Nutritionist-Approved Stocking Stuffers
Gimme Those Fuzzy Feelings
Is there anything more fun than unpacking a stocking on Christmas morning? A sock full of little goodies to unwrap and enjoy. It's a tradition we've always kept up in my house and honestly, it might be my favourite part! (I get cozy socks every year and I love them.)
But there's something that's been nagging at me... Is it just me or does holiday shopping get a little out of control? I always end up getting way too much or spending money on things people really don't need. Just for the sake of a gift! Personally, I know I'd rather make memories and spend time with the people I love than stockpile of bunch of "stuff" I may never use.
Forget The Pressure
This year, I'm trying to do just that. I'm focusing more on quality time, memorable experiences and good food, rather than gifts. And you know what? It's awesome!
There's so much guilt and pressure around gift-giving:
- Did I get them enough?
- They got me something and I didn't get them anything.
- Maybe they don't need yet another colouring book!
Why are we creating so much stress around a time that should be filled with joy?! I say no more.
That being said, it's still the holidays and gifting is a wonderful part of the experience. The key is finding ways to make it meaningful, healthy and sustainable while you're at it.
So, here's my shortlist of quality, memorable, eco-friendly and exciting stocking stuffers! (I should mention that none of this is sponsored, I just absolutely love these products.)
1. Crochet Dishcloths
Do you crochet? If not, it's not that hard to learn! You could pick up the supplies you need from Michael's for under $30 and be able to fashion reusable dishcloths for all your friends! Or to save on time, why not make some entrepreneur's day and purchase some from a local small business?
2. Beeswax Food Wraps
The new trend in wellness circles, these reusable beeswax food wraps are plastic-free and biodegradable. You'll never have to use plastic wrap again. Be the eco-friendly Santa Claus this year and give your friends the gift of sustainability. They are also pretty easy to DIY if you're feeling crafty!
3. Everything But The Bagel Seasoning
A Trader Joe's favourite - why not DIY this recipe, pick up a few shakers and give your friends the gift of garlic? Anyone who sprinkles this on avocado toast will be hooked!
4. Soup In A Mason Jar
An oldie, but a goodie. Assemble some dry soup ingredients and spices in a mason jar, and send a friend a warm hug - just add water. Or let Soup Girl do it for you and support a small business.
5. Cuter Than Candy
If you love to stuff your stockings with snacks, dried fruit and healthified candy is a fun way to keep up the tradition. Crunchy or chewy, it'll taste better than the sugary stuff. My all-time favourites are Smart Sweets and dried pineapple (see ya, Sour Patch Kids).
6. Specialty Chocolate
I don't think there's anything better the biting into an amazing bar of chocolate. Your conventional milk chocolate bars are full of fillers and sugar. When you eat raw cacao instead, not only is it delicious, but you get the added benefits of it's antioxidant profile. Why not try chocolate from the people who know how to do it best? My favourite bar of all time is CocoSoul's Sinfully Raw Vanilla. )There's also always room for a Lindor chocolate truffle, let's be honest!)
7. Loose Leaf Tea
We all love getting a new, fancy tea to try! Best of all, you can find one that's just as healing as it is comforting. Look for ingredients like ginger, peppermint, dandelion, nettle, and a rooibos base for added antioxidants. One of my fave's is Organic Super Ginger from David's Tea.
8. Clean Beauty Products
Who doesn't end up getting a body butter in their stocking? Beauty products make a great gift, but we have to consider their ingredients. Parabens, phalates, and gross chemicals should all be avoided in order to protect our hormones and our skin. Find something with natural ingredients you can pronounce and pamper the people in your life with quality products. I'm super fond of Dadirri Naturals and Skin Essence Organics. Both companies are committed to clean, natural ingredients. You can use my code RENEE10 to get 10% off your Dadirri order!
9. Bamboo Toothbrush
In an effort to reduce plastic and save the planet, we are switching over to eco-friendly toothbrushes at my house. They're not that expensive, and something most people wouldn't buy for themselves. And really, who doesn't love the fresh feeling of a new toothbrush?
10. Reusable Straws
Another really fun one to reduce our negative impact on the planet. Some cities have gone straw-free but we can help out by packing a reusable straw with us when we go to our favourite coffee shops. Or enjoy them at home. My favourites are glass straws, because you can see through them, but they are less portable, so stainless steel straws work as well!
11. Utensils To-Go
We all want to help reduce waste and plastic, right? Better yet, choosing things made from natural fibers means they'll break down that much more quickly when they finally end up in a waste pile. Enter the bamboo cutlery set. Packs light and tight to bring along and refuse plastic utensils at your favourite takeout joint.
12. At-Home Escape Game
Tell me you've tried an escape game! They are the new Friday-movie-night. Basically, you go into a room (or series of rooms) and have to escape by completing a bunch of puzzles and brain twisters. There are companies that run different rooms all over the city, but the board game community has jumped on board too! They've simulated the escape room experience from the comfort of your own home. Unlock is a great one to try, because although you won't be able to play again (having solved all the puzzles), you can pass it on to a friend and the fun can be recycled over and over again.
13. Stasher Bags
Can you tell there's a theme here? Say goodbye to Ziplock bags! These reusable silicone storage bags are just the best. Compact, see through and oh-so-portable, who wouldn't want to pull out a colourful silicone gem from their stocking? Great for transporting snacks, meal prepping in the freezer and storing odds and ends.
14. Natural Deodorant
I think we are all on the safe deodorant train these days, no? If not, what're you waiting for! Conventional deodorant is full of toxins and xenoestrogens which are the last things we need right beside our sensitive breast tissue. The trouble is, most natural deodorants are the pits, pun intended. Here's my two favourites! Rocky Mountain Soap Co. and Dom's Deodorant. They work so you don't have to smell like you do, too.
15. Recipe Box Subscription
If you're feeling generous this year, why not buy a recipe box subscription for that special person on your list. Fresh City Farms is my all-time favourite. They have a farm here in Toronto and have a nutritionist-curated selection of recipes you can have delivered to your door. Just unbox, chop, sautée and savour. You can use this link to get $20 off!
My Gift To You
And there you have it! You'll noticed I've linked a lot of different products from Well.ca because I figure, why not make it as easy as possible? Assemble your cart, order online and have it shipped to your door! You can use the code SALTY10 for $10 off your oder of $40+. Literally not affiliated at all, just have the savings code and 'tis the season for giving.
Where There's Gifts, There's Plastic
Keep in mind that gifting can also be extremely wasteful. That's why most of my suggestions are as eco-friendly as possible. We'll be surrounded by plastic things wrapped in plastic, creating more permanent waste in our oceans and exposing us to xenoestrogens (hello unhealthy hormones). I'm trying to reduce my environmental impact every day and keep things healthy, but this holiday I'm going to kick things in overdrive! Even our wrapping paper makes an impact. Try to recycle gift bags that were given to you, or upcycle something like newspaper. Don't forget, the shiny wrapping paper ends up in the trash because it can't be recycled, so avoid that at the very least.
Happy Holidays To You!
Try to stay mindful this holiday season and remember to enjoy the memories over the material.