Good-for-You Gifts

Gift (noun): a thing willingly given to someone without payment; a present.

‘Tis the season for giving and receiving. I’m not gonna lie—I like both. I love taking the time to pick out a gift for someone, shopping for that perfect something that they would truly enjoy (there are no socks on my shopping list). But I also really enjoy receiving gifts, especially things I wouldn’t normally buy for myself.

That said, I’ve noticed a lot of people find the gift-giving process difficult. So this week I made up a list of nine great gifts for people with active and healthy lifestyles—people just like you, our BWP readers! I’ve tried to keep them under $25 (So close! All but one are.) And yes, currently, these are all a few of my favorite things.

Happy giving!

Love Bottle, $15 to $20
These are just the cutest things ever. They come in all different shapes and sizes. Perfect as a water bottle, vase or salad dressing container. Gotta love versatility that’s good for you and for the planet.

Available at

A Journey to the Heart, $14.99
This book is full of warmth and simple contemplations and reflections for everyday living. Author Melody Beattie captures the spirit of excitement and adventure and encourages readers to find freedom in their own journey. A great pick for anyone on the road to self-discovery.

Available at

Nama Calming Meditation Cream and Hand/Mat Sanitizer Spray, $10 and $6
These unique and new-to-the-scene products are great not just for yogis, but anyone with an active lifestyle. The Calming Meditation Cream is great for yoga teachers, massage therapists or those with achy muscles. A little on the feet or applied to tight neck and shoulders and your golden. The Hand/Mat Sanitizer eliminates 99.9 percent of germs, so it’s great for yoga mats, running sneaks, dirty hands—you name it. Also doubles as a body spray to freshen up after your Power Yoga class. (P.S. They both smell amazing and are always on me!)

Available at Bija (at Wake Up Yoga South), 1839 East Passyunk Avenue

Allegro Mayan Spice Drinking Chocolate, $9.99
Um … yum. And “drinking chocolate” sounds so much fancier than “hot chocolate,” don’t ya think? The combo of single origin chocolate and sweet chilis gives this rich drink a bit of a kick. Try making with vanilla-almond or coconut milk. And if you’re feeling adventurous, add a shot of vanilla vodka to kick it up a notch.

Available at Whole Foods Markets

Lululemon Vinyasa Scarf, $48
This is one of my favorites. It’s super functional, reversible, and so many ways to wrap it that there’s a YouTube tutorial. The scarf has snaps on either end to wrap or unwrap. It’s the perfect companion for the start of your workout, a chilly studio or simply a fresh look. Though it’s the one item on the list over $25, I think it’s totally worth it.

Available at Lululemon Athletica Stores; locations in Center City, Wayne, and King Of Prussia

Acacia Organic Lavender Oil, $14.99
I don’t leave home without this one. One sniff of this essential oil, and every part of me starts to calm down. A drop or two on the wrist, back of neck or temples is like a little slice of heaven. Lavender can be used to soothe burns, relieve tension headaches and migraines, or for overall relaxation. Warm in an oil diffuser, spritz on bed linens, or add to body lotions.

Available at Whole Foods Markets

FitBliss Orange Spearmint Scrub, $10
Ok, so the smell of this alone will send you over the moon – it’s OMG good! And if that’s not enough to sell you, try this. Founder Jocelyn Jackson is a Philly native and her products are locally made. Secondly, she’s super cute. Thirdly, she came up with the name of her brand to describe her devotion to blissfully fit living. And finally, her slogan is “Cut the Crap. Leave the Love.” This scrub was coarse enough to give me a good exfoliating but gentle enough to use on my face. Win win.

Available at Whole Foods Markets

Edwards Freeman Nut Co. Peanut Butter, $3.99
The best peanut butter in the world. That’s all I’m going to say. Trust me. (Oh, and they have almond, macadamia and cashew butters, too. )

Available at Edwards Freeman Nut Co., 441 E Hector Street, Conshohocken

Entry to New Year’s Eve Pre-Fiesta Throwdown with Simon Park and DJ Hyfi, $25
Yes please! Sweat it out on your yoga mat before you hit the dance floor later that evening. Just listen to this invitation: “Clear the slate and start fresh on your journey into the unknown and the epic epoch of 2012. Bring your old karma left over from this year and sweat it free with this freestyle practice that is both liberating for body and soul. All levels but must possess an open, adventurous spirit to move forth into the New Year with great freedom.” Now, if that’s a call to celebrate, I don’t know what is.

At Dhyana Yoga in Rittenhouse from 5 to 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve


Maura Manzo is a yoga teacher and health coach specializing in integrating diet, health and wellness. She supports others in becoming their best possible selves. Maura is available for private instruction and coaching, as well as on-site corporate classes and speaking engagements. She is co-creator of the Beyond Asana 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training and the Art of Letting Go: Maya Tulum Mexican Yoga Vacation. Learn more about her teaching schedule, coaching practice and yoga trainings at