This is the gift guide I’ve always anticipated being the easiest to put together, and the one I expected to have the most gifts. What I came to discover through this process, however, is that my fitness life is in a *w e i r d* place.
I am more into reiki than running (still love races though); I spend more time reading about spiritual wellness than sweating in spin class. Recovery is my favorite workout, and I’m almost exclusively going to Pilates lately.
lol I’m sorry this is becoming one of those blogger recipe posts where it’s like “so I picked up my son today from school [5,000 words later] anyway here’s a recipe for overnight oats.”
For a few years, I was so obsessed with getting stronger, running more miles, cramming in two- and three-a-days, always riding front row, impressing the Barry’s instructor, and eating whatever the latest health food trend was. Check ins on a fitness instagram, clean eating programs to “tone up,” and training schedules for the next race ruled my life. None of this was bad; I’m not having an epiphany of how a fitness obsession marred a segment of my twenties. It was just such a big thing for me, and now it has become more about balance, emotional wellness, body and brain working together, and taking care of myself.
ANYWAY, the gift guide. All of the above is seriously reflected in what’s on my gift guide this year. In lieu of a laundry list of running gear and exercise equipment, you’ll find mindfulness tools and muscle-melting magnesium.
These gifts are less “get swole” and more “get well.” Some things I love and use often, some things I want (hi, family), all things that would make epic gifts for you and someone you love.
Calm App ($70 for a year): the Calm app played such a big role in my wellness this year. Though I didn’t meditate every day like I resolved to on Jan 1, I have like 150 hours of meditation time. I would highly recommend this app for anyone looking to try meditation or take their practice to a more consistent level. There are targeted programs for different needs (like anxiety relief, sleep support, self-love improvement) and they have so many sleep resources; I’m such a fan of this whole program.
HOKA x OV Sneakers ($140): I don’t really know why but I’m obsessed with these shoes. OK well that’s a lie, I know why. They’re blush pink and monochrome. Also, Hokas are very comfortable and I haven’t run in them in a few years and I’m down to revisit.
Lululemon Ebb to Street Bra ($54): This is my favorite sports bra, (fo) ever ever. I want the light pink one. I wear my lavender grey one like twice a week — it’s so comfortable and SUCH a versatile style. Supportive without being too tight or restrictive, and great for light/low impact classes like yoga, barre, Pilates, etc.
Lululemon Align Super High Rise ($98): I have been wanting to get a new pair of Align pants for a while and this new garnet color is SPEAKING to me. I tell everyone this when I describe the Align: if a stick of butter wanted to be pants and then followed its dreams to completion, it would be the Align pant. So soft, so comfortable, inexplicable, you won’t get it until you try it yourself. Someone pls get these for me, ily.
Goop Perfect Attendance ($30): Here I am having another goop moment; I swore I wouldn’t become one of these people yet …. I am one of these people. I took the Perfect Attendance chewables (elderberry wuddup) when I was in Orlando for like my umpteenth press trip and travel day of 2019, when I was on a nonstop marathon of flights and work events in other states and countries. I was feeling sick. I hadn’t been sick in about a year. I was terrified and taking DayQuil pills. What would’ve turned into a full blown flu was curbed thanks to these (I think) — symptoms went away in a couple days after I took two of these daily for the rest of the trip; the bug I had never hit its zenith. I am not a supplement person (contrary to what this guide would lead you to believe) and I literally hate having to consume anything other than food and beverages, but this is a must for your immunity arsenal.
Bumpin’ Blends Smoothies ($88): Are prenatal smoothies my beauty secret? Maybe. My friend Lisa is an amazing dietitian and created these freakin delicious smoothie blends in cubes ready to deliver. Though they’re formulated for different pregnancy and nursing related symptoms and goals, there are some things — like cramp reduction, mood boost, fatigue relief, and skin/hair/nail support — that anyone can benefit from. The cookie dough is bonkers.
Rose Quartz Facial Roller (on sale for like 75% off): one of my most treasured tools this year has been my facial roller. It’s supposedly for lymphatic drainage and I have no idea if it actually *does* that but I use this as a de-puffer and massage my jaw to relieve TMJ. I bring it with me on every flight, which is pretentious but absolutely necessary.
Brené Brown Books: I started reading Brené Brown this year and she has honestly changed my life. I have a few of her audiobooks in my repertoire and highly, highly recommend them. I particularly love The Gifts of Imperfection and The Power of Vulnerability.
Calm Supplement ($25): so many people recommended this powdered magnesium to me, including a great acupuncturist. Magnesium supplementation is known to help relax muscles and relieve cramps, boost mood, relieve stress and anxiety, and aid in sleep. Chill inside and out, physically and mentally, and get better sleep with this — it blends into water like an EmergenC kind of powder, and tastes p good.
Tavi Noir Grip Socks ($18): Since I’m obsessed with Pilates (reformer, mat, chair, private, etc) I’m always in need of grip socks. Tavi Noir makes my favorite grip sock; I love the silhouette and style, colors, and material.
Smudge Wellness Starter Set ($45): My beautiful friends Luigi and Lara created this spiritual wellness delivery brand, Smudge. Their kits include a variety of magical treats: healing crystals for specific purposes, tarot cards, sage or palo santo, essential oils, air plants, sometimes CBD truffles (see below) and all sorts of beautiful healing modalities. The $45 set is a perfect combo of pieces for newbies, and comes in a gorgeous leather pouch.
Calivolve CBD Cherry Truffles ($30): These are insanely delicious — you legit would never know there’s cannabis medicine in them. Just typing about them now makes me want them right now; the cravings are real.
Beats Solo Pro ($300): Beats have been my favorite headphones for years, and I’m so excited the noise-cancelling ones are finally out. These are going to be perfect for my meditation practice in 2020; I’ll look like I’m about to record a sick alt-pop album while I listen to Tamara Levitt’s sweet, sweet voice on Calm.
Hyperice Hypervolt ($349): Fascia guns are the hottest recovery tool on the market right now, probably because of influencers on Instagram. That said, I still want one. The deep muscle massager is exactly what all of our IT bands need. I just tried one of these at LIVKRAFT (see below for more on that) and it’s pretty incredible. It’s a bit cheaper than rival Theragun ($400), and comes with different attachments. If you’re in San Diego and buy one of these at LIVKRAFT, you’ll get a month unlimited membership at the studio for different luxe treatments.
LIVKRAFT Gift Certificate (for float tanks!): I recently moved to La Jolla and discovered this amazing recovery studio, with cryotherapy, infrared saunas, float tanks, Normatec boots, and more. My favorite treatment? The float tank! It’s also called a sensory deprivation tank; kind of like what they do to Eleven in Stranger Things but less creepy and no access to the upside down. Also, a lot more salt. It’s pitch black, and you float in warm water with like a zillion pounds of epsom salts so it’s exxxxtra buoyant. You either have either no noise, or guided meditation/zen music (your choice). It is seriously SO soothing and relaxing. I just had an appointment today and I’m on cloud 99.
Zafu Pillow ($40): One of my goals for 2020 is to meditate more (and maybe to try transcendental meditation… TBD). I am always more motivated when I have a new product (one of my fatal flaws) so I want to create a little meditation space in my house, starting with this floor pillow. This one looks nice too… I can’t decide.
Sakara Meals: I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m pushing this too hard, but I really, REALLY love my Sakara meal plan. I don’t do it all the time because I don’t eat at home for every meal, and I don’t eat that clean all the time (like, I enjoy eating at Disneyland, sue me), but it is such an incredible treat when I do get the meal plan. And I say treat, not only because the meals themselves are a treat, but because it’s very expensive (use code BFDOMINIQUE or XODOMINIQUE to get a discount (for yourself and for a gift!)). If you’re not ready for the meals, try the beauty water, make your own at home with the cookbook, or sample a bit of the favs with the discovery kit.
Pilates Studio Reformer ($3,400): for about $1,000 more than a Peloton, you can have a full on Pilates reformer in your house. Obviously this is an insanely significant investment piece, and you have to have not only the funds but the space (and ability to practice at home), but this is like my ultimate goal. If I have a reformer in my house, I’ll know I’ve finally made it. If you don’t have an extra few thousand to throw into a gift, consider a gift card to a reformer Pilates studio — it’s the workout that works for literally anyone.
Basic CBD ($90): There are a lot of CBD oil brands out there, and honestly, there are a lot that I like. At least a dozen. What I like about this brand is right in the title: it’s basic. No frills, just good quality, well-sourced, and safely created. Colorado-grown, CO2-extracted (no solvents), third-party-tested, flavorless MCT oil. The 1,000 milligram bottle delivers 33 milligrams per serving, and it’s under $100 which — for its potency — is a great price.
Manduka ProLite Yoga Mat ($69): I’ve had this yoga mat for years, and it’s p r e m i u m. Highly recommend for anyone who needs one this holiday season!
Burke Williams Gift Certificate: I have a membership at Burke Williams and it has made my 2019 so much healthier and happier. Taking a few hours once a month to disconnect and unplug for spa time and CBD deep tissue massages has been an actual gift from heaven/my AmEx.
Dagne Dover Gym Bag ($185): this sandy colored neoprene duffel is a perfect gym and travel bag; I’ve been so obsessed with this hue lately and Dagne Dover nailed it. A great essential for someone who’s just getting started on their wellness journey and doesn’t have a proper bag yet.
Lord Jones Gumdrops ($45): the fanciest CBD gummies on the market are Lord Jones gumdrops. They’re potent (25mg per drop) and super tasty. These make a swanky gift for someone who’s really into wellness and looking for pain or anxiety relief.
Spoonk Acupressure Mat and Pillow ($50): I wrote a story earlier this year about acupressure mats and their potential ability to relieve pain and stress (not super researched just yet but I’m super game to try). You lay on the mat and let the pressure points relieve qi blockages at certain meridians; kind of like acupuncture lite (no needles).
Donation to Children’s Miracle Network: if you want to share the love for those in need this holiday, consider a donation to sick children and their families at a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Across the country, these pediatric hospitals provide treatment for the littlest patients, helping them understand their surgeries and procedures, bringing in therapy dogs and cheerful support, and helping the parents who are struggling to pay the bills. My best friend and I are running the WDW Disney Princess 10K in February in honor of these children and raising money to fund these hospital programs from coast to coast. This gift of health to someone in need will give you the gift of perspective, and help you to re-appreciate the treasure that is your own health and wellness.
Wishing you a healthy, happy holiday and an amazing start to your new year… new DECADE! Embrace wellness itself as a gift, and enjoy these store-bought gifts and experiences as ways to cherish and embrace your health every day.