It’s that time of year again – presents, stockings, sugar and spice! It’s also the time that we start making New Years resolutions. Why not combine the two?
This year I’ve decided that in lieu (or maybe in addition) to the random gift requests of bourbon, winter coats and a Go-Pro I’d add in some healthy alternatives. Below is a list of my favorite healthy must haves. If someone in your life has a resolution to get healthier in 2018 maybe add something below to their stocking – or put them on your own list!
#1 – Vitamix
Anyone that’s heard me lecture or has attended one of our workshops knows how much I love the Vitamix! It’s a must have kitchen gadget because it replaces so many other tools. A blender, food processor, baby food maker, the list goes on! I use it every morning to make my protein shake and every evening to make baby food. I use it at least weekly to make recipes for lunch or dinner including fresh soups, egg “cups” and healthy salad dressings. I use it monthly to make fresh nut butters and even salsa!
I could go on and on but honestly they sell themselves. If you’re local to Chicago register for one of our upcoming Vitamix workshops.
#2 – Native Deodorant
This is Dr. Jade’s number one so of course it’s my number two. (The perks of being the older sibling!) If you’re looking for a natural alternative to traditional deodorant – look no further. They pride themselves on the following: Made in the USA – They never test on animals, except humans. Aluminum Free – Native Deodorant fights odors and wetness, and is made without aluminium. Native Deodorant is made with ingredients you can pronounce, and is paraben-free. And how do you beat free shipping and returns? Trying it is practically risk free!
Direct from Dr. Jade: “Over the years I have tried almost every natural deodorant out there and was yet to find one that worked. I stumbled upon Native and thought it would be like all the others. What I got was a cute package, with an inspirational quote and a deodorant that smelled great and worked all day regardless of having a hard workout or day with patients. My favorite scents so far are coconut & vanilla as well as lavender & rose. “
If you’re not familiar with this makeup and skincare line you’re missing out. They put together a Never List™ – The Never List™ is made up of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals that we never use as ingredients in our products. This includes the over 1,400 chemicals banned or restricted in personal care products by the European Union, plus additional chemicals screened by Beautycounter and found to be of concern.
Your skin is the largest organ in the body and since it’s porous it absorbs whatever you put on it. According to the Huffington Post “The average woman puts 515 synthetic chemicals on her body every single day without even knowing. And 60 percent of what we put onto our skin is absorbed into our bodies”. My resolution this year is to eliminate some of those chemicals to I’ve switched my makeup routine to BeautyCounter and I’m loving it.
#4 Thrive Market Membership
Who would have thought that we’d go from growing our own organic produce to sitting down at our electronic device to order it and have products shipped to our house? I have to confess I’m a relatively new member but I think they’re onto something here. I promised to bring dessert to Thanksgiving – I decided on a gluten free, dairy free cheesecake. A few of the supplies I needed were not found at my local Whole Foods so I stumbled upon Thrive Market. Thrive Market is a membership community that uses the power of direct buying to deliver the world’s best healthy food and natural products to our members at wholesale prices, and to sponsor free memberships for low-income American families.They have a small annual membership fee but their goal is for you to save 25-50% on your products compared to a traditional retailer. They offer free shipping on orders over $49 and you can find some great natural, raw, vegan products. You can even find beauty products and items for pets!
#5. A Vegetable Spiralizer
I have to confess – I do not currently own one of these but it is at the top of my Christmas List. Being Italian it might be innate but sometimes I have a craving for pasta. I’ve tried gluten free varieties but I don’t want to replace the gluten with random chemicals so I’m going the more natural route – if I can fake my brain into it! I’m a big fan of spaghetti squash with marinara so I thought I’d expand my vegetable spaghetti options.
According to the website The Spruce, “The Best Overall Spiralizer of 2017” is The Paderno World Cuisine Spiralizer Pro, but it appears to me to have quite a few parts and a large storage container. The Spruce also ranked The KitchenAid Spiralizer up there in the top so I might stick with that since I already have the kitchenaid it will be easy to add a few attachments to my pantry. If you’re not ambitious enough right now to jump into this at home run to your local market – I’ve seen a few carrying already spiralized vegetables from beets to carrots to zucchini. Mix up your meals a little and feed your gut some healthy fiber and a dose of healthy instruction for your cells.
#6. Think Dirty, Water App, and Insight Timer
So a few things we recommend to all patients is to be aware of their toxic burden, take time to meditate or be grateful as well as drink copious amounts of water. The above FREE apps will help you do just that! The Think Dirty® app is the easiest way to learn about the potentially toxic ingredients in your cosmetics and personal care products. Just scan the product barcode and Think Dirty will give you easy-to-understand info on the product, its ingredients, and shop cleaner options. The Water Drink Reminder app is the easiest way to track exactly how much you’re drinking as well as a mini reminder to drink (or record your intake) of water. It was voted the best of 2016 App, Top Trending App and Best Self-Improvement App selected by Google Play. Obviously we have great taste!! And the best part – the reminder sound is like a little gurgling faucet (you’ll have to download to enjoy!). Finally the insight timer. I am by no means a master of meditation but I’m trying to learn. I’ve installed the Insight Timer on my phone and appreciate the ease of use. Upon signing in the screen shows how many other people are meditating “right now” – am I the only one that pictures Deepak and Oprah in the classic meditation pose when they see this?
#7. Salutogenic Life Bergamot
As of September 2017 the Number Two Prescribed Drug in the U.S. was Atorvastatin (Lipitor). It is a statin drug used to treat high cholesterol. Prior to its release as a generic atorvastatin in 2011, it was considered the top drug by sales for most of the previous decade. Meaning if you the reader on not on it – I guarantee you know someone that is. Statins are not without some serious side effects – they decrease hormones (20% decrease in testosterone). They affect mood, how the brain processes information as well as cause polyneuropathy (weakness, numbness, burning pain in roughly the same areas on both sides of the body). Studies have shown an 86% increase in diabetes with statin use. So are you looking to improve your cholesterol without a drug and these scary side effects? Have you looked into Bergamot? Salutogenic Life has an amazing Bergamot product that helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels as well as provides antioxidant and inflammatory balancing properties to help preserve coronary arteries.
As always speak with your functional medicine physician before starting any supplements and DO NOT stop any prescription drugs unless under the supervision of your physician.
#8. Konjac Sponge
Originally designed for baby’s skin the konjac sponge is what you should be using to achieve and maintain beautiful skin – both face and body. They are proud to carry the Leaping Bunny and Vegan Society symbols as signs of our commitment to producing natural, cruelty free skin care. All the sponges are tested for authenticity and purity, “We created the original Konjac Sponges with pure Konjac fibre and nourishing mineral-rich extracts. Deeply cleanse, exfoliate and refine your skin for a radiant complexion. Gentle enough for sensitive skin and babies, our velvety Konjac Sponges are the ultimate tool in natural, effective skincare.”
I haven’t tried this one but came across it while researching healthy alternatives to current loofa’s and sponges. It aligned with my goals to decrease the toxic load I experience daily so it looks perfect for my list.
9. Fitness Tracker
We’ve all heard the saying, “what gets measured-gets done”. Or does it? Some of us like the simple accountability of a device on our wrist and others need the specific steps and miles we’ve completed. Either way finding a fitness tracker that works for your lifestyle. After some extensive research (my facebook friends!) we’re at a stalemate for the best fitness tracker. Some like the fitbit, others the garmin. The important thing to note is does it make you change your behavior? Are you parking a little further away from the door? Are you taking the stairs instead of the elevator? Are you competitive with your friends and sharing your results? If the answer is yes then it’s doing its job.
#10. Gym Membership
Since we have readers from all over the country I didn’t want to pigeon hole this one but you get the idea. Join a gym! We have a family membership and workout individually as well as spend our weekends at our local facility. Since I recently registered for the Chicago Marathon I will be spending much more time there! Find a friend and sign up together-accountability is key. It doesn’t have to be a full fledged gym, buy a few classes to Soul Cycle or Core Power Yoga (my two personal favorites). Attend a few free classes around town and find out what you like – yoga, spin, weights, HIIT, or pilates to name a few. Commit to a race – maybe a local 5k for a charity you support. I’m running the marathon for the Chicago Chapter of the ALS association. I remember my first race – I ran to support a girlfriend that had quit smoking. We walked more than we ran but we finished together and it lit a fire in me to enjoy the sport. Prior to that I always said I would run unless I was being chased by a bear or running after Bradley Cooper. I guess I changed my tune. Beyond just joining make sure you schedule time to use your membership. I add my workouts to my google calendar and prioritize them. If you need suggestions please reach out to us – we’re happy to connect you with some amazing facilities we trust and would recommend.
I hope the above suggestions inspired you to get out and be healthy. Change one thing each day to improve your health. Park further away from the door, carry your groceries instead of pushing a cart, write down 3 things each night that you’re grateful for, add in one different or unique vegetable each day. Life is about creating new sustainable habits – make sure they’re good ones! If you enjoyed our list please share it with someone you love – if not please send us your suggestions for our next shopping guide! Happy Holidays!