Okay, shopaholics: It’s that time of year again, when we burn off our Thanksgiving calories by trampling over each other in a frenzied rush to save a few bucks. After all, what exemplifies gratitude and elicits more holiday cheer than shoving your thumbs into a guy’s eyes so he’ll let go of the limited edition Lego Chima set you promised to buy your kid for Christmas?
To be honest, even if I wasn’t working night shifts at the hospital this week, you couldn’t pay me enough to brave the Black Friday crowds. Someone else can tweet about the looting and rioting at Walmart this year. I’m content to trawl the Internets in search of holiday gifts.
In fact, I’ve already been scouting out some of the awesomest presents available online:
For Cookbook Lovers:
As the right-hand navigation bar on my blog clearly shows, there’s no shortage of incredible Paleo books out there. You really can’t go wrong with any of the tomes listed on the right side of my website.
For example, this is the perfect time to grab copies of Melissa Joulwan’s Well Fed 2 and Diana Rodgers’ Paleo Lunches and Breakfasts on the Go. At my very first book signing (at CrossFit Palo Alto on the evening of Thursday, January 2), both Mel and Diana will be joining me—and though we’ll all be selling our books at the event, it can’t hurt to stock up, right? (Especially if you can’t make it to the signing.) Keep your eyes peeled—details and an RSVP link will be posted on Sunday Monday (I’m behind…)!
But come on: What kind of terrible self-promoter would I be if I didn’t hawk my own cookbook? Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans hits shelves on December 17—just two-and-a-half weeks away! Preorder the book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and wherever books are sold. There’s a Kindle version, a Google Play version, and even a super-interactive enhanced Apple Books edition of our cookbook that looks incredible on an iPad or iPhone. (Nook and Kobo versions are coming, too.)
Prefer interactive cookbook apps? You can gift someone the Nom Nom Paleo iPad app, Nourished app (for iOS devices), and Caveman Feast (available for both Android and iOS). And yes, there are indeed apps worth purchasing.
For the Bacon-Obsessed:
Remember those mail-order music companies like Columbia House that would send you a record or cassette or CD every month? The allure of the initial “12 CDs for the price of 1!” deal was hard to resist—but then you’d be stuck getting (and paying for) a random album every month for the foreseeable future unless you actually managed to send back the “no, I don’t want your dumb record” form every month. (What? You’re too young to remember a time before iTunes and Spotify? Reminisce about the good old days here.)
Thankfully, Columbia House has gone the way of the dodo. Let’s face it: The only unexpected package I want showing up at my house every month is bacon. And luckily, there are tons of porky mail-order options available.
Put a smile on your friends’ faces by:
- Ordering them packages of bacon from Pete’s Paleo and/or U.S. Wellness Meats!
- Signing them up for Zingerman’s Bacon of the Month Club!
- Getting them a Savenor’s Bacon Society membership!
Too pricey? There’s always bacon soap for your pals who smell too strongly of kale. And don’t forget about GIR’s Special Edition Bacon Spatula. (I’ll be giving away some of the latter at my book events!)
For a Sweet Treat:
Dessert is a rare indulgence in our house, and we normally eat only those sweets that we make ourselves…or high quality dark chocolate. Still, there are occasions that call for a quick, easy, grain-free treat—like holiday cookie parties and last-minute celebrations at school. When that happens, we turn to our favorite options:
- Primal Palate’s / Cappello’s frozen chocolate chip cookie dough—not because I don’t think you’re incapable of making your own cookies, but because this high-quality, cost-effective, quick-prep alternative can save you in a holiday pinch. I certainly don’t have those ingredients handy!
- Paleo Treats (The Banditos—chocolate-covered almond butter cups—are my new fave. I sampled some a few weeks back, and then had to order a ten-pack. You know, for…uh…pictures.)
- Caveman Cookies. My kids love these yummy treats—and how great is this packaging? (I’m a sucker for cute mascots.)
All three make great gifts—and you can even leave some out for Santa.
For Java Addicts:
Before heading in to work every night, I blend myself a freshly brewed cup of coffee with a generous dollop of organic ghee and coconut oil. It’s become an immensely gratifying ritual; I won’t even let Henry do it for me. (Mostly because he does it wrong.)
Here’s how I do it:
- Buy a pound of Silken Splendor beans from Philz Coffee (or whatever beans your caffeine-craving heart desires) and a jar of Primal Fat from Pure Indian Foods.
- Use a Breville Smart Grinder—my burr grinder of choice—to grind just the right amount of beans to make a cup. (You can use preground beans, but it just isn’t the same.)
- Brew the coffee in an Aeropress. They’re inexpensive, require no electricity, and easy to pack for business or pleasure. I’m bringing one with us to Hong Kong and Thailand, and it’ll be my constant companion on my January book tour, too. (Though in Portland and Seattle, I have a feeling I’ll leave it in my suitcase.)
- Blitz the coffee together with a dollop of Primal Fat with a stick blender. See? Immersion blenders aren’t just for mayonnaise and mashes.
- Savor. Slowly. And then dive headlong into your day. (Or night, if you’re me.)
Put together this kit for the coffee fans in your life, and they’ll love you forever. (Want more gift ideas for caffeine lovers? Check out The Kitchn’s recommendations!)
Gifts for Cooks:
One of the best gifts I received this year was from my stylish chef sister. Fiona’s always trying to get me out of my scrubs and into something cute and fashionable, but I JUST. CAN’T. DO. IT. (I may be a profligate spender when it comes to food, but I’m a cheap slob when it comes to fashion.)
As a compromise, Fiona gave me a Hedley & Bennett apron, one of the sleekest, most beautifully-crafted aprons I’ve ever seen. (Read more about them here and here.) They’re not flashy, but every time I put it on, I get compliments.
[Photo: Veronica Weber]
It’s no secret that I adore LunchBots containers. I store all my leftovers in spill-proof LunchBots Clicks and pack my kiddos’ lunches in Quads and Thermals. But right now, my favorite LunchBots items are the stainless steel dish set and children’s cutlery set; they’re cute, functional, and durable.
My pick for kitchen gadget of the year? Definitely a Paderno spiralizer. I’ve been making “noodles” out of all sorts of produce (zucchini, sweet potatoes, apples, carrots) and it’s increased my family’s veggie consumption exponentially. I thought I bought it for a steal when it was priced at $35, but today, it’s available for less than $21. Get in on it!
For Exercise Buffs
Okay, I admit that I haven’t been exercising as much as I should, but I’ve got some items in our garage gym that help maximize my suboptimal effort.
Believe it or not, a kettlebell makes for a great gift. It just might be the most effective and versatile piece of exercise equipment we own. I’ve even been known to do farmer’s walks with my kettlebell around a hotel. (While wearing scrubs, naturally.)
(Plus, it’s fun to watch the befuddled delivery guy try to lift the box out of his truck. The last kettlebell we purchased was just dumped on the front edge of our lawn because the truck driver gave up on carrying it to the front door.)
When I want a quick cardio workout, I break out my RX Jump Rope.
Henry rushes home to help with the kids after his morning CrossFit workouts, so he doesn’t always have time to treat his muscles right after a WOD. Fortunately, we’ve got a Trigger Point Performance Grid Foam Roller that he uses to stretch out after the boys are off to school. Get one, too. Your body will thank you for it.
Not enough? Need more gift ideas? Be sure to peruse my handy-dandy Shopping Guide for recommendations on all my favorite things! Now go stimulate the economy!