On a Health & Fitness Roll
Happy & Healthy in San Diego
In San Diego, you're surrounded by so many health-conscious individuals who know exactly what it takes to live a happy and healthy lifestyle. Not only that, you can always rely on the availability of organic food and/or juice shops right around the corner of each spin, barre and pilates class. I wish I could say I'm fully immersed in a fit lifestyle, but, for now, I can definitely say it's been easy learning how to eat healthy and stay motivated since this culture is so well ingrained in San Diego.
Yoga In San Diego
My first real yoga class was Yoga Sculpt at Corepower Yoga, via ClassPass and my legs felt like jello for the next three days. Looking back now, it was my gateway to yoga. I loved it so much, I signed up for a free week and then went onto a month of unlimited yoga. If you've never done sculpt before, it's an absolute butt kicker that works every muscle of your entire body while sweating more than you've ever sweat in your life in a 93º degree room. One of my coworkers is a huge fitness and nutrition junkie—she even has a blog dedicated to pursuing a healthier lifestyle called Nourish with Natalia—and she swears by sculpt. I told her that I couldn't do yoga if my life depended on it. She taught me that while this class demands similar strength, it is a completely different kind of workout. For her, she's all for the sculpt classes at Reach Yoga, a local studio in Pacific Beach.
Located on the front side of Flower Hill Promenade and only a few steps away from CorePower's Del Mar location, you can follow an early morning yoga class with a wholesome meal at Flower Child. Here, you'll find dishes well-suited for vegetarians, vegans and omnivores (my long way of saying literally everyone will love this place) paired wth an upbeat-bohemian vibe! The whole Flower Child theme is healthy food for a happy world, and they stay true to it! From health-minded salads, bowls and wraps to juices named "Liquid Sunshine," it's hard to walk away without a bright smile on your face.
The Mad Beet
Opting for a class closer to Pacific Beach? After class, keep walking down Garnet toward the beach and you'll discover a place where punny names meet equally vibrant juices, smoothies and bowls. This, my friends, is called The Mad Beet and if you like it when kale, spinach and beet juice harmoniously come together with your favorite fruits, this is the place for you.
For me, I go for some time outdoors. I love starting my day with a beach run from Crystal Pier to Belmont and back, then making my way to The Mad Beet for the perfect snack to pick up after a long run. While I usually like to go barefoot on the sand, it's definitely worth putting on shoes—or walking barefoot on concrete if you're into that—to pick up a Ghostface Kale'a, Black Eyed Beets or a Whiz Kha-Leaf-A. My roommates personally recommends the Twopac Shakur, a double feature fruit bowl of açai and pitaya.
CycleBar & Sparkcycle
Spin has to be one of my favorite workouts. While they say you can pedal at your own pace and set your resistance at a level you feel most comfortable with, it's a completely competitive atmosphere. I love being surrounded by motivated people and completely hyped teachers, not to mention the most upbeat music. I've taken test runs in most of the spin studios in San Diego, and my all time favorite instructors and classes have been at CycleBar and SparkCycle.
Depending on how much you challenge yourself, you can burn more than 800 calories in an hour class. At CycleBar, each bike is hooked up to a small monitor where you can track your revolutions per minute, calories burned and "power" during class and the metrics of your performance after class. What's even more exciting is the race section. Usually, just the sound of the bikes spinning alone gets you pumped to pedal faster. At CycleBar, you can literally see how your resistance and RPM measure against your classmates and race to keep moving up the ranks.
Then, at both studios, there's the arms segment. If you think that spin is just a leg workout, think again. Once you've absolutely given what you think is your all, the instructors bring in the big guns—or, actually, you bring in your big guns—and they have you dive into shoulder presses, bicep curls and more intensive exercise to tone your upper body.
Located in the heart of Hillcrest, this is a great way to replenish yourself after you've just spun your life away at CycleBar or Spark Cycle's Liberty Station studio.
Stocked with fridges of pre-juiced selections, you'll find something for every kind of need and they label the benefits of their brew on each Juice Crafters bottle!
My first time here, I had just come from a CycleBar class and didn't sleep very well the night before. I'm pretty prone to migraines and my body was feeling drained; I needed something with a kick. I tried the Rootier #6, a more savory kind of juice complete with beets, apples, lemon and ginger. It was the perfect remedy with benefits like headache relief and cold & flu prevention to help my body out.
401 University Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
If you're anything like my friends Vit and Mae, and you can't pass a fresh assortment of açai, pitaya and every topping you could ever ask for, then Northside Shack is your place. The first time they took my here, I couldn't help but want to try everything! Don't be shy with your toppings when you stop by here. In fact, the toppings are all included with your bowl and they aren't afraid to fill your bowl far—and when I say far, I mean far—past the rim. Curious about what we got? Pretty much everything on the menu:
Fruit: Banana, Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Sliced Black Grapes, Pineapple, Mango, Kiwi
Dry Toppings: Organic Gluten-Free Hemp Granola, Crushed Raw Almods, Chia Seeds, Unsweetened Coconut Shreds
Don't be fooled by my emphasis on their stacked bowls, Northside Shack also has oatmeal, teas, tonics and blended drinks! Next time I stop by, I'm dying to try their Cactus, what looks like the most refreshing mix of cactus, cilantro, cucumber, pineapple, mint, organic aloe vera juice and agave.