Top Holiday Gifts for (or from!) a Health Nut 2016

Give the gift of health this year!

Whether your loved one is a wanna-be health enthusiast, an eco-friendly goddess, or hard-core fitness guru, you’re sure to find something they’d treasure on this wish-list! Ranging from stocking stuffers to big ticket items, each of these holiday gifts can lead to a healthy and positive change. A gift that truly keeps on giving!

 

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24 Days of Tea from David’s Tea $40

Count down the days to deliciousness with this tea-filled advent calendar! Behind each door hides a single serving tin of tea with delicious flavors such as coconut cream pie, sleigh ride, and santa’s secret.

 

 

 

 

 

 

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-11-35-43-amVeggiespize 5-Blade Spiralizer $22

Make eating veggies fun! Makes five different types of spirals for beautiful and tasty noodles, salads, or anything you want to spiral. Perfect gift for someone who loves to make beautiful picture-worthy creations for their meals!

 

 

 

 

 

Acure Brightening Facial Scrub $8

This vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free scrub brightens complexion for a holiday glow! Organic sea kelp and lemon peel gently exfoliate your skin, while French green clay cleanses away excess oil without taking your natural moisture with it. Madonna lily stem cells help brighten skin’s appearance. It’s perfect for all skin types, even my own super sensitive skin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

toesoxToeSox $15

The perfect gift for anyone who does yoga, pilates, or barre! Non-slip grip sole provides a secure foot placement. Made from organic cotton. Available in eight fun colors!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

yoga-allyramser-comSivan Health and Fitness Yoga 6-Piece Set $40

Available in seven fun colors! This this yoga and pilates mat is a full 1/2″ thick and one of the thickest mats on the market. It is thick enough to protect your knees and joints, while still allowing you to grip the floor for balance. The extra large dimensions (71” x 24”) ensure complete comfort for people of all shapes and sizes.

 

 

 

oh she glows cookbook

Oh She Glows Cookbook $15

Written by one of the most popular vegan food bloggers on the web, this cookbook has over 100 delicious and healthy recipes any health nut would be sure to appreciate! Some of the recipes include Crowd-Pleasing Tex Mex Casserole, Empowered Noodle Bowl, and Chilled Chocolate Espresso Torte with Hazelnut Crust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hail Merry Macaroon 8-Pack $35

These vegan, gluten-free, and guilt-free treats make perfect holiday gifts to stuff stockings! My favorites are the chocolate chip cookie dough and caramel sea salt. Melt-in-your-mouth comfort food to lift your mood and spirit!

 

 

 

 

 

aira-allyramser-comAIRA Tea Infuser Glass Bottle Tumbler $25

This two-piece stainless steel strainer that lets you infuse hot/cold water with fruits, tea essence (leaves & bags) or coffee to prepare healthy beverages anywhere you want! Made of a glass bottle with a bamboo lid, this tumbler is as eco-friendly as it is stylish!

 

 

 

 

 

bamboo-serving-allyramser-comHolistic Home’s Bamboo 7 Piece Serving Set $13

With the concerns about harmful plastics and aluminum, bamboo utensils are a natural alternative. With no risk of dangerous chemicals leaching into your food, these bamboo utensils are also eco-friendly and naturally germ-resistant. This super cute style looks great with any kitchen décor!

 

 

 

 

 

tea-maker-allyramser-com

Golda Stainless Steel Turkish Tea Maker $199 $189

I use my Golda tea maker on a daily basis! It heats up my water SO FAST (no waiting for water to boil!) and automatically switches to a warm function to save 90% of electricity. The stainless steel container means no harmful chemicals or plastics leaching into your water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

vitamixVitamix 5200 Blender $550 $440

Any gift list can’t be complete without mentioning a Vitamix. I received my own Vitamix 5200 years ago and I can honestly say it has been one of the most used holiday gifts (and most appreciated!) that I will likely use for decades to come. The quality is fantastic and a whole new world of healthy eating opens up when you have access to a high-powered blender.

 

 

 

 

 

 

taza-chocolate-allyramser-comTaza Chocolate Disc Sampler $19

Why not add some healthy chocolate into your Christmas stockings this year? My sister introduced me these my last birthday and I’m hooked! Flavors include Cacao Puro, Chipotle Chili, Cinnamon, Coffee, Guajillo Chili, 85% Super Dark, Salted Almond, and Vanilla, and all are gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, and kosher. Made “bean-to-bar” in the USA.

 

 

 

cuppow lid

Cuppow $9

These awesome lids turn regular mason jars into travel mugs! They come in a variety of colors and make a very practical gift that will be used again and again, all while keeping your loved ones away from BPA! Made in the USA.

 

 

 

 

 

glass-pitcherBlümwares Glass Pitcher $15

Chance are we ALL can and should drink more water, it is the secret weapon that keeps all our body’s functions operating efficiently. Infusing water with fruit, lemon, or herbs makes getting your 8 glasses a day much more enjoyable!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nutrition Assessment and Counseling Price Varies

Give the gift of a personalized health and nutrition plan for the new year! Gift cards are available and clients are accepted from all around the world. Fill out a contact form for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

excalibur-dehydratorExcalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator $168

The uses for dehydrators are endless, it is one of those kitchen appliances that is not required but definitely appreciated if you have one. You can make fruit and veggie chips, crispy nuts and seeds, crackers, granola, cookies, macaroons, “sundried” tomatoes, the list goes on!

 

 

 

 

 

eco lunch toteBlueAvocado Cafe Lunch Tote $10

A repeat from the list last year, this is by far the cutest lunch box I’ve ever seen! It is reusable, washable, eco-friendly, and insulated for up to 6 hours. It comes with two little reusable packs for snacks such as nuts or veggies that can replace plastic baggies!

 

 

 

 

popscicle-mould

Onyx Stainless Steel Popsicle Mold $32

Most popsicle molds are made of plastic, not good for your body or the environment! These are made of stainless steel and come with reusable bamboo sticks. Perfect to make healthy homemade desserts when the weather warms up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

herb-garden-starter-kitIndoor Culinary Herb Garden Starter Kit $30

Did you know herbs have been traditionally used as medicine instead of flavoring? Add some health and deliciousness to your meals with this herb kit! Comes with an assortment of 12 culinary herb seeds: Parsley, Thyme, Cilantro, Lemon Basil, Dill, Oregano, Marjoram, Chives, Savory, Garlic Chives, Mustard, and Sage.

 

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday!

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Cameron Diaz’s Healthy Aging Tips

Last week I was honored to meet with actress Cameron Diaz at an event hosted by the Motion Picture & Television Fund. As you may know, Cameron is turning 44 years old this year, looks fantastic, and is an excellent role model for health! She is just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside, with an infectiously sweet and cheerful personality.

She recently wrote a book titled “The Longevity Book.” Below are Cameron’s thoughts (that I want to pass on to you!) on aging and healthy living!

How can we age well?

“I want to try to change the conversation about aging, so we realize it’s not just something that happens to us, it’s something that we do and are engaged in. That engagement is really about how we live our life.”

“Aging is a privilege. This is the first time in human history, of all human existence where we have a life expectancy of 82 for women. It’s not a magic pill from a substance that grows on one mountain in Tibet where if you have a million dollars you can buy it, that’s not it. It’s within our control to some extent. Genetically we are pre-disposed to some diseases and certain aspects of our aging is connected to our genes, but we are also in control of the decisions that we make, and those decisions add up more-so than anything.”

“Knowing what is good nutrition, good physical activity, sleep, good stress release, having a purpose and connecting loving relationships. Those are the pillars of well-being and the five pillars of aging well.”

Where do these pillars originate from?

“It’s all those things when you’re a kid and your grandmother tells you to ‘eat your vegetables, go outside and play, get a goodnights sleep, take 10 deep breaths before you speak when you’re angry.” It’s those things you are constantly bombarded with from a young age, but you don’t really realize you’re absorbing the wisdom from people older than you. I’ve been an aunt now for a long time, I have a niece that’s 19 and my youngest is 8 years old. I’ve found myself my whole life going ‘you should eat that, go to sleep, drink some water” and you’re giving all this information, that is basically it.

What are your thoughts on nutrition?

Eat your vegetables, eat whole foods, know what you’re eating, know what it is that you’re putting into your body. You want good, whole, nutritional foods that are well-balanced. You want to eat a variety of things.

What are your thoughts on physical activity?

Physical activity is not just going to the gym everyday and working out, although that is good for strength if you’re trying to build strength, but [it’s important to] just be active, not be sedentary, and move around. Activity is very important, just getting up and going for walks. That is a major part of it, you just don’t want to get sedentary. That’s where diseases start to set in within the body when it isn’t being utilized properly.  

Any tips on how to improve sleep?

You want to get good rest. Sleep is just as important as drinking water. Sleep is as important as having good nutrition. The quality of sleep that you get is very important. It’s important to know the key things to help you get good sleep; one is having a routine before you go to bed. Shutting down your outside world so you’re not going straight from watching a screen to putting your head on a pillow. That doesn’t help you get to your deepest sleep. Sleeping with lights on…eating too late, you don’t think about with sleep. You just take it for granted, [but] there is a systematic way to shut down your brain, shut down your body to allow it to get to that rest.

How do you stay so happy?

My motto is “gratitude is the only attitude.”

Download a FREE Affirmations Cheat Sheet to develop gratitude in your life like Cameron Diaz!

Click Here to Download

What did you learn in your research about keeping our brain healthy?

“There is a whole chapter on the brain, the brain is very important. All the five pillars are important for the brain. Our cognitive health is dependent on how our nutrition is, how our physical activity is, how our stress release is, and how we engage. All of those things are aspects are important. We can learn a new language, learn a new instrument, learn new skill sets, learning…period. Keeping the brain agile and engaged is important.”

Great tips from Cameron! You can read more about Cameron’s take on health in her new book: “The Longevity Book.”

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Top 10 Holiday Gifts for (or from!) a Health Nut

Why healthy gifts? Small changes lead to big results! For instance if you give someone a fruit-infusion pitcher (below) and they begin drinking more water, the changes that person can see in their life would be HUGE! Better digestion, clearer skin, better mental clarity, increased energy, the list goes on.

Below I’ve compiled my favorite healthy gifts for all types of people! Ranging from stocking stuffers to big ticket items, you’ll be sure to get some great ideas for your loved ones. Each one of the items I’ve picked out below have a greater health purpose and are truly a gift that keeps on giving!

Note: I’ve used most of these items, but some are still on my own wish-list! Not all comments below are from my own personal experience, but my affinity for the product and good reviews I’ve discovered. If you’ve tried any of these items or have any feedback, please comment below!

 

eco lunch tote

BlueAvocado Cafe Lunch Tote – By far the cutest lunch box I’ve ever seen! It is reusable, washable, eco-friendly, and insulated for up to 6 hours. It comes with two little reusable packs for snacks such as nuts or veggies that can replace plastic baggies!

 

 

 

 

oh she glows cookbook

 

Oh She Glows Cookbook Written by one of the most popular vegan food bloggers on the web, this cookbook has over 100 delicious and healthy recipes any health nut would be sure to appreciate! Some of the recipes include Crowd-Pleasing Tex Mex Casserole, Empowered Noodle Bowl, and Chilled Chocolate Espresso Torte with Hazelnut Crust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

veggie chopper

 

Vegetable Chopper – You’ll never look at chopping veggies the same! This handy gadget cuts prep time in half. There is something really satisfying about watching a vegetable chop into several perfectly cut pieces in less than a second! I use the “Kitchen Basics” brand and am very happy with it, but I’m sure there are other brands that work just as well if you’re looking for a different style or color.

 

 

 

pitcher

Fruit Infusion Pitcher – Do you know someone who could drink more water? Chance are we ALL can and should drink more water, it is the secret weapon that keeps all our body’s functions operating efficiently. Infusing water with fruit, lemon, or herbs makes getting your 8 glasses a day much more enjoyable!

 

 

 

 

 

avocado pic

Avocado of the Month Club – Quite possibly on of the most unique gifts I’ve seen, who WOULDN’T love to receive this? Three pounds of Premium California avocados delivered to my door each month sounds more like “I love you” to me than pears or oranges do!

 

 

 

 

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Bamboo Cutting Board – Everyone needs a great bamboo cutting board in their kitchen! They’re stronger yet lighter than other wooden cutting boards. They are eco-friendly, anti-bacterial, and will not dull your knives. I also use my bamboo cutting boards as serving plates or as a backdrop for great foodie pictures!

 

 

 

 

 

tea maker

 

Breville One-Touch Tea Maker – I’m sure you’ve seen all the fancy at-home espresso and coffee makers, but what can the tea lovers use? This cool gadget adjusts the brew time and water temperature depending on the tea varietal (green, oolong, black, or white tea) and is completely programmable, so your loved one will always have a truly perfect cup of tea!

 

 

 

 

Vitamix

 

Vitamix Blender – I feel like any gift list can’t be complete without mentioning a Vitamix. I received my own as a gift and I can honestly say it has been the most used gift (and most appreciated) that I will likely use for decades to come. The quality is fantastic and a whole new world of healthy eating opens up when you have access to a high-powered blender. I saw if you order in December you’d receive a free set of spatulas!

 

 

 

cuppow lid

 

Cuppow – These amazing lids turn regular mason jars into travel mugs! They come in a variety of colors and make a very practical gift that will be used again and again, all while keeping your loved ones away from BPA!

 

 

 

 

Dehydrator

 

Excalibur 5 Tray Dehydrator with Timer – I don’t have one YET…but this is for sure on my wish list! The fact that it comes in pink is a bonus in my book. The uses for dehydrators are endless, it is one of those kitchen appliances that is not required but definitely appreciated if you have one. You can make fruit/veggie chips, crispy nuts + seeds, crackers, granola, cookies, macaroons..the list goes on.

 

 

No holiday list would be complete without some recipe ideas! Here are a few
of my own favorite Christmas recipes:

Cranberry Orange Walnut Muffins – Christmas breakfast anyone?

Baked Corn – I’ve made this for various gatherings this season–it is always the first dish to go!

Holiday Baked Cinnamon Apples – A fantastic breakfast or a healthy dessert.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Parfaits – This also makes a delicious pie filling!

 

Have a safe and happy holiday!

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Why You Should Upgrade Your Smoothie to a Smoothie Bowl

A quick disclaimer: Smoothies, in general, are healthy any way you eat them! If you’re consuming a smoothie chances are you’re doing something great for your body. This post just shows you how little changes can potentially create big changes in your health!

I love smoothies. I drink them all the time, they are easy, fast, and delicious. But lately I’ve been into “smoothie bowls” which is basically a smoothie eaten out of a bowl instead of a cup or glass.

Here are some reasons why you might want to upgrade your smoothie to a smoothie bowl!

1) It aids digestion. Have you ever heard the phrase “remember to chew your smoothie?” Chewing food does more than just break it down into smaller pieces; it also covers our food in saliva, which contains enzymes that assist with the digestive process. Sometimes when we drink smoothies quickly out of a straw or a glass, we may not be activating the salivary enzymes needed to fully digest it.

What does this have to do with a smoothie bowl? When we eat a smoothie bowl we use a spoon, which makes us more likely to chew. We can also add toppings (like nuts, fruit, seeds, etc.) so that we need to chew between bites! Problem solved!

2) No bloating. Do you drink your smoothies through a straw? I do, I love them, and I use the compostable or reusable ones whenever I can. There is a downside to straws though—all that extra air in the top of a straw can end up in your stomach! With a smoothie bowl you eat the smoothie with a spoon, so no bloating problems.

3) No lip lines or facial wrinkles. Have you ever heard that puckering your lips repeatedly (with a cigarette, straw, etc.) contributes to wrinkles around your lips? I’ve done some research and it seems not all dermatologists are convinced, but many say yes, sipping a straw can lead to wrinkles around the mouth from the repetitive movement of pursing the lips. Just to be safe: no straw = no lip wrinkles.

4) Additional nutrients. With a smoothie bowl it is easy and fun to add more toppings! I usually use chopped walnuts, chia seeds, extra fruit, shredded raw coconut, and cinnamon (as pictured above). All these extra toppings not only make your breakfast pretty and Pinterest worthy, but they also provide additional nutrients for your body. Variety is important for good health!

5) More satisfaction. Where do you drink your smoothies? On the go, in the car, while distracted at your desk? Many people do not think of smoothies as a “meal,” I’d say most people consider it a “drink.” If someone asks you what you had for lunch, you might be inclined to say “oh, I just had a smoothie.” But a smoothie BOWL is a meal, you sit at a table, look at the pretty bowl full of goodness (see #4 above) and eat it with a spoon similar to how you would with oatmeal or cereal. I feel more satisfied and full after my smoothie bowls!

So how do you make a smoothie bowl? Whip up a smoothie in a blender and pour it in a bowl instead of a drinking glass. I tend to make my “smoothie bowl smoothies” thicker by using less liquid and more frozen fruit or ice. This makes the texture more similar to that of ice cream rather than a liquid. Top with your favorite toppings such as coconut and walnuts!

So next time you make a smoothie, try pouring it in a bowl instead of a glass! It may sound ridiculous, but it might lead to a lot of benefits for you. Try it out!

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Tips and Recipes for a Vegan & Gluten-Free Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is one of those holidays where it can feel challenging to eat healthy. Sometimes you want to give up, call it a “cheat day,” and stuff your face with potato salad and cake. Not this year! Here are some great recipes to help you eat a clean plant based diet, all while enjoying the festivities and companionship that this holiday has to offer!

Burgers
“Pulled” Cauliflower BBQ Sandwich by Beard & Bonnet
Vegan Burger King by One Green Planet
If you’re looking for pre-made burgers to throw on the grill, Qrunch Quinoa Burgers and Sunshine Burgers are good options.

Sides
Grilled Balsamic Vegetables by ifoodreal
Smokey Cumin and Avocado Dressing with Jicama Slaw Salad by Choosing Raw
Grilled Herb Corn on the Cob by Diabetic Living

Desserts
Protein Cookie Bars by Chic Delish
No Bake Chocolate Pie by Healthy Voyager

Here is one of my own patriotic recipes, pictured above!

In a bowl, mix together:
– organic blueberries
– organic raspberries
– raw organic shredded coconut
– raw walnuts

There is no need to measure anything, just add more of the ingredients you like the most! You can serve this as a dessert with coconut whipped cream, as a side, or as an appetizer. I enjoy this as a snack all summer long!

A few final Fourth of July Tips:
– Use avocado instead of mayonnaise on your sandwiches
– Use homemade or organic ketchup–the regular kind is full of high fructose corn syrup (which is linked to diabetes and Alzheimers)
– Don’t forget the watermelon!

Have a safe, happy, and healthy Fourth of July!