The Ultimate Self-Care Holiday Gift Guide

The Ultimate Self-Care Holiday Gift Guide

In creating the ultimate self-care holiday gift guide this year I really wanted to give a broad range of ideas for all ways to show you really care and know the person you’re giving to. In this gift guide I have focused on self-care, beauty care, foodie friends, mindfulness, healing,  the gardener, and movement. These are all areas of focus that will help to make anyone’s 2018 happier and healthier! Happy gift giving, may you give with love and intention!


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Christmas Cake {Gluten Free/Paleo}

Christmas Cake {Paleo/Gluten Free}

When I think about winter, I remember riding my bike in the snow, I think about glittering lights in the streets of Belgium, I see the warm mist of my breath in the air, I long for the holiday markets in Europe where clove and orange captivate the senses, and I think about Christmas Cake, which is all much more than a cake to begin with.

The years my family spent living in Belgium were undoubtedly some of the best years of our lives. Living there had a magical simplicity to it that made time feel as though it moved at a pace where if we tried hard enough, we could almost capture it like a firefly in a mason jar. Now, feeling as though it was forever ago, so much of me holds tight to my most sacred memories of that time.

One of those fond memories being the ever-famous Christmas Cake.

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How to Deal During the Holidays


Dealing During the Holidays


The other day I had a client ask me, “what got you through the holidays when you were on the autoimmune protocol?”  I thought this was a great question. After much thought since our conversation I realized my answer would benefit so many of you as much as it did her.

When the holidays come around it can be an especially challenging for people who are a midst lifestyle changes or an elimination protocol. It can already be stressful for many regardless of worrying about what to eat, or what not to eat rather. So I have a few suggestions on how to deal.

1. Realign with your motivation
One of the best things you can do for yourself is be constantly reminded of your intention behind why you’re choosing to do something. For me, when the Holidays approach, I know that much of the food is going to make me feel ill. I also know that my “ill” has the potential to turn into lack of mobility, or no mobility at all. That is my constant motivation for most everything I do, and frankly it’s not worth it to me to potentially jeopardize my ability to move. For you it may be similar pain, or it could be weight to lose, it could be the progress with your energy levels, whatever it is for you, stick with it.

2. Be open with family and friends
Talk to your family and friends about your commitment to yourself and ask for their support.  They don’t have to agree or understand to be supportive of you’re doing. By putting it out there it takes a weight off you in having to hide something, and to feel more comfortable with your choices in public, at parties and family gatherings.

3. This is not about deprivation
This is an important one. Know that you always have a choice. You have a choice to eat that pecan pumpkin pie as much as you have a choice to dive into the green-bean casserole. If you choose not to, that’s your prerogative. It’s not about keeping yourself from something “bad” it’s about intentionally eating foods that will make you feel good. I tell my clients to say the affirmation, I eat to heal. It’s helpful in changing our thoughts around food when we focus on what to eat to make us feel amazing.

4. Reframe your viewpoint
The holidays are not about food. Food is simply one aspect of the holidays. Yes, it’s enjoyable and communal, it is not something that has to be the main focus. Though, most of the time it is the center purpose of the holidays, begin to think about what the holidays actually mean for you. What if you weren’t able to have food at all, would the things that truly matter, matter less?

If you are concerned about missing treats, check out the ones I  have here.

5. Find joy in all aspects
There are tons of amazing ways to spend the holidays with friends or family, you’re not going to be left out because of food. What are some of your favorite aspects of the holidays? Allow yourself to fully be present and enjoy those. For me, I know that eating certain foods would cause inflammation, pain and would pull from where I want to be in the present moment to instead thinking about what’s going on inside my body. I want to focus my attention on the moment of joy with family and friends, not distracted by what’s going on inside my body. I want to feel well.


So what do you say? How do these tips help you, and how will you deal during the Holidays? Leave me a comment and let me know!