I'm surprised I wrote this (but not really)

OMG you guys - I can't believe what I'm going to share with you today. It's probably the funniest thing I've read in awhile, and I WROTE IT!

This past Saturday, I received an email from my mom with the subject "Look what I found." She had just emailed me about discovering a computer charger while cleaning out my childhood room, so I figured this email was about something similar.

I was wrong - she hadn't found a missing electronic or once loved Beanie Baby (remember those??); she had found an essay I wrote in 5th or 6th grade about what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I read the two pages and immediately had to call her while I simultaneously forwarded the essay to a few of my closest friends. I could not believe what I had written and ultimately, what I had predicted, so long ago.

I'm sharing the original essay here, because it's just too funny and awesome not to, PLUS a limited time savings offer on the program that allowed me to live out my childhood dream.

Note: We believe the prompt for this paper was for me to write about my "dream job/life" as if I were 35 and looking back on the journey and obstacles that led me there.

Here she is:

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What's most interesting to me is that I don't remember dreaming of having a career in food until much later in life (mid twenties). I guess I suppressed this desire in favor of more "reasonable" careers - for a while I wanted to be a lawyer, and then a math teacher, and finally I settled on probably THE most reasonable career: accounting.  There's nothing wrong with this path, except that it wasn't my passion.

I feel so fortunate that today I am living the life I always dreamed of (although still working on the house, husband and kids... but hey, I'm not even 30 yet!).

Everyday I get to wake up and do what I LOVE - I develop good-for-you recipes, research and write about the latest healthy restaurants and wellness trends. I work for another health coach who mentors and inspires me, and I honestly learn something new every day. I get to help our clients and community beat belly bloat, drop limiting beliefs and generally live their best lives. I live in one of the best cities in the world, although I do need to escape it every so often, and I DO since I'm able to do my work from just about anywhere.

Finding my way to this career that I'm passionate about all started when I enrolled in The Institute for Integrative Nutrition's Health Coach Training Program. As I've shared before, this program gave me both the tools AND the confidence I needed to leave my corporate job and pursue this "life of my dreams."

As I child, I thought that becoming a chef was the only career path available to me to follow my love of food. The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) taught me that there are SO many more options than just that.

Here are just a few examples of jobs held by my friends and fellow IIN grads:

  • Michelle is a health coach, personal trainer AND run coach. Part of her "job" is running with her clients - how cool??
  • Sasha teaches yoga and leads yoga retreats from Upstate New York to Costa Rica to Palm Springs. She hosts "Mindful Mornings" which are a combination of yoga, meditation and breakfast to help busy New Yorkers start the day right.
  • Amy runs a corporate wellness biz - she speaks at companies and teaches employees how to snack smarter, squeeze in exercise and still feel good despite long hours.
  • Leslie helps her clients eat healthier by meal prepping for them. She also co-founded a company called Holistic Happening that hosts fun wellness events all around NYC!
  • Erika was one of the key founders of a wildly successful boutique fitness company in Washington, DC. She now works with entrepreneurs and small businesses on their financial wellness.

Other health coaches have gone on to start healthy snack companies, open juice and wellness cafes and become best selling authors; they've been featured on TV and reality shows, in fashion magazines and all over healthy living blogs.

Check out this post for more stories from IIN grads and ideas for WHAT you can do as a health coach: Careers of IIN Graduates

If ANY of this sounds of interest to you, I encourage you to check out IIN's Health Coach Training Program. You can sample a class for free using the link below and get a "taste" for what it's like to be a student.

IIN Sample Class (a taste for what it's like to be a student)

IIN Curriculum Guide (what's included in the training!)

MY IIN Story (how the program gave me the confidence to leave my corporate job!)

PLUS, I've partnered with IIN to offer YOU some juicy extras if you mention my name (Emily Nachazel) when you enroll:

- You'll receive $$$ off tuition (email me for the specific details)

- You'll also receive a private mentoring session with me. I'll help you clarify what you want to do with the IIN training (or how you want to apply it to your life), and help you put that into action.

Email me for specific details, or if you have ANY questions on the program or my experience. I'm more than happy to hop on the phone and help you decide if this is the right fit for you.

The next IIN class begins on September 18th, 2017.

Email me at emily@emilynachazel.com if you have ANY questions. You can also chat directly with the IIN Admissions team (they ROCK!) by calling (877) 733-1520. Remember to mention my name to receive that special savings when you enroll!

Careers of IIN Graduates

When I started writing THIS post about my nutrition school, The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I knew I wanted to include some of the AWESOME things my colleagues have done since graduating from IIN's Health Coach Training Program. Yes, many people go on to work as health coaches, but there are SO many other ways this training can be applied, both professionally and personally.

In this blog post I'm going to introduce you to some of my fellow IIN grads and how they've used what they learned at IIN to transform their careers, their families and their lives.

If reading these stories spark something inside of you, even just the "I want to learn more" thought, I encourage you to check out this FREE sample class from IIN: Institute for Integrative Nutrition Sample Class.

There's a special savings going on right now. All you have to do is mention my name (Emily Nachazel!) when you enroll and you'll save some big $$$ + receive a mentoring session with me (see details at the end of this post).

Before I get into the stories, I want to take a minute to introduce myself.

Not the most "professional" photo but I think this captures my spirit ;)

Not the most "professional" photo but I think this captures my spirit ;)

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Emily (hi and welcome to my blog!!!). I'm an IIN Health Coach, Yoga Instructor and self-proclaimed wellness NERD based in Brooklyn, NY. I graduated from IIN about 3.5 years ago at the same time as I quit my corporate job in public accounting. Since then, I've worn A LOT of different hats: I've coached clients one-on-one; I've run group programs; I've taught yoga in studios, at offices and privately at home; I've facilitated yoga challenges; I've dabbled in corporate wellness and even done some business coaching. I've also been that girl handing out samples at Whole Foods and worked as a personal assistant to a coach I deeply admire. I knew I wanted to work in the wellness world, but it took me experimenting in all these different arenas to find my current career path that I truly love.

Right now, my main job is working for another health coach (HEY ROBYN!!) - I help run her business and coach clients under her brand. I love this role because it meshes my business background with my love for all things health and wellness. I also enjoy being a part of a team, learning from someone who inspires me, and the steady paycheck. On the side, I write this blog! I develop good-for-you recipes, research and write about the latest healthy restaurants and wellness trends. I live in one of the best cities in the world, although I do need to escape it every so often, and I DO since I'm able to do my work from just about anywhere.

Now I'd like to introduce you to my friends, fellow IIN grads and overall AWESOME people:

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SASHA NELSON // @sashayogawellness / sashayogawellness.com

YOGA INSTRUCTOR, HEALTH COACH + FOUNDER, MINDFUL MORNINGS

When I first found Integrative Nutrition, I was not completely convinced that I would wind up coaching - I actually worked for the school in admissions for a few months before deciding to try the program. After telling a few friends I had received the certification, I began getting a few requests asking what services I offered based on what I had learned, and so I fell into a few clients - no more than two at a time - shortly after graduating. I had also just started teaching yoga, and found it to be wonderfully complementary under the umbrella of health and wellness - as many teachers and coaches often do. I used my knowledge and tools from both IIN and teacher training in my mindfulness practices on and off the mat in my personal life, from asana to cooking, and covered overlapping topics like compassion and bio-diversity in both my teaching and coaching. The business skills I learned from my M.F.A. program for Fashion Merchandising at Academy of Art University - where I studied sustainability in fashion - and also from IIN's specific business in wellness platform still help me to stay organized as I continue to grow and develop. I feel supported and encouraged to stay active in my community through events, newsletters and blog posts, group and private classes, networking and exploring various opportunities to share my love for this work. I have recently begun hosting Mindful Mornings with my friend and fellow teacher, Aditi Shah, where we bridge the gap between mindfulness practices and how they relate to food, yoga, meditation, self-care and community. I still take clients and consistently notice the crossover from yoga to wellness in one-on-one sessions. I am curious and excited to keep evolving, learning, and spreading the health - thanks to the teachings of yoga and the spark that Integrative Nutrition helped to ignite.

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MICHELLE CADY // @michellefitvista / fitvista.com

HEALTH COACH, RUNNING COACH + FUTURE AUTHOR

I used my education at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to start my own health coaching business, I named FitVista in 2015. During my year at IIN, I also trained and got certified as a Personal Trainer at Equinox gyms in New York City and added personal training and running coaching to my repertoire of skills and education. Now my business represents many elements wellness and I work virtually with driven private clients to optimize their Nutrition, Fitness and Wellness over personalized six month health coaching programs. Over 70% of my business is 1-1 private health coaching, and the rest is a legacy training and running clients and ad-hoc wellness projects. I highly recommend diversified revenue streams for your business and brand as you start out! I'm building out my corporate wellness business with select partners this Fall 2017 and also writing my first book through IIN's Launch Your Dream Book Graduate level Course. Since I'm a nut about education (and rave about IIN's program!), I'm also taking their graduate level Hormone Health Course this Fall. When I can, I blog, write for the media on stress and self-care and post on Instagram at @michellefitvista.

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LESLIE MCDONALD // @balanced_life_leslie / balancedlife-leslie.com

MEAL PREP MAVEN, INSTAGRAM INFLUENCER + CO-FOUNDER, HOLISITIC HAPPENING

I graduated from IIN in March 2017 but did not follow the traditional health coach route (i.e. working with individual health coaching clients).  Instead, I created businesses that allow me to bring together the community and share my love for cooking, fitness and spirituality.  I co-founded Holistic Happening, where my partner at I host interactive wellness events in NYC that combine fitness and food.  The goal is to show people that wellness is accessible and fun!  Events feature a 45-minute yoga class followed by an anti-inflammatory meal (made by me!) that is shared at a communal table.  We provide all of the recipes for the dishes so people can go home and make these nourishing and healing foods on their own. 

My second job that I started after IIN is meal prepping for others.  For me, meal prepping has been a key to success when staying healthy because it allows me to live my life without worrying about what I'm going to eat.  I have been meal prepping for myself for years and only with the help of IIN did I see it as a possible career. 

Finally, I share what I’m eating and doing daily to take care of myself on Instagram. What started as an outlet for me to connect with other like minded individuals now is a big part of my brand and business! Companies reach out to me to review their products or services. It feels like a dream that I actually get paid for simply sharing about things I love.

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BLAIR BADENHOP // @blairbadenhop / blairbadenhop.com

COPY WRITER + BRAND STRATEGIST FOR COACHES

For the past 3 years, I've been running a fulltime business as a copywriter and brand strategist for health coaches and wellness entrepreneurs. I absolutely LOVE helping my clients nail down their unique value, message, target audience, and overall brand identity. I believe that the only way for entrepreneurs to differentiate themselves in the industry is to really tap into and own their unique set of experiences, qualities, and interests. And getting that clarity and focus from the beginning is oh-so important! My health coaching education at IIN definitely helped me find this pathway to branding and marketing. I've always been a writer and have a marketing background, so while I was health coaching part-time, I was also building this consulting business. Which then grew into a copywriting and brand strategy business.

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ERIKA ELKO // @emelko

TRI-ATHLETE, MARATHONER + FINANCIAL FITNESS CONSULTANT

After graduating from IIN, I gained the confidence to leave a corporate job and went to work for [solidcore] - a boutique fitness startup based in Washington, DC. I started as the Director of Business Development and brought both my background in health and wellness and my business knowledge to the team and quickly moved my way up as the company's first VP of Finance and Operations - it was a perfect fit for me since I went to school for Accounting and Operations Management. The role showed me how I could combine my passion for all things health and fitness with my business training. After I helped grow the business from one studio to over 15, I was ready to branch out in a new industry to help diversify my small business knowledge and get experience in other fields.

Now, in addition to my "day job" in accounting, I do consulting work for a number of start ups in the wellness world. I really enjoy having my hand in a little bit of everything because no two clients are ever the same and it keeps me on my toes. Best of all, I continue to learn myself about new industries and the dynamics of many small businesses and enjoy the challenge of finding solutions that work for my clients.

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AMY JAROSKY // @healthyvices / healthyvices.com

CORPORATE WELLNESS, SPEAKER + ESSENTIAL OILS

Having worked at a large hedge fund for over ten years, I fully understand the many stressors of corporate life. When I left my job and enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I knew I wanted to help professional men and women balance a healthy diet and lifestyle while climbing the corporate ladder. IIN has provided me with the tools (and confidence!) to speak at large companies and reach thousands of hardworking employees. By presenting healthy snack ideas, desk exercises, short office meditations, etc., professionals can incorporate easy, practical tips into their busy routines so they can perform their best at the office. Corporate wellness is an incredibly rewarding niche and I feel blessed to be able to spread my message.

STEPHANIE KIRYLYCH // @stephaniekirlych / spiritedwellbeing.com

ACADEMIC ADVISOR, COACH + SPIRIT JUNKIE

I'm working full-time as the director of academic advising at UNH Manchester and part-time in my coaching practice Spirited Well-being. I never imagined being able to bring my IIN training and love all of things holistic health into my full-time job but it's been so natural. Along with supporting my students in their academic experiences, I teach them mindfulness, healthy habits, strategies for managing stress, and use the circle of life activity. I also incorporate health and wellness into the way I run my department. We focus on self-care in our staff meetings, hold my staff accountable on their health goals and teach yoga we can do at our desks. While my ultimate goal is to transition my business to full-time, I am grateful that I found a way to merge my passion with my current day job!

 

If ANY of these stories sparked an interest in you, I encourage you to check out IIN's Health Coach Training Program. You can sample a class for free using the link below and get a "taste" for what it's like to be a student.

IIN Sample Class (a taste for what it's like to be a student)

IIN Curriculum Guide (what's included in the training!)

MY IIN Story (how the program gave me the confidence to leave my corporate job!)

I've partnered with IIN to offer YOU some juicy extras if you mention my name (Emily Nachazel) when you enroll:

- You'll receive $$$ off tuition (email me for the specific details)

- You'll also receive a private mentoring session with me. I'll help you clarify what you want to do with the IIN training (or how you want to apply it to your life), and help you put that into action.

The next IIN class begins on September 18th, 2017.

Email me at emily@emilynachazel.com if you have ANY questions. You can also chat directly with the IIN Admissions team (they ROCK!) by calling (877) 733-1520. Remember to mention my name to receive that special savings when you enroll!

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Summer 17 Reflection

So long Summer 2017, I'll miss you but honestly, you were not what I expected.

Back in the spring I dreamed of living in my bikini and endless beach days, nights spent sipping cocktails and dancing and having way too much FUN. I had visions of finally feeling REALLY really good in my body, of crushing running races, of falling in love with this crazy city, and with that special someone.

I had big dreams, none of which really came true. Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of magic the past few months, but they've also been a challenge. I stopped running. I don't have those toned abs. I'm still confused what I'm doing in NYC, and still single.

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As I watched the sunset tonight, the last official night of summer, I felt my heart ache and tears in my eyes, but not because I'm sad or disappointed or feeling regret. Seeing the sun set and the moon rise reminded me that it's all part of the cycle - the moments of pure joy, of freedom, of soul connection, AND the moments of loneliness, of self doubt, of pain. It's all temporary, it's always changing, and just like the sun and moon, there's something much bigger than you or I pulling the strings.

What I have learned this summer is to appreciate it all and to be present in the hurt just as much as I'm present in the good. That's life, that's actually living, that's having a human experience. THAT is what connects us no matter what you are and what you do or don't believe in. And isn't that what we're all looking for after all?

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Copycat Rx Bars

My first office job was working as a Camp Registrar the summer before my second year of college. I was in charge of everything camp registration and organization for a whole bunch of day camps, but I worked in the office mostly - making sure all the campers were squared away and our documentation was in place. I actually loved this job - I felt like I was getting paid SO much (especially compared to the life guarding gig I had been working for a few years) AND I really enjoyed the stability and consistency of my days.

It was around this time that I started getting into healthy eating and more into running. I would workout pretty much every day after work, around 5PM or so. I packed my lunches (usually BIG salads or wraps with leftovers from dinner the night before) and always brought an energy bar to eat a hour before I left work to hit the gym or go for a run.

Luna bars were my favorite (Nutz Over Chocolate was my JAM!) but I switched things up and tried all the "healthy" bars out there: Nature's Valley, ZonePerfect, ZBars (the kid's Clif bar), Balance, and more.

A lot of these bars sure were tasty, but, as I learned later on in my wellness journey, all the "stuff" in them wasn't the best for my belly. I recently Googled the ingredients in one of my old favorite bars, and here's what came up:

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That's a lot of stuff! I didn't know it back then, but a lot of these ingredients (common in so many energy or protein bars) can cause tummy trouble: soy, sugar, peanuts, and vegetable oils.

A few years ago I realized that while bars were super convenient, they weren't the best for my belly. I started to be more discerning about the bars I was buying (looking at the type and number of ingredients), and even started making some of my own variations!

Today I'm sharing my current favorite homemade energy bar recipe. These bars are modeled after the recently popular Rx bars. I found Rx bars this year - I love the minimal ingredients and higher than average protein content. Like with so many things, I wanted to try my hand at making them myself, and hence these recipes were born!

These bars are tasty, simple to make, and a bit easier on your gut (and your wallet!) than most store bought bars. One of my yoga students even said she liked these bars BETTER than the real Rx bars. If that's not a compliment, I don't know what is!

Copycat Rx Bars

Copycat Rx Bars // gluten free, dairy free, paleo, vegetarian

Chocolate Sea Salt Ingredients:

  • 1 heaping cup pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup egg white protein powder
  • 3/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp hot water (add more if needed)

Coffee Cacao Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup egg white protein powder
  • 1 cup raw almonds (you can also do 1/2 cup almonds and 1/2 cup raw cashews)
  • 4 tsp instant coffee
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs
  • dash sea salt
  • 1 tbsp hot water (add more if needed)

Instructions:

1. Add all ingredients except water to your food processor or Vitamix blender and pulse until everything is finely chopped.

2. Add 1 tbsp hot water and pulse some more. Add the least amount of water possible - just enough to get the ingredients to start to stick together like a dough. **Note: Be careful adding too much water. I did 2 tbsp in one batch and it was way too much and my bars turned out pretty sticky. Not the end of the world, but not ideal.

3. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper. Press the dough into the pan so it's evenly distributed and there are no holes.

4. Place dish in freezer for 15-20 minutes. Remove and slice into 10-12 bars. Return to freezer until you are ready to eat!

Note: These bars call for egg white protein, as that's what Rx uses in their bars. I'm sure you could swap it for any neutral protein powder or collagen peptides.

If you liked these, I think you'd love my other homemade bar recipes:

Do you eat energy bars or protein bars? Do you have a store bought favorite, or do you make your own? Let me know in the comments below!

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Healthy Travel - Kittery, Maine

I've been coming to Maine at least once a year since I was born. My extended family has a home in Kittery, which is a little seaside town at the southern most tip of the state, and my grandma lives here during the summer. It's my "happy place."

It's been pretty incredible to see Kittery (and the bigger, neighboring town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire) grow and change over my lifetime. I remember a time when there was no cell service, internet or TV at our home (I used to WRITE letters to my friends and boyfriends back in the day!), and grocery and restaurant options were very limited. Nowadays, we have WiFi, and even some spotty cell service down on the beach, and quite a few delicious and healthy spots to eat at.

In this post I'm sharing my favorite things to eat, see and do in Kittery. We don't eat out a TON here, so if you know the town and have additional spots to recommend, please leave them in the comments below!

Also, if you're interested in visiting Kittery, my family's home is available for rent one or two weeks out of the summer, as well as the full winter. You can check out our AirBnB listing here.

EATS/TREATS:

  • Rising Tide Natural Foods - A small natural foods store with bulk goods, snacks and even some vitamins and supplements. It's small and doesn't offer much in the way of produce, but a great place to grab those specialty items you likely won't find at the regular grocer.
  • Golden Harvest Produce Market - This used to be the only spot to get produce in town! While other supermarket's have popped up, I still love shopping at the Golden Harvest for fresh fruits and veggies. They also have pantry staples (granola, chips, fresh ground peanut butter, spices, crackers, etc) and a few specialty items (local milk and cheese, eggs, kombucha, ice cream, etc).
  • Sue's Seafood - Where to get fresh lobster, fish and seafood. A true local spot.
  • Terra Cotta Pasta Co - Fresh homemade pasta, ravioli, sauces and more. They also have some delicious pre-made meals and specialty items.
  • The Maine Squeeze - A fairy new juice and smoothie bar located in downtown Kittery. Pro tip: ask for their Chocoholic smoothie served in a bowl with toppings - it's DA BOMB!
  • Lil's Cafe - My go-to work spot in Kittery. Lil's has coffee, tea, matcha, baked goods and light bites, all served in a bright and friendly environment. Free wi-fi and plenty of seating makes it a great spot to get some work done, or spend a lazy morning.
  • Beach Pea Baking Co - Homemade baked goods, and the most amazing salads and sandwiches. Seriously, I'm quite particular when it comes to salads and the Beach Pea does them RIGHT. They do have gluten free bread, but only on certain days AND they sell out so call ahead to check first, if that's what you're going for. My gluten-loving friends should try their rosemary Fougasse bread - it's a family favorite of ours.
  •  Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier - Honestly, I've never eaten here (we always cook our lobsters at home!) BUT if you want to eat lobster with a beautiful view, Chauncey's is your spot. Chauncey's is a BYOB establishment - you can bring your own beer and wine, and any side dishes that they don't sell on site.
  • Mrs & Me Homemade Ice Cream - The BEST homemade ice cream. If they have it, get the Blueberry Pie flavor - it's to die for.
  • Bob's Clam Hut - No trip to Kittery is complete without a lunch or two at Bob's. Bob's is THE place to go for all your seafood dreams - fried clams, lobster rolls, and (my personal favorite) fresh haddock sandwiches. This is more of a casual spot - if you're looking for a sit down dinner, check out Bob's upscale sister restaurant: Robert's Maine Grill.
  • The Bagel Caboose - The spot to go to for bagels and breakfast sandwiches. They even now offer gluten free bagels and vegan cream cheese! Open early.
  • The Black Birch - If you're looking for a night out, The Black Birch is a great option with yummy food and drinks and a little bit younger crowd and vibe.
  • Anneke Jans - Anneke Jans is likely the fanciest place in Kittery, and it is delicious.

SEE/DO:

  • Beach it! Maine beaches are beautiful, especially in the summer - it's typically a little cooler and breezier than other East Coast beaches. Our beach is called Seapoint Beach and it's one of the more popular ones in town.
  • Kayak down Chauncey Creek - Kayaking down Chauncey Creek is a fun adventure and a great way to see some of the beautiful houses that line the creek. You'll want to plan your trip around high tide (the tides vary greatly around here). You can kayak down and around the creek, and even go all the way around Gerrish Island to Fort Foster or land back at Seapoint Beach for a longer trip.
  • Hike, bike, or walk around Fort Foster - Fort Foster is a town owned park in Kittery. There are a number of beaches (including a surfing beach) and trails that are great for walking, running or biking. There are also a few spots to picnic, so it's a good place to plan a whole day to visit. Kittery residents can get a season pass to the park, otherwise you'll pay a daily fee (it's worth it!).
  • Get your history fix at Fort McClary - For McClary is a former military defensive fortification at the mouth of the Piscataqua River. It's an interesting place to check out - there's some structures you can poke around and sometimes they do historical reenactments.
  • Shop at the Kittery Outlets - When I was a kid, we'd do all our back to school shopping at the Kittery Outlets! They're still some of the best on the East Coast and a popular rainy day activity here in Kittery.
  • Learn about lobsters - Last year my fam and I went on a boat tour where we learned ALL about lobsters and the lobster fishing industry - it was SUPER interesting, and a nice way to spend a day out on the water. There's a few different options for tours - this is the one we went with.
  • Go blueberry picking! You MUST eat blueberries when you are in Maine, and (when possible) we like to pick em ourselves! This is a fun activity for the whole family. Here's the farm we usually go to, but there are quite a few options - call ahead to make sure the berries are ready to be picked.

While we stay in Kittery MOST of the time, there are other cute towns nearby that are worth making a trip to if you're in the area. Here are a few:

  • Portsmouth, New Hampshire - My personal favorite and most frequently visited (I go to yoga here and it's home to my favorite health foods store). I'm going to write a seperate post with my full list of recommendations in Portsmouth because there are many!
  • York Beach, Maine - York is a super popular beach town just north of Kittery. If you head here, be sure to stop by The Goldenrod for brunch and some salt water taffy.
  • Kennebunkport, Maine - Another picaresque, coastal town, made famous by George H. W. Bush (the Bush family summer home is located here). 
  • Cape Neddick, Maine - Sometimes we head here to check out the Nubble Light lighthouse. It's beautiful and a great spot for that classic Maine lighthouse-in-the-background photo.
  • Ogunquit, Maine - Another popular beach town that's great for both a day trip or a full week's stay. Nearby, the Marginal Way is a cliff walk with coastal views and a lighthouse.

Reading back over this post, I feel like I only scratched the surface of all the amazing things to do, see and EAT in Kittery. I hope this post gives you a taste for what it's like to visit this special town, and gives you some ideas for what to check out if you do decide to visit!

Have you ever been to Maine? What was the most memorable experience for you?

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I've never done this before

This afternoon, I have a flight to Portland, Oregon, but I won't be getting on that plane, or any plane for that matter. I'm purposefully missing my flight.

I've never done anything like this before. Sure, I've missed a connecting flight, or had to change flights and pay ridiculous fees, but I've never NOT showed up to the airport when there's a seat on a plane with my name on it.

I love to travel and look forward to any trip, big or small. I love packing up my essentials, cleaning my apartment, and that moment when I lock the door knowing that I'll have another adventure under my belt when I return.

So why am I missing this flight? Why am I choosing to skip what was sure to be an epic trip?

Because my gut told me to.

About a month ago, I starting having doubts about the trip. I was meant to fly out to Portland to run the Hood to Coast Relay, and then head down to Cali for a week of working and playing in Los Angeles. My tickets were booked, I had made arrangements for where I was staying and I had pulled together a list of all the cool spots I wanted to check out in each city.

I took a similar trip last year (a bit longer, with a few more stops) and it was incredible. But this year, something felt off. I wasn't as excited to hang out at all my favorite places in LA, and just thinking about running the race made me want to crawl back in bed and sleep for a week. Every time I went to plan something for this trip, it felt HARD. I was confused - why didn't this feel FUN? Why wasn't I getting that giddy feeling I always do before I travel?

As I've shared on Instagram stories, I haven't been running much at all the past month, so I thought maybe the race was getting me down. I'm working with a naturopathic doctor to heal some hormonal stuff (I'll be sharing more about this too, at some point!), and taking a break from running, and COFFEE, has been part of that process.

After much discussion with a few close friends, I made the decision not to run the race. Between the intense running and sleepless nights, I realized that this was not supportive of my healing process. It was hard to tell my team that they needed to find a replacement for me just 3 weeks out, but I knew I was making the right move.

While I felt relieved about not having to run the race, I still didn't feel that lightness or excitement that I usually feel around travel.

And then it hit me: the entire trip was not in alignment with my intention for the rest of the summer.

During our weekly Rockstar coaching call last week, Robyn asked the group to get clear on how we each wanted to feel when the summer ends. She actually asked us to DRAW this out first before putting words down.

Here's what I drew:

Do you think she looks like me? ;)

Do you think she looks like me? ;)

My desire was to end the summer feeling light and rested; to complete little to-dos and projects so I have energy and space to take on NEW things in the fall; to be grounded by my daily routines and feel like my days and weeks have a flow.

As soon as I wrote this down I realized THIS was why my West Coast trip felt so off. How could I be well rested if I was taking red eye flights and sleeping in strange beds? How could I finish up my personal projects if I wasn't at my own apartment? How could I find my daily flow if I was trying to check out a new health foods store or yoga studio each day?

I realized I couldn't. So what should I do? How could I support this intention?

A little voice in my head said STAY HERE.

I listened. I decided to stay on the East Coast. To stay in Maine a little while longer, where I can go to sleep early and wake up with the sun. Where I can write and work and focus. Where I can take a few steps from my bed and be in nature. Where I can cook in a BIG ol' kitchen. Where I can hang out with my 95-year old grandmother who grounds me and inspires me.

So here I am. In a little sleepy town in Maine, missing my flights to some of the greatest cities on the West Coast, and I couldn't be happier about it.

How do you want to feel when the summer is over in two weeks? What can you do to support that intention? Or maybe what do you need to change or cancel so that you can feel the way you want to feel when Labor Day rolls around?

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Healthy Travel - Portland, Oregon

Last year around this time, I spent an epic 6 weeks on the west coast escaping the end of NYC summer and exploring all the healthy food, beautiful sights and chill vibes California and Oregon have to offer.

You can read about my California adventures here:

I ended this trip with a week in Portland, Oregon. I came to run a relay race: the infamous Hood to Coast 200-mile relay (read about my experience here: Hood To Coast Race Recap), but I ended up falling in love with Portland. Since I won't be visiting Portland for the race this year, I decided NOW would be a good time to revisit my photos and notes from that trip and document all of the awesome eats and sights I found while I was there.

EATS/TREATS:

  • Prasad Cafe - A vegan and gluten free cafe in the Pearl District with hearty bowls and salads, smoothies, baked goods, coffee and tea. We ate here more than once - the salads are that good!
  • Harlow - Harlow is the slightly more upscale, sister restaurant to Prasad. I didn't make it here during my trip, but I've sent a few friends and it's gotten RAVE reviews. It's 100% gluten free and vegetarian (they serve eggs here but not at Prasad).
  • The Dragonfly Coffee House - The cutest little coffee shop in NW Portland. I came here for delicious coffee (they have every type of non-dairy milk you can imagine: hemp, almond, coconut, soy) and yummy paleo baked goods (there are gluten free and vegan options too). There's both indoor and outdoor seating - I definitely wouldn't mind posting up for a few hours here to read or work on my laptop.
  • Kiva Cafe - If you're looking for the best smoothies or acai bowls in Portland, look no further. Kiva is THE SPOT. In addition to thick AF smoothies, they also make bulletproof coffee, regular coffee and tea, and delicious food. Kiva is also a spa so you can get a massage AND then enjoy THE BEST ACAI BOWL EVER after.
  • Laughing Planet Cafe - Salads, burritos, bowls and quesadillas with lots of vegan, gluten free, and paleo options. Tasty and quick!
  • Victoria Bar - We came to this bar for our pre-race team meeting - it's definitely BAR food but they've got some interesting vegan and gluten free options like Buffalo Cauliflower Wings, Fried Brussels Sprouts, a yum salad and even vegan desserts. The inside of the bar is, true to name, Victorian style, but there's also outdoor seating with big picnic tables. There are plenty of non-alcoholic beverages too - kombucha, root beer, ginger beer and mocktails.
  • The Cultured Caveman - This spot is for you paleo friends! The Cultured Caveman started out as the FIRST paleo food cart on the west coast. They've expanded to a restaurant now too where you can get all your primal needs met: bone broth, bulletproof coffee, zoodles and meatballs, grain free tacos, kombucha, paleo ice cream and more! The restaurant also serves beer and wine so it's a great date night spot!
  • Petunia's Pies and Pastries - Check out Petunia's if you're looking for a vegan and gluten free treat! Honestly, the sweets I tried were a little TOO sweet for me, but I have sensitive taste buds when it comes to sugar.
  • Zupan's Market - Does anyone else LOVE visiting health food and grocery stores as much as I do when they travel?? Zupan's is an AMAZING, upscale grocery with a number of locations across Portland. In addition to groceries, they've got fresh juice and smoothies, a good selection of prepared foods and a small (but more than adequate) salad bar. They also carry REAL GREEK YOGURT which is DA BOMB. Seriously, if you eat dairy, try their yogurt. My favorite was the Espresso flavor - so so so thick and delicious. 

And here's a few more spots that I didn't check out, but you might want to:

SEE/DO:

  • Bike the town! Portland, like so many other major cities, has a bike share program. Renting bikes is such a fun way to see the city - I highly suggest it! There are also a number of bike tour companies you can ride with.
  • Run the forest. There are a number of parks in Portland which are great for running. I stayed with a friend who lives near an entrance to Forest Park and we went for a beautiful trail run one day.
  • Get your woo-woo on a New Renaissance Bookshop - Your go-to for spiritual books, crystals, essential oils and MORE. A fun place to spend some time, if you're into this stuff.
  • Shop for local goods at MadeHere - A great store for ALL the local goodies.

Since I was about to run an intense race, I didn't do much hiking or fitness while I was in Portland, but what I DID do was awesome. I hope to visit again soon so that I can expand on this section of my travel guide :)

Just writing this post makes me want to go back! Portland is SUCH a fun, active and quirky town, and I highly recommend planning a trip if you haven't visited before. I hopefully will be back there soon too!

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Gut Healing Ginger Latte

This "latte" is unlike anything you'd find at Starbucks - it's dairy, coffee AND sugar free, and actually packed with superfoods that help heal your gut. I also happen to think it's completely delicious and energizing in it's own right, no caffeine required!

Before I jump into the recipe, I want to highlight a few of the awesome ingredients in here:

Collagen - Collagen is pure protein and it helps heal the lining of your gut. It's also great for your hair, skin and nails. Plain collagen powder is completely flavorless, so you can add it to just about anything - I love it in my latte drinks and this addictive Almond Butter Fudge, but you can also simply stir into tea, coffee, smoothies or oatmeal. Think of it like a tasteless clean protein powder.

Ginger - Ginger has been used for centuries as both a powerful anti-inflammatory and stomach-calming remedy. Plus, it gives this latte a great flavor without sugar or fake ingredients.

Ashwaganda - Ashwaganda is an adaptogen which means it helps your body respond to stress in a healthy way. From my experience, so many gut issues (indigestion, bloating, constipation, gas, etc) originate not from food, but from stress. In fact, your body cannot properly digest food if it's stressed out and in that "fight or flight" mode. The more you are able to chill out around meal time, the better able you'll be able to drop into your "rest and digest" mode, leading to fewer uncomfortable digestive issues.

Gut Healing Ginger Latte // dairy free, gluten free, paleo, caffeine free

Ingredients:

  • 2 scoops collagen peptides (I like Vital Proteins)
  • 1 tbsp coconut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Small knob of peeled fresh ginger (about 1/2 - 1 inch)
  • Generous dash of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp maca powder (omit if drinking this at night)
  • 1/4 tsp ashwaganda powder
  • 2 cups hot water
  • A few drops of stevia or raw honey, if desired

Instructions:

  1. Boil your water.
  2. Add all ingredients to your high speed blender and blend until frothy and delicious.

I've enjoyed this spicy latte both in the morning and at night. If you do choose to drink this at night, I suggest omitting the maca as it has quite an energizing effect on the body.

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Caffeine Free Favorites

The past few weeks I've been passing on most caffeine - that means none of my beloved matcha lattes, bulletproof coffees and very little kombucha. 

I've been working on my adrenal health and greatly reducing my caffeine intake is part of that healing process. I'll share more about WHY I'm doing this at some point, but if you're interested in learning how caffeine could be wrecking havoc on your health and wellness goals (especially if you are a woman), I suggest watching this interview: Hormones 101 with Alisa Vitti. This interview, along with some test results I received from my doctor, was what finally got me to give up my coffee/matcha/caffeine habit.

One of the hardest parts of giving up my morning hit of caffeine was giving up the ritual - I love that quiet time in the morning where I whisk or blend or pour myself a hot cup of comfort, and then sit and sip before officially starting my day. So I started to experiment with caffeine free alternatives and I'm sharing my favorites with you today.

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My favorite caffeine free teas, lattes and more:

- Nettle Tea and Dandelion Tea - These teas are bitter and earthy, which makes them great coffee replacements.

- Teechino - Teechino is a coffee alternative made with herbs, grains, fruits and nuts that are roasted and ground to brew and taste like coffee. It's non-acidic and naturally caffeine free, but when mixed with a little non-dairy milk you may be convinced you're sipping joe. There's a bunch of delicious flavors like French Roast, Hazelnut, Vanilla Nut and Chocolate.

- Gut Healing Ginger Latte - This recipe tastes like a chai latte, but is packed with gut (and hormone) friendly superfoods like ginger, collagen, and ashwaganda.

- Hot Water with Lemon - I know this tastes NOTHING like coffee, but hot water with lemon is GREAT for your digestion and gives you a noticeable energy boost. No fresh lemon juice on hand? You can also use a drop of doTERRA lemon essential oil.

- Peppermint Tea - Again, totally NOT coffee but mint is naturally energizing. It's also wonderful for your digestion making this a perfect AM or post-meal tea.

- Zen Bear Mocha Chaga Honey Tea - For those days when you want a mocha, this honey tea will hit the spot! Simply stir the superfood infused honey into hot water, add a splash of your favorite non-dairy milk and ENJOY!

- Free Ride + Wild Ginger Kombucha from Revive Kombucha - Most kombucha contains caffeine, but these two blends from my friends at Revive are totally caffeine free! Cool!

Looking for coffee alternatives that still pack a little caffeine kick? Read this post: Coffee Alternatives.

As always, I'm sharing my opinions in hope that they give you ideas and inspiration for how you can live your healthiest, happiest, most energetic life. If you're thinking caffeine may not be supporting you at this time, I suggest experimenting with some of these alternatives! Yes, you may go through some uncomfortable symptoms (headaches, tiredness, muscle soreness) as your body adjusts, but it won't be forever. I've personally felt SO much better (more even energy, no more afternoon slump, more restful sleep) since reducing my caffeine intake. This may not be a "forever" thing, but it's what's working for me, for now.

Do you drink a hot beverage in the morning? Caffeine or caffeine free? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

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ALL my travel tips

I was recently asked for my top healthy travel hacks. I've written a LOT on this topic (I love to travel, and feel GREAT while doing so!) and today I'm rounding up all of those blog posts for you to have in one place! Re-reading these posts was super helpful for me too, as I'm currently packing up for another one of my multi-city adventures.

Here's where I'm heading over the next month: Washington, DC; Kittery, Maine; Portland, Oregon AND Los Angeles, California.

Follow my healthy adventures in real time over on Instagram.

See ya later NYC!

See ya later NYC!

Whether or not you've got a trip planned this month, I hope you find these tips helpful as well.

Do you have any fun trips planned this month? Where are you heading?? I'd love to hear from you.

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Loving Lately // Summer 2017

As a way to share my favorites with you on a regular basis, I created the "Things I'm Loving Lately" series here on the blog. In this series I share everything from food to fitness, brands to beauty products, good reads to good listens.

Here's what I'm currently craving and crushing on:

- Food: Smoked Salmon. Smoked salmon is such an easy + delicious protein that works equally well for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I've been buying the Wild Smoked Sockeye Salmon from Trader Joe's - it's a little thicker and spicier and I think it tastes more like cooked salmon than traditional lox.

- Drink: My Electrolyte Lemonade. This drink is the perfect remedy for the hot, sweaty days of summer. It's naturally rich in electrolytes, which are especially important to replenish this time of year (since we loose so much through sweating).

- Recipe: Creamy Vanilla Smoothie. In my opinion, summer time is the BEST time for smoothies. I've come to learn that my body does best on lower sugar (i.e. lower fruit) smoothies, so this Creamy Vanilla Smoothie has been a go-to for me this season. I prefer to have something heartier for breakfast and enjoy my smoothie as a snack or light dinner!

- Snack: Raw fennel. Okay, this isn't a new "Loving Lately" for me but it's SUCH a great snack that I had to share again! Fennel is awesome for your digestion, plus the slightly sweet and crunchy flavor is so satisfying. Slice it up and enjoy on it's own, or dip in guacamole or hummus for a heartier snack.

- Book, podcast or blog: A Wrinkle in Time. I've been re-reading this childhood classic and love it.

- Essential Oil: doTERRA Peace blend. This essential oil blend in my "instant calm." Whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed, anxious or unsettled, I roll some of this on my wrists and take a deep breath in. To learn more + purchase oils, head to www.emilynachazel.com/essential-oils.

- Yoga pose: BACKBENDS. Back bends are energizing because they open up your lungs + give you more space to B R E A T H E! Back bends are pretty challenging for me personally, so I've been loving more restorative variations that use props to help the body get into these positions. I've actually been pretty obsessed with props in ALL of my yoga poses these days - I find that they help me go deeper into postures that feel unattainable or unsafe without support.

What are you loving lately?  Let me know in the comments below!

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Homemade Hemp Milk

Hemp milk is hands down the easiest non-dairy milk to make at home! No soaking or straining required - just throw some hemp seeds in your blender with filtered water and one or two add ins and BOOM you've got "MYLK" in minutes.

Let's rewind for a minute - what ARE hemp seeds? Are they related to marijuana?

Hemp seeds (also known as hemp hearts) are the seeds of the hemp plant, or Cannabis sativa. Although marijuana comes from the same plant, hemp seeds only contain a trace amount of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, thus they will not get you high.

Hemp seeds are rich in protein and packed with healthy omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids making them an awesome superfood to add in to you diet!

Hemp seeds (and thus hemp milk) have a distinctive, nutty taste. I think that this homemade hemp milk pairs particularly well with matcha (like in this recipe!), but try it anywhere you'd use almond, soy or coconut milk!

Look at that creamy goodness!

Look at that creamy goodness!

Homemade Hemp Milk // vegan, gluten free, dairy free, paleo, refined sugar free

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw hulled hemp seeds
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • dash sea salt
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • optional sweetener: 2 pitted medjool dates, a few drops of liquid stevia or 1-2 tsp maple syrup

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy.  
  2. Store in an sealed container (I use these giant mason jars) in the fridge for up to one week. Best served chilled!

Have you ever tried hemp seeds or hemp milk? Share your experience with us all in the comments below!

Summer recipe round up!

Today I've got a whole slew of healthy, crowd-pleasing summer recipes for you, just in time for the weekend.

I'm down in the Outer Banks of North Carolina spending the long weekend with my family - relaxing on the beach, swimming in my grandparent's pool and (of course) eating delicious, homemade food. 

I love trying new recipes when I have a little bit more time, and a few more mouths to enjoy the results with.

Here are the recipes that I might try this weekend:

Do you like cooking more when you have more time to experiment? Where do you find your recipes? Share with us all in the comments below.

Enjoy!

Almond Butter Freezer Fudge

This recipe is DANGEROUSLY delicious. Seriously, I have to exercise ALL of my willpower not to eat the whole batch in one sitting [and when I do... I don't feel that bad because it's literally ONLY made of good for you ingredients!].

I created this recipe as a chocolate free alternative to my Superfood Chocolate. I know, that might sound silly (chocolate free chocolate?? huh???) so let me explain: I am super sensitive to caffeine so I wanted a treat that I could have at night that wouldn't keep me up.

Side note: Up until writing this blog post, I always thought that chocolate contained caffeine because when I ate it at night I would have trouble sleeping. My research showed that chocolate (or raw cacao powder) actually does not contain caffeine, but it does however contains theobromine which is a stimulant related to caffeine. Interesting!

Feel free to swap almond butter for any nut or seed butter. I've made this with sunflower seed butter, peanut butter and even a mixed nut butter and ALL were incredible.

Almond Butter Fudge // paleo, gluten free, vegan option, refined sugar free

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup smooth almond butter (room temperature)
  • 3-4 scoops collagen peptides or protein powder of choice**
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • generous pinch of sea salt
  • generous dash cinnamon
  • optional toppings: coconut flakes, slivered almonds, chocolate chips or cacao nibs, etc!
  • optional sweetener: a few drops of liquid stevia or maple syrup

**Note: if you use a protein powder, you'll likely not need to add any additional sweetener since most protein powders have some sort of flavor or sweetener. If you use collagen, you can leave the fudge unsweetened (I like to increase the vanilla and cinnamon for natural sweetness) or add in sweetener to taste.

Instructions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine melted coconut oil and almond butter until smooth. Add in protein powder and process until well combined.
  2. Taste and add sea salt, cinnamon, vanilla and sweetener as desired.
  3. For thin bark, line baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour mixture on paper and spread evenly. For a thicker fudge, line loaf pan with parchment paper and pour in mixture. You can also get fancy and use silicon candy molds or ice cube tray like these: Silicon Candy Mold or Silicon Ice Cube Tray.
  4. Add toppings of choice - I like flaked coconut and slivered almonds, but get creative!
  5. Place in freezer to set (approximately 15 minutes). Remove from freezer to slice.
  6. Keep in freezer or fridge. Fudge will melt if left out for extended period of time.

Three things I do when I can't sleep

FACT: I used to have trouble falling (and staying) asleep. While practicing yoga and meditation (plus some targeted supplementation and nutrition hacks) have helped TREMENDOUSLY, I still have nights where my mind is racing and I can't seem to wind down.

Last night was one of those nights.

I thought I would have NO trouble sleeping - I spent a ton of time outside, got plenty of exercise AND went to an hour-long gong meditation (yeah... that was COOL!). I even told my friend Nat "Oooh I'm going to sleep SO well tonight."

Yet somehow when I got home and got into bed I could not relax. My mind felt like it was going a million miles per minute. In the past I would've freaked out more: UGH I'm not going to sleep tonight, I have so much going on tomorrow, just FALL ASLEEP ALREADY!! Instead, I used some of my tools to quiet my mind and calm my body so that I could fall asleep peacefully.

Here are the three things I do when I'm having trouble sleeping:

1. Journal - I journal every night, but find it especially helpful on the nights where my mind is busy. I write down whatever is going on in my head (worries, to-do lists, things I'm excited about, etc) and imagine those thoughts literally coming OUT of my brain and onto the paper.

2. Breathe - Regulating your breath is the easiest thing you can do to calm down. When you breath slowly and deeply, you drop into your body's parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for stimulation of "rest and digest" functions of the body, so simply slowing your breath can drop you into this place of calm and ease. Try this breathing technique, it works every time.

3. Brain Balance - Brain balancing is a tool that I learned during my Universal Health Principles training. This simple practice has the power to stop anxiety in it's tracks and, like regulating your breath, brain balancing helps drop you into your parasympathetic nervous system. I'll probably write a longer post or make a video with more on this practice, but for now watch THIS HOW-TO VIDEO and just try it!


These three practices are so simple yet so powerful. Next time you are having trouble falling asleep, try one (or all three!) of these.

Lavender essential oil also helps :)

Lavender essential oil also helps :)


Do you ever struggle with falling or staying asleep? What do you do? Leave a comment below and let me know! I love to hear from you :)

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Healthy Travel Hawaii - HAWAII Kona

Hiya friends!

If you’ve been following me on Instagram you’ll know that I spent a magical 3 weeks in Hawaii, eating and exploring all the goodness these islands have to offer.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be sharing more about my travels because 1) I know these type of posts were SO useful for me in planning my own trip and 2) to document my adventures while they are still fresh and real in my mind.

WHY was I in Hawaii in the first place? Business or pleasure? Read this post.

OAHU was the first stop on my trip. Check out my Oahu recommendations here.

Next stop: The Big Island of Hawaii for my Universal Health Principles retreat. What is Universal Health Principles? Read this post.

The Big Island (officially named Hawaii) is the largest of the Hawaiian islands, and it's also the youngest. It's much more RAW than Oahu; although the island itself is bigger, fewer people live on The Big Island and there are two active volcanoes on this island: Kilauea and Mauna Loa.

There are two sides of the island: the Kona side and the Hilo side. From my understanding, Hilo is a bit more populated and boasts more of a traditional Hawaiian feel, while areas on the Kona side feel more resort-like. It's also worth mentioning that Hilo typically gets more rain (which leads to beautiful waterfalls) while Kona is known for it's beaches.

We stayed on the Kona side, so most of the recommendations are for that part of the island. I will also note that while I was on the island for 11 days, I didn't do as much exploring because 10 of those days were mostly training. Plus we cooked a lot of our own food, which is why I only have a handful of restaurants below.

Here are some of the highlights from my trip:

EATS/TREATS:

  • Poke bowl from Umeke's - Poke is a raw fish salad traditionally served as an appetizer or in a bowl with rice and seaweed salad. This was the first time I tried poke and it was REALLY tasty. I tried the ahi tuna and avocado poke, but Umeke's had a bunch of different options for all different taste buds. I loved this place the best because they had the option of swapping rice for quinoa or (my favorite) a roasted purple sweet potato.
  • Happy Hour at On The Rocks - This little beach bar sits right on the water making it the perfect spot to grab a drink (or a bite to eat) and watch the sun go down over the water. The food here is a mix of Hawaiian staples (poke, pork nachos, fish tacos) with a few healthy upgrades (homemade veggie burger, gluten free bun options, coconut sorbet). The tastiest part of our meal was the Wasabi Coconut Coleslaw made with coconut milk!
  • Juices, smoothies and vegan baked goods from Evolution Bakery & Cafe - The cutest vegan cafe. They have juices, smoothies, kombucha, baked goods (some gluten free options!), bagel sandwiches, housemade cashew cheezes and MORE. Try the homemade gluten free bagel and a green drink.
  • Coffee and co-working at Daylight Mind Cafe - A huge coffee shop right on the water, Daylight Mind was my DREAM Hawaii co-working space. You can literally sit outside and see the waves crashing on the beach below you while working on their super fast free WiFi. They also have kombucha on tap, a full menu and fun events (like yoga and dance parties!).
  • Cold brew or kombucha at Kona Coffee Lounge - Another GREAT spot to get some work done is Kona Coffee Lounge. They have coffee, tea, kombucha, acai bowls, smoothies and a few food items. This spot is less picturesque than Daylight Mind, but it seems like a place where locals meet and work. If they have the ginger kombucha - get it! It's super spicy and in my opinion AMAZING.
  • Lunch bowls from Laulima Food Patch - Hawaii's sweetgreen, but better :) Laulima Food Patch is THE place to go for delicious salads and rice bowls. They also do breakfast. The ingredients are all super fresh and local when possible. Note: this place can get pretty pricey if you choose to make your own creation (vs one of their preset menu items). My salad ended up being $17... but honestly it was TOTALLY worth it.
  • Stock up on groceries + local goodies at Island Naturals Market and Deli - A large health foods store in Kona town that has it ALL: produce, all your favorite healthy products (gluten free bread, veggie burgers, coconut milk yogurt), local meats, a hot foods bar, PLUS a lot of fun goodies (soaps, turmeric products, etc).
  • Brunch (or dinner!) at Holuakoa Cafe - A self proclaimed "slow food restaurant" Holuakoa Cafe is THE spot to go for a lazy morning brunch. The food is all THE best quality and the cafe itself is beautiful. Sit outside in the garden if you can.
  • Coffee + treats at Kaya's - The cutest little coffee shop with ALL sorts of goodies (gluten free and vegan options!), matcha, and kombucha on tap. They also have local products like macadamia nuts and soaps, so a good place to grab a gift. I recommend the samoa cookie - it's out of this world.

SEE/DO:

  • Grab some fruit at the Kona Farmer's Market - This farmer's market is right in Kona town so it's an easy place to stop at for fresh local fruit, macadamia nuts and souvenirs. It's definitely more touristy, but still worth checking out.
  • Relax on the beach in Kona - There's only a small beach in town, but it's pretty and peaceful! There are also a few little shops along the water with souvenirs (coffee, chocolate covered macadamia nuts, and more!) which are fun to check out if you have the time.
  • Explore the Galaxy Garden at the Paleaku Peace Sanctuary - One of my favorite experiences on the island was exploring the Galaxy Garden. This garden is an outdoor scale model of the Milky Way galaxy, mapped in living plants and flowers and based on current astrophysical data. It really gives you perspective on our planet, our solar system and our universe. The Paleaku Peace Sanctuary is home to a number of other gardens so it's a nice place to spend a few hours outside. They also have a great gift shop!
  • Swim with dolphins - We were lucky enough to stay in a bay where the dolphins came almost every morning. This was another one of my most favorite experiences. Words can't really describe the feeling you get when you are swimming alongside these beautiful creatures. It's magical, but so much more. We also did a guided tour which was fun and the more sure way to swim with the dolphins.
  • See some waterfalls - Waterfalls are a plenty in Hawaii! We went to Akaka Falls State Park which is home to two beautiful waterfalls and a few hike options. Note: Unfortunately the main hike was closed when we visited. We were still able to see the falls, but I would check with the park before planning your trip here.
  • Experience an active volcano - The Big Island of Hawaii is home to THREE active (although one is underwater!). Kilauea in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has been continuously erupting since 1983 so it's your best bet to see lava! We hiked around the crater here, which was AWESOME (you feel like you are on the moon). We then drove a bit to a place where you could rent bikes and ride them down to see where the lava flows into the ocean. This was super cool, although its my understanding that you can't get as close to the lava as you once could.
  • Snorkel! I think this goes without saying but the sea life is amazing in Hawaii. We did some snorkeling right in the bay where we were staying, and also at Two Step beach. Highly recommended! Don't own snorkel gear? No problem. We rented gear (masks + fins) from a local shop for the whole week and it was super reasonable.

WHEW. Well maybe I did explore a bit more than I thought :)

Have you visited the Big Island of Hawaii? What are your favorite spots on the island? Share with us all in the comments below! And stay tuned for my Maui travel recap coming soon!

Note: This is by no mean a comprehensive guide but rather my tips based on places I visited, researched or was recommended.

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Electrolyte Lemonade

First, THANK YOU so much for your emails, messages and texts in response to last week's post. This was something I was nervous to share, and the positive and supportive response has been amazing.

On a lighter note, today I'm popping in with a quick, super refreshing summer drink recipe. I've talked about the importance of staying hydrated before and now that the sticky summer weather is upon us (at least for my US friends!) getting plenty of water and electrolytes in is even more crucial.

Oh yeah, electrolytes! What are those little guys anyways? An electrolyte is a substance that produces an electrically conducting solution when dissolved in water. Sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, and phosphate are examples of electrolytes. Electrolytes play a role in some key bodily functions including:

  • help keep blood pressure levels stable
  • assist with nerve signaling
  • reduce anxiety
  • support muscle contractions and proper heart rhythm
  • bone building and strength
  • and MORE!

That all being said, it's important that we've got the proper balance of electrolytes in our bods. The main way you loose electrolytes is through sweating, which most of us do more of in the summer.

Now you DON'T need to go out and buy a bunch of Gatorade (it's packed with mostly sugar anyways!) - there are plenty of natural ways to replenish your body's electrolytes.

Here are a few natural ways to replenish lost electrolytes, naturally:

  1. Eat a potassium rich banana
  2. Drink some delicious coconut water
  3. Add a dash of quality sea salt to your water
  4. Take a magnesium supplement


You can also make yourself this delicious electrolyte lemonade! I've been making this drink a lot the past few days and I've noticed that not only am I less hungry, my sugar cravings have gone WAY down and I'm sleeping so much better. Now that's COOL!

Electrolyte Lemonade

Ingredients:

  • Filtered water
  • Juice of 1 lemon (or lime or 1/2 of a grapefruit)
  • Generous pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
  • A few drops liquid stevia or 1 tsp raw honey

Instructions:

  1. Fill a large mason jar (32oz) or water bottle with filtered water.
  2. Add freshly squeezed citrus juice, sea salt and stevia (if using). Taste and add more juice or stevia if desired. Note: if you use honey, you'll want to dissolve it in a little bit of hot water first.
  3. Drink up!


Now I want to hear from you: What's your favorite summer drink? Leave a comment below and let me know!

This happens to me too

Things have been quiet the past few weeks (maybe you noticed, maybe you didn't) and today I'm sharing why.

I could tell you that business has been GROWING like crazy. That I've been super busy with new health coaching clients, UHP sessions, private yoga classes and my work with Robyn and Your Healthiest You.

I could tell you that I've been spending more time with friends and family and in nature.

I could tell you all these things and they would be true, but they wouldn't be the truth on why I haven't written.

The truth? I've been feeling less than sparkly the past few weeks.

A few vacation pounds have left me feeling less-than-stellar in my yoga pants, and I've seen some old, not-so-supportive habits around food creep back in. As a result, that super critical voice in my head has been louder than usual because I think I should "know better" already.

When I don't feel like I'm my brightest, most confident and best self, I hide. I get quiet on social media, I wear baggier clothes, I cancel plans with friends.

I think "Why would anyone take my advice?" when I don't have this whole health and self love thing figured out myself.

The pressure to be perfect is something I know I put on myself. I know that you don't read my blog or follow me on Instagram because you think that I'm perfect. I know that there is no such thing as perfect.

My friend and NYC-based psychotherapist Megan Bruneau posted this on Instagram the other day. She writes a lot about perfectionism so if something in this post resonated with you, I think you'd like what she has to say too.

My friend and NYC-based psychotherapist Megan Bruneau posted this on Instagram the other day. She writes a lot about perfectionism so if something in this post resonated with you, I think you'd like what she has to say too.

However, the desire to be perfect is still something that I struggle with on a daily basis. Most of the time I feel like I'm winning the battle - that the yoga and meditation and mindfulness have "healed me" from self critical thoughts. But I still have my days (or weeks) when I'm not. And I'm trying to learn to be okay with that.

Life is a wild ride and if there is one thing that I know for sure it's that there will ALWAYS be ups and downs. Some days you will feel super strong and sexy and smile at yourself in the mirror, other days you'll feel like a blob who can't leave the couch. Some days you'll eat just the right foods, and other days you'll drown in a jar of almond butter (that's not just me, right??). It doesn't matter if you have a six pack or 60 pounds to loose - we all go through good times and not so good times.

I don't have a quick tip or lesson for you today [although re-reading this, there are probably some lessons in here ;) ]. I just wanted to share. To out myself. To let you know that even with all the work I've done, I'm still a work in progress. We all are.

And you know what? That's perfectly okay.

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Healthy Travel Hawaii - OAHU

Hiya friends!

If you’ve been following me on Instagram you’ll know that I just spent a magical 3 weeks in Hawaii, eating and exploring all the goodness these islands have to offer.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be sharing more about my travels because 1) I know these type of posts were SO useful for me in planning my own trip and 2) to document my adventures while they are still fresh and real in my mind.

WHY was I in Hawaii in the first place? Business or pleasure? Read this post.

OAHU was the first stop on my trip.

Oahu is the third largest of the Hawaiian islands size wise and home to over 2/3 of the total population of the state. The capital of Hawaii, Honolulu, is located on Oahu. The island is also a major military hub and houses one of the largest military word forces in the country.

My very good friend, Karie, recently moved to Oahu with her family, and so when I learned I would be traveling to the big island of Hawaii as part of my Universal Health Principles training, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to visit her too!

Here are some of the highlights from my trip:

EATS/TREATS:

  • Dinner (or happy hour!) at Nico’s Pier 38 - A great spot for fresh food! I had grilled swordfish and veggies and it was a perfect dinner for my first night in Hawaii. It was raining when we ate there, but they also have outdoor seating with harbor views and a great happy hour!
  • Breakfast at Island Vintage Coffee - Looking for beautiful, bountiful breakfasts and acai bowls? Look no further. They also carry cold pressed juices and (like many Hawaii coffee shops) offer coconut milk for your coffee.
  • An acai bowl at Lanikai Juice - This popular juice bar knows how to do acai bowls (and has about 10 different options for you to pick from!). They also have a run club! A quick note: I believe they make their acai base with apple juice which is WAY too sweet for my taste buds. Next time I’d ask to swap for almond or coconut milk.
  • Dinner + drinks at Top of Waikiki - We ended up at this revolving bar on accident (our first choice spot was too long of a wait!), but I’m glad we did because it was one of the best meals I had on my whole trip!
  • Shaved ice at Matsumoto’s - Shaved ice is a must-try treat when you are in Hawaii, and Matsumoto’s on Oahu’s North Shore is famous for it’s unique and tasty flavors (I had passionfruit, guava and birthday cake!).
  • Banana ice cream from Banan - A food truck that serves up totally vegan banana ice cream? YES, please! (And NYC… take note!) They have a few different flavors to choose from (I went with the chocolate macadamia nut) plus the most incredible toppings (bee pollen, coconut, macadamia nut butter << get that!).
  • Grab groceries at Down to Earth Organic & Natural Market - Awesome health foods store with multiple locations in Hawaii. They’ve got local produce and goodies, as well as mainland health food store staples.

SEE/DO:

  • Chillax on the beautiful beaches at the Ko Olina Lagoons - The Ko Olina Lagoons is a great places to spend a day relaxing. The white sand beaches are beautiful and the water is super calm. This area is home to many of Oahu’s resorts but the beaches are public so anyone can enjoy the idyllic scenery. Also a great place to run along the water!
  • Watch the sunset in Waikiki - You’ve probably heard of Waikiki because it’s the most popular spot for tourists on Oahu. I didn’t spend much time there, but we did go down one night to watch the sunset over the water and it was epic! There are a few restaurants along the beach so get there a little early, grab a spot looking out over the ocean, order yourself a Mai Tai and ENJOY!
  • Sample local eats at the Kailua Farmer’s Market - This farmer’s market has a great mix of local produce and locally made treats like matcha honey slushies (!!), strawberry guava kombucha, gluten free pastries and more! Great spot to grab gifts to take home (for others, or for yourself!).
  • Hike the Lanikai Pillboxes - A moderate hike with breathtaking views of the shore and brilliant blue Pacific Ocean.
  • Hike Diamond Head - Probably the most popular hike on the island, and for a good reason! The views are incredible. While most of the trail is paved and equipped with railings, this is still a moderate hike (the last bit is a steep incline!).

Note: This is by no mean a comprehensive guide but rather my tips based on places I visited, researched or was recommended.

Have you visited Oahu? What are your favorite spots on the island? Share with us all in the comments below! And stay tuned for more Hawaii travel recaps coming soon!

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What I was doing in Hawaii [ + special invite for you!]

I just got back from a magical three weeks in Hawaii! I received SO many messages asking me what I was doing in Hawaii so today I'm sharing exactly WHY I made this trip (no, it wasn't for vacation) plus a special invitation just for you.

Why I went to Hawaii...

The primary reason I went to Hawaii was for a portion of my Universal Health Principles training. This mind-body training is something I’ve been working on for the past nine months and a portion of the training was this 10 day retreat on the big island of Hawaii.

What is Universal Health Principles?

Universal Health Principles (UHP) is a 2-year certification program where I’m learning a revolutionary new system of healing that has the potential to transform your body, and your life. I know, I know... that sounds very woo-woo and vague, so let me explain a bit more.

UHP is similar to health coaching but instead of working with the brain and conscious mind (eat this, do this workout, take this supplement, etc), we work 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.

It's a little hard to explain in an email, so I made this video to better share what UHP is (and what it isn't!) and how it can help you.

What are the benefits of receiving UHP sessions?

Like I mentioned above, UHP has the power to change your body, your mind and your life.
I've had a single session change my perspective of a situation and TOTALLY shift my day (almost like I was able to turn back time and wake up on the "right" side of the bed)

Here are just a few other benefits I've seen in my family/friends after receiving UHP sessions:

  • Erika felt an immediate decrease in her anxiety
  • Robyn (and her toddler!) both slept through the night after multiple no-sleep nights
  • Lauren found her dream apartment
  • Bessie found clarity around a big work decision, and was motivated to have the conversation she had been putting off
  • Michelle went to the bathroom after being constipated for over a week
  • And so much more!

A number of you have had the chance to experience sessions with me, and I’m SUPER excited to announce that I am opening up three weekly spots for UHP sessions. These spots will fill up quickly, so if you are interested, click the link below and sign up! Your first session is free, so what are you waiting for?

Sign up for a UHP session with me here!

Interested in trying a session but have questions first? Leave a comment below or email me using the 'Contact' tab above!

I can’t wait for you to experience this!