I deleted social media for a week and I had a hard time shaking the overwhelming feeling of needing to share everything with everyone, or specific things with specific people…like I owed it to them or something. I think where that stems from is fear. Fear that if I don’t make myself relevant in peoples’ lives on Instagram, if I don’t stay funny on twitter…I won’t be relevant in their real lives.
On the flip side of things, staying off of it was way more easy that I had expected. I really wasn’t tempted to open it up or redownload the apps. Instead of flipping through instagram on my phone, I’d flip through old photos, check emails, FINALLY get rid of those annoying red bubbles that pop up on all of my apps. But most often, I kept my phone on ring on the table in my apartment and made myself busy with other things. I actually relaxed. The distraction of social media during downtime makes it hard to tune into just one thing. I find myself trying to wind down with a movie while simultaneously checking emails, posting an instagram and scrolling through pages and pages of tweets only to find that the movie is over and I couldn’t even tell you what the main character’s name is. So from a zoomed out perspective, it was easy and I succeeded and am going into the weekend feeling refreshed and present….blah blah blah.
Most people will say the key to staying off social media is to keep yourself busy. It’s kind of like a breakup in that way. In order to get over it, everyone will tell you to fill your days with activities and surround yourself with people who keep your mind off of it until, eventually, you forget you miss it. I think this method has some merit to it, but are you really healing from it if you just fill that void with something else? You can’t just put a patch over it and call it good. The hole is still there, there’s just something covering it up so other people don’t notice. So, I had one day in my 5 day hiatus that I didn’t even leave my apartment. A full day at home to force myself to relax and spend some uninterrupted time with myself. I woke up, made breakfast, cleaned my entire apartment, worked out watched a movie and then that’s when I felt it come crashing down on me. I had nothing to distract me from everything I was feeling. Everything that I had sort of let build up, because I was able to brush it under a rug, was starting to make its way out in to the open to hang out with me! How kind! With nothing to take my mind off of things, what did I do? Forced to deal with my feelings, I just sat in it (as uncomfortable as this was). Wrote in my journal…I also FaceTimed my mom. But what I didn’t do is post a photo on instagram to validate myself, tweet my feelings or creep on someone whose life appears to be 1 million times better than mine. What if we didn’t have social media to distract us from feeling this way? Would we be more in touch with our feelings as a generation? Would we be more productive? Would people actually focus on creating meaningful and lasting relationships? How do we even do that without the internet….???
What sucks is that it’s become trendy to go on a “social media cleanse” and then hop on instagram live and answer all sorts of questions about it to your thousands of followers. Was your intention really pure then? It’s all so frustrating to me and I find myself somewhere in the middle of it all. I think social media is a fantastic tool. There is so much to learn about the mechanics of these outlets and the influence it can have over people, businesses and relationships is second to none (I mean have you seen the FYRE documentary???) It allows you to connect with people from all over the world and opens you up to opportunities that would have been impossible in the past…but there’s gotta be a happy medium. I get so tired of always having the thought in the back of my mind of “I should post this!!!” or “If I post this then x y and maybe even z!!!!!” No. You should enjoy it while you can because this moment is gonna pass, probably already did. I’m even more sick of always having the fear that I’m way cooler on the internet. What if they think my photos look better than me in real life? What if I’m not as funny as my tweets or instagram captions? I start competing with this made up version of myself. Read that sentence again. I AM COMPETING WITH MY-MF-SELF. How stupid. If anyone in the world is gonna be a fan of mine, it should be myself. At the very least. The unrealistic expectations social media (and media in general) enables us to create are out of this world.
While it’s fun to entertain the thought of what 2019 would be like without social media, it unfortunately is pretty out of the question. Sure, you can delete the apps and pretend that alternate universe doesn’t exist, but it very much does. And it’s not going away. Even if they did outlaw it, I am fully confident that there would be some sort of strange selfie prohibition or bootleg app access. Wouldn’t that be a trip. Bottom line is that there can be a lot of good done through these outlets but I think most of us could benefit from taking a step back and asking ourselves if the time we are spending on social media is helping or hurting us. And I’m not gonna lie, it felt pretty good to ghost around for those 5 days.
If you would have asked me how 2019 was going to start for me, I wouldn’t have said in an Orthopedic surgery center listening to LANY Pandora while getting an MRI on my knee.
My trip home for the holidays was full of travel, good food and catching up with friends I shouldn’t have let myself drift from. I saw so many people and spent so much quality time with my family, but my two week escape from Los Angeles ended on a pretty heavy note. I found out that I will be needing surgery on my right knee due to severe ligament damage and beginning stages of arthritis. Oof. That’s not exactly the news you want to receive when your three current jobs are at a cycling studio, a HIIT training center and dancing for an NBA team. Just three days into the new year and I had found out that I would be spending nearly half of 2019 in recovery. Trying to swear less this year but….Fuck.
I can’t say I was blindsided by this news. Actually, I don’t even think I could tell you the last time I didn’t feel discomfort or instability when I’m dancing. It’s been something I’ve dealt with for about 10 years so at this point, the pain and distrust in my knee had become normal for me. When I was around 13 I dislocated it for the first time. From that point forward, my medial petellofemoral ligament stretched out, and only continued to do so, as I went on to dislocate it somewhere around 15 more times…not something I would wish on my worst enemy. As you can probably imagine, this has created a plethora of other issues. Hip, back, ankle, and more joint specific, additional knee problems. My patella does not track the way it should because the ligament that keeps it in line looks like a stretched out hair-tie (and we all know how annoying those are). That means I’m 23 years old and have the beginning stages of arthritis from the wear and tear. I always knew I was an old soul but I was hoping that wouldn’t translate to wrinkles and joint damage.
On the bright side of things, the surgery isn’t emergent (as I’ve basically done all the damage I can do aside from injuring it again). But my ortho did say that if I put it off for too long, I will likely have to have a full knee replacement by the time I’m in my mid 30’s. How the hell does someone whose livelihood is based off of activity process that information?
Like I said, I am not shocked by any means. I had hope that it could be fixed with physical therapy and maybe a little rest. But to hear the ortho say that someone will be calling me in the next few days to schedule my surgery has really thrown me for a loop. Being completely candid, I do not plan to spend the next 10 years pursing dance as my sole career. That doesn’t mean I love it any less, I just learned a lot about myself this last year and I am confident that 2019 will be full of lots of change and big decisions regarding my career path (and life in general) yada yada yada. But as I thumb through my planner trying to find a date to get this thing taken care of, it’s tough to accept that some of these decisions are probably going to have to come sooner than planned. And not because I said so, but because my stupid knee did.
Dance and activity have become part of my identity. It’s the reason why I even moved away from my friends and family, who I feel so fulfilled around. I have sacrificed a lot for it mentally, physically, emotionally…even financially. I’m not writing this for sympathy or to be overly dramatic. I am aware that this could be so so much worse. I will be back and better than ever after 6 months, I don’t have to have a full replacement, it’s not my ACL, it’s fixable. But it’s a lot for me to process. I’ve spent the last few days with my mind racing about what this means for my career, my hobbies, my fitness level, my calendar, where I live, what I do, what if there are complications, what if my body rejects the new tendon, spiral spiral spiral. I am writing this because the first thing I wanted to do, as I sat in the specialist’s office fighting back tears, is pull out my laptop and vent the best way I know how. The way that seems to allow me to get out everything that I’m thinking better than any verbal conversation I could ever have. Maybe this is God’s way of telling me I need to slow down. Pack my schedule less, learn how to relax, focus on nurturing relationships in my life more, write more, learn how to play that guitar that’s collecting dust in the corner of my studio apartment….the list goes on. I plan on doing all of the above things and know I will be better off in the long run. But, boy oh boy, are times a changin’.
As far as scheduling goes, the plan is to wait until late spring, early summer (and hopefully after basketball season has officially ended). Until then, catch me with my sleek new brace soaking up the next 6 months of activity.
SPRING HAS SPRUNG. And yet, here I sit in the middle of Snowstormville, IA, typing away at the coffee shop I used to work at. Hello nostalgia! Also hello snow, what the f are you. Seriously. It feels like the North Pole here. I must say I’m pumped to be wearing my favorite turtle neck today though. God, I love a good turtle neck.
Moving on. We made it through another month and as per me swearing I’m going to start holding myself accountable, that means I gotta do one of this weird review things to talk about shit that is lit…or at least I think it is. Can I get a drum roll? Or at least pretend you’re even a little bit excited to read these.
RELAXED.The Now in Silverlake. First of all, I had never been to Silverlake, which is apparently the hipster capital of Los Angeles. Now I’m by no means calling myself a ‘hipster’ but…..how the hell had I made it that long without exploring over there??? I also wore fake wire rimmed glasses so I could blend in with the hipster-folk. So this little boutique spa is aesthetically crafted by the Instagram and zen gods. It’s beautiful. All white walls, plants everywhere, minimalist design and not to mention that it smells incredible. As I said in one of my previous posts, I made the goal to take time to do one self-love-esque activity each week. This was my pick for week one of March. I got a 60 minute deep tissue massage and dammmmn did ya girl have some KNOTS. The Now really knows how to set the mood.
They gave me some water and led me into this heated room with swinging benches and faux fur blankets and once my masseuse was ready, I followed her back into this long hallway with an extremely high ceiling riddled with low-lit lanterns hanging ever-so-perfectly. I basically had to shackle my hands so that I didn’t grab my phone and take photos of it all for the gram. I was trying to zone completely in for once. I left feeling great and had even managed to snag a few photos of the waiting area while I made friends with the two chicks at the front desk on my way out. Bottom line, if you haven’t checked out The Now, do it. They have locations all over LA including West Hollywood and also Studio City but you can check out the other ones on their website I linked above!
REFLECTED. Wisdom Tree. Alright so let me start by saying, THIS HIKE IS HARD. Especially for people who are unapologetically clumsy in nature (me). I struggled so hard to find my footing through the bouldery inclines and sharp drop offs, but hey I lived to tell the tale. It probably didn’t help at all that I came to meet Carsyn at the base of the trail directly from finishing booty day at Barry’s. Yowza. But worth it. We both needed a morning to disconnect from our digital lives and enjoy nature and a great book. I brought my journal up there cause it had been a hot minute since I had written an entry. Carsyn just stated reading You are a Badass (READ IT IF YOU HAVEN’T). We spent about an hour and a half up there. Wisdom tree is cool cause there’s this box where people write stuff and then leave it in there. Because I’m nosey as hell, I struggled to not read everyones’ notes but I restrained myself. I can only imagine the secrets people stick in the box.
BAWLED. Love, Simon. After Carsyn and I finished our morning at Wisdom Tree, we headed to go see Love, Simon. It is so good you guys. I probably cried for about the last half of the movie. For those of you who don’t know, it’s about a high school aged boy who is gay and has been hiding it his whole life because he is unsure of how to come out to his friends and family. Growing up, I had a lot of extremely close friends who lived this exact life. I thought this movie provided a pretty raw look into what that must have felt like for them. Ouch. This really tugged at our heart strings. Not to mention, the soundtrack is incredible. But I’ll talk about that more a few bullets down.
GROOVED. Like a sexy human Claude Racine’s class at Edge. Yooooo. We learned a dance to Rocket by Beyonce. Which literally starts off by saying “Let me sit this @$$$$$$$$ on ya” so you can probably imagine the nature of the combo we learned. I’ve been trying to stretch myself when it comes to performance and committing to a character and this class just felt so good. Claude is cool as hell and teaches in such a relatable and real manner. I’ll definitely be back soon.
SURPRISED MYSELF. at Nikki. I had my first actual audition in front of an artist this month. That artist was Nikki Minaj. Lol yeah excuse me while I shit myself. Got to spend about 6 hours with my Clippers chica, Kylie.
SPENT. $25 on an entre at Mercado. HOLY SHIT CARNITAS HEAVEN. This is self-love activity numero dos. I can’t say I’ve spent that much money on a meal in a lonnnnng time but it feels good to be able to do that for myself when I want to. It’s a trendy little Mexican style restaurant in West Hollywood off 3rd street. I went with Carsyn and they set us at a two-top table by a fireplace. Ambiance points!!!! They for sure thought we were on a date though L O L. We started with the chips and guac and can I just say HOLY GUACAMOLE. I am a guac fiend and this was definitely top 5 level. Carnitas are their specialty and since that’s literally one of my favorite meats, I couldn’t say no to that. Basically it’s a hunk of TENDER AF meat served with escabeche on the side and corn tortillas. And Carsyn and I split a side of mashed potatoes because we were really going for it. Pair that with a few spicy margaritas and boom, you have the perfect way to spend your evening. Dessert was Coconut Bliss non-dairy ice cream and an Eating Evolved coconut butter cup (AKA MY FAVORITE THINGS EVER, if you’ve never taken any of my recommendations this is the one that I promise you you should take). Where did I fit all this food you ask? That, my friends, is a question I will never be able to answer.
DRINK DRANK DRUNK. Bottomless mimosas at Mama Shelter. $20 for all you can drink mimosas. This reminded me of college where you can literally die on $20 worth of drinks (hello dollar-you-call-its). Obviously we had a little more self control than my college self probably would have but ooof did they sneak up on us. We started here for St. Patty’s day with some brunch and then ventured up to the rooftop. I’m so excited to come back once it’s a little bit warmer outside. I spent my time on the rooftop under a heater and blanket cause I’m fragile and California has ruined me.
TUNES. Listened to Amy Shark, Exes. Alright, I said earlier in my blurb about Love, Simon, that I would get back to talking about the soundtrack. This is where I discovered Amy Shark. The song ‘Sink In‘ is one of my new favorites. This song punches ya in the gut. Not to mention it’s totally in my vocal range and my latest obsession when it comes to belting (and recording myself) in the car. Also if you haven’t checked out Exes yet, I highly recommend. She just released a song called ‘Over‘ (also one you may need your tissues for). SO so incredible.
OUTFIT REPEATED. Leather Jacket. Yeah this is no secret so I won’t dwell on this point too much. I feel like every time I feel cool enough to post an Instagram story of myself I’m wearing this stupid thing. I truly don’t know how I got by without it for as long as I did. I could be wearing a workout outfit but throw on my (p)leather jacket as a head out the door and instantly level up my life. I got mine at Urban Outfitters…pretty positive that all of Los Angeles owns the same exact one but it’s fine.
READ.Tiny Beautiful Things. I just bought a bunch of self-help books based on suggestions so THANK YOU to those of you that tossed some my way. This is the first of the group that I dove into. I’m about 100 pages in and I’m already in love. Basically it takes a bunch of advice column entries from Dear Sugar and complies both those and their responses together for a beautifully crafted series of stories and lessons on love and life. I love non-fiction books that I can apply to my own life, but I also love the story-telling quality that fiction books have. Because of that, this is such an easy read for me because it’s both. It’s all true little stories that are 100% applicable to life’s trials and tribulations.
I spent the end of the month the best way possible, with my family. The perfect way to recharge. April’s gonna be a good one.
I ended February in a bit of a funk. I found myself feeling disconnected, a bit down and completely insatiable. The worst part about it is that I couldn’t figure out why I felt any of these things. Clearly things weren’t going the way I wanted them to go…but how did I even want them to go in the first place?
I was sick of feeling negative (because I truly believe that you get from the world what you put into it, and no one wants negativity mirrored back at them), so I was racking my brain for a way to figure it all out. I’m learning that I’m a pretty complicated individual and should probably apologize to my parents, friends, past flings or anyone else who has ever a had a “what the f are you as a human” moment with me because same. I’m having one with myself currently. You’re not wrong.
I wanted to share what I did to work through it because it’s proven to be pretty effective for me. First and foremost, please realize that t’s completely normal to feel a little off from time to time. I am such a huge perfectionist that I have a hard time recognizing that. I want every day to be the best day ever and often blame myself if life doesn’t always feel like Disneyland. So accept it. Sure it doesn’t make it suck any less, but step one to moving forward is definitely acceptance. Acceptance, but not complacency. Don’t get stuck in a rut or valley. If you are able to realize somethings up, take matters into your own hands and begin rerouting yourself to work towards a peak, and hopefully a plateau, again.
Alright. So I got comfy, lit some candles (currently really into grey flannel), made a pot of coffee and opened up a word document on my computer. I love to write when I’m on like a cup number three of coffee buzz. Plus my fingers can type in hyper speed. I put them to use by making a list of things that I want- some of them tangible and some of them more abstract. Since I was feeling unsatisfied, there were obviously things in life that I, either consciously or subconsciously, wanted or felt were lacking. I tried to not let myself think and just freely type until I genuinely couldn’t think of anything more. You’ll probably find yourself struggling to come to terms with a bulletpoint here and there BUT for the sake of getting out of your head, try try try to turn off your noggin.
Once I finished my list, I took a second to read through everything. I was pretty surprised by some of the things that made their way onto the list. Some made me laugh, some made me cringe and some were as stupid as a Gucci belt. But like…I definitely want a Gucci belt so whatever. The cool thing about free writing is that it tends to unearth some things that you didn’t even know you were keeping from yourself. Next, I went through everything and made even more bulletpoints of how I can attain that particular want. Each and every single one of them. This was a little more challenging, but so crucial in the process of rerouting your thinking. I think people can become pretty miserable when they fixate on what they don’t have in life…which is essentially what this giant want list is. The shift in mindset comes from knowing that there are things you can be doing right now to get there and, most importantly, that the only thing stopping you from getting there is yourself. Woof.
It’s likely that your list is going to be pretty overwhelming. Mine was. So keep in mind that you don’t have to literally focus on every single bulletpoint this week. Pick 2 or 3 that you would like to focus on each week. And HOLD YA DAMN SELF ACCOUNTABLE. If you’re trying to eat better, make a daily food journal. If you’re trying to practice more self love, set aside one day a week to take yourself on a date. If you want to strengthen your connections with people, devote some time on the weekends to call your friends back home. Whatever it is, write it down in your planner, put it on your google calendar, scribble it on your hand, tell a friend so they hold you to it (hell tell ME if you can’t find an accountability partner), etc. I promise you if you do this, you’ll be amazed at what you are able to cross off your want list just by following what you said you were going to do.
Being twenty something is not easy but life feels good when you have goals you’re working towards and stay in tune with yourself.
Where the hell did the last 28 days go? Went by in the blink of an eye and I think it’s because I was so crazy busy. Lots of cool stuff happened, but my schedule was so packed I feel like I didn’t really take enough time to check in with myself and appreciate much of it. Also. I feel absolutely all over the place right now so forgive me if that’s reflected in this blog in any way shape or form. I also just drank a latte faster than any human being should. Get ready for some scatterbrained writing. You’ve been warned WOO.
I spent this morning taking some time to try and get my life together by setting a plan and some goals for the next few weeks. I started by reflecting on February. Looking back on the last 4 weeks, it’s no wonder I feel a little psychotic right now. My planner is full of white out, scribbles and a series of me stretching myself way too thin week after week after week…after week. Moving forward with this year, I’m trying to find a little bit more consistency in my life and learn how to say NO when ya girl just needs a break- easier said than done. So. I’m sitting here trying to think of ways I can start to do that and I figured I’d start with Riffs and Raffs. What better way to start than with a more regular writing schedule? Up until now, I’ve kind of just put out posts about random shit whenever I feel like it. Which has been fine, but in the spirit of consistency, I’m going to try to put something out each week of the month, with the last post being a review of some of my favorite shiz from the previous 4 weeks. I figure ending the month reflecting on all of all the good stuff is a surefire way to start the new month on a positive foot. I have also given a name (soft opening in the title of this post, stay tuned for the grand opening in about a paragraph. OH BOY OH BOY!!!).
PSA: I’m writing all of that blabber above to hold myself accountable to this schedule. I’ll probably try and do a few posts and mental/physical wellness, navigating life in LA and some on dance life as well. That being said, if there’s anything you want to see me writing about- PLZ HOLLA AT YO GIRL. If you could not give less of a shit I guess you could also tell me that. I’ll only cry for a few hours.
SO. Without further ado here’s some LIT SHIT February edition. And yes, I am calling this monthly blurb LIT SHIT. Yes, it will always be in all caps. *Cue Demi Lovato’s Sorry Not Sorry*
DRANK. Bulletproof coffee. The addiction is real. I was spending way too much on them every time I went to Whole Foods (which is too often) so I took matters into my own hands and bought the ingredients to make my own. The recipe calls for black coffee, ghee (or butter) and Bulletproof brain octane oil. I also add collagen (I use Vital Proteins) and sometimes a little coconut milk and maca. I throw it all into my nutribullet and blend for a frothy drank that keeps you going for hours, helps you metabolize fat and curbs cravings.
TUNES. I know I already confessed my love for Taylor Swifts new album, so I won’t talk about that anymore…but really it’s great. But I recently found this song “I Don’t Wanna” by a band called the Ivy. SO good from the beats down to the lyrics. I’ve also started making a playlist for each month on my Spotify and have been told I have great taste in music by several strangers (friends) who are completely non-bias (definitely bias). March is still a work in progress but I’ve got lots of good stuff on there and more to come if you’re trying to get some new sounds in your headphones.
ESCAPE. Ojai, California. I need to treat myself to more weekend getaways because DAMN. It was the trip I didn’t know I needed. My friend Arielle turned 25 and a bunch of us pitched in for an AirBnb over there. I forgot what it felt like to step outside and hear literally nothing but birds. Didn’t even know I missed that. It was such peaceful weekend with lots of heart-to-hearts, wine, food, more food and hiking. If you’re in the LA area and haven’t taken a second to escape the tall buildings and build up of trash on the sidewalks in a little while, treat yourself to a quick little road trip to Ojai to recenter and remember that there’s more out there than just Los Angeles.
NETFLIX BINGE. The End of the F*cking World. WATCH IT PEOPLE. I actually watched the entire series kind of by accident while I was in Ojai. We had all come home after lunch and needed a nap but that turned into about 4 hours of wine and Netflixing. It’s a super easy series to finish because none of the episodes are over about 20 minutes long and there are only 8 of them. Basically it’s about this teenager who is a psychopath and wants to kill this girl (she’s actually such a badass) so he befriends her and basically he catches #feelings. There’s a lot more to it though. It’s suspenseful, sad, romantic, funny and also really f*cking weird.
READ. You are a Badass. I put off reading it for a long time cause it’s such a fad read and sometimes I like to be a hipster about things. But it’s the real deal. I love the voice that Jen Sincero writes in. Kind of reminds me of the tone of my blogs- pretty laid back and casual. Kind of feels like you’re sitting in her living room on the floor drinking wine and she’s preaching at you how to take control of your life. And like, you wanna listen cause she’s cool and also drinking wine.
OVERATE. The Farmer and the Cook. Yooooo. THIS restaurant. Another find in Ojai. It’s this little hippy dippy spot with lots of vegan options, a market place, live music, outdoor seating, juice/smoothie bar and full coffee menu. LET’S GO. What more could you want. I got the Hurrache which was better than anything I have eaten in a long time. I also was blessed enough to consume the best cookie I’ve ever put in my mouth. Ever. I’m not either of these two things but for some reason I got the vegan and gluten free oatmeal raisin cookie. I realize to 78% of you that sounds absolutely awful, but I am not exaggerating when I say I’ve never eaten anything that good. It had this crazy brown sugary mapley aftertaste and ugh I can’t talk about it anymore cause I’m hungry and it’s making me sad.
#FITNESS. In the Yoga studio. As you know by now, I do class pass each month. I used to have a yoga membership at White Heat yoga in North Hollywood and it truly felt like home. I loved the staff and the way I felt walking out of the studio. As hard as I tried to make it work after I moved downtown, I had to cancel the membership. They recommended I go to Evoke yoga downtown and let me know that a lot of the teachers also teach there. Cool. That was in November and I just now made the time to go see what Evoke is all about. It’s about 1.5 miles from my place and I learned the hard way that it’s more efficient to just take an Uber (if I can’t get my ass out of bed early enough to walk) because parking downtown is not a thing. As in I missed my first class cause I couldn’t find a place to park good ole Snoop. I’ve been going to hot flow 2 and am so thankful to have yoga back in my life. Taking the time out of my day to get centered is really beneficial for my scatterbrained self.
These last few weeks have felt a little off for me, so here’s to looking at the positive side of things from February and knowing that it’s only up from here.
And, as always, please please reach out if there are any questions you have for me or anything you’d like to see me write about.
As many of you may know, I get bored with things extremely easily. I think that’s pretty evident in all aspects of my life from my career path all the way down to what I eat on a daily basis (also probably why I’m still single, Grandma). No surprise here, but that also carries over into my workout routine. I #cannot stay motivated if I’m doing the same thing day after day after day. I need some variety to stay engaged and challenged. If you’re a person who doesn’t work the same way I do, then great. More power to you if you can hold yourself accountable to the same routine each day. But it’s not necessary to do the same monotonous routine to see results. In fact, it’s good to switch it up and confuse your body especially if you’re trying to stay committed to that same New Years resolution that you’ve had for the past 5 years.
Next question is how. I’ve mentioned this before, but Los Angeles is absolutely crawling with trendy workout spots (Soul Cycle, Barry’s Bootcamp, Pure Barre, etc.). While all of those are beyond great, they also cost a pretty penny a pop (yes alliteration). For my life, it doesn’t work for me to pay 15-20 a dance class, plus that same amount (sometimes more) for fitness classes as well. For a while, I was able to take advantage of the free first classes that a lot of these places offer, but you can only change your name and cheat the system so many times before you start feeling like a cheapskate (guilty as charged). Enter ClassPass.
Basically you pay a fee upfront and have access to multiple different work out facilities and group fitness classes anywhere you want to try. This saves you from having to purchase a membership or bulk package from any one place and allows you to keep your routine fricki-fricki-fresh. You can visit the ones you love up to two times and here’s the best part: it’s only $20 for 5 classes. WHAT. Well, okay there’s a bit of a catch. It’s normally $60 a month for 5 classes (which is still a pretty great deal since it’s about $12 per class). BUT they do a deal if you get a link sent to you from a friend who also uses class pass where both you and the person who referred you gets $40 off. SO it ends up being $20 for 5 classes. And here’s the part where I shamelessly insert my code for you to sign up if you’re feelin it.
Next up: the classes I chose. It can be pretty intimidating to walk into a class and not know what to expect so here’s a little run down of the ones I ended up at.
Let me start by saying that I am addicted. Barry’s is by far my favorite of the bunch. So much so that I used two of my five classes on Barry’s. Basically you walk into this room with super intimidating (and also motivating) red lighting filled with treadmills, weights, resistance bands and mats. Each day is focused on a different muscle group alternates between treadmill and floor exercises. The hour long, high intensity interval training is designed to not only tone muscle and promote fat loss but it also spikes your metabolism for the next 48 hours. Litttttt. So you walk in, start on the treadmill and the trainer leads you through round 1. It varies on the trainer but I would say most of the time you’re on there for around 10 minutes. Sometimes the round is more sprint based and shorter, but there are times where I’ve been on the treadmill for a full 15 minutes. Just depends. They lead you through a rotation of walks, jogs, runs and sprints by giving you 3 numbers (the first being beginner followed by intermediate and advanced) to input into the treadmill. It’s important to keep in mind that this is just a guide.
Obviously you know your body better than anyone and safety comes first and trust me you don’t want to be the person that flies off the treadmill in the middle of class. Then (if you’ve avoided getting tossed and aren’t already on the floor) you move to the floor for round one of whatever day it is: Either arms/abs, back/chest, butt/legs, just abs or full body. You move through the different rounds and exercises for a full hour and then, once you’ve made it, you crawl out of the studio feeling accomplished and motivated (and also a bit dead). THEN YOU HEAD OVER TO THE FUEL BAR. Okay this isn’t mandatory but they have a bomb smoothie selection to help replenish your body after a near 1,000 calorie burn. My favorite is the Skinny Bitch with almond butter FYI.
Believe it or not, this was my first time at an actual Pure Barre facility! I’ve taken barre classes in the past but this one takes the cake. One of my teammates, Tori, works at the one downtown (which is literally a few blocks away) so it’s been on my to-do list to check it out for quite some time now. So as you probably already know, Pure Barre works to target those little muscles you forget even exist through small, isometric movements. Basically what that means is that if you walked into a class and just observed, you would probably be like this looks so easy. Well. It’s not. It’s different from Barry’s or a cycling class because you aren’t necessarily doing much cardio in the standard Barre class (although they do offer a class that includes it). The primary focus is to tone and build long and lean muscle and OUCH. After my first class, I was sore for multiple days in places that I hadn’t been sore in since I took consistent ballet back in the day. Definitely felt good to be back at the barre getting my ass kicked by a fellow dancer.
Pretty much your standard cycling class. In addition to the 239028 million things I already do, I also work at Cafe Gratitude on Larchmont. After work I had a small window between my shift and rehearsal so I popped into Fly Wheel just down the street. It’s stadium set up and the bikes are arranged in a half circle around the instructor. Where this cycling class differs from Soul Cycle (which I also love) is that each bike has a points calculator called the Torque Board. Basically it calculates how much energy you’re actually exerting and keeping track of how high you actually have your resistance turned up. At the end of the class, they show the “winners”. Okay. So. I’m extremely competitive and the idea of this was why I was interested in going in the first place. Not gonna lie, I was pretty disappointed at the end of the class when my total was higher than the number 1 spot and not displayed on the screen. I don’t know if this was a tech issue or what but this is me publicly letting everyone know that I SHOULD HAVE WON.
THIS IS THE WEIRDEST THING THAT I’VE EVER DONE IN TERMS OF A WORK OUT. So these classes are only about 30 minutes long. Weird, right? Ok so you’re probably thinking what in the world can you possibly accomplish in 30 minutes?? Well let me start off by saying this whole work out takes place on this vibrating thing. Yes, you heard me right. It’s called a power plate and is designed to contract your muscles 30-40 times per minute. You could literally just stand on the dang thing and be toning your muscles. Crazy. The class I took was a PlateFit barre class. Lots of dance-based plies and releves. The first part of the class I wasn’t feeling it too much but that definitely did not last long. By the end of the abs section (during which you actually lay down on the plate), my teeth were chattering from the vibrations and I felt a bit sea sick and fatigued. I am not kidding you I felt weird for like 2 hours afterwards. I tend to get motion sick so I don’t know if that was it or what. But I felt like I got a good workout in that definitely was new to my body. I’ll definitely be back!
Okay, sweeeeeet let’s sum this up. Basically for fitness lovers and New Years resolution starters, class pass is your move. Unfortunately it’s not nationwide. BUT it is available in the locations listed here.
GET AFTER IT. And if you do try out any of these classes, I wanna hear about your experience!!
THREE DAY JUICE CLEANSE HAS OFFICIALLY BEEN COMPLETED. After consulting with a few friends who are juice cleanse veterans, I decided to go with cleanse 1 from Pressed Juicery. It’s a bit higher calorie and meant for first time juicers (because it’s a bit tastier than some of the other ones) and also athletes due to it’s calorie content. Perfect. In most of my experiences with juice cleanses, work outs are a bit scary. So I’m looking forward to being able to sustain normal activity during these three days. I’m also obsessed with with the pressed freezes from Pressed so I already had a little bit of a bias towards going there.
YUM. Obviously I’m going into this whole thing super optimistic and I’m sure by the third day I’m going to probably hate the taste of it…but for now YUM. I opened this one up in the parking lot of Pressed Juicery because I knew that I would love it. This one is one of the heavier juices, almost like a shake. That being said, it’s a little chalky. For some reason I like that though. Even when it comes to my chai, I won’t order it if it’s made with syrup because I like the chalkiness of the chai powder. Strange (and also a little coffee shop snob of me).Greens 3 (kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon and ginger)
Alright, this one tastes more like what you would think a juice cleanse should taste like. Pretty earthy. I did a few one-day cleanses back in college and this is the taste I remember. The apple and lemon is the saving grace in this one for sure. I’m also a huge ginger fan so as earthy as it is, I’m still a fan. I should note that you’re supposed to drink at least 2 cups of water between each juice. There is no water in any of the juices, so in order to keep hydrated and digestion working properly, H20 is crucial. I also opened up the chlorophyll water (which is bright green)for the day as well. It helps sustain energy throughout the day.
It’s orange!!! This one’s not too much different than the last one as far as taste goes. But the carrot does take the edge off a bit. By this point in the day, I’m half way through the 6 and I had yet to be hungry. I haven’t done a lot of extra physical activity up until this point (my body was crying after rehearsal the night before).
4. 5 pm: Citrus 2 (pineapple, apple, lemon and mint)
This one tastes like a tropical cocktail…minus the alcohol. I love pineapple juice so I’m a huge fan. I will say it’s a bit challenging to choke down a drink so sweet after the last two drinks were so earthy tasting. Still good, nonetheless. I drank this one as I headed to work for a 6 hour shift. Which means (as you probably guessed) I had to take my last two juices to work. So now I’m officially that bougie girl who does juice cleanses at work, oops. I still felt great at this point and was sending a prayer to the juice gods that that would continue throughout my shift.
Alight, this is when I started feeling slightly crazy. Just before it was time to go in for juice number 5, I low-key felt buzzed at work. I’m not sure if this is just from all of the running around at Kahuna Tiki or if my body was starting to adjust to the whole 3 day liquid diet but wooof. I had never looked forward to drinking baby poop green liquid in my life. Even though this is one of the lighter drinks, it was interesting to feel the shift in my energy and stability after sucking this one down. I was gonna survive work, yay!!!!!
This one is basically the sister of the first drink of the day. So. Great. Perfect sweet treat to end the night feeling energized and full. Like I said earlier with the vanilla almond, this one is also heavier and slightly chalky. I drank this one at work as well. To be honest, I was a little nervous about sticking to the schedule of the cleanse while still going about my normal daily activities. I think a lot of people are. But after the first day went so smooth, that’s definitely not a valid worry to have. People (at least around here) are familiar and acceptable of the juice cleanse life. They know what it is, even if they don’t know much about it. That being said, no one looks at you weird or tries to tempt or force you into eating solids.
*Bonus* 11:45 pm: Aloe water
Since Pressed was having a special, I went ahead and threw in the Aloe water along with the Chlorophyll water for each day. It brought the total from $84 to $104 (normally it would have been near $160). You’re supposed to drink the aloe water just before bed to aid with digestion. I still had some chlorophyll water left at that point as well so I basically sat in my kitchen watching K-pop videos with Annie (my Aussie roommate who is obsessed) until they were finished. This got a little weird though. Have you ever sucked down like 3 glasses of ice water the second you sit down at a restaurant and suffered from intense chills?? <— Me trying to be relatable but i don’t know if this has ever happened to anyone else. Well, if so, that’s the kind of feeling I had immediately after. I’m typically a pretty warm blooded human and would take being a little chilly over being too hot any day. But I had to grab a sweatshirt and a few extra blankets until I warmed up a little bit #strange. Anyway, by the time it was a little past midnight I was MORE than ready for bed and feeling pretty accomplished that the first day went so smooth!
Disclaimer: Just so you know, each day consists of the same juices in the same order. So for the next few days, I’m not going to spend too much time focusing on the taste of everything, cause (if you can read) you already know that.
Wooo, good morning day two!!! I woke up feeling very refreshed, unbloated and a little bit hungry. On a normal morning, I’m usually a bit groggier- especially lately. For some reason it’s been so difficult to get out of bed this last week, so I was pleasantly surprised to be ready to roll out of bed at a decent time. I didn’t necessarily have anything on my agenda for the day, so I went into the day not feeling too nervous about adding another 24 hours to my cleanse, starting with the yummy vanilla almond drink.
I headed out to run a few errands and took the second juice along (this is the super green one). Still feeling energized and fine, I had a realization. I couldn’t even go sit at a coffee shop after finishing up my errands. That’s like one of my favorite things to do. I mean I guess I could have gotten a table and sat there until they figured out that I didn’t buy anything from there. Dang. So many activities are centered around food and beverages, it’s wild. I’ve always known that but the struggle is REAL when you’re mid juice cleanse. So basically, the only thing I could do while I was out and about was pop into a few stores and window shop. What could have easily been a 3 hour trip down Ventura Blvd. turned into 40 minutes cause I was just out of things to do and had stuff to do back at the homestead.
By this time, I’m starting to feel a little bit sleepy. I couldn’t really tell if this was because of the juices or if it was just one of those weeks. We had a lot happening here since Kelly was getting ready to leave for the cruise and Annie was moving into my room so that could have also played into it. I ended up fighting the urge to nap and did some apartment hunting while I sipped on the carrot/ginger juice. I’m stressed out enough about finding a new place so that distracted me from the fact that I was now 36 hours (HALF WAY!!!!) into the cleanse.
That lasted a little while, but I ended up back in my bed after about an hour. I had planned to get back into Sienna’s heels class that night so I thought I should try to preserve my energy.
You should know that I may be one of the world’s worst nappers. What I am good at is laying in bed for the length of a nap and staring at a computer screen or finding 1 million things to do on the computer that make me feel productive. So, rather than nap, that’s what I did to prepare for class. That and drink my 4th juice, the yummy tropical tasting one. I ended up eating a handful of raw and unsalted almonds too before heading out the door. Pressed Juicery recommends this if you are feeling a bit drained or needed more fuel for any reason.
With that, I headed off to heels class. Not only was this the most activity I had done since starting the cleanse, but it was also my first time back in class (and in heels) since making Clippers. Hello nerves. The first thing I noticed was that the only thing in my head for the first 30 minutes of class was “shit I’m probably gonna fall over” and “there’s no way I can pick up this choreo, I have juice brain”. While those may have been valid thoughts, the second I was able to shake them, I couldn’t tell a difference between class on any other day. I finished feeling accomplished, energized and definitely sweaty. WOOP!
Time for the other green af juice. I actually ended up liking this one just as much as the others by the end of the cleanse. Kelly and I were about to head to go see the most recent Annabelle in Burbank and I knew I was about to endure the smell of popcorn for the next 2 hours. That actually didn’t end up being to bad but by the time the movie was over, I was HANGRY and NEEDED the last juice of the day: the chocolate almond.
One small problem- Annie had taken the keys, Kristyn was at work and Kelly and I were locked out of the apartment. Guess what we did to kill time…WALK AROUND RALPHS WHICH IS FULL OF FOOD. Great idea!!!!!! It wasn’t even that I was craving any specific food, or any food for that matter, but the fact that I couldn’t even buy anything there had me feeling a bit trapped. Luckily, we only had to wait about 45 minutes for Kristyn to get off work to let us in. I basically broke the door down trying to get upstairs to drink my final juice of the day.
Also FYI, the new Annabelle movie is shit.
It was finally time for bed and my aloe water. We had an early morning ahead of us for the Iowa v ISU game!
DAY THREE: THE LAST DAY!!!!
WOOO GO HAWKS!!!! We woke up at the crack of dawn (I basically chugged my final vanilla almond juice), dressed our favorite Aussie roommate like a real life hawks fan and headed to Barney’s Beanery in Santa Monica! The alumni association out here has declared it an Iowa bar and puts on fun little events for the games there! It’s so fun to go and see people from college who are out here or even jus the Iowa pennants hanging on the wall. AND you get 40% off your tab if you wear Hawkeye gear!! Obviously I didn’t rack up much of a tab this time, but seriously if you love the Hawks and you’re out here ya gotta go!!!
Before heading down the road, I packed 3 juices in my big ass mom purse. I even threw in an ice pack to keep them cold. Since I wasn’t drinking (or eating for that matter) I drove us to Santa Monica for the game (like a true mom).
Here comes Holly drinks juice at a bar part one. So by this point I’m on like my 4th water, Kelly is on her 2nd G&T and the other girls are finishing up their first mimosa. Sweet potato fries have been ordered and I’m over here at the end of the table cracking out the green juice. Pretty comical. The weird part was that it wasn’t even difficult to ignore the food that they ordered. Not even the smell of it made me want it. I’m not sure if it was because the juice was keeping me satisfied or the fact that I had spent over $100 on the juices and was therefore committed, but either way I remained happily food and drinkless.
1:30 pm (ish)
FREAKING GO HAWKS. What a good game you guys. So cool to see all of the fans at Barney’s going absolutely crazy as we beat the cyclones (again). We had run into some friends who went to Iowa and decided to go to the Bungalow afterwards. On the way there, I smashed the carrot one so I could get that out of the way before going into the bar. Honestly, the most annoying part of this whole thing wasn’t the lack of alcohol consumed, but dealing with everyone and their brother bumping into my mom bag. Seriously I about swung it at like 6 people’s heads. I still had a blast though. As per usual, Kelly whipped out Heads Up at the bar. By about 4 we were ready to head out, and guess who was hungry…Kelly. I was so excited to go watch Kelly eat another meal!!!!!
What’s worse is she picked one of my favorite spots, Lemonade. Lucklily it was time for the tropical juice so I kind of felt like I was drinking one of their bomb lemonades….kinda. If you feel like I’m sugar coating the whole cleanse, I’m really not. I’m not 100% sure of all the science that goes into creating a cleanse regime but I really did feel satisfied about 80% of the time.
After we got home, I was planning on diving into my bed and then I remembered…our photoshoot for clippers is tomorrow and my nails are a wreck. We had specific instructions to have them done (or at least looking nice), so I figured I should go take care of that. Of course, they could only do them if I got there around 6:15 so that left me with about 20 minutes of pillow time. I finished the 5th juice on the way out of my place while all of my full and slightly buzzed roommates took a little snooze.
*If you think you’re noticing a theme here to STAY BUSY while on a juice cleanse, you’re spot on.
TIME FOR MY FINAL JUICE!!!!! Our friend Caitlyn stayed at our place that night and we had originally all planned to go to dinner…buttttt #JuiceCleanse. So we opted for a quick trip to grab some chipotle for her (nothing has ever smelled so good) to take back to our place for a movie night in. I crushed my very last chocolate almond while watching Memoirs of a Geisha (solid movie) and headed off to bed dreaming about what the heck I was going to eat the next morning. Ultimately though, I was feeling SO accomplished. I FINISHED THE CLEANSE AND DIDN’T DIE!!!!
I feel like this is the neglected portion of any info on juice cleanses you may find online. It’s so crucial not to binge eat (on whatever you may have been craving during your cleanse) the second you finish all of your juices. I mean you’ve done nothing but digest liquids for 72 hours…how do you think your body is going to react if you hit up your favorite Mexican joint right after a cleanse??? EASE INTO NORMAL FOOD PEOPLE. Trust me. Luckily for me, I wasn’t craving anything bad. I just did my body so much good for 3 days and didn’t want to undo all of that. Actually the only thing I was craving was a kale noodle poke bowl from this place across the street (this is strange, I am aware).
Moving on. I woke up feeling light and refreshed. My skin was pretty clear and I could tell that I had lost some water weight. I hopped on the scale just out of curiosity and ended up being about 4 pounds down. Don’t get me wrong…weight loss wasn’t the goal here, but I’ll take it. Not a bad confidence booster before going into my first photoshoot with the Clippers!
We all went to Kreation (you have to go if you haven’t) in the morning and they recommended I order the jungle bowl- this is an accai bowl with lots of greens and the same ingredients that were in a lot of the juices. I did make a mistake though. I had them add banana. OUCH. Bananas have made my stomach hurt in the past but DANG. My stomach was in knots the entire way to the photoshoot. But by the time I got there and had drank a lot of water, I felt relatively normal. During the shoot I snacked on a few nuts and veggies here and there…even had a cup of coffee (which made me feel turnt after not drinking any caffeine for 3 days). I didn’t quite trust my stomach with much else at the point.
After a GREAT day with the team (I’ll be writing about that a little bit later) you better believe I smashed a Kale noodle poke bowl when I got home.
ALL IN ALL
When it was all said and done, I loved my first juice cleanse experience. I felt like I could have even done it for a few more days. So if you’re teetering on giving it a go, I say DO IT. As far as advice goes I would say
Plan to do your cleanse accordingly. If you have a wedding to go to, a birthday to celebrate or lots of physical activity coming your way that’s probably not the right time to try and do it. Don’t make it harder on yourself than it has to be.
COMMIT. If you’re gonna spend the money on the juices, drink them. Make the sacrifices you need to to complete the cleanse, it’s only 3 days of your life.
Stay busy to stay mentally tough. Obviously don’t wear yourself out, but if you’re just sitting around all day your mind is going to start to drift (pizza, tacos, ice cream……..).
Follow the rules. You gotta stay hydrated otherwise you will feel like ass at the end of the three days.
Ease back in to solid foods!!! Your body will love you for it.