Day” or grab another of the many journals out there. If he/she is thinking about changing jobs/careers, you can purchase my 20-Page Self-Assessment Guide to help them learn more about themselves and how their values, interests, personality, and skills align with career paths (on sale until 2018).

For the Body:

An example of using blocks in a stress-reducing pose. Want other stretching tips for the office and home? Grab my free guide here.

An example of using blocks in a stress-reducing pose. Want other stretching tips for the office and home? Grab my free guide here.

A simple yoga strap or yoga blocks are gifts that keep on giving. There’s a set with both on sale (as of this post) here, too. To note: pay attention to the strap length when purchasing for taller people. Choose between cork and foam for the blocks – I prefer cork since it’s more natural and then you have the option to do abs with them but both are excellent for overall use.

Did you know that beeswax candles purify the air? Upgrade from toxic candles to these beauties, or achieve a similar purifying effect through a Himalayan salt lamp. (I have two of these in our bedroom + one from Thrive Market in my office as they help protect you from EMF radiation).

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Want to keep the clean home vibe going? Essential oils can be diffused to purify the air too. If your gift receiver already has an oils collection, you can purchase a diffuser (one can never have too many diffusers – I keep one in my bedroom, one in the living room, and one in the office… and am eying a car diffuser! #byeroadrage). The most effective one I have is this one from doTERRA (get 25% off retail price when ordering through me!).

Essential oils can also be used for countless other self-care purposes (including stress, sleep, energy). You can purchase a single oil or an entire kit, depending on how much you’re looking to gift. In addition to 25% off, as a bonus for ordering through me, I’m throwing in a free wild orange oil with any purchase before 2018 (email me with questions or to let me know you’ve ordered and I’ll mail you your freebie!).

If you’re feeling energetic, and you have oils yourself, you can DIY some gifts for cheap! I’ve made this body scrub and given it to friends before.

Or, buy some bath salts with essential oils already in them to keep it simple. My favorites are these Sleep Salts rose hips and eucalyptus soaks. Most people are magnesium deficient so this is a really multi-purpose gift!

Need to go bigger? Combine a bunch of these into a spa basket – a few essential oils, bath salts, bubbles, and candles!

Experiences:

A cooking class could be a fun way to both get to enjoy your gift! It’s been on my list for some time (hint hint, hubby) but I haven’t done any yet so I can’t share a specific recommendation.

A fitness class package or yoga classes can be another creative idea, especially if your person has been meaning to try somewhere or has run out of classes themselves. I can’t recommend Exhale Spa in Boston enough!

…Speaking of spa, most people I know wouldn’t complain about a spa gift certificate either. Buy yourself a treatment too and make it a shared activity.

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Last but certainly not least, did you know that Aspire with Aileen gift certificates are available?

Give the gift of holistic career or health coaching to help your loved one achieve their personal and professional goals. You can throw in one of my (free) guides with it to get him/her started on the right track before we even meet. A 90-minute career coaching session (+ free 30-minute consultation) is only $95! Reach out to get yours today.

Happy Holidays! 

 

This page contains affiliate links. I may receive some small monetary compensation for some of the products or services here. I strictly only recommend/endorse products and services that I personally have experience with, believe in, and stand behind. Thank you for supporting my small business!