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.

Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 4.36.36 PM.png

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

Bio-individuality

Last week I got a text from one of my college girlfriends: 

IMG_1554.jpg

GIRL, I HEAR YOU!

If you’ve done any sort of exploration into health and wellness you’ve probably experienced a similar sense of frustration and confusion. Whether the info comes from celebrities, friends or well known doctors, it feels like everyone is preaching a little something different when it comes to food, body and health.

While there are definitely some healthy basics MOST plans agree on (drink more water, eat more vegetables, get plenty of movement and find ways to manage your stress), the specifics vary quite a lot. And if you haven’t found the magical combination that works for you yet, it can all feel confusing and honestly overwhelming.

  • The Medical Medium swears by celery juice + high fruit diet

  • Beyonce and Jay Z went vegan and never felt better

  • But my best friend is trying out intermittent fasting and keto and has lost 14 pounds already (while eating bacon and butter!) 

  • Should I be concerned about food combining? What even is food combining?

Of all the experts and opinions, who do you listen to?

My answer might surprise you (or maybe it won’t at all if you’ve been reading some of my more recent blogs).

The best person to listen to is YOU.

I wrote back to my friend:

Photo by Seana Pasic

Bio-individuality was one of the first principles I learned during my health coach training at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). At the time, I was {mostly} vegan and eating a lot of raw foods, mainly as a result of watching some very convincing documentaries and following health bloggers.

But even though so much I was seeing on those films and reading on those blogs told me THIS WAS THE WAY TO OPTIMAL HEALTH AND HAPPINESS, in my gut I was questioning if this was the diet for me. While some of my digestive issues felt better, I was still experiencing a lot of bloating and really strange skin issues (random rashes that would flare up on my neck and back). And more than anything else, the diet didn't feel like it fit my life.

Wait, so what is bio-individuality?

Bio-individuality means that no one diet works for everyone. Each and every person has unique needs.

Just like we all have different styles in fashion, music and movies, we also intuitively understand, on a very deep level, that one person's perfect food is another person's poison. 

Learning this concept at IIN completely changed the way I looked at food, and ultimately, how I coach and teach, not just about food but about everything.

There is no one size fits all when it comes to health.

_DSC0538.jpg

A vegan diet may be great for your sister, but makes you feel bloated and hangry. Your BFF may have trouble with gluten and dairy, but when you’re honest about it, they seem to work just fine for you (lucky you!). You may run fine without grains, but your hubby NEEDS them at every meal.

We’re all different, and that’s okay.

During my studies at IIN, I learned over 100 different dietary theories (yes, there are over 100 different diets out there that are popular enough to be taught at the world’s largest nutrition school).

When a client (or, in this case, a friend) comes to me feeling overwhelmed with the wellness world and confused about how to eat, I don’t automatically put them on any one diet. Instead we work together to figure out what balance works best for their body, and their LIFE. Maybe that’s ketogenic or raw or Ayurvedic, or maybe it’s a combination of all three of these.

My ultimate goal when working with clients 1:1 is to provide them with the tools and support they need to listen to their own intuitive food voice. To find their version of a balanced diet. And to have practices for checking in with themselves so that their plan can adapt to life as it changes over time.

_DSC0548.jpg

Whether you’re feeling lost when it comes to food, or are simply looking to further improve your personal choices, here’s an exercise you can do today: 

Take out a blank piece of paper and write down the following questions:

What’s ONE thing I’m currently eating or doing that I know makes me feel amazing?

What’s ONE thing I’m currently eating or doing that I know doesn’t serve me?

Take a few minutes to write out your answers to each of these questions. If you’re feeling stumped, that’s okay! Sit with it a little longer, or maybe come back to it when you have a bit more time to think it over.



From my experience, most of us know what we need to be doing more or less of, but often that intuition gets drowned out by other people’s opinions, or simply the busy-ness of our day-to-day lives.



It doesn't matter how many years of work you've done with food and body - there's always going to be something that could shift. Our bodies, lives and circumstances change and therefore our habits must change too.



So right in this moment: what's your ONE thing that you know needs to change? And how can you (lovingly, compassionately) support yourself in making that change?

Write this down for yourself, or better yet, leave a comment below and let me know.

Want more support with this? I have one coaching spot opening up in November. If you're looking to dive deeper into your intuitive food voice and strengthen your self-care practices, click here to apply to work with me 1:1. Even if you're not sure if coaching is for you right now, the application is a great exercise in reflection and getting clear on your own goals.

Connecting to your intuition

Some of my favorite moments are when my life asks me to apply something I've been working on with one of my coaching clients.

On Sunday I had a call with a current client and I shared with her my tips for strengthening your connection with your intuition. She's a generally healthy gal and even studying to be a coach herself, but, like so many of us, can get caught up in the "shoulds" instead of listening to her own body's wants and needs.

She's definitely not alone. SO often I hear the "s" word used, especially when it comes to our food and self care practices.

  • "I should order a salad since it's the healthiest option."

  • "I probably should be going to yoga."

  • "I should just go home and get a good night's sleep." 

  • "I should cut out dairy - my friend did and her digestive issues completely went away."

  • "I should start a meditation practice."

_DSC1368.jpg

It's okay to want to improve or change your habits. It's okay to seek out advice from experts (or the internet) to help you make more informed choices. What's not okay is completely ignoring your own body's wisdom in favor of what seems to work for some girl on Instagram, or your BFF, or your mom.

Our bodies are designed to heal themselves. They are more intelligent than the most complex super computer out there. And given a chance, your body will tell you what it needs - it will guide you to the best food (and LIFE!) choices for you in each and every moment.

So how do you start (or strengthen) this conversation with yourself?

Today I'm sharing 3 easy tips for connecting to your own intuition - tips that I had an opportunity to apply to myself this weekend when I felt lost with what to do with my Sunday evening (more on that below).

Photo by Seana Pasic

Tip 1: Talk to yourself!

I talk to myself all day long. Sometimes it's just in my head, and sometimes it's out loud. If I'm having trouble making a decision (what to have for dinner, what workout to do, etc) I'll ask myself: What do I need right now? What would be most supportive?

Talking to yourself feel a little strange? You can also journal or type out your thoughts.

Tip 2: Ask your intuition everything.

Oftentimes we wait for really big or hard decisions to connect to that deeper wisdom, and then wonder why we can't seem to get an easy or clear answer. It's like not doing any cardio workouts for months and months and then suddenly expecting your body to run a 10K race.

Exercise your intuition like a muscle and it will grow stronger. Start practicing with smaller, simpler choices (what type of fruit to put in your morning smoothie, what type of tea to sip on in the afternoon, what music to listen to during your commute home, etc) and build from there.

Tip 3: Become a really great LISTENER.

Here's the part most people skip over: you have to take a moment and listen after you ask yourself a question. If an answer doesn't come up right away, sit with your question a little longer. Sometimes you may need to dig deeper and ask yourself if there's something else you need to think about or look at before resolving the issue and coming to a clear answer.

Which brings me back to my experience this weekend: On Sunday, I had a full day of coaching clients + interviewing potential new roommates. By the time I was done with everything and had fed myself, it was 7:30PM and I was beat.

I wanted to do something to relax and unwind, but wasn't sure what. So I tuned in and asked myself "What would be most supportive right now?"

A restorative yoga class at my local studio?

A session in my infrared sauna bed?

Some yoga at home?

A Netflix binge?

Reading in bed?

All great ideas, but nothing felt like a YES to me.

To be honest, I was frustrated. I just wanted to relax already!!! But instead of jumping into a choice, I took a moment and listened to my own advice.

I laid down on my floor, put one hand on my heart and one hand on my belly and just breathed. Staring up at the ceiling, I ran through my options again and then waited. And after a few minutes something new popped into my head: I had saved a longer recorded meditation and as soon as I remembered that I felt a resounding YES in my body.

I made myself some tea and settled in - the meditation was exactly what I needed.

Maybe this sounds like a lot of work for you, or maybe you're already doing this on the regular. Wherever you are with your connection to your intuition, I hope something that I shared today resonated, reminded or inspired you to strengthen and appreciate this relationship with your self.

As always, I love to hearing from you. Leave a comment below and share your intuition experience or questions!

My first podcast episode!

This past Saturday I was a guest on my very first podcast and the episode is now live! I had the honor of chatting with Alex and Corey of the Husband and Wife Talk podcast about building a passion business, laughing at yourself and having patience with life (a lesson I'm personally learning again and again and again).

I share more details about how I left my corporate job and how I started working with Robyn, as well as my tips for anyone thinking about doing something similar.

I had such a great time recording this episode and hope you enjoy listening!

Click here to listen to the episode.

Bonus: I'm hosting a LIVE Q&A this Sunday 9/9 at 11AM EST.

Over the past two weeks I've received an overwhelming number of questions about how I got where I am today and how I make this entrepreneur / health coach thing work for me. I definitely talk about this on the podcast, but I also wanted to have a chance to connect with YOU and answer your questions on the topic more directly.

This Sunday (September 9th - which also happens to be a new moon!) at 11AM EST I'll be doing a Q&A on both Instagram and Facebook LIVE to share more about my story (including some things I've never openly shared before) AND answering your questions, plus doing some coaching for anyone who joins live.

This Q&A will be targeted more towards the business side of things but please don't let that stop you from joining if you have no interest in becoming a health coach or yoga teacher or starting your own business. Even if you're just curious about my journey (personally I always love a good behind the scenes/how I built this type chat), come hang out for a bit :)

To join the Instagram LIVE - make sure you're following me @emilynachazel and log on to the app at 11AM. You'll then see a LIVE story pop up when we get started.

To join the Facebook LIVE - like my business page Emily Nachazel and log on to Facebook at 11AM. If you head to my page you should see the LIVE video pop up. You can also "turn on notifications" to get a reminder when we go live.

Can't join the LIVE Q&A but have a question you want me to cover? Comment on this Instagram post or leave a comment below and I'll do my best to chat about it on Sunday.

The Instagram LIVE recording will be available for 24 hours in the Instagram app and the Facebook LIVE will be available indefinitely on my Facebook page.

Have a great weekend and hope to "see" you Sunday!

UPDATE: Catch the Q&A Recording here: Sunday 9/9/18 LIVE Q&A with Emily

Tips for new health coaches

I received this contact form submission from my website last week:

Hey Emily! My name is Meaghan and I've been following your blog and instagram for the past few months. I'm very inspired and touched by your genuine, personable nature. I'm a relatively new integrative wellness coach myself, so it's been really nice to follow how you so wonderfully, creatively, and passionately approach the whole thing.

I just moved and am currently trying to establish myself in Brooklyn! Which is where I could use your help...

I'm wondering if you'd be willing to meet up so I could ask you a few questions about how you got your coaching practice up and running. I am happy to meet you wherever you are - your favorite cafe or your work space!

I SO appreciate any amount of time that you have to offer. Let me know :)

XO
Meaghan

Meaghan’s message immediately brought me back to 3.5 years ago when I myself was just starting out as a new health coach.

 

 

I wrote similar emails to a few coaches and bloggers I admired and I was so, so SO grateful for the ones that responded with kind words and an openness to meeting with me.

And so while life is really full right now with travel and work and personal projects, I knew I would make the time to meet with Meaghan.

I responded “Of course, I’m happy to meet up and chat with you.”

I get a lot of emails and messages from new or aspiring health coaches. And while I’d LOVE to meet up or get on the phone with each and every one of them (and you! I love talking to people!) I know that’s not possible or practical.

Today I’m passing along few of the tips I shared with Meaghan when we met up on Monday morning. Yes, these are specific to my experience and geared towards individuals getting started with a career in the health and wellness world, but they definitely can apply to ANYONE starting a new career or passion project.

_DSC1429-Edit.jpg

Here's my best advice for new coaches:

  • Try out a LOT - When I first left my corporate accounting job to pursue a career in health and wellness, I said YES to almost every opportunity that came my way. I taught at 4 different yoga studios, served sample smoothies at Whole Foods and even rainbow dyed my hair for Refinery29, an online beauty website. I volunteered to teach classes, give talks and participate in health fairs. I tried a lot on and from there was able to better discern what I actually wanted to do within the health and wellness field (and what I definitely DIDN’T want to do). Plus, I made some amazing connections and friends along the way.

  • Don’t be above the bridge job - Straight up it can be tough transitioning from a full time corporate job (with a full time corporate salary) to the freelance or entrepreneur life. Don’t be above getting a “bridge” job - something that helps pay the bills that may (or may not) be in alignment with your passion or vision. Two months after I left my corporate job my health coaching practice was going well (as in I was getting clients and they were seeing success) BUT it wasn’t growing big or fast enough to pay my NYC rent and health insurance bill. So I decided to pursue a bridge job… which just so happened to turn into one of the BEST jobs ever.. more on that next.

  • Find a mentor or hire a coach - This is probably my biggest tip of all. Find a mentor. Join a mastermind group. Hire a coach. I know it can be scary investing in yourself this way especially if you’re already taking a financial risk starting a new career or project, but I strongly, STRONGLY believe that everyone needs a coach, especially during times of change or transition. ESPECIALLY if you’re looking to be a coach or leader yourself. I speak from my personal experience with myself but also with the experiences of the coaches and entrepreneurs I’ve coached - the expense is worth it. If you have the resources, I recommend working with a coach 1:1 for an extended period of time - not just one meeting or shorter program, but months if you can. Having someone that you know is there to support you, guide you and ultimately remind you of your goals and dreams is priceless.

 

 

Are you an entrepreneur or coach? What was YOUR biggest challenge when starting out? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Photo by Seana Pasic