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-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- Jumping For Your Health!

When I went to the IDEA Expo last summer in Los Angeles, there were a myriad of fun and unique new exercise programs being exhibited. Some programs had very complicated equipment that would be only be okay if someone is there guiding your every move. There were a few programs that stuck out in my mind, and one involved a young group of exercise professionals demonstrating a workout program using your own personal trampoline with a handlebar attached to it. They let a few of us play around on them a bit and I found myself quite out of breath after just a few minutes. I remembered asking them if they had classes in Los Angeles and at the time they did not. Then, I found myself playing around on my ClassPass phone app the other day and came across Jumping Fitness, which appeared to be their program. I went and looked at their website and sure enough, it was them! I booked the class immediately.

Jumping Fitness is located in Redondo Beach. If you don’t know the area, you would be wise to map the location because the building is difficult to pin down from the outside. There is a parking lot behind the facility that has a two hour free parking limit, which is convenient.

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Jumping is a workout that was formulated in the Czech Republic about 13 years ago by two aerobics/spinning instructors who were bored with their workouts and wanted something that would still be an effective workout that would strengthen the body and mind but still be a lot of fun. The basis of the program is a combination of different types of jumps, some fast and some slow, some low, squat type jumps and some higher jumps. This workout is said to be three times more effective than jogging.

IMG_9613The actual facility is small and consists of one room and about 12 personal trampolines with a handle bar attached to the base. At first I wasn’t sure what the point of the handle bar is, but for some moves it is great because you can use it for some core moves and in creating more power in your jumps when necessary.

Because this facility is new, there were only three people in the class today. The classes are an hour long, and trust me you will sweat like crazy. Our instructor, Jakub, was super friendly and made the class very challenging. The music is definitely energy-centric, like you are in a European discotheque…but on a trampoline in the daytime.

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We did a bunch of different jumping exercises and we also did some balancing exercises, which is harder than you might imagine on a trampoline. We also did a few crunch exercises laying on the trampoline. My heart was pounding at the end. Just when you think you are athletic, something comes along to give you another challenge. This is part of the beauty of ClassPass…so if you are on it or just want to drop in and try this class I definitely recommend it.

JUMPING FITNESS

2221 Artesia Blvd.

Redondo Beach, CA 90278

CLASS PASS SERIES-A New Gym Fights Its Way In…

Lately I have gotten into a routine with a lot of my workout classes, so when I saw a new batch of gyms recently joined the Class Pass roster, I was excited to try a few new places.

The first class on my list is a brand new gym near the Grove mall off of Fairfax called Fight Bike. Visitors be warned, it is all street parking if you want to come before 6pm. It is possible to find parking in the residential areas surrounding the building, but make sure you READ THE SIGNS. Otherwise, the owner said that after 7pm the lot behind the gym is free.

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So what is Fight Bike? This is generally a circuit training class, but the difference is one of the main rotations is a few rounds on an ASSAULT bike. I would say it looks a little bit like a spin bike and an elliptical trainer had a baby, but then, its not really like that at all. It runs against a fan and incorporates both arms and legs at the same time. However, it is also considered low impact so you won’t hurt your joints using it. It is supposed to keep your cardio up as well and help you torch calories during your workout.

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IMG_9451There is an array of exercises done during this class. They use a “time to work” ratio workout system, which means you complete a designated number of reps of a given exercise in a certain amount of time. For example, during my workout, when we were on the floor, we had one minute to do 12-15 pushups, one minute to do 12-15 dips, and one minute to do 3-5 pull-ups…of course, that was just one segment of exercise.

This class also has three different paths you can go down. These all still involve using the ASSAULT bike, but the paths are either Lean, Mean or Machine. The Lean path will give you higher reps with lighter weights. Mean uses heavier weights and fewer reps, and Machine uses heavy weights with more difficult variations and NO BREAKS in between. I chose the Lean path…and was very happy I did.

IMG_9454This class is a lot of fun and challenging. The ASSAULT bike makes it different, and the owners are very friendly and hands on…going over the equipment and class structure before the workout and making sure your form is correct.

You will definitely work up a sweat in this class. But you will have to shower at home, because there are no showers here. There are cubby holes to put your belongings in and there is a water fountain to fill your bottles…trust me, you may need it!

FIGHT BIKE

423 S. Fairfax Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90036