Do you want to live forever? Sure, we all do!

But how does that fit into the current threat of overheating and/or nuclear holocaust our planet is currently (and will likely remain) under? Not sure, but if the extinction of our species does in fact start in our lifetimes, what I figure is those who have prepped to live forever (or as close as they can get) have a better shot at surviving longer than those who didn’t. Of course, all the previously-consumed antioxidants in the world won’t stave off a slow death from thirst in the complete absence of drinkable water, nor will they fill in the bullet hole your neighbor just put in your chest because he wanted the moldy crust of bread you were clinging onto. (I’m just going to paste a link to “This Christmas” right here in the hope of keeping spirits bright.)

And, granted, surviving “longer” in this case might really come down to days or even hours, but what is time, what is life, what is the point of anything? We’re just keeping ourselves busy during our brief time on earth. That’s what the holidays are basically about, giving us something to occupy our time for a few weeks in service of taking our minds off that which occupies our time for the rest of the year. And then we die, whether the planet goes down with us or not. (“And everyone is singing, I hear those sleigh bells ringing!”)

Still—isn’t it worth trying to give ourselves the best odds we can? As an amateur wellness guru/aspiring cult leader with only vague notions of what I’m talking about at any given moment, I urge you to give your loved ones the gift of life, or, at least, the hope of having a long one this holiday season. They might look back at this moment during the onset of the apocalypse and think kindly of you.


Watercress

image via B&W

I predict that you think the idea of giving vegetables as a gift is insane, but how is it any less insane than giving something as blood-sugar raising and artery-clogging as candy? I bet you a million mini candy canes that the majority of people on your list are not eating nearly enough greens per day. Let me suggest boosting their diets and potential lifespans with watercress, which I have read is very good for you and your face. “Eat your way to a facelift: Watercress is the latest wonder food in battle against ageing,” read one headline from 2012—never mind that it was on the Daily Mail, or that it cites a study of just 11 women, or that they spell “aging” with an “E.” You have to believe in something, and I choose antioxidants! Plus, the taste of watercress is so mustard-spicy disruptive, like a fire ant hula-hooping in each nostril, that I can’t imagine it being any less life-restoring than a real life power-up heart in a video game. There has to be some payoff for enduring it. I suffer through a smoothie of it, ginger, lemon, and cayenne pepper every morning. I feel great.

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Anyway, my dear coworker Joanna gave me a bag of this for my birthday and you know what? It was gone in days. Some of us like receiving vegetables as presents. It’s cheap, bound to be a surprise, and even if the recipient doesn’t eat it, he or she will never ever forget that you did this.

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A water bottle that reminds you to drink from it

Image via Hidrate Spark

Stay healthy, stay happy, stay hydrated. But if someone on your list is the type who can’t keep their head screwed on, how could they possibly keep the top of a water bottle screwed on, let alone remember to drink from it? That’s where the Hidrate Spark™ 2.0 Water Bottle comes in: it syncs to your smartphone and reminds you to drink toward your “daily hydration goal.” Does the person you’re buying for have one of those? No? Well, there’s another gift and that one’s free.

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Some help with meditation

Image via Muse

The “Muse” (not this one) is a “brain-sensing headband” that “makes meditation easy” as it “gently guides your meditation through changing sounds of weather based on the real-time state of your brain.” (Whispers: Nobody needs this.) Buuuut, this is the time of the year for consumer frivolity, so a guide like this is better than nothing, I guess.

The way I got into meditation was by using the Headspace app’s guided meditations, which at least gave me some principles of mindfulness. And then when I got sick of the guy’s voice/the repetition of their free Take 10 meditations, I switched over to just listening to ambient music and I’ve been happy as a centered clam who consciously lives in the moment ever since. (If you’re curious about how this fits in with the guide’s theme, there have been studies suggesting that meditation possibly slows aging on a cellular level and may help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.)

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A retinoid

Image via Differin

A retinoid, which is purely topical and purely cosmetic, won’t actually make you live forever, it’ll just make you look good doing it. Differin, which is now available over the counter after previously requiring a prescription to obtain, is known to reduce fine lines slows the breakdown of collagen. It also helps with acne. Give it to the Vanity Smurf in your life today. If they are truly devoted to their vanity, they will not feel slighted in the least by such a gift.


High-intensity interval training

Image via Barry’s

A study in the journal Cell Metabolism from earlier this year suggested that high-intensity interval training (which integrates quick bursts of strenuous exercise repeatedly into a overall more moderate workout) could reverse the effects of aging. “Exercise training, especially high intensity interval training, enhanced the machinery (ribosomes) to produce proteins, increased the production of proteins and enhanced protein abundance in muscle,” said Dr. Sreekumaran Nair, the study’s senior author and a Mayo Clinic diabetes researcher, to CNN. Great, works for me. I like Barry’s Bootcamp, but you can cycle or run/walk on any old treadmill. Whatever!

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An iced-tea maker

Image via Mr. Coffee

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Green, white, and black tea are all suspected to have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory qualities. Suck those qualities down as quickly and smoothly as possible in a nice, cold glass.

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Oatmeal

When New Jersey’s Adele Dunlap turned 110 in 2012, NJ.com ran a piece which revealed this fun fact and possible indication for a way to live as long as she has:

According to Carol Cohen, Country Arch activities director, Dunlap once jokingly attributed her longevity to her preference for oatmeal. “Some people believe that,” Dunlap said today, smiling.

Now it’s your job to decide whether you or someone on your list is one of those people.

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Cookies

Image via Milk Bar

Similarly, in an interview pegged to her 117th birthday, Emma Morano (then the oldest woman alive, who eventually died in April of this year) said she ate two eggs a day and cookies. So there’s you’re excuse, go crazy. She also avoided meat—and people. After splitting from her abusive husband in 19-fucking-38, she never found another partner. Perhaps, then, another anti-aging gift option is your permanent absence from the recipient’s life. Send them a link to Emma’s story, they’ll understand.

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