Monday, December 12, 2016

Good Resolutions Holiday Gift Guide



January is about to roll in along with our good resolutions: Exercising more, eating better, or even consuming more responsibly. The key to the success is to take things one day at a time. If you want to be healthier, implementing a spartan diet can derail you quite quickly. Same thing happens with exercising: Going from nada to daily sessions at the gym will leave you sad at the least, and in the worst case scenario, injured.

That is why this Holiday Gift Guide has you and your loved ones covered in case of a Good Resolutions emergency. We've curated our favorite products that will help you implement gradual lifestyle changes to exercise more, eat better and more healthily, do some serious detoxing using cleaner beauty products, and implement some mindfulness techniques to make the most of the present.


{Psst... This guide has two parts. Keep scrolling to uncover the whole list below and click on the pretty bold pink links to learn more about each product}

  
Good resolution: Respect Your Body

1. The Green Beauty Guide by Julie Gabriel, published by HCI Books ($16.95): Navigating the world of natural and organic cosmetics can be daunting, especially because the laws in the US allow brands to slap the label "natural" on almost any cosmetic even if it's laden with synthetic components. If you or your loved ones are thinking about switching your routine due to a health problem, allergies, or simply to create less toxic waste on the environment, this is a great book to put on your Wish List. This book gives incredibly good advice on how to start your green cosmetics journey without going broke, and includes some tips and DIY recipes for those who want to make organic homemade cosmetics.

2. Laguna Beach Crystals by Lica Cole ($35): Your body is your temple, and a good detox bath from time to time can do wonders to help you wind down and eliminate that pesky stress for a good night's sleep. These whimsical bath salts have a blissful tropical scent that will take you to the paradise of your choosing without leaving your humble pad.  The ingredients include dead sea salt, green tea, algae, coconut milk and coconut water for a blissfully soft skin without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, triclosan or other synthetic nasties commonly found in mass market brands. An ideal gift for that overstressed friend, the Laguna Beach Crystals are gentle enough to be used -and abused- on all skin types (they passed my sensitivity test with an A+.)

3. Breathe Body Spray by Erbaviva ($32): If a full bath isn't a possibility, this unisex relaxing spray will help you manage your stress using the art of the aromatherapy. Organic eucalyptus, lemon, spruce, and cedar essential oils support deep breathing and tranquility. Designed to be used all over your body or even sprayed on your bed linen, it is the perfect way to start the day with energy and a gentle reminder to just breathe. I personally think this makes a terrific host or hostess gift because everybody loves to feel pampered. {This product is certified organic by the USDA and 100% natural}

Good resolution: Be Present and Calm
 
4. Painterly Days: The Flower Watercoloring Book For Adults by Kristy Rice, published by Schiffer Publishing ($24.99): To me, crafting and painting are excellent ways to exercise mindfulness, or the art of appreciating the moment. Aside from bringing me much joy and relaxation, crafts can be therapeutic because they make me concentrate just on one task—and that's exactly the magic of watercolors. Painterly Days is a set of coloring books for adults that are unique in the sense that they have been designed to be used with watercolor. Aside from being print in a special paper, the lines in the book disappear in contact with water, leaving behind an elegant frameable masterpiece. Each book includes 25 double sided patterns (one to practice and one to keep), comprehensive yet easy to understand watercolor tips, and pull out front and back covers with a color wheel and inspiration ideas. Available in a Flower, Pattern, and Woodland version, this is a terrific gift for adults of all ages who want to reconnect with their inner crafty person but aren't ready to master watercolors on their own.

5. Rainstorm bouquet by Little Box of Rocks ($38): Are you looking for a gift that lasts forever? A bouquet of semiprecious stones is an elegant reminder of love and friendship that looks great with every type of decor.  Rainstorm includes a kyanite, a sodalite, a citrine, a clear quartz and a Himalayan salt rock in a wooden gift box hand-wrapped in black satin ribbon. Calming, purifying, and refreshing this arrangement is created to ease the stress with the soothing energy of a perfect rainstorm—the kind that makes us slow down and simply be in the moment enjoying the patterns of the raindrops when they trickle down the window pane. With your secret message delivered on a mini scroll, this is a tasteful gift that makes a lasting impression.

6. The 5 Book: Where Will You Be Five Years from Today? by Compendium ($14.95): The best way to start a journey is to decide the destination and lay out a route plan. In order to make the most of every moment, it's important to cherish the past and await the future with excitement. This wonderful book includes inspiring quotations, prompts, and real-life examples to spark an inner conversation about what's important in life—and how to achieve it. This is a wonderful gift for anyone who is at a turning point in their life (just graduated from school, deciding on a new business venture, retiring, or simply entering adulthood with its many challenges) and might need a bit of inner guidance and self-reflection. 


Good resolution: Move!
 
7. Montara Boot by Ahnu ($165): Every December 31st at the stroke of midnight, everybody on my Christmas card list vows to exercise more. Next thing I know, they've signed up for a gym they end up visiting just once. If you're like most people and simply don't know how to operate the machines, why don't you make New York your gym? Walking an hour every day is a wonderful way of exercising while saving money on your commute, and with these mid-height light weight hikers from Ahnu, it'll be a breeze to sail the sidewalks of New York full of snow and ice in the winter. Stylish, comfortable, and black (the preferred color of any Gothamist you speak to), these boots are comfortable enough to take from the town to the trail (hello, Catskills!) A perfect present for yourself or your significant other, these boots are a very romantic gift that screams "I want to take you places!".

8. Sweat and Soothe fitness kit by LATHER ($36): To make good resolutions become a part of your rotine, constance is key, and sometimes a gentle reminder in the form of a no-nonsense essential workout kit can work wonders. Valued at $96 retail, the Sweat and Soothe Kit includes the best fitness tools combined with the wonderful, award-winning soothing formulas concocted by LATHER. This beautiful zippered toiletry bag includes a full month of unlimited online workouts with Physique 57, a compact exercise stretch band that can be used for targeted workouts, a packet of 100% natural muscle ease bath salts and a muscle ease gel with botanical pain relievers to accelerate your recovery. If you have someone on your list who is yearning for an excuse to move more and yearns instant gratification, this beautiful gift set is the answer to your gifting woes.

9. Clinical Strenght Pain Relief LED Light Therapy by Revive Light Therapy ($129): Our body is a temple, and exercising can sometimes be daunting due to small aches and pains. To help that loved one stick to their New Year's resolution of exercising more, there is nothing best than a device that soothes pain anytime, anywhere. This portable, clinical-grade infrared light device safely stimulates blood circulation, relaxes muscles, relieves muscles spasms and helps with pain associated with arthritis and other physical ailments. Extremely lightweight and portable, it is designed to be easy to move around the body to target sore spots. What I like best about this device is that it has helped me ease back into my dancing routine without feeling extremely sore the day after practice. LED lights have been proven to be a safe, natural solution with no negative side effects that can be used on all skin types, so it's a perfect gift for anybody over 30 on your list. {This is an FDA-cleared, OTC Class II medical device}

 Good resolution: Lose Weight

10. Air Fryer by BELLA Housewares ($99.99 at JC Penney): If exercising more is the first commitment we all make when we receive the New Year, losing weight is a close second in our good resolutions list. If you're looking for a gift for someone looking to lead a healthier life, this is a great way to introduce that loved one to the art of quick, no-fuss homemade foods. This game-changing fryer uses air and a little bit of vegetable oil to cook its magic (I personally recommend olive or sunflower seed oils, which are traditional in a Mediterranean diet.) Aside from being a healthier alternative to traditional deep fryers, this wonderful invention has a whopping 2.2-pound food capacity that is enough to make crunchy fried chicken for a party of 6. Plus, air frying leaves no unpleasant oil odors or steam so the giftee can keep his or her house smelling nice while cooking clean. A true Win-Win gift!

11. BodyWise by Rachel Carlton Abrams, MD, published by Rodale Books ($24.99): If you know someone who constantly fails to stick to her New Year's resolutions for different reasons, try a new approach: A holistic health book that brings self-awareness. BodyWise explores the causes of today's most chronic health issues and teaches women to understand the body's innate wisdom and its cries for help. Although holistic health is an alternative approach to medicine that should be used in conjunction with medical advice, what I like about this book is that it puts in layman's terms the five fundamentals of health: eating well, sleeping well, moving efficiently, loving, and finding purpose. Rachel Carlton Abrams, MD, also includes a myriad of tips that prompt self-reflection; although all of them might not be suitable for everyone (for example, in my case I have some dietary restrictions that make it impossible to follow the eating plan, and that is the reason why I always warn that no book can replace a physician's personal advice), I have found that reflecting about what type and frequency of exercise works best with my body has helped me stick to my exercising resolutions.

12. Portion Control Plates by Slimware ($39.95): Eating well can be daunting; the ratio of carbs to proteins and grains in each meal can seem impossible to tackle. That is why I was very impressed by this shape-coded ceramic plates that instruct visually what is the right portion of every food group. Each box contains 4 microwave safe ceramic plates in a variety of motifs; Bluebelle, pictured here, is my personal favorite. This is a genius gift for a friend who has a hard time decoding the rules of dieting and calorie-counting.

Disclosure level 1: The author received NO compensation to write this post. The author received a sample of some of the products featured for editorial consideration. Receiving a sample didn't influence the decision to feature a brand nor the opinions expressed by the author. All links provided in the article are for information only and are not part of any affiliate marketing program.

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