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.

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

CLASS PASS SERIES-Supraformer, Megaformer’s Daddy, Arrives!!

I was just looking at my last blog post and it was at the end of November….whoops! Sorry everyone! Besides the holidays getting in the way, I also fell in love and traveled to Europe…so, now I am back! I will try to blog more frequently.

When I got back from my European travels last week (Spain, Morocco and Portugal…I suppose I should do a blog on the food…that will be next!) I restarted my Class Pass membership to find that there were quite a few new classes added. There are so many that I want to try, so this will make for a few good blogs over the next few weeks.

First up, I saw a blog writer friend of mine post a picture of her visit to Lagree Fitness. This studio is new and is the first in Los Angeles to offer classes with the Supraformer.

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SO WHAT IS THE SUPRAFORMER, you might ask? You might not even know what a megaformer is, so let me give you a little background. The megaformer, used in pilates classes such as The Studio MDR (personal favorite) Carrie’s Pilates Plus and Pilates Plus in Encino, is designed to develop core strength and muscular resistance even more so than the traditional reformer, with a more amped up pace and high energy atmosphere. Classes focus on time, not reps, and each move in a class typically lasts for 60 seconds and is said to recruit over 600 muscles at once. Sounds crazy, right? Well, it can be. I have done it many times and have become addicted to the results.

Of course, being addicted to the megaformer classes, I wanted to try out the Supraformer. This is essentially the daddy to the Megaformer, the third generation of exercise equipment developed for Lagree Fitness. This machine does everything the Megaformer does, plus it has a computerized system the trainer for the class monitors that can make the machine move up and down or tilt side to side. That is the best way to describe it. If you want to see a video of how it works, click here.

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This class is meant to be so effective that a session is only 25 minutes. I had some time yesterday and decided to try the class. It is in West Los Angeles near the Beverly Center in a new apartment complex, which has parking, so that is a nice perk. When you walk into Lagree Fitness, you are immediately in the workout area, and if you head to the back of the room, there is a door where there are bathrooms and a check in room with lockers. I was checked in and told I could store my things in a locker or out in the main room. I then hung out in the main room. When class was about to start I picked out a supra former at the end of the room in front of a mirror so I could make sure I was doing the work out correctly. The teacher was a cute perky Asian female who dutifully went around and turned on all our machines.

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So here is the deal, while this may be a great workout, the fact that all of the supraformer’s movement is controlled by the teacher is weird to me. Because, say this is your first time (EVER!!) on a reformer at all and you don’t know what you are doing and all of a sudden the machine starts tilting off to the side? Good thing for me I have taken megaformer classes so I knew the general movements, but still, since the program is new, I felt like ” going thru the motions” was less appropriate for the class and she could have been a little more hands on.

I also was not a fan of the pretentious, know it all, Hollywood vibe of the class, but I guess that’s the way it is in a cutting edge workout class sometimes? After this class, I went and did something else active…because, 25 minutes, while it’s not an easy workout, if you don’t really know what you are doing, it isn’t as fatiguing as I expected it to be. Getting into a position and suddenly having the machine start tilting to the side just feels odd, and I prefer the regular Megaformer any day. That being said, someone else may love this, and I recommend trying it if you have not and are on ClassPass.

LAGREE FITNESS

375 N. La Cienaga Blvd. Suite 1

Los Angeles, Ca 90048