Friday, April 23, 2010

California Food & Fitness

I just returned from an amazing trip to California.  I spent most of my time in Santa Monica and Palm Springs.  I was excited because I was staying at The Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica which is right across from one of the most amazing spas, Exhale Spa, where I attended two of the hardest Core Fusion exercise classes I have ever taken in my life. I literally felt my body being whipped into shape!  I also couldn't pass up the opportunity to take a 90-minute ashtanga yoga class at Bryan Kest's Power Yoga studio right on Santa Monica Boulevard.  I have done his DVDs for years, but to actually be in his studio was incredible.  The calmness of his energy and presence is like no other.

As for food, I was in heaven as organic restaurants were readily available on practically every block.  I ate a few meals at Real Food Daily on Santa Monica Boulevard, which was within walking distance from my hotel.  Much to my surprise, my favorite meal from RFD was called the Real Food Meal consisting of brown rice, steamed kale, marinated seaweed (who knew I would love seaweed so much!), an Asian cole slaw, and steamed vegetables with some delicious peanut sauce.  Mmmm, mmm good!  Twice I also ordered their Sweet Green Juice, which is freshly-juiced cucumber, celery, parsley, and spinach juices with a splash of apple juice (best when ordered with a double-dose of apple juice).  It was a perfect after-yoga replenisher!  I also checked out M Cafe on Melrose Avenue (try their yummy brown-rice-and-veggie burger, The Big Macro) and Urth Caffe on Main Street.
I tried to refrain from doing too much shopping in LA, but it was fun browsing at Lululemon, (a yoga-inspired atheletic apparel store I first discovered in Whistler, British Columbia on my honeymoon a number of years ago), Kitson (a Hollywood go-to boutique on Robertson Avenue), and Lush (a scrumptious skin and body care store).

I was thrilled to discover that my trip renewed my passion for exercising at a level outside of my comfort zone and pushing myself to become The Best Me that I can be, both from a dietary and fitness standpoint.  It was just the jump-start I needed to head into the upcoming Spring and Summer seasons.