It’s the time of year that I pretend to be Oprah and share all my favourite things with you. There are two differences. One, all these gift ideas are health and wellness related, and available for purchase through small Toronto-based stores and companies. Two, I can’t be like Oprah and give one to you and one to you. Maybe one day you will get a sample, and you will get a sample. Until then, please share and shop!
This year, instead of grouping by price, I’ve grouped by theme. See below for gift ideas for a host or foodie, fancy hippie, traveller, beauty junkie, stocking stuffers, homemade gifts, and even ideas to treat yo’self.
I’ve also got a special gift coming your way, so be sure that you and your friends are signed up for my newsletter, at the top of this page.
For the Host or Foodie
The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit
This book is not new, but is one of the most unique “cookbooks” ever. It’s essential for the enthusiastic home cook. Instead of laying out recipes, this book lists ingredients with their complimentary flavours, both traditional and wacky. Available at Type Books, 883 Queen St. W. or The Good Egg, 267 Augusta Ave.
Pacific Smoked Sea Salt by Harmonic Arts
One of the most delicious ways to add a smoky flavour without the ham hock: this salt is slowly smoked over alder chips and is the most smoky of smoked sea salts. The perfect thing to sprinkle into a split pea or cauliflower potato soup. Available at The Big Carrot, 348 Danforth Ave.
Make this by hand! Get fresh, organic rosemary, pack a few sprigs into a pretty jar and cover with a raw, unpasteurized, pourable honey. Surprise your host with a homemade, Portuguese delicacy.
For the Fancy Hippie or Seeker
Crystal from Geologic Gallery (Gifts from the Earth)
Go into this beautiful store to choose a special crystal for your recipient. (Amethyst is a good all-around bet, as it is balancing, can increase spirituality, and is even said to reduce the effects of too much red wine – it’s the perfect holiday stone.) Stay and marvel at the stunning geodes and natural wonders. Geologic, 346 Queen St. W., Gifts from the Earth, 320 Danforth Ave.
When a California winemaker and artist team up to create a wine, the result is magic. The inscription on the occult-ish bottle reads, “Adversities exiled by incantations of compassion and tenacity of heart. Reverance of beauty + eradication of doubt through systems of superstition.” The perfect wine for a special evening full of smudge sticks and pulling cards. Available at select LCBOs.
Candle by Magic Hour
Who doesn’t love a ritual candle made with charged wax and gemstones in Portland, Oregon? These beautiful candles fit in to any shelf or vignette and bring the recipient Love, Healing, Abundance, Fertility or other great things. Available at the Likely General, 389 Roncesvalles Ave.
For the Traveller or Wanderluster
The Jet Kit by Narayan Homeopathy
One of the best gifts for a regular traveller. It contains three different remedies, packaged in small, carry on ready bottles, for three typical difficulties encountered when travelling: jet lag, colds and hangovers. These remedies were created and packaged together by local homeopath Natasha Narayan. Homeopathic remedies are a safe treatment option for most people as they are not known to interact with medications or supplements. Available through Narayan Homeopathy, email@example.com or call 647-502-6407.
Les Fleurs De Bach
Travelling a lot, especially for business, makes us long for home. Travel candles are lovely, but I personally prefer a product that does double duty as room ambiance and a personal fragrance. These perfumes are made from Bach flower remedies. Choose a fragrance to calm or elevate your recipient’s mood. Available at Art 27, 889 Queen St. W.
Hydrating Skin Kit by Province Apothecary
Province Apothecary is a special place. The Hydrating Skin Kit packages together all the cold-weather essentials for beautiful skin. Made with all natural ingredients and essential oils, PA products are absolute heaven. Available at provinceapothecary.ca
For the Beauty or Product Junkie
Beauty Dust by Moon Juice
An antioxidant and adaptogenic herb blend crafted to boost collagen production and beautify from the inside out. This herb blend can be stirred into water, nut milk or tea, and will certainly delight even the most discerning of beauty junkies. Available at Ardith, 373 Roncesvalles Ave.
Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask
This is essentially the perfect face mask. It evens skin tone, exfoliates and adds, as they say, “instant glow.” It’s also all natural, handmade in Vermont, and suitable for all skin types. Available at Jacob & Sebastian, 622 Queen St. W.
Skin Consult at Province Apothecary
Facials are great and all, but visiting an expert for a holistic skin consultation is a must, at least once. This visit will be mind-blowing, even to the biggest beauty queen. The consult will begin with a thorough look at the skin and will end with a discussion of the best lifestyle and nutrition practices to balance the skin. Plus, there are plenty of samples to take home, including a custom-blended face oil. Book online at provinceapothecary.ca
Private Yoga with Joshua Lewis
Joshua Lewis is a gifted Hatha, restorative and yin yoga teacher. He’s offering discounted private classes: three private 75 minute classes for $299. This is a savings of $76. (Offer valid until December 24th, classes must be used in 2016). More information at joshualewis.com
Development package at Strive Life
A different type of movement can be life-changing. For something a little more intense, get on the SL development plan. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to mix things up in the new year and see results. More information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Indian Head Massage at Laya Spa & Yoga
This time of year can be very stressful. Why not indulge in a scalp treatment that applies pressure to Marma points on the head to calm your entire body, ground your energy, alleviate migraines, cerebral spinal fluid circulation, increase mental clarity and overall feeling of well being? Book at http://layaspaandyoga.com
- 5 Chili Bullet by Chocosol, available at West End Food Coop, 1229 Queen St. W., The Spice Trader, 877 Queen St. W.
- Paine’s Cedar Incense, available at Easy Tiger Goods, 1447 Dundas St. W., Old Faithful Shop, 886 Queen St. W.
- Tea Towels by Pehr, available at The Good Egg, 267 Augusta Ave., Brika, 642 Queen St. W.
Make it Yo’self
If you want even more ideas, check out last year’s Healthy Holiday Gift Guide.
Wishing you happy and healthy holiday shopping, with hopefully a few treats for yourself. xo Andrea