The most joyful time of the year is upon us!
It’s time for your kitchen to fill up with the aromatic blend of herbs, spices, candles, cinnamon, hot chocolate, and perhaps a turkey slow-roasting in the oven.
Christmas is a lovely reminder to slow down and enjoy the company of your closest people.
To feel grateful and appreciate every last bit.
And yes, Christmas is also the time to shop!
Now, if you’re like me…you may get a little overwhelmed when it comes to choosing gifts.
Plus, you might want to buy things that your family and friends will actually use and love instead of just piling on stuff they don’t need.
Or, maybe you’re just shopping for yourself – which is something I can bet you need more of.
And to help you shop smarter, I’ve put together a holiday gift guide of my favorite things.
You’ll find them neatly organized in categories below.
And please note – all the gift ideas mentioned below are coming from brands I genuinely believe in, have used for a while, and am absolutely obsessed with.
Holiday gift guide for glowing skin all winter long
Now that we’re seeing the end of fall and beginning of winter, we need to give our skin some extra TLC.
With temperatures dropping, my skin gets a bit flaky here and there.
This baby is packed with botanical biotics tracing their origins back to the Ayurvedic traditions of India and ancient Egypt.
It gives you gentle yet powerful oral care with just a few spritzes.
I like to incorporate it in my oral care routine to blast bacteria and enjoy a minty-fresh feel.
Another product from Living Libations I adore is the Tooth Truth Powder Polish.
Now, I’m a vain woman and I want a white smile!
And this is an all-natural, exfoliating elixir made of pure, good for you ingredients only.
It will give you a noticeable and gentle whitening week after week while removing plaque and any undesirable odors.
The third product I love from this brand is the Grapefruit Essential Oil.
I ran into this product by chance!
As it so happens, I was visiting a friend’s house and when I smelled this oil for the first time I was like, What is that!”
I was obsessed.
The Grapefruit Essential Oil is a lush toner for your body that makes you feel energized and invigorated.
It’s a sensory experience, really.
You’ll get an organic, citrusy scent that’s a perfect harmony of flavors.
And to save your monies on all Living Libation products, use code “BETTER” to get 15% Off.
My next favorite product for skincare actually doesn’t come in a cream form.
It’s a supplement.
Meet Primeadine – a powerful supplement offered by Oxford Health.
It has a component in it called spermidine and yes, it’s extracted from exactly what you think it is.
This supplement is a trusted ally for your metabolic health as it induces autophagy and cellular cleaning which tends to get worse as we age, especially if we’re not moving as much as we should or getting enough sunlight and sleep.
The reason why I love this supplement is surprisingly, the effect it’s had on my hair.
I’ve actually been noticing that a lot of grey hairs have popped up along the middle of my head where I part my hair, and even around my side part.
And since I’ve been taking Primeadine, many of these grey hairs have actually been turning back to brown.
So it’s really funny – I’ve got hairs that are brown, then grey in the middle, then brown again.
I’m actually seeing the reversal of graying which is a little shocking and extremely cool.
I loved the product so much that I reached out to the owners and they were like, “Oh yeah, this happens all the time in both women and men – they go back to their original hair color.”
So go get yourself a batch of Primeadine – this applies to both the lovely ladies in your life and the gentlemen.
Use the code “DRSTEPHANIE10” to save 10% off your order.
The way I take Primeadine is 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening.
They recommend taking 3 but I take 4 because I like to be a little extra!
The last product in the beauty category that I’m obsessed with is red light therapy.
Red light therapy is so amazing for promoting healthy skin, fat loss, and a full-body recomposition that I’ve done a whole podcast episode on it.
But to keep things short here – in terms of skin, when you expose yourself to red light therapy on a consistent basis, it has potent anti-aging effects.
It stimulates the production of collagen and elastin which are things that we lose as we age when we start to notice a sort of drooping around our jaws and eyes.
Red light therapy is also amazing for hair regrowth.
If your’re peri-menopausal and losing hair in your late 40s or have PCOS, using a red light therapy device around your temples will help you grow healthy hair again.
The product that I use is called Orion Red Light Therapy.
It comes in three sizes – small, medium, and large.
I have the medium.
Apart from beauty, there are a ton of other benefits that red light therapy produces such as the reduction of inflammation, muscle repair, and the reduction of depression and seasonal affective disorder.
The way I use it is after my workout I’ll go upstairs, get naked, and stand in front of the red light therapy box for 10 minutes.
If you’d like to try it and get yourself this magical little device, use code “STEPHANIE10” at checkout to shave 10% off your purchase.
Holiday gift guide to optimize your metabolism
When it comes to beauty on the outside, we can’t go without mentioning your metabolism.
After all, your metabolism is the internal mechanism that dictates how you will look externally.
So these two categories overlap.
But there’s even more to your metabolism.
Your metabolism will dictate how you deal with any disease that comes your way – including covid.
So it’s crucial now more than ever to be metabolically healthy.
So that when (not if), you come across a virus, you can tackle it quickly and with minimal damage.
My favorite tool that I use daily is Lumen.
This is a small device that analyzes your breath to reveal your CO2 levels to determine how much fat you’re burning.
I use it the first thing I wake up, right before and after a meal, and pre and post-my workout.
This information will be key to showing you how to eat, how you respond to different foods – say avocados for your histamine levels, or whether you’re in ketosis or not.
If you’re looking to finally take control of your health by yourself or your partner, this device will be a powerful ally.
Use code “DRSTEPHANIE25” to get $25 Off your purchase.
The two products that I’m about to recommend next – I see those as an insurance policy for a healthy future for my body.
The first is Athletic Greens.
This is actually a gift you should give yourself first and foremost, and then buy it for the special people in your life you care about.
Athletic Greens is an all-in-one drink that makes sure you get all your veggies.
Because let’s be honest – we need to be consuming about 1lb of veggies every day and more often than not, this doesn’t happen.
So to make sure your body stays on track, have a serving of Athletic Greens in the morning on an empty stomach to get your probiotic, prebiotic, and daily recommended amount of greens.
This will also save you a ton of time if you don’t particularly enjoy prepping all your broccoli, cabbage and so on.
Plus – and this is important to note – Athletic Greens tastes great unlike other drinks that often taste like a swamp. Ew.
Lastly, in the metabolic health category, let’s look at electrolytes.
If you’re on a low-carb diet or full-out keto, electrolytes are essential to keep you hydrated.
This also applies to people who are working out regularly and need to rehydrate often.
My favorite electrolyte drink is LMNT Electrolytes.
I love their orange, raspberry, and chocolate flavors.
They’ve just come out with a limited-time mint chocolate flavor which is absolutely soul-warming this season.
I had an absolutely stellar interview with the founder, Rob Wolf, which you can listen to here.
This will feel like an intellectual spanking, believe me.
And to finish off the metabolism optimization category, check out my signature Estima Diet.
I’ve followed this protocol of eating, fasting, and exercising for years.
And I’ve helped tens of thousands of busy ladies get and stay in shape while eating delicious, wholesome meals like mango chicken, rich beef stews, coconutty desserts, and a whole lot more.
I’ve poured my heart and soul into the diet.
And listen, this is not just a diet you follow for 90 days.
Yes, you will see dramatic results within the first 90 days.
But the goal here is to optimize your metabolism for life.
So essentially, this is an investment in your health you make once and benefit from forever.
This will also make for an excellent digital gift for your loved ones no matter what corner of the planet they live in – from Rome to Bali.
And if you’re looking to share the experience, try out the diet with a girlfriend!
Holiday gift guide to level up your style
Okay, now that we’ve covered beauty from the inside out, let’s mention a few statement pieces you can proudly wear on the outside to feel like a million bucks.
I’ve been wearing this company’s jewelry constantly over the last months and I’m obsessed with it.
They’re called Rocking Vibe.
I first met the owner, Liana, a few years ago.
She was the photographer for this event my partner was hosting.
I was wearing a blue dress.
Liana came up to me and said “I’d love to finish your outfit if I can! Can I give you something to wear?”
And it was this beautiful, dainty choker with a little stone in the middle.
She told me how the properties of this stone really help open up your throat chakra.
And the throat chakra is a big one for me!
Not just because I’m a podcaster but because I sometimes feel achy or down and I can’t express myself.
So this little gem was very welcome.
So I went on stage, got tons of compliments for it and have since purchased many pieces from her brand.
Now, I like big crystals and I can not lie…but when it comes to jewelry I prefer subtlety.
So if you’d like something special, unique, and of high-quality to rock at any event, check out Rocking Vibe.
Use code “hellobetty15” for 15% off storewide.
Each of Liana’s pieces has a story.
There’s one piece I love in particular called “I am woman.”
It tells the story of a heroine, or a goddess or sorts.
The messaging here is that the woman I was yesterday is introducing me to the woman I am today and preparing me to meet the woman I will be tomorrow.
Gosh, how exciting is that!
So if you pick up a piece, let me know!
Okay, now let’s move on to something I absolutely can not live without.
You may have guessed it…
I’m talking about workout gear. IYKYK.
Right now, I record most of my podcasts in workout gear and I’m writing this blog as I write an Alo Yoga striped workout set.
My favorite brands are Alo Yoga.
For everyday wear, I love Zela by Nordstrom.
And for my shoot for the cover of Strong Fitness Mag, I wore an outfit by Lorna Jane.
I love Lorna Jane – I have almost all of their pieces.
When I dress up, I often wear an Adidas dress…so this shows you just how much I actually love the stuff.
Finally, my last piece for you in terms of favorite things – this can be for yourself or any lady in your life, your sister, mother, bff…
My favorite clean beauty brand!
I adore their mascara.
Frankly, I don’t know what they put in it but my lashes are long, black, full, and the mascara is so easy to take off at night.
I use their bronzer and cream blushes.
And, I even put the blush on my lips for a nice finished look.
ILIA Beauty is dedicated to making amazing products without using harsh chemicals so that’s a concept I can get behind.
And there you have it – my holiday guide detailing all of my favorite things.
Remember to treat yourself this holiday season.
And if you end up getting any of these, I’d love to hear your thoughts so feel free to message me on Instagram and share your experience.
Happy shopping and happy holidays!
The festive season is upon us and unfortunately, it doesn’t just bear gifts and joy but also many challenges, one of which is sticking to a healthy diet.
Surrounded by gooey gravy, melty, crusty baked mac’n’cheese, cloud-soft mashed potatoes, and comforting apple pie… you will get tempted.
Because you’re human.
So today I will teach you how to fast around the holidays.
But first, let’s add some context here.
Why should you fast around the holidays?
A single meal, irrespective of how “bad” it was, will not really impact your body weight.
The trick is really letting that one meal not become several “bad meals.”
This is particularly true of my all-or-nothing Type A overachieving ladies (you know who you are).
When your choice is only perfect or nothing…
You will usually choose nothing, throw your hands up and proceed to have several oversized meals.
This then begins to add up to excess calories and weight gain.
A classic case of the “F its”
If you can’t be perfect, then just eat all the cake.
So here are a few strategies to help you have your slice of cake, and stay on track.
First things first – you should enjoy yourself during the holidays.
Look, I’m just like you – I love food.
It brings me pleasure.
There is something beautifully nostalgic about puttering around the kitchen, perfuming the home with homemade foods passed down from past generations.
Baking, cooking, smelling all the delicious ingredients makes me insanely happy.
Plus, the festive season happens to be during the grey, cold months of the year when you simply need to have something to look forward to.
Yes, like a big holiday dinner with the people you love.
Which is why my goal is to help you have your cake and eat it too.
This is where fasting comes in.
Through strategic fasting, you will minimize fat storage and increase your body’s fat-burning and muscle-building potential.
Here are two ways to do it.
Use these 2 ways to fast around the holidays
Now, if you’re not yet familiar with intermittent fasting, check out this podcast episode I recorded last year to explain how it works.
If you know what intermittent fasting is already – perfect.
Let’s dive in.
Holiday Fasting Option 1
In the week leading up to a big holiday dinner, decrease your carbohydrate intake.
I eat a predominantly low-carb diet so, in the week before a holiday meal, I’ll drop down to almost no carbs at all.
Yep, we are talking Keto or bust.
Depending on where you are in your cycle, do a 24 or a 36-hour water fast the day before your meal.
And don’t worry – this isn’t as daunting of a challenge as it may sound.
As long as you know how to cycle your meals and workouts, a 36-hour fast would be extremely manageable.
To find out how to fast strategically according to your hormones, I invite you to check out my signature Estima Diet here.
If you’ve never fasted before, go for a 12-hour to 14-hour fast.
And on the day of the big Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, do a cardio workout where you combine Zone 2 training and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
This workout will deplete the stored glycogen in both your liver and muscles.
So when you do eat your crusty mac’n’cheese pasta, you will first be replenishing that glycogen before storing any of it as triglycerides (excess fat), as well as feeding muscles that are repairing.
After the feast, round up your partner and kids and go for an energizing walk outside.
The post-meal walk will help with your digestion and you won’t feel super full and bloated.
It will also preferentially put the glucose from the carbohydrates into the muscles that are working – namely your leg muscles.
My partner and I, and our kids squat after dinner to get our legs moving and get that extra glucose to go into our muscles instead of being stored as adipose tissue.
Trust me, using these hacks is a lot easier than asking your parents-in-law to change their recipes and veer off their traditional ways just for the sake of your diet.
Holiday Fasting Option 2
Between homeschooling my kids and recording the podcast, sometimes I forget that there’s a holiday coming.
So I don’t have a whole week to prepare.
If this happens to you too, here’s what to do.
Jump into the fast after the meal.
Have your holiday feast, enjoy your wine, and mash.
Then, go for a walk after the meal.
And right after, go into a 24-hour or a 48-hour fast.
This will deplete the glycogen stores you have in your liver and muscles and you’ll start using fat as energy.
Continue to work out as you normally do.
This is mechanical stimulation that will help you maintain the muscle you have and get rid of the water you’re retaining.
This strategy is similar to the first one we discussed, just in reverse.
And with all of that said…
Allow yourself the pleasure of food during the holidays
Don’t deny yourself the joy of a chocolate chip cookie, a slice of pecan pie, or a bite of cheese fondue.
Don’t obsess over what carbs are doing to your body.
Because at the end of the day, you’ll have the beautiful memories of togetherness and feasting, not the blood sugar spike that the meal gave you for a few hours.
Remember it is what you do all year that counts – not so much the one-off big holiday meal.
Now if you want to avoid the several days of indulging, resist the temptation to keep all the leftovers for the next week.
Toss it and get back to your regular eating and movement regimen.
And if you’re looking to hack your way to fat burn all year round and still enjoy delicious, indulgent meals, have a look at my signature Estima Diet.