Give the gift of HEALTH


10 Ways to Give the Gift of Health this Holiday Season
By Dr. Erin Martin for Mind Body Green
Original article here. 

What if you could ask Santa for something that would change the way you feel, or change the way you look, or change the way you do things in your day-to-day life (like make the mundane enjoyable), or just push the accelerator on getting you to a whole new state of feeling good? What if?

Well, I’m all about asking for what I want, and if feeling good is your main goal (and when you get down to it, that’s what we’re all after), then you’re going to need some tools to help you get there. This is the time of year to pull out all the stops, ask for what you want and what you need in order to get you on the path to being well.

And because I know that it’s hard to think of yourself and your needs when you’re trying to put together Christmas dinner for 25 people, wrap all the presents you’ve got stashed in the guest room, or send out the holiday cards to people you haven’t seen in 10 years—I’ve put together a list of some pretty awesome things that will fill your wellness toolbox. Oh yeah baby, 2014 is gonna be good!

1. A totally RAD water bottle.

We’re talking BPA-free stainless steel or glass in an eye-popping color. If you love it, you’ll take it everywhere with you, and you’ll be more likely to drink what you should. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day (more if you exercise), and watch your mood, your skin, your energy ELEVATE.

2. A chef’s knife.

Want to enjoy cooking like you never thought you could? The key is having the tools you need to make the job easy and fun. You don’t need a giant block set of knives to make delicious food. One simple, high quality, 8-inch chef’s knife will be your go-to kitchen tool that you can use for everything from slicing tomatoes to carving chicken.

3. Cooking classes.

If you want to be healthy, you’ve got to nourish your body with amazing food. And the best food you can get is the food that you prepare yourself. Swear you can’t even boil water? This is your chance to learn and amaze yourself! Do an internet search for places that offer cooking classes in your area, then ask Santa for a gift certificate for one, two, or even a whole series of classes. Need cooking 101? Go for it. Reserve two spots in class and bring your S.O. along for a super fun date night. If you can’t find offerings in your area, try an online class.

4. A new pair of shoes.

If you exercise regularly, a great pair of athletic shoes is a must-have. And if you’re trying to make exercise more of a priority, a bright pair of new tennies in the season’s most amazing colors might just be the motivation you need to make it happen. Want hot pink or neon green? You got it. Black and electric orange? No problem. Ask for what lights your fire and you’ll be excited to put those puppies on and head out!

5. The Desire Map.

Wanna change your life? Get clear on what you want—what you really desire, deeply and authentically. Searching for clarity? This is potent stuff. It’s all about goals with soul, baby. Author Danielle LaPorte delivers a deep-dive into what really makes you tick, and helps you discover things about yourself you may have never contemplated. Get ready to rock your world with The Desire Map.

6. A super-powered blender

I’m all for juicing, but smoothies are where the body-love is at. Why I love my super-powered blender? Well, to name just a few reasons: I get the nourishment of the whole food, with minimal chopping/prepping, easy clean-up, and I can make and heat soup in it. My fave is the Vitamix; other good ones are Blendtec and Ninja.

7. A meditation program

These programs can be a dime a dozen, and many of them aren’t so great. But find a good one and it can help take your life to a new level. New to meditation but want to get started? MindBodyGreen has an amazing course! This guided meditation program will teach you numerous meditation techniques that will change your life! I just finished the 21-day Desire & Destiny Meditation Experience with Deepak Chopra and Oprah, which I did on a whim, and let me tell you that this stuff will open your life up to some serious goodness. I’m so loving the feeling of grounded clarity it brought me, that I’m about to start the Creating Abundance Meditation to ring in the New Year.

8. A tea kettle

In addition to the amazing health benefits of tea, the ancient ritual of preparing tea is meditative and healing. With the availability of so many wonderful, gourmet teas from around the world—black, green, red, white, herbal—many are giving up their double tall, non-fat latté in favor of these delicious, warming, liquid nectars. Having a counter-top tea kettle serves the need for near-instant gratification when the fancy strikes, these things heat up fast.

9. A gourmet detox program.

Full disclosure: I’m recommending my detox. It’s more than a nutritional detox—it’s a 21-day springboard for wellness with easy to make, delicious recipes even a kitchen novice can make. We’re talking menu plans, shopping lists, education, and daily motivation delivered right to your inbox. Start 2014 off right and join us!

10. A trip to Olympic National Park

Spend days (or weeks, if you’re lucky) underneath the canopy of 800 year-old Douglas Fir and Sitka Spruce trees towering 220 feet high. Share the lush, green forest with herds of Roosevelt elk, watch the light change as it streams through the trees, or just listen to the silence in this virgin wonderland. It’s a soul trip, in so many ways, and it’s definitely worth asking Santa to bring you the promise of a summer trip West. BIG. PERSPECTIVE.

Dr. Martin is the creator of the TrueClean Gourmet Detox, but otherwise has no affiliations with any of the brands mentioned in her article. She just loves to spread the joy of finding really great things.