Tips & Tricks

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!

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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Five Health Benefits of Gelatin

gelatin blox

source: Alta Mantsch

Do you get a lot of gelatin in your diet? Chances are, if you’re like most people, you might think of gelatin when you’re eating Jell-O or occasionally when you’re baking, but otherwise, using or eating gelatin is not something that ever crosses your mind. Thing is, gelatin can provide some excellent health benefits.

In traditional diets, gelatin was something that was consumed just about every day, as most people ate all parts of an animal. This meant not just eating muscle, but also making collagen-rich stocks with things like chicken feet, fish heads, and beef knuckle bones, and eating sinewy parts and organ meats. Gelatin is simply the processed version of collagen, and is rich in amino acids arginine and glycine. These amino acids are important for the protection of cells and a generous supply of glycine in particular has a host of anti-stress actions. Keep reading…

Get FREE Greens at the Farmer’s Market & Strawberry Lemonade Green Smoothie

source: Tess Masters

Back in October of last year, I posted my top 7 Tips For Boosting Immunity With Green Smoothies.

Tip #5 was: Get Affordable or FREE Greens at your local Farmer’s Market

I want to talk about this again, as I receive countless emails every month from readers who want to include more fresh organic vegetables and leafy greens into their diet but find the cost a challenge.

To recap on tip #5: Most people ask to have the greens cut off of their beets, turnips, and carrots, etc. at market stalls. Ask your local vendor for any tops they have cut off for other customers. These greens are absolutely loaded with nutrients, and very often you can pick them up for free (they are just going to throw them away) or for a couple of bucks.

Another top tip for getting affordable produce is to make friends with the stall owners, and at the end of the day you can pick up large boxes of surplus produce for a song! This can include leafy greens, as well as other seasonal fruits and veggies. You can then create all kinds of smoothies, juicessalads, and other delicious creations for a fraction of the cost.

A nutrient-dense green smoothie is a quick, easy, delicious way to get your daily dose of greens and other fruits and vegetables in one hit. It is also a fabulous way to help inspire confidence in novice cooks and children. Picking up seasonal produce boxes at the market keeps things interesting and diverse, and expands the family’s gustatory repertoire and experiences.
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