Ways to Say “Yes” in 2014


Have you made your New Year’s Resolutions yet? Just browsing around, I’m seeing a common theme in New Year’s Resolutions. Many are wanting to lose weight. Spend less money. Eat less sweets. Go on a detox. Drink less coffee.

It kinda feels like everywhere, people want to say “no” to themselves. While some of these resolutions may have a positive motive behind them (after all, don’t we all set resolutions with the hopes of becoming a better person?), the constant naysaying can make the goal-setter feel trapped, restricted, or as though he/she is paying a penance for past misgivings. This is a large contributor to why many resolutions fail.

So this year, why not make a resolution to say “yes” to yourself more often? Saying yes can free yourself from all the rules, the restrictions, and the labeling of certain foods or actions as “bad”. This cognitive shift can be key to the success of your goals. Giving yourself permission to do more things, give yourself more options, and love yourself through the process is a wonderful, healthy practice. You can incorporate saying “yes” into a healthy diet and lifestyle in many ways. Here are a few great places to start:
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10 Last Minute Stocking Stuffers

With Christmas just days away, you may find yourself scrambling for those last-minute items to stuff into stockings. Fear not! We’ve got 10 quick ideas for simple gifts that will leave your loved ones delighted without draining your bank account.

DIY Satin Flower Hair Clips

For all you do-it-yourselfers, these DIY hair clips are cute, simple to make, and easy to personalize to the tastes of the recipient. Chances are, if you’re a regular crafter, you might have some of the supplies on hand already.

Spiced Maple Pecans

A jar of spiced nuts is a quintessential holiday gift. These healthy nuts are naturally sweetened with maple syrup, so you can feel good about giving them away…or whipping up a batch for yourself!

source: Alta Mantsch

source: Alta Mantsch

Lavender Olive Oil Body Scrub

This rich and luxurious lavender olive oil body scrub is an easy-to-make gift that will encourage your loved one to pamper themselves in the new year with a relaxing spa night at home. Pair it up with a dry skin brush and some lotion for a heftier gift set.

Food Rules

Food Rules, by Michael Pollan

For the foodie in your life, a copy of Michael Pollan’s Food Rules is a fun and educational gift that makes for great light reading over a holiday break. The slim paperback copy fits easily into a stocking or shoebox.

Mismatched Recycled Sweater Mittens

Reduce, reuse, recycle is the mantra of these mismatched sweater mittens! Find a unique and cozy pair on Etsy or a festive holiday pair from Uncommon Goods.


More quick stocking stuffer ideas:

  • Fresh fruit. I love hearing the stories my mom tells about my grandfather receiving a piece of fresh fruit in his stocking every year. His annual orange was one of his favorite gifts…and often the only gift. Sometimes simple says it best!
  • Notepads and paper. I love giving cute notepads to my family members each year, since most of us are always scrounging for scratch paper. Pair it up with a set of pens or pencils to sweeten the deal.
  • Small jars filled with paperclips, thumbtacks, magnets, or stickers. Repurpose jam and honey jars for holiday gifting by filling them up with useful office supplies (or stickers for kids).
  • Essential oils. Available at most health food stores, pure essential oils make a lovely stocking stuffer for the ladies in your life. Choose lavender for stress relief and better sleep, peppermint for sore muscles and body aches, orange for increased energy and immunity, and lemon for natural home cleaning purposes.

What are your favorite holiday stocking stuffers to give and receive? Leave a comment and let us know!

Hallie KleckerHallie Klecker is the author of Super Healthy Cookies and  The Pure Kitchen, both gluten- and dairy-free cookbooks focusing on fresh ingredients and whole foods. Her newest e-book, Crazy for Kale, makes use of kale in 40 creative ways. She is also the Editorial Content Manager for Simply Gluten Free Magazine. Hallie writes the recipe blog Daily Bites, where she shares her passion for cooking with whole, natural foods. Hallie is a certified Nutrition Educator and former personal chef. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Make-Ahead Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy

Make-Ahead Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy | The Balanced Platter

source: Alta Mantsch


The holidays are full of way-too-much craziness. It’s terrifically busy. Especially when preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. Even if we do a potluck-style meal, I tend to make most of the main dishes every year for a large crowd. Because there are several members of my family that must eat gluten-free, I want to be sure they don’t miss out on anything.  This means I have a ton of tasks to accomplish. In order to make everything go more smoothly, I’ve learned to make some things ahead of time. I make some side dishes and freeze, thawing ahead of time and popping into the oven as soon as the turkey is out. This extra bit of planning really saves me time (and sanity) on the big day.

A few years back, I also learned to make gravy in advance. I almost kicked myself for not thinking of it sooner. Gravy is something that freezes beautifully. Once it’s made, you only have to thaw it, warm it, whisk it a bit, and add drippings from the turkey if you desire. That’s it. Your guests are none the wiser.

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Handling the Holidays Gluten-Free

Before you know it, the holidays will be upon us. Holidays can be a challenge for those of us who are gluten free or have other food allergies, so I’d like to share a few tips that help me to have a happy, healthy, and balanced holiday season.

Gluten-Free Tips for the Holidays

1. Choose your traditional favorites.

We all have traditional holiday recipes that we loved before going gluten free. You do not have to give them up. You may have to do a bit of research to learn how to tweak them, so it’s not a good idea to wait until the night before to find a gluten-free turkey gravy that comes close to Granny’s. For me, dressing (or stuffing) has always been the quintessential Thanksgiving dish. Thanksgiving just doesn’t work without it. So where ever I go, you know I’ll be bringing this Gluten-Free Stuffing along to share.

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