Loving Lately // Winter 2019

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

We’re still very much in winter in NYC - every year it comes as a surprise to me that March is still winter. I always considered myself a spring baby, but I’m learning that spring doesn’t come until at least April here in the Northeast. So today in honor of the season, and my birthday (it’s tomorrow!) I'm sharing some of things that I've been loving on this season.

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

RECIPE: MY SIMPLE GREEN SMOOTHIE

Smoothies are usually the last thing I recommend in the winter - they’re cooling and typically the ingredients are not in season this time of year. But for some reason this simple smoothie is really working for me for breakfast right now. So I’m GOING WITH IT! And loving every sweet sip.

Get the recipe here: My Simple Green Smoothie

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 DRINK: CELERY JUICE

I’ve been drinking celery juice almost every morning on an empty stomach for the last few weeks. I haven’t experienced any health miracles yet but my digestion definitely feels better and it’s been a great way to reduce my caffeine intake (and kick the morning off on a GREEN, veggie filled way).

Celery juice is one of the newest health trends, but it’s healing qualities are nothing new. I’m planning to write a blog post about the topic once I have a little more self experimentation under my metaphorical belt!

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FOOD: FRUIT!

Like with the smoothies, fruit isn’t something I typically reach for this time of year. But my body has been craving it so I’ve listened.

I’m having bananas (and sometimes frozen wild blueberries) in my morning smoothies, and snacking on apples, blood oranges, grapes and pomegranate seeds. YUM! I definitely have noticed fewer sugar cravings since including more naturally sweet fruits in my diet.

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Book, blog or podcast: The Star Community

This is not technically any one of these things BUT it does fall under the learning and self development umbrella, which is why I’m including it here.

The Star Community is an astrology membership program created by Debra Silverman for individuals who want to learn more about the signs, stars and planets on a regular basis. It’s been really fun to be a part of this group and expand my knowledge through the library of informative videos and live Q&A calls.

I’ll definitely be sharing more about my explorations in astrology (I get SO many questions emailed in and from my clients!) here soon so stay tuned!

For now, check out these posts and resources to learn more:

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Essential oil: CYPRESS

This is another oil that my acupuncturist recommended for me - Cypress (as with many of the woody oils like cedarwood and vetiver) helps combat dampness in the body.

If you have a heavy or damp body type already (tendency toward oily skin, weight gain and depression), this may be an awesome oil for you, especially during this damp time of year. I use it as part of my nightly essential oil protocol, which I’m open to sharing more about in another blog post if you’re interested!

To learn more + purchase oils, head to www.emilynachazel.com/essential-oils.

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Workout or self care: Daily meditation

I’m on 67 days of meditation and counting and feeling beyond proud of myself for this accomplishment. I lost my daily meditation practice back around the holidays and I FELT it. So in January I committed to using the Calm meditation app and I'm happy to say I've been meditating daily ever since.

My past "streak" using any app was 21 days so where I'm at now feels really big. And I don't plan on stopping anytime soon... I love that there’s a new meditation each day so I just open the app and hit play.

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

When food is more than food

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

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

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

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

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

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Food holds memories.

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

Food is so much more than calories or nutrients.

Food is love.

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

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

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

Food is so much more than just food.

And I hope it stays that way.

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

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

Loving Lately // Fall 2018

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

It’s officially fall in NYC so today I'm sharing some of things that I've been loving on this season.

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

RECIPE: Curry + Turmeric Roasted Squash

I keep expecting this curry + turmeric roasted squash recipe to get old… but it JUST DOESN’T. It’s so, so good. The combination of spicy curry with anti-inflammatory turmeric is perfection sprinkled on dense and slightly sweet winter squash.

I usually make this recipe with kabocha squash (a Japanese pumpkin that’s like a cross between a pumpkin and a sweet potato) but you can do it with virtually any squash, or vegetable for that matter (cauliflower is quite good here too!)

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 DRINK: CRIO BRU

I’ve been experimenting with different morning drinks and right now I’m super into Crio Bru cacao tea. It’s virtually caffeine free and less acidic than coffee or cacao powder (since you steep it like a loose leaf tea).

You can find Crio Bru (+ all my other favorite superfoods) on my shop page: My Favorite Products.

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FOOD: ANYTHING PURPLE

A few weeks ago I attended a workshop led by Master FaXiang Hou, a certified and highly accomplished Master of Medical QiGong and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He taught us some breathing and energy techniques, but also shared his traditional wisdom around eating for the seasons.

I’m putting together my notes from the workshop, but one of my takeaways was that we should be eating more PURPLE foods this time of year (fall), so I’ve been loading up on purple kale and collards, purple sweet potatoes, eggplant and cabbage.

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Book, blog or podcast: WHEN FOOD IS LOVE

I picked up When Food is Love by Geneen Roth at the library last week and I was deeply moved after reading just the first page of the book’s introduction.

Geneen Roth is one of the original teachers who talks and teaches about breaking free from emotional eating. I first learned about her work when I was studying at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

If you resonated with some of what I shared in either of these blog posts, I think you’d also enjoy this book:

Essential oil: VETIVER

I was introduced to vetiver by my amazing acupuncturist - it’s woodsy and complex aroma is known to provide a calming, grounding effect making it ideal for massage therapy and promoting restful sleep.

Vetiver is super thick and viscous. Be patient with this oil - a drop or two mixed into body oil and rubbed on the legs is incredible right before bed, or diffuse it with lavender for the best sleep ever.

Learn more + purchase essential oils here.

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Workout or self care: MY HOME YOGA PRACTICE

A few weeks ago I participated in a Home Practice workshop at The Studio in NYC. Almost every day since then, I’ve done 30-45 minutes of yoga on my own, something I’ve never been able to do before despite teaching and practicing for years.

According to the Katonah Yoga teachings, a Home Practice is not simply doing yoga in your home, it’s about creating a daily, personal ritual that allows you to come into your body (your real, true home). One of the most impactful things I learned during this training was that a Home Practice doesn’t need to mean going through a full yoga class or practicing what I’d teach at a studio - it can be as simply as a few poses + some breathwork to fire me up for the day, or a longer hold in plow to sooth my soul before bed.

If you’re in the NYC area and curious in learning more about this practice and material, I encourage you to come take class at The Studio. They’re also holding another Home Practice workshop this weekend (November 10-11) if this piece in particular resonated with you.

If you’re not in NYC, you can still get a taste for this practice by checking out my Morning Breathwork Routine video.

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

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."

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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).

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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!

Is your diet missing this?

This past weekend I had the pleasure of helping run a retreat for some of the ladies I coach with Robyn. On Sunday, we had a special guest teacher come teach us all about adaptogens, a special class of healing plants that help balance, restore and protect the body. We learned about which of these superfoods are best for stress, which are good for your hormones and which support glowing skin. I've talked about some of these before, like maca and ashwaganda, and they are featured in many of my recipes like this Superfood Hot Cocoa and this Berry Avocado Beauty Smoothie.

However, my biggest takeaway from Jamie's talk was NOT that I needed more of these herbs in my life. I realized there was something else missing from my diet.

I needed more intention with my food.

What do I mean by that? Essentially I needed to more strongly believe that my food (and drinks!) is good for me and helping me feel my best.

As someone who's struggled with digestive issues, it can sometimes feel like food is the enemy. Is this going to make me bloated? Will I have a stomach ache after eating this? Will this give me heartburn?

Sure, food itself can be healing or harmful, but it's actually your thoughts that have more power to improve your health.

Does this feel a little too woo-woo for you? I hear you - I was a skeptic too. But it turns out there have been multiple experiments proving that our thoughts and feelings towards food can cause it to go bad faster. 

This article does a good job of summarizing some of the most profound studies: I Said Mean Things to an Apple for a Week to See if it Rotted Faster.

 

"The bottom line: If this is what bad vibes can do... imagine what they are doing to our human bodies."


Basically, you can eat the same exact thing as someone else, but if you BELIEVE it will make you feel sick or bloated, it likely will. Luckily for us, the opposite is also true: if you think that your food is going to make you feel great, it will.

The cool part about adaptogens (and any food really) is that they each have different healing qualities, which means you can use them sort of like medicine. This gives you the opportunity to set an intention around your food.

Here's how I'm practicing this: Most mornings, I have some sort of tea or blended superfood latte. Instead of just throwing ALL the healthy ingredients into my Vitamix, I'm taking a minute to check in with how I feel and what I need. For example, do I want to feel more energized and focused today? Or more chill? Does my body need something that will lift my spirits, or soothe an troubled belly?

I'll then add the ingredients that support that feeling, and take a quick moment with each to think about what that specific ingredient can do for me. Then as I'm sipping my drink, I'll say to myself "This is my healing drink."

My healing drink this morning!

My healing drink this morning!

You can do this with superfoods or adapotgens, if you're into them, but also with your regular food. Take a breath and say a prayer, blessing or just a quick thank you before you dive in.

Believe that your food will heal you, and it will.

Do you set an intention with your food? What's your practice and how do you see it impact how you feel? I'd love to hear your experience - leave a comment below and let me know!