Make Out Every Day? Yes, Please!!

I am sure you read this title and thought, okay…what on earth is this going to be about? Sorry folks, I am actually NOT going to talk about making out (which is fun, but that’s a whole other blog post!), this post is regarding a very cute and chic incognito cafe I happened upon while walking to a workout class in Culver City.

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Make Out is nestled in the heart of Culver City, in between the Archlight Culver City and the historic Culver Hotel. I say it is incognito because the location is rather small and it is easier to find walking by then to drive around looking for it. I was headed to a workout class, as I mentioned, and I was feeling rather tired and needed a pick me up. I walked into this cute little cafe hoping to find something caffeinated, and indeed I did, and much more.

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Preceding this cafe was the raw/live food restaurant M.A.K.E, which was raw chef Matthew Kenney’s dining experience located on the top floor of Santa Monica Place until it closed in June of 2015. Make Out came along to cater to the growing demand of plant based whole foods and makes this type of food more accessible in an everyday setting. The name is supposed to align with “sexy” food.

I did not sample any of the actual sexy food at this cafe, but the desserts look heavenly. They have everything from raw cheesecakes, to macaroons and raw chocolate truffles. Raw sushi, flatbreads and wraps are included in their savory delights.

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I guess I should get back to my point of needing a pre-workout pick me up. This cafe sells cold brew coffee or chai with different medicinal herbs added to it. A very cool, unique (and hipster, I admit) concept, however, I am intrigued.

While they have different juices, smoothies and kombuchas on tap, a smoothie with avocado and almond milk can be found at many juice/smoothie bars nowadays. Make Out has something very unique they call Latte Potions. So a person can chose, again, a chai or cold brewed coffee with coconut oil and coconut nectar or honey, and then there are six different potions you can choose from to add. Different coffees have different physical and emotional intentions based upon their names. There is the Make Out, Geek Out, Bliss Out, Work Out, Chill Out and Shroom Out.

I chose the Work Out. My coffee had Tocos, Eucommia Bark, Cordyceps and Astragalus in it. Some of you may be familiar with these herbs, but for those who are not, here is a short de-briefing…

Tocos-a very potent source of vitamin E, contributes to healthy skin and liver, Kosher and non-GMO, delicious in smoothies and desserts.

Eucommia Bark-used to treat lower body pain and weakness in the bones.

Cordycepsknown for strengthening the immune system, improving athletic performance, reducing the effects of aging.

Astragalus-is said to increase blood flow and speed up healing and fight bacteria, but there is not enough scientific evidence to determine its efficiency.

A few other herbs found in some of the other drinks…

He Shou Wu-a good source of iron, helps maintain strength and stability in the lower back and knees, promotes healthy aging process.

Pine Pollen-good for hormonal support, brain food, supports and detoxifies the liver and can be a natural aphrodisiac.

As for how much of these herbs is put into each coffee or chai, it is all mixed up into a potion (hence Latte Potions!) and the amounts are measured out and safe for consumption. You can get your drink iced or warm. I got mine warm, apparently if it is too hot it can destroy the effects of some of the herbs.

I downed my potion before I finished my walk to the class and I did feel revived and ready to get my workout going. At 7 dollars a coffee, I can honestly say this would be a once in awhile indulgence, but I suppose it is something anyone could try at home given the right tools (and you can buy most of these herbs online) and the desire.

The Sun Sets On Another Year…A Birthday Love Story Of Sorts From Kauai

Since I started this website, I have gotten into the habit of writing a little something every year right before my birthday. Two years ago, I lay on my bed writing a reflection before I went to dinner with two of my best friends and boyfriend at the time. Last year, I was also on my bed, planning a last minute shindig with a few friends after the travel plans I made fell through. That party ended up being a lot of fun. It is interesting to see who will be there for you last minute. In a city like Los Angeles, not too many people can come to a party in a week’s notice. That party did end up being one of the most fun I have had yet, not to mention the delicious red velvet cake.

A friend of mine once said to me one of her favorite things about me as a friend was that she loved my ability to be honest and admit fault. I know that sounds odd, and she didn’t say it in those exact words, but what she meant was, I am the type of person, when I do something that isn’t right, I admit it. I will admit being negative, or saying something shitty, or doing something I knew was wrong. Some people dodge those things, but I don’t. In the end she didn’t stick around as a friend. I will admit openly that I think it was my fault, but she never let me actually tell her that.

My point of sharing this little story is that by now, entering the ripe kinda old-but-not age of 38, I have done my share of the wrong thing. I have been a bad friend. I have been mean to my family. I have turned my head away from someone who might have needed help. I have been lazy when I should have worked harder. I have stayed in the wrong relationships just to have someone around. I have been negative when I should have just kept my mouth shut.

I thought perhaps my accumulations of wrongdoings were going to keep me from ever having things I wanted in the future. I had started my career, I was starting to do things I enjoyed, but even that has had its ebbs and flows. I remember crying at my birthday party last year, because even though all these wonderful friends came out last minute for me, there was something missing. There was a void that no career move, no amount of money, no friend, could fill.

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One year later, I am writing this birthday reflection from a balcony oceanside in Poipu Beach in Kauai. It is dark, but I can hear still hear the ocean and smell the salt water and see the fire from the tiki torches lit around the premises. Even though I have been wrong and done the wrong thing many times, I was still able to get something I have always desired.

Sitting next to me is my partner and first real love. I’ve been waiting for him for 37 years. And I know he would drop everything in a minute’s notice for me. I apologize in advance if this sounds cheesy or makes you want to vomit, but I have wished for him just like many other women wish for their life partner. People say to just do you and someone will come into your life when you least expect, but that didn’t work for me. I looked for him, I didn’t wait for him to find me. Then I met him about 6 months ago and like people say, it just happened. It really did. He called me and asked me out. I didn’t have to play games. He told me he didn’t want me to date anyone else. He told me he missed me. He told me he was crazy about me. Three months in, in the middle of the night, he told me he loved me. A little before the fourth month he moved in. I went on a trip during the fifth month and when I came home he had printed all the pictures he had of us and framed them. The sixth month, he surprised me with the birthday trip of a lifetime, 9 days in Kauai.

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So here we are. “We” not “I”. “Ours” not “Mine”. It took some time to get used to. I got scared so many times, thinking about the past, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Of course there are no promises, but I am so in love with this amazing, generous, loving, fun, funny and sweet human being. He lifts me up every day, and although you do have to love yourself first there is no greater feeling in the world for me than to feel this kind of love from another. He fills my heart with joy every time I look into his eyes and spending this birthday with him, calling each other by our silly nicknames, driving around the island of Kauai, listening to music and singing at the top of our lungs, kissing and holding hands. This is what was missing in my life.

So here’s to another year. I’ve learned this year that it is okay to do the wrong thing, because it might just lead you in the right direction. It is okay to look for whatever you think is missing in your life. Chances are it is not going to fall into your lap. It is okay to do the wrong thing, because you’re human, and as cliche as it sounds, you learn from your mistakes and eventually you get better at things like career paths, friendships and intimate relationships.

 

 

 

CLASS PASS SERIES-When All Those Classes Wear You Down…

They tried to make me go to rehab…and I said, yes, yes, YES!  (I hope you all get that little side joke)

An hour a day or exercise may seem like just a regular daily occurrence for yours truly, but as I have gotten older, I do notice that doing something active every day, especially if it is intense, takes a toll on my body. I might get tightness in my back, shoulders, hips and/or knees, or I might just feel worn-down and irritable. Either way, I need to spend some time recovering.

My favorite way to recover is usually with a sports or Thai massage, both of which are deeper tissue styles of massage/bodywork. However, today after a class, I remembered seeing a picture of a fellow Class Pass goer that involved a sports recovery center called Great Earth Sports Performance. Located in Brentwood, California off of San Vicente, the GESP, as it is called, is a specialized facility with high end technology.

The Class Pass deal for this location is 20 minutes using NormaTec Compression. NormaTec Compression is a dynamic compression device specifically designed for recovery and rehab. This technology is supposed to help athletes recovery more quickly after performance and between training sessions.

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There are different attachments that go on the legs, hips and arms, but at this location for the 20 minute session, the session just includes the leg attachments. It uses compressed air to massage your limbs and increase circulation with a patented massage pattern. I won’t go into details about the massage pattern, but if you want to know more about it, click here.

When I arrived, the man who runs the GESP store was there and he had me check in. As soon as he saw I was from Class Pass, he guided me to a chair and asked me how tall I am. Based off of that, he brought me the correct size compression leggings to wear. I removed my shoes and put them on. Then he turned on the machine and slowly I felt my feet, then my calves, then my quads being compressed in a pulsing manner, then released. At first lightly, then pressure got more intense. It is supposed to really help with muscle repair and recovery. After my session, I feel relaxed, but I am pretty sure you need to do this more than once to really get results. Also, the prices are not listed online or in the brochure. I didn’t ask, but my guess is that it is not cheap.

During my NormaTec session, I noticed two spaceship looking capsules on the other side of the room. These are used for a process called CVAC (Cyclic Variations in Adaptive Conditioning). Apparently going into one of these capsules for between 5-20 minutes (you adjust the time the more you go as you get used to it) can improve a person’s endurance and performance naturally by improving recovery. The process creates an atmospheric workload that challenges the body using changes in air pressure. I was able to go inside a capsule for 5 minutes and you can definitely feel the pressure change. These session are meant to allow a person to continue to gain improvement in energy production even on rest days. This process helps prevent wear and tear on the body as well. After my session I felt slightly more tired than normal, but otherwise not much different. You can read more about the CVAC process here.

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Again, if you are on ClassPass, you can get the NormaTec compression procedure done up to three times in a month, so it is worth trying out if you are really sore from all your workouts and have the time. If you really enjoy the procedure, inquire about packages at the store.

Great Earth Sports Performance

11640 San Vicente Boulevard.

Los Angeles, CA 90049

CLASS PASS SERIES-Run, Reform, Repeat!!

As you may already know I am a huge fan of these combination classes certain studios have on ClassPass. There are a few with spin (cycle) and pilates, one with spin and TRX and one with TRX and boxing I have been to, and they were all pretty cool. So someone mentioned Fitmix on La Brea and said I would love it, so I made a point to try it out.

This studio is located on the corner of La Brea and Clinton in the West Hollywood area. Be careful looking for it because I passed it a few times. There are 3 first come, first serve parking spaces. If you can’t snag one of those, you can park at a meter or on a residential street, but make sure you READ THE SIGNS.

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As soon as you enter the studio you will be greeted by a row of treadmills. Then, off to your right, you will see 10 customized pilates reformers. On your left, past the treadmills, are bathrooms. If you look upstairs past the treadmills, the Fitmix studio has a little lounge area. I didn’t go up and check it out, but I like the idea. It makes the studio as a whole more welcoming.

I actually recognized the instructor of this class as the instructor of a spin class I recently took. A very friendly female, so I was immediately excited to take the class. Not to mention, other class goers were chatty and friendly, and that always makes a workout a little more pleasant, in my opinion.

Fit Mix has two class options. One is endurance pilates, which is an entire class strength training and core stabilization moves on the pilates reformers. The other class is called the Mashup, which is 25 minutes of cardio intervals on the treadmills and then 30 minutes of endurance pilates. I signed up for the mashup class, since I wanted to see what a workout with running and pilates combined would feel like.

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In this class, we started with 15 minutes on the treadmill, pushing up the incline and speed minute by minute. It was tough and I definitely worked up a sweat. Then we went over to the reformers and did about 10 minutes of pilates based moves. Then, we went back to the treadmills for about 10 more minutes and then spent the last 15 minutes of class doing more pilates moves.

I really enjoyed the variety. I get more of a sweat from the intensity of the interval running. The reformers don’t really do it for me as far as intensity goes, but I know they are good for balance and core strength.

This is definitely an enjoyable class, and you can chose to kick back your speed on the treadmill if sprints aren’t really for you. I liked the variety, music and ambiance. I will definitely be back!

FIT MIX

601 N. La Brea Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90036