Looking for some special gift ideas to make you a hero during the holidays? The Livestrong team made a list of on-trend products we are loving this winter.
Bandolier Phone Case
If you have a busy gal-on-the-go on your holiday list who needs a stylish way to carry her iPhone in all sorts of situations, get her a Bandolier crossbody. It truly is life-changing! Bandolier has options to fit iPhones 5, 6, 6+, 7, 7+, 8, 8+ and the brand-new iPhone X, along with essentials like credit cards, driver’s license and more. This one pictured above is the Sarah Silver ($98). We love that Bandolier offers a wide variety of styles — everything from metal studs and chains and star prints to leather and vegan faux-leather options. This black Bandolier crossbody looks cool at the office, while walking the dogs, at a music festival or with a dress at a glam holiday party.
Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket
The Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket ($99) heats up quickly and can be compressed down to an even smaller size with the stuff sack. This blanket is very light yet durable. “I’ve used it at the beach, in our backyard, on the couch, as an added blanket on the bed and even at a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. I will take this thing everywhere,” says LIVESTRONG’s QA engineer Rick Cosme.
Our Four Favorite Athleta Outfits
Workout clothing you can wear to work and to brunch (aka athleisure) is a revolution in women’s wardrobes that is beyond a trend. It’s essential to have a wardrobe with activewear — such as yoga pants and hoodie sweatshirts — that you can wear to work and to the gym. The LIVESTRONG team found four Athleta outfits that are versatile and incredibly chic!
Athleta Outfit 1:
The Wind Sprint Jacket ($198) is the perfect lightweight puffer. It’s sleek and easy to pack; LIVESTRONG retention marketing specialist Candace Kim says she’ll be traveling with it all winter long. She loves the water-repellent outer shell and hood that can be hidden inside the collar, which makes it as functional as it is fashionable. Pair it with Athleta’s Stash Pocket Salutation Tight ($89) in black. Made from the company’s signature Powervita fabric, Kim loves the fit and the fact that it has pockets. “There aren’t a lot of yoga tights out there with pockets,” says Kim. “Plus, these pockets lay perfectly flat when not in use and provide just the right amount of storage when going to and from workouts.”
Athleta Outfit 2 (see photo in the slideshow above):
This luxe cowl-neck Cashmere Sweater ($218) is so soft, and it’s perfect for after a workout or staying warm in a chilly office. “I love throwing this on after the gym, making the transition from Spin class to brunch that much quicker,” says LIVESTRONG’s customer support specialist Kali Acerra. She paired the sweater with Athleta’s High Rise Serpent Chaturanga Tights ($79) in silver bells, a soft, muted purple-gray color.
Athleta Outfit 3 (see photo in the slideshow above):
The wool-blend jacquard and super-soft French terry Pacific Sweatshirt ($98) is incredibly soft. “On the days when I feel like I need a big hug, I just pull on this cool and comfy sweatshirt,” LIVESTRONG retention marketing manager Queenie Kung says. Kung paired her top with the Distortion Salutation Tight ($89) in a flattering print.
Athleta Outfit 4 (see photo in the slideshow above):
Have a minimalist friend who wants to spice up things just a notch? The Modblock Salutation Tights ($89) in grey heather are a perfect choice. LIVESTRONG editorial intern Ada Ciuca topped them off with the Coaster Crop Hoodie ($79) in marl grey heather. “From work to workouts to sleep to travel, I want to do it all in this outfit!” Ciuca says.
Motiv Ring Fitness Tracker
For anyone who prefers their wearable technology wrapped around their finger (in rose gold or slate gray), the Motiv Ring fitness tracker ($199) is the perfect gift. This comfortable, unobtrusive ring tracks your activity and sleeping patterns. And it’s waterproof, so you can wear it all the time: Now you can even count those minutes spent showering and washing dishes! “It’s so convenient, and it has a very user-friendly app interface on iPhone,” editorial intern Ada Ciuca said. “And the ring is so discreet. I never worry about it clashing with my outfits, which is a huge plus in my book!”
PackIt Freezable Lunch Bags
If you have someone on your holiday list who brings their lunch to work, the PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag ($19.99 to $24.99) is a game-changing gift. I bring mine to the office every single day with yogurt and a sandwich or a burrito, and the food stays cold for hours. Plus, the colorful designs are so cute and stylish!
Himalayan Salt Lamp
Himalayan salt lamps (prices vary based on size) are made of natural salt crystals from the Himalayas. Salt crystals are said to emit negative ions that combat air pollution, including smoke, dander, pollen and odors. People with asthma and allergies have experienced benefits with these lamps. These salt crystals are also known to counteract the frequencies emitted from home electronics, such as televisions, microwaves and computers. The Himalayan salt lamp makes a wonderful gift for anyone with pets, and its amber glow adds beauty to functionality.
Sudara Ela Robe and Dhana Full Punjammies Pants
Self-care is the new pastime for 2018, and your loved ones are going to need something to wear. Sudara makes the relaxed and airy Ela kimono-style robe ($79) ideal for couch lounging on movie nights or staying focused during meditation. “This robe is so comfy (made of soft rayon), but I still feel put-together — almost like I actually got dressed,” says LIVESTRONG senior editor Michelle Vartan. Like everything from Sudara, the Punjammies ($59) are the ultimate feel-good gift. Yes, they feel delicious on, but all Sudara products also come with a helping of the warm fuzzies. Made by women in India who have escaped from human trafficking, these gifts complete a circle of empowerment.
BKR Lala Heart Water Bottle
Fuzzy socks and Christmas-themed PJs are fun and all, but if you’re looking for a highly Instagrammable stocking stuffer, look no further than BKR's Lala Heart Water Bottle ($40). This BPA- and phthalate-free glass bottle with the adorbs silver heart detail is perfect for the gym, car and every other everyday event life throws your way. “So this is what water should actually taste like,” editorial intern Ada Ciuca says. “The glass bottle really gives water the crispness it deserves, and it doesn’t hurt that the detailing is a magnet for compliments.”
Hip Fanny Packs
That’s one way to make a fanny pack cool: Call it an “urban clutch.” The ANDI Brand Winter Camo Urban Clutch ($68) is sleek and stylish and just the right size to fit a cellphone along with your necessities. “I’ll be honest, I was nervous about rocking a fanny pack, and I’ve definitely been asked about it by several concerned people. But if you have the confidence to don one of these bad boys, it might just change your life,” explains LIVESTRONG designer Eli Sabah. Fanny packs have had a strangely good year. They’ve somehow made their way into the fashion world and hip-hop culture — and we’re not discounting their ability to be the next big trend in the fitness world. Their utility is undeniable, and if you have the mettle to wear one in public, you might not ever want to go back. Check out Herschel Hip Packs (prices vary) and the Converse Utility Fast Pack ($50).
If you know someone who is looking for a heart-rate monitor without a chest strap to track their calories burned during running, cycling and other workouts, the Fitbit Ionic ($299.99) is the perfect gift. Its GPS records distance, pace, elevation, routes and splits during outdoor runs. It also records wrist-based heart rate — no need for a chest strap! The best feature is actually its sleep tracking. Wear it to bed and it not only tells you how many hours you slept, the Fitbit app will also show how much time was spent in deep sleep, REM sleep (dreaming) and light sleep.
C by GE Sol Lamp
GE's new Sol lamp ($149.99) is the world’s first lighting product integrated with Amazon Alexa. This enables you to use your voice to control the lighting, set timers, check the weather and more. The best part is that it has different lighting settings for night and day. When you set it to the evening setting it will help stimulate serotonin production, making it easier for you to fall asleep naturally. The morning setting will make it easier to feel alert.
Trekz Titanium Red Bone Conduction Headphones
These Trekz Titanium Red Bone Conduction Headphones ($129.95) are an incredibly comfortable new type of wireless headphones that sit behind your ears and conduct sound through your bones by touching the sides of your head. That means they don’t go inside or on top of your ears. And they sound great and are sweatproof and cool-looking too.
Cloud of Protection Spray and The Balm By Nieves
Want to protect someone you care about from bad vibes and illness anywhere they are? By Nieves Cloud of Protection Spray ($18 for four ounces) is a plant essence spray that promises to provide “defense against illness, bad vibes and stinkiness.” Made from antimicrobial ingredients including juniper needle, juniper berry and Himalayan cedar, I carry this spray everywhere! When traveling it works as a hand sanitizer. At home or office it clears the air of airborne pathogens and clears space on an energetic level. If you know someone who gets dry skin and hair during the winter, get them The Balm By Nieves ($40). Made with a coconut oil base and lavender, cedar and ylang ylang, The Balm is the most moisturizing product out there for hands, feet, legs and hair. Put it on your hands and feet before going to bed and you’ll wake up with the softest (chemical-free) skin.
In her latest SukiShufu collection, designer and ex-professional gymnast Caroline White coins the term “Night-Lete,” which she describes as “an athlete of the night, one who enjoys going out dancing as well as working out.” The collection includes two activewear firsts that we haven’t seen before: technical lace and technical velvet. Plus, we love that these quality products are all made in England. The Acid Love Lace Top in Yellow and Grey and Jog On Joggers in Houndstooth are both so comfy and cool. In the second outfit, LIVESTRONG’s retention marketing manager Queenie Kung paired the chic Suki Leatherback Long Leggings in shiny chrome with the Night-Lete Sweat Top. Just swap your sneakers for ankle boots or heels after a good workout, and you’re ready for a Friday night out!
Blogilates 2018 Rose Gold Fit Planner
There’s something about Blogilates' Rose Gold Fit Planner ($36) that turns tracking your daily meals, water intake, workouts, etc. into a journaling pleasure instead of a must-do chore. Cassey Ho, the Pilates queen behind Blogilates, has already inspired us with her daily workouts. Now she makes fitness tracking more fun and sparkly too. “I especially liked the motivational quotes and the room for reflection on questions like, ‘What’s holding me back?’ and ‘Who am I grateful for?’” says LIVESTRONG’s director of social media Lia Haberman.
lululemon Pullover and Wunder Under Hi-Rise Mesh Tight
Textured, teddy jackets are everywhere this season, and we’re loving this activewear take on the trend from lululemon. The Forever Warm Pullover ($128) features thick, cozy fleece to keep you warm no matter how fierce the weather. “Workout gear that can also be worn out in the real world is always a win in my book,” says LIVESTRONG retention marketing specialist Candace Kim. Everyone has that friend who seems to have more hours in the day, and lululemon’s Wunder Under Hi-Rise Tight ($118) with tech mesh is the perfect gift.
Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Bluetooth Wireless Children’s Headphones
When it comes to kid-friendly headphones, quality sound is usually prioritized below comfortable fit and decibel limitations to protect little ears. But the Puro Sound Labs wireless headset ($99.99) manages to balance all three — and features a sleek design to boot. “I feel less anxious knowing my daughter isn’t damaging her hearing,” says Kim Conte, senior editor at LIVESTRONG. “Plus, the sound is so great that sometimes I steal them from her when I need a Netflix binge.”
Goodio Organic Chocolate
The gift of Goodio Chocolate ($7.82) will make your friend who “appreciates the finer things in life” feel truly understood. Goodio uses organic, wild and primarily raw ingredients to make these subtly sweet, minimally processed chocolate bars. What’s more, each bar comes packaged in a thoughtfully designed biodegradable wrapper. “You open the chocolate bar like an envelope, so it already feels very intimate and personal,” says LIVESTRONG associate editor Hoku Krueger. And the flavor of these bars is nothing to scoff at, either. “With Goodio, you can really taste the natural ingredients: whether it’s the wild blueberries or the locally sourced sea buckthorn,” Krueger says. “It’s also very rich, so you feel satisfied after one or two pieces.”
Lorna Jane Vegan Leather Active Jacket and Black Leggings
Baby, it’s cold outside! But not to worry, the Lorna Jane Vegan Leather Active Jacket ($160) has you covered. This jacket features a soft, cozy lining on the inside and a biker-chic aesthetic on the outside. The biker jacket is a wardrobe staple listed as a must-have time and time again, so you really can’t go wrong with its silhouette. “I don’t generally identify as an outfit repeater, but I’ve definitely worn this jacket for two weeks straight by now — and will continue to do so into the colder months,” LIVESTRONG editorial intern Ada Ciuca says. With breathable mesh panels and thick, squatproof material, these black Lorna Jane leggings are perfect for leg day! What’s not to love about a versatile pair of leggings that makes you feel good and look good?
Society6 Tanks, Pillows and More
Make someone smile with fitspiration messages on a Society6 tank, pillow or coffee mug. This tank designed by Gracie Wilson says: “Will There Be Food and Can I Wear Yoga Pants?” ($22.99). Society6 is a great place to find a gift for someone with a quirky sense of style.
Studio Cue GOLDA HIBA Atmosphere Mist
This GOLDA HIBA room spray ($18 for two ounces) is made of distilled water and hiba essential oil, only found in 300-year-old Aomori hiba trees from Aomori, Japan. It has a citrusy, cider-like fragrance that is purifying, uplifting and stimulating.
Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket
Patagonia's Down Sweater Jacket ($229) is not only warm and cool-looking, but what we like best about it is that the down is certified as Patagonia Traceable Down, which is traced from parent farm to apparel factory to help ensure that the birds that supply it are protected by the strongest animal welfare standards. These include requirements in all areas of the birds’ lives and especially protects against force-feeding and live-plucking.
Adidas Baboa Sunglasses
These Adidas Baboa Sunglasses ($119) are great for the gal on your list who loves outdoor activities. With their flowing shape, the Baboas are specifically designed to comfortably fit women’s faces. And the polycarbonate lenses deliver clear vision in all types of weather.
Apple Watch Series 3
The Apple Watch 3 ($329) is a great holiday gift for anyone looking to keep track of their fitness. “It sends me reminders every hour to stand for one minute and tracks the amount of minutes I’ve been active each day as well as calories burned,” LIVESTRONG designer Gracie Wilson says. “I especially enjoy the workout portion of the watch, where you can choose the type of workout you are doing and the watch will start tracking the time, heart rate and calories burned.” The watch also features a sleep tracker with a vibrating alarm, calendar and email notifications to keep you or someone you care about properly organized.
VicTsing Ultrasonic Oil Diffuser
If you know someone who would like their home to be scented with lavender, peppermint or wild orange essential oil mist — and who doesn’t? — the VicTsing aroma diffuser ($36) is a good-looking gift. It’s sleek, quiet and has an adjustable LED light to give your room an extra glow. “I began putting essential oils directly on my wrists and temples, but the scent was a bit intense for me,” says LIVESTRONG editor Erin Mosbaugh. “This essential oil diffuser is the perfect solution, given that I get to experience the plant’s subtle essence while I’m hanging around the house. I like diffusing peppermint oil, in particular, because it helps me breathe and keeps my house feeling fresh.”
Vitruvi White Stone Diffuser
Aromatherapy is a timeless staple of wellness, and what better way to reap the benefits than diffusing oils into your home? With its chic and minimalistic design, Vitruvi’s White Stone Diffuser ($119) makes a great gift for those Hygge-loving friends or anyone with a housewarming party coming up. “The design is so sleek, so this has been a beautiful addition to my mantelpiece — and it can go on diffusing for hours,” says LIVESTRONG editorial intern Ada Ciuca.
Feel the Piece 'Boss' Sweater
Spiritual Gangster 'Moon Stars Magic' Zip Hoodie
For the dreamer on your holiday gift list, inspire her with this unbelievably soft hoodie from Spiritual Gangster ($108).
Moon Juice Full Moon Satchets
The holistic health trend shows no signs of slowing down, and we’ve got the perfect stocking stuffer for your trendy, wellness-obsessed, horoscope-loving friend! Moon Juice’s Full Moon Sachets ($35) feature two packets of each Moon Dust (spirit, beauty, power, brain, dream and sex). Made with blends of adaptogenic superherbs and supermushrooms, these dusts help relieve stress and nourish the body. “Yes, I know there are naysayers out there, and I also know that I am an absolute sucker for these dusts,” says editorial intern Ada Ciuca.
Phone Soap 3
It’s not surprising that the surfaces of our smartphones are crawling with germs and potentially dangerous bacteria. But what may surprise you is that there’s a handy gadget that makes it ridiculously easy to clean and sanitize it using UVC light — the PhoneSoap 3 ($59.95). “I can clean my phone and charge it at the same time,” says Kim Conte, senior editor at LIVESTRONG. “I’m gifting this to all my germaphobe loved ones this year.”
If you’re a proponent of the athleisure movement — and you often wear sports bras and workout pants to the office like we do — you’ll be thrilled with Handful's flattering and comfortable activewear. “Handful bras come with removable pads to give you shape,” says LIVESTRONG food editor Erin Mosbaugh, “and they come with adjustable straps so you get the perfect fit.” What’s more, Handful provides additional pad sets free to breast cancer survivors who purchase a Handful bra!
The Waff Mini Elite looks almost like a pool floatie, but, trust us, you won’t be lounging around with this structure. Designed by osteopath Fabrice Gautier and introduced to us by celebrity trainer Ashley Borden, the inflatable bubble provides a serious workout. “Make sure you have lots of room around you the first time you try it,” says social media director Lia Haberman. “Finding your balance is a little tricky, but the lack of stability also helps you engage your core the minute you step on it.” Or you can try kneeling on the Waff for overhead presses if it feels too difficult to stand, recommends Borden. And don’t worry about popping your Waff; the workout ring is designed for any body type or age. It comes in two styles: Classic (aka beginner mode) or Elite (aka beast mode — as in, LeBron James uses this one before games).
Instant Pot Slow Cooker
You tell yourself you’re going to make slow-cooked carnitas for dinner, and then life gets in the way. With the next-level Instant Pot slow cooker ($129.99) you can start those carnitas at 5 p.m. and have them ready to go by 6:30. You can also make meatballs in 35 minutes and baby back ribs in less than an hour. “In addition to everything slow cookers do, Instant Pots pressure-cook, saute, steam and more,” says LIVESTRONG recipe contributor Arthur Bovino. “Not to mention, they cut cooking time by up to 70 percent.” This is a fitting gift for the next-level home cook in your life or for someone who’s just plain busy. (And aren’t we all?)
Utter Nonsense Game
For anyone who is in the lookout for a silly and light-hearted card game to play with your loved ones during gatherings, we’ve got the perfect one for you! Utter Nonsense Family Edition and Naughty Edition ($24.99) made Target history by being the first of many games sourced by the retailer via crowdfunding sites. “I recommend everyone to finish their drinks and food before playing the game, we were laughing so hard I almost had to perform the Heimlich maneuver a couple of times” says LIVESTRONG senior manager of retention marketing Queenie Kung.
Allbirds Wool Runners
Maybe you’ve seen the Facebook ads claiming Allbirds are the world’s most comfortable shoe, and you’re wondering if it really is or if it’s just another Wonderbroom ad circa 2002. Well, we can’t definitively say they’re the comfiest thing you’ll ever put on your two feet, but they’re pretty darn close. Made with merino wool, Allbirds touts its products as sustainable, eco-friendly and stylish, and by all accounts, they really do live up to the hype. “Honestly, these Allbirds Wool Runners ($95) are shoes I want to wear every day. My friends want them, people in the gym ask about them, even my mom went out of her way to ask about them,” says LIVESTRONG designer Eli Sabah. Ignore the name “runner” that’s attached to these shoes, though, as they definitely don’t have the same kind of support you’d expect from a more dedicated running shoe. For everything else, from weight training to getting groceries, we couldn’t recommend these highly enough. Plus, they’re machine washable! Bonus!
The Skulpt Chisel ($99) is used to accurately measure body fat percentage and muscle quality. This is a very convenient at-home device, which can help you learn more about your body and motivate yourself to hit your fitness goals. Place the scanner on various parts of your body, and after a few seconds the Skulpt Chisel gives you muscle mass and body fat feedback. It also recommends workout plans!
Lite + Cycle Urban Forest Candle
Here’s a candle you can feel great about. It’s made without any synthetic fragrance, dyes or phthalates (these chemicals can cause adverse effects on male fertility). Instead, Lite + Cycle’s gorgeous candles are made with non-GMO waxes and essential oils that are grown without pesticides. “If you’re into cloyingly sweet fragrances like vanilla sugar cookie, this candle is not for you. But if you like a candle that smells of forest and your grandfather’s pipe tobacco, the Urban Forest Candle ($62) is the way to go,” says LIVESTRONG food editor Erin Mosbaugh. “It has earthy notes of American cedar, fir blossom, sweet fennel and toasted coffee. It makes me feel like I’m taking a walk through the woods.”
The North Face Gordon Lyons Hoodie
Fleece jackets are getting more attention as the cold weather sets in — and we’re loving the Gordon Lyons Hoodie ($99) from The North Face. It’s cozy, lightweight and excellent at insulating body heat while keeping moisture away. “I love the look, versatility and comfort of this jacket! It’s also a great choice for any animal lover, since fleece is a vegan alternative to a down jacket,” says LIVESTRONG senior product manager Radu Bulai.
Dream Set Make Meditation Oil Set
Know someone who is trying to get into meditation or someone who already has a daily meditation practice? If so, enhance their experience with these Dream Set Make Meditation Oils ($69.90). This set contains three different bottles, each with a separate scent and intention. Dream is scented with lavender and lemon, Set is eucalyptus, grapefruit and cedarwood, and Make is rose and sandalwood. They are all made with coconut oil and glide onto temples, wrists, neck and ankles during meditation or anytime inspiration is needed!
Thousand Bike Helmet
If you have any stylish cyclists on your gift list, get them this cool Thousand Heritage Helmet ($85) to protect their heads.
Hyperice Vyper Vibrating Foam Roller
Foam rolling used to be a technique used mainly by professional athletes, but now the self-massage for warmup and recovery has gone mainstream. Since the Vyper ($179) combines pressure and vibration, it delivers results much faster. “There are three different speed settings, and the first is a nice buzz, but the third is pretty intense,” says LIVESTRONG social director Lia Haberman. This battery-operated masseuse is just the thing for that friend who craves deep-tissue massages and always asks for extra pressure.
Lorna Jane 2018 Active Living Diary
Help someone on your holiday list to start the year strong with a diary that inspires and helps them to reach their goals, such as Lorna Jane's Active Living Diary ($39.99). It begins with pages of beautiful hand-lettered inspirations and encourages you to take care of every aspect of your wellness. It then carries you along the months with more hand-lettered inspirations, images and illustrations of nature dotted all around the pages, and then ends with pages for reflections. It also helps that this diary is in millennial pink and has the best boss lady quotes!
Getting fit and traveling are two of the most recurring New Year’s resolutions, so you definitely have a friend who would appreciate the Auster Traveller ($199.99). The equipment is portable and allows for a combination of body-weight exercises and resistance training — all you need is access to a sturdy pole or a bar commonly found at a park. The reliable bands and straps will keep the gift recipient happy for years to come!
GuruNanda Rose Water Diffuser
The GuruNanda Oil Diffuser ($25.99) is perfect for those who want to take their diffusers on the go. Whether you’re a college student wanting to make your dorm smell like home, an office worker looking to freshen the atmosphere around their desk or someone who is always traveling, the diffuser is small enough to take everywhere. “The diffuser is very compact and pretty and lightweight,” says LIVESTRONG lead software engineer Shweta Nayak. “It can easily fit in your pocket or purse. It has a very refreshing rose fragrance that instantly uplifts your mood. The USB charging cable is a bonus, and it’s easy to clean and maintain.”
JBL Reflect Fit earphones
Wireless headphones have been around for years, but few have met the standards for high-quality sound and comfortable fit as well as the JBL Reflect Fit ($149.95) does. These wireless Bluetooth headphones offer multiple sizes of ear buds for a snug, perfect fit. Get live heartbeat readings while you’re racing to your favorite heart-thumping beat or binge-watching “Stranger Things” on your phone. “As an avid runner, I’ve struggled to find the right wireless headphones that stay put during my workouts. These stay in place even on my longest runs!” says LIVESTRONG’s director of product Dena Karsenty. Stop worrying about tangled headphone cords or ever-changing phone jacks and go wireless!
Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Veteran recipe blogger Deb Perelman is the queen of unfussy, utterly delicious home cooking. She’s developed a cult following for practical recipes like dry-rubbed sweet potato steaks (who knew a vegetable could taste like your favorite barbecue?) and incredibly simple two-ingredient granola. “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook” is $25.99 on Amazon.
Adventures in Starry Kitchen Cookbook
For the foodie on your list with a sense of fun, get them “Adventures in Starry Kitchen” ($29.99). They’ll read about the ups and downs of Starry Kitchen, America’s most famous illegal underground restaurant, as chronicled in wildly entertaining style by Nguyen Tran. Its vegetarian crispy tofu balls are to die for, and the recipe is revealed in the book, along with 87 other of their yummiest Pan-Asian comfort-food dishes.
Lucky Peach Presents Power Vegetables! Cookbook
When you think of vegetables, do you picture overcooked Brussels sprouts and tasteless broccoli? If so, you need the "Power Vegetables" cookbook ($23.79), written by the editors of Lucky Peach magazine, to make you fall in love with veggies again. With recipes like barbecued carrots with homemade ranch and sweet potatoes with garlic, chili and mint, you won’t miss the meat.
Cherry Bombe Cookbook
For the friend that’s part cook and part social media maven, the "Cherry Bombe" cookbook ($22.04) will be a hit! Featuring recipes from more than 100 creative women (including Padma Lakshmi and Chrissy Teigen) and top-notch stylized photography, this book is the finger-licking bombe.
Girlfriend Collective Leggings
Remember those free leggings everyone was talking about? During Girlfriend Collective’s initial campaign, all you had to do was pay for shipping. It wasn’t just a good deal — the product lives up to the hype. Now $68, the Girlfriend Legging, made with 79 recent recycled plastic water bottles, belongs in the closets of both minimalists and trend lovers alike. “The innovative, soft fabric is amazing without sacrificing fit. l love the compression level and the keep-it-all-in high waist, especially great a few months post-pregnancy,” says Valaer Goldsworthy, LIVESTRONG’s director of content.
Crystal Hills Organic Crystal Harmony Bath Salts
If you know someone in need of a relaxing and rejuvenating soak in the tub, you want them to be prepared with quality salts, bubbles, candles — the works. These Crystal Harmony Bath Salts ($44) contain solar-dried sea salts and Epsom salts to soothe aching muscles along with fragrant botanicals like green tea and sea buckthorn — and pretty green quartz crystals. “Self-care will never stop being important. That’s why I keep healing bath salts in my bathroom at all times,” says LIVESTRONG editor Erin Mosbaugh. “The best part of the Crystal Harmony salts is that they come with a handy little satchel — like you’d use to steep loose-leaf tea — so you don’t have leaves and crystals floating around in your tub.”
Pursoma Resurrection Bath
Bath salts are always a nice gift, but Pursoma's Resurrection Bath soak ($36) is like bath salts on steroids. Ingredients like French seaweed, sea salt, green clay and organic algae leave you energized, moisturized and generally loving life. “It’s a splurge and a little messy,” says Kim Conte, senior editor at LIVESTRONG. “But you’ll be so blissed out, you won’t mind a bit.”
NSD Power Winners Precision Spinner
The fidget spinner craze feels like so long ago! Who would have thought that we would discover another type of spinner so late in the year? The NSD Spinner ($99.99) is a wrist-strengthening piece of equipment, with touted benefits that include carpal tunnel and RSI alleviation, increased forearm strength and a stronger grip. We can’t confirm any of these benefits after a week of use, but we can say that it’s strangely addictive and that there is definitely some kind of strengthening happening. It’s not subtle or cheap (the price tag for one of these can top $100), but if you know a musician or a tennis player that needs to condition their grip, this might just be the perfect gift.
Give the gift of cold hydration! This millennial pink Corkcicle Canteen ($19.95) keeps drinks cold for up to 25 hours and hot for up to 12 hours — and it doesn’t sweat.
Royall Lyme Royall Bay Rhum Fragrance
An all-purpose lotion, Royall Lyme’s Royall Bay Rhum ($65) can be used as an aftershave and body cologne. “I enjoy using aftershaves, so I wanted to see how this holds up. There is an initial strong mint scent, and afterward it becomes more bay leaf, which carries on for a few hours. The bay leaf really offers an enjoyable finish,” says LIVESTRONG engineering manager Joe Ramos.
Calm Sleep Spray
Isn’t everyone on your list trying to get a better night’s sleep? This gift can help make it easier to get ready for slumber. Calm Sleep Mist ($29.99) can be sprayed in your bedroom and on your pillow to create a soothing mood of relaxation. The scent is a blend of lavender, frankincense, chamomile and sage essential oils. And it is blended in California.
The Art of Stopping Time
Know someone who is always too busy? The Art of Stopping Time ($13.19) is the perfect gift. It details a 30-day challenge to find more time and become more present.
Stop, Breathe & Think App for iOS
If you’ve been hearing the word “mindfulness” more and more frequenty, you’re not alone. It’s our society’s answer to an increasingly stimulating, stressful world. The Stop, Breathe & Think app ($58.99 for a yearly subscription) for iOS lets you find peace and create a mindful meditation practice no matter where you are — at home, at your office desk or on the subway. “I love how the app makes you check in with how you’re feeling physically and emotionally at the start and end of every meditation,” says LIVESTRONG editor Erin Mosbaugh. “After you assess how you’re feeling, the app suggests a variety of meditations for you, from an eight-minute body scan to a 17-minute yoga session for anxiety. You can even choose whether you want a masculine or feminine voice to guide you. Using the app daily helps me to feel calm, focused and centered.”
Vie Healing Teas
Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up next to a great-smelling cuppa, and Vie Healing teas ($21) definitely have the fragrance art down to a T(ea). With teas focusing on calming and happiness — two very important emotions for the holiday season — these make for lovely stocking stuffers. “Tea drinking is my top fall and winter activity, so I am very excited about these! They smell amazing and are so delicious to sip on,” says LIVESTRONG editorial intern Ada Ciuca.
Four Sigmatic Mushroom Beverages
Medicinal mushrooms are all the rage this year, and one of the easiest ways to get with this trend is by sippin’ on a superfood-filled beverage. With options like Chaga Mushroom Elixir Mix and the Mushroom Hot Cacao Mix, Four Sigmatic is working hard to spread the supershroom cheer. The variety of available mixes tackles everything from relaxation to productivity and also boasts antioxidant properties. “I’m definitely here for this supershroom trend! The hot cacao mix was delicious with a splash of almond milk,” LIVESTRONG editorial intern Ada Ciuca said. “And who wouldn’t want to take wellness pointers from a group that calls themselves the “funguys”? (Get it?) These make a great stocking stuffer!
Body Love by Kelly Leveque
“Body Love” ($19.03) is the best cookbook of 2017 that’s not actually a cookbook. Author Kelly LeVeque is a nutritionist, celebrity health coach and geek who really gets into the science of what we put in our bodies and how it impacts our health. At the heart of the book are the ‘Fab Four’, LeVeque’s approach to balancing blood sugar through the right balance of proteins, fat, fiber and greens. But it’s her recipes for satiating smoothies and easy meals that are the highlight of this book. “The Peanut Butter Cacao Nib smoothie is my favorite because it gives me such an energy boost. I can’t start my day without it,” says social media director Lia Haberman. And if you don’t believe us, just check out the celebrity client list, including Jessica Alba, Chelsea Handler and Kate Walsh, who’ve also raved about the book.
Dormify Avocado Ornament
Guac might be extra, but this holiday ornament is totally worth the splurge. Every millennial’s favorite vegetable (or is it a fruit?) is getting the decorative treatment with this hanging avocado ornament ($8) from Dormify. “The only way I could love this more is if it was mashed on toast with sea salt and a squeeze of lemon,” says LIVESTRONG social media director Lia Haberman. It’s the perfect surprise for someone with a love for pop culture and healthy fats.
Physiclo Compression Tights
Compression pants with built-in resistance bands may sound like torture, but Physiclo’s compression tights ($125) may be just the sartorial boost you need to take your workouts to the next level. Multiple layers of elastic bands and panels stretch over the hips and thighs and condition your legs to be faster and stronger. “I’ve been wearing them during my resistance training and cardio workouts, and it’s so much easier to reach my heart rate training goals,” says Kim Conte, senior editor. “The best part is doing the same workout without the tights. It’s like I’m flying!”
Garneau x Reebok Actifly Indoor Cycling Shoes
Mixing together fitness knowledge and shoe-design prowess, Reebok and Garneau came together and delivered the breathable and stylish Actifly indoor cycling shoes ($109.99), an awesome gift for any indoor cycling fan! Get your cycling friend a pair and prepare them for all of the compliments they’ll be receiving from their classmates!
Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo
Mark Sisson, a former endurance athlete and founder of cult health site MarksDailyApple.com, started Primal Kitchen to provide home cooks with high-quality, nutrient-dense sauces and dressings. The product line is made with healthy fats like avocado oil as well as organic, antioxidant-rich, Whole30-approved ingredients. “Primal Kitchen’s addictive Chipotle Mayo ($9.95) — made with avocado oil, organic cage-free eggs, lime juice and chipotle powder — is a must-have pantry staple. It’s fiery, tangy and so damn creamy,” says LIVESTRONG food editor Erin Mosbaugh. “Pro tip: Whisk it with a little lime juice and use that as a dressing for a steak and avocado salad.”
Reusable silicone bags are a healthy, eco-friendly alternative to “stashing” food in disposable plastic baggies and containers. Stasherbags ($9.99 to $19.99) are made without plastic, BPA, phthalates and latex, which means — prepare yourself — you don’t have to worry about putting them in the microwave or dishwasher. “I have a guilty conscience about using plastic sandwich baggies and how they impact my health and the environment,” said Kim Conte, senior editor. “These bags have been a game changer when packing my lunch and snacks.”
The Atlas of Beauty
Got a wanderlusting girlfriend who lives for female empowerment? This might be your gift! Originally started as a popular Facebook page a la Humans of New York, author Mihaela Noroc’s project showcases female beauty and culture from all over the world through her piercing photography in “The Atlas of Beauty” ($19.02). “I’ve been following this project for a while and was so happy when this book came out,” says editorial intern Ada Ciuca. “The photography is stunning, and so many of the women are photographed in traditional garments showcasing their cultures. It’s refreshing to see!”
Majestic Pure Essential Oils
If you’re inhaling a product or putting it directly on your skin, you definitely want to make sure it’s high quality. The oils from Majestic Pure Cosmeceuticals (prices vary) are therapeutic grade, and the company works closely with its suppliers to make sure the oils come from organically grown plants. “I like to add eucalyptus and lavender oil to my bath or essential oil diffuser,” says LIVESTRONG editor Erin Mosbaugh. “The aromatherapy helps me relax and breathe deeply — and those are two things we all need help with.”
The Detox Box
Monthly subscription boxes are always a fun surprise, and for the green beauty-loving friend, we’ve got a perfect choice. The Detox Market’s Detox Box ($49.95 per month) features a different green brand each month – with products worth more than $90. “December was Dr. Alkaitis month, which features skin care made from organic, biodynamic or wild-crafted ingredients. It’s a great introduction into the natural beauty world,” says LIVESTRONG editorial intern Ada Ciuca.
About the Author
JESS BARRON is VP and GM for LIVESTRONG.COM, a leading healthy lifestyle website with more than 29 million unique monthly viewers. In addition to LIVESTRONG, her writing has appeared in Entrepreneur, Fortune and MyDomaine. Jess has appeared on MSNBC and ABC News and has been a keynote speaker at Health Further and a panelist at Create & Cultivate and Digital Hollywood. Follow Jess on Instagram and Twitter at @jessbeegood!
Photographer: Brian Tropiano / LIVESTRONG.COM