So, if you’re anything like me, you haven’t bought a single Christmas present yet. I really can’t understand these people who have all their Christmas shopping done by like October – even just the thought of it short circuits my brain – CAN NOT COMPUTE. I can only dream of being that organised. Also, the thought of going Christmas shopping in London makes me want to cry, so I’ve decided to do everything 100% online and not go near any shops until after the sales. That means I’m relying on the internet to point out to me what I should buy people, and I find gift guides super handy for this kind of thing, so I’ve put together a special TMJ Christmas gift guide, where literally everything is available online and you don’t have to go into a store. Are you with me?
Ok, so full disclosure, this is half gift guide, and half just my Christmas list for the big man. Some of the books I have already, but mostly these are just things I think sound really cool, and will make for really awesome gifts with a healthy edge. Also, some of the amazon links are affiliate links; doesn’t change how much you pay, or how much I love them, just means you’re supporting the blog if you click through and buy those items. Thanks guys!
- Raw Halo Mylk Gift Box (from £30) I’ve talked about how much I like Raw Halo before and how their ‘Mylk’ collection box would make a great Christmas gift – like a really pretty grown up selection box that’s good for you! They come in a few different sizes – I’ve shown the biggest one here which, at £65, I’m betting I’ll have to adjust my expectations a bit so… I’ll settle for the small one.
- Hemsley + Hemsley Spiralizer (£29.95) Yeah, I’m as surprised as you are that I don’t own a damn spiralizer already! (For the uninitiated, a spiralizer carves your veg up into pretty noodle-like ribbons that you can use in salads and raw ‘pasta’ dishes). So if you want fancy looking dishes, but you don’t have fancy knife skills, or you just want a fun new way of getting them plants in, then get this on your list for the big guy.
- Lovo Sparkling Coconut Water with Vodka (£2.95) – So here’s a great way to get the party started this holiday season – very lightly sparkling coconut water + vodka. I’m not usually a vodka kinda girl, but I do have a bad coconut habit, so I thought I’d give Lovo a go when I spotted it at Food Matters Live the other week, and then booked it down to Harvey Nics to stock up. I know this isn’t how it works BUT I like to pretend that the coconut water keeps you hydrated and cancels out the hangover – for the sake of science, I tested out this theory and that’s not really how it goes¯_(ツ)_/¯ but don’t let that stop you stocking up on Lovo for your guests this Christmas, or maybe stuff it in a stocking or two! You can buy Lovo online at 31 Dover or IRL at Harvey Nics.
- Sort of Coal Water Bottle and Purifier (£69) – If you’ve ever visited London, you’ll know that the water here is pretty gross; it has a layer of oily crap floating on the top of it (what D likes to call ‘scuzz’). It’s meant to be safe to drink, but it makes the water taste funky, leaves weird stains on your mugs, and messes with my skin. Gross. Pop a stick of white charcoal in there and put it in a great bottle and it might just pass as fresh spring water from the Highlands. White charcoal mops up all the nasties in just a few hours, and can be reused for a few months. I love the water bottle and purifier set (come on Santa!!) but you can buy the filters on their own too.
- Skin & Tonic Rose Mist (£20) Since I read Skin Cleanse by Adina Grigore earlier this year I’ve been looking for some good natural skin care alternatives (her brand S.W. Basics isn’t easy to get ahold of in the UK) and I can’t wait to find some Skin & Tonic products under the tree! First of all, Skin & Tonic is just a great pun and that’s a good enough reason for me to buy their stuff, but also, this Rose Mist 1) hydrates and tones skin 2) sets makeup and 3) can be sprayed all over to “calm and cool your mood in those flustered moments of stress” aka, just living your life in London. Best part is, this prod uses 100% plant based ingredients, is all natch, and has cute packaging.
- Skin & Tonic Coco Mask (£22) So, as well as the Rose Mist above, I’m dying to try Skin & Tonic’s coco mask, because it’s made with coconut milk powder and that excites me. Also, London pollution is messing with my skin. HARD. The only thing that stops me from breaking out in one giant zit is a clay face mask, and this baby has Kaolin clay to pull out the impurities, and coconut milk to soothe my sensitive skin. I’m also into their Lavender and Chamomile Calm Balm for a little bedtime treat. Just an FYI… not all of their products are 100% plant based, some have dairy in so just read the label if you avoid that kinda thing.
You didn’t think we were done did you? We still need to cover the reading list!
- The Fresh Vegan Kitchen (£15) Truth be told, this was an impulse buy. I wasn’t really sure of it at first. Some of the recipes are a bit adventurous for the average home cook because the authors got a lot of their inspiration from their travels around Asia. They use a lot of exotic ingredients like sago & galangal, that are hard to come across. BUT there are still tons of gorgeous simple recipes that anyone can make like quinoa porridge, sweet potato, quinoa and lime corn tortillas w/ refried beans, chocolate chilli mole, and even a raw Pad Thai – loads of recipes you can use with your new spiralizer! This book has loads of amazing photos and is just a really lovely book to have. I’d recommend it for more experienced cooks who want some plant based inspiration or people who need to up their game.
- Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Colouring Book (£4.99) I’m not going to lie, I’m kinda into the whole adult colouring scene and really want this Enchanted Forest colouring book and Johanna Basford colouring pencils (£5) to go with it too. I mean, just look at how beautiful the illustrations are PLUS coloring has lots of the same benefits of meditation. It’s like meditation for people who don’t like meditation. I bet there are a few of us who’d like to start 2016 a little less strung out and a bit more relaxed and mindful, amiright?
- The Gratitude Diaries (£13.50) I don’t think I can do this book much justice, so here’s a bit from the Amazon blurb. “It’s easy to look at others and think how lucky they are, and sometimes finding the positives in our own lives can be hard. Success is often measured in tangible ways, and as we strive to achieve more and get more, we forget that it’s often the simple things that can bring us the most joy. After reading about how expressing gratitude for the little things can be incredibly powerful and affect our lives in profound ways, Janice Kaplan decided to spend a year living gratefully and find out whether being grateful really does offer a new path to happiness.” I mean, I don’t know about you, but I’m really, really good at comparing my lot to everyone else’s perfectly curated Instagram feeds and less good at being grateful for simple pleasures. If you know someone who could do with a dose of positivity going into the new year, then this might just be the perfect gift for them. This book has been on my Amazon wishlist for a while now and I can’t wait to read it!
- Thug Kitchen Party Grub (£12) My favourite bad-mouthed plant based blog The Thug Kitchen came out with their first cookbook Thug Kitchen – Eat Like You Give a F**k (£12) last year and their follow up – Thug Kitchen Party Grub ‘for Social Motherf**kers’ just launched a few months ago. Last year I bought just about everyone I know a copy of the first book, and will probably buy the new book for everyone this year. Thing is, I still don’t even have a copy of the first book, let alone the second (consider this your hint people!). Thug Kitchen recipes are super easy and usually quick and unfussy, but with lots of big flavour, so it’s great for people who don’t have much cooking experience or who don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen.
- Proteinaholic (£15) I talked about this in my last TMJ post but still haven’t go around to getting it. Anyway, the premise of Proteinaholic is a summary of all the latest science around protein, and how our misplaced obsession with getting swole on protein shakes might actually be doing us more harm than good. Get this for the jacked up meathead in your life, or you know, just your dad, either way!
- Eat Clean Live Well (£20) Part cookbook, part lifestyle book. Focus on clean, seasonal, local eating & whole plant based foods. This is another really beautiful book with gorgeous pictures, and simple recipes. This is a perfect book for the slightly hippy Martha Stewart in your life.
- The Microbiome Solution (£15) Guts, and poop, and bugs are kinda my thing (I spent part of my PhD researching the ‘good bacteria’ that live in your guts) so I’m pretty excited to read this book. I listened to a Pod with the author and she talked about eating clean and living dirty. Basically, because we use so much antibacterial & get prescribed antibiotics every time we sneeze, our immune systems don’t get the chance to practice fighting stuff off, so when it gets challenged for real, your body totally freaks out. It’s called the hygiene hypothesis and might help us explain the rise in conditions like asthma, eczema, some inflammatory bowel diseases. She also talks about faecal transplants, which is fun. Another can’t wait to read for me. Maybe get it for the person in your life who isn’t easily grossed out by poop talk.
- The Body Doesn’t Lie (£10) I can’t believe I’m going to admit this, but I came across this book on the GOOP site, as in Gwyneth Paltrow’s website. Clearly I was in an internet black hole that day, regardless, this book sounds pretty cool. It’s about the mind-body connection, and how our emotional wellbeing can have a bearing on our physical health. So, you know that weird ache or pain that your physiotherapist can’t fix and your doctor has pretty much given up on? Well, maybe it’s because your body is holding onto something emotional. Sounds weird, so I asked my physio about it, and he thinks it’s legit so that’s good enough for me. So basically, this book is like cheap therapy. Plus it has some cool DIY beauty recipes and a bunch of celeb endorsements, so should be good, right?
- How Not To Die (£13.50) This is the book I’m probably most excited about on the whole list. Dr Greger’s website is my go-to for fun, informative nutrition updates (he regularly reviews the latest literature and turns them into short videos). So I’m super pumped for his book (which you need to preorder for Feb next year). In it he talks about the foods which are scientifically proven to reverse and treat disease – my kinda book. Get it for anyone who doesn’t want to die!
then you can always sign up for a Lifebox subscription, or check out their gorgeous luxury !
If you want it to feel like Christmas every month then you can always sign up for a Lifebox subscription to get healthy treats delivered to your door. Or check out their gorgeous luxury Christmas boxes!
I’ll (hopefully) be back with a recipe soon(ish). I’ll let you know.