1. The Oura Ring - $299 - $999
Move over Fitbit! The Oura ring is the most advanced and accurate sleep and fitness tracking device available and it's a lot more attractive than a chunky plastic bracelet. This amazing little ring tracks your sleep, heart rate and heart rate variability, and body temperature and it's water resistant to 100 meters. You can even put your ring on airplane mode to avoid additional EMF exposure while sleeping. The only downside is that the Oura Ring is available for pre-order only and will ship in April of 2018.
2. The Kari Gran System - $140
You have most likely heard me rave about Kari's products before, but honestly I just love her products and they make fabulous gifts! Her Mini Kit ($48) is also a great choice for anyone on-the-go. I keep one in my gym bag and in my toiletry kit for traveling.
Did someone say gluten-free licorice?! Licorice is a very polarizing flavor but those of who love it REALLY love it and it's nearly impossible to find high quality licorice that's actually gluten-free. I discovered this brand when I was in Stuttgart, Germany last year and I was instantly devoted, so I couldn't resist including this sweet treat in my gift guide. All the Lakrids products are incredibly delicious and so beautifully packaged that you almost don't want to open them up. Almost. And if you're worried about the shipping from Europe, it's very reasonable (free over €70), and surprisingly fast.
Beauty Heroes delivers carefully curated beauty products, one Hero product at a time. Shop their curated online Beauty Store or join their monthly discovery service and receive one full-size, healthy and high-performance Hero Product, plus deluxe Sidekicks, from clean beauty brands you love.
Have a love/hate relationship with the foam roller? Work out those kinks with this high-tech massage ball. Compared to other SMR/ massage balls, the Hypersphere helps to pinpoint and release trigger points faster, deeper, and less painfully using high-intensity vibration. This col fitness gadget is portable and only 5” in diameter, which helps to release tension in targeted areas better than any roller.
A potent compilation of herbs known to support skin detox + health, radiance, glow and overall anti-aging goodness. Botanicals known to support anti-aging share anti-oxidant and phytonutrient chemistry, basically bringing loads of oxygen to every corner of your body. These herbs taken daily will fully support you in achieving a natural beauty glow.
7. Instant Pot - $79.95 - $149.95
These babies do it all. Well maybe they can't do the washing and chopping for you, but the rest is covered. Instant Pot multi-cookers combine 7 kitchen appliances in 1 - Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer, preparing dishes up to 70% faster. The insert is made of food grade stainless steel with no chemical coating so you don't have to worry about toxic crud leaching into your food.
8. Meal Delivery from The Custom Plate - $18 - $1,299
Give that busy person in your life (maybe that's you?) the gift of healthy food AND more free time. For anyone who struggles to find the time to cook, meal delivery can be a Godsend. This Mercer Island based family company makes delicious, clean food using quality ingredients and since they are small, they're able to customize the dishes according to any food restrictions or special dietary needs. Best of all, Tamara's food is delicious and made with love.
9. Svensk Skogspromenad No. 5 Candle - $38
I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Sally Honeycutt who owns the fabulous little boutique Anders at a holiday get together, and she has curated some of the most wonderful things for her shop. Among them are these gorgeous candles made with pure essential oils, no nasty synthetic or toxic ingredients! This heavenly sandalwood & bergamot scented one is perfect for the holidays and it's on my personal wish list this year.
10. Flying Bird Botanicals Teas - $9.75-$34
This local Pacific Northwest company makes their products with only organically farmed and ethically wildcrafted herbs. Any ingredients they source overseas come from fair trade certified farms and small gardens growing their tea plants with care, using heirloom traditions passed down through generations. These teas are as yummy as they are ethical!
When I ask my clients, “What are three things you feel that you should be doing for your health that you're not doing right now?”, the first answer is almost always, “Eat healthier." Number two is typically, “Exercise more consistently”. That’s usually followed by, "Go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier."
What do all of these answers have in common? They require a little planning! As we all have experienced, important goals like these don’t just happen. Our days often get busy and we stay up late doing “just one more thing.” Then we’re so tired in the morning that we hit the snooze button, until we’re behind in our day before it even gets started! And if we’re already rushing in the morning, we don’t have the time for our best intentions. Instead, we skip our workout, hit the drive through, and stay up late – again. The good news is, some simple routines and rituals can end this chaotic cycle!
A few ways that rituals and routines can help you include:
1. Sleep better, deeper, longer. Studies show that the majority of adults function best with seven to eight hours of sleep. Getting enough quality sleep improves your mental clarity, your energy level, your mood balance, and your physical performance. Still, 40 percent of Americans get less than seven hours. How can you improve your sleep? Step one: bring back the bedtime!
Pick a consistent time for going to bed and waking – and stick to it. A sleep schedule will help you optimize your natural circadian rhythm. According to Northwestern Medicine, sticking to a consistent waking time may be the most important element to your body’s natural rhythm and feeling your best. You can do this! Go to bed five minutes earlier each night, until you hit your bedtime goal. Next, set the alarm clock five minutes early each day, until you hit your optimum wake time, getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep.
A bedtime ritual is important, too. Key suggestions include: closing the kitchen so you stop eating and drinking two to three hours before bedtime; turning off electronics 1-2 hours before bedtime (that’s right – break the binge-watching habit and stop texting in bed!); and taking time to relax, such as soaking in an Epsom salt bath, reading a real book, meditating, or simply talking with a loved one. One of my favorite sleep-prep meditations is from the Headspace app – check it out, it’s free! Do you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep? Let’s talk! I can help you make a few small changes that can make a big difference!
2. Manage stress. We all know that stressful feeling of running late for school, an exercise class, an appointment, or a meeting – our blood pressure soars, our anxiety rises and our tempers flare. Too much stress can lead to a greater risk of chronic high blood pressure, heart disease, and stored belly fat due to the over-production of cortisol. How can routines and rituals help? With just a little preparation and planning and identifying where you get stuck!
If you are following step one above, you’ve already given yourself some extra time in the morning. Good job! To ensure healthy eating throughout the day, start with a healthy breakfast routine. I like to recommend drinking warm water with lemon each morning. It serves as a natural detoxifier and help you rehydrate upon waking.
As part of your night time ritual, you can prepare your lemon juice ahead of time. Simply squeeze fresh lemon into an ice tray like this one. In the morning, just pop the frozen lemon juice into a glass of warm water.
Plan-ahead healthy breakfasts such as chia pudding, low-sugar smoothies or pre-prepped omelettes can help you jump-start your day! Making time for a high protein breakfast gives your body the energy it needs to sustain you until lunch. It helps reduce the chances that you’ll be “hangry” by mid-morning and tempted by fast food or the vending machine later in the day. Check out my recipes section for great breakfast ideas.
3. Routines can also help you get and stay organized, and being organized leads to more time in your day. (You’re not wasting time searching for your keys, your phone, your files, etc.) Use the extra time to achieve your goal of getting to that workout or yoga class – another great stress-reducer.
Experts say that one of the best ways to stick to your daily exercise is to write it on your calendar and block that time like you would a business meeting, your child’s recital or game, or your dentist appointment. So book a date with a friend to go for a walk, run, or attend a yoga class together.
Many people book their exercise classes online with studios or gyms that require you to show up to avoid a cancellation fee. Find what works for you and protect that time to prioritize your fitness!
As you tweak your routines or create new ones this Fall, I’d love for you to make a little extra time for you. Even 30 minutes to do something each day that makes you feel happy, healthy, and connected to others will give you a healthy boost. Giving yourself breathing room helps ensure that you have time for the things you want to do.
Now it’s your turn: What are your three things that you'd like to be doing each day or each week? What changes in your routine would help you make those things happen? If you could achieve those three things, how would it change your life? Close your eyes and picture the new you! On a scale of 1 to10, how important are these changes to you?
Want to learn more about creating a healthier life? Schedule a free 50-minute Coffee Talk with me!
March is National Women's History Month and I am so lucky to work in a field where women are leading the charge! There are so many amazing women at the forefront of the nutrition and natural medicine world so this month I want to honor a few of them who have influenced and inspired me and who are sharing their passion and talent to make the world a better place.
I met Brooke when she was in medical school and working as a personal trainer. She helped me discover my love for fitness and nutrition and is one of the people who inspired me to go back to school. She is a wonderful friend, a devoted mom and a brilliant doctor whose heart is as beautiful as she is. You can find her practicing Naturopathic Medicine at the ProClub in Bellevue, WA.
This woman is the epitome of brilliant but she's also compassionate, humble, intuitive and beautiful, inside and out. I have the honor of working with Nicki at Sophia Health Institute where I see her transforming the lives of people who have struggled with chronic illness for decades. She has a true "whole person" approach and she has taught me SO SO much about nutrition. She inspires me to continue learning and growing so I can help people reclaim their health by using food as medicine.
Flo Fleming, LMP, LE
I know it's cliche to feature my mom, but honestly, she is one incredible woman! My mom raised me as a single parent and her life was challenging to say the least. But she busted her butt to give me the best life and guidance possible, and I wasn't the only kid she raised either. I've had several friends both in childhood and as an adult who did not have a strong female presence in their lives, including my two half sisters, who she embraced as her own and supported emotionally and spiritually in any way she could. As a licensed massage therapist and esthetician she introduced me to the world of natural health and encouraged me to pursue my passions. She is a true woman of God whose love and generosity is apparent to everyone who knows her and I am incredibly blessed to have a mother who I adore, both as a parent and as a friend.
Cassandra Sternthall, MFT
Cassie is a Marriage and Family Therapist, EMDR practitioner, a mom, a grandma, a standup paddler and an all-around wonderful person. She has been an influence in my life since I was about 14 when I originally went to see her as a therapist. She guided and supported me through some tough times and has remained a close friend through my adult life, always encouraging me to be my best self. Sometimes in life we are blessed to meet people who become our "chosen family" and she is definitely one of those people.
Ellen may not be in the natural health field but she is a wellness enthusiast and one of my favorite human beings on earth. Ellen is definitely one of my "chosen family" and her wisdom, compassion and creativity know no bounds. She is one of those people who lights up a room with her infectious laugh and witty humor. She's one of those people you just want to be around all the time, and she always inspires me to try new things and challenge myself in new ways. Her support and encouragement has helped me push to pursue my dreams, both personal and professional and I am so incredibly lucky to have her in my life.
Teachers and Icons
I also want to give a shout out to the women below who although I don't know them personally, have been influential in my personal and professional development. Their grace and wisdom are a constant source of encouragement and they inspire me to strive for excellence, be my best self and help others to do the same.
- Chalene Johnson - My Fitness and Mindset Guru
- Andrea Nakayama - Clinical Nutritionist and Educator Extraordinaire
- Dr. Sarah Gottfried - Harvard Trained Hormone Expert and Empowerer of Women
- Geneen Roth - Helping Women Create Healthy Relationships with Food and Their Bodies
- Gabrielle Reece - Athlete, Amazon, and All-Around Badass
- Dr. Terry Wahls - MS Conqueror, Nutrition Crusader
- Dr. Amy Myers - Gut Health Expert and Functional Medicine Diva
I encourage you to reach out to the women who have shaped, inspired and supported you to let them know how much they mean to you. We often wait too long to express our gratitude to those who enrich our lives the most, and those people are usually the ones who give more than they get back and may not know how important they have been to us. Women do indeed hold up the sky and we need to hold one another up as well.