Monday morning pop quiz! Well, more like personality quiz.
When it comes to Christmas shopping, which best describes you?
A. Done! I shop for gifts all throughout the year and was done before December arrived
B. Making progress. I’ve got about half my list covered but still have work to do.
C. Not even started, but I’m hoping to get it all done this week.
D. I’m the person in the mall on Christmas Eve.
Personally, I’m a B.
Growing up, Christmas wasn’t a super materialistic occasion in our house. However, I always loved – and still love – the process of picking out thoughtful gifts for people. A lot of my friends are similar to me in terms of interests, which makes them easy to shop for. But the competitive athlete in me also kind of enjoys the challenge of finding gifts for those hard-to-buy-for people.
One example of this popped up just last week, where my coworkers and I were sent our Elfster Secret Santa picks. I’m the Secret Santa of someone I’ve spoken approximately 3 words to since starting my job in April, and I don’t even know where her desk is, let alone what her interests are. (Note to self: get to know co-workers better in 2017.) And of course, because she’s smart, she has a private Facebook profile so that stalking option is out. This means I’ll need to get resourceful, and I’m actually quite excited about it.
While I’ve got my work cut out for me, I’m hoping that I can take a little work off of your plate by telling you about the picks in my holiday gift guide for fit friends and foodies in your life. Those of you who answered ‘D’ in my pop quiz above can thank me when you’re sitting at home with a cozy beverage on Christmas Eve, and all of you B’s and C’s might save a bit of time too!
For a super zen at-home sanctuary: Saje diffusers and essential oil blends
In case you missed it, Well+Good just announced their top wellness trends for 2017 and they’ve predicted that nesting at home will be the new going out. And if that’s truly going to be the case, why not make home feel like a sanctuary?
Over the past year I’ve been greening up my living space, medicine cabinet and kitchen, and Saje has been a big part of this. Their AromaBreeze is an ultrasonic diffuser that disperses essential oil molecules and negative ions into the air. Not only does this help to purify the air in your home, but essential oil blends have different health and wellbeing benefits depending on the ones you pick. My faves are Refresh (a great one to have diffusing during the day), Liquid Sunshine (a super citrusy, energizing scent), and Peppermint Twist, which is minty with a hint or orange.
For a quick pick-me-up: Happy Spritz essential oil mists
Continuing on the aromatherapy and essential oils theme, I first got hooked on Happy Spritz several months ago when I discovered them in a shop near work. After spritzing all of the scents and trying to decide on a favourite, I walked out with my first bottle, Cycle Sweat Recover (also available labeled ‘Run Sweat Recover’.) This athlete’s blend is a mixture of spearmint and tea tree, perfect for a post-workout refresh.
Since that first bottle, I’ve also added Breathe Easy, Good Morning Beautiful and Sweet Dreams Darling to my collection. Not only do I love that the spritzes are made of 100% natural ingredients (including therapeutic-grade essential oils) and no crazy additives, but Happy Spritz is a company that gives back. The owners, Michelle and Bram, are committed to giving a portion of all proceeds to animal rescue initiatives.
For pre, during and post-workout fuel: Vega Sport and Vega nutritional shakes
I’ve been a Vega user and advocate for about 6 years now and have yet to find anything else that beats their combo of taste, nutrition, quality ingredients and digestibility (because let’s face it – when you’ve got miles to cover, an unhappy tummy is hard to ignore.) Whether the person you’re gifting for is a runner, Crossfit addict, or just loves moving their body in whatever ways makes them feel great, there are tons of gift ideas including bundles to help them reach their goals.
I’ve waxed poetic about my Vega love here many times before, but in case this is the first you’ve heard of them, all products are vegan and free of gluten, soy, and dairy – three of the most common allergens. After having spent years using whey protein powders that seriously messed up my digestion, I transitioned to Vega for all of my sports nutrition needs and have never gone back. Products aside, another thing that makes Vega great is the fact that they’re continually innovating, reformulating for better taste and nutrition, and making a plant-based lifestyle more approachable for everyone.
For healthy joints and gorgeous skin, hair and nails: WithinUs TruMarine Collagen
Ok, I know giving collagen to someone might sound like the strangest gift EVER, but personally I’d be over the moon about it. In case you haven’t heard, collagen is rising in popularity as a beauty food and one that’s amazing for bone health. Many collagen products come from beef and poultry sources, but WithinUs TruMarine Collagen is sourced from sustainable, wild fish in the pristine waters of the South Pacific ocean. Our bodies produce less collagen as we age, but it’s important for protecting our joints, as well as for skin, hair and nail health. I started taking it about 2 months ago and noticed my nails and hair were significantly stronger after just 1 month.
On a side note, if the health nut on your list is into matcha, WithinUs also just launched their new TruOrganic Matcha, a 100% organic, premium matcha. It’s loaded with antioxidants and nutrients which support the immune system, and speaking from experience, I think it tastes great too. For more info, click here.
For glowing skin: Sibu natural skincare products
Winter can be harsh on our skin, and even here in Vancouver where it feels like we haven’t had a day without rain for a solid 2 months, my face is feeling far more dry than usual. I love Sibu‘s skincare goodies year-round, but even more right now because they’re super hydrating without being greasy. I’ve also got my mum hooked, and both of us are especially in love with the Moisturizing Body Cream and Rejuvenating Night Cream.
All of Sibu’s products are 100% natural, vegan, non-GMO, made with wild, handcrafted, omega-7 rich sea buckthorn berries and contain no artificial scents. They do however, have a lovely refreshing citrus smell, and this comes from orange and lemon essential oils. I get excited about washing my face for this very reason!
For outdoor runs on chilly days: lululemon Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve and the Run For Cold Jacket
I’m beyond grateful to work in a place where tights, sports bras and tank tops are the standard dress code, and having wear tested on almost every single day since I started my job back in April, this gift guide wouldn’t be complete without a few fave picks. For any outdoor adventures, I’m loving the Run For Cold Jacket layered with a Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve top. Also highly recommended are the Align Pant (commonly referred to as ‘butter tights’ by my teammates and I because they are SO SOFT… I may own 4 pairs…), as well as the Essential Tank and the Tie It Up Singlet for any indoor sweat sessions.
For getting to work, lunch dates, and everywhere in between: the lululemon All Day Tote Mini
The All Day Tote Mini is big enough to fit my laptop, wallet, notebook and a few other work essentials, but not so big that I feel like I’m carrying around a big almost-empty bag. It’s got plenty of compartments to keep things organized and an extra pouch hiding inside one of the inside zipper pockets. It also has a cross-body strap that you can attach if you don’t want to wear it over one shoulder. Fun fact: For those that don’t pack as light, the All Day Tote is the same but in a larger size.
For 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, and the training miles that come before: Asics FuzeX and FuzeX Lyte
Asics came out with the FuzeX at the beginning of this year, and with 4 pairs now in my collection, I think it’s safe to say I’m a fan. This is an extremely versatile, lightweight shoe with a minimalist design, and even though I typically go for models in their GT series (highly recommended for runners who overpronate), I still feel like this shoe offers plenty of support and protection. The FuzeX is Asics’ first shoe with fuzeGEL technology which helps to absorb shock and propel runners forward, and the colours are nothing short of awesome. They’re also extremely affordable as far as trainers go.
For tracking every beat: Polar M200 GPS watch with wrist-based heart rate
If you or the runner on your Christmas list dreads wearing a GPS watch because of chest chafe from heart rate monitors, listen up! The Polar M200 is their first GPS watch for runners with wrist-based heart rate monitoring. This means you can train through the winter and, come summer, toss on your bikini without a chafe scar across your chest. It also means you can get in the shower after a run and not have to anticipate that stinging burn as the water hits. (WIN!) #runnerproblems aside, this watch is light, comfortable to wear (even outside of workouts), has 24/7 activity monitoring and is available with fun changeable wristbands.
So tell me…. what should be added to this list? What great things don’t I know I need yet?