Tuesday, December 6, 2016

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things: Anna's Christmas Gift Guide

Well, if Oprah can do it, why can't I?  I decided to put together a list of my favorite things that may be good stocking stuffers for your loved ones, or even just a nice gift focused on health and wellness as we head towards the New Year.  NONE of these posts are sponsored.  My opinions are my own, but these truly are a few of my favorite things!

If you recall from my blog post, "The Crazy Things You Do When you Have Cancer" I have been on a mission to find healthy products that do not make me feel like I am giving myself cancer from the every day things I do in life.  Now, there are a ton of reasons why cancer happens, and no, I don't believe my face lotion is giving me cancer, BUT, I do believe in minimizing the body's exposure to chemicals.  The less stress you put on your body with toxins and chemicals, the better job it will do in fighting diseases.  Hence, I have no regret moving to healthier versions of my every day products.

First off, don't try to sell me your face care regimen.  For two years, I've used "Say Yes to Carrots" Daily Facial Scrub and Cerve`'s Daily Moisturizer.  I still get compliments that I do not look my 41 years, so I think I will stick with it.  I do wish Cerve` was slightly more organic, but it works great and it is affordable.   They also produce a day lotion with SPF that is great in the summertime if you are outside a lot. Did I mention affordable? I _might_ spend $20 bucks on these two products and they work.  Keep it simple: Cheap and it works?  Get it.

Finally, in this picture, is Native deodorant.  This all natural, no parabens, no sulfites, no weirdness deod is awesome.  Yes, I am telling you my deodorant on social media.  No, I am not embarrassed about it.  Well, at least not too embarrassed, because seriously, it has taken me TWO YEARS to find this stuff.  I have cycled through so many natural deodorants in a quest to find something that does not make me feel like I am absorbing chemical after chemical in my armpits and this is it. It works longer than a couple of hours, smells great, it does not itch, and it's healthy.  Amazing stuff.  It isn't cheap ($12), but it's worth it.

My next favorite item is mascara.  If you recall, I might have let a bit of crazy out in that blog post indicating a worry that my mascara might kill me.  All dramatics aside, in my healthy quest, I found Pacifica Organic Mineral based mascara.  This stuff is the bomb.  On the rare occasion I wear mascara, this stuff is it. (My apologies for the upside down picture, my computer is NOT being friendly today.) I like this stuff so much, I gave it to my niece for Christmas this year (I hope she isn't reading my blog right now).

Next, get your loved one a Fit Bit or other fitness device.  There is nothing more motivating towards a life of fitness than a tracker that tells you how far you've gone in your physical efforts in one day.  The app for the phone can let you track your workouts, steps, calorie intake, sleep and mood.  I cannot think of any other technical device I like better.  Pair it with Christ Walk: A 40 Day Spiritual Fitness Program and you are giving the gift of health and wellness.

The benefits of Green Tea are so well documented, I am not even going to get into it here.  You can look up the research yourself, but some studies indicate that two cups of green tea a day can help your body fight cancer itself.  I am not quite up to two cups a day, because at heart I am a coffee drinker (you can see my coffee pot in the background), BUT, the antioxidants in Green Team are super stars.  It took me FOREVER to find a Green Tea I liked, and here is the result. Tea Republic Honey Ginseng Green Tea.  Smooth, and well... green....this tea has hints of honey and goes down without me feeling like I am drinking tea made of twigs.  My goal each day is to replace a cup of coffee with a cup of tea.  So far, so good. Take that cancer cells!

Next up for consideration is to switch all your plasticware for glassware.  This was one of the first things I did when I got sick, and I have no regrets.  I have not figure out how to replace ALL the plastic in our house, but storing your food in glass versus plastic is a GREAT start.  Believe it or not, those plastics can degrade into your food which gets added to the toxic overload on your body.  It just is not worth it.  Plus, if you microwave food in plastic containers, it degrades the plastic further.  Why take a chance?  Switch to glassware.  The tops stay on great, and it's better for the environment.  The baby whales will thank you.

You may have seen me tweet or Instagram the next gift idea:  A subscription to FaithBox. FaithBox is a monthly subscription that includes a month worth of devotionals and several gifts from organizations that use their profits to support those in need.  For the last six months, FaithBox has sent items that support Haiti, Food Banks, Employment support, Human Trafficking, Child Abuse, Sexual Assault, African ministries and others.  The donations go to feed the poor, clothe the homeless, provide healthcare and shelter to those in need.  I cannot think of a better way to enjoy a little splurge each month than with something that not only builds me spiritually, but also helps others in the process.

Finally, no gift giving guide of mine would be complete without an appeal to give the gift of my own books!  We've got "Sally the Comet" for your youngsters seeking to explore space; "Christ Walk Kids" for those tweens and teens seeking spirituality in the every day; and "Christ Walk: A 40 Day Spiritual Fitness Program" for those seeking to combine spiritual and physical practice.  Give the gift of Health, and give one of my books to your loved ones as a gift!