Category Archives: Workouts

Western States Training Camp

Where am I this weekend? Up in Auburn, CA running 70 miles in 3 days in training for Western States 100 Mile Race. I’m just crewing a friend of mine this year, but I finished the race last year, and running these trails this weekend is really bringing back some memories for me…

One of my most favorite places to run EVER- by the American River.


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30-45 Minute Quick Workout of the Day

I used to think if I didn’t have 1 hour or more, it wasn’t worth working out. This was years ago. I feel a lot more differently about this now, and since working in the fitness industry, I have seen first-hand that even just 30 minutes a day will give you that mental and physical boost we all strive for from our exercises routines. IT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Even if I only have 20 minutes to devote to working out, I will always choose that 20 minutes over 0 minutes.

Here is what I did at the gym the other day when I didn’t have a lot of time, and it didn’t take much over 45 minutes. Emphasis on legs, back, and core. You can scale back the # of sets (but try to do a minimum of 2), and the # of reps depending on how much time you have. Enjoy!!

15 Minutes of CARDIO: Stair Stepper Machine set at 100 steps a minute (or whatever challenges you best)

I am a fan of the stair steppers that look like these

20 minutes of STRENGTH:

[Superset #1, repeat 3x]

  • 15 reps seated cable back rows, 40 lbs
  • 15 reps prone hamstring curl machine, 40 lbs

Seated Cable Back Rows

Prone Hamstring Curl Machine

[Superset #2, repeat 3x]

  • 10 reps of assisted pull-ups, set at your appropriate assist depending on your current weight & strength
  • 30 reps squats, no weights

Assisted Pull-Up Machine

10 minutes of CORE STRENGTH:

[Do all four exercises, repeat 2x]

  • plank with medicine ball touches, 20 with each hand
  • russian twists with 6 lb medicine ball, 20 twists on each side
  • supine scissors, 15 criss-crosses
  • v-ups with 6 lb medicine ball, 15 times

I hope the pictures helped you understand what machines I’m referring to. Please feel free to ask me any questions about various exercises and form, etc. But most importantly remember, it doesn’t matter how much time you have, just get out there and do what you can – your body will always thank you for it!

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Westridge Trailhead

Westridge Trail in November 2011

For those of you that live in Los Angeles, Westridge is one of the quickest hikes/runs that you can bring your dogs on. I love it. If you’re heading east on Sunset coming from Santa Monica/Brentwood/Malibu, then you would turn left at Mandeville Canyon Rd., left on Westridge Rd. and drive all the way up until the road dead ends into “Westridge Trailhead”.

bring your dogs!

It’s not a terribly demanding hike/run, but you can make it more challenging by starting up the tiny single-track trail on the right-hand side (the main entrance is a fire road that’s to the left of the little parking lot), and the single-track will prove to be more challenging with steeper grades and also more rewarding with sweeping views. Today we could see Downtown LA, Century City, and the gorgeous coastline. The picture above is of a portion of the single-track trail.

If you hike to the big tower (where the water fountain & bathrooms are) and back to the trailhead, it makes for a round trip total of just about 7 miles and about 1,100 feet of total elevation gain. If you’re feeling frisky, you can continue past the trail, make a left, and you will be heading toward the rest of the Santa Monica Mountains (Temescal Hub, etc.). Also, just a note, but the trail can get pretty hot during the summer time, so be sure to bring water for you and your dog during the summer months!


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Inspiration Silverlake and the De-Flowering of My Crockpot

Yay!! A beautifully confusing, but beautiful day. These days the mornings are absolutely freezing (aka 45 degrees) and the afternoons are scorchingly hot (aka 78 degrees), and I bring an entire selection of a tank top, short sleeve, long sleeve, jacket, gloves, and headband, just so that I’m prepared for weather changes while training clients. This morning was stunningly beautiful in Silverlake, and my reservoir run was refreshing as usual. I took some pictures of Silverlake, as well as the Silverlake version of “Santa Monica Stairs” – these sets of stairs can be found all over (totally randomly placed) the neighborhoods by the reservoir. It’s a very fun thing to explore!

…going up…

…going down…

Totally inspired by Silverlake.

I know I’ve written about Silverlake already, but I honestly have a thing for the place. I know it is known for its “hipsters” and whatnot, and to be honest, I have no idea what the people are like because there are pretty much only two people in Silverlake I know and regularly converse with. It’s the land, the nature, the aura that I absolutely have a crush on. I don’t care what anyone says – Silverlake is beautiful. The layered streets of cool, unique houses…the array of foliage interspersed between homes, the reservoir, the cool shops and restaurants that are staggered around town, the hidden runnable stairs waiting to be discovered, the flocks of geese flying overhead (this happened today and made me SO happy!!), and numerous other things that seem just so specific to that particular part of Los Angeles. When I am there, I feel happy, and motivated, and I could run forever outdoors, then drink a bottomless amount of Lamill’s Masala Chai Tea Latte afterwards. Ahhh.

Speaking of Lamill’s. I have now experienced the “Lamill’s Breakfast” (with sausage & baguette), as well as the cappuccino. Both very delicious. However, my favorite will still be the chai tea and the omelet (with gruyere cheese – the BEST!).

De-Flowering My Crockpot.

This happened last night. Ok, so maybe this statement isn’t completely accurate – this Crockpot was used once before. In fact, my boyfriend bought it for his sister when she came to town and wanted to make chicken + dumplings, so it’s not even really mine to claim! But that was at least 4 years ago…and now I’ve determined it’s mine, and I better start figuring out some recipes to use on that thing. Or in it, rather.

On Pinterest (c’mon, you know you’re obsessed with that site as much as I am) I found a recipe & blog that I adore. 365 Days of Slow Cooking. Pretty damn cool blog if you ask me, especially for someone who needed a good recipe to break in her new-ish slow cooker. Remember when I said I had a soft spot for a good soup? Well I wasn’t lying…this recipe is THE BOMB:

TOMATO-BASIL PARMESAN SOUP (via 365 Days of Slow Cooking)

It turned out phenomenal!! The only things I did slightly different were that I only slow cooked for 4.5 hours, then prepared the roux, and continued cooking for about 45 minutes after that. I used dried oregano, and fresh basil. And everything else I stuck by the book on, and it was excellent. Oh, I also served with several pieces of buttered multi-grain toast.


Starting the Roux…this was such a fun task! I love this part, whisking away…

Not the best picture, but it IS delicious. I promise.

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Yogaworks & Pork Chops

I recently bought a deal from DailyCandy for YogaWorks – $49 for an unlimited month of yoga and a $25 gift card for the shop. And I don’t regret it! Surprisingly, the yoga classes have all been highly satisfying, and was yet again, last night. The teacher I went to last night is Alexandria Crow, and she is INTENSE. In the best way possible. I have been attending all the level 2/3 classes at YogaWorks, which have been challenging me immensely, and Alex’s class in particular stands out. She never had us rest, never gave us any “easy poses” in between the hard ones, and always kept up the “fire” (to use her own terminology). She was AWESOME.

I thought she looked familiar!!!

Anyway, almost immediately after class, my boyfriend and I went for dinner at a good friend’s place. They love to cook and have guests, and the very talented Marc Smith made us a fabulously delicious meal. Although everything was over the top delicious and beautiful, I think my favorite part of the meal was the starter (I’m a sucker for a good soup!)…







Needless to say, MAMBO is still very happy at the moment… 🙂

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Rainy Day in LA

It was rainy today. Which I LOVE. There is nothing better than waking up to the sound of the pitter patter, then putting a pot of coffee on, getting into some comfy workout clothes, and going outside. LOVE IT. My first client today was out in Silverlake, so we had a good time running a couple rounds of neighborhood stairs in a light drizzle, then heading under the garage port cover to do some strength circuits. Afterwards, I ran around the reservoir myself. Again, another HIGHLY recommended workout for those that live in the area. From my client’s house it is about a 2.7 mile run, so I’m estimating that around the reservoir itself is about a 2.25 mile run (give or take). There is a lovely dirt path around the reservoir to stay on, and lots of scenery as you pass by the water, a park, a preschool, a dog park, and numerous Silverlake-folk out for the day. Then, go to Lamill’s afterwards for a scrumptious omelet and Masala Chai Tea Latte (what I recommend). Here’s a pic of this morning in Silverlake:

This evening I was feeling lazy, so made a very EASY healthy dinner.


Frozen Chicken Breast Tenders from Trader Joe’s

Frozen Organic Vegetable Foursome from Trader Joe’s

Organic Quinoa from Trader Joe’s

EVOO, Balsamic Vinegar, Stubb’s Chicken Marinade

  1. Thaw frozen chicken breasts. I like to put them in a freezer bag, then stick the bag in a bowl of hot water.
  2. When breasts are partially thawed, add a generous amount of Stubb’s Chicken Marinade and let sit for at least an hour. (The longer the better!) Meanwhile, cook quinoa in the rice cooker (a cup will take approximately 20 minutes). In a small saucepan, add water, EVOO, and balsamic vinegar to the frozen veggies. Bring to boil, then reduce to medium/low and let sit until all the liquid has been soaked into the vegetables.
  3. Cook the chicken breasts on a George Foreman (or any other grill!) – be sure to pour all the marinade on top of the breasts before grilling 🙂 Cook for at least 5 minutes.

I particularly love Stubb’s brand of chicken marinade (among other Stubb’s products!!!)

For dessert, luckily recently on of my clients gave me a bar of chocolate made by her very talented chocolatier friend Katrina Markoff. Vosges Haut-Chocolat as they call it, is super-duper fancy, but equally super-duper delicious. My boyfriend and I both LOVED this one.


LOVED this so much.

The dark chocolate flavor is subtle (I’m not the biggest dark chocolate fan) and the caramel/ale center is so pleasing on the palate. Even though more expensive than other chocolates, I would definitely buy some as a great gift for family and friends.

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Food, Stairs, and More Food…

Today was a very foodie kind of day. This morning I met a friend for breakfast at La Petite Crepêrie – I’d never been there before, and it was DELICIOUS. There are a lot of hidden gems in the Mar Vista area. We both wanted something proper as well as something sweet, so we decided to split. We got the Saucisse et Oeuf (Brittan Sausage, Gruyère and Egg Sunny Side up) & the Citron (Lemon, Butter, Sugar). The sausage & gruyère were very satiating, while the citron was THE best sweet crepe I’ve ever had. It sounds simple with just 3 ingredients, but if you like a good lemon dessert (and I certainly do – my favorite pie in the world is the lemon cream cheese from Marie Callendar’s), you are in for a treat! I failed to take pictures this morning, but here is one taken of the outside of this lovely place…highly recommended both by me and my friend:

photo by: Mar Vista Mom

After a few more clients, I hit the Santa Monica Stairs. I have not run the stairs in months, and have recently been itching to get back into it. It is an incredible workout you can do 1) for FREE, 2) ANY time of day, and 3) in a short amount of time. The stairs will whoop your butt. I usually run up, and walk/jog/hobble down. I finished 10 up & downs with some jogging in between in about 40 minutes. A good place to start is 3 reps, and depending on your fitness level you can either walk them up and down, or try to run up and down. Trust me, you will still get a GREAT workout walking them. They are located on Adelaide, off of 4th St., and you can usually park on 4th. If not, there is plenty of parking on the streets just south of San Vicente, and what you can do is jog/warmup to the top of the stairs (what I recommend). There are also 2 sets of stairs. The set closer to 4th St. is windy and uneven, whereas the second set has much better footing and spacing. Obviously, it’s up to you! Message me if you need specific details on how to get there or what to do! Another pic that I failed to take:

photo by: Kelsey Wyatt

Finally, the last meal of the day!! I wanted to make a good Italian pasta dish (I am only a quarter Italian, but I eat & cook as though I’m full blooded 🙂 ) so I decided to whip up some gnocchi with homemade sauce, and a salad. I concocted a new homemade sauce that was absolutely delicious. I will list my ingredients, but I never measure my ingredients, so I will tell you approximately rather than exactly. Haha.


*2  package (16oz each) imported Potato Gnocchi

1- 28 ounce can of tomato puree with crushed tomatoes

1/4-1/2 cup fresh cut basil

1 small chopped sweet onion

6-8 cloves garlic, minced

**1-2 roma tomatoes, chopped

8 ounces of LIGHT brie cheese (usually this is half of a pinwheel/cut), cubed (small cubes)

EVOO, Garlic Powder, Sea Salt, Ground Black Pepper, Italian Seasoning (to taste! your preference!)

[*I only used 1 package today, but quickly realized I had way too much sauce in comparison. I added in mini bowtie noodles since I didn’t have another package of gnocchi, and it was a good mix.

**The roma tomatoes at the grocery store do not appear to be in season, so I used standard vine-ripened tomatoes & they worked well]

  1. Boil salted pot of water. Add in gnocchi. When gnocchi float up to the top of the pot, strain and set aside.
  2. Slightly sauté chopped onions in a large saucepan on medium heat. After a couple of minutes, add the entire 28 ounce can of tomato puree. Mix in basil, minced garlic, garlic powder, sea salt, ground black pepper, and Italian seasonings. Mix in chopped tomatoes, and cubed brie. Continuously stir until cheese is completely blended. Season freely, to taste.
  3. Mix gnocchi with the sauce on low heat. Keep warm until ready to consume!
Package of Fresh Herb Salad
1-2 Chopped Tomatoes
Sliced Almonds
Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt & Pepper
Grated Parmesan Cheese

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