As you know, I rarely share or promote companies unless I truly love them and since I am not much of a shopper, it's rare that I discover amazing stuff before anyone else. That being said, I might have a few special trinkets up my sleeve that you may not be familiar with or have yet to discover how awesome they are. This is my Ultimate Healthy Living Gift Guide!
When I shop for myself or for presents, I always want to feel great about my purchases. I love supporting local or small businesses (I am an Etsy junkie!) and companies with ethical give-back programs. Also, if there's a crystal on it, I will love it.
Of course, I am also a huge advocate for skipping the holiday shopping altogether and giving other things.
My Favourite UnGift Gift Giving
🥘 Eat In Together: Prepare a beautiful meal to share with the special people in your life.
🧡 Make It Yummy: Prepare a delicious edible gift.
💃 Do Something: Give an activity you can do together – a trip to a museum or gallery, a dance class, a dinner at a restaurant you've been wanting to try, a movie, a couples massage, a holiday!
🤩 Do Unto Others As They Won't Likely Do For Themselves: Give something they need but would never buy themselves – a high speed blender (here's the US link to the one I love), a massage, or an extra cozy pair of new slippers (why do we always wear our slippers until they're barely holding together?).
⏰ Your Time: In this epidemically busy world we now live in, time could be the very best gift of all. Give yourself over to someone you love, someone you haven't seen in ages, someone you want to get to know more, and be together. Go for a long walk, make dinner together, or for the parents in your lives – offer to babysit!! This is the best gift of all.
The Gifts That Give
I have seven nieces and nephews and for a long time, I found it challenging watching kids who have everything unwrap a ton of plastic garbage toys that would no doubt be stashed away in a closet or broken within a month. This year I voted to give each child one gift card to get something special, and to make a family donation to a cause that the kids can all choose together.
Given that we live in a very abundant culture, I am a big fan of the gifts that serve a greater purpose and can honour the ones you love by helping those that have less:
- Adopt a family and provide gifts for a family in need in your local community.
- Purchase From Scratch Cooking, Academy of Culinary Nutrition's annual digital cookbook where 100% of the proceeds are donated to charities like Thrive.
- Create a lending team with Kiva and give in honour of your family. (Or you can join my team!)
- Give the priceless gift of clean water to a village through Charity: Water.
- Help educate children in underdeveloped countries with Pencils of Promise.
- Help provide families in your community with a holiday meal with Community Food Centres of Canada.
All of these organizations are set up to allow you to donate as a gift in honour of someone you love.
Of course, sometimes, we just want to give something tangible and thoughtfully chosen for the people we love. There is a joy to giving presents and it's good for our health too.
Here is a list of presents that I'd love – maybe you'll find some inspiration here, for yourself or for a loved one!
Ultimate Healthy Living Gift Guide
Meal Delivery Service
Photo: IQ Food Co
Meal delivery as a gift is winning all around. You are gifting someone (or a family) a delicious meal. You are gifting them time away from having to think about it, shop for it, prep it and for the most part, clean up from it. So you are also gifting time. I can't speak to where you live, but where I am in Toronto, this is where you can buy me meal presents from.
Toronto-based IQ Food Co (one of the very few places I'll order in from) has an absolutely incredible meal and snacks delivery option called IQ Essentials (their head chef is a Culinary Nutrition Expert too). The food comes ready to cook (I transferred to my own cookware), and includes all the cooking instructions (minimal effort!), full list of ingredients (most sourced locally!).
There is even a QR code that will take you to cooking video if you need extra support, and a Spotify play list to set the mood. The food is incredible, and there are lots of options for different dietary styles.
I also love Roots of Health. Josh and I went to nutrition school with Kerri Cooper, the woman behind these amazing weekday meals. She works with mainly local/organic suppliers and everything we've ordered has been outstanding.
Another offering in the Toronto area is Living Kitchen Wellness that offers both meal delivery and private chef services. They have an amazing speciality – working with people and families going through cancer treatment. A few of my Academy of Culinary Nutrition Experts are part of their team.
Prices will vary between companies and most will offer a gift voucher option so you can buy a specific denomination or a specific package. All I know is no one has ever said no to home cooked meals delivered to their door!
The Gift Of Sleep
Why our bed tends to be the lowest on the rung of things we make investments on is beyond me. We spend 1/3 of our life in bed. Most beds are loaded with chemicals and most of us aren't sleeping well. Could the bed make all the difference?
What if instead of buying each other a bunch of little things, you instead invest in the gift of a new bed, something you will enjoy for optimally eight hours a night for the next 20 years.
Sunshine Mattress Co is brand new. I have long been a fan of Dormio for beds, and they now have a sister company in Sunshine Mattress Co selling organic latex mattresses, foundations and accessories. They've done the work for you and there is no mattress company with the standards and knowledge that they have.
Use coupon code MEGHANTELPNER for 10% off mattresses and accessories at Sunshine Mattress Co. If you're in the GTA and want to head to Dormio to try a bed in person, drop my name for 5% off.
I am a huge fan of essential oils for travel, beauty care products and home cleaning. I have a 4-Perfume Pack from Living Libations and it is the best thing ever. I now keep it in my purse and carry it with me. It's a sweet way to try out a few different scents, and since natural oils don't have the toxic pervasiveness of chemical-based perfumes, and because the natural aromas work in harmony, you could even wear one scent during the day and switch it to a different scent in the evening. This company is based in Haliburton, Ontario and carefully sources the purest oils from around the globe.
The perfume pack is just one option to choose from. If we're talking gifting, the Winter Beauty Kit, Happy Hair Luxury Kit, or any of the amazing beauty kits they have put together would also be great.
Use coupon code "RenegadeMeghan" for 10% off your order.
Online Fitness: Obé
After the birth of my son, I found it hard to get back into a fitness routine that I could realistically maintain. That is, until I found Obé Fitness. There are very few things I've experienced in my life that I would call life-changing, but this habit that is new in my life absolutely has been. These workouts are on-demand, short, full of variety and are utterly FUN. Most important for me, however, is the mental and emotional shift I am feeling. I feel stronger, and more resilient mentally.
This is one of those gifts you may have to be mindful of – you don't want someone to take it the wrong way ;) But I recommend making it a group thing and gift it to yourself and a friend and make it happen together!
Register over at Obé with coupon code MEGHAN30. It's free for your first week without any obligation and if you decide to continue, you'll get the first month at 30% off.
It takes a lot for me to try new products. I love what I love, and am also extremely mindful of ingredients, smells, and packaging.
When Lisa Karandat, whom I know from her days as Marketing Director with Genuine Health, reached out to me about her new zero waste beauty care brand Good Juju. I was all in to sample them, but wasn't 100% sold, I'll admit. I've used the same shampoo and conditioner for ten years.
The products checked all the boxes! They're made with all organic ingredients, the scents are light, all claims are backed by science, no plastic packaging, and it's a small (for now!) local company.
The shampoo and conditioner is excellent (we tried both problem scalp and oily hair options), and my three year-old who hates having his hair washed was excited to use them as he could do it himself.
These are one of those gifts that are practical, enjoyable (hello home spa treat), and unique.
Use coupon code Meghan10 for 10% off your order!
Can our jewelry be our medicine? When they are handmade with love, taking into account the energy of nature's stones and the sequencing of the beads, then it just might be possible. These beautiful pieces (bracelets and necklaces for both men and women) are hand-made in Toronto by Veronica Ciandre. At one time, Veronica was suffering terribly from radiation exposure. She allowed her sickness and healing journey to be a gift and this line of jewelry is how she now shares this gift with others. You can read her story here. She uses carefully selected materials in specific sequences to heighten the healing properties of her pieces. My mom bought me one recently and it hasn't left my wrist since!
I first discovered Fluf Bags through an Instagram giveaway and instantly loved their products and the value they bring to what they create. I use one of their backpacks as my daily bag for work, and their snack bags are used for my little man's on-the-go snacks. Their lunch bags and travel cosmetic bags are also great!
What I love most (aside from the style and comfort) is that the cotton is organic and washable, the zippers are good quality and built to last, and they have amazing customer support.
Grain-Free Baking Mixes
If you have a loved one who wants to dip their toes into gluten-free and grain-free baking, but doesn't know where to start or invest in a bunch of flours they may not use, nutritious baking mixes make a great gift. They're virtually fool-proof - all you need to do is dump the mixes into a bowl, add your liquids and bake.
I personally love the bread mixes by Katinka's Kitchen and the pancake, waffle and doughnut mix by Paleo Nut. Both of these women are highly talented Culinary Nutrition Experts who started their businesses after finishing the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program.
For more incredible gifts like this, check out 10 Awesome Food Products by Culinary Nutrition Experts.
UnDiet and The UnDiet Cookbook
But of course I am going to blatantly plug my own books as a most awesome gift. These books go great together as a set: my first book, UnDiet: Eat Your Way To Vibrant Health, acts as the lifestyle guide, helping readers in their transition to a more optimal and healthy total lifestyle. The UnDiet Cookbook is where playtime comes in with 130 beautiful gluten-free and dairy-free recipes, gorgeous photos, entertaining and travel tips, a whole chapter of beauty care recipes and of course practices to help you live a healthy and awesome life. Both are available online from all major book sellers and in most major book stores.
For those of you who have a season of celebration ahead that may include loads of soirées, catching up with friends, flights to catch, or other travel adventures, you're going to want to be stocked up on my favourite bee medicine – Propolis Throat Spray from Beekeeper's Naturals. I take this everywhere with me. I love this product and I love the people who make it, but all of their bee products are absolutely amazing.
This stainless steel cookware is absolutely beautiful, long-lasting and has a lifetime warranty. Using toxin-free cookware is important, as what we cook in (especially at high heat) comes in direct contact with our food. I am obsessed with the 360 slow cooker, which is a base that your pots can fit on. No more fears about what's coating those ceramic slow cookers leaching into the food!
* This post contains affiliate links.