I’m a little (lot) later on finishing this post than I had planned on but gosh darn life keeps getting in my way! For example, I’m homeschooling my boys and finishing my next book and so a typical day is never, well, typical. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about sitting down to work on this post and then someone will yell from outside, “Mom, the dog barfed and I stepped in it!” or “Mom, I want to research about gorillas and bugs, can you help me?” or “Mom, your phone just rang 500 times and you have 500 texts, do you want me to read them all to you?” and while all this is happening, I’m somewhere in my kitchen sliding around on coconut oiled floors with two woks in each hand and a bag of Thai chilies tucked under my chin (I’m working on the Thai Cuisine book)… So, as you can see, sitting down to write a really great blog post sometimes takes longer than expected.
However – I think I have a pretty good start and as I think of more things/ideas, I’ll add to this post and please please please add to comments YOUR ideas because my little brain is not big enough to house all of them. Also, I should tell you now that some of the links to different products are affiliate links that take you to my Amazon store. Beyond that, I am not paid to endorse the following products. (although it would be nice….)
1. Break Traditions: Sounds ba-hum-bug? Think again! Tis the season for giving, and spending, and spending and traveling, and cooking, and that often equals STRESSSSSSSS!!!!! Stress… Stress…. Instead? Break Tradition. Suggestions: Instead of buying gifts for every aunt, uncle, cousin, in-law, ex-in-law, cat, bird, etc., suggest a White Elephant Gift Exchange! It’s so much fun and when it comes right down to it; what we crave during the holidays is connection, love, and family… Another idea? Take a vacation. Those of you who gather together during the holidays, collaborate – pick a spot to go and tuck away, forget the huge dinner and tons of gift giving and instead, take a break from reality. Play board games, pool your money together and buy good wine, make good food, and laugh. Dance. Play music. Sleep in. Go skiing, go swimming, go hiking, go somewhere! Memories last a lot longer than ugly sweaters or new wine glasses so give the gift of memories together, being connected and being human. Make up your own plan but dare to be different this year and see if your new traditions stick or at least try something out of the ordinary just this once… Or, take a look at the rest of this gift giving guide and give gifts of health!!!
2. My Books: Yes, this is the self indulgent part, but hey… Everyday Paleo is my baby, my first book, and a wonderful getting started guide for folks new to living a healthier lifestyle. The book includes a beginners guide that starts out with my own personal story, a section on how to get started, how to get the family on board, a 30 day meal guide with shopping lists, over 100 recipes, and even a full exercise section in the back. My next book, Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook delves further into living a healthy lifestyle and encompasses the importance of slowing down, limiting you and your children’s electronic time, and keeping the emphasis of life on having fun, stressing less, and focusing on health first. Of course there are the recipes including a section of super fast meals, all made in under 30 minutes or less with minimal ingredients but delicious results, an entire section of sauces including the now world famous Brother Mark BBQ Sauce, my mayo, Ranch Dressing, and much much more! For your kiddos (also a great stocking stuffer) is my children’s book, Paleo Pals; Jimmy and the Carrot Rocket Ship, is a fun and engaging story about Jimmy and his adventures with The Paleo Pals who take him on a “real food” journey, teaching him where food comes from and how awesome it feels to be a healthy kid. The back of the book has a handful of kid approved recipes as well! Finally, my latest book, Everyday Paleo Around the World; Italian Cuisine is a wonderful gift for anyone who loves FOOD, no matter if you are paleo, grain free, gluten free, or just hungry. The recipes in this book are straight from Italy, and the book is more than a recipe book, it’s a travelogue that explains our adventures as The Fragoso Family traveled throughout the amazing country, cooking with several different people from Michelin Star Chefs to folks who live on and run sustainable agriturismos (destination farms). Another great gift idea? Pre-order the next book in the series for your Thai Food loving friends and family members. Everyday Paleo Around the World Thai Cuisine is set for June 2014 release and is available for pre-order NOW on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. This book is a culinary dream come true with amazing and authentic Thai recipes brought back to you straight from the source.
3. Other Books, Apps & Subscriptions: Here are a few books, apps & subscriptions I highly recommend and I know will make excellent gifts!
The Paleo Coach: By Jason Seib – This book is essential to those who are struggling to understand the lifestyle and need some perspective shift. Jason’s knowledge, guidance, and understanding is unparalleled and this book is truly changing lives.
The Paleo Solution: By Robb Wolf – If there’s someone who just needs to “get it” this is the book to start with. Period.
Nom Nom Paleo: By Michele Tam – Fun, food, family, laughs, deliciousness on every page. This is must get new book written by my blogger buddy extraordinary who’s message is clear and simple and who’s yummy creations speak for themselves (and finally a book that’s not 1 gazillion pages of desserts but instead 1 gazillion pages of REAL FOOD for HUMANS) this truly makes an awesome gift!
Paleo Happy Hour: By Kelly Milton – Party Paleo Food people!!!! Need I say more? Perfect gift for the holiday season filled with yumminess and small plates that will make you a party throwing expert while keeping it real (food).
Paleo Magazine Subscription: I truly can’t say enough about this awesome publication and any paleo/primal friend or family member will jump for joy with a gift of Paleo Magazine landing in their mailbox every other month. Do it!
Nourished App: An iTunes gift care with a big hint to get this app loaded with grain free recipes (some by yours truly!!)
4. Kitchen Tools: If you want to eat, you have to cook and sometimes the right gadgetry is exactly what folks need for some healthy eating motivation!
Spiral Vegetable Slicer: Make noodles out of your food!!! Zucchini noodles, sweet potato noodles, carrot noodles, you name it you can noodle it! Love love love this tool and I nominate this slicer as the best gift ever for holiday season 2013!! This tool is essential to loving the Italian Cuisine Book and the upcoming Thai Book. Get someone a gift pack with both books and the Spiral Vegetable Slicer! Win Win Win!
Immersion Blender: One of my favorite kitchen tools, easy to use, less mess, less clean-up, fast, efficient, need I say more? I’m all about making life easier and this awesome stick blender does the trick! Give someone you love the gift that keeps on blending.
Fermenting Crock: Those who ferment together stick together. This is an awesome present for the foodie in your life who’s ready to start off on adventures in sauerkraut land (just the tip of the iceberg in the art of fermentation) which reminds of me of the perfect partner to this gift, the book Fermented by Jill Ciciarelli!
Food Processor: Everyone needs a good food processor and this one is simply my favorite one. Make salsas, sauces, my cauliflower hummus, shred sweet potatoes, zucchini, and anything else you might want to chop, mince, or obliterate to pieces. Must have and an awesome gift for the foodie in your family!
Sharp Knives: Wusthof starter knife set. Best knives ever. (In my opinion.) If you have a loved one who hacks away at their meat and veggies, give them the gift of the cutting edge. Sharp knives rock!
Cast Iron Wok: This is such an awesome gift. It’s a workout just to lift it up to the stove and it will last a million lifetimes. You can cook EVERYTHING in this bad boy and it’s such a fun gift to give.
Julienne Slicer: Variety is the spice of life so make your veggies julienned – great for garnish, great for all those Thai salads you’ll soon be making, and great for having fun in the kitchen (what it’s all about anyway.)
Pressure Cooker: This is the big daddy. Fill it up with winter squash or artichokes, and entire roast, or a whole chicken, this is an awesome gift for the person in your life who likes to live a little bit under pressure. Make dinner in a pinch and take away the stress of WAITING for it to be done.
Slow Cooker: Everybody needs a good slow cooker and if there is a loved one in your life that lacks one; no question that this is the gift for them!
Dehydrator: Homemade beef jerky, apple chips, veggie chips, dehydrated fruit, the list goes on and on. Get your beef jerky loving loved ones a dehydrator for the holidays!
5. The Gift of Food!!
Grass Fed Meat: What better way to say Happy Holidays than with MEAT! A gift certificate or an Everyday Paleo Meat Pack; whatever you choose, the recipient will be elated. Honestly, it’s what I want for Christmas – just some good grass fed meat from my favorite meat suppliers, the only beef and lamb the occupies my fridge, Massa Natural Meats.
Coconut Oil and All Things Tropical Traditions: A gift certificate to Tropical Traditions is about the coolest gift ever. There is so much more available on this site than just coconut oil! This is where I buy my strained and diced tomatoes and tomato paste, all in glass jars (better to avoid canned tomatoes if possible thanks to BPA lined cans…) You’ll also find organic spices, raw organic honey, awesome maple syrup, coconut flakes, coconut chips, extra virgin olive oil, olives, de-hydrated fruit, sustainably sourced coffee, and so much more! Love love love me some Tropical Traditions…
Beef Jerky, Sauces, and Snacks from Steve’s Paleo Goods: Support a great non-profit and give the gift of good grub! Can’t say enough positive about this product or the people behind the scenes making it all happen. Who doesn’t want a basketful of grass fed beef jerky goodness, or paleo condiments like BBQ sauce and ketchup for Christmas?!?! Thanks to Steve, use the discount code “everydaypaleo” for 10% off your order valid now through Tuesday, December 17th!
Fat from Fatworks: Tallow, Leaf Lard, and my favorite all time fat – Duck Fat! If you have a real food foodie in your life, giving a gift of fat from Fatworks, the trusted source for all things animal fat, would make you a superstar!!
Mama Sattva Ghee: This is truly Ghee from the Gods. If you are at all a lover of ghee, or want to give the gift of Ghee, trust me, I have tried more brands of Ghee than I can shake a stick at and this is by far, the absolute best. Divine. And crazy enough, made here locally in Chico, CA.
Home Gardening Systems: I do not have personal experience with any of these home gardening systems, nor have I been paid to endorse them; however, if I did not have a back yard to plant my own garden, I would buy one of these and give it a go! We need to take charge of our food sources and know what we are eating and where it comes from and what better way than to grow our own veggies!!
Earth Juice – Premium Organic Fertilizer (who DOESN’T want some legit fertilizer for Christmas???)
6. Gifts to Pamper
Earthtastic: Love love love this stuff. Everything from deodorant to lip balm, all natural ingredients that I trust and that will give your loved ones a reason to be good to their bodies, inside and out!
Primal Life Organics: I personally have not used any of theses products but I know that several folks in the community swear by their products so you and I together will have to give them a try and I’m sure anyone on your list would love some primal pampering products as well!
Morrocco Method: Hair care, bath and skin care, and even pet care! All natural and gluten free awesomeness for your health conscious friends and family.
7. Make it Yourself Gifts
8. Gifts of Wellness and Destinations
9. Gifts of Compassion
My mom started giving to charities in lue of gifts after we were all grown and out of the nest. I love this sentiment because truly, we all have everything we really need and all I want for the holidays is to be with my family. In honor of my mom, let’s consider a gift of charity this year to those in need. Here’s a few of my favorites.
Donate to your local community – find how you can help, there are often giving trees where you can pick a child and give him or her gifts when otherwise they might not have anything at all.
10. Unique Gifts
Moby Wrap: For friends and family members who have babies or babies on the way – this is the coolest gift ever. Wearing babies is the best, keeping your little one close while you live in the real world, secretly nurse, bond, and cuddle while your take care of older siblings. I loved my Moby Wraps and Rowan practically lived in one until he was old enough to tell me to put him down…
My Life Story: Super cool journel, with prompts to help you get started, give this gift to your parents or young parents; a keep sake that can be handed down through the generations.
Family Roots Platter: Food is love, food is family, and when I stumbled across this cool personalized platter, I couldn’t resist showing it all to you!
Guitar String Bracelets: For the musicians in your life – super fun and inexpensive gift idea!
Anything from Ten Thousand Villages: Support fair trade by shopping here! Too many cool gift ideas to name.
PunJammies: Because you should.
Klean Kanteens: Insulated food containers, stainless steel water bottles, and much more. I love this company, they do so much for the environment and to make this world a better place and they based right here in Chico, CA!!
Chico Bag: Coolest reusable shopping bags, totes, etc., EVER – anyone would want these for a gift.
11. Gifts for Kids
Gluten Free Play-dough and Art Supplies (list found on gfreelife.com, easier than listing them all separately).
Ok, I think that’s it. I’m sure there is more. If I remember anything else I want to add, I will come back and update the post. In the meantime, post to comments your healthy gift giving ideas for 2014 that I might have missed. Thank you everyone and as always, enjoy!!!