Dog Day LA
About 2 1/2 years ago a beautiful black and white Husky became part of my everyday. Had to. His crystal blue eyes and lovable heart drew me in instantly. As it turns out, having a furry son in Los Angeles is quite lovely. Even at the Beverly Center you will see furry companions shopping along side their owners. I mean, come on, pups gotta love a little visit to Bloomingdales too.
I especially love to hike and dine with my sweetie boy next to me and Blue is a very graceful one, demonstrating his joy in downward dog and back leg extensions on the daily. Out on the town, he makes sure he gives as many hugs as he can, filling the city with just a little more love. Hiking and clean eating help him maintain his healthy physique. You can find him prancing on Fryman Canyon off of Lauren Canyon, Runyon Canyon in Hollywood and his absolute fave, the fabulous trail off Mandeville Canyon Fire Road in the Santa Monica Mountains. Each of these trails allows your pup buddy to be leash free (most of the time) and get the proper exercise they need. Hiking with your animal absolutely benefits you and them. You can count on both of you sleeping better and improving your cardiovascular health, all while soaking up some necessary sunshine and the ever needed vitamin D. Oh wait, and let’s not forget, Leo Carrillo Beach in Malibu, with a separate area for dogs to sunbath, run free in the ocean or chill under a shady area on the sand. It is beyond awesome!
And after your glorious west side romp, an absolute must to rejuvenate the system is a rockin’ smoothie from Juice Crafters in Brentwood, or the Palisades. One of my go-to’s is their Divine Start or Pacific Love. Full of yummy nourishment to balance out the body and soul. And I love that Blue sits out with me on the bench while the deliciousness gets whipped up.
And yo, there are 187 restaurants that are dog friendly, just another awesome reason why I love LA! Just to name a few of our favorites, SAGE in Culver City, LE PAIN QUOTIDIEN on Roberston, ALCOVE in Los Feliz and EREWHON by The Grove.
What a blessing to be able to grab a bite and not to have to worry or be without your furry child. Feeling so grateful for the animal friendly support Los Angeles. Big love.
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Workout Wednesdays: Aerial Yoga
Are you bored with the elliptical? Sure there are times I just want to throw on my sneakers and go for a run, or hit the yoga studio for some straightforward flow, but sometimes the thrill-seeker in me craves something different. Fusion is a huge buzzword in fitness right now, and there’s something to tickle everyone’s fancy. From Pound (cardio with drumsticks), to Piloxing (blending Pilates, boxing, and dance), to SURFSET (sculpting while simulating surfing), even Animal Flow (think: If Parkour, break-dancing, and gymnastics, mated with primal animal movements). When it comes to workouts, I’ll pretty much try anything, therefore when I saw Pink’s performance at this year’s Grammy awards, I knew I’d found my next athletic adventure…Aerial Yoga.
Don’t let the name intimidate you, you don’t have to be a Cirque du Soleil performer to give this workout a whirl. Also often called suspension or anti-gravity yoga, this class takes yoga poses to new heights, as you wrap your body in a silk hammock that hangs from the ceiling. While I consider myself to be relatively strong and agile, I was amazed at how challenging even the foundations-level Aerial Yoga class was. It requires both upper-body and core strength, flexibility, and guts! At one point, the teacher asked us to do a backflip to come out of the swing we created with the fabric, and I’m sure I looked at her like she had 3-heads; but, with a little coaxing I tried it, and it was so liberating, and FUN!
We practiced traditional yoga poses with a twist, like plank with our hands on the mat, but our feet suspended in the fabric, and downward facing with the fabric wrapped around our hips to take the pressure off the hands and feet; but, my favorite poses by far were the inversions. While I love a good, grounded headstand or handstand, it’s amazing how it feels to take the physical effort out of it, and just hang freely. I felt my spine gently stretching, and I swear when I stood up after class, I was at least ½ an inch taller.
Ready to turn your world upside down? Check out an Aerial Yoga class near you. I highly recommend OM Factory Flight School in NYC (shout out to my amazing teacher, Kristina Cubrilo), but classes are offered across the country, even worldwide! So go ahead and flip your perspective.
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Tuesday Treat: Raw & Vegan Yogurt
Raw and Vegan Yogurt
I recently completed a 2 week cleanse, and one of the many healthy habits I picked up was improving the nutritional content of my breakfast! I fell into the rut of “I’m too busy to eat anything other than a protein bar” and am so glad this cleanse got me out of it!
Here is my favorite breakfast starter- raw and vegan yogurt. I make it on Sundays for the week, toss individual servings into mason jars, and then throw my toppings in on my way out the door! I add nuts, seeds, grain-free granola, fresh or dried berries, maca powder, etc. The possibilities are endless!
Makes about 5 servings
½ cup of raw almonds
½ cup of raw cashew pieces
~3 cups of water
1 cup of dates
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
Directions: Soak your almonds & cashews overnight. Drain and rinse them, and place them with the rest of the ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Top with servings of your choice!
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Real Food for Real Health
Our Shred415 clients work so hard to look good in their Splits59 clothes—they run, do countless squats and bicep curls, and maintain a consistent exercise routine—but while classes are a huge part of fitness, there’s another, equally important aspect of staying healthy that I see too many people overlook their diet.
I didn’t realize how important my own diet was until four years ago, when I learned I had a dairy and egg allergy. I’d had hives on and off for eight years, and in all that time I didn’t put together that what I was putting in my body might be the cause of all my discomfort. The day the doctors discovered my allergies, I cried. I loved cheese! I didn’t want to give it up! But I decided to put my health first, and now if I eat dairy or eggs, not only do I get hives but I feel generally crummy, and I’m not myself again for a week or even sometimes a whole month.
Tracy, my co-owner at Shred415, has food sensitivities of her own: She can’t eat onion or garlic, and gets sick whenever she does.
It’s so important to pay attention to what you are eating and how your body is reacting. I’m convinced that plenty of people are just like me—walking around with food allergies without even realizing it. They think feeling sluggish after every meal, or breaking out into hives, is normal. I certainly did. But once I stopped eating eggs and dairy, I couldn’t believe how much more energy I had. I suddenly felt like the best version of myself. I lost six pounds in three weeks. That’s how much those foods were weighing me down.
Take a moment after your next meal to pay attention to how you feel. Trust your body and your instincts—don’t ignore a bad stomachache or indigestion. If you think something isn’t sitting well with you, it probably isn’t.
Of course, allergies and other food sensitivities aren’t the only reason to pay attention to what you eat. It’s also about making sure your body is getting the right foods to fuel your lifestyle. Foods that are real, and not just processed chemicals. A decade ago, I never looked at food labels, but now that I do, I’m appalled at some of the ingredients in the snacks I was eating. Grocery stores are lined with chips, sweets and other processed foods that make us feel like crap—and we don’t even realize it!
I’m not saying a person shouldn’t enjoy a burger and fries every now and then. I still love to indulge! But no matter how hard you work at fitness, it matters what you put into your body. Tracy and I both eat several small meals throughout the day to keep our energy up and our bodies feeling good. We buy lots of pre-made meals at Whole Foods, where we can recognize all the ingredients, and we know that it’s all freshly made. And we’ve never felt better!
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A Fit Bit from Carly
Quality over Calorie
I am the first to admit that I have fallen victim to purchasing the “100 calorie” snack packs or cereal bars. They are cheap and look appealing. The problem is, most of these snack packs are highly processed. They are almost entirely comprised of simple carbohydrates that are broken down by the body too fast. This type of food will NOT promote optimal cell function. Also, processed snacks contain little fiber, protein, or healthy fat, which all help to control hunger.
Instead of the snack pack, opt for a large apple (also around 100 calories). The apple is packed full of Vitamin C, fiber, folate and potassium which are necessary for muscle contraction. Apples also have Vitamin B6, thiamin, and riboflavin which all aid healthy metabolism.
Your body will perform better when it is well fueled. When we eat real, minimally processed foods, our body signals to us when we have had enough nutrients (not enough calories). Always go for lean proteins, fresh vegetables and fruit when you have the option.
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