Tag Archives: la jolla

La Jolla Day Date: Everyday California’s Kayaking Whale Watching Tour + Lunch at Trilogy Sanctuary

I’m always up for an adventure, and living in the San Diego area, there’s no shortage of fun to be had. With our year-round sunshine and moderate temperatures, I love taking advantage of the weather and getting outside as much as I can.

headstand play at sunset

Headstand play during a picnic last weekend

From my frequent hikes and walks along the coast, to mountain biking excursions and sunset beach picnics, I get outdoors as often as possible in my free time. One of my co-workers recently remarked that I’m always outside on the weekends, and it’s true! Being in nature makes my soul happy.

mountain biking

Mountain biking a couple of weeks ago

That’s why recently when local company Everyday California reached out and asked if I’d like to go on one of their adventure tours, I gladly accepted the offer. My Marine was away for training over Valentine’s Day weekend but we both had off of work for Presidents’ Day last Monday, so it seemed like the perfect belated V-Day date for us to have an adventure in the Pacific.

Everyday California

Everyday California is a board/kayak/snorkel rental, apparel, and adventure tour company located in the heart of La Jolla. We had actually been to their store before to go standup paddleboarding last summer, but had never done a guided tour with them. A couple of years ago we did a kayak sea cave tour in the very same area with another company, so I was interested to see how this tour compared.

Everyday California Adventures

We chose to do their whale watching kayak tour, which runs only in the winter from December-March when Grey Whales migrate south all the way to Mexico from Alaska to have their babies.

The day of our tour wound up being an absolutely perfect day weather-wise. It was 80 degrees (We’ve been getting a bit of a gorgeous winter heat wave!), sunny, and the ocean wasn’t too rough. We arrived at Everyday California to check in and get life vests and helmets. The store also offers lockers to store your stuff and dressing areas to change. Once the guides introduced themselves and got the tour started, we all walked down to the beach together.

Everyday California kayak tour

Image via Everyday California’s website

Since the conditions when we went paddleboarding were really rough with larger than average waves, I was a little bit nervous about getting out into the ocean this time. While I wound up getting crushed by a few waves getting out (It somehow happens every single time!), our tour guides assisted everyone in getting their kayaks out past the break, and made sure that everyone cruised back in okay as well. I get a little freaked out by wild waves, so it was nice having the assurance of the guides there.

A GoPro shot from my last La Jolla adventure

A GoPro shot from my last La Jolla adventure

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#Gratefulin2016 {Weekend Recap}

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. 


Hi friends!

I’m coming at ya a day later than my usual Monday post due to my being (mostly) off of work for yesterday’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday.

After I wrote my post on 10 techniques to develop a positive attitude a few weeks ago, I started thinking about how I could share more positivity on social media this year. I like to post positive quotes and thoughts here and there, but I decided that in 2016, I will consciously spread positivity online each and every week using one of the techniques I mentioned: Take a few moments to count your blessings daily. 

Gratitude-Deepak Chopra

(source)

And just how am I planning on doing that? Introducing #Gratefulin2016! 

It’s a social media movement of sorts that I’m starting to focus on what I’m thankful for. Every Monday (and whenever else the mood strikes me) on my Twitter and Instagram, I’ll share something that I’m feeling grateful for…and I’d love for you all to participate too!

It’s a way for us to share what’s going well in our lives, instead of harping what we’re dissatisfied with. A grateful heart is thankful for things big and small, so some weeks I’ll be sharing something BIG in my life, like my health, and some weeks I’ll be sharing something of less importance, like…. chocolate! And in the spirit of being grateful in 2016, today I’m sharing some things I felt grateful for last weekend:

La Jolla day date-2

My man. I got to spend the long weekend with my hubby – who I am so thankful to get to spend my life with. I was feeling especially grateful that we got to spend three days together since he was out in the field for the Marine Corps last week.

Harley-Jan 16

My pup. My goofball dingo often makes me laugh with her crazy antics, and I’m so thankful that I rescued her 5 years ago when she was an adorable little puppy looking for her forever home. She’s a total nut that entertains my hubby & me every day!

Elfin Forest hike-Jan 16

Hiking trails. On Saturday, my little family headed to Elfin Forest for a hike together. Breathing in the crisp air and pretty views as my heart pumped, I looked around and felt grateful to live near hiking trails like these.

trunk of fire wood

Cozy fires. On the ride back from said hike, we stumbled upon a resident selling firewood, so we loaded my car up with as much firewood as my Hybrid trunk would allow. I just love cozy fires in my living room on chilly winter nights.

fruit & cashew butter bowl

Fruit. You knew that food would be somewhere on this list, right?! I enjoyed the above pictured fruit bowl for breakfast over the weekend. I’m thankful to have the access and means to real, healthy food to nourish my body every day. I also was feeling thankful for my orange tree….

Orange tree-Jan 16…which clearly loved the recent rain! It’s crazy how much fruit has appeared in the past week or so. I picked some fruit over the weekend to eat and share with friends.

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A Weekend of Firsts: Vegan Sushi & Standup Paddleboarding!

Hey, hey!

You know that feeling of satisfaction you feel after an awesome weekend? That’s definitely what I’m experiencing on this Monday, as my weekend was an adventure filled few days that has left me smiling! In contrast to the San Diego area being rained out two weekends ago, last weekend was full of sunshine, and we took full advantage of the beautiful weather.

Before I get started with sharing it with you, I want to announce that I’ll be sending out my monthly newsletter this week! The newsletter is full of healthy living tidbits, recipes, workouts, and health coaching exclusives. If you aren’t on my subscriber list yet, you can sign up here:



Any who, on Saturday afternoon, my hubby, pup, and I went for a nice long walk in Carlsbad. We often walk along the coast there, but we tried walking around a new pretty area called the Agua Hedionda Lagoon.

Tiger Pose at Agua Hedionda Lagoon

Tiger pose around the lagoon trail

I love exploring new trails, even if they’re flat, and especially when they’re on the coast. I have a bunch of different routes that I do with Harley because I like to switch up our scenery and keep it interesting, and I think that this walk will now be added into the rotation!

Later in the day we decided to act like little kids and have some underwater fun with our GoPro camera. We got one as a gift for Christmas last year, and while we’ve brought it on hikes and mountain biking excursions, we haven’t used it as much as we should. My hubby was videoing himself cannonballing into our pool, and I was trying to capture underwater yoga shots (it’s harder than it looks!).DCIM100GOPRO

The above photo cracks me up! We had fun being goofballs.

Since A’s birthday is in a few days, Saturday night I planned a pre-birthday dinner for him. Since he loves sushi, which is not my thing at all, I took him to the Wrench and Rodent Sebasstropub – a small restaurant in Oceanside that I had heard has great sushi.

Tofu Nigiri

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Getting My Zen On at La Jolla’s Trilogy Sanctuary [Yoga Studio Review]

One of the many reasons that I dig living in San Diego is all of its awesome local businesses geared towards healthy living. There’s no shortage of juice bars, veg eateries, fitness studios, spas, yoga centers and lots more around to explore. Being the wellness lover that I am, I experience these places as much as I can.

Trilogy Sanctuary-7

I’ve teamed up with ClassPass again for a blogger project (more on that to come soon!), so lately I’ve been a fitness class maniac, booking classes at studios all over San Diego County in my never-ending attempt to find the best workouts in the area.

Trilogy Sanctuary-4

Last week I journeyed over to the beautiful beach town of La Jolla to meet up with a girlfriend of mine for a yoga class at Trilogy Sanctuary. Immediately when I walked in, I was like all, Ooooh! So cute, I love this place! 

Trilogy Sanctuary-6

Situated on the rooftop of a building in the middle of La Jolla’s main shopping and restaurant area, Trilogy Sanctuary gives off laid back SoCal vibes. Not only is it a yoga studio that specializes in aerial yoga, they also have a vegan cafe and juice bar. Diners can lounge on cozy couches and tables and watch the yoga classes, which take place directly next to the cafe.

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ClassPass: A Great Fit for the Hyperactive Exerciser (Like Myself)

When people ask me what workouts I typically do, I usually rattle off a list of things: hiking, kickboxing, cycling, strength training, yoga, rowing, barre, and so on. I usually follow it up by saying something along the lines of, “I do a lot of different regimens, but I’m not really an expert at any of them.”

headstand

It’s true, I’ve never been into just doing one type of workout. I know that lots of people are strictly runners, or are amazing yogis and that’s their signature regimen, or wherever their fitness passion may lie, but for me, I’ve always wanted to do a bit of everything. I call it exercise ADD, and I figure that as long as I’m moving, it’s good for my body and soul to keep switching it up.

ClassPass San Diego

Over the past month, I’ve been trying out ClassPass. You can check out my full intro to ClassPass here, but the overall gist is that it’s a program that just hit San Diego last month that allows members to schedule classes at lots of different nearby studios. I’ve found that for fellow fitness lovers who enjoy variety, ClassPass is a great option.

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Train Smarter, Not Harder with Fitwall Workouts

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Fitwall. 

As you may know, I love to switch up my fitness routine and try new workouts often. I’m always looking for ways to keep it fun and interesting! That’s why I’m excited to be adding a new type of workout to my exercise regimen this month called Fitwall.

what's fitwall

Fitwall classes are 40-minute sessions filled with strength, cardio and flexibility training. Every class participant trains in their own workspace – a personal “wall” area that has rows to stand and hold onto, cables, and a step that you can connect to a row for certain exercises. With a brand motto to Train Smarter, Not Harder, and the unique approach of training the body as a whole to burn mega calories, Fitwall aims to make workouts as efficient as possible. This video shows you more about what Fitwall’s all about:

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Dinner at Seasons 52 Fresh Grill

If you’re anything like me, you get excited when you receive gift cards. I’m all, “Sweet, I get to ____ for free!” However, this excitement usually wavers by a lot when that gift card is to a big chain restaurant.

Darden card

With the exception of Panera Bread, Chipotle, and PF Chang’s (whose food I enjoy, but want to croak on the food in my mouth when I check out their menu’s nutrition content!), I just do not like chains. If they’ve got more than a handful of restaurants, chances are I don’t care to eat there. I’m typically all about the local joints. That’s some brutal honesty for my loved ones who keep giving me Applebee’s gift cards. 😉

What tends to happen is that gift cards that I’m not crazy about will sit in my wallet for a couple of years before the right day comes around to use it.  This was the case last weekend, when I found a Darden restaurant gift card. The gift card included Red Lobster (no thanks), Olive Garden (ditto), Longhorn Steakhouse (I suppose I could go and get a salad…) and Seasons 52 Fresh Grill.

home_logo

 

Huh, what’s that last one? I looked it up and there was a Seasons 52 location nearby in
the beach town of La Jolla. Not only was it nearby, it looked like my cup of tea: a fresh grill and wine bar with a seasonally-inspired menu that often changes. Last Saturday after a happy hour at home…

Happy Hour collage

…my hubby and I were off to try out some dinner there.

Seasons 52 has an elegant piano bar kind of feel to it. Actually, there was live music with a pianist singer while we were there, which I enjoyed. He happened to start singing our wedding song right after we sat down (John Legend’s “Stay With You”), which was awesome because I’ve never heard anyone randomly sing that song live besides John Legend himself.

The restaurant had a nice wine and cocktail menu to choose from. I went with a superfruit martini, which had acai spirit, pomegranate and blueberry juice, plus agave nectar.

Seasons 52-5

A good martini makes me a happy girl.

Note to self: I need to try to recreate a superfruit martini at home sometime!

Let’s talk about one great thing about the menu: Every dish is under 475 calories. This is pretty much unheard of with chain restaurants! For an appetizer, A and I split an order of Sonoma goat cheese ravioli in tomato broth with roasted garlic and basil:

Seasons 52-1

I think odd numbers of things in appetizers are always kind of strange because I like to split an appetizer as just a little bite. In this case it was three ravioli, so I had one and A had two. Goat cheese ravioli have my heart, and these had some nice flavor.

(Another note to self: Make these goat cheese ravioli again soon.)

For my entree, I tried the vegetarian tasting option. It had a citrus quinoa salad, cedar plank tofu with a citrus salsa, a soft taco filled with veggies and feta cheese, broccoli rabe, asparagus, snap peas and mushrooms:

Seasons 52-2

Some of the veggies lacked a real flavor punch, but overall, it was tasty. I definitely got my veggie servings in for the night with this dish!

For all of your meat eaters, my hubby ordered the filet mignon with mashed potatoes, spinach and mushrooms. He ate every mouthful on his plate and said the meat was nice and tender.

Seasons 52-4

For dessert, Seasons 52 offers a variety of mini indulgences. I love these because it gives you a little taste of dessert without being a lot. A and I split a chocolate peanut butter torte…

Seasons 52-3

…which he claimed to want none of and then ate more than I did. Different day, same story!

Overall I thought that Seasons 52 was a positive dining experience. The service was spot on, the atmosphere was nice while still being casual, and the food was tasty and reasonably priced. This random chain restaurant gift card wound up coming in handy for a decent meal after all!

Have you ever heard of Seasons 52? What’s your favorite chain restaurant?

 

Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill La Jolla

Happy first day of spring!

As a vegetarian and healthy eater, I’m usually able to find a thing or two on the menu at a restaurant that seems to be both somewhat nutritious AND delicious. Fortunately, more & more I’m finding places that seem to be dedicated to including lots of menu items for health conscious diners. One restaurant in my area that’s doing this is Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill. The restaurant has numerous locations throughout California and Nevada. I was recently invited me to come try out some of their new healthy dishes at their location in La Jolla. With website taglines including: Eat Well. Feel Good.; We Like it Fresh; and Serving Healthy Global Cuisine, I knew it was a place I could get behind.

Last night, Adam and I headed to Sammy’s for a health blogger dinner. We chatted with a couple of cool bloggers, and had a great time trying out their yummy grub. I started off with a glass of Sicilian Pinot Noir:

Sammys-2

Immediately the food started coming out. First we tried hummus with lettuce cups, which was a nice, light app. I make hummus often and typically eat it with pita chips or carrots, but I like the idea of hummus lettuce cups. For someone like myself who enjoys ordering a little something to nosh on before my main entree but doesn’t want to add an extra 800 calories to my meal, this type of plate is perfect.

Sammys-1

 Two salads were served at dinner, both of which I loved. One was a chilled roasted vegetable salad, which included spinach, fresh mozzarella, edamame, artichoke, yellow tomato, red bell pepper, red onion, basil, lemon, balsamic vinegar and EVOO:

Sammys-4

The other salad was a red quinoa dish, and included golden beets, tomatoes, avocado, red onion, wild arugula, parsley, almonds, mint, scallions and citrus chili vinaigrette:

Sammys-3

Next up were the pizzas, both of which were veggie, but one I couldn’t eat because it had eggplant on it (silly food allergy!). The nice thing about their pizzas is that they offer nonfat cheese and gluten-free and whole wheat crusts. One of the pies, which included spinach, mushrooms, garlic, and red onion, was served with nonfat mozzarella and a gluten-free crust. Personally, I like my pizzas with a thicker, gluten-filled crust, but for anyone with a gluten sensitivity or who just likes to stay away from it, this is a nice option for you.

Sammys-6

The other pizza had grilled eggplant, red onion, zucchini, red bell pepper, tomato, garlic, and smoked provolone on a whole wheat crust:

Sammys-5

For all of you healthy meat eaters out there, here are the non-veggie menu items offered at the dinner:

Sammys-10

Sammys-7Sammys-8

My meat eating other half really liked the pasta with bolognese sauce. Mental note: Try making brown rice pasta sometime soon!

For dessert, we tried their orange blossom honey & sheep’s milk cheese pizza. As much of a cheese fan as I am, I typically don’t go for it for dessert. However, I do have to say that the combination of the sweet honey, mild, creamy cheese, and flaky crust made for a flavorful dish.

Sammys-9

A big thank you to Sammy’s for having me as a dinner guest last night!

Feta Green Bean & Tomato Salad

As usual, another weekend has flown by!

My Sunday morning was spent in the La Jolla area for the San Diego Triathlon Challenge to benefit the Challenged Athletes Foundation. I participated in their 5K event with my hubby. Even though sunny San Diego hasn’t been all that sunny this weekend, luckily the weather held out during the athletic events, and we only experienced a few raindrops towards the end. Seeing amputee triathletes in action was inspiring, and I’m glad I got to support such an awesome cause!

The rest of my day was spent running errands, doing yoga and watching football.

Oh, and torturing Harley by making her wear my 5K medal:

For dinner, I wanted to use a pile of string beans starting to brown in my fridge. After steaming them, I threw the green beans together with a couple of heirlom tomatoes, red onion, crumbled feta cheese, and an olive oil dressing to make a colorful salad:

Green_Bean_Salad

I paired the tasty green bean dish with some rice pilaf:


Feta Cheese Green Bean Salad
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 10 oz string beans
  • ¼ red onion, minced
  • 2 medium (heirloom) tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 oz crumbled herbed feta cheese
  • 1 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • ¼ TSP dried oregano flakes
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the string bean tips off.
  2. Place the beans in a steamer basket and cook in a pot until tender, around 8 minutes.
  3. Once the green beans are cooked, remove from heat and place in a serving dish.
  4. Add the tomatoes, red onion, and crumbled feta to the green beans.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the red wine vinegar, olive oil, and dried oregano together.
  6. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, then add salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 114, Fat: 7 g, Carbohydrates: 10 g Protein: 5 g

My Interview With Amputee Triathlete Sarah Reinertsen

Growing up, my dad frequently used the phrase, ”You get like who you hang with.” I’ve come to completely agree with him. I believe that the people you surround yourself with have a major impact on your own behaviors and attitudes, whether in a positive or negative light.

Meeting and getting to spend time with people who do amazing things inspires me to do great things myself. That’s why when I was contacted to meet the first female leg amputee to complete the Ironman World Championships , Sarah Reinertsen, I jumped at the chance. I can’t think of meeting a type of person more inspiring than an athlete whose overcome major obstacles to achieve amazing goals.

Sarah on the cover of ESPN’s 2009 Body Issue

Sarah has broken the physically challenged world marathon record numerous times, as well as world records for 100m and 200m distances. After being the first female amputee to attempt Hawaii’s Ironman World Championships in 2004 but falling short, she came back the next year to become the first female amputee to complete the grueling competition. In 2006, Sarah won an ESPY Award for Best Female Disabled Athlete of the Year. This year, Nike released the first ever shoe for a running prosthetic, inspired by her and called the ”Sarah Sole.”  She even competed on the TV show The Amazing Race.

Today I had the chance to chat with her at a running & mobility clinic for amputee children and adults. Sarah is a spokeswoman for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), which provides funding to physically challenged individuals for sports equipment such as prosthetics, wheelchairs and handcycles. The organization also helps to subsidize competition and training expenses, produce mentoring and fitness clinics, and offer community outreach programs. This weekend, CAF’s San Diego Triathlon Challenge is taking place in La Jolla. More than 200 of the world’s top physically challenged athletes and 500 able-bodied triathletes and celebrities are participating in the event, which consists of a 1 mile swim, 44 mile bike and 10 mile run. Here are some things Sarah and I talked about:

How long have you been involved with the CAF? 

-I first participated in the San Diego Triathlon Challenge in 1998, and have been involved with the organization ever since.

How do you think the CAF impacts the lives of physically challenged athletes?

-I think that our clinics, programs, and assistance help to build confidence in people, especially young athletes. I started competing in races when I was 11, and sports helped build my self-esteem and made me feel comfortable in a body that’s not like everyone else’s. I’m so passionate about the organization because athletics made a world of difference to me, and I know it has the power to do the same for other physically challenged people. There’s no better feeling than that moment of glory when you cross the finish line in a sporting event, and the CAF helps athletes to be able to experience that feeling of being a champion.

What’s your diet like?

-I like to practice mindfulness. I eat well to feel well, but I also like to indulge on occasion. I like to think of my body as a Porsche that I only want to feed with the best fuel.

Was there a moment when you made the decision to be a serious athlete?

-Yes, I found a role model in triathlete Jim MacLaren. He was an amputee Ironman and a very inspirational person to me. In my conversations with Jim, he empowered me to believe in the possibility that I could do it too. This weekend’s San Diego triathlon event began almost 2 decades ago to help raise money for Jim, after he was hit by a van that drove through a closed intersection during a triathlon event. This was the second tragedy in Jim’s life, as he first became an amputee after getting hit by a bus while on his motorcycle. The second accident left him a quadriplegic from the waist down, and the event was created to help raise money to help Jim afford a van that he could drive with his hands. The event’s creators realized how many other physically challenged athletes needed help, and that’s how the foundation was born. Jim has since passed away, though his legacy lives on. He was a big inspiration in my training for the Ironman.

Speaking of inspiration, what mantras push you through tough times?

-Sports are a lot about mental toughness. I have a lot of mantras that I repeat to myself as I run. A major one is, ”Fear less, live more.” It’s important to not worry too much about failing and to just go for it. Growing up, I learned the importance of failure. I think that it teaches you lessons in persistence and hard work. You learn to get back up and give it another shot. Another mantra I tell myself is, ”Show the world you’re tougher than the rest.”

When I commented on how tiny (and cute) Sarah is, her response was something along the lines of, ”Yeah, people don’t usually expect me to be so small. But if an amputee whose 4’11” can do a triathlon, you can do it too right?!” 😉

*San Diegans, if you’re interested in helping support the San Diego Triathlon Challenge tomorrow, join me in walking their 5K fitness challenge! You can also take part in the challenge’s Tour de Cove event, or just show up to support the triathletes. If you’d like to support the Challenged Athletes Foundation in other ways, check out their website for opportunities and events.*