2016 Gift Guide

Whether it’s a tangible gift or a kind gesture, there’s nothing like giving a little token of appreciation to the ones we love and appreciate. Here are some ideas to inspire wellness, self-care, seva and experiences from the moon to the kitchen!

Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness–Richard Bach

Gift the Moon’s Journey

4-2017_3up_12017 Moon Calendar. I love, love this calendar! It’s a great way to connect the mental/emotion self, menstrual cycles or life happenings with the lunar phases. This moon calendar is designed by Paris Francine Millerwho I met a couple years back at the Temescal Alley’s Holiday Artisan Fair in Oakland, CA. Her beautifully designed moon calendars caught my eye right away. Since then, I’ve been hooked. This year, I am getting one in dusty rose! If you don’t live in the Bay Area, no worries, she’s on Etsy,—Circle&Crescent.

Gift an Experience

Ayurvedic Meal Chit-Chaat-ChaiServe up a Homemade ‘Ayurvedic’ Meal. Nothing says I appreciate you like a meal made with love. Create an ‘Ayurvedic’ meal certificate and include a seasonal menu that has all six tastes and engages the five senses. When it comes time to serve it up, explore each bite through the senses—talk about the colors, the aromas, the flavors, and textures. Your gift recipient will feel nourished all over! If you need some menu ideas, I know a website that has some delicious and easy recipes (hint, hint).

Shirodara. No better way to calm the nerves than this hands-free massage.  A soft, gentle, stream of warm oil over the pineal gland for 30 minutes will revive anyone!  Your gift recipient will leave a little oily, but very relaxed. Available at most Ayurveda clinics.

Gift Wellness Gadgets

img_8096Garshana Self-Massage Gloves. These handmade raw silk gloves by Moon Magic are perfect for daily, dry massage. Garshana, is an Ayurvedic practice recommended for all. It supports moving stagnated toxins and the lymph nodes. It also leaves the skin exfoliated and glowing! Garshana is especially helpful for those with poor circulation.

Tongue Scraper. Okay, it’s not the most romantic gift, but gently scraping the tongue on a daily basis is mouth opening! An easy and quick way to tune into the body, since the tongue is connected to all the main organs.  Daily use can help raise awareness about one’s wellbeing both physically and mentally. Read about the benefits here.

Neti Pot. Does your loved one snore, have sinus issues or a dulled sense of smell? Neti’ing a few times a week can help!  It’s a great practical gift that will last a lifetime. Nothing says love like helping someone care for their sinuses. Click here to see how to use a neti pot.

Gift a Good Read

The Prime by Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary. I cannot say enough about this book! Dr. Chaudhary says it like it is—bold and fearless. She is an integrative doctor with an expertise in neurology and ayurveda. The Prime explores her personal journey in connecting the gut and the mind. The book also offers a program to empower one towards balanced health, with a focus on strengthening digestion.  It’s an easy, digestible read with depth. A terrific book for someone who want to learn more about Ayurveda, the mind-gut connection and/or work towards improving digestion. Click here to purchase.

Gift Spices & Ghee

Oaktown Spices - Spice Kit (photo by Oaktown Spices)Give Spices! Not only do spices boost a meal’s flavor profile, but they also aide digestion. So, go ahead, spice someone up! And help them support digestion. My local, Oaktown Spice Shop has an array of spices to choose from. They roast, grind and create mixes right in the shop. Check out their gift boxes too—smells so good!

Give Good Fat! Ghee from Ancient Organics, a company located in my neighboring city of Berkeley, CA. They make small batch ghee from organic Strauss butter. I love their approach, method and spirit they infuse into their delicious ghee—it’s truly holistic. P.S. never refrigerate ghee.

Gift a Gift that Gives Back

img_7843Gift a Sassy Cat Calendar! This is no ordinary cat calendar! Super Purrers for Social Justice Calendar 2017 are two sassy & chubby cats who have something to say about the world today. These cute brothers, Jack and Poppy, will warm your heart (not that I am a bias aunt or anything), while speaking to political issues . And 50% of the profits will go to charity. It’s a steal for $12.95 via Etsy and check them out on Instagram too.

Gift a Donation! Make a contribution in someone’s name to a charity they favor or issues dear to their heart. Here are two organizations where overheard is minimal and your dollar goes far!

About-Face, equipping women and girls with tools to understand and resist harmful media messages that affect their self-esteem and body image.

Aga Khan Foundation-Education, part of the AKDN, the education agency ensures that young people are equipped with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to help them interact effectively with their world and be contributing members of a pluralist society. AKDN has five leading organizations in education that work together to promote a continuous ladder of lifelong learning, starting from early childhood and extending well into adulthood. Click here to donate.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. The information is not intended for use in the medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.