Healthy Travel Sedona

Last week I spent 7 days in the magical Sedona, Arizona with my parents. It was an epic trip on many levels - if you were following along on Instagram you know we were in a studio room for the first few nights so that was interesting (or an “opportunity for awakening” as my therapist would say) to say the least.

I’m excited to share some of the highlights from the trip here with you!

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getting to SEDONA

There’s a small airport in Sedona, but most people fly into Phoenix and then rent a car to drive the 2 hours to Sedona. We stayed the night in Phoenix which I highly recommend to split up the trip - there are plenty of hotels and cute AirBnBs not far from the airport.





Tip: I also recommend making a pit stop at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West (about 40 minutes from Phoenix and just under 2 hours from Sedona). Whether you specifically love architecture or not, Frank Lloyd Wright was quite a genius - you can see this in his work but also in how he created a school of architecture that required more than just drafting building plans.



where to stay

We stayed at The Ridge on Sedona Golf Resort - my mom was gifted a week stay from someone who has a timeshare with Diamond Resorts. This resort was perfectly comfortable (after we moved out of our studio room that is) and very quite.

Where we were was about a 20 minute drive south from true Sedona center, which wasn’t bad but it did make for more time in the car. If I visited in the future, I’d probably choose to stay a little closer to town, likely in West Sedona as most of the food spots and hikes I enjoyed were on that side of town.





I will note that while we were visiting, the resort’s spa was closed. The pool and Jacuzzi were operating, but it was a little disappointing not to have a sauna / steam room on site as MOST hotels and resorts in Sedona include these and it’s one of the biggest perks of choosing a resort over an AirBnB.

 

what to do

  • HIKE! - In my opinion, the nature is WHY you visit Sedona. Yes, it’s cool to have a crystal shop and psychic in every shopping mall, but the real magic of this town is the nature. There are SO many trails within a few minutes of the center of town, and something for every level of hiker. I recommend downloading the Hiking Guide: Sedona app - it gives good descriptions of the trails and how to navigate to the trailheads.

    These are the hikes we did in addition to the vortex trails listed below: Doe Mountain** (quick climb, spectacular views at top with plenty of space to explore), Templeton Trail (flat but great views of Bell Rock, the Courthouse, etc) and Devil’s Bridge (largest natural bridge in the area, some steep parts).

  • VISIT THE VORTEXES - Sedona is known for it’s vortexes. Vortexes are the powerful and transformational energy centers located at the intersections of natural electromagnetic earth energy. You can book a tour to visit the vortexes, which can be fun to get more history and be guided to feel the energy at each spot, but we decided to see them on our own. The four major vortexes in Sedona are Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Boynton Canyon** and Airport Mesa** - there are great hikes around all of these, but most you can also park near so you don’t have to do a full hike if you don’t want.

    ** = my personal favorites

  • SHOP FOR CRYSTALS - As previously mentioned, there is literally a store selling crystals and other metaphysical items in every shopping center in Sedona. Part of the fun of working with crystals is letting them choose you, which is why I always buy them in person rather than online. Especially if you’re a crystal newbie, this can be a great opportunity to visit a few stores and see if any particular stones call to you. These were the specific shops I felt had better energy and better quality goods: Mystical Bazaar, Peace Place Gifts + Crystal Gratitude.

  • HAVE A HEALING SESSION - It wouldn’t be a true trip to Sedona without at least one session with a healer or psychic! There are many different types of healing and energy work sessions to be experienced in Sedona: aura photography, energy healing, massage, reiki, tarot, psychic work, and more.

    A full post on my experience working with psychics is definitely overdue, but for now my advice is this: be open, but also skeptical. Trust your instincts. If you don’t get a good vibe from someone or something they’re telling you doesn’t resonate, you don’t have to do a session or believe what they say. I’ve had only positive experiences, but I’ve learned to only work with people who I trust and get a good gut YES from.

  • STARGAZE - Sedona is an International Dark Sky Community which means there are regulations on street and city lights, so the star gazing here is EPIC! With most things, you can surely book a tour or guided experience, but you can also just go outside on a clear night and LOOK UP. It’s wonderful, especially for us city folk who don’t see stars too often.

Here are some pictures from our activities:

where to eat

COFFEE, TEA + BREAKFAST

  • LOCAL JUICERY - Definitely my favorite (and most visited) food spot of the trip! Come here for epic smoothies, juices and other healthy eats. Make a point to get the gluten free waffles - they are literally the BEST I’ve ever had.

  • CREEKSIDE COFFEE - A popular bakery and coffeeshop. Open early for your pre-hike caffienation needs.

CASUAL EATS

  • CHOCOLATREE - Organic, gluten free and vegetarian eatery with tons of raw options, as well as a full raw chocolate factory and marketplace. Come for a hearty, healthy meal or just for chocolate and tea. I did both. Purchase a loaf of their gluten free and vegan bread to take home.

  • THE SECRET GARDEN CAFE - Quaint little cafe in the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts village. Great for ALL dietary preferences - there are gluten free and vegan options, but also burgers, pastrami sandwiches and lots of desserts.

  • THAI PALACE - A local recommended this Thai spot and it did not disappoint.

  • PICAZZO’S HEALTHY ITALIAN KITCHEN - The name says it all: healthy Italian (including gluten free and vegan pizza and house made gluten free foccacia). Come during happy hour for a meal that’s delicious and incredibly affordable.

NICER RESTAURANTS

  • CREEKSIDE AMERICAN BISTRO - One of the nicer dinner spots we ate at with gorgeous views of the red rocks and a fabulous outdoor patio overlooking the creek, when the weather’s right. Something to please everyone here from blackened salmon salads to decadent steaks.

  • DAHL & DiLUCA - Picazzo’s fancier sister restaurant. Similarly they have TONS of gluten free options, but also all the traditional Italian dishes.

Here are a few pics of yummy food I ate:

I hope to visit Sedona again some day - it truly is a magical place with healing energy… and THE best gluten free waffles ;)

 

 

Have you ever been to SEDONA? what was your favorite activity, restaurant or experience?

Share with us all in the comments below!

 

What I've been leaning into

The last few weeks have been particularly intense for me. Between my grandma passing, my brother getting engaged (!!!) and spending the last week in Sedona with my parents, I’ve literally been feeling ALL the feels.

What’s been helping me through it all is allowing myself a ton of space to simply BE.

I’ve been leaning on those self care practices that give me space: acupuncture, meditation, down time, long walks and runs, and Universal Health Principles (UHP) sessions.

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I haven’t shared a lot about UHP here lately but it’s an integral part of both my coaching work and personal self care practice because it does provide such space and such deep peace (something that I don’t always find even in a yoga class or spa day).

So what is UHP?

UHP is a mind body healing modality. As a certified UHP practitioner, I have been trained to use muscle testing to tap into the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

Your body WANTS you to feel good. It wants you to be focused, energized and comfortable in your skin.

While a lot of the coaching work I do focuses on the left brain and conscious mind (eat this, do this workout, take this supplement, etc), UHP session work more with the body and subconscious mind, uncovering belief systems and thought patterns that may be holding you back from becoming your next level of you.

A session feels like a deep meditation - I LOVE giving and receiving UHP sessions before bed because I always sleep SO soundly.

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I bring UHP sessions into my coaching (both 1:1 coaching and the work I do with Robyn in the Rockstar Coaching Collective group) but I’ve decided to open up a few more regular spots for just UHP.

No need to sign up for a whole coaching program or purchase a package. This is an awesome opportunity to experience this special practice and see if working with me (and UHP) is something that would be supportive for you.

Limited space for single sessions are available - through the end of the month it’s $80 for a 30-40 minute session (which will be held virtually via Zoom video conferencing).

Learn more about UHP here.

To book, email me and I'll be touch with details on payment and scheduling.

When food is more than food

My Grandma Shirley passed away last week. Even though computers and emails weren't her thing, she was signed up for my newsletter list and she learned how to use her iPad so she could read and reply to my weekly emails (and ask me follow up questions when I'd chat with her on the phone or see her in person).

Today I'm sharing a story I posted on Instagram this weekend in her memory. While I'm understandably mourning the fact that she is no longer with us physically, I'm comforted in knowing that these memories (especially those linked to common place activities such as food and cooking) will live on in my heart.

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When I was a little girl, my brother and I would have sleepovers at my grandparents house and we’d always make chocolate chip pancakes in the morning. My grandma had these molds so we could make our pancakes in the shape of dinosaurs and teddy bears, the chocolate chips creating eyes and faces on these shapes.

As I grew older, pancakes took on other memories: making them for my friends after sleepovers (Bisquick mix of course),  later enjoying stacks at IHOP when we got to go into school late because of standardized testing, and most recently discovering paleo pancakes made from egg and bananas, and treating myself to these healthified yet decadent cakes on special occasions.

Each time I have pancakes I’m reminded of those mornings with my grandma and brother - the glee that came from getting to eat chocolate for breakfast and the special connection that truly only exists between grandparent and grandchild.

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Food holds memories.

Food can remind us of a feeling, or of a different time and place.

Food is so much more than calories or nutrients.

Food is love.

We haven’t had a chocolate chip pancake morning in a long time. My grandma had diabetes and me being me won’t touch Bisquick with a 10 foot pole.

On Friday I found myself ordering a stack of paleo pancakes at one of my favorite NYC spots. I wasn’t really that hungry, and I knew the chocolate and coconut flour and egg wouldn’t be the best for my gut. But I knew this wasn’t about the pancakes themselves; it was about a memory.

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I feel so fortunate to have these memories and many more. And if I need to use food sometimes to access them, to feel that memory in my body in a more visceral way, I’m okay with that.

Food is so much more than just food.

And I hope it stays that way.

Love you and our special memories Grandma Shirley, pancakes and beyond.

In loving memory of Shirley Elaine Nachazel (March 31st, 1933 - January 18th, 2019)

Tips for a better winter

One of the most interesting concepts I've learned throughout my years studying nutrition and wellness is that our bodies (and lives) are cyclical in nature. We, like the moon, have phases, some of which repeat on a predictable basis.

And just like the pull of the moon influences the tides, our bodies are impacted by these different cycles and the different seasons.

Today I want to share a little more about the season of winter, the season that we in the Northern Hemisphere are currently experiencing (and experiencing HARD - it's in the single digits in Brooklyn as I write this).

I used to hate winter. I despised the cold and wanted to just put my head down and push through it as quickly as possible. I still prefer warmer temps (there's a certain freedom that comes with them when your main mode of transportation is a BIKE), but once I learned to honor the season for what it WAS instead of trying make it look or feel like a different season, I learned to really love this time of year (okay... maybe not LOVE but at least LIKE and appreciate).

Plus, by leaning into the winter-ness of winter, I'm better able to appreciate and use the energies of the other seasons when they come around.

Me embracing winter - ie home early, snuggled up with a heating pad + good book

Me embracing winter - ie home early, snuggled up with a heating pad + good book

So how does one "lean into" winter?

First, let's take a moment to think about what we associate with winter. This will give us some insight into the role of the season, and some clues for how to best use it's energy.

Here's what I think of when I think of winter...

Winter. Cold. Staying in. Gathering around the fire. Sleeping. Reading. Hibernating. Finding warmth. Comfort food. Less growth. Fewer hours in the day. More darkness. More blankets. Quiet. Reflection. Clarity. Coziness.

The cold and quiet is not "bad" - it's just different, especially for our go-go-go society. If we expect ourselves to operate on the exact same schedules as we did when we had 14 hours of daylight and temperatures in the 80s, it's going to feel hard.

If instead we work with these natural tendencies, if we use this season as a time of rest, reflection and getting in touch with our selves, not only will we feel more in harmony with the world around us, but we'll be better prepared for the energy and expansion of spring when it comes around.

Restorative yoga is amazing this time of year.

Restorative yoga is amazing this time of year.

Beyond food there are also activities that are better suited for these cooler months. Below I've listed out some specifics to give you some ideas, but these lists are not exhaustive. Feel free to use your own intuition and what it's telling you is best for your body based on what you've read here.

Foods to focus on:

  • Warm foods (especially baked, slow roasted and stewed)

  • Root vegetables

  • Soups

  • Warming spices like garlic, ginger and cinnamon

  • Cooked whole grains (brown rice, oats, barley)

  • Kidney beans and black beans

  • Food from the oceans like deep sea fish (halibut, swordfish) and seaweed*

Foods to avoid:

  • Too many raw foods (too cold)

  • Excess fruit and sweets

  • Overeating in general (we naturally move a little less this time of year so our diets should reflect that decrease in physical activity)

  • Ice water

Activities:

  • Yoga (especially slower practices with longer holds like yin and restorative yoga)

  • Reflection practices like journaling and meditation

  • Breathwork (to move energy without having to be out in the elements)

  • Staying in. Yes. Do less, especially on week nights. Meet for an early meal or invite friends over so that you're not out and about late.

  • Salt baths*

  • Use a heating pad, especially on your lower back (to focus on keeping the kidneys warm)**

*According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Winter is associated with the element of water which is why these foods and activities are recommended this time of year

**Also according to TCM this is the season of the kidneys and bladder. The kidneys are said to store our chi or energy, which can be depleted easily this time of year if we run ourselves down through poor food or lifestyle choices. 

Whether you live in a climate that feels traditional seasons or not, you can still explore the concepts and tips that I shared above - there is a shift in energy that happens even if the weather changes aren't as noticeable.

For more in depth advice on eating and living in tune with the seasons, I highly HIGHLY recommend this book: Staying Healthy with the Seasons

My favorite book on living in tune with the seasons.

My favorite book on living in tune with the seasons.

If anything I hope what I shared in this post has given you permission to go a little easier on yourself this time of year, or at least take the next few months as an opportunity to slow down. To do a little less and spend more time reflecting on where you're at and where you want to go in the year to come.

Wishing you a cozy, quiet and introspective winter!

Make a vision board with me!

This weekend I took myself on a little retreat out of the city. I rented a room via AirBnB and got out of town. I wanted to give myself space to think about the year ahead and find clarity for some personal and professional things (thoughts, visions, worries, plans) that had been swirling in my mind.

One of the things I wanted to get clarity on for my business was if and how I should host a vision board workshop.

As I shared last week, creating a vision board has been a tradition of mine for the past few years. In addition to making my own board, I've led in-person workshops to teach my students, friends and community how they too can create a vision board that actually works (there are some secrets I've learned over the years!).

A new year, a blank slate to create on

A new year, a blank slate to create on

This year I wasn't sure what to do with my vision board workshop - I knew for certain I want to host more in-person events in 2019, but I also knew that many of you are not in the NYC area. And that January can be a busy month as we all get back into the swing of things after the holiday season.

I wanted to offer something around visioning that would serve my community, but also serve me. With this career path I've taken (and with my personality and human design) if I'm not feeling lit up by something, I know it won't be as impactful since my JOB is to lead by example - to live my life in a way that feels inspired and aligned so that you can feel empowered to do the same.

Last week my mind was planning out ways I could do both an in-person workshop AND a virtual one (I'm still a people pleaser at heart) - going through the details of scheduling, if and how much I would charge, how I'd promote, etc etc. But it didn't feel fun.

My gut said to get quiet - to get out of the city noise, and out of my regular routine so that I could better listen for an answer.

And so that's exactly what I did. I booked one night at an AirBnB about an hour outside of the city, arranged to borrow a friend's car and packed my bags (yes, I had multiple bags for a one night trip - c'mon books and food and crystals can't all fit in one backpack with clothes!).

It didn't take long for the answers to come. I spent the afternoon exploring some cute little towns and as soon as I checked into my AirBnB I started journaling. I pretty quickly got clarity not only on the vision board question, but a whole lot of other things with my business and life.

My cute AirBnB room. Nothing fancy, but it did work magic!

My cute AirBnB room. Nothing fancy, but it did work magic!

What I heard about my vision board conundrum was two things:

  1. YES to more in-person events, but not to make vision boards and not this month. I had a whole download (which is what I call thoughts that pour out of my head and onto the page effortlessly, as if they're being downloaded from an external source) on exactly what these events are meant to be and it was clear that the vision board workshop was not one of them. I am SUPER excited for this to play out (and will of course be sharing more details as they come). Click the link in the PS of this email to stay updated on all in person things!

  2. Share the vision board workshop you already hosted this year. What I didn't mention above is that this past Thursday I had the great fortune to lead the women in our Rockstar Coaching Collective group through my vision board workshop. I thought that this would be "practice" for my real workshop. But I realized that this workshop was AMAZING itself - I already did it and recorded it. Why do something over again? Why not just share the recording with you all?

So that's exactly what I'm doing today - I'm sharing my 2019 Vision Board Workshop with you!

This workshop is a recorded webinar so you can watch it in the comfort of your own home, and when it works with your schedule. You can turn it on while you're folding laundry or cooking dinner, or you can round up your art supplies (paper, old magazines, markers, etc!) and begin to craft your vision board as you watch.

What you'll learn in this 60 minute video workshop:

  • My personal story and why I make vision boards

  • Why YOU might want to make a board

  • My 3 tips for making a vision board that actually WORKS

Plus, you'll see my past vision boards, including a very personal one I haven't shared anywhere before.

Watch the workshop here: 2019 Rockstar Vision Board Workshop

As I mentioned above, this workshop was recorded as one of our weekly Rockstar Coaching Collective calls. I've shared a bit about Rockstar before - it's a high level coaching program that I help run alongside Robyn Youkilis. Every week we have a video call - some led by Robyn, some led by me and some we have special guest appearances - that's a mix of health, life and business coaching.

We have one or two spots opening up to start with us in February - if you loved this video workshop, or something on the program website sparks something in you, I'd encourage you to apply. And if you do apply - email me to let me know you've submitted an application so I can make sure we put your name on the top of our applicant list :)

Me showing off one of my past vision boards during the workshop!

Me showing off one of my past vision boards during the workshop!

I hope that this workshop serves you.

If you make a vision board (or if you just watch the workshop) - I want to know! Leave a comment below with one vision you have for the year ahead, or one helpful tip you learned from the workshop.