2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Hi my name is Emily and I love gifting.

I went through a phase in my life where I poo-pooed on the whole holiday presents thing. I don’t love commercialism and the gross excess that often goes into the holidays - the hours and hours of shopping and the overcrowded malls (and the stress that comes along with that!!), the gifts you end up returning and presents just for the sake of presents and omg ALL THE WRAPPING PAPER. So much wrapping paper. I didn’t want to participate in that.

And I kind of didn’t for a few years. I said “let’s just give each other the gift of our presence” and left it at that.

And while presence and quality time are better than any gadget or new item of clothing in my book, I missed gifting.

I enjoy thinking about the people I love and spending time finding a gift that feels true to them and their spirit. And I love that moment when someone opens a gift that you did spend time and energy picking out - the happiness (and sometimes surprise!) on their face is magical.

I realized that just because I didn’t believe in the commercialized Christmas or Hanukah experience didn’t mean I couldn’t participate in the holiday gift giving tradition in a way that felt good and true for me.

So my gift guide this year includes both experiences but also things. My hope is that this list provides you with some intentional ideas and inspiration for gifts you’ll give (or receive!) this holiday season.

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PALO SANTO ROLLERBALL

Palo santo is a tree that grows on the coast of South America and is related to Frankincense, Myrrh and Copal. In Spanish, the name literally means “holy wood” and is known to be healing and energetically cleansing. I burn palo santo (the wood) in my apartment regularly to clear the air, but you can’t burn things in all apartments (or offices, or subway cars…) so I was very excited to find this palo santo essential oil.

To be clear: I’ve sampled a number of palo santo oil blends before. I don’t love the blends as I find they smell more like other things, not just palo santo. This “smokeless blessing” anointing oil by Brooklyn-based company Highborn is the real deal.

A SESSION WITH A HEALER OR INTUITIVE

Likely if you’re reading my blog, you’re at least a little bit interested in the “woo woo” things like astrology, tarot and energy work. If you’ve been curious in trying out one of these healing modalities, a session is a great thing to ask for as a gift.

It can also be a fun experience to do with your friends or loved ones as a shared gift. Last year my girlfriends and I decided to book an evening with an oracle as our holiday gift to each other, and it was AMAZING. Not only did we get to spend time together, but we also had an unforgettable experience that we may not have pursued on our own.

Here are a few ideas (plus some personal referrals) for healer experiences: tarot reading, astrological birth chart reading, oracle session, private or small group yoga, Universal Health Principles sessions (contact me for booking).

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A book that was meaningful to you

Gifting a book that was particularly meaningful to you, or that you feel would resonate with the recipient is a THING gift that also acts as an experience. You can chat about the book as your loved one reads it.

For some of my favorite books, check out my FAVORITE PRODUCTS page.

A CRYSTAL OR CANDLE

Like a book that has meaning, it can be special to give a crystal with specific properties or a candle that’s meant to be burned with intention. Again with this gift (and with many of the gifts on this year’s list) it shows that you really thought about the person in selecting the items.

My favorite crystals: amethyst (for protection), quartz (for clarity) and citrine (for personal power and creativity). I suggest actually going into a shop to pick out crystals as often specific stones will “speak” to you.

My favorite candles: House of Intuition candles

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A Magazine SUBSCRIPTION

Another gift that keeps on giving: a magazine subscription. I’ve been gifted both Yoga Journal and Runner’s World - each month when I received the magazine I would think about the person who gifted me the subscription. So nice!

A PRINT OR PIECE OF ART

Art is not the easiest gift to give because it is SO personal, but I’ve found smaller prints can make lovely gifts. I love Archie’s Press - they have cool prints of major cities. A fun gift, especially for someone who’s just moved. Archie’s Press also has fun prints of body parts, the zodiac and more.

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ESSENTIAL OILS + DIFFUSER

Everyone in my family gets essential oils as some part of their holiday gift, and no one complains. But really, essential oils are such a wonderful gift - they feel like a luxury item, but are also super practical since they can be used in so many ways.

If you’re looking for a full gift set, I’d suggest purchasing a few oils and a diffuser so that your gift recipient can immediately enjoy the oils in their home.

If you’re the crafty type, you can purchase a few oils yourself and make custom blends for your loved ones. This is what I do and not only is it super fun, but people love the personalized gifts!

To learn more + purchase essential oils, head here.

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That’s it for this years list!



Need more gift inspiration? Check out my guides from previous years:

2017 Holiday Gift Guide

2016 Holiday Gift Guide

Uncertainty

I'm going to be real honest with you today: The last few weeks I've been questioning where I'm going with my career.

This may come as a surprise, especially after I just shared how the Institute for Integrative Nutrition changed my life, but I've been having some "WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE??" thoughts.

Maybe it's the holidays, maybe it's the fact that I'm currently paying most of my GI doctor bills out of pocket (self employed health insurance is no fun friends!), maybe it's because Mercury is retrograding in Scorpio, or maybe it's because I just hit my 5 year New York anniversary.

Or maybe it's because in my gut I know something needs to change.

Change is never easy because the unknown is often scarier than our current reality, no matter how much pain or suffering we are in.

Don't get me wrong - I'm beyond grateful for so much in my job and life. I experience joy, have meaningful connections and feel a sense of awe on a regular basis. But as I get older and spend more time tuning in, I'm realizing that my values are different than what they were when I was 25 and initially made the choice to pursue this alternative career path.

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No, I'm not going back to work as an accountant (at least I don't plan to right now). I don't know what I'm going to do. But what I do know is that when I start to feel this way it means I need to spend more time with myself, asking myself big questions and holding space for answers to come.

I want to say that being an entrepreneur isn't easy, but really being a human isn't easy. In my life experience so far (all 30 years!) I've learned that there's not always a "right choice." There's not always a clear path. Things with work, relationships, family, food even - it's not always black and white.

I want to stay in an get a good nights sleep but I also want to go out and dance with my friends. I want to live a life of intention and do work that I'm passionate about, but I also want security and stability and creature comforts. I love the city but I also deeply crave time in nature.

As modern day humans we have a lot of choices, which is such a blessing, but sometimes I find the freedom and possibility a little daunting.

This is why I'm taking a little break from social media. It's amazing how much more time and how much more quiet I can find in my day without scrolling and consuming (and comparing) on Instagram.

I really do miss sharing with many of you (and so many others) on a regular basis. I love the platform and the opportunity to create and teach and connect. But I know in my gut and in my heart this is what I need right now - a little less noise from everyone else and everything else, and a little more quiet time with my thoughts and feelings.

If you've been feeling overwhelmed with information, or know that you too are going through a transition and have some decisions to think over, I'm encouraging you to find more time for quiet over the next few weeks. That may mean taking some time off social media, watching less TV, not consuming as much news - you likely know what in your life you could stand to take a break from. The winter holidays are a perfect time to do this as we all naturally slow down a little bit.

As always, thanks for reading and being here with me. If anything that I shared in this post resonated, I'd love to hear from you - sometimes I feel like everyone else has it figured out and I'm the only one who has all these thoughts bouncing around in my head ;)

Leave a comment below or you can message me directly by clicking here.

xxo

Pumpkin Spice Freezer Fudge

Who doesn’t love all things pumpkin spice??

I developed this recipe for Robyn Youkilis (original post here) and boy is it delicious! If you’re looking for an easy, healthy dessert (or snack!) this holiday season, look no further.

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Pumpkin Spice Freezer Fudge

This simple freezer fudge comes together in a few minutes and is the perfect healthy sweet to serve guests, or keep on hand for when you want a little something after lunch or dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp almond butter, cashew butter or tahini (room temperature)

  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree

  • 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2-3 tbsp sweetener of choice (maple syrup is my favorite but honey or coconut sugar would work too) (room temperature)

  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

  • Dash sea salt

Directions:

  1. In a blender or small food processor, combine almond butter, cashew butter or tahini with pumpkin puree, coconut oil, pumpkin pie spice, dash of sea salt and blend until smooth.

  2. Add vanilla extract and sweetener if using to taste.

  3. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

  4. Pour mixture on paper and spread evenly (for a thicker fudge line loaf pan with parchment paper and pour in mixture. You also can use silicone candy mold or ice cube trays).

  5. Place in freezer to set for 20-25 minutes (can also leave overnight!).

  6. Remove from freezer and serve immediately. If serving at a party I recommend plating them then set the plate on top of an ice bath to keep them cold.

What’s your favorite way to use pumpkin spice? Leave a comment below and let me know!

The Black Friday deal that changed my life

I like to joke that today (not yesterday!) is my favorite holiday. Sure, I love shopping as much as the next girl (or guy!), but really what makes today special is the tradition of spending time with my family.

Black Friday also holds a place in my heart as it was this day 5 years ago that I made an investment that completely changed my life.

Five years ago I decided to enroll in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's (IIN) Health Coach Training Program. I can honestly say that this decision is one of the best investments I've made to date, not just because it led me to a more fulfilling and FUN career but also because it started me down a path of self development and connection

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Every year on Black Friday IIN has one of the biggest savings offers of the year - when you enroll in the program this weekend not only will you save $1,000 on tuition, but you'll also receive up to $800 in additional bonuses (gift cards, a tablet, and more!)

Black Friday BONUS Offer:

  • $1,000 tuition savings when paid in full

  • $200 Amazon Gift Card

  • $100 Thrive Market Gift Card + 1 year Thrive Market Membership

  • A tablet device!

  • Reserved seating at a LIVE Integrative Nutrition Conference  

  • $100 donated to a charity of choice

  • PLUS: If you enroll as my referral you'll also receive a bonus 1:1 coaching session with me ($297 value)

If you've been on the fence about the program for awhile, NOW is the time to act. And if this is the first time you're hearing about IIN, I'll link some blogs posts and resources below for you to explore the program and experience more to get a sense if it's something for you.

Learn more about IIN:

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In keeping with tradition, I'm going shopping today. However, I will plan to check my email periodically throughout the day. If you have any questions about my IIN experience, shoot me an email and I'll get back to you ASAP.

You can also give the IIN admissions team a call - they are super helpful and can talk you through the program, experience and answer the more technical questions (on tuition and payment options, etc).

To learn more or enroll, call the IIN admissions team at (844) 780-3300 (US) or (212) 730-5433 (International). Make sure to tell them Emily Nachazel sent you so you get all the bonuses - both from them and from me!

Meditation resources

Last week I was having a conversation with a friend about meditation - he works for a meditation start up so I was curious to learn more about HIS meditation practice.

As we were talking I noticed how it felt good to just talk about meditation: my body was relaxed and I even started to feel my brain go into that "meditated" state where the little things don't stress me out.

I personally have an interesting relationship with meditation. I know my body and brain crave a consistent practice, but it hasn't always been easy for me to make the time and really drop in.

One thing that helps me tremendously is having a handful of recorded meditations I can turn to when I need more guidance and structure with my practice.

Yes, I've used the apps like Headspace and Calm, which are GREAT for just starting a meditation practice. But I've noticed that most of the mainstream meditation resources leave a little something missing.

I've had the good fortune to practice with some next level teachers. I prefer to have something more personal, a little deeper, a little bit more magic in my meditation Rolodex.

With the holiday this week (and all the family and travel and everything that comes with it!) I wanted to share my personal meditation resources with you.

Below I've linked some incredible teachers and recordings that you can access online for support no matter where you are or what you have time for.

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Meditation resources:

- Biet Simkin - Meditation + Music - Biet's an incredible meditation teacher here in NYC. She mainly does in person and private events but I found one of her meditations online (linked here). Her music is also meditative in itself (I love putting in on for some inner peace while commuting or working).

- Orkie Meditations - Orkie is great for a meditation that goes deeper and encourages you to reflect on your own consciousness and subconscious beliefs. You can get a little taste for Orkie on the page I linked. If you're into it, there are many (longer) meditations available for purchase and download.

- Jana Roemer - Yoga Nidra Recordings - Yoga Nidra is the practice of Yogic Sleep and Jana is one of my favorite Nidra teachers. She's based in LA but offers Yoga Nidra recordings every month in connection with the moon cycles. Great for a longer, evening meditation.

- Katonah yoga + pranayama - My current daily meditation practice consists of Katonah yoga and breathwork (pranayama). If you're in NYC you can come experience a class at The Studio, but if not, check out this basic breathwork video I made.

Wishing you a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving!