Healthy Holiday Wish List

HEALTHY HOLIDAY WISH LIST

Wow, we’re racing into the Thanksgiving holiday week which means Christmas and 2019 are just around the corner. This time of year sends me into a bit of a bipolar mix of panic + peace. Panic about all the things I didn't get to cross off my to-do list (gawd my first book AGAIN will it ever happen), and peace for all the amazing business growth/positive personal shifts that have taken place, and clients I have guided towards optimal health and wellness while cultivating mindful and intuitive eating skills. It’s an honor to work with people who are ready and willing to do the work - I truly feel blessed to do my life’s work that I love so much.

Many clients have requested a Healthy Holiday Guide and I finally put pen to paper (more like fingers to keyboard…) so here we go. There are three sections for essentials: kitchen, beauty and travel.

KITCHEN ESSENTIALS

3-HP High Speed Blenders

I could not live without my K-tec. I use it everyday for my daily green juice, for smoothies, homemade salad dressings, chia or tofu puddings, dips, salsa, soups, grinding down seeds or nuts for flours… the list goes on and on. Hands down, if I could only have ONE kitchen appliance, it would have to be my 5-HP blender. This Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender with Wildside 4-side jar is a great price if you’re ready to upgrade your smoothie, juice, pudding, salsa and blended soup game. My last K-tec Blendtec lasted 15 years and prefer Blendtec over Vita-mix because the blender container is easier to clean and blends food without having to use the tamper that pushes solid food down into the blades (sometime when I overfill this, I have to so you’ll learn how to work with it). Hands down, my blender gets used DAILY and this is the #1 kitchen appliance I can’t be without.

Now I realize not everyone wants to invest in one of these fancy, expensive blenders. I get it. BUT if you are really serious about taking your health to the next level and want to add more plants into your diet the easy way, then you will want to consider investing in one of these babies. Read my green juice blog post for inspo!

Instant Pot

Ok ok, I finally caved to the IP propaganda once I saw the yogurt setting on the 8-qt 7-in-1 pot. Let me just tell you this thing is a BEAST. As in Tim said “you better clean out the pantry and find a place to store that thing.” It’s enormous but I think I’ll get rid of the bread maker I used ONE time (#fail) and make room for my new IP. I promise I’m going to master the plant-based yogurt thing because let’s face it, I know I can make an amazing homemade version myself. I’m committed to making that my personal wellness goal for 2019.

Breville Smart Oven with Air Fryer and Dehydrator (BOV900BSS)

I’m a fan of the multi-tasking appliances and this one is pretty impressive since you can air fry your food for crispy consistency without using oil (hello sweet potato fries) and dehydrate fresh fruit/veggies and nut milk flours all in one. Oh yeah, and it’s a 2-speed convection oven too so you can cook smaller items in this and not use a lot of energy heating a big oven. It’s super versatile with 13 cooking functions including a pizza and cookies While this is an investment compared to single unit air fryer or dehydrators, if you have a high-speed blender (my favorite kitchen tool), this is my close second must have. Also comes with a 2 year warranty; big bonus for that!

Breville Milk Cafe Steel Milk Frother

THIS is mos’ def’ on my list to elevate my best ever protein hot chocolate for breakfast. I’ve almost purchased less expensive frothers but there reviews are inconsistent. And since the weather is cold and I’m addicted to these as my get-up and go juice, I really have to have this! If you do a fair share of entertaining, this is a gamer changer for you and your guests.

Great Jones Family Style Cookware

Did you know that kitchenwear is roughly a $17 billion dollar business?!? I love younger female entrepreneurs who are staking their claim in the industry with a fresh approach focusing on aesthetics and functionality. I’m officially obsessed with the #bossbabes behind this company because their goal is to create the desire to get in the kitchen and USE the pots and pans instead of having them sit under the cabinets or in drawers. Great Jones has created an affordable line of cookware that rivals all the fancy well-established lines like Le Creuset, All Clad, Calphalon, Cuisinart, and Staub. It’s on my wish-list fo’ sho! Read more about these boss babes in Forbes here. And if you order the Family Style let me know what color dutch oven you get, I’m obsessed with macaroon and mustard colors!

My recommendation: start transitioning off any teflon or non-stick pans however it makes sense for you. When family members ask what I want, I like to use Christmas, birthdays and other holidays as an excuse to upgrade kitchen gadgets on my wish list and then when I use it I’m reminded of how kind my family/friends are contributing to my health :)

Soda Stream FIZZI

I’m a big fan of Spindrift sparkling water [um, orange/mango flavor please] but limit my use because the cans wind up in landfills or the ocean and it feels so wasteful. FIZZI by SodaStream’s turns tap water into a refreshing sparkling alternative to canned or plastic bottle varieties so you can enjoy fizzy soda water without the eco-guilt. SOLD! Make your own favorite flavors for a fraction of the price… all in the convenience of your home. If you are a La Croix addict, please start to make your own! PS use filtered water instead of city water or get the Pure Effects Water Filter (below) and I promise you, you will taste the difference!

Pure Effects Water Filter

Water is without a doubt, our bodies most important resource. Molecules of water are gobbled up to cope with stress, facilitate exercise and heavy breathing, digest food, regulate blood pressure, hormones, blood sugar levels, walking, talking, thinking, breathing EVERYTHING uses a water molecule. Whats the big deal right? What this means is that the type of water you drink is truly (!!!) important to your health. I started with counter-top water filter, then under the counter and finally graduated to a house unit because water is life.

I love being able to drink out of all the taps in our house with clean water, wash food and cook with filtered water, Kingston’s drinking water is filtered, brush my teeth with filtered water and showering with filtered water is just the BEST (I’m sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals so the shower thing is a game changer). The home units are actually pretty affordable if you calculate how much you spend on bottled water alone. Plus all the chemicals that leach from cheap grocery store plastic water bottles are toxic to your health and can disrupt your hormone balance (read here). If you have kids please PLEASE make the switch from those thin plastic water bottles to BPA-free ones that can go in the dishwasher. It’s up to the grown-ups to teach children how to recycle, reduce and reuse. But we have to do it too before they will. Make that extra effort and your body will thank you! If you have high blood pressure,

Purchase a water filter and fun portable water bottle to decrease the amount of plastic that goes to our landfills and pollutes our oceans. Seriously this is one of the most eco-friendly things you can do for the planet. We can never go back to NOT having a full house filter on our home. It really is that important and Pure Effects is an affordable filtration system that we’ve had on our house for 6 years now (we change the filters every 10-12 months and can tell a difference in water quality right away - Atlanta city water is that bad).

Glass Reusable Milk Bottles with Lids

Now that you have clean, filtered water and a good blender, you can start making your own fresh nut milks! They are so delicious and super fast to make that you’ll wonder why you buy from the store. Ok, it’s the convenience factor but have digestive sensitivities to the fillers in commercial nut milks and if you want to start making homemade ones, they take 5 minutes to whip up and strain. I love to use them as the base for smoothies, hot protein chocolate milk (my fave), cereal, and anything else that requires milk [I will most definitely be using a homemade nut milk mixture for my homemade yogurts]. Now you can store your fancy homemade milk these fun glass milk bottles! I’d recommend getting ones with a wide mouth for proper cleaning (I’m speaking from personal experience).

Cast Iron Skillet

I love LOVE cooking with a cast iron skillet because it reminds me of my Mother. She cooked breakfast with one as a prevention for iron deficiencies. I love cooking greens or pancakes in them- the hubs makes eggs every day in ours. You have to season it to take care of it (wash, dry then coat with oil) to prevent it from flaking. This skillet replace our non-stick ones because I didn’t like what I was reading about teflon, PFOA and health from John Hopkins Medical Center. My philosophy with cookware is similar to my produce intake: I focus on variety and prefer to cook with copper, cast-iron, stainless steel or ceramic pans and pots. Metals leach into food with all cookware so there is no “one is better than the other” but just to be on the safe side, avoid teflon and PFOA pans. I get it, they are super easy to clean, but not recommended for your health. Go ahead and order yourself a cast iron skillet handle cover while you’re at it. I bought this one in black but I think the red is fun too. PS: learn how to properly clean and maintain your cast iron skillet here.

Mira Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle

Stainless steel water bottles during the colder months are indispensable for herbal tea, hot chocolate and other warm beverages. And I also love traveling with one to cut down on wasting so many plastic bottles. I never ever leave the house without a water bottle so you’d be wise to purchase several bottles to keep in rotation. Often times I’ll recycle my Voss water glass bottle for my green juices ([it’s unusual to see me leave the house without this] or D’tox juice glass bottle for a smoothie. Now that the weather is cold, I like to use the stainless steel bottles for hot protein chocolate with my fave Sacred 7 mushroom extract {recipe here}.

Bormioli Square Glass Food Containers

I’m a big fan of storing food in glass. I know it might feel old school but plastic isn’t always the safest option and since I’m a dietitian, I gotta go with my gut instincts. Need more convincing? Read this article from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics about glass vs. plastic storage containers by Jackie Newgent RD.

I have a ton of round glass containers from Bormioli but from a stacking and space perspective, I truly prefer square. In fact, I’d trade in ALL my round glass containers for square ones and I’m working on doing just that. My recommendation, order 2 sets of these. How I use them: the big containers for protein muffins, soups, stews, and spaghetti squash or batch cooking leftovers. Also great when I make a massive salad for the week (I can nibble on this for 2-3 days). Medium containers are great for chopped produce; since it’s visible you’ll be more likely to eat it. Small containers are perfect for leftovers and lunch options that fit into my lunch box. They are dishwasher safe, but wash the lids on the top rack to prevent warping. Other options are here, find ones that fit your budget and style preference. Sometimes it takes a couple of purchases before you find what you like!

Etee Organic Reusable Food Covers

I started using reusable plastic wraps because I became conscious of all the plastic, aluminum, and parchment paper I would go through (not so much aluminum anymore) that winds up polluting our oceans and environment. And then I saw an add for this clever eco-friendly, sustainable product that is made of hemp and organic cotton fabric, organic beeswax and essential oils. There are a ton of fancy options out there - I’m a fan of the modern “hipster” one by SuperBee Wax Wraps but you can get lost finding the perfect reusable food wrap but I don’t think you can go wrong with any of these. Mother Earth will thank you with gorgeous weather when you travel. That’s what I say when we go out of town and have the best weather ever, it’s because we have been recycling and decrease our impact on our planet :)

Reusable Wooden Japanese Chopsticks

I love love love to eat with chopsticks because they teach you to slow down and take smaller bites. They are also great to pack in your lunchbox or travel with (yes, I always pack a pair in my carry-on with a large healthy salad). Make sure to purchase ones that are an eco-friendly alternative to wood, no BPA, PVC or phthalates. There are metal varieties but I’ve never used them…I much prefer wood.

BEAUTY ESSENTIALS

Clarisonic Mia 2: Sonic Cleansing Brush

After seeing my mother in law’s skin evolve and transform after using it for 6 months, I was sold on this beauty tool! It totally changed the color, texture, and tone of her face so I ordered one pronto and have used daily ever since. Each week I remove and soak the brush in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and a pinch of soapy water to clean it because there can be a bit of build-up and make up residue. I love that it comes with a travel case- just make sure to charge it before you head out of town. Extend the battery life by using it until the charge completely dies then plug it in for a good 24-hours. I promise that will help it last [I’ve had mine for 4-5 years]- it’s still going strong!

Whamisa Organic Sea Kelp Facial Mask

One of my favorite farmers who just ran for the Senate, Evan from Rise & Shine Organic Farm, turned me onto sheet masks. Yes, you read that correctly. And his skin is amazing. Apparently sheet masks are one of the top beauty secrets of Korean women and I’m just now hip to using them. It only takes one sheet mask to quickly become addicted to the hydrating effects, I’m hooked. I love these Whamisa Sea Kelp Facial Mask because they are EWG Verified (Environmental Working Group) and Goop tested. Make sure you are purchasing from Whamisa instead of a fake brand, you know how wily some peeps are when it comes to making money on Amazon.

Living Libations Best Skin Ever Sea Buckthorn

OMG I can’t live without this stuff. I usually order directly from Nadine in Canada (this is another website in the states) after working plant-based retreats with her in Arizona one year and became addicted to her skin care products. You can purchase on Amazon but I don’t trust the quality and there are mixed reviews. Personally I’ve used her products for well over 5 years now and don’t want to change. She’s big into quality, organic and sourcing her raw materials so I trust her. I don’t want to experiment with other lines ‘cuz if it ain’t broke…. I also dig her Maverick Men’s Creme (bought for Tim but I use it) and a ton of other products I promise I’ll update with links but you can get free shipping from Living Earth Beauty with any $75 purchase (easy to do with a couple of great oils or products!).

Antonym Natural & Organic Makeup

Wow, green beauty has come a LONG way baby. My first experience was buying from my health food store in Connecticut in packaging that was less than enticing. BUT I bought it because I started transitioning my diet, skin care and cleaning products to more eco-friendly brands. I learned that what I put on my skin gets absorbed and processed through the liver and my body so out with the Maybelline and in with Dr. Hauschka (the Translucent Bronzing Tint was my first green makeup crush). Now organic makeup has stepped up it’s game and really is next level lux. I learned about this gorgeous line Antonym from a local green beauty queen, Lisa at This Organic Girl Blog when I won the Antonym Baked Highlighting Blush. It is packaged in a beautiful wooden cosmetic case and makes my cheeks look sun-kissed. I just purchased their powder at Neimans for the Black Friday sale but Antonym has everything 30% off through Cyber Monday. Get it while the sale lasts, their makeup doesn't go on sale very often and it’s a luxury line that I’m quickly falling in love with!

Gabriel Lipgloss

I think I discovered Gabriel lipgloss on a whim at Whole Foods (WF) one day and I scored the jackpot with the color DIVA. It’s a neutral shade that just goes with everything, even my girlfriend asked to use it and fell in love too. Bonus for being under $15 at local health food stores and around $15-16 at WF. Not quite sure what possessed me one day but I started to mix my under-eye concealer with it and transformed into the perfect texture and shimmer to help with the under-eye mature skin as we age. Multi-functional make-up is my fave.

Dry Skin Brush

At my 10 year reunion one of my friends from home room, Heidi, asked me about my skin-care routine. I think it was because of my even skin tone and texture of my arms. I turned her onto dry skin brushing and she thanked me, saying it changed her world. I used to have not so great skin, and it truly made a difference after 2-3 months of consistent use (don’t use on your face, it’s too rough!). There are You Tube video’s on how to properly exfoliate your skin with a skin brush (ps: it’s GREAT for the lymphatic system) and my goal is to do one for my private membership site (hello 2019). While skin brushing is promoted it as a cellulite-reducer, um, let’s get real - it’s more of a health tool to exfoliate and stimulate your external cleaning system, the skin. Amazon has several options, you can also purchase at Whole Foods or any local health food store or use the link above it you’re an Amazon addict like me.

Tongue Scrapers

Tongue cleaning has gained the attention of dentists and health addicts at Goop. Tongue cleaning or scraping is a well-known Ayurvedic self-care practice used to remove oral bacteria and debris found on the back of the tongue that appears as a coating (lemme tell ya the crap that came off my tongue this morning was pretty toxic). The back part of your tongue doesn’t move much so it’s a bit more oxygen deprived, and can lead to funky bacteria buildup. Yesterday I had the best purple yam cupcake of my life, then a decadent dinner at Beetlecat so I wasn’t surprised about the coating on my tongue this morning.

Scraping the tongue each morning before brushing your teeth can help to decrease bacteria production and decrease that garbage reabsorbing into your system, overloading your immune system. This time of year we ALL want to stay healthy and avoid getting sick, so this can be a small step in the morning towards helping your body out. Some believe that tongue scraping stimulates your taste buds to make them work more effectively but I don’t know if I’ve noticed any difference with my taste buds, per se. Research shows that tongue scraping is quite effective at removing oral bacteria and it’s something quick and easy to add into your healthy morning routine. I’ve had a metal tongue scraper forever and really can’t imagine NOT doing this (it takes like 30 seconds). Avoid the cheap plastic ones that can break easily and might harbor toxins. The metal ones are easily cleaned with your toothbrush and toothpaste or each week I use hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol and a cotton pad to clean it up well.

Fancy pants copper tongue scraper by Black Chicken

Why our tongue cleaner is made from pure copper: copper (Latin Cuprum) tongue scrapers have been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years. The ancients understood copper had healing properties. Medical research related to infection control is also shows the benefits of copper containing-rooms in hospitals for its ability to resist bacteria.

Kosha Ayurveda copper tongue scraper on Amazon comes with a cotton pouch to store your scraper in for proper hygiene. I like to clean my scraper with hydrogen peroxide on a cotton pad or regularly clean it with my tooth brush but follow instructions with the one you purchase (again, please avoid plastic ones since you’ll be replacing it as soon as it breaks).

Host Defense Mycommunity (30 capsules)

This is without a doubt, one of the key immune formula supplements I keep in my house always. Medicinal mushrooms are powerful immune system boosters and when everyone is getting sick, when I travel or start feeling like I might be coming down with something I take Host Defense for a couple of days as a preventative. I’ve been loyal to this product for about 15 years as needed. Personally I’m a fan of tinctures but I realize not everyone is gonna go that route so the capsules are what I suggest for clients. When I stay on top of my health game I don’t need this, but during the holiday season when there can be an increase in sugar + alcohol, and a decrease in essential sleep, this is my backup. This link to Vitamin Shoppe is cheaper than Amazon and if you spend $35 you get free shipping + $10 off. So if you purchase 2 bottles ($36) then get a $10 discount and free shipping, you are basically getting a sweet deal. If you don’t need 2 bottles then shop around for some raw nuts or nut butter or something in the $12 price range so you can take advantage of the free shipping deal. And I put this under beauty cuz none of us look OR feel beautiful when we’re sick. Well maybe Sleeping Beauty but she’s the exception :)

TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

Arlo Sky Luggage

Let’s face it, we all want to travel in style.  My hubs gifted me with the fancy Radon “smart luggage” which at the time was the latest and greatest smart luggage complete with an amazing tracking system (!), phone charger AND and internal scale that would tell you the weight of your packed suitcase via the app. I loved it until we flew to Seattle this summer and this allegedly indestructible luggage arrived with an enormous 7” dent that cracked when we tried to pop it (PS: thanks Delta for the quick reimbursement check). I’ve finally found a suitable replacement with the Arlo Sky in champagne. Major style upgrade from the Radon, I’m excited to break this baby in for our annual snowboarding trip for the holidays!

Eco-Friendly Bamboo Travel Utensils

Stop throwing away plastic utensils and purchase reusable bamboo or metal utensils. I use my wooden chopsticks at the office and try to avoid plastic at all costs, it’s just so unnecessary and only pollutes our natural resources. Make the commitment that you’ll be more Earth-friendly and pack this for the office and travels. It’s easy to throw in your carry on, set a good example for your kids, family and friends. Blame me if they make fun of you….

HOME ESSENTIALS


Vitruvi Stone Diffuser

Everyone from Nordstrom to Goop is recommending this stylish way to diffuse essential oils into the air. I have a bamboo one by Now at my office [and paid $50 for it at Fresh Market, this link is for $36!] but love the modern look of this porcelain version! I also really like that you can use a lot more water with just 10-20 drops of essential oils than the one I have AND it runs continuously for 3 hours or 7 hours in interval settings. My favorite oils during client appointments are D’oterra bergamot, grapefruit and sweet orange. I love using their Serenity blend before bedtime - it smells like lavender heaven. It really is amazing how diffusing essential oils can transform the energy of my office and home. After I purchased one, I then went out and bought another two for our bedroom and home office. Diffuse eucalyptus during the cold months to help fight off colds and flu (I love to use in the steam shower). Don’t be surprised if you start purchase more for family and friends. They make great gifts! I just ordered some other oils from Mountain Rose Herbs and heard they have quality oils so I’ll test them out and let you know.

Curious about what supplements I recommend or take? Read this blog post on what I regularly order on Amazon but please be aware that it’s RECOMMENDED TO WORK WITH A HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER WITH SUPPLEMENT USE IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY TAKING ANY PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION INCLUDING OVER THE COUNTER MEDS.

STAY TUNED FOR SO MANY MORE PRODUCTS - I’LL BE UPDATING DAILY!