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A list of healthy holiday gift ideas

Hey it’s Mireille here with a little collaborative project for the holidays! No matter where you are on your health journey, learning about new trends, gadgets or habits that can help you to take your health to the next level, is always fascinating. Over the last year I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing several experienced health coaches and functional medicine practitioners on how they reversed their chronic illness symptoms. For this festive season I decided to ask some of the most popular interviewees about health “items” that they just can’t live without. I hope that these will give you some ideas of what you can put on your wish lists – even if you think you already have everything you need! I also quizzed them if they had anything on their wish lists and the results are interesting!

Sue Ingebretson – Fibromyalgia coach

Weighted lap blanket – using something called Deep Pressure Touch therapy, these blankets can help you feel calm and focused. Especially useful for people with sensory processing disorder or diagnoses on the autism spectrum. https://harkla.co/blogs/special-needs/weighted-lap-pads-benefits.

Epsom salts – this source of magnesium salts is used by many practitioners to relax muscles, detoxify or ensure a good sleep. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/7-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-epsom-salt/

Wish list: ergonomic chair and OURA ring, https://ouraring.com/

Elizabeth Wright Cassano – Wellness coach specializing in Applied Functional Medicine

Infrared sauna – these are becoming a real trend in the FM space. The benefits include detoxification, pain relief and improved cardiovascular health. There are different offerings ranging from near- to mid- to far-infrared and of course a range of budgets. https://www.sunlighten.com/infrared-sauna-health-benefits/

Berkey filter – these don’t just filter water, but also purify it by removing viruses and bacteria. https://www.berkeyfilters.com/

Wish list – Sunlighten’s lumiNIR https://www.sunlighten.com/shop/luminir/luminir-wand/

Anouk Dominguez – Functional Diagnostic coach

Blue light blocking glasses – by now most people know how blue light from screens mess with our circadian rhythm, so any help we can get with getting a good night’s sleep is paramount. I bought my pair at Klim https://klimtechs.com/shop/gaming-glasses/klim-optics/  – great fitting and robust pair. Anouk has hers from https://www.blublox.com/

Instant pot – I’ve heard more and more about the instant pots and I thought they were just another slow cooker – BUT they are actually a steamer, rice cooker, pressure cooker, sauté pan AND slow cooker all in one! https://instantpot.com/

Wish list – OURA ring, infrared sauna

Bastian Hölscher – Functional medicine doctor

Bulletproof coffee – made famous by biohacker Dave Asprey, this coffee is made by adding MCT oil to your coffee. Bastian says “I feel awake and not hungry for hours”. Read all about it here https://www.bulletproof.com/recipes/bulletproof-diet-recipes/bulletproof-coffee-recipe/

Cold showers – iceman Wim Hof is notorious for spouting the benefits of ice baths. Cold showers are the next best thing and the benefits include improved metabolic rate and a healthier immune system. https://www.wimhofmethod.com/benefits-of-cold-showers. In functional medicine we speak of vagus nerve stimulation to bring a person back into parasympthetic (rest & digest) mode. Cold showers are great for this.

Wish list – OURA ring

Anindita Rungta – Functional medicine health coach

Journal – this is a very grounding practice that helps connect us to our inner values, process thoughts, and boost creativity to name a few. Search Amazon for a variety of beautiful journals.

Incense sticks – Anindita says, “the ones I choose are made of organic and natural ingredients like dried flower, plant resins with essential oils. I typically light them at the beginning and end of the day, if I need to destress or ground myself and during meditation. The fragrance just like from essential oils are really amazing for moving us from a sympathetic to a parasympathetic mode.”

Wish list – being able to travel the world again

Matt Dippl – Biohacker, Functional Medicine Early Adopter,

Hashimoto’s Patient Advocate

MCT Oil coffee – Matt has taken the recipe from his mate, Dr Bastian Hölscher, and claims it is better than Bulletproof coffee!

Vitamin D3 – Matt said “I had such winter blues the last 2 weeks, but once I upped my Vitamin D, I got a spring back in my step!” Vitamin D is critical for a healthy gut and immune system, is a key factor in calcium absorption and cannot be absorbed from the sun during winter above or below 35° latitude. Supplementation is key during these months. Here is a great chart https://www.grassrootshealth.net/document/sunshine-calendar/. People with autoimmune conditions should be particularly aware of keeping their Vitamin D levels optimal.

Wish list: less competition and more collaboration!

Joanne Pappas Nottage – Functional medicine health coach

Insighttimer app – a wonderful free app that includes thousands of guided meditations, music for meditation and sleep, and yoga lessons.

Audible.com – this needs no introduction as most of us enjoy “reading” on the go. Some great book suggestions this year include:

Healthy Deviant (how to live healthy in an unhealthy world), by Pilar Gerasimo
Why we Sleep, by Matthew Walker
When Things Fall apart by Pema Chodron – particularly good reflection after a year like 2020
The End of Alzheimer’s Program by Dr Dale Bredesen for brain health

Wish list: OURA ring, infrared sauna

The most desired gifts

As you can see, OURA ring and infrared saunas seem to be popular choices and they are in fact also on my wish list! Many of the practitioners in my network already have both of these items. Seeing that there is quite a long lead time to order OURA rings and a good IR sauna requires a larger budget, I’m going with some healthy cookware this holiday season. I’m swapping out some older ceramic pans for https://www.debuyer.com/en/ as these stainless steel pans can be seasoned to be non-stick. I highly recommend doing a stock take of your cookware to ensure you’re not getting unnecessary toxic load from non-stick cooking surfaces.

In closing, the item I absolutely cannot live without is my trusty 6 year old Vitamix blender! I have the TNC5200, which is now outdated, but it’s worth every penny I spent on it even though it’s coming up on it’s 7 year guarantee. I use it daily for smoothies, nut butters or nut milks, but it can even cook soups and grind nuts or grains into flours.

Happy holiday shopping!

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