Healthista’s food and lifestyle writer Vanessa Chalmers recommends the 10 last minute Christmas gifts she’s had her eye on all year
Christmas is two weeks away but you can bet I’ve had my eye on these products for months amongst the bits and bobs we see every day at Healthista HQ. Here, I’ve picked the best 10 items that would bring a smile to any like-minded Healthista. Spread the cheer, even gin is on the list.
This stuff should come with a warning. It’s seriously delicious and a rare treat for sure, gorgeously smooth and sickeningly sweet. I’ve tried the Milk Chocolate, which certainly has more of a milky taste rather than rich, but I’m eager to get my hands on the Hazlenut or White Chocolate with crunchy cookie pieces. Is this healthy? No, not exactly. But for fitness junkies, it’s as close to sugar heaven we can get without completely spoiling our results. It has 87 per cent less sugar than leading chocolate spread brands and provides a protein hit (whey) of 20 per cent. A 33g serving is 172 calories, and drizzled on pancakes with berries? We can’t think of anything more perfect.
I felt incomplete until I got some wireless earphones. The Urbanista Tokyo’s were everything I needed when I was searching for a pair. Firstly, of course, they connect to your device by Bluetooth, ridding the need of irritable wires which has transformed my gym workouts and runs. For my commute, I needed a pair which wouldn’t die on me within a couple of hours. The battery on these lasts up to three hours, but even better, their small hand-sized portable case charges on the go with a total battery of 12 hours. The size fits snugly in my ears without the added unecessary ear wings you see on other pairs (they do not help them stay in at all) and are the most discreet I have seen on the market. Taking phonecalls at the touch of a button, I felt uber professional. The sound quality is just how I would expect too, although a little louder these would have been perfect. For now, I rate them 9/10.
I’ve personally named this the best natural fake tan ever. It doesn’t sound or look so glamorous, but don’t be put off by the natural ingredients, such as sugar derived DHA, as I first was. This will solve all your streaky woes, coming out with the smoothest finish I have ever seen (and I have tried a lot of fake tans). The gradual tan, the first certified organic in the UK, is a colourless lotion on application, and by the morning, you’ll have a gentle glow – more on the orange side, which suits my skin. The colour intensifies the more you apply, and the best part is I’ve never needed to ferociously exfoliate scaly colour after. It simply fades, just like a well-cared for tan, all the while moisturising the skin with essential oils.
If there is a healthier way to eat cake, I’m all for it. Creative Nature’s Bakers Bundle ticks all the boxes, being certified vegan and organic and free from gluten, dairy, wheat, soya, refined sugar, sweeteners and nuts. You’re probably wondering what on earth is in it, then. The Chia & Cacao Brownie Mix and Organic Chia & Mulberry Muffin Mix deliver deliciously gooey soft treats, lower in calories and ‘undetectably healthy’ by friends and family. You can also add your own twist, such as mashed banana, berries or nuts. Chia seeds and Organic Cacao Powder is also thrown in for you to get creative with – hot chocolates, puddings and desserts that actually provide nutritional value. I’m in.
For people who find it impossible to chill out, Scentered balms are to the rescue. Easily apply the sticks to your temples and wrists for a deeply therapeutic moment, no matter how hectic life is. The size of your palm, the balms are easily transported. I keep the Sleep balm with lavender and fourteen different essentials under my pillow, the memory boosting Focus balm on my desk, and the Stress Less balm in my handbag. The co-founder of the company and mother Lara Morgan designed the tidy aromatherapy balms (which also come in really mini sizes) to keep her sane whilst she jetted across the world building a global business. It’s amazing how restorative a simple smell can be.
I once thought matcha was only for the elitist healthy people, but the premium tea, with scientifically proven weight loss and metabolism results, is everywhere in an abundance of new creations. And if I’m going to reap the benefits of this unique tasting green tea leaf, I’m going to make sure it’s delicious while I do it. I particularly got excited about One Earth’s blend, using the other hugely popular superfood, cacao, which is relatively high in antioxidants (well, super high), and heart health mineral, magnesium. It’s also a natural mood booster, but I’m sure you’ve already figured that out. One Earth’s products are never chemically treated with pesticides or the like (as well as being certified organic and fair trade), so you can rest assured you are retaining the most nutrition possible whilst stirring it into hot milk, a dessert or smoothie. Mmmmmmmm.
Whilst everyone else sips on Prosecco and champers on Christmas, I’ll stick with a G&T, thanks. These baubles, each six individually with a bow, are sure to bring sophistication to any tree, and excitement in the lead up to the big day. When guests come round, these shall be on hand for a truly festive tipple. Sipsmith, high quality and smooth, has a load of cocktail recipes on their website which are sure to impress, too.
Forget glitter, chrome finish is the biggest nail trend. Newly launched Chrome Effects powders from O.P.I are dazzlingly beautiful and create a mirror-shine effect that will catch everyone’s eye this party season. Available only as a salon service, the powder is applied to enhance either nail lacquer or gel manicures, leaving long lasting results. This is essential for a woman like me who barely has time to file her nails, let alone paint them. You’ll have a tough time picking from the eight shades, varying in metallic hues of gold, bronze and holographic mixed metal. Pay Me In Rubies is particularly festive.
I met Dr Gaye, a Food Futurologist, at a food trends event this year and she is super cool. Her range of products, vegan friendly and free-from dairy, gluten, grains and sugar, compliment a healthy diet, bursting with vitamins, minerals, fats and proteins in easy-to-use blends and breakfasts. It’s so simple; A serving of the Super-Blend, for example, with 14 raw ingredients including reishi mushroom powder, maca, cacao, moringa and hemp, can be stirred into pretty much anything from shakes, yoghurts and pancake mix, boosting the nutritional value on so many different levels. There’s no gimmick here, just the goodness of what nature has to offer and what, as a society, Dr Gaye says we have forgotten amongst all the processed foods available to us. When making porridge or a smoothie, why pick one superfood when you can use them all?
According to my sister, my perfume is ‘herby’ because I’m always wearing a natural smelling cream or lotion of some kind for my eczema. I’m not sure that’s a compliment, but I’d happily smell of the gorgeous citrus orange Weleda Skin Food for eternity. Apparently, so would celebrity fans Adele, Julia Roberts and Victoria Beckham, who claims she goes through tons of the stuff, mixing it with coconut oil and covering her entire body with it to help keep her tan. The thick cream is designed to deeply moisture dry skin, and I can vouch for that. It’s my saviour due to it’s extracts of gentle viola tricolor, calendula and chamomile in a base of oils and beeswax. I would highly recommend for people with skin conditions or as a winter wonder hand cream.