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!

Tips for a better winter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So how does one "lean into" winter?

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

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

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

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

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

Restorative yoga is amazing this time of year.

Restorative yoga is amazing this time of year.

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

Foods to focus on:

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

  • Root vegetables

  • Soups

  • Warming spices like garlic, ginger and cinnamon

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

  • Kidney beans and black beans

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

Foods to avoid:

  • Too many raw foods (too cold)

  • Excess fruit and sweets

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

  • Ice water

Activities:

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

  • Reflection practices like journaling and meditation

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

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

  • Salt baths*

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

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

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

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

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

My favorite book on living in tune with the seasons.

My favorite book on living in tune with the seasons.

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

Wishing you a cozy, quiet and introspective winter!

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!

Summer recipe roundup

To me, there is nothing more beautiful than the bounty of summer produce exploding in the farmer's markets during this time of year.

What's in season right now? Basil, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, corn (!!), cucumbers, eggplant, all the greens + herbs, melons, nectarines, okra, peaches, peas, peppers, summer squash, tomatoes, zucchini and MORE. Now I'm getting hungry...

So what to make with all these vibrant fruits and veggies? I've rounded up a few delicious recipes featuring this season's bounty:

- Raw Sweet Corn Salad with Basil
- Summer Garden Veggie Flatbreads
- Blueberry Quinoa Salad
- Herbed Red Potato Salad
- Hippie Harvest Hemp Gazpacho
- Easy Peach Crisp

Enjoy!

Spring recipe roundup!

Like I've mentioned before, I LOVE shopping at farmer's markets, so I am super excited that the markets are officially up and running for the season here in NYC.  

What's in season right now? Peas, radishes, greens, asparagus, potatoes, garlic, lettuce, herbs, mushrooms, rhubarb and (drumroll please...) STRAWBERRIES! I've yet to spot the little red gems at my local markets, but I'm keeping a look out!

Now what to make with all this beautiful produce? I've rounded up a few of the freshest, tastiest recipes featuring this season's bounty.

- Carrot and Pistachio Salad
- Creamy Mushroom and Asparagus Pasta
- Soft Boiled Eggs with Warm Croutons and Greens
- Broccoli Rabe with Garlic + Spicy Tofu
- Rhubarb Chia Jam

What are your favorite spring season recipes? Let me know in the comments below!