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-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

 

 

CLASS PASS SERIES: A Little Downtown Spin…

I had plans on Friday to attend the IDEA Fitness Expo to see a few friends who were in town that work in the fitness industry and do some networking. The Expo is held in downtown Los Angeles and I really wanted to get in a workout beforehand, so I decided to look up some exercise studios downtown that were near the Los Angeles Convention Center that had showers available for use, so I could clean up before heading to the expo.

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I found Bespoke Cycling Studio. This is a very cute boutique studio located on the bottom floor of that new (or relatively new, at least to me!) outdoor mall on Figueroa and 7th street. You do have to park in the structure that  is off of 7th and it is kind of a pain to get to, but the studio will validate you for 90 minutes of free parking. After that, it is a dollar for the first hour.

The actual cycling class was, in my opinion, not too much different than others as far as the actual routine. High intensity, low intensity, isolating muscles, doing “sprints” on the bike…and of course they have the free weights so there is a one song segment using the weights. I didn’t feel all that challenged but I did get some good cardiovascular exercise in. The bikes, however, are brand new and tattooed with the Bespoke logo on the front. The facility is rather small but very clean and well taken care of. You are given spin shoes for your ride if you do not own them. Towels and filtered water are also on site for the taking.

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The one thing that stuck out the most to me, well, two things. They give you plastic bags with their logo to put your sweaty gym clothes in if you choose to shower and change. I had to shower and change and so that was a nice bonus for me. Not to mention the hair dryer, hairbands and moisturizer that is available to the clients of this studio.

This is going to sound silly but the kicker for me was these disposable toothbrush packets they carry from L’Occitane. Inside the box is a toothbrush and a teeny mini toothpaste. They have a whole stack of them. I have never seen a gym stock an item like this and thought that was very generous and awesome, Of course I took one for the road…these are great for travel!

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BESPOKE CYCLING STUDIO

735 S. Figueroa Street #105

Los Angeles, CA 90017

CLASS PASS SERIES: Sweat Garage…Utilizing the AMRAP System!

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, HIIT (high intensity interval training) has become all the rage these days. This is where you give 100% effort in quick bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods. This kind of training keeps your heart rate up and is said to burn more fat in less time.

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This type of class is EVERYWHERE in Los Angeles. I happen to be a fan of most of the ones I try. Sweat Garage is also an “oldie” for me, because again, once upon a time when they had an online deal a few years back, I decided to try it out. It was a few months before I was getting ready to go to Brazil to visit a friend and wanted to get into tip top shape. Let me tell you, a few weeks at this boutique studio will whip you right into shape.

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Every day at Sweat Garage there is a different workout. Like many other HIIT programs, they have a set of treadmills (they use the Woodway ones here!) and an area on the floor where free weights, resistance bands, med balls and kettle bells can be used. All of their workouts are based on the AMRAP system. What is that, you ask? This means AS MANY REPS AS POSSIBLE. For example, today, the class rotated three minutes on the treadmill with three minutes on the floor. The treadmill segments were varying from sprints, to incline runs/jogs, to incline sideways jogs in a squat position (not easy!). The floor segments ranged from 3 minutes of 15 chest and 15 shoulder presses AS MANY REPS AS POSSIBLE to 3 minutes of squat jumps and boxing punches with free weights of your choice. Very sweaty. Very challenging. You definitely want a little bit of a fitness background before attempting this class.

The room is small and they shut the “garage” door when class starts, so it gets pretty hot in there. Be sure to bring your water and a towel, or you have to pay for one. There is parking underneath the building and a bathroom, but no showers.

SWEAT GARAGE

801 N. Fairfax Avenue Ste. 104

Los Angeles, CA 90046