December is here! If you're like us, you probably are just now considering what gifts to purchase for your loved ones. Meryl and I took the time to jot down a few of our must-haves. You're sure to find something for even the most discerning of tastes...and probably something for yourself, too!
- CostCo Membership: For $55 you can give someone the gift of being able to buy all of their favorite items (and items they didn’t even know they needed) for a year. I never thought I’d drive 90 miles to get groceries, but, when you live in Clovis, NM and you love Costco that much it’s what you do! Tons of items for great prices. * Look for a future blog post on our favorite items to get in bulk.
- Nespresso Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother: For those of you that like to fancify (yes I made up that word) your coffee. Skip the $6 cappuccino/latte/etc from Starbucks and make your own healthier version at home for A LOT less $$. I love black coffee, but, black coffee or a few espresso shots topped with almond milk foam and sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg is a real treat!
- Bath & Body Works Lavender Vanilla Candle: Until this year I hadn’t stepped into a Bath & Body Works since I bought a juniper breeze gift set for someone’s 13th birthday, BUT, my friend dragged me in with her and I was hooked. This candle helps me relax and wind down at the end of the day. BONUS: light this in the bathroom while aiding recovery with an epsom salt bath with Dr. Teal’s Lavender Sooth & Sleep Epsom Salt, Foaming Bath, and Body Wash.
- Slingshot Hip Circle: one of my favorite items to help hip/glute/ham activation when warming up for a workout. It can also be used as part of a workout for a real burner. It takes up very little room in a bag so you can take it with you everywhere. A few different sizes/resistances are available and it is super comfortable (no leg hair being pulled out guys!).
- Lacrosse Ball: Those that know us know that we preach mobility. This is a great item to use for trigger point mobility and myofascial release. It’s cheap and travels easy.
- Rock Sauce: Or as I like to call it, Magic Sauce. Put this on before/during/after physical activity to help with sore muscles. This stuff is spicy!! Just be sure to wash your hands after use and before you take your contact lenses out.
- Qalo Ring: I love these! It took me wearing my real rings for one day in the gym to realize that it was not a good idea and I don’t like not wearing anything. I saw a few people wearing this ring, decided to try it, and never looked back. I wear this ring around the clock- work with it on, workout with it on, cook with it on, shower with it on, and sleep with it on. The only time that I take it off is on the rare occasion that I morph into a normal person, get dressed up, and go somewhere nice. These rings come in TONS of colors and have some that are linked to organizations with partial benefits going to those charities.
- RoadID and their (free) app. You don't have to be a runner or cyclist to take advantage of a RoadID. RoadIDs are wearable IDs (bracelets, anklets, shoe tags, smart watch and tracker bands, etc) that give vital contact info to first responders in case of emergency. They also have an amazing free app that allows your friends/family to track you via "crumbs" if you're out on a ride or run.
- Elvie Pelvic Floor Trainer: OK, so not something you would likely purchase for grandma, but still a viable product for your own wish list! Although I have not yet tried Elvie, I know how important doing proper pelvic floor exercises can be for postpartum rehab. My road to recovery took 6 months with a physical therapist! All it takes is one good cough to remind me that I have been slacking on my exercises. If you leak a little (or a lot), you might consider working on a few things "down there". Having a device like Elvie may be just the accountability that some ladies need to improve the integrity of their pelvic muscles. All women would benefit from doing more focused PF exercises.
- Yoga Download Membership: You can't beat the variety or quantity of yoga video and audio recordings on YogaDownload.com. If you know you need less stress, more flexibility, and a clearer mind, this is a great option. Stream or download from dozens of styles. They even have prenatal, postnatal, pilates, meditation, and fusion, not to mention traditional practices. Awesome for frequent travelers or parents who can't steal away to a scheduled class. Not enough time? Classes range from 20-90 minutes. I have about 50 downloaded classes that I keep on a flash drive when I travel.
- Oofos Sandals: I am addicted to these flip flops and slides. Not only are they great recovery sandals, they are amazing house-shoes. I own two pair and purchased them for my husband, sister, and both parents. Everyone is so impressed. They are wonderfully supportive, yet feel like you're walking on marshmallows. Great for plantar fasciitis, too.
- SPI belt: Fanny pack? I think not. I never cared for arm bands, and fell in love this low-profile, zippered product. It stretches to fit most phones, IDs, and gus, and I can run comfortably without too much bounce. The product photos show most people with the pack in front, but I prefer to put it on my rear. I lift with it on, too; just a quick twist of the belt and I can easily get down on a bench or the ground without smashing my phone. Washes up beautifully and travels great.
- Silpat Silicone Baking Mat: Roasting vegetables or baking tofu leads to a great finished product. But sometimes too much stickage means losing about half of your food, not to mention those yummy crispy bits are now forever glued to the pan. Silicone baking mats solve both problems and make cleanup a breeze. Saves on oil use, too.
- TRX: If you are limited on space and can't afford an entire set of weights, the TRX is a wonderful at-home gym option. It is a bodyweight suspension training device that puts the user in control of how much weight to "lift". We have used it with clients as young as 8 and as old as 75; all levels of fitness can challenge themselves appropriately on the TRX. Add a kettlebell to your home-gym investment, and you'll have plenty of killer workout options with just these two pieces of equipment. We recommend women start with 25-35# KB for many exercises and men start with 35-45#*. Then contact Amy to purchase a remote TRX training session via Skype or FaceTime from the comfort of your own garage, basement, or office!
- Knobby Foot Roller: Our feet take a beating but we mostly ignore them when it comes to mobility and body-care. You don't need to wait for a foot injury like plantar fasciitis to start taking care of your feet! Dedicate a minute or two to your feet every day. They will thank you; your hips and back will probably thank you, too.
- Body Back Buddy: If you can't convince your roommate to work out the pesky knots in your back, shoulders, and neck, you need a Body Back Buddy. It's a self-massage tool that allows you to get plenty of leverage and dig into those trigger points all by yourself.
- Yeti Tumbler: Yes, they should probably replace the "t" in Yeti with a dollar sign, but if you love your hot drinks hot for longer than you though possible, you need this tumbler. I never would have spent the money myself, but I'm glad that I was gifted two of these little gems.
- Chefman Electric Kettle: If you remember a previous post of my favorite things, you'll recognize this item. I rarely have to wait more than a few seconds to get a rolling boil out of this kettle. You an choose the temperature you'd like, which makes mixing baby formula or herbal teas a breeze. I never knew I wanted one of these until I had it. Plus, they have a great 2-year warranty.
- Another "my favorite things" item is Mack's Pillow Soft Ear Plugs. I have never had luck with ANY earplug staying in place until Mack's. And I have tried them all. Mack's are wonderful. Great for swimming, too, if you are so inclined. And with all those snoring relatives in the house this month, you know you're going to need them.
- YakTrax: I first learned of these from my parents, who are volunteer first responders in the mountains. If you walk or run outdoors through the wintry months, you need these! I have run on solid sheets of ice without any problems in my YakTrax. Great for snow- and ice-covered roads or trails. Easy "installation" to and removal from any running shoe.
Happy Shopping! Let us know what gear you can't live without!
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