Our Favorite Things of 2022

Five years ago, we started a tradition where my team shared our "favorite things"...

These are all things we've liked, used, and purchased ourselves, which we hope will empower you to take control of improving your life. It also gives you a small insight into some of the folks who help create the Health & Wealth Bulletin.

We've also read lots of great suggestions from our readers, so feel free to share the things that have helped you live a better 2022... [email protected].

Doc's Picks

High on my list each year is good wine. I've been so spoiled by my own wines – Eifrig Cellars – that I don't really drink much else. Even when going out, I'll stick to places that have a corkage fee, which allows me to bring my own bottle. Perhaps making one of my favorites... restaurants that allow corkage.

Outside of my own wine, I love the wines from my good friend Brenda Lynch at Mutt Lynch Winery in Healdsburg California. This time of year, Brenda sends her "Wines That Give Back" holiday box – a mix of whites, rosés, and reds – which gives 25% of your purchase to various animal organizations and charities. Brenda sells award-winning wines with creative names (Merlot Over and Play Dead), beautiful labels, and even better flavors.

She also makes a wine from the Charbono grape. Across the entire U.S. today, there are only 76 acres of Charbono grapes. So if you're looking for a fun and unique gift for the dog lover in your family, this is a fun wine package to give.

Massages are another perennial favorite. I still don't understand how anyone could go a lifetime, let alone a month, without a full-body massage by a professional therapist. I first discovered the benefits of a massage in New York City in the 1990s when I ran a couple marathons. The ability to restore the sore muscles to a more relaxed and efficient state was amazing, after any long training runs. I was hooked then for sore muscle relief. Since then, I've discovered the meditative and relaxing qualities of massage.

Probably even more important is the immune system restoration part of the massage. When the body is massaged, the lymphatic system gets moved along with the muscles... This recycles and replenishes T-cells, B-cells, and numerous anti-inflammatory molecules throughout the body. There's more science to be learned about human touch and massages, but for me, it simply feels great. Interestingly, I've been able to also find good deals wherever I've been. In medical school, I found a massage school nearby that charged just $20 for a 50-minute massage. Today, I regularly visit a place that charges just $50 for an hour. It's money well spent for both a mental and physical treat.

Our franchise manager, Laura Bente

I'm a longtime lover of home renovation. And like a lot of folks, I spent a lot of time during the pandemic renovating my house. One of the best tools I've bought to help my do it yourself home improvements is this cordless brad nailer. I've used it for installing flooring, door frames, baseboards, and more...

It's the simplest and quietest nail gun I've used. And all you need to do to get started is charge the battery... no air compressor involved.

Our senior analyst, Jeff Havenstein

Not everyone golfs... But if you do and are trying to get better, this is for you.

My wife bought me a golf training mat with hopes that I'd stop tearing up our backyard grass with practice swings. When you swing on this mat, it has a special fabric that leaves a dark mark showing your swing path and where the club head touches down. You can see if you're swinging in to out, out to in, hitting too far behind the ball, etc... You can then make subtle changes to your swing and instantly see it on the mat.

I tend to use this in my backyard with a perforated golf ball so I'm not breaking any windows.

Like with most other things, you need practice and repetition to become good at golf. This is a great product to use throughout the year, without even leaving home.

Our health and wellness researcher, Misha Cash

This year's rising costs and inflation have a lot of folks – me included – focusing on being very intentional with money and only buying the essentials. Caring for my sensitive skin is on the list of essentials for me... particularly in the winter when the air is dry and constantly pulling the moisture right out of my skin.

But I don't just use any old product off the shelf. Dyes and perfumes – and other harmful materials (like aluminum, for instance) – get hidden in most commercial skincare products and can make my skin even worse... angry and irritated.

Thankfully, a few years ago, I came across a small Baltimore-based company called SoBotanical. Ever since that day, there has been no going back...

Its products are amazing. SoBotanical's founder – Theresa Cangialosi – has more than 30 years of experience in the art and science of aromatherapy. With her brand, Cangialosi's driving philosophies involve prioritizing the purity and quality of her products and integrating healing principles into her formulations.

Two of SoBotanical's products that I always keep on hand are pit paste (deodorant) and face nourish (skin serum).

Our health and wellness research assistant, Ellen Chung

A bad soda habit in the past (I know, Doc, I know) has gifted me with some tooth-enamel sensitivity. My solution was toothpaste with nano-hydroxyapatite. This active ingredient is the same mineral that makes up more than 90% of your enamel. And studies have found that nano-hydroxyapatite remineralizes teeth just as well as fluoride – even beating out fluoride when it comes to reducing sensitivity. Longtime readers might recall Doc's warnings on fluoride. So folks looking for a fluoride-free nano-hydroxyapatite toothpaste can consider one like this popular brand.

Whatever you're looking for, if you like shopping on Amazon.com, I find using a price tracker incredibly helpful when I want to get the best deal. I've been using Keepa for years to alert me as soon as a given item hits a desired price that I've set. Plus, it shares a great overview of a product's price history – including the average number of price drops per month – to get an idea of how frequently a sale happens. So if you've still got some holiday shopping left to do, you can give Keepa a try.

As a disclaimer, we do receive a very small amount for anything purchased through Amazon links. It has no bearing on our recommendations.

Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,

Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
December 15, 2022

Editor's note: Our offices are closed tomorrow as we celebrate the holidays. Your next issue of the Health & Wealth Bulletin will be in your e-mail inbox on Monday, December 19.