Friday, December 4, 2009

Eco & Healthy Holiday Gift Guide

So here we are, Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us and the holiday shopping season in full swing! We still have a few weeks before the presents are all unwrapped, Santa has made his way back home & we're prepping for the new decade.  So that means it's time to hit the stores, both online  as well as brick & mortar.  I've gathered my top healthy & eco holiday picks for everyone on your list, just in time to check off before time runs out!

Just a few tips before you flash your credit cards and get yourself into a wrapping frenzy:
  • When heading out to shop, be sure you eat before leaving the house. Nothing kills your wallet and your stomach like fast or food court food.  Walk off your meal, that's a better option ; )
  • Bring a healthy snack with you so you're not tempted to snack on trash.  It's also handy when you find yourself starving in a long line with no end in sight.
  • Wear comfortable shoes! Nothing kills a day of shopping like blisters and a headache. You need supportive and comfy shoes for holiday marathon shopping. Plus it makes it easier to run from sale to sale!
  • If you're shipping gifts that you are purchasing out and about, bring your address list with you. A lot of the times stores can ship for you directly from the store so it saves you a step.
  • Speaking of shipping, know the cut off dates for packages to arrive on time. If you are a procrastinator, this tip will come in handy ; )
  • When shopping online, be sure that the sites you are shopping are secured sites. You can tell that it is secured if the address reads https: and/or there is a lock icon with a secure company logo on the bottom of your window. If uncertain, don't make the purchase or you will have a nightmare before Christmas!
  • Be sure to add your coupon and promo codes at the right time before check out. Once you hit submit, sometimes it's a hassle to get your discount.  Keep a window on your browser open to search for coupon codes of any store you are shopping at - you can save a pretty penny! Just cut and paste the codes into the promo window. Sometimes they don't work but it's always worth a shot!
  • Gift giving etiquette - Don't give a gift you wouldn't like to receive. Sure, it's the thought that counts however,  if you re-gift some used, crappy odd n' end or pick something up from the 99 cent store on your way to a party, maybe it's best to just get a nice card instead ; )  Words can sometimes be better than a tacky nick knack that screams "gas station gift rack".
  • Shop all year long - sounds like fun right? Actually, it's a smart way to ensure that everyone on your list get something they actually want or speaks to their personality.  Ever see something and say "So and so would love that". If you have the cash, buy it and save it in a special place instead of racking your brains Thanksgiving weekend wondering what you should get that so and so or where that cool thing was that you saw in July.  Think ahead as it will save you time, money and you look like the hero.  Also, keep notes of when the people on your list mention something they like or need - it really comes in handy during shopping season and your giftees will be overjoyed with your thoughtfulness ; )
  • When in doubt, give a gift card!  You can get them virtually anywhere, in any denomination and the person o your list gets to go on a mini shopping spree, thanks to you! 
Alright, here are the goods for Holiday 2009!:

(To give instead of receive)

  • HOW - - Donate time or money to helping orphans all over the world
  • Talk About It - - Help those who have trouble coping with epilepsy as well as helping spread awareness
  • Generation Rescue - - Help families affected by autism by donating time and money to help promote therapies, awareness and more
  • Homefront America - - Providing assistance to families when their head of household is in deployment. Job assistance, school supplies, and services need volunteers and donations.
  • Make-A-Wish - - Help make an ailing child's holiday season bright
  • Family to Family - - Help a needy family this holiday season by helping with time or money towards food, shelter, supplies, etc.
  • The Animal Rescue - - Donate to this wonderful organization that helps needy pets. Or better yet, adopt a pet this gift giving season!
(For the men on your list, both young & old)

  • Shoes, Belts & Wallets - - The Vegan Collection is an online vegan shoe and accessories company providing stylish, cruelty-free men’s shoes at reasonable prices ; )
  • Pacific Shaving Cream - - Personal care products (for men and women) that are good for the skin, good for the wallet, and good for the earth. Made with certified organic, natural and naturally-derived ingredients, environmentally friendly practices, and minimal packaging.
  • Eco Poker Tables - - Need a gift for the man who has everything? How about an eco poker table! Using sustainable design principals and manufacturing in a 100% green building, you can think of it as doing something good even when you're bluffing ; )
  • Recycled Beer Glassware Sets -  - Men of all adult ages will enjoy these for their big boy drinks. Hearkening back to college days is this frat boy to father friendly glassware sets. You can find their favorite brand so they can enjoy any beverage in it, any time, any place ; )
  • Cardboard Animal Heads - - More modern design than hunting lodge, these clever, cruelty-free cardboard deer and moose heads are a fun way to add a trophy to your wall without having to go after Bambi's mom.
(For the ladies be they young, moms or busy bees)

  • Golden Earth - - Perfumes, lotions, bath gels and more made from cruelty free and 100% organic, vegan ingredients. All essential oil based, spoil the ladies on your list with natural bath, body & beauty.
  • Annatarian - - Be it a 7 wishes bracelet from their PeaceLoveEarth line ( or a custom couture gown, their is something beautifully green for every lady.  An eco-effective design firm, anything from Annatraian is an art piece with intention while sacrificing nothing in the environment. Beauty & function is a gal's best friend ; )
  • Matt & Nat - -  For luxury, vegan & eco handbags and accessories, you can't go wrong with anything from Matt & Nat.  Super chic bags, no one will know they aren't fresh off the European runways. From clutches to diaper bags, introduce your gal to accessorizing the eco way! (they've got some nice goodies for men too!)
  • Espe - 100% vegan, cruelty free accessories such as wallets, cell phone pouches, computer bags and more, their colorful and handcrafted designs are great for gals of all ages. And they too have not forgotten about their male counterparts. Super cute stuff!!
  • Beyond Yoga - -  Organic line is beautiful! From yoga pants to jackets, built in bra tops to wraps, they've got it all. For your work out or you night out, Beyond Yoga helps you strike an organic and stylish pose ; )
  • Psi Bands - -   Great stocking stuffer! Acupressure wrist bands for the relief of nausea due to morning sickness (pregnancy), motion sickness/ travel, chemotherapy, and anesthesia. They are stylish, drug-free, adjustable, comfortable, waterproof, reusable,  and affordable.
Unisex & Couples Gifts
(For anyone or any duos)

  • Recycled LP Record Bowls - - Great for the music loving couple, or person, on your list. Choose the music style and even the artist to suit your giftee's style.  Way cute & uber eco-chico!
  • Recycled Wine Barrel Chair - - Beautiful, functional and 100% green, these chairs are a great addition to any home. Not only a killer conversation piece, these chairs are comfortable and are good for you as well as they have been to the environment. No more "whin"ing about where to sit!
  • Digital Magazine Subscriptions - at, as well as select publication websites, you can find tree-free subscriptions. These magazines are emailed directly to your inbox and leave nothingout from their hard copy siblings excpet that it saves paper, printing, shipping and moola! And best of all you can print things you like, save articles, etc. A lot are way sophistocated and can turn the pages and everything. Eco, cool & a monthly gift that is also easy to shop for!
  • Organic Bedding  - - Put allergies and chemical sensitivities to rest with exclusive beds and linens made from pure organic cotton and other natural fibers. Organic bedding offers superior comfort, gorgeous style and fabrics that are better for life and the planet. Feel extravagant while being good to yourself. Choose from organic cotton sheets, comforters, blankets, pillow cases and throws. Green your & your friends' homes with Gaiam.
  • Emailable Fandango movie gift cards - - Personalize the designs on the gift cards to send your friends & families out for a nice night at the cinema. Best of all, you can email their gift certificate so you save on buying non-eco-friendly plastic gift card, postage, etc as well as time on your end. Certificates are valid at most theaters nationwide, just be sure to check the small print just in case. On top of it, you can buy and email to all everyone all your list, all at once, with the click of the mouse!
  • BYO Lunchbags - - Gotta love these eco lunch bags for takin' to the office, on road trips, or to send the kiddies off to school. They also carry rockin' wine bottle bags as well as goodies for laptops, cameras and more. You can go wrong with a useful, cool lookin' and enviro-present ; )
  • Organic Spa Robes - - Snuggle into a Pure Bamboo Bathrobe made of 100% bamboo fiber. These plush robes feature a detailed shawl collar, cuffed long sleeves, two front patch pockets, and available in sizes for both men and women. If you're looking to spoil someone on your list this year, this is it!
(Babies, teens & all in between)

  • Eco Building Sets - -  Talk about teaching our kids about the importance of recycling early on, these sets not only boast green technology and components, they also promote creativity, critical thinking and coordination without the help of a game console or computer monitor. Nope, just good old fashioned hands on building sets with an eco twist. And you don't need to throw out all the other stuff as thes sets are made to mate with with competitors such as Lego and more!
  • Organic Front & Back Baby Carriers - - I guess this is more for new 'rents but, this can be a great gift for baby nonetheless. A wonderful product line and company, these carriers help mom & dad carry baby from infancy to toddler while keeping kiddie comfy and safe. Lots of other goodies in adorable colors, you can't go wrong with a gift from Ergo baby.
  • Ripstik Caster Board - - These aren't by any means new but they a cool and healthy gifts so they made it on the list. The coolest offspring from the age old skateboard, Ripstik is a whole new kind of fun. keeping your kids active, this slick board helps them with balance, core strength and will have them out of your hair for hours!
  • Build Your Own Kits - - Help  their imaginations run wild in a plane, a rocket or a teepee they built all by themselves (and with you!). Made from eco friendly cardboard patterns, kids can build, paint & personalize their own magical world ; )
  • Eco Friendly Doll House - - A mother-owned family store offering wood toys, baby slings, cloth diapers, music and books. Their doll houses & doll house furniture are so pretty, hand crafted and hours of fun for little girls.
  • Mighty Muggs - - Oddly enough from toy tycoons, Hasbro, come 100% recycled material toys of awesomeness.  They are figurines/collectibles/pop art all in one - neat, stylized models of your favorite movie heroes like Iron Man & all the Star Wars peeps. Eco Pop!
  • Sprig Toys - - An exciting line of battery-free, eco-friendly, paint-free, kid-powered toys that are sure to dazzle the most discriminating preschooler.
  • Eco Friendly Play Kitchen - - Children will delight in this mini kitchen unit chock full of amenities. Includes sink, refrigerator, oven, microwave, stove top, clock and wireless telephone. You can't beat education and green toys as well as teaching your kids early on how to fend for themselves, heehee!
  • Organic Baby Gifts - - Again, baby gifts are more for the parents but no need to skimp on health & greenness for the little ones. Clothing, bedding and all in between goes over super well for the tiny ones and the new parents on your list will appreciate such a heartfelt & thoughtful gift for their most precious possession; )
(For all furry babies)

  • Mane Street Bakery  - Tasty, eco and mainly organic vegan treats for dogs & horses. They even have some yummy peppermint treats for our merry and furry friends!
  • Puppermint Chew Toy - - Hours of fun with this eco toy that also keeps your furry friend's breath pepperminty fresh!
  • Eco Collars & Leashes - - uhh, so cute and sustainable? Your 4 legged baby must have one of these eco & hemp accessories this season ; )
  • Eco Pet Beds - - They've got everything your pet needs to have a comfy and restful nights’ sleep. There are 100% natural cotton beds, eco-friendly hemp beds and beds filled with 100% recycled material. Round, square and bumper pet beds, all natural and earth friendly. They have even carry eco-conscious cat furniture - good for bunnies too ; )
  • Eco Scratching Posts - - Unique, eco-friendly products for enriching the life of your feline companion. Their handcrafted cat trees and scratching posts are 95% biodegradable, made from real trees and untreated wood, and are built to last.
  • Ionic Pet Brushes - - The perfect answer to easy pet care!  The Ionic Waterless Bath Pet Massage Brush allows you to clean and massage your pet with minimal effort.  Reduces pet odors without messy baths or harmful chemicals, and relaxes your pet through its gentle massage action.
Health & Beauty
(For all aspects of health & vanity)

  • ToGoBrands - - Promote a healthy new year with these packets of goodness either as stocking stuffers or as a big box under the tree.  Packets such as Go Greens that gives you 6 servings of green veggies in 1 pack as well as Green Tea Energy, Vitamin C and more, you can't pick a more healthful gift this year!
  • Pillo1 - - If you want to give the gift of a good night's sleep, it the Pillo1. It's unique design is built for side and back sleep and gives ultimate neck support which keeps your back aligned all night long.  Great sleep equals great days, health & productivity.
  • Care by Stella McCartney - - Ok, so maybe splurging on a Stella gown this year isn't in the cards but pampering yourself with 100% organic skin care should be. The veggie rock star offspring of style has done it again and oh so well. A gorgeous line with nothing but beneficial ingredients to give you that healthy glow is the perfect package to be wrapped up in a bow this season ; )
  • EcoBella Makeup - - Ecco Bella's got body care, hair care but best of all, makeup! All natural, vegan, gluten free, mineral cosmetics in dazzling colors; what lady wouldn't want to sparkle while being au natural!
  • No Miss Vegan Nail Polish - - Nothing is as decadent as getting a mani/pedi but in this economy, we're started to go back to doing it ourselves. And why not keep up the healthy trend by using nail polish that is good for you! UV inhibitors, moisturizing, and durable, these little ditties come in a rainbow of colors. They are sure to please and light on the wallet ; )
  • Alba Facial Skin Care Line - - Get on a healthy skin & body regimen this new year with the delicious product line from Alba. Great for men & women, their full line of skin, hair, body & sun care products are made from natural botanical, enzymes, fruits and nuts for a healthy & affordable way to stay pretty and handsome all year long.
Fitness, Adventure & Sport
(For the fitness sport & adventure nuts on your list)

  • DynaFlex - - Used by top athletes, NASA, military, doctors, chiropractors, fitness trainers and more, the dynaflex line is the leader in gyroscopic fitness. Great for strength training to battling carpal tunnel syndrome, these fitness gadgets are a fun and nifty gift this year for the fitness guru to the desk jockey ; )
  • Eco Skateboard - - To shred in the most eco of ways, you can go wrong with a skateboard from eco-friendly Bamboo Sk8. Look out for their new longboard line in 2010.
  • Eco Surfboard - - For the wave rider on your lost, get them a performance driven and fully sustainable board from Imagine Eco. They even have take apart boards for airline travel!!
  • Cold Weather Training "Bone Beanies" Caps - - Moisture-wicking beanies are great at regulating your temperature- keep it on until you warm up & peel it when you've reached your ideal temperature.
  • Eco Sleeping Bags - - Sleep in comfort while you slumber in an eco-friendly sleeping bag under the stars. Your gear will be great for you while not taunting your natural habitat with city slicker garbage ; )
  • Eco Yoga Mats - - Green your workout & health sanctuary with this awesome eco mat!
Home & Lifestyle 
(For cool home and miscellaneous goodies)

  • Game Whys - - Hours of fun with family, friends and kids while learning a great lesson about our earth.  Whether it's the beautifully handcrafted board game or a cute stocking stuffer card game, a game of Paradice or GameWhys is one of the best gifts for anyone this holiday season.
  • Pong - - If you love someone, keep them safe from radiation with the Pong Iphone case. Coming soon for blackberry, this stylish case reduces over 85% of "hot spot" radiation, redirecting the flow of energy away from the head. And it's the only FCC certified case on the market!
  • Scent of a Scandle - - Giggle while filling your home with yummy aromas. With names that will make you chuckle, the scents & ingredients won't as they are made of vegan awesomeness. The perfect, and affordable, gift for anyone on your list.
  • Love Bottles - -  The rage is BPA free bottles and the slick aluminum ones with neat designs. But drinking from glass is the best way to imbibe your daily H2O and Love Bottles has the neatest designs around.  Carry your healthiest water in style and be the envy of all your work out friends ; )
  • Vapur Bottles - - Great as an eco-stocking stuffer and fun for the traveler on your list, the vapur bottle is the anti-water bottle. BPA free and fully roll-upable, this neat gift can fit in a purse or carry on bag and is dishwasher friendly.
  • DSI International Energy Saver Power Strip - - Did you know that leaving your appliances plugged in sucks energy even when they are turned off? Well, here is a gift that will save people money this year and they will love you for it. This energy strip has a master switch that shuts of the energy suckage without having to individually unplug everything in your house. Time & money savers are a hit under the tree!
  • Ionator from ActiveIon - The coolest, eco & money saving cleaning product ever! The ionator is a powerful appliance that uses ionizing technology to convert tap water into a safe, effective cleaner and sanitizer.
  • VerTerra - Dinnerware made of nothing but fallen leaves and water. Super eco-chic!
  • Green Garmento - This eco bag is a hamper, laundry bag, duffel bag and also a great way to pick up your dry cleaning without wasting so much plastic.
  • Solar Chameleon Pool Lights - - Literally making someones life brighter the solar way! Perfect to float in the pool for some neat night swimming or parties or even to place around the yard from ambient color ; )
(For cooks & bibliophiles)

  • The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, PhD - - It will change your life!
  • The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen - - One f the yummiest vegan cookbooks around
  • The Mad Cowboy – - Learn about healthy, vegan eating as well as the truth behind factory farming from one the pioneer of the vegan moo-vement himself!
  • I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas - - Green your holidays with this nifty book covering everything from decor to party planning
  • Why We Don't Eat Animals by Ruby Roth - - A very sweet book that helps introduce compassion to animals to the kiddies ; )
  • Healthier Ever After by Doc Rob - - A good read on how to get your health in order, simply and smartly this new year!
  • Compassionate Table by Colleen Patrick Goudreau - - All her books are great but this is her newest and I would say yummiest!
  • The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone - - A nice intro to veganism from beginners to advanced plant eaters. Filled with delish recipes too ; )
  • The Bubbly Bride: Your Ultimate Wedding Cocktail Guide - I'm particularly fond of the Low-Cal cocktail chapter and the "Green Wedding" cocktail section ; )
  • Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero - - One of the most comprehensive vegan cookbooks around, it will hold you over for a long time if it's the only vegan cookbook you can get this year ; )
  • Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero - - The title says it all!
(For the globe trotters you'll be gifting)

  • Select Wisely Special Diet Travel Cards - - Super handy cards that fit in your wallet that illustrate and say, in virtually any language, what foods you cannot eat. Perfect translations for all special diets from celiac to vegan so that dining while traveling is no longer a mystery or health hazard.
  • To-Go Ware - - Fabulous utensils & containers to take with you anywhere you go! Made of bamboo and recycled materials, a To-Go Ware set is the perfect stocking stuffer for the eco person on your list.
  • Jane Marvel Luggage - - Slick and vegan luggage, done deal!
  • Solar Chargers - Save time, money and hassle when you're on the go with these nifty solar charging gadgets. Good for phones, Ipods & more!
  • Terra Pass - www.terrapass.comBuy credits for any one on your list to balance the carbon footprints of friends & family. It's the gift that gives back!
  • Bamboo Eyemask & Blanket - - Green your mile high zzzzz's with this yummymy soft duo ; )
  • Water Powered Travel Clock - - A smart, cheap and dependable way to stay on time wherever you may be!
(For the novice to the pro)

  • Vitamix -  - It's way more then a food processor, blender, mixer - it rules! Chopping, blending and even making hot soups on the spot,  Vitamix will be a welcomed gift this holiday.
  • Eat Cleaner - - This is a great, affordable and health promotion gift. The coolest is the "Wash & Dryer" kit for veggies!
  • 360 Cookware - - Vapor cooking technology in beautiful, eco-friendly pots and pans that are not only durable and sustainable but healthy ; )
  • MuBamboo - - Super green kitchen towels, mitts and aprons - cute!
  • Eco Slow Cooker - - There is nothing like throwing your food into the slow cooker in the morning and coming home to a fully prepped, hot meal! Slow cookers promote easy and healthy cooking while the VitaClay uses less energy to do the job then its competitors.
  • Easy Composting Starter Kit - - Promote a green kitchen but gifting the gift of easy composting. Fun for the whole family!
  • Happy Tiffin - - Sustainable, reusable, eco friendly food storage containers. Cute, healthy and functional  - and they travel too!
Food & Beverage
(For gifting with a smile)

  • CSA Organic Produce Subscription -  - Purchasing an organic produce subscription for someone this holiday is one of the most thoughtful gifts there are. Organic produce that can be picked up or delivered weekly or monthly, offering only the freshest produce to your friends and family while helping local farmers all year long ; )
  • Frey Wine - - Organic Wines from California Wine Country
  • VeeV - - Accai Spirit, great straight or mixed!
  • Maison Le Grand - - Artisanal pestos, tapenades & sauces for all sorts of special diets.  Great for a ton of yummy dishes throught the holidays and all year long.
  • Gift Certificates - Give the gift of a meal out on the town or a week of groceries when gifting gift cards to  local veggie restaurants or markets like Whole Foods or Trader Joes!
  • Allisons's Gourmet - Who can deny that the gift of killer chocolate isn't on their top 5? Allison's offers a wide variety of scrumptious vegan confections and cookies that are available as single items, gift baskets or "of the month" club deliveries.
  • Vegan Divine - - Vegan Divine is your premier online vegan gift shop, specializing in quality vegetarian (100% vegan) gift baskets and gifts made with all natural, organic, vegan, eco, fair trade, and hand crafted products. Talk about guilt free gifting!
  • Healthy Voyager Wine Club - - Featuring organic, biodynamic & sustainable wines, delivered to your door, every month!

Services & Classes
(For the gift that keeps on giving)

  • Get Real Plan - - Give the gift of  a wellness coaching certification.  No gift keeps on giving like that of a fresh new career or hobby!  
  • The Vegetarian Cooking School Online - - Online cooking classes for vegetarians and vegans!
  • Healthy Voyager Cooking Classes - -  If you're in the LA area, you can purchase gift certificates for my cooking classes that are held at MetaBella Pilates in Studio City.  Every week I will cover a vegan, gluten free and other special diet class that will take us all over the world. From theme classes to general cooking how-to's & nutrition, Healthy Voyager Cooking Classes can be the gift that keeps on giving.
  • Online Yoga Classes - - For yourself or a friend, this site has online classes for beginners all the way to advanced yogis. This is great for travelers as you can log into your account and get your stretch on in your hotel room any where in the world! Begin your path to a healthy lifestyle in 2010 ; )
  • Bootcamp for Your Mind Entreprenurial Coaching - - When you need a helping hand in building your business, join Amy one on one or in her fabulous teleclasses!
Online Stores 
I hope this list helps make your holiday shopping easier and merrier while making your holiday giftees happy, healthy & green!!

Happy Holiday Shopping Days!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Healthy Voyager Radio - Holiday Gift Guide

Listen to the Healthy Voyager Radio right here!! Featuring my Holiday Gift Guide Picks as well as picks from's Rachel Sarnoff:

Next show, Holiday Cooking with Celebrity Vegan Chef, Tal Ronnen & Animal Love with Earthlings director, Shaun Monson!