Topanga State Park, San Diego, School News + More

It’s almost the end of Mix It Up May, but I’m thinking of keeping many of my Mix It Up habits going. It’s nice to switch up runs with hiking, Rise Nation, spinning, and yoga. I’m using new muscles, learning new things, and exploring more that LA has to offer. Speaking of learning new things, Marta, paddle boarding next weekend? I also learned that I love running most, and that I’m thankful I don’t have to pay every time I run. Those workout classes are crazy expensive. This weekend I added another hike to the list of favorites. Brent and I spent Saturday afternoon with his old childhood friend, Matt, and his wife Holly. We hiked three miles out from the lot on Entrada Drive off of Topanga Canyon Road to the Parker Mesa Overlook. It had a nice wide path, wasn’t too busy, had some climbs but wasn’t too rigorous, and had an ocean view reward at the end. It was May Grey-ie on the beach, so the view from above the fog was beautiful. Will definitely be back.  FullSizeRender (15) FullSizeRender (16)

I also never posted pics from our nineteen mile run with Andrea in San Diego. Andrea is training for her first marathon in Banff. Marta and I couldn’t let her run long on her own. We were humbled, and learned that nineteen miles is NEVER easy. The route was gorgeous though. Gorgeously hilly. Andrea is so ready. She fueled well, focused on her hydration. She’s got this. Alaina also surprised her by telling her she would be there to cheer her on. I strive to be like Alaina. She is such a great friend.

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Pink buns!

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FullSizeRender (19)My big request in San Diego was going to Stone Brewery. Deep fried olives, beer flights, hemp seed pretzels, and AHH that quail. Tasted like fancy spicy orange chicken.
FullSizeRender (20) FullSizeRender (21) FullSizeRender (22)Speaking of food, Cecilia and I also recently celebrated her 27th birthday at KazuNori. We couldn’t even talk during the meal. All we could keep saying was oh my gosh…I can’t believe this is real life. The handrolls were so fresh, the rice was so fluffy, the nori perfectly crunchy. SO good. If you work downtown, go. It’s tiny with bar seating, so you might have to wait, but it’s well worth it. The line was out the door when we got there, but we were sitting within 15 minutes.

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In school news, our new middle school building is ready (we’re co-locating in year one) and our furniture order is ready to go! Cecilia and I also spent our Friday checking out how much we can save on our furniture budget by digging out stuff from the Equitas Storage space. We found some hidden gems.

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This week I also discovered Alfred Coffee. Pricey, so definitely not an everyday thing, but their Almond Milk Latte, ahh it made my Wednesday. I’m a sucker for coffee shops. Alaina, Bert and Ernie can’t wait to be reunited 🙂
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And I’m currently making a mess in the kitchen. Recipes coming soon. Need to see what’s worth posting first. The Maca Oatmeal muffins taste a little too healthy. Might try them with chocolate chips.

IMG_0546As far as running goes, It’s time to set some goals. I don’t really have any solidified goals for the next few months. It’s always fun to work towards something rather than running for the sake of running. I guess I’ll take some time figuring out what’s realistic. Have a great week!

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ClassPass Reviews: Part 2

Another week, another round of ClassPass reviews, and another set of sore muscles I never knew existed. This whole ClassPass thing is super fun and I’d recommend it to anyone looking to try the many studios LA has to offer, but the logistics are kinda exhausting. Figuring out parking, getting to the studio early and having dead time, getting there too late and rushing. I’m still new to this so I imagine over time you get into a groove and have your favorite spots it gets easier to manage. I’ve really enjoyed switching up my workout routine, but the experience makes me appreciate the ease of running. You’re on your schedule, you decide how long you want to workout and it’s FREE. That being said, it’s been a fun week of ClassPassing. Here’s where I went…

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Pros:

  • High intensity and only 30 minutes. No time to get bored.
  • Super friendly staff. They were so welcoming!
  • They offer a free first class on top of the ClassPass deal.
  • It’s fun to try something totally different. Not your average spin, yoga, barre class.
  • Another alkaline water studio.
  • Apparently there is a patio to relax upstairs. Wish I knew this before!

Cons:

  • Pairs well with a run, walk or hike. Yes, you use new muscles and are exhausted at the end (if you don’t cheat with resistance), but it’s only 30 minutes.
  • No free parking.

Naam Yoga: Bollypop DanceNaamYoga_VERTICAL_Twitter

Pros:

  • SO FUN!!!!! You can’t help but smile the entire time. Loved going with Alaina, Cecilia and Brianne.
  • The instructor, Aakansha, is so welcoming and enthusiastic. She really puts you at ease.
  • Mix of bollywood and hip hop.
  • Easy parking across the street with first 90 minutes free.
  • Tea in the waiting area.
  • Huge room with plenty of space to get your groove on.

Cons:

  • Not the most intense workout. Great for an easy day.
  • You can’t be shy.
  • Santa Monica traffic 😦

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Pure Barre

Pros:

  • You end up using muscles you’ve never used before. You’re legs will shake like woah.
  • Love the arm sequence.
  • Good music selection.
  • You don’t leave too sweaty, so it’s a great option if you have to rush somewhere after class.
  • Beautiful location in Santa Monica close to the beach.

Cons:

  • Kinda boring. I was watching the clock the whole time and a lot of the exercises I felt like I could do in my living room while watching netflix.
  • Not the most welcoming staff. Kinda has a too cool for school vibe.
  • The instructor hovered around me a little TOO much. Yes, I want adjustments but every time makes me feel like an idiot, especially when you’re saying the instructions over your mic and it’s obvious to everyone I’ve never been here before.
  • I would have liked more options if you’re super tight. I can’t even come close reaching forward to touch my toes so I just kinda sat there. 

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Hustle and Flow: Cycling

Pros:

  • Love a good cycle class. It’s the most like running to me. It’s fun pushing myself on the bike.
  • Easy parking and close to home for me.
  • A super chill feel, not intimidating like Soulcyle or Cyclehouse.

Cons:

  • It was kinda hard to hear the instructor. There were times I didn’t know whether to sprint or not. Ended up sprinting a lot, but hey, at least it was a good workout.
  • The bathroom situation wasn’t great. No changing room, just two stalls.
  • Wasn’t a huge fan of our instructor. She was kinda all over the place and seemed a little stressed.

Red Diamond YogaRed Diamond Yoga

Pros:

  • Lindsey, our instructor, was such a great teacher. She was so Equitastic! Her language promoted a growth mindset and encouraged us to embrace challenge while being gentle and easy on ourselves. She was encouraging, always telling us we were doing a great job, and wasn’t annoying or preachy. She said things like “Find calm through the discomfort,” “You are strong,” and “Don’t be afraid to fall. Be glad you took on the challenge.” I know I am overanalyzing, but one of the things I love about attending classes is being a student and having a teacher. Helps me in the work I do.
  • The space was beautiful. Cooling towels for after class, restrooms with supplies and mouthwash, nice changing rooms.
  • Easy parking.
  • Variety of classes.

Cons:

  • Not super close to home or work for me.
  • Can’t think of anything else. Loved the studio!

Hope you had a happy Memorial Day!

What’s Cookin’?

It’s been a while since I’ve shared recipes. With travel I was out of my routine, so it’s been nice to get back in the kitchen. Here’s what’s been going on in the Lowry kitchen.

So lately I’ve been obsessed with Mendocino Farms Curried Couscous. I found the recipe online and now know why I drool at the though of it. Lots of oil and mayo. I made a huge batch of this last weekend and used whole wheat couscous and used half the oil and mayo. Awesome flavor and definitely didn’t miss the grease. The picture looks kinda gross and is really close up. I promise it’s good.

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Alaina knows me too well. I love activity gifts, so for Christmas Alaina got us a class at The Gourmandise School in Santa Monica. Last week we took their meatless Monday class and made veggie enchiladas and an awesome orange jicama salad. It was the greatest. We drank beers and cooked up a storm. It made Monday so much more fun. We made enough leftovers to each take a portion home. I froze the leftovers and tomorrow because I’ll be at the boys and girls Equitas soccer games till late, it’ll be the perfect meal for Brent and I when I get home. Recipes are below. And yeah, I’m definitely going back to Gourmandise. They have all kinds of classes, it’s such a fun social activity and you get to take home a bunch leftovers. I really want to take their Gastropub, Tex Mex Brunch and Whole Grain Baking classes. Anyone in!?

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Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 3.06.32 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 3.06.41 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 3.06.37 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 3.06.46 PMAnd when we were in Vancouver for Ellen’s marathon I ate this at The Cactus Club. Lately I’ve been into trying to recreate restaurant foods at home.

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No recipe to post because I just made it up and eye balled everything. It has couscous, spinach, cucumber, grape tomatoes and an orange pepper and sautéed shrimp. I made a vinaigrette with equal parts oil and red wine vinegar and some lemon juice, salt and pepper. Brent said it tasted healthy in a surprisingly good way.

FullSizeRender_2And last night Brent and I got adventurous and had an at home date night. We made leg of lamb with roasted brussel sprouts from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Gyros tonight because we have so many leftovers. You’ll need a couple of hours for this one.

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And my next adventure is going to be recreating this. I snapped a picture of the description because it sounds awesome.

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