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Ho Ho Home for the Holidays!

Happy Holidays! It’s official: we are here again at our favorite time of year, or is it? The beloved November and December. What does that mean to you? Well, I would say an abundance of emotions come up when coaching my clients or, frankly, for me. These emotions range from joy to sadness to excitement and anxiety! I grew up loving the holidays with many family traditions. Fun fact: the germination of EmpowHer Purpose started during my annual cookie-baking party for the holidays. I, of course, was the connector who brought the community together. I will be honest, since having children I do find the holidays more taxing and exhausting. Of course, that comes from my desire to fulfill all of their dreams. It can be stressful, but there are always ways to tap in and strive to be stress-free.

One of the common threads that connects us all during the holidays is the joy of food, including baking and cooking. I also find commonality and some peace in that many people have an abundance of tasks on their to-do-lists, which can create some of this anxiety. I ask myself the question every year: what can I do to take things off my list that don't serve me or are not aligned with our family values? Again, this is coming from the perspective of alignment to my values vs. obligation. I truly have committed to living within my value set vs what others think I need to be doing.

I then ask myself the same question: What can I do to create more peace and joy in my life? I know when I am wrapping gifts or cooking, I will listen to a podcast to educate myself and learn and soothe my soul.

With this theme in mind to calm your soul, I wanted to put together a list of fabulous foodies, chefs, wellness experts and more that would be sure to give you their favorite family recipes and one key tip of how they stay sane during the holidays. Let’s face it, we all have our tactics to avoid stress. Let’s face Thanksgiving in 2 days and then follows 2 weeks until Hanukkah starts and 5 weeks until Christmas and then it’s New Years! Phhheww!

We curated 8 of our favorite chefs, foodies, entertainers and wellness people to help us with not only their favorite recipe but with a tip to destress through this holiday season! Check them out below:


I will lead the way with my favorite family recipes and one way I try to maintain my zen at a ten during the holidays.

Michelle Valenzuela Wolf

Our big blended German and Mexican family truly has so many family recipes and traditions whether that be going to church or staying up until 12am to open presents at my Grandmother's house on Christmas Eve, eating tamales or my mother's famous snowball cookies. It was also special how we would go all out with the decorations of our homes with such special heirloom ornaments passed down for generations.

Michelle's Tip:

Commit to maintaining at least two things that resemble your daily routine or habit/s - meditation, exercise, mantras, intentions or connect to nature - do not "throw it all away" - small steps = big gains.

Michelle's favorite holiday recipe - Famous snowball cookies, make sure to use cake flour not all purpose, and my late mother-in-law Mary Ann Wolf's Italian sausage stuffing. A family favorite!


Jen Principe

Jen Principe is a personal and celebrity stylist who helps clients as a soul stylist with a sole purpose; to help transform lives from the outside in.

As the Founder of The Phoenix Effect, she provides personalized photoshoots for those affected by trauma, cancer, and life-threatening diseases.

Her debut book, A Common Thread, is a fashion for the soul book filled with inspirational stories about the two constants in her life; faith and fashion.

Jen's Tip:

Mind: search YouTube for a 10 minute morning gratitude practice to listen to.

Body: take a walk brisk walk and listen to nature sounds with earbuds

Spirit: pray for those that aren’t able to celebrate and spiritually invite them to your table

Jen's favorite family holiday recipe is a Mexican Green Rice dish. Perfect for any occasion or if you want to try a new easy recipe!


Mara Smith

Mara Smith, founder of Inspiro Tequila, is shaking up the industry with her ultra-premium tequila crafted by women, for everyone. A former attorney and corporate strategist, Mara's journey began in 2020 to create a clean, gluten-free tequila. Inspiro is not just about taste; it's a female-driven enterprise with women involved in every step.

Tip: try to take a moment during the holiday season to reflect on your accomplishments during the year. We’re often running so fast that we don’t stop to celebrate the little wins.

Her favorite holiday recipe is the Inspiro Cranberry Mule!

Be sure to check out this recipe for some alcoholic inspo!


Katie Chin

Meet Katie Chin, the culinary powerhouse. As a Celebrity Chef, Award-Winning Cookbook Author, and Culinary Ambassador, Katie's passion for Asian cuisine shines. From co-hosting PBS cooking series to appearances on The Today Show and Food Network's Iron Chef America, Katie is dynamic in the kitchen!

Katie says why not put a global spin on Thanksgiving this year with my Harissa Maple Glazed Carrot recipe from my new cookbook “Katie Chin’s Global Family Cookbook”!! I just made this sweet, smoky and spicy Harissa Maple Glazed Carrot dish on KTLA!

Harissa paste is a Tunisian red pepper paste made with red bell pepper, chili peppers, olive oil, spices and vinegar and is simply divine when combined with maple syrup, garlic, cumin and olive oil My friend Jodi who tested this recipe for me said it tasted just like candy filled with layers of sweet heat. Hope you enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving to all!!


Chef Anne Thornton

Chef Anne Thornton, a plant-based culinary expert, renowned for nutrient-dense creations, shares insights on healing, sustainability, and mindful choices. From LA's Vegetarian Restaurant of The Year to Food Network's "Dessert First," Anne's commitment to plant-based excellence shines. Listen in on Opportunity Knocks to learn more.

A tip from Anne is if you did the majority of the work for the holiday meal you get to go on a long slow walk (with a beverage of choice) with the other people who contributed to the meal while the other people clean up!

Anne’s approachable techniques prove that any home cook can create impressive desserts. Her favorite recipe is her own personal Chocolate Peppermint Cake.

If you are looking for a sweet treat to impress everyone else, look no further!


Pamela Salzman

Meet Pamela Salzman, certified holistic health counselor, cooking instructor, and best-selling author. From a promising career shift, Pamela now inspires with two best-selling cookbooks and practical cooking classes. She has shared her perspective on entrepreneurship, overcoming perfectionism in nutrition, and tips for a healthier diet.

The key to a successful holiday is committing as early as possible to your menu so you can start DOING!

I LOVE this salad: Roasted Delicata Squash and Apple Salad Recipe It's the best Thanksgiving salad and tastes great with a turkey dinner.


Tara Teaspoon

Tara Teaspoon's journey, starting at the bottom to focusing on kindness, continuous learning, and staying on trend, is at the core of her success. Author of "Live Life Deliciously" and "Delicious Gatherings," Tara's recipes and insights make her a beacon of genuine inspiration. Learn more about her in the Opportunity Knocks episode (link).

Tara's Tip: Save time and stress during the holidays with this one simple trick. If you're hosting a party or a meal, choose, clean, and label your serving dishes a few days before hosting. I add a sticky note on each dish with the recipe written on it. This will help you avoid last-minute scramble when guests arrive and food is ready.

If you are missing a serving platter, the right-size charcuterie board, or the best bowl for your Brussels sprouts, you'll already know you need to run to the store before your party!

Tara's favorite holiday recipe is her Miso Honey Glazed Brussel Sprouts which is a simple yet delicious recipe created by her.

One of the best veggies to have around Christmas that even your little ones will eat!


Rachael Blumberg

Rachael Blumberg, the founder of PLATEFIT has created immense success. From her private Power Plate studio in West Hollywood to creating the world's premier Wellness Vibration Training Studio, Rachael's journey is a testament to her passion for fitness.

Tune in to discover how her resilience and expertise make her a standout in the industry.

My advice for everyone is Yoga Nidra Breathing! Here are two of my favorite meditations.

Pumpkin Twix Bars is her favorite recipe that kids and adults love!

Rachel is offering first class FREE with code EMPOWHER at Platefit.


Nancy Hopkins

Meet Nancy Hopkins, the culinary genius behind Eat with Nancy Productions. In Episode 93 of Opportunity Knocks, titled 'Bring Your A-Game- Show Up!!,' Nancy shares insights from her successful career at Better Homes and Gardens, offering valuable perspectives for those looking to kickstart their journeys in any industry.

For Nancy's tip she starts with mentally planning. She says I get everything in working, easy-to-grab order. I make sure I have my napkins cleaned and counted for planned guests, I make sure I have enough cocktail napkins (cloth and paper), enough place cards, vases for my floral looks, enough candles to last long meals, and enough of everything. I buy anything I need to refresh, clean what I need, check my counts, everything. This way, I’m not stressing and scheming when it’s time to set the table. Also, it makes the process fun.

And Nancy's favorite holiday recipe originates from her roots. Being Southern, we always have biscuits on the table.

These are from my favorite Biscuit Maker on the planet and from my 20-plus years as Food Director at Better Homes & Gardens. They are the Biscuits from Scott Peacock. He is the best! We developed this column together and it ran for many years. It was called American Classics.


My friends, whether or not you are traveling across the country or spending time in your very own city we hope we've added a bit of holiday cheer to your family. Our holiday recipes are sure to spark some fun and inspiration as you are welcomed Ho Ho Home for the Holidays. Step into your joy and shine bright this season.

Be Well. Do Well.

All my best,


Friday Yoga Class in Santa Monica

Let's Get In The Flow this Holiday Season!

Tune In this Holiday Season and Join me for a Yoga Flow Class Every Friday at 8:30am - Next Class is 12/1

A Squared Dance Academy 1612 Montana Ave.Floor 2 Santa Monica, CA 90403 (the old Yoga Hop upstairs behind Pinkberry) 🙏🙏🙏 Sign up today! Click the link here or the link in my bio on Insta and fill out the interest form. First Class is FREE! $30 per class 4/6 class packages available Parking behind building - move the cone

Join the EmpowHer Community and enjoy your annual membership benefits.

Act NOW! Price increase in 2024 with even more benefits!

Exciting news in 2024 we're back with even more accountability with our weekly 1-Hour Power Hours. Allowing you to track your progress toward your goals in real time!

All Annual MembHership Benefts Sessions are led by Michelle Valenzuela Wolf who is a Top 1% Certified Transformational Coach by Yahoo Finance and USA Today. Expert speakers and calls on relevant entrepreneurial topics from your community members (wellness, marketing, finance, business strategy, social media, sales, etc.)

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