Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
15 Dec

Primal Holiday Gifts

giftEvery year around the holidays I get requests from readers asking for shopping tips. Some readers are looking for other Primal family members and friends. Others are looking toward the new year (and new goals) while they pass along ideas to spouses and family. We’ve offered up gift ideas in the past, but I thought I’d get more specific this year and share some of my personal favorites.

There’s just enough time to get your last-minute gift orders placed to ensure adequate shipping time, so check out the list below and share your gift ideas in the comment board.

Something to Stock the Primal Kitchen

Collection of Frontier™ Primal Herbs and Spices

Fully organic and deliciously potent herbs and spices. We buy plenty of fresh herbs at the market, but we keep a full stock of good dried herbs and spices as well for convenience and variety. Check out their Gourmet Peppers of the World. Carrie and I have been making our way through the collection this fall.

Another good option is Penzeys Spices. I happened upon one of their retail locations in Santa Monica recently. If you live near one drop by to experience the store. They have tester canisters of every product they sell so that you can crack it open and sniff the spicy goodness.

Kitchenware: Measure, Mix & Pour™

As you all know, I’m a big fan of salads. I can’t imagine how many I’ve gone through over the years. I always do a fresh dressing each time but don’t like fussing over the right mix. Carrie picked this gadget up for me a while back, and I use it every day now. It does it all in one container. Choose among the printed recipes, use the measuring lines and then mix with the plunger lid. No measuring cups or spoons. Throw it in the dishwasher when you’re done.

Eliki Olive Oil

While we’re on the subject of salads…I discovered this brand at an area farmers’ market once, and it’s remained one of my favorites. I include it here because you can order it online from anywhere. Once you try it, you might find yourself addicted. I went through a lot of Greek salads with that first bottle. Trust me, it didn’t last long. I like the mild but deep and rich flavor. I’d recommend their fig vinegar and dipping oils as well.

Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

It’s the excellent heat conductivity of cast iron but with the easy clean up and maintenance of enamel. It’s the perfect way to cook low and slow – the ideal Primal way. (And who doesn’t love a good chili or stew in winter?) Sure, everyone bows down to Le Creuset, but I’ve found Lodge brand to be a perfectly good and affordable option.

Something to Boost Primal Fitness

BOSU® Ballast Ball

As you know, I’m a big fan of workout gear that challenges your muscles with instability. The ball has a loose, weighted center that shifts as you move, engaging different muscle groups in the abs and back. It’s a nice addition to a simple home gym focused on functional fitness.

Indo Board

My son actually enjoys this one, but I use it too. It’s a great way to build your core with functional, challenging balance control. (Not a bad way to improve your surfing skills either.)

Stronger Grip Loadable Mace

During this year’s 30-day Primal Health Challenge a sponsor gave me a mace for personal use. I’ve incorporated it into my workouts ever since. Yes, you can make your own, but these are loadable with thick grips and a smooth metal ball at the end. (Sledgehammers make decent makeshift maces, but the handle isn’t ideal for swinging and you better never catch yourself with the head; a mace doesn’t feel good either but it’s not likely to tear skin.)

Something for Primal Kids

Haba Terra Kid Gear

Our friends’ 8- and 10-year-olds have several of these gear items for outdoor treks and adventures. With everything from self-crank camping lanterns to magnifying glasses to telescopes, backpacks and boomerangs, this set helps the kids feel like expert outdoorsmen and –women.

Djubi

The same friends’ kids also have this toy. It’s a good deal of fun for kids and adults alike. It gets kids outside. Enough said.

Go Wild: 101 Things to Do Outdoors Before You Grow Up

A book for older kids and teenagers, you’ll find great ideas for big and small family adventures. It’s simultaneously a primer on basic outdoor survival and a handbook for outdoor hijinks. Try foraging for food, building outdoor shelters, collecting natural remedies and building Stone Age tools and weapons. Makes you want to be a kid again – but, then, who’s stopping you?

Something to Soothe and Pamper

Wound Honey™

A sterile topical formulation of Manuka Honey, this is one thing that’s always in our medicine cabinet. When you plan holiday gifts, you probably don’t think first aid. Nonetheless, I’d consider this for the practical type on your list. We keep it around for everyday cuts, scrapes, burns and the like. I have a friend with eczema who swears by it. The honey’s natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help heal while the thickness creates a seal to protect the wounded area.

Aura Cacia Purifying Eucalyptus Shower Tablets

I don’t get sick or run down too often, but earlier this fall I was traveling and felt something coming on. I have my own routine when this happens that includes plenty of rest, antioxidants and some time in the sauna. A friend I was visiting on the trip gave me these as kind of a pick-me-up. Free from all the crazy chemicals (or overpowering scent) of drugstore brands, these tablets can turn an ordinary shower into a real boost. If you’re a fan of the eucalyptus oil in the steam room at the gym, I’d definitely recommend them. They won’t cure a cold or save the world, but they’re a soothing way to indulge yourself on a cold winter’s night.

WIDU® Wood Bristle Hair Brush

I don’t spend much time primping, but this brush goes everywhere with me. It feels great on the scalp, does a great job distributing the natural oils and doesn’t catch like other brushes do. Carrie has one too. They’re made from natural woods and rubber and come with extra bristles.

Something to Reconnect

Ecological Calendar

To reconnect with the natural world… When you’re feeling overrun by modern life and the artificial schedule we make for ourselves, check out what’s going on in the real world. The calendar tracks everything from moon phases to meteor showers, tide patterns to seasonal constellations. It’s a good reminder to get out there and enjoy the changes of the year.

The Vegetarian Myth

I reviewed this book last month and can’t recommend it enough. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan it may be time to reconnect with your inner carnivore.

Annual “Passport”

If what life calls for is more time together, make a year-long commitment – to your partner, kids, or whoever you need to reconnect with. Set out a list of “dates” or adventures to enjoy together throughout 2010. For kids, maybe it’s learning to ice skate, visiting a national park, building a fort, etc. For partners or good friends, maybe it’s dinners out, concerts, evening walks and a long weekend trip. Good friends of ours did this as a whole family. They said everyone agreed at the end of the year that it had been the best present anyone got.

An always tasteful option…

Can you guess? A Primal Nutrition collection of course! Check out my Primal Holiday Offer – with The Primal Blueprint book, Grok T-shirt, and set of key supplements to support your Primal health goals.

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. Thanks for reading, and be sure to share your own ideas for Primal giving.

P.S. Apart from my Primal Holiday Offer, proceeds from which go to fund this blog, I’m not making any money off these product recommendations.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Thanks for this timely post Mark. I was wondering what to get my nieces this Holiday season and I like all your suggestions.

    maba wrote on December 15th, 2009
  2. Here’s another idea: Some grassfed beef from Burgundy Pastures (or anywhere for that matter). It’s where I get mine and it’s very good. Google it.

    Dave, RN wrote on December 15th, 2009
  3. I’m going to give pet rocks this year

    Anders wrote on December 15th, 2009
  4. Great post!! I have been using Penzey’s Spices for years now. It makes a huge difference to use good spices…I love the other ideas too!

    James wrote on December 15th, 2009
  5. Djubi is a great idea. I have played it and it is as great as or better than they say. It’s a LOT of fun.

    Great for kids and adults. We love it.

    Jacob wrote on December 15th, 2009
  6. If you want to give something more personal, especially to friends and staff at the office, consider roasting your own collection of mixed nuts packed into a glass jar with a red ribbon on it. I usually keep a mix of roasted almonds, macadamia nuts, and pecans lightly salted on hand. I follow the recipe in The Garden of Eating by Rachel and Don, which consists of spreading the nuts in one layer on a cookie sheet and pop in the oven for about 10 to 15 min at 350-degree F. Then place in a bowl, sprinkle with a little bit of celtic salt (I also sometimes sprinkle on dried dulse as well) and after cooling I pack them into glass jars. Your friends will thank you!

    Aaron Blaisdell wrote on December 15th, 2009
  7. Great tips! I went directly and ordered the eucalyptus for the shower.

    Clint wrote on December 15th, 2009
  8. I like the idea of the Djubi for the beach, but for elsewhere…eh. Why not a baseball glove and ball? Throwing is a primal activity, is it not?

    Thanks for putting together the list Mark. A number of good ideas in there!

    Bob wrote on December 15th, 2009
  9. umm… get a ps3

    Raphael S. wrote on December 15th, 2009
  10. Thanks for the recommendation, Mark.

    Just for readers here, here’s 5% off at the djubi store at http://djubi.com/store.php

    Just type in PrimalGift in the coupon code area when you check out for 5% off your order. Expires tomorrow at midnight, so act quickly!

    Cheers,
    The Djubi Team

    DJUBI wrote on December 15th, 2009
  11. I would also like to add to the kitchen list a box of those custom made meal bars that you mentioned from the primal challenge in august. http://www.youbars.com/

    i love them

    Krista wrote on December 15th, 2009
  12. We’re on our third year using the Ecological Calender. It’s very cool & I highly recommend it!

    DebFM wrote on December 15th, 2009
  13. I’d like a pair of KSOs, please. >_>

    Icarus wrote on December 15th, 2009
  14. I just noted that I actually have one of those “Measure, Mix & Pour” gadgets in the pantry the other day. I guess my wife picked it up somewhere along the line.

    I’ll have to try it out.

    Absolutely on the Greek olive oil. Way better than Italian or Spanish in my view and I’ve used it for years. Even the Trader Joe’s Kalamata Greek EVO is good.

    Richard Nikoley wrote on December 15th, 2009
  15. RE: Wound Honey-you can dress wounds with plain old granulated sucrose (table sugar), which is also bactericidal, and take the $20 you save and spend it towards one of Mark’s other cool suggestions. I don’t know if HFCS is bactericidal. Cheers!

    Ed wrote on December 15th, 2009
  16. I’m giving away three copies of The Primal Blueprint as presents!

    Annika wrote on December 15th, 2009
  17. “Last minute” gifts? I haven’t even started gifting. But then, I celebrate the Yule where the focus isn’t on the gifts so much. I’ll probably start and finish this weekend.

    paleo_piper wrote on December 15th, 2009
  18. Yes it’s hard to believe we are coming down to the wire. Thanks for your tips as I need to hurry up and apply some.

    Mia Bella Candles wrote on December 16th, 2009
  19. I hope i will have a holiday from my parents as a meaningful gift.

    Blankets wrote on December 24th, 2009
  20. I just stumbled upon this post during some research on chiles and spices; some rather interesting ideas on this site. I think I need to check into this “primal” stuff more thoroughly, & see if it can help me lose a few lbs & gain some muscle.

    Dave wrote on September 16th, 2010
  21. Mark, I love the fantastic gift ideas you have suggested in various places around the site, although they appeal more to me than anyone else I know. Unfortunately, only one or two people I know would be interested in the sorts of things that I find fascinating in these line-ups as they are not particularly Primal, but I am chipping away slowly at converting them. My only wish is that there was an eco-calendar for the Southern Hemisphere, so I could give them as gifts for my family and friends back in Australia…

    April Foster wrote on December 15th, 2010
  22. what type of Widu bush do you recommend?

    Steve wrote on August 2nd, 2011
  23. Woops. what type of Widu brush do you recommend?

    Steve wrote on August 2nd, 2011

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