Are you looking for a healthy and non-toxic way to show some love this Valentines Day? Here are some gift ideas for you and your loved ones.
Gift 1: Non-Toxic Nail Polish
Look for nail polishes with no Toluene, no Formaldehyde and no DBP. These polishes aren’t hard to find. I bought these at CVS, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Whole Foods.
So, I’m in yoga class last week and my “in the know fashionista friends” are wearing dark polishes; plum, and midnight black, and my “in the now yogi friends” are going au natural. And then there’s me, “in the not now, faux pas fashionista” wearing a pre-season petal pink. I truly did not get the fashion gene in my family.
A hand model I’ll never be unless it’s the before photo for “Age Spots B-Gone.”
Gift 2: The Gift of Yoga, with a twist.
We all know how wonderful yoga is for our health, but it’s truly empowering to practice on this cool custom embroidered yoga mat. I had my choice of mat color, choice of thread color, with my choice of type style and font, and of course letters. My clever friend and savvy big sis, Alison, owner and creator of My Custom Yoga Mat, www.mycustomyogamat.com, will make you and your loved ones your very own mat.
Both men and women are doing their downward dogs on these mats, but guess what? Your dogs can have one too, and your baby and your dining table. Check out the website to see the huge selection of custom embroidered gifts ideas. Even Oprah’s got one!
Gift 3: Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies
Oh my goodness, these cookies are perfection on a plate, perfection in your palm, perfection on the pavement. Well don’t eat them off the pavement. They’re so unreal you might be tempted though to waive the 5-second rule.
I never would have made these cookies, if it weren’t for my friend and fellow gluten-avoiding gal pal, Trish. She bought me The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam, and raved about these cookies.
Elana says, “Almond flour is a highly nutritious superfood that is low-carb and rich in vitamins, minerals, and “good” fats. Almond flour is not only the healthiest flour around, it is also higher in protein and far richer in nutrients than wheat flour and its gluten-free counterparts; a serving of almond flour is packed with protein and fiber.”
These cookies are gluten-free because of the use of almond flour, and with the added bonus of a double dose of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate, and agave nectar instead of white sugar, they are also much healthier than scoffing down a Whitman Sampler Chocolate Box.
Here’s the recipe…
Makes 24 cookies
2 ¾ cups blanched almond flour (Bob’s Red Mill makes one)
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup grapeseed oil
¾ cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate (73% cacao)
1 cup dried fruit-juice-sweetened cherries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil, agave nectar, and vanilla extract.
Fold the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
Fold in the chocolate and cherries.
Spoon the dough 1 heaping tablespoon at a time onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each cookie.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the tops of the cookies look dry and start to crack – be careful not to overcook.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 20 minutes, then serve warm.
Gift 4: Plants that “Suck-up”
Typically not a redeeming quality in people, but when it comes to plants, we like suck-ups…toxins, that is.
Here’s a list of plants that will absorb the harmful and dangerous indoor toxins found in our homes from furniture and carpet off-gassing. These botanical geniuses will remove and purify your indoor air from benzene, formaldehyde and xylene, while at the same time provide added humidity to your dry heated air.
Dracaena Marginata (could be poisonous to dogs)
Golden Pothos (could be poisonous to kids and small animals)
Areca Palm (great for adding humidity to a room)
English Ivy (great for people with asthma and allergic conditions)
Boston Fern (great for adding humidity to a room)
Gift 5: Body Brush and Oil
A great gift for you or someone you love is the Ayurvedic practice of Abhyanga, or warm oil massage. This is a self massage that has so many amazing benefits such as promoting circulation, increasing immunity, and stimulating digestion. It also reduces muscle tension, fatigue, anxiety, calms the mind and helps ease insomnia while releasing stored toxins and deeply moisturizing the skin.
The first step is to dry brush your skin. A wash cloth can also be used for this process. Simply, begin with the hands and fingers and work your way up your arms to your shoulders, and neck. Then go down your chest, upper back, abdomen, lower back, buttocks, legs, feet and toes.
Next step is to apply the warm oil. To warm the oil, you can hold the bottle under a stream of warm water from the tap. Pour some oil into your palm and apply in downward strokes over the entire body and in circular motions on the joints.
This process can be done once or twice a day either before or after a shower. If you choose to do it before a shower, it is best to leave the oil on for at least 20 minutes. Do not use soap to remove the oil, just soap up your private parts.
The best oils to use are organic unrefined oils. Sesame oil is a wonderful warming oil that is great to use in the winter. Be careful to let it soak in because it can stain white clothes. Coconut or Jojoba oil is great in the summer and spring.
So my little cupids and cupidettes, I hope on this Valentine’s Day, and on any day for that matter, you’ll indulge in some non-toxic, and healthy gifts for you and your loved ones. Remember, you don’t have to be with a partner to celebrate love on Valentine’s Day. We should all strive to love ourselves; so feel free to give yourself some gifts of wellness, Valentine’s Day or not.
Until Next Time,
P.S. To all of the married men out there; it’s not a great idea to buy your wives lingerie for Valentine’s Day. I know, you always think it’s the perfect gift. But frankly, it’s like giving a 9 year-old boy a dictionary for his birthday. It’s not really what he wants.
P.P.S. To all of you single guys out there; if you insist on buying lingerie for your “girl”…well, you’re on your own dude. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
P.P.P.S. The previous statements are the opinion of the author, and are based on personal experience and research. Figs and Function does not assume responsibility for any misunderstandings or arguments between couples. Shop at your own risk.
Happy Valentine’s Day!