When it's cold outside and your skin is dry, your feet ache from holiday shopping, and you just want to pamper yourself, what do you do? Why not treat yourself to gluten-free personal care?
Before the hustle and bustle of the season get to be too much, go to your local natural food store and look for health and beauty items with seasonal scents that will delight your senses-everything from rosemary to sage to cranberries to vanilla chai. And while you're there, you can lighten your holiday shopping load by picking up a few extra products to give as presents. And if these luxurious treats also happen to be free of gluten-like suggestions here-then so much the better!
- Soap. Limited-edition EO Meyer Lemon & Sage and Mandarin Spice Hand Soaps are available only during the winter holiday season. If you prefer the scent of rosemary, try EO Rosemary & Mint Hand Soap.
- Body Wash/Shower Gel. To enjoy the scent of cranberry, try Green Beaver by Flora Cranberry Delight Body Wash, which can be used in conjunction with Green Beaver Cranberry Delight Body Lotion, Shampoo, and Conditioner. Another holiday-appropriate choice is Desert Essence Organics Green Apple & Ginger Body Wash, which can also be used with Desert Essence organic Green Apple & Ginger Shampoo and Conditioner. Hugo Naturals offers Vanilla & Sweet Orange Shower Gel, as well as Vanilla & Sweet Orange All-Over Lotion, Shampoo, and Conditioner. Or, if you prefer chocolate at the holidays, try EO Chocolate & Mint Shower Gel.
- Bath products. To soothe sore, achy muscles from overexertion, soak in a warm bath with EO Be Well Eucalyptus & Arnica Bath Salts. Or treat yourself to Hugo Naturals Eucalyptus Rosemary & Mint Effervescent Bath Bomb. If you prefer fruit and vanilla fragrances, try EO Time Out Vanilla & Coconut with Tangerine Bubble Bath.
- Lotions. If you love a cup of warm chai tea in the winter, give your skin a similar treat by slathering on Desert Essence organics Spicy Vanilla Chai Hand and Body Lotion. Desert Essence organics makes two companion products, a Vanilla Chai Hand Wash and Spicy Vanilla Chai Body Wash. For something a little less spicy but still sweet, try Ecco Bella Organic Vanilla Herbal Body Lotion.
- Specialty creams and lotions. To help heal dry, cracked skin on the bottom of your feet, there's Organique Intensive Moisturizing FootCare Cream by Himalaya Herbal Healthcare. Also from Organique is U-Knead-It, an organic balm that features eucalyptus, lemon, and rosemary oils to support and soothe overexerted muscles. For overall dry skin, try Home health Almond Glow Almond Skin Lotion. For dry hands during the winter, try a remedy with pumpkin seed oil that's perfect for the holidays: Desert Essence organics Pumpkin Spice Hand Repair Cream, which smells a little like pumpkin pie.
No-Bake Dried Fruit-Cocoa Balls*
Don't feel like baking this holiday season? Try this easy-to-make, gluten-free dessert. They're rich, so you don't need many.
½ cup pitted sulfite-free prunes, quartered
4 Tbs. dried unsweetened Bing cherries, halved
3 Tbs. unsweetened organic cocoa powder, divided
3 Tbs. creamy-style roasted almond butter
3 tsp. Frontier Herbs Alcohol-Free Vanilla Flavor
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbs. chopped pecans (optional)
2 cup finely grated unsweetened, sulfite-free organic coconut
- Mix prunes, cherries, and 1 Tbs. cocoa powder together, and chop mixture until minced. Place chopped mixture in bowl, and mix in remaining cocoa, almond butter, vanilla flavor, and cinnamon. Knead mixture until well combined, adding pecans, if using, just before kneading is completed.
- Roll mixture into 1-inch balls and coat each ball with coconut. Refrigerate at least one hour or overnight. Return to room temperature before serving for best flavor.
PER SERVING: 84 CAL; 2 G PROT; 5 G TOTAL FAT (3 G SAT FAT); 9 G CARB; 0 MG CHOL; 10 MG SOD; 2 G FIBER; 4 G SUGARS
* Recipe reprinted from Gluten Free Throughout the Year: A Two-Year, Month-to-Month Guide for Healthy Eating by Melissa Diane Smith.