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2011 Holiday Gift Guide

Posted Dec 17 2011 9:04pm

Better late than never on a gift guide, right? Below is a list of goodies I’ve been enjoying this year that maybe a tricky friend of family member can enjoy too.

Kiva Gift Card -- Kiva is a non-profit organization that offers micro-loans to people around the world to start a business. Recipients of a gift card can choose how they want to allocate the gift and watch it progress and get email updates. It’s a fun and interactive gift for the do-gooders in your life.

Forks Over Knives on DVD -- This movie had a huge impact on me , it’s a wake up call on how much we can control our own health through diet and lifestyle.  I think the biggest eye-opener was just how bad dairy products are for people following over consumption of meat.

For a well done documentary that moves along at an engaging pace, it provides hope that a plant-based, whole foods diet can help us stay healthy and active well into old age. Yes please!

Food, Inc. on DVD -- Another well-done documentary that covers more the political aspects and corruptness in the American food industry, also an eye-opener on how cruel the meat and dairy industries have become to mass produce loads of cheap product for fast food chains and the hugely increased American demand for animal products compared to just 50 years ago. It also touches on the health effects of a processed diet, but more focuses on removing the veil to expose exactly what we’re supporting when we’re buying fast food burgers, processed meals, etc.

Glass Dharma Glass Straw -- When I first heard of these, I admit I thought they were pretty silly. Who’s gonna use and wash a glass straw without breaking it? Then I read Gena’s post on them and thought maybe I should invest in one at some point. I have sensitive teeth and am self-conscious about inadvertently rocking a smoothie mustache, so I use straws frequently for drinking water and smoothies. But it’s hard to feel like a sophisticated adult with a neon-colored disposable bendy straw sticking out of my glass. They’re also a pesky little environmental problem with so many people using and tossing disposable straws daily. I finally bought myself striking blue Glass Dharma straw at the Raw Health Expo in July and I’ve been putting a lot of miles on it since.

Much more sophisticated, right? And they’re hand made in the USA. Because they’re pretty big, they’re easy to clean and stuff a pipe cleaner down if needed for a little smoothie grit. But I haven’t really needed to do that as long as I wash it shortly after using for a smoothie. I also haven’t broken it yet! The little nubs on the straw keep it from rolling off a counter or table. But Glass Dharma says they’re tough enough to withstand drops, thankfully I haven’t had to test that. Too bad my iPhone hasn’t been that lucky! You can get a set of 4 for a good price on Amazon .

Ani’s Raw Food Asia book -- Another fantastic book from Ani Phyo this year with lots of fun and exotic recipes. I’ve been enjoying mine since meeting Ani and getting a signed copy in June, what a day!


Nathan Gel Waist Pack -- I bought one for my first half marathon last October and have been using it regularly since. I’ve tried multiple water bottle running belts and just can’t stand having a bottle bounce around my mid section while I run. But I still needed something to carry emergency info, house keys, energy gel packs, and an iPhone. This pack is perfect for that with a separate pocket and hook inside to secure important cards and keys and an elastic pocket outside to stuff empty gel packs as I’m running.

Nathan QuickDraw Elite 22 oz. Handheld bottle -- Another item I use regularly for long runs since I can’t stand wearing a water bottle on my waist. This bottle worked wonderfully for me through three half marathons so far holding enough water to get me between water stations and then some and having a lid that’s fast and easy to remove for fast refilling saving those little paper cups. It also has a large enough pocket to hold a few energy gel packs, cell phone, and secure loop for a key.

A Gift Card for TOMS Shoes -- They’re comfortable and fashionable while supporting a good cause. And TOMS Shoes also come in many vegan styles .

Klean Kanteen Bottles -- I have three of these bottles now, one for work, traveling, and running around town. I like to have water with me just about all the time, especially in our triple-digit temps in the summer. But buying bottles of water or drinks on the road is expensive and time consuming. These bottles have saved me a lot of money and helped break my soda addiction years ago. They’re dishwasher safe and come in many colors and purse-friendly sizes.

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