If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hair spray and the electric toothbrush. We asked astrologer Chani Nicholas — whose popular astrology app CHANI launched last December — about the books, spices, and electric kettle she can’t live without.
In my forever quest to eat less sugar, these little drops of sour-sweetness are lifesaving. They do have some sugar, but it isn’t cane sugar, so it shouldn’t spike your system in the same way. We always have them on hand, so there’s always something you can grab if you’re running out the door and you’re like, Oh my God, I have nothing in my system. You can take them in the car to get you through traffic in L.A. I probably eat too much of them, but I think they’re very nutrient dense because they’re basically just golden berries and dark chocolate.
This water boiler is life changing. It keeps four liters of water hot at all times. My wife and I were at our friend Jenny Yang’s house for dinner, and we were talking about tea, and I was saying something about how much I drink — I drink it all day long. And my friends were like, “Wait, do you not have one of these?” Jenny had it in her kitchen, and they totally sold me on it. So I came home and bought one immediately. Now it’s the pinnacle of our kitchen. It gives you hot water on demand, and it also has a vacuum seal so it doesn’t use up a lot of energy. Before this, we would be pressing the kettle button, like, 17 times a day. I don’t know how many hours of our lives we used to spend waiting for the kettle to boil. Also, this plays the cutest song when the water is ready.
I try to drink a variety of herbal teas and matcha, but this is my go-to. I was on black tea for a really long time, and now I’m trying to be nicer to my adrenals. I love matcha, but it’s quite thick, and it’s a whole thing to make. So this Oolong has become my mainstay. People are going to totally roll their eyes at me, but I drink Oolong with almond milk and monk-fruit sweetener. So it’s really a black-tea substitute for me, and it’s lovely and not as hard on my adrenals.
I drink my tea in this mug all day long. The Yeti keeps my tea warm, so not only do I have hot water on demand, but I also have hot tea. I can forget it for a long time, and it’s still not cold. We have a whole ceramic-mug collection that I love, but since I discovered this Yeti mug, I haven’t used a ceramic mug in a very long time.
This is a must-read member of the astrology canon and an absolute essential for anybody who wants to go deep into the philosophical roots of traditional astrology. The author, Demetra George, is my teacher. She is one of the most incredible astrologers alive at this moment. In the book, she takes incredibly complex ideologies, theories, and practices and breaks them down into digestible step-by-step approaches. It teaches you the history of how people have related to the cosmos and how we made meaning out of them, and it touches on a lot of the roots and origins of science and math and religions as well.
Kaitlyn Greenidge is such an incredible writer and historian. Anything she’s done I want to read right away because she has always got such poignant little nuggets and I love the way that she looks at life. This new novel is fantastic. Her books are all deeply rooted in history, which is how I am always oriented too. I always want to know what the history of something is. I think at this moment we’re having conversations that weave history into our present-day problems, issues, traumas, and delights in a much deeper, more nuanced way, and this book helps do that in different and intersecting ways.
These spices are incredible. Besides the mission of the company to support farmers in India, which is so important, the actual quality is the best I’ve ever come across. I use them in probably almost every dish I cook — like blackened halibut. For that you just put chilli, oregano, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder on a bottom plate, and then you take a piece of fish wash it, dab it, and roll it through the seasoning. Cook it on a really high heat, and the chilli goes black right away. It’s a really easy dish to make and super-nutritious and yummy.
Abolition is not a new concept, but I think it’s one of the most important ones for us to be thinking about, reading about, talking about, and really trying to understand right now. Mariame Kaba is so brilliant and so clear, and her work is incredibly helpful in pushing us to imagine a different reality where carceral punishment is not at the center of everything we do. This book asks the questions: What kind of world do we actually, truly want to be part of creating? And is the prison-industrial complex, the military-industrial complex, really the solution? It is one of the great resources to help us stretch ourselves and our imaginations toward being more inclusive of a world where we might all have a chance to thrive.
These curated care packages for each zodiac sign include all-natural candles, soaps, and essential oil blends handcrafted by survivors of gender-based violence. Each one is formulated with an astrological understanding of the correlations between certain herbs and smells and the planet that rules that sign. In addition to exclusively selling products made by survivors, the Gifted store is fully operated by survivors making a living wage of $28.85 an hour. I love all its products and use its soaps daily. My wife, Sonya Passi, is the CEO of FreeFrom, and we promote it each month through the CHANI newsletter.
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