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2018 Gift List

Every year, I post my top 10 list of “health” gift ideas. This list might be an excuse to give yourself something for all the hard work you’ve done this year! Or, of course, to treat someone you love.

As your faithful servant, I test out many products through the year: kitchen gadgets, health products, etc. There are some products that I keep using year after years, and others that fall short of expectations.

So let’s first look at a product that was featured last year but I don’t find

  • The Fitbit: I used a recent FitBit model for a few months. I stopped using it, not because I thought it was a bad product, but because I’m a little tired of the idea that we must track everything.
  • Also gone is the InstantPot, but you can read more about it here. 

1) Icebug Shoes


I still love those winter shoes! With them, you can defy all elements. Now, nothing can stop me: ice, mud, snow, you name it. The company is Icebug. The shoes are vegan, and there are some models based on your needs. I think it would make an excellent gift for anyone living in a cold climate. Check them out here.

2) Coconut Grater



The coconut grater is back! And after many years, I still use it about once a week.

What is a coconut grater and what is it for, you ask? I really enjoy eating fluffy fresh coconut flakes, dipping bananas in them, or using them in morning “cereal.” Coconut flakes can also be used to make fresh coconut milk.

However, if you try making them with a food processor, it will never give the right texture. Too much oil will be extracted. Also blending coconut with water to make coconut milk is not how it’s done in Asia. They soak fresh coconut flakes in water, and strain with a cheese cloth.

In Tahiti they use a machine for this. But this inexpensive manual coconut grater is perfect for occasional use! Get it on Amazon.

3) Veggie Chopper


This is a great kitchen gadget that everyone loves. It’s called different names, such as the “tomato chopper” or “salsa maker” or “Chop Wizard,” but the idea is the same: cutting perfectly square pieces of vegetables in no time. I use it all the time to make salsa, gazpacho, vegetable soup and salads. If you’ve seen the infomercials for it, then my advice is: believe the hype. It’s a great tool. The best one is by International.

4) GoTubb by HumanGear


I discovered these neat little packing devices a few years ago. I now use the smallest containers to carry all sorts of things on trips: seasonings, supplements, creams, lip balms, sauces, etc.

You squeeze them and they open. Very neat. The small size is perfect for things that you be tough to carry in small containers otherwise. Available on Amazon.

5) Bose Quiet Comfort (Bluetooth)


I hesitated buying a noise-cancelling pair of headphones for a long time, and once I got my Bose, I really wondered why I went so long without them. This is one of the very few items I consider “essential” in my life. I use it:

1) When I travel. Essential to block out noise from the airplane, trains, etc. When you listen to music or a movie, you’re in your world!

2) When taking public transportation. It blocks out surrounding noise.

3) At the gym: I don’t like the music that plays at the gym — against my will. And I definitely don’t like hotel gyms that blast CNN on TV non-stop in the background.  The noise-canceling headphones are perfect for those moments when I want to say “bye-bye” to Justin Bieber.

4) As an insomniac. If I get up in the middle of the night and can’t fall asleep, I find that listening to music (classical) is the best way to kill some time and find sleep again. The headphones are quiet for the person still sleeping next to you, and they sound great.

I like this model the best.

6) Mighty Plugs World’s Finest Ear Plug

$29.95 for a 6-pack

There’s always a moment where you need ear plugs: noisy neighbors, traveling, a loud concert, a baby with colics, etc. The problem with most ear plugs is that they do not stay very long without falling, or do not block out enough sound. But those are just perfect! They’ll stay for an entire night in your ears, don’t risk damaging your eardrums, and block out more noise than other types. Get it here. 

7) Benson’s Table Tasty

$30 for a 6 pack

Staying with the no-salt theme, this is the “saltiest” salt-free seasoning that I have found. It’s essential to convince anyone to go salt-free and get all the health benefits. Dr. Klaper introduced me to this product, and I am grateful ever since! I’m not so sure that it would make a good Christmas present for everyone, but I know one person who will love to receive it: you! Get it on Amazon. 

8) “That’s It” Fruit Bars

$20-25 for a box of 12.

Still my favorite “power bar.” Look at the ingredients of a typical protein bar, even the so-called healthy kinds, and you’ll find a ton of ingredients that you don’t want in your body. And some protein bars pack over 300 calories a bar!

But the reason to eat a bar is to curb hunger until you can eat something more substantial — not to fill up on your protein requirements for the day (let alone more fat, refined sugar and salt than you need).

Enter: That’s It. I discovered this bar a few years ago and loved it. I always travel with them. As the name implies, they only contain fruit, and that’s it!

Get the sampler pack on amazon

NOTE: My favorite is the apple-pear.

9) Dream Sleeper


This year I finally had to replace my sleep mask, and I upgraded from my beloved mask by PJ Health, to “Dream Sleeper,” which turned out to be even better. Both products are very similar, but this one is slightly more comfortable. In case you’ve never tried one of those higher-end masks, you’re in for a treat. They are nothing like the uncomfortable, tiny sleep masks you find at the pharmacy. I’d never thought I’d become a dude who sleeps with a sleep mask, but sleep is not a place to make a fashion statement! Using a good sleep mask can make a real difference in your sleep quality. Get it on Amazon.

10) Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack

Honestly, this is my favorite “backpack” ever. This is the bag I’ve used the most in my life — not just while traveling. You can’t beat the fact that it weighs next to nothing, yet can be used as a perfectly acceptable backpack for carrying daily grocery hauls or anything.

Check it out here. 

Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.