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I'd love any of the gifts I'm about talk about for myself. In fact, I already have some of them. That's why they made my list. Some of these items were on the actual wish list I gave my family, some are items I recently saw after handing my list over, and some are things I already own and love. These are items that excite and inspire me as a lover of fitness, food, and creativity. So without further ado, here are 10 gift suggestions for the upcoming holiday season.
1.) For your friend who's learning to love herself after years of body hatred:
BODYpeace: Release Shame and Discover Body Freedom by Kasey Arena & Heather Waxman
This looks so awesome to me. It's a 30-day journal filled with personal stories, meditations and exercises to help you transform the way you think about your body. Kasey Arena is the author of a super motivating blog called Powercakes.
2.) For the runner with cold hands in your life:
Power Stretch Mittens
I instructed family members to be on the lookout for running gloves that would work well with my Raynaud's Syndrome (the silly little syndrome I have that turns my fingers white and numb whenever they get too cold). On her blog Ask Lauren Fleshman, the professional runner recommends these mittens that combine warmth, breathability, softness and durability. They are touch screen-compatible, making them the ideal pair to wear on a run when you know you'll be tinkering with your phone or another device. If a pro runner is telling me these are "the perfect mittens for -30 degrees" I'm going to take her word for it.
3.) Speaking of Raynaud's, here's another cold-weather gift that keeps on giving:
Overnighter Warmer Kit
I know, I know: I talk about Raynaud's a lot. That's because it's a super annoying part of my life that I'm reminded of every time I go for a cold run (which means that lately, I'm reminded of it nearly every day). These little kits include body warmers, hand warmers and toe warmers to help combat some of the not-so-fun symptoms (and would work equally well for someone who doesn't have Raynaud's but wants to warm up during these cold winter months).
4.) For your sister who loves healthy cooking:
Paderno Spiralizer 4-Blade
I received this for Christmas last year and I love it so much, I'd recommend it to anyone. You can turn any vegetable into a noodle. Zucchini noodles. Squash noodles. Beet noodles. Or you can make apple or potato chips — the possibilities are endless. Incorporating a spiralizer makes your meals healthier and more fun.
5.) For your cousin who's into DIY everything:
Homemade Beauty by Annie Strole
This one made my list because the more interested I've become in clean eating, the more interested I am in cleaning up other areas of my life, too. It's a little scary when you realize how many chemicals are in conventional makeup and cleaning products, so next year I'm making it a mission to start making my own, cleaner versions of these products. On the homemade beauty front, this book looks like a great place to start. Annie Strole writes for the blog Lovelyish.
6.) For the fit friend who could use a little reward:
Luv Fit Jewelry Necklace, Key Chain, Earrings or Charm Bracelet
I customized a keychain for myself earlier this year and next I have my eye on a charm bracelet. The Luv Fit Jewelry site has all kinds of cute, fun, motivational, food and fitness-inspired jewelry. Think little dumbbells, donuts, and charms with inspiring messages like "I Am Doing This For Me" and "Never Never Give Up."
7.) For your runner friend who needs a little extra morning motivation:
Good Morning Sunshine, Now Go Run Pillow
I think this one's pretty cute. It's a functional pillow with a fun design and a message to inspire you to get out there and get it. Seeing this pillow first thing in the morning would be a fun way to start the day. Gone For a Run has lots of other fun gift ideas for runners, too.
8.) For your favorite vegetarian:
The Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson
This was one of my favorite wedding presents. It is one of the most gorgeous cookbooks I've ever seen, the recipes are super simple to make, and everything is vegetarian, healthy (with a few more decadent dishes thrown in), and delicious. I've only had this book for a few months and I've already made so many recipes from it.
9.) If your friend already loves The Forest Feast, she might also love this:
The Forest Feast Paper Placemats
Is it too late to include this one on my personal wish list for this year?! These placemats are so cute and as someone who takes a lot of food pictures, they'd offer a really fun way to mix things up. Food, flowers, watercolors, vintage tableware: what's not to love?
10.) For your creative friend (and yes, anyone who's alive is creative):
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
This was far and away my favorite book I read this year (and this wasn't a skimpy reading year). It's a book about managing fears, letting go of the idea that we need permission to be creative, learning to get out of our own way and being open to creative ideas as the universe presents them to us. Read this book and you'll feel inspired to live a more open, more creative, more productive, kinder, better life.