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Instead of gifting stuff that will end up at a garage sale in a few years, why not give useful presents that contribute to good health and well being this year? I put together a list of my favorite healthy items for holiday gifting.

essential oils make great gifts.


1. ChocoVivo chocolates. I am a chocolate connoisseur, and ChocoVivo is one of my faves. Handcrafted in small batches with no additives (no soy lecithin or refined ingredients, just pure roasted and fermented cacao nibs); only lightly sweetened with unrefined cane sugar, OR you can get 100% cacao bars and blends that contains no sugar. The blended bars are awesome. My favorites are Almond-Sea Salt and the Shangri-La that has goji berries and black sesame. They also sell chocolate powders, chocolate butters, and gift sets. Chocolate is a superfood!

2. Le Creuset cookware. It’s not cheap, but it lasts and doesn’t emit toxins or leach chemicals into your food. I like their cast iron and enamel cook and bakeware. Better quality cookware = evenly distributed heat = better end product.

3. Books! Practical Paleo, by my friend & colleague Diane Sanfilippo (made the NYT best seller list!). Part recipe book and part health manual, this book is full of awesome education and easy but delightful recipes. I also love Martha Stewart’s Cooking School for elegant, simple foods (not all gluten/dairy free though, so you’ll have to be savvy about how to make the adjustments). I learned how to perfect my pork tenderloin with her step-by-step instructions and awesome photos. Also check out Bones for nutrient-rich meat on the bone + bone marrow recipes.

4. Benedetta skincare is an amazing biodynamic and small-farm produced (near me, up in Petaluma) skincare line. I especially like her “precious and nourishing” oils for face. The Neroli works great for my dry skin. I also love Isis Essentials products for face and body.


5. Give the gift of Real Food! Give a US Wellness Meats gift cert, or have Real Bone Broth delivered to those who need immune or digestive support.

6. Wusthof knives are my favorites. Every chef (or anyone who cooks, for that matter) needs at least go-to top quality knife (or a set), and these are it.

7. VitaMix. Again, not inexpensive, but any foodie would kill for a VitaMix. Makes soups, juice, smoothies, coconut milk ice cream, grinds flour (hello, freshly ground almond flour!). Definitely worth the investment.

8. St. Helena olive oil is my very favorite: rich and grassy. If you’re near the Napa area, stop in for a tasting and you’ll be a convert. Their soaps and vinegars are great too, and they sell gift baskets.

9. Essential oils and aromatherapy gifts from Mountain Rose Herbs, one of my favorite companies. You can get top quality medicinal herbs, teas, and body care products. Essential oils are perfect to add to bath, for aromatherapy/massage/relaxation, or for those who make their own body care products. If you want to get super fancy, make your own sugar scrub (basically brown sugar in jojoba or almond oil) and add a few drops of essential oils for scent. Put in a fancy jar with a ribbon for a DIY gift.

10. If you love candles as much as I do, try Pacifica candles. Vegetable based wax (one situation where soy can be put to good use!), phthalate free scents and lead free wicks. The fragrances are divine, each and every one.

Happy Holidays!