Category Archives: Soul Food


2015-02-22 21.07.10Ashley Moscoso is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Pilates Mat Instructor.  This past year, Ashley received her training as a Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s cutting-edge Health Coach Training Program. She is also a certified Pilates Mat Instructor and completed her training through Equinox in December 2014.

1. How did you get started in the health and wellness industry?

It all started for me when I decided to work for a well-known weight loss company as one of their weight loss consultants. There I learned how to have one-on-one consultations with clients. It was so rewarding seeing members go through this journey where they had to challenge themselves in order to become who they wanted to be.

Having the opportunity to give advice on food, exercise and goals other than just weight loss was both fun and fulfilling! It was a great learning experience and awesome start in the wellness industry.

2. How has your dance background contributed to your work today?

Dance provided me discipline and emphasized the importance of nutrition and exercise. It gave me the foundations of what it took to be the best version of your self. In every role I have had, I have always used those tools to execute what was expected of me. I am the person who I am today because of the lessons I’ve learned from the dance world.

3. What are some of the practices you teach?

As of right now I teach Pilates Mat classes three times a week. I love how you can do this exercise method anywhere and it only requires a mat. It teaches you the importance of body alignment and knowing how to move your body through series that challenge you and benefit you in so many ways.

I also practice nutrition counseling through my Health Coaching services. With my clients I practice bio-individuality and the “no diet” method. I truly believe that losing weight and healing ourselves through better choices of food can fix many of our problems, and of course my approach of finding movement that you enjoy! Exercise is only fun and consistent when you find the activities you love the most.

4. Who inspires you most?

There are a lot of role models out there inspiring people to live a healthier lifestyle, which is great! The person who inspires me the most would have to be Cassey Ho, founder of Blogilates. Through her videos I was able to reconnect with Pilates and love to exercise again. It is amazing how she started her career with making videos for her friends on YouTube and now she has her own DVD workout set, gym apparel line, and traveling around the country teaching her style of Pilates.  The best part of it, she remains to be so humble and grateful. That is inspirational.

5. Who are the people and professionals in your life that help you be your best?

The people in my life who help me be my best are my parents and my significant other. My parents have always been supportive in anything that I wanted to do in life. For that I have been grateful and always turn to them when I need advice.

My boyfriend has been my rock from the moment I had told him I was seeking professional help for an eating disorder. I have learned so much from him. I am so grateful to have his unconditional love and support. Our encouragement to reach for our goals is what makes us such a great team.

6. What are your favorite “go-to” healthy snacks?

I love nuts! Almonds, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, all of them! I think they are a great way to get protein and energy before a workout. Plus they go with pretty much anything!

7. What types of supplements do you take (if any)?

I don’t take them as much as I probably should, but I do take Vitamin C and B12 supplements frequently. Its very important for my body to take in Vitamin C since my immune system tends to be low, especially in the winter months.

8. What are your plans for the future? 

I am one of those people that wants to do everything!

Some plans I currently have for my future is to become fully certified in Pilates equipment such as the reformer. I plan to go back to school to complete a B.S/M.S in Nutrition & Dietetics to become a Registered Dietician. And recently I have decided I would like to compete in a Bikini fitness competition in the near future just for the fun of it.

I believe life has so many possibilities and you have a choice to explore what those possibilities are.

Learn more about how Ashley can support you in your health and wellness journey at her website: Fit Your Health.

Healthy On The GO!

Tips for Staying Healthy While Traveling by Emily Nachazel

As part of my previous job, I got to travel quite often. While I love to explore new places, traveling also generally means that I am eating at restaurants (or mass prepared food), unable to go to my daily yoga classes at my studio, and having to find alternatives to my normal running routes.  While I am generally a healthy person, I am not superhuman, so it is still a challenge for me to stay healthy and fit while on the go. In this post I will share some of my tips for keeping up with working out and eating well while on the go.

Many of these tips are applicable, regardless of if you are traveling or not.  Although I don’t always follow my own advice, I find that when I do, I feel worlds better and am able to enjoy exploring new places much more.

Working out:

Know what you have to work (out) with. When possible, stay at a hotel with a gym.  As soon as you check in, check out the gym to assess the situation.  Some hotels also offer maps or information on nearby running routes.  It also helps to do some research beforehand (Are there any trails or paths in the area?  Is it safe to run outside by yourself? Are there running groups you could join up with? What you can find online is amazing).
Keep up your routine.  If you normally everyday run in the AM, try to stick with this habit while on the road.  While you may have to hit the treadmill instead of the pavement depending on your location, keeping up your normal routine will increase your chances of staying on top of your work outs on the go.
Be flexible.  This may see to completely contradict my last suggestion, but hear me out. Odds are you won’t be able to keep up your routine exactly while traveling, so sometimes you have to modify your planned works outs to adapt to the situation.  Don’t throw the towel just because you can’t do your weekly 10 mile run or attend your favorite yoga class – find something else you can do instead.  Here’s a few ways to be flexible and creative with your work outs on the go:
*Pal in town wants to meet for drinks or dinner?  Suggest something more active – local yoga class, long walk or run, bike ride, etc.  You will be able to catch up while working out.
*No gym at your hotel? Work out in your hotel room.  The internet is a gold mine of quick, portable work outs.  From yoga to Crossfit, there is something out there to please everyone.
*Want to sight see?  Try out a running tour!  I did one on a recent trip, and it was a great way to get some history of the city while getting a work out in.  Also, a lot of major cities now have public bikes you can rent for a day (or longer) – another great, active way to explore.

Eating well:

Pack healthy snacks – I always, always, always travel with snacks.  Some of my staples are nut butters, trail mix, fresh fruit, and greens (spirulina, chlorella, mixed green powders).  Lately I have cooked up a big batch of sweet potatoes or whole grains to take with me.  Not only does this help you stay healthy, but it also helps you save money!
Hit up the grocery store – I call ahead to make sure I have a mini fridge in my hotel room, and then I hit up the grocery store for those items I wasn’t able to bring from home.  I like to pick up non-dairy milk (while many coffee shops offer soymilk, not all hotels have hopped on this trend), in addition to fresh fruits and veggies to snack on.
Keep up your (food) routine – This is one I personally struggle with.  While traveling, I love to try new foods and seek out interesting restaurants.  And although a giant vegan blueberry muffin every once in a while is no big deal, when you are traveling consistently, those muffins add up.  Go ahead and try new things, but don’t use it as an excuse to go overboard everyday.

There you have it folks – my quick and dirty tips on how to stay healthy and happy while traveling.  Next time you are getting ready for a trip, pack a few of these along with you!

Healthy Travels,


Emily Nachazel is a holistic health coach and yoga instructor based in Brooklyn, New York. She works with individuals and groups who want to increase their energy and manage stress through conscious lifestyle choices.  She teaches her clients to feel good about their food, feel great about their bodies, and feel EMPOWERED to live their lives to the absolute fullest. In addition to yoga, she loves long runs, creating healthy treats, and exploring NYC.

Learn more about Emily and how she can support your life:

Finish 2014 Strong!

Can you believe that there are only 18 days until Christmas, and just 25 days until 2015?

This has been quite an incredible year full of incredible memories and big transformations.  As the year comes to a close, this is the perfect time to reflect and ask yourself:

How would I like to close 2014?

What are my goals for 2015?

How will I start off the year on my best foot forward?

Let this final month of 2014 be the month when you can accomplish something you have been wanting to for the past year,  achieving your health goals, or working on personal projects.  December is your last chance to finish off this year with intention and purpose. Make the most of these final precious days in 2014. Now is the time!

Wishing you all a very healthy and happy holiday season!

Chakra Balancing

What are Chakras?

The belief in chakras originated in India and are applied in Ayurvedic Medicine. It is believed that Chakras are the major centers which our energy flows through. They are circles of energy which balance, store and distribute the energies of life all throughout the body.

When our chakras are not aligned or are out of balance this can cause our physical health, mental health, and spiritual selves to suffer. There are seven major chakras; the first one starts at the base of the spine and move upwards to the top of the head or crown. Each chakra corresponds to specific glands and organs of your being. Below each chakra is explained in more detail.

Chakras can become blocked or imbalanced. If one of them is blocked or not functioning optimally then you may feel more emotional or feeling a bit “off” than you normally would.  See the signs of imbalance for each chakra to understand what area is in need of balance and how to rebalance those chakras.

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Master of the Month: Jessica Filkins

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJessica Filkins  is a holistic health coach, Yoga Teacher and Reiki Master.  Jessica believes that everyone deserves to be healthy and happy. Her mission is to share her gift for healing and her knowledge of nutrition and yoga with others. Jessica works with clients to transform their lives forever by helping them fill themselves with primary food, the nutrients that don’t come on a plate.  Primary foods include spirituality, relationships, career, and exercise.  Jessica specializes in working with people who suffer from GI disorders such as IBS and IBD. Jessica’s fascinating journey of healing her own digestive track after becoming deathly ill has inspired her to help others on their path to perfect health.

Jessica grew up on Block Island, a tiny island off the coast of Rhode Island. She spent her childhood playing in ponds, swimming at the beach and exploring nature trails.  Jessica graduated from Colorado College in 2011 where she studied a combination of philosophy, anthropology and psychology. After graduating ,she spent a winter in the Bahamas teaching art to Haitian immigrants, The following year she traveled around the world by air, sea, and land studying shamanism, yoga, craniofacial therapy and reflexology. She recently graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is perusing a career in heath coaching and developing her turmeric juice business, Jamu Juice.

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Master of the Month: Amira Lamb

amira-f18Amira Lamb is the CEO and Founder of Holistic Hottie Inc.  With over 16 years experience as a certified group exercise instructor, personal trainer, and Nutrition and Holistic Lifestyle Coach, Amira has worked for Town Sports International, The Sports Club LA/Reebok, and Crunch Gym. She is also a Functional Diagnostic  Nutritionist, candidate and has held certifications from National Academy of Sports Medicine, American Fitness Association of America, and the C.H.E.K. Institute.

Amira definitely practices what she preaches and is a professional level bikini competitor with the International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness (IFBB) and Regional Coach for Bombshell Fitness, coaching other Bikini Competitors with the National Physique Committee. Read on for an exclusive interview with the Hottie herself.

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Daily Dose of Vitamin D: Sunlight or Supplementation?

Vitamin D is a fat soluble nutrient that is essential for our body to function optimally.  This vitamin is also critical in preventing infections combatted by the immune system. It helps the body absorb calcium, which is important for building strong bones.

There are two types of vitamin D: vitamin D3 and vitamin D2 with the main difference being that vitamin D3 is more potent in supplementation form. Vitamin D3 is also the type produced by your body when exposed to sunlight.

Continue reading Daily Dose of Vitamin D: Sunlight or Supplementation?