Food Is Bringing Sexy Back

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I love food. Everything about it. The experience of walking into a restaurant, breathing in the ambiance, sitting down to look over the menu, and imagining how each dish will taste.  I love the presentation of the food upon it’s arrival, the plate it is served on, and the utensil used to enjoy it. Then of course there is the obvious, how good the food tastes. Nothing beats the first bite of a dish. No matter how many bites come after, it will not taste the same. Therefore I try to savor that first bite every time and stay present in the moment. With that said I wanted to share some of the delicious meals I have had the pleasure of enjoying over the last couple of months. These meals span from Los Angeles up to the Bay area and instead of describing each meal in length, I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

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 One of my favorite neighborhood mexican restaurants. Everything is organic, local, and delightful.

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Homemade Moscow Mules from my best friend, served in authentic copper mugs

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Los Angeles knows how to serve a good chicken salad sandwich. Made with Truffle oil. Need I say more

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Grilled fish tacos, perfect paired with summer sun and a cold beer

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Quinoa, beets, and curry eggplant. Perfect combination

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Brunch with avocado toast and a poached egg

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A light and refreshing simple salad

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Strawberry Rhubarb scones. A treat upon arriving and sitting down at what will now be my new favorite brunch spot in the city

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Arepas, probably my favorite food on the planet. One filled with eggs, one with potatoes, and one with pork, black beans, and plantains. Perfectly split with a friend

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Two words, Shishito Peppers

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Health & Fitness Articles of the Week – 5/25/14

Is This The Reason America Keeps Gaining Weight?– This is a short, but interesting article touching on the biggest factors in the rise of obesity in the United States. Overall researchers say the biggest contributor to obesity gain really comes down to the availability of inexpensive food. Over the decades there has been a constant decline in the average food budget for families. In 1930 1/3rd of a families budget was allocated to food where now it is only 1/10th.

Standing desks sit well with more employees– In the last couple years I have started to see a shift at my office with associates moving over to the standing desks, however those employees are still by far the minority. Personally this is something I have contemplated on switching over to and the more I read on it the more I am getting convinced I should.

For CrossFit fans, it’s as much a state of mind as a style of exercise– I myself have surprisingly have never tried CrossFit, but for those friends and co-workers I know who do CrossFit they always talk about the sense of community that comes with the workout. Is CrossFit a workout or lifestyle?

 Unrealistic dream weight? Dream On– This article poses the question to people is it really possible to get to your dream weigh and maintain it for long term success or do our bodies stop at their set ideal weight. Should we continue to fight against where our body is naturally supposed to be weight wise? “Some people might get down to their dream weight for a short period during the “action phase” of focused dieting but then can’t sustain it because the calorie restrictions are too severe once the body starts defending itself against weight loss.”

Laughter may be the best medicine for age-related memory loss– “A new study finds that humor may reduce brain damage caused by the “stress hormone” cortisol, which in turn, improves memory.” With that said below is one of my favorite Youtube video’s of all time. Hope it makes everyone laugh as much as me and we can all improve our memory!

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Photo from Huff Post

PBWC Conference and Diane Keaton- Say What!

Last week I had the privilege to attend the Professional Business Women of California or PBWC conference in downtown San Francisco through my Women’s Resource Council at work. Overall the PBWC’s goals are to provide business women with greater overall business skills and acumen, a broader group of women to network with, along with inspiring and developing women into their full potential.

I had personally never heard of the PBWC until I was invited to attend the conference, however after reading Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In” I have started to become a big advocate on focusing more on being a woman in business. For this I am not only focusing on using the resources around me to learn ways to progress my career further, but also how within my current position I can help other up and coming young women fulfill their great potential.

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The conference started with a breakfast bright and early at 7:00am which consisted of baked goods, fruit to grab, and coffee. I grabbed a banana and coffee before making my way into the giant lecture room for the opening seminar with a couple of my fellow co-workers. Over 5,000 women showed up to the conference so the room was a packed house!

The first speaker series of the morning started at 8:30am. Over the 2 hours there were several keynote speakers. The first speaker was Congresswoman of California Jackie Speier, followed by Dr. Elizabeth Lindsay and Charlotte Beers who was named “the most powerful woman in advertising.”  Finishing up the morning was Arianna Huffington the editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group.  Over the entire day Arianna ended up being my favorite speaker by far, so I will probably spend the most time writing about her.

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I had just recently seen Arianna speak at an event in San Francisco where she was being interviewed by Sheryl Sandberg and talked about her new book “Thrive”. Arianna was absolutely memorizing the first time I saw her speak and the second time was as equally enthralling. What I like most about Arianna is her emphasis on the importance of something I am a big believer in when it comes to work and life and that is balance. She challenges people to think beyond work and power as success, but evaluate success on a different level, one of which is someone’s wellbeing.  I started reading her book after the first time I saw her speak and so far so good!

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After the first series there were breakout sessions with 10 different options to choose from. I went with the “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds” by Marianne Cooper was the lead researcher for Sheryl Sandberg’s book. She talked about gender, family life, work, and social inequality. Marianne really emphasized on how in America middle and low income women typically are the head of households when it comes to managing the families’ finances and how when a family goes through a financial hardship the women take on all of the financial stress themselves. The lecture was not what I was expecting, but I found it to be interesting and applicable.

Next up was a lunch break followed by another speaker series breakout. For this one I chose “Positioning Yourself for Success” by Luanne Tierney the Vice President of Worldwide Partner Marketing, Juniper Networks. Here Luanne emphasized how in modern business with all of the social media outlets there really is not break between professional and personal life. How now in order to succeed you can’t treat them as separate entities, but instead need to focus on what you want your brand to be. Everything she talked about was definitely suitable to me and I found her to be smart while also entertaining.

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The last part of the day was a panel discussion with various women executives from around the bay area, which after just being on a panel discussion at work it gave me a deep respect for the women up there. It was nice to hear from these successful women how they got to where they are now, what we can do to help ourselves, and how to manage everything work and life throws at you.

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The final speaker of the day was the famous actress Diane Keaton, who is just as cooky and eccentric as most of the characters she plays. Diane has just written a new book entitled “Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty.” I of course ended up having to buy the book, which looks like it is coming in with mixed reviews on amazon, and waited in line to get it signed. After the book signing there was a wine reception, which of course I had to partake in. Overall the day was a great one filled with inspiring and motivational women, something I myself strive to be.

Wanderlust- A day of bending, stretching, and yoga in the park

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Saturday one of my dear friends Jaclyn arranged a day of fun and yoga in the sun at the Wanderlust Yoga in the City Festival down on the Marina Green in San Francisco. Now you might be asking yourself what is Wanderlust? Wanderlust is a yoga festival where the core mission is to create a community around mindful living and leading a healthy life. This is done through focusing on practicing yoga first and foremost, eating well, building purpose, mindfulness, and self awareness while also enjoying music and art. The festivals are offered in 4 day retreats, single day retreats, or the city experience where it brings a taste of the festival to us city dwellers for an afternoon.

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Jaclyn and I decided to do the first class of the day which started at 12:30. Two local yoga teachers alternated teaching through the hour long class, with one instructing the first 30 minutes followed by the second.  Staring across the green grass yogi’s and their mats were lined up in rows upon rows facing towards the front of the stage.  The instructor would speak into the microphone overhead giving out commands and directing us into the desired poses. Tranquil music played in the background creating a relaxing environment.

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Now it has been a little while since I have practiced yoga and with the wind from the bay stronger then ever it created a whole new challenge. Let’s just say I found holding my poses to be not as graceful as I would have hoped.  Our teacher kept encouraging us to be in the moment, to embrace the outdoors, and be one with our environment. I tried my best, but when your mat keeps flying up and hitting you in the leg it makes mindfulness a little more difficult.

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When the hour class was all said and done and I was lying on my back, my arms and legs spread out, eyes closed, and was breathing deeply in the marina air, I finally felt relaxed and one in the moment. So ultimately I think I achieved what Wanderlust had set out for it’s intention, a day of focusing on myself and enjoying being outside.

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After we finally made our way up from Shavasana we decided to go check out the vendor’s and sponsor’s booths. Now let me just say I love swag. Any kind of free stuff whether it is a key chain, t-shirt, or sample of food it will always makes me happy. This event had some great sponsor’s who really went all out. Kashi was offering bowls of cereal and milk (which we know I am addicted to) along with granola bars for an after yoga food fix, Health had free magazines of their latest issue for everyone to take, and resource water had huge bottles of water and very soft and stylish t-shirts. All in all I made out like a bandit!

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Wanderlust in the city is not exclusive to San Francisco, so I highly recommend going and checking their website out to see if there is an event coming near you. It is a free and you cant beat a day in the sun with like minded people, all serving a purpose of connecting with yourself and nature.

 

Health & Fitness Articles of the Week – 5/17/14

How does Facebook affect our sense of belonging? With the mass use of social networking sites I thought this article would be applicable and interesting to most of us. The various studies show different conclusions, but in the latest  study they summarize “Findings suggest that it is communication, rather than simple use, that is key in producing a sense of belonging. When sharing or feedback is restricted, belonging suffers.”

Does Skinny Equal Healthy?  We always think about being overweight or obese as un-healthy, but this article brings up some good questions on if being too skinny is just as un-healthy. “It turns out that while it’s generally healthier to be slimmer than fatter, skinniness doesn’t guarantee health. There are caveats (tons) and exceptions to the rule (that isn’t really even a rule). Skinny does not necessarily equal healthy. There is such a thing as “too skinny” – for everyone”

Outdoor Exercise is more Beneficial than Indoor for Children: Study Some of my favorite childhood memories came from playing tag and capture the flag outside with the other neighborhood kids. It is interesting to see a correlation to playing outside and increased activity with children. It just makes sense. “Findings showed that children who spent more time outdoors were more likely to be physically active when compared to those who spent more time outdoors.”

Life expectancy up worldwide; Japanese women live longest Looking at the top 10 countries for life expectancy for both women and men  most are located either in Europe or Asia. Makes me wonder what can we incorporate in our daily lives from these cultures to help out with our health?

 Trendy workouts rejuvenate old fitness routines–  In an age where people are short on time and money they are going back to the core basics of working out. This article highlights the re-emerging popularity of fitness tools and exercises like jump ropes, kettlebells, dumbbells, group step fitness classes, and basic running. When you know something works why not stick with it.

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Photo from Huff Post

 

Mom’s Homemade Carrot Cookie Recipe

Growing up I can always remember my mom’s carrot cookies. I can’t specifically remember any occasion that would call for them, but when she surprised my brother and I with a batch it always brought a feeling of joy, comfort, and warmth to me. However no matter how great this surprise was nothing beat actually being able to make the cookies with my mom in the kitchen, for those are probably some of my most cherished childhood memories involving food.

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 The first thing we would do is grab the vintage Pyrex mixing bowls out of the cabinet, a gift mom and dad received the year they were married back in 1970. To this day vintage Pyrex are the only bowls I can use to mix in, otherwise cooking just does not feel the same to me. My set is from the flea market and every time I grab them it reminds me of my moms.

After setting out our tools we would precisely measure and pour all of the ingredients carefully into the bowl and I would use a giant wood spoon to gradually turn the batter over and over again until it was blended just right. Of course my favorite part of this whole experience was just after everything had been mixed taking the spoon and licking the batter completely off of it. I would then use my finger and wipe my way around the bowl’s rim to make sure and get every last drop I could.

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 Next my mom and I would carefully place small dollops of the batter onto the greased cookie sheet making sure each cookie was just the right size before placing it into the warm oven.  I remember just waiting in anticipation for the timer to go off. Staring at it as if it would make the time go faster. Once the buzzer would sound my mom would pull the cookies out and take her spatula and place each one out onto the newspaper we had laid out in order for them to cool off.  On a cold Colorado winter day nothing beats warm cookies coming straight from the oven. I hated the 10 minutes I would have to wait till they were cool enough to eat.   However after all of the waiting it was always worth it. The moment the warm cookie touched my lips I could taste the sweetness from the coconut, the hint of vanilla which gave it just a little something extra, the richness from the butter, and just the overall chewy deliciousness that were them.

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These cookies are not the healthiest per say, however life has to be about these small doses of enjoyment. These are the memories that stick with us as adults and become our comfort on a cold day. Just one taste as an adult brings you right back to the place you enjoyed them as a child. The tricky part is learning how to appreciate them in moderation, something I personally have struggled my whole life with. Last night after a hard day and needing to decide what to make for a for bake sale fundraiser at work I finally landed on the idea that I needed a little comfort in my night and so I decided the carrot cookies were in order. Below is my mom’s original recipe, I hope you all enjoy them as much as I have over the years!

Carrot Cookie Recipe

1 cup. flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp soda
1/2 cup. white sugar
1/2 cup. brown sugar (use less of both sugars if desired)
1/2 tsp vanilla (I used lemon as I was out of vanilla and it tasted amazing)
1 egg
1/2 cup. grated carrots (I used the pre-grated ones from Trader Joes. Quick and Easy)
3/4 cup. rolled oats
1/4 cup. wheat germ
1/2 cup. coconut
1/2 cup. butter or margarine (I used 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup un-sweetened applesauce to cut calories)

Combine dry ingredients.Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla.
Stir in rest of ingredients

Bake 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Makes 4 dozen

Health & Fitness Articles of the Week – 5/11/14

Happy Sunday everyone! Below is this weeks article roundup, enjoy!

‘Fed Up’ Asks, Are All Calories Equal? – This article touches on the popular subject right now of childhood obesity. I for one am very passionate about this subject and definitely want to see the documentary. You can tell from the movie trailer though that this documentary has a very strong point of view. Some of the scary facts I took away were in two decades 95% of the American population will be either overweight or obese and by 2050 one third of the population will have diabetes.  Something to think about…..

Could a Few Beers a Week Cut a Woman’s RA Risk– If only alcohol was the cure for everything! However like anything else that seems to good to be true, the article states this is merely a correlation with alcohol consumption and arthritis reduction, but can not be relied on for cause and effect.  “Long-term moderate alcohol drinking appeared to reduce the risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis, Lu said. But drinking a few beers per week seemed to have the best effect, providing a 31 percent reduction in risk.”

Life With a Dog: You Meet People– For all of us who are pet owners it is nice to read the various benefits of being a dog owner. This article is more or less a feel good piece with some health and medical finding’s added in. “Studies of the health ramifications have strongly suggested that pets, particularly dogs, can foster cardiovascular health, resistance to stress, social connectivity and enhanced longevity.”

Too much protein in middle age ‘as bad as smoking’– If you are anything like me then you grew up being told to make sure and eat enough protein. I for one have never been a huge meat eater, so I have to work to balance my protein intake through other foods like beans, lentils, greek yogurt, eggs, and tofu.  This article challenges the idea of how much protein we really need to consume in our diet and shows research on how eating it in excess can actually be bad for you.

Why Does Your Willpower Wane? And 7 Tips to Pump Up Your Willpower Muscle– Willpower is an interesting concept and the study has some great findings. Regardless on the verdict I think the 7 tips are really worthwhile to look at. “Does willpower get used up if you push it too much, or is it all in your mind? According to the American Psychological Association, there is a robust body of evidence to support that willpower may in fact be a limited resource.

 

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Photo from Huffpost

 

Saturday Morning Farmers Market- When Pictures Are Better Than Words

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Happy Saturday everyone! After having two back to back weeks of work travel and then a week with commitments almost everyday after work I decided I  needed a “me” morning to myself.  Now if you have never done a “me” morning before let me just say first you need to. “Me” mornings are those mornings where everything is focused on what you want to do. No obligations, no watch, nothing has to get done, just time to enjoy the simple things in life that make you happy. These mornings can be the most therapeutic for me personally and are a great way to re-charge your life battery.

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For me that meant starting my day by sleeping in with no alarm clock. I woke up to the sun creeping in through the curtains, feeling the slight coolness from the slow morning breeze, all while being tucked under the warmth of my comforter.  Leisurely I got up and slowly started my day. Once I made it from my sleeping cocoon I took the dog for a walk and then proceeded to go on a run. My initial thought was to just do 5 miles, but today I had the running gods with me and it just felt easy. With no commitments or obligations I decided to just keep going until my body decided it was done. That ended up being a little over an hour (66 minutes to be exact) and 10.10 miles.

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After my run a shower and getting ready was in order. After an intense exercise nothing is as calming and rejuvenating as a long hot shower. There is also something so nice to not have to worry about being ready by a certain time and just being able to enjoy the moment. Part of my “me” day also consisted of wearing my weekend clothes. You know that ratty old t-shirt and torn up comfy jeans that are perhaps not work appropriate, but for a Saturday morning they are just what you want to wear and make you feel good the moment you slip both on. I hope everyone has a weekend outfit that gives them the same satisfaction!

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Next I decided to grab a cup of coffee at my local joint and make my way to the neighborhood farmers market. Let me just say I love going to the farmers market. Strolling through the crowd, seeing what people are excited about, tasting everything I possibly can, the vibrant colors, the sweet smells from the fruit, and just getting inspired by wholesome food. Cherries and Strawberries are in season right now and the market was full of them! The strawberries below were some of the sweetest and most delicious ones I have tasted in a long time. I left the market with 2 very full bags of fresh produce.

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The morning ended with me heading back  home and making a delicious breakfast to enjoy while reading some news articles, which you will all see tomorrow! I sat at my dinner table over looking the window and enjoyed another cup of coffee, some overnight oats (a mixture of yogurt and oats), fresh cherries and strawberries from the market, and a piece of whole wheat toast with my friend Jaclyn’s homemade jam on top. My mission was accomplished, my “me” morning put me into a relaxed place and was a great way to end my week.

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May Book Review- Lean In Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

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It  was about 8 months ago I started to hear the buzz around my office on a new book poised for women and challenging the idea of equality in the workplace.  I for one have never stopped to think about myself specifically as being a woman in corporate america and what that actually means.  I have been blessed to work in an environment where I have had many inspiring women leading and paving the way ahead of me. Along those lines I have also been fortunate enough to have been recognized and rewarded for my hard work with 4 promotions in less than 7 years. However I am still a woman in business and I have strong goals and aspirations, so I decided it might not be a bad idea to read the book with all of the word of mouth by current COO of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg.

If you look up reviews on “Lean In” you are most likely going to find a mixed bag of thoughts and feelings. Some have found Sheryl’s point of view on how women need to challenge themselves and to step more into leadership roles within the workforce as coming from a place of privilege. That she is out of touch with the common woman and mother.  Her critics pose the question of if it was not for her affluent upbringing and being able to afford to go to Harvard would she be where she is today? The challenges continue into her current position of prosperity and  without her current wealth would not be feasible to balance work and family the way she does?  Although I respect the opinions above they are not what I took out of the book. I landed on the side with most of the other reviewer’s which is women must take control of their own career and feel just as empowered as men or anyone else for what they deserve.

For those of you who have not heard of the book the premise as stated by the publisher is  this “Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.”

Reading through there where some thoughts Sheryl touched on that really resonated with me.  The first being how as a women we tend to question ourselves more and because of this make our voices less heard and therefore speak up less often. We tend to question our ability to be able to do something, we need proof we will succeed before we start instead of just jumping in head first and knowing we will. For myself  this really ringed true. I have never been one to speak loudly. In school I would not be the one raising my hand to answer a question. When getting into the working world I have always been the beilever if you work hard people will notice and you will get compensated. With every career advancement I have started to do the job prior to going into it. This always has made me feel more comfortable, confident, and frankly deserving of the promotion. While reading Sheryl’s book it does make you step back and think is this how a man would approach the same situation?

Sheryl also talks about how it is not solely up to women to lean in more at work, but in order to be successful you need a partner at home who is willing to help equally as well. Sheryl states “The single most important career decision that a woman makes is whether she will have a life partner and who that partner is.” The idea behind this is if you don’t have someone at home willing to play an equal role and support your ambition it will make balancing your work and personal goals more difficult. Personally growing up and watching my parents who have always been equals when it came to work and the home, I have to say this is one point I do agree with. I think in order for anyone to succeed regardless of sex they need a great support system. Sheryl really challenges women to try roles outside or their comfort zone, in order to succeed woman must allow themselves to fail, and a women should not question whether she can have it all, but know she can.

Overall I would recommend this read. I feel the book brought up a lot of thought provoking questions and made me step outside of my normal line of thinking and look at being a woman in business from a more macro perspective. I think this book is great for any woman who values career, but also wants to balance it with her personal life. I feel this book is also a great read for men. Not only does Sheryl just offer good career advice, but she also poses the question of what can men do to help make sure woman are getting equal opportunities,how can they do their part to support an equal work environment? The biggest takeaway for me as a newer leader of a larger team at work is “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”

Los Angeles Studio Run Down

Kinetic Cycling

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One of my go to group fitness classes, especially when traveling, is spinning. Not only is it the best way to get a major cardio session in, but I have found it is one type of class that is very different depending on what studio you are at. Soul Cycle, Flywheel, 24-hour fitness, Worlds Gym, they all have a completely different format and approach to spinning. Of course the more boutique spinning classes are edgier and unique, which is why I wanted to give a new studio a try when I went to visit.  Kinetic Cycling ended up being my studio of choice. It is located in the charming area of Brentwood which was about 15 minutes away from my where I was staying at my girlfriends place in Culver City.  Walking up to the studio it is located in a typical LA shopping center and at first impression one would think there is nothing special about this typical suburbia mall.

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Walking in I was first greeted by the instructor who had to be one of the happiest people I have ever met! Upon learning it was my first time at the studio he proceeded to advise me that before  we could do anything I needed to introduce myself first. After introductions he gave me a huge hug and smile. This of course put me right at ease and I was ready to get my spin on. Now what makes Kinetic Cycling stand out from other spinning studios out there is not the ambiance of the place, as walking in the ambiance is pretty bare bones and basic. Rather it is the premise of the class, spinning while the music video’s of the songs playing are streaming in front of you.

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Once on my bike and the time hit 9:30 the  music came on and Usher was all of a sudden singing and dancing in front of me. The  lights started to  flash from hot pink, to blue, to green, to purple and continued in this fashion all throughout the 45 minute ride. In front of us our fearless leader started the charge and we were all immersed in the television screen behind him. Talk about a great way to zone out when you are starting those hills! After about 10 minutes into the ride and  just when I thought our instructor could not get any more enthusiastic he all of a sudden jumped off his bike, grabbed a microphone, and preceded to walk around the room cheering us on and giving is high fives, talk about a great tactic to keep you motivated and engaged.

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Towards the end of class when my legs were burning and I was cursing the fact that I made myself get up early for this, it was as if the instructor knew we needed something a little more. It was here we were told that we were no longer racing for ourselves, but we were doing it for one another. We had to decide then and there to continue on and push through to help our fellow neighbor.  If that does not make you want to push yourself harder, I don’t know what will!

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All in all this class was not only a great workout, but the sense of team work and motivation was off the charts. I would highly recommend this place for anyone starting an adventure in spinning. There was every age, sex, and type of person in my class which also helped in the feeling of this is a people’s spin class with an edge.  They currently have a groupon deal out to try 5 classes for $45, which is pretty cheap!

The Main Barre

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Surprise, surprise I had to of course try an LA Barre class while I was visiting. For this one I enlisted my best friend Melissa. The class was bright and early Saturday morning and located in LA’s emerging downtown area. This area is very similar to San Francisco’s Financial District. It is very busy during the work week, but desolate come the weekend. Our class was bright and early at 9:30 am, which would normally not be a problem for me at all. However the only obstacle we had not factored in with this early morning start time was the bottle of wine we each consumed the night before. However we still managed to make it on time and get our Barre on!

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The studio was located in an old, vintage  building with early 1920’s elevators and a grande marble spiral staircase. We made our way up to the top floor and walked into a quaint and quintessential  barre studio.  Hard wood floors stretched out in front of us with  large bay windows overlooking the downtown financial buildings. Looking outside one could see the streets lined with pops of Palm Trees guiding the roads, making it feel very LA From the minute I walked in I felt at home and at ease. For those of you from San Francisco it had a very similar feel and vibe to Yoga for the People in the Mission District.

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Our instructor was tall, blonde, friendly, and natural, which all fitted with her big grin and effortlessness in teaching. She had a demeanor which made you feel like you had been friends for years.  The class was a great workout. It was similar to many of the Barre classes I have taken before where you start with warm up, move onto hand weights, followed by a set focused on glutes and thighs, and then rounding it out with abs. The workout was challenging, but easy to follow.

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Overall what I loved about this place is it very Los Angeles. It is not a chain studio and that independent feeling is shown through the entire experience. In terms of pricing they have a deal for your first time trying the class where you can buy one class and get one free for $20, which if you take barre consistently know that $10 a class is really not a bad deal. If I lived in LA this might be my studio of choice. However I think I will have to try a few more various studios out before I fully commit to that statement. Either way I am hoping I can make it back prior to my second class expiring. If not Melissa is a lucky lady with a bonus class to try!