Christmas Gift Guide 2015

This might be a little late for your Christmas tree but not too late overall and it could also be titled, “Recommendations: Media that I consumed in 2015 and liked”.

What do you get your loved ones (or yourself) this holiday season?
(Note: Most of the links below are affiliate links, so I get a commission for sales. I only recommend what I like.)

Health education.

Check out the event archive to see check out past educational events that I've promoted. The deal with these events: They're free during the short period of time that they're live, then they're available for purchase so you can download the presentations and/or buy USB drives with all the files. When you purchase them to keep you also get transcripts and bonuses. Some have hundreds of dollars worth of bonuses.


I'm a fan of both of these companies. Writing a blog post about both is on my to do list for the new year.

Annemarie Gianni has gift sets, holiday sets, travel kits, sample kits and gift certificates. I love her products. After reading about them for several years and trying a couple of sample products, I upgraded to a larger size of some products. Love.

Living Libations Winter Beauty KitI won one of thse a few months ago and while I didn't love it at first, I do now.  Also, the Living Libations Self-Dentistry Kit rocks your mouth.


Annmarie Gianni Balance Gift Set


Book lover. Credit: Wikipedia

Here are some of my favourites. I'm looking at my own bookshelf as I type this, and checking Amazon to see what Kindle books I've bought & read over the last year or more:

Food & Health

UnDiet: Eat Your Way to Vibrant Health and The UnDiet Cookbook: 130 Gluten-Free Recipes for a Healthy and Awesome Life: Plant-Based Meals with Options for Any Diet, both by Meghan Telpner. I own both on paperback. Yes, you can use meat in the recipes! Some of the recipes provide modifications to include organic, pastured animal protein. For example, the Takeaway Taco Salad includes an option to replace two of the vegan protein sources with free-run organic ground beef or turkey. “Plant-based” doesn't mean “plant only”.

See also  Pumpkin Smoothie

All of Diane Sanfilippo's books: Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods LifestyleThe 21-Day Sugar Detox: Bust Sugar & Carb Cravings Naturally, and The 21-Day Sugar Detox Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes for any Program Level. I own all of these on paperback. I cook from them regularly.

I Quit Sugar, by Sarah Wilson. I read this in 2014 and still enjoy it.

The Bulletproof Diet and Bulletproof: The Cookbook by Dave Asprey. I have Kindle editions but I'd like to buy paperback at some point.

Kale and Coffee: A Renegade's Guide to Health, Happiness, and Longevity by Kevin Gianni (husband of Annmarie, whose skincare products I recommended above). Kindle, with paperback on my wishlist. (I can often get Kindle books for 99 cents or free.)

Non-food & health books that I read this year and loved, mostly funny and inspiring written by actor/writers:

paddleyourown canoeI rarely read actor/writer autobiographies but this was a good year. Nick Offerman's Paddle Your Own Canoe (2014) went on my reading list after I watched his Netflix special. I found the book to be funny, charming and inspiring. Amy Poehler's Yes Please (2015), but it was funny and unexpectedly inspiring (I had no idea it would contain a dose of “self-help”). It wasn't that I was on a Parks and Rec actors' biography binge, but I did read Offerman's first. I read Tina Fey's Bossypants (2012), also a great read, in 2014, which I only mention because of the Poehler connection. Mindy Kaling's Why Not Me? (2015 – I read this one shortly after publication) is one I read over a weekend last fall. It went on my reading list after I read an excerpt online. This is what got me:

Work hard, know your shit, show your shit, and then feel entitled. Listen to no one except the two smartest and kindest adults you know, and that doesn't always mean your parents. If you do that, you will be fine.Mindy Kaling

LOVE THAT! Work hard, know your shit, show your shit…. Listen to no one…. Fuck, yeah.

See also  From Instagram: Appreciating My Body

Why Not Me? was also unexpectedly inspiring while funny. Then I binge-watched all seasons of The Mindy Project because while I'd previously seen the occasional episode, I never really watched it. I'm a few episodes behind on the current season.

Brene Brown's Rising Strong. I have the hardcover version, which I bought shortly after it came out, after I'd read an excerpt in O Magazine.

I recently finished Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. I bought it at an actual bricks and morter bookstore. That rarely happens. Most of my books come from Amazon.

The School of Greatness: A Real-World Guide to Living Bigger, Loving Deeper, and Leaving a Legacy by Lewis Howes. I came across this because Howes hosted the Unleash Your Greatness Summit this year.

This was in my gift guide last year and I include it in part as a reminder to myself to read it again: Do Cool Sh*t: Quit Your Day Job, Start Your Own Business, and Live Happily Ever After by Miki Agrawal.


I'm kind of hooked on planners even though I forget to use them. For years, even into the digital age, I carried a notebook everywhere. Now I just need to be disciplined with these. Here are some I recommend:

I like my 2015 Desire Map planner a lot and it looks like improvements were made for 2016. Take a look:


I've also used the Create Your Shining Year business goals and life goals workbooks. They're fabulous. Check out the website to learn more. It's thorough and includes looks inside. I'll be ordered the digital versions for printing this year.


I know people who love Passion Planner and Spark Planner, both of which are Kickstarter success stories. The creator of the Spark Planner is a technology executive and startup founder who has worked for Microsoft and Amazon.

I want all of them.


The best thermometer in the world:

Thermapen. This isn't specific to health and wellness, but I recommend it on every gift list, every year. It's the best culinary thermometer in the world. They came out with an even better one this year that's backlit, has motion-sensing sleep & wake mode and has an auto rotating display.

See also  My 2016 Word and Looking Ahead

The best coffee maker in the world that requires no power and no stove (see note below):

Aeropress. We bought one for camping. Now we're addicted – to Aeropress, not coffee – and own 4. Clarification on “no stove”: You'll need to boil water but if you're camping you can do that over the fire on a grate. We usually have a small butane stove at the very least. At home it makes great Bulletproof-inspired coffee!

This is what I said about it in my holiday gift guide last year. It refers to our bus which used to be a short school bus, had all seats except for the driver's removed, and has been our RV for 3 years:

I’d been hearing about this little coffee maker for years but didn’t think that the Aeropress could be better than a French press. After my man’s espresso machine died for good we bought a Keurig machine, aka “waste packaging dispenser”, on sale. Yes, I felt like a bit of an asshole for creating so much waste, and I assuaged some of my guilt by ripping open used k-cups and dumping the grounds into the green bin, until I stopped doing that, and hung my head in shame every time I read a headline that someone had posted about why K-cup machines and such are bad. We bought the Aeropress for camping and after the summer it came upstairs to replace the Keurig. The Aeropress makes great coffee with minimal waste (a small round filter) and can be tossed in a drawer. On the bus the entire coffee kit (Aeropress, filters, scoop) lives in a big Ziplock bag in a drawer.


For your dog

I love our monthly Barkbox subscription, and so does my dog! It contains toys and treats. The treats are usually all-natural with no ingredients that I wouldn't eat myself.

BarkBox, December 2015
BarkBox, December 2015. The hat squeaks. It's “Frosty's” hat.

That's it.

Buy yourself something nice, will ya?