People rag on the holiday season for being too commercial. You can certainly go too far in that direction, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with giving meaningful gifts to people you care about. In fact, that’s one of the kindest acts a person can do. Today’s Primal gift guide does not consist of pointless consumerist pap that your giftees will enjoy for a day or two until the newness wears off and they move on to the next thing to spend their money on. These are useful gifts. Gifts that enhance life, that further our relationships, that expand our culinary horizons, that compel us to go out and experience the world. There’s no shame in celebrating the holidays in this manner, because these are good gifts given out of love, fellowship, and friendship—all of which embody the true meaning of the season.
That said, let’s get to the gifts!
Note: I’ve broken these down into Gifts for Men, Gifts for Women, and Gifts for Kids, but don’t let that tie you down. I happen to personally enjoy many of the gifts mentioned below in the “women” and “kids” sections.
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A large sturdy steel grill with folding legs, so you can place it directly over the fire to cook right on the grill or use the grill as a stand for your pan or griddle. I’ve used these types of grills to cook fresh fish in the sand over a bed of coals as the sun dips down below the horizon, and there’s nothing like it. Anyone who loves to grill or cook in the great outdoors needs this.
Ever go to farmer’s market and there’s the knife sharpener with a Honda generator going and his belt sander cranking out razor edges on santoku blades that haven’t been sharpened in 5 years? There’s a smaller, consumer version available known as the Ken Onion knife sharpener. I don’t have one myself but know a few people who swear by them. They don’t provide the meditative effects of spending 45 minutes on the sharpening stone, but the learning curve is quite moderate. You get in with a dull knife and out with a sharp one in a couple minutes.
In case you aren’t aware, Butcher Box delivers grass-fed beef, pasture-raised pork and chicken, and wild caught fish to your doorstep. This is meat and fish whose provenance you can be assured of. What could be better than that? I for one am a huge fan of high quality meat appearing at my house.
It’s also the perfect gift for any meat lover. And if you use this link, you get to add on 2 NY strips and 4 top sirloin steaks for free to whatever package you order.
Men, you need this. If you’re anything like I was—a driven, type A personality, someone who accepts stress even when objectively I shouldn’t be involved and certainly aren’t culpable—you need to get a handle on your stress. You need to learn how. And that’s what Adaptogenic Calm does: it trains your body to adapt to the stress. It helps calm down your stress response system so you’re not overreacting to the little things that don’t matter. This allows you to respond to the stressors that do matter. Adaptogenic Calm is not a blanket snuffing out stress no matter the source. It helps you adapt in either direction.
Pique tea crystals distill the essence of tea leaves through a unique proprietary process known as “cold brew crystallization” that maximizes the extraction of antioxidant compounds and makes your job as tea quaffer easier. Because let’s face it: actual tea is a fickle, finicky beast. Each tea requires specific temperatures and steeping times to extract the good stuff while preserving the taste. The beauty of this product is that you don’t have mess around with all that if you don’t want to.
Included with the broad selection of tea crystals is a music box that plays Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” every time you open it, along with a guide containing ancient and hidden secrets for unlocking your full potential as a human.
I’m sure better, stronger immersion blenders exist for more money, but I have never met this blender’s equal in the home kitchen. It’s not inexpensive by any means. It is effective, though, and well worth the money. Cheaper immersion blenders require liquid to start. This does not. You can make some incredible whipped butternut squash, for example, just by adding a touch of cream and butter to steamed squash and putting the blender to work.
Grounding is legit. I don’t know exactly what’s happening, but there’s something special about connecting yourself to the earth—ideally barefoot on bare ground. However, going barefoot isn’t always in the cards. Sometimes you need shoes. Sometimes society expects you to wear them. And so the Grounded Athlete, a one-man operation, has created a Tarahumara-style sandal with a piece of copper in the sole that interfaces with the earth and connects to silver threading that runs through the strap attached to your foot. You can hike and run and train in these things while staying connected.
Support a small business doing something important and meaningful. Connect to the earth even when you’re shod. Try Gaia Grounding Sandals.
Of all the books I’ve written, this one sold the least. And yet it’s my favorite one of all time, and it’s the one that generates the most heart-felt responses from readers. Those who did buy it and read it were almost all affected. It helped them re-evaluate the way they’re living (not just eating and exercising). The way they practice self-care and gratitude. The way they form and maintain relationships, professional and romantic alike. Most importantly, it has helped thousands have a better relationship with themselves—because that’s the relationship modernity has fractured more than anything else.
Gifts for Kids
Growing up my friend had a giant stock tank at his house that his dad used to wash the dogs and we used as a “pool.” Hey, when you’re six years old a stock tank feels like a swimming pool in the summer. This is one of the weirdest gifts, and no kid will probably ask Santa for one, but if you have the room for it the stock tank will quickly become a favorite. Don’t ask me why. It just works. Get as big as you can handle.
I have fond memories of sneaking books and a flashlight under the covers after lights out, reading adventure stories late into the night. But man, I look back and shudder at what that was doing to my circadian rhythm. Luckily, there are better options for kids who want to trade sleep for trips to the world of literature: Amber clip-on reading lights. These clip on to the book and emit a warm, amber-colored candle-like glow that is easy on your circadian rhythm and has minimal impacts to melatonin production. Kids need to read but they also need to sleep. This let’s them do both.
I’ve raised a boy and a girl up from childhood through adolescence and on into adulthood. I have to say, the teen years for my daughter Devyn was probably the toughest bit of parenting I’ve ever had. It wasn’t bad, it turned out great, but it wasn’t easy. There’s a lot going on during those years. I wish I’d had this book, Leslie Klenke’s Paleo Girl, on hand to at the very least hand it over to her to read. I consider it an invaluable resource.
Oh, and they’re great for adults, too.
What about you, folks? What Primal gifts are you currently coveting? What are you giving out this year? Let us know in the comment section!
About the Author
Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.