photo cred Cat For all you stocking stuffers, here's a fun alternative to candy or gimmicky dollar store items for the holidays. Himalayan Salt - Colour tells you everything. If the salt is white - stay away.  If it's sandy, brownish, gray or pink in colour you should be good. It should list the minerals on the packaging. Local Organic Honey - Raw, unpasteurized and preferably within a 100 miles of your house.  Also said to help ease allergies. Cacao Powder - Spelling is everything, it's cAcAo  not cOacO and make sure the spelling is right in the ingredient list.  The real stuff has amazing health benefits, the other, well, not so much. Try Navitas brand. Hemp Hearts - Great protein alternative and fabulous in smoothies and sprinkled on salads. Manitoba Harvest  and Purity are great brands at a great price. Protein Powder - Sun Warrior is a go-to. 'Tis a pricey item but lasts a very long time. Totally worth it. Stevia sweetener - '0' on the glycemic index (GI) but crazy sweet and all natural. Comes in liquid or powder format. Goji Berries - has 5 times the amount of iron found in spinach and a fab addition to smoothies and salads. Try Navitas brand. Avocado / Hemp / Flax / Coconut  Oil - Coconut is a standard everyday oil, withstands high heat and adds great flavour. The other three are amazing alternatives for dressings, salads and anything that doesn't require cooking.

photo cred Cat Forget Pepsi - this lemonade is the choice of the new generation (oh yes, I'm well aware that I just dated myself). Regardless, here's what you need: 1 glass of water (preferably room temp so it's not such a shock to your body first thing) 1/2 lemon, juiced 10 drops, liquid stevia (optional & fyi, bought it at Bulkbarn) Stir it all up and drink it down.  Have this first thing in the morning, ideally at least 15 minutes before you have your breakfast. My little one joins me every morning with this lovely A.M. ritual. Now are you ready for this?  Check out all the awesome benefits of lemon water... It helps fight colds, stimulates brain function, balances overall body pH, reduces hunger pains, flushes out all the crap in your body, french-kisses your liver which helps digestion, helps with no. 1 & no. 2 so you rid your body of toxins faster, freshens your breath and even gives you a boost of Vit C which helps your skin and helps you find your happy place. I mean c'mon. p.s. Remember to wash your lemons before you cut them. In fact, make it a rule to wash all fruit and veg before you eat/slice 'em regardless of if you eat the skin or not.