If you’re on the hunt for the fitness fanatic, natural beauty guru, or wellness warrior in your life, this gift guide is for you! I’ve listed some of my favorites (both online and local) that will leave whoever’s on the receiving end with an elated smile. Or, treat yo’ self and add to your holiday cart. You’ll love the quality and uniqueness of everything listed. Happy shopping!

Beyond Yoga

holiday gift guide

These have literally been my favorite purchase this year. I own two pairs and they are so soft, high-quality, flattering, and versatile. I love that you can wear them for a lower impact class (yoga or barre) or even when you’re simply out and about. The material feels buttery soft and they’re just stretchy enough where you don’t feel suffocated. On the Beyond Yoga website, there are tons of options. The Spacedye Take Me Higher Long Legging is my fav pair and go with pretty much everything. I also have my eye on Plush Side Pocket High Waisted Long Legging (hello pockets!) and the Velvet Motion High Waisted Midi Legging –can you really go wrong with soft velvet leggings!? BONUS: Beyond Yoga has incredible company values that I really appreciate. They promote inclusivity by never retouching the shape of a woman’s body. Their sizes range of sizes from XXS to 3X. Two-thumbs up in my book!

To & Fro Activewear

holiday gift guide

Image via @tofroshop | Instagram

If you’re looking for a store that has it all, To & Fro Shop in Ada is your spot. They have SO much to choose from and you can pretty much gift anything you find. Think candles, water bottles, cute gym bags, leggings, jackets, hats–you name it! You’ll find plenty of stocking stuffers and quality merch for the busy woman on the go. To & Fro is a local store owned by military Veteran Carrie Papke. She has impeccable taste and is passionate about clothing that will help you love YOURSELF. They hand-select all of their clothing and carry over 18 luxury brands. They recently decorated for the holidays and the space is just beautiful. It will definitely put you in the holiday spirit. I own serveral pieces from To & Fro and wear them all the time. The quality, attention to detail, and style is on point. BONUS: They gift wrap too!

Simply Curated Candles

holiday gift guide

Image via @simplycurated | Instagram

The first thing I do when I’m ready to cozy up, plug away at some work, or just relax at home is light a candle. They are so therapeutic and make the perfect gift. I recently discovered Simply Curated Candles I’m obsessed with this company. First, they’re local (all candles are hand-poured in Grand Rapids) and are made with natural fragrances and essential oils.  They are also phthalate free & 100% soy. The candles themselves are beautiful–love the modern look and brass aesthetics. The comforting smell of Vanilla Lavender is my personal fav (I’m a sucker for anything vanilla) and burns up to 60 hours. They also have the cutest travel candles that are great for stocking stuffers. You can shop these lovely candles online or at Posh Petals, Jean Stoffer Design, Blackbird East or Schuler Books in Grand Rapids.

Fox Naturals

holiday gift guide

Image via @fox_naturals | Instagram

Holla if you’re a natural beauty babe! This is spot is not only adorable + local, but they ONLY carry holistic, healthy skin care products. Fox Naturals is committed to both quality and ethical standards. Their ingredients are vegan-friendly, use natural preservatives, and are listed on their website–no secrets or toxins! If you haven’t stopped by this adorable shop off Wealthy St yet, you’re in for a treat. Patrick (the owner) is beyond helpful, offers stellar skincare advice, and will guide you in the right the direction. Each product smells heavenly, feels fresh, and tailors to a variety of skin types. I’m hooked on the Rose Gold Facial Serum and the Charcoal Face Mask is divine. You can shop online or stop in–either way, you’ll easily find the perfect gift for the beauty guru or skincare junkie. BONUS: As we all know, skin care products can get REAL pricey. Fox Naturals is reasonably priced and you can find several items for under $30 (or shop their sets for even more of a discount)!

Amazon Teddy Coat

holiday gift guide

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, I’m sure you’re well aware that teddy jackets are pretty much the best trend ever. They’re incredibly soft and perfect for quick trips to yoga, girls night, brunch, a low key date, or even bundling up on the couch. I don’t recommend if you plan to spend extended time in frigid temps-they aren’t meant for shoveling the snow. But they are super convenient for running errands, etc. I found mine on Amazon and love it. The coat is longer and covers the bum (which I prefer), looks great with a cute scarf, and extra shaggy. I ordered in black (my go-to color), size medium (i’m usually a small but wanted a lil extra room) and it looks fab! Gift this teddy coat for someone who appreciates comfort and style–it’s only $50 and better quality than other options out there.

Hanky Panky BARE

holiday gift guide

These make for the best stocking stuffers and they’re pretty much miraculous. Anyone who gets super annoyed with having to constantly maneuver their underwear during a workout class (or in general) will LOVE the comfort and quality of this brand. I describe their thongs as ‘lace butter’ and they’re so beautiful. Scoop up a few pairs at To & Fro Activewear (they have a variety to choose from) or online–promise you’ll never go back.

Sorel Boots

holiday gift guide

I’ve had a few pairs of Sorrel boots over the years and love the quality, comfort, and style. Since I have a very active dog, I go on a ton of walks in the chillier temps and need boots that won’t leave my feet feeling cramped or cold. I do have a heavier pair for skiing or snowy trail hikes, but lately, I’ve been loving the Slimpack Lace Boot in black/kettle. They go with everything, are easy to take on and off, super warm, and great for brisk walks or running errands. I love wearing them with leggings and cute socks. If someone has a pair of boots on their list, then I highly recommend the Slimpack Lace by Sorel. Oh, and be sure to size up! I normally wear an 8-8.5 and ordered a 9.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35

holiday gift guide

I was way overdue for a new pair of sneaks and recently ordered this pair (well, a few) from Nike and these are my new go-to. They’re made for running, so expect a little bounce with the perfect amount of cushion. I have a higher arch and they conform really well to my foot. I love the rosé color (I’m a sucker for everything rosé ) and overall comfort and quality. I’ve owned many, many pairs of sneaks over the years (I’m an avid runner and always looking to upgrade), and these are definitely in my top 3. They’re worth every penny and make me look forward to a jog or longer walk.

River Locks Pom Beanie

holiday gift guide

Stay cozy warm with this chunky knit beanie with a cute plush pompom from Free People. I love the black and white mix to spice things up. Most of my winter gear is black (surprise, surprise) so it goes well with everything.  The coral option is also adorable and would look great skiing or if you want to add a pop of color. I wear this beanie whenever it’s chilly and I’ve gotten so many compliments. This would def make for a perfect gift!

321 STRONG Foam Roller

Holiday Gift Guide

After a really tough work out or if I’m feeling extra sore, I foam roll. I’ve used a variety of foam rollers, but I really love the  unique massage zones of the 321 STRONG. It replicates the thumbs, fingers, and palms so you can get the exact massage you’re looking for. This would be an awesome gift for an athlete or for somone who just needs some extra theraputic benefits. Foam rolling is great for decreased recovery time from injuries, deep tissue massage, increasing mobility, healing damaged soft tissue, and reducing pain and soreness. I ordered this one in gray off amazon and highly recommend!

GR Natural Health

holiday gift guide

If you haven’t checked out my recent blog post about GR Natural Health, then read it over stat. They offer a variety of holistic health and beauty services including acupuncture, light therapy, health coaching, massage, organic facials, and even energy healing. Their team of holistic health practitioners and estheticians are incredible and I always feel amazing after stopping in for one of their services. They’re offering an awesome special for the holidays–purchase a $100 gift card for only $80. Treat that special someone to some much-needed self-care and rejuvenation. Or check out their online store of natural skin care and organic makeup products–they carry a variety of options with only the highest quality, organic ingredients.

I hope this helps with your holiday shopping and maybe you even found something you want to try out for yourself. Enjoy and happy holidays!

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You know the drill, it’s lunchtime and you’re starving. Maybe you forgot your lunch at home or maybe you just need to get outside a bit. Regardless, you’re on the hunt for a healthy lunch spot that doesn’t break the bank or enlarge your waistline. Luckily, Grand Rapids has a ton of healthy lunch locations that are both lovely and healthy. Here are my top choices for a lunch date or when I’m on the go:

The Sovengardlunch Grand Rapids

Photo via @thesovengard | Instagram

If you’re on the West Side and looking for a healthy lunch meal, The Sovengard is your place. They serve up locally sourced, seasonal fare that’s truly farm-to-table. Expect a delicious meal and a trendy, cozy atmosphere each and every visit. During the warmer months, enjoy their seasonal patio and Biergarten. You can’t go wrong with a lunch break paired with Bocce ball & incredible food.

Clean Juicelunch Grand Rapids

Photo via @ashleyesugg | Instagram

Located in Gaslight Village, Clean Juice serves 100% organic juices, smoothies and more. Enjoy a post-workout smoothie or acai bowl made with immune-boosting superfoods. If you’re a little hungrier, they also have toast, bites, and the Heart Healthy Smoothie is so filling. You’ll love the bright atmosphere and smoothie bar. There’s something for everyone!

The Green Welllunch Grand Rapids

Photo via @thegreenwell | Instagram

A local favorite day and night, The Green Well stacks its menu with a variety of healthy options. Think warm kale salad, smashed brussels sprouts or quinoa falafel wrap. They have an adorable patio that’s perfect for some fresh air during a much-needed lunch break and many unique, flavorful dishes. Enough said.

Wikiwiki Poke Shoplunch Grand Rapids

If you’re on Wealthy Street during lunch hour and craving a fishy fix, head to Wikiwiki Poke Shop. Their poke bowls are packed with protein and pure deliciousness. The sauces, flavors, and portions are perfect for a lunch on the go or you can relax in their casual, modern space. The O.G. and Gucchi Sushi are our go-to dish & if you’re looking for something really tasty and unique, try the Bowl’d Up.

Freshiilunch Grand Rapids

Photo via @freshii | Instagram

Located in Knapps Corner and Monroe Center, Freshii is one of the first restaurants to make kale and quinoa convenient for everyone. Turmeric juices, energy bites and grain bowls only skim the surface. They offer 7 different menu categories – bowls, burritos, salads, wraps, soups, smoothies & juices – and each one is full of innovation. We especially appreciate that they’re environmentally friendly and the variety of vegan/ vegetarian options.

CoreLife Eaterylunch Grand Rapids

Believe in the power of eating well with CoreLife Eatery. Food is viewed as a true energy source here. Enjoy green bowls, grain bowls, and broth bowls–always filling and always healthy. All of their ingredients are free of GMO’s, trans fats, artificial colors, sweeteners, and other artificial additives. That’s a huge high-five in my book.

Fruition Acai & Juice Bar

lunch Grand Rapids

Fruition Acai & Juice Bar is a super cute establishment serving fast healthy food for Grand Rapids folks. Choose from Acai bowls, juices, wraps, bagels, & toast. They even offer the original ‘I’ll-avo-bowl’–an avocado smashed base with your choice of toppings.  You’ll be obliged to snap a photo with Insta worthy ‘Acai You Baby’ neon sign. I also suggest their best-selling item, the fruition bowl!

Terra GRhealthy lunch Grand Rapids

Photo via @andi_fisher | Instagram

Terra GR serves up fresh woodfired pizzas, sustainable seafood, soups, salads and more. You can always count on Terra for a meal that’s not only filling but super delicious and guilt-free. The staff is top notch and they go out of their way to accommodate your dietary needs. Rest assured that their food is always served sustainably with a focus on local, healthy ingredients. The atmosphere is super cozy, dimly lit, and perfect for a relaxing lunch.

Local Salad & Deli Barslunch Grand Rapids

Photo via @ubcfoodie | Instagram

If you’re in a hurry or need a few grocery items in addition to lunch, check out the deli bar at Horrocks or Fresh Thyme. Both are stacked with amazing lunch options that are entirely customizable. They offer a variety of soups, every kind of salad topping imaginable, and even custom-made sandwiches. Grab a kombucha or some trail mix if you need to hit the road, and you’ll be all set.

Irie Kitchenlunch Grand Rapids

Photo via @irie.kitchen | Instagram

You can’t go wrong grabbing lunch at a spot infused with rhythmic Island music and positive vibes. Caribbean flavor and ethnic street food with a healthy twist, that’s Irie Kitchen. Try an Irie Box with Jerk Chicken, Rice, and Veggies – it’s the best! If you’re going the vegan/ vegetarian route, the vegan sampler with jerk tofu, curry garbanzo beans, and Irie shrooms is both filling plus oh-so-satisfying. The owners are intent on serving healthy, local options, and genuinely care about sustainability and quality of the food. Expect a plate full of healthy, organic, non-GMO food every time.

Bliss & Vinegarhealthy lunch Grand Rapids

Find fresh food, chopped salads and healthy cuisine at Bliss & Vinegar. (I love the name!) It’s a quick service, healthy option in the Forest Hills area. And their dressings are to die for. Not only can you pile your salads with a variety of tasty, healthy toppings, but they have soup with focaccia bread, warm bowls with a quinoa blend, and wraps. Need a healthy snack to go? Stash a few of their homemade protein bars in your car and you won’t be reaching for any junk food.

Sip Organic Juice Barhealthy lunch Grand Rapids

Photo via @bringoutyourbliss | Instagram

Nestled directly next to Bliss & Vinegar, find your juice fix at Sip Organic Juice Bar. This place was made for health and wellness fanatics. Not only do they use the highest quality, most sustainable ingredients, but they offer a variety of menu options that are packed with nutritional value. Think elixers (try HELP! for an anti-inflammatory cocktail), juices, smoothies, acai bowls, and sustainable meal replacements. The Jenergy bar compliments any smoothie and you can also scoop up lettuce wraps or infused water. For a complete reset, try their 3-day and 5-day raw food detox plans.

Grain Sandwich Shop

healthy lunch Grand Rapids

At Grain Sandwhich Shop, you’ll find traditional, staple lunch options with a healthy twist.  They only use the freshest local ingredients from local farms and meat shops (they even list the vendors on their website).  Try the That’s My Yam or Veg Head to get your vegetarian fix or the Chicken Salad to fill your sandwich craving. Need catering for your office or event? They have reasonably priced catering options and even offer bagged lunches.

There are my top lunch spots for a satisfying and delicious midday meal in Grand Rapids. Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments! And be sure follow GR Healthy Living on Instagram for the latest health-related news and updates.

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Getting active doesn’t have to be a hassle. This summer, I have made it my goal to find affordable ways to get fit without going to the gym. So far, I have found that the best alternative is the great outdoors. You heard it right! There are so many ways to get active outdoors, and it’s free!  Summers can pass quickly in the mitten, as many of you probably know, therefore you don’t want to miss any opportunity to make the most of the sunshine. Here are some of my favorite outdoor workout spots and how I utilize the space around me:

The Stairs on Division and Belknap Park

There is a flight of stairs near my house that I like to utilize for some High-Intensity Training. I tend to do about 10-15 sprints bottom to top. This workout always makes me super sweaty, but it’s really beneficial. If you engage your muscles correctly, it will work your entire body; your core should be firm and your arms and legs should be pumping. If you do not have access to stairs, you can always substitute with hills or bleachers. They will still engage the same muscles and give the same results! You can find stairs or hills in almost any neighborhood. Utilize the bleachers at your local high school or find a sledding spot. A few popular destinations that you should definitely check out:

  • Stairs on Division located downtown.  After a few sets, this incredibly steep set will leave you a sweaty, breathless mess. 
  • Belknap Park has 2 awesome hill slopes behind the baseball field. These are also great for lunges and intense hill training.

The Stairs on Division

Stair Workout

Downtown & the Grand River

I enjoy taking a run around my local neighborhood, but one of my favorite places to run is right through downtown Grand Rapids. You can run past the infamous Blue Bridge, stop to stretch in Rosa Parks Circle and maybe even stop for a crafted beverage or coffee after your run. There are many different routes you can take so it never gets boring or repetitive—plus you get to see the beauty of downtown.

Rosy Mound Nature Trail & Millennium Park

One of my favorite hiking spots is Rosy Mound Nature Trail, which is near the lakeshore. I enjoy hiking this trail because I am able to hike to a gorgeous view while still getting a solid workout in. The trail has a challenging terrain, from stairs to inclined paths, and I am able to engage multiple muscle groups. If this is too far, no worries!  Millennium Park, closer to downtown, has more scenic paths to run or jog. It’s a quiet park that cuts through the woods and near a few lakes, making it a great place to clear your head and get active.

Millennium Park

Riverside Park

A local park can be as functional as a gym. Parks have a lot of green space for you to do some stretching, yoga, and circuit training. Personally, I love using my own body to work out, which can be referred to as Calisthenics. I am able to do these workouts virtually anywhere, like a park or my backyard. The playground set can also work as a CrossFit-style gym. For example, you can use monkey bars to do pull-ups or hanging ab crunches, or you can use the park bench to do some tricep push-ups. The park has a lot of potential, if you’re creative!

On top of all these wonderful outdoor fitness destinations, Grand Rapids also provides many free outdoor fitness classes throughout the summer. Funky Buddha yoga studio even holds free yoga classes in select parks, which is awesome.

Exercise can be simple! You don’t need expensive memberships or fancy yoga clothes. Embrace what the universe has given us and get active outdoors. These are my personal and favorite places to get active outdoors, what are yours?

Meet the Author

Meet local blogger, Alyssa Waid, the creator & owner of Pretty, Young, & Motivated.  Alyssa’s goal is to reach young women who struggle with self-confidence and finding comfort in being who they are. A senior at GVSU, she loves exploring what the world has to offer, traveling, and meeting new people. Her blog offers health, fitness, & lifestyle advice while encouraging women to be confident in their own skin. Stay tuned for more from Alyssa, who will be regularly contributing to GR Healthy Living. Also, you can find her on IG: blogger_alyssa.