San Francisco

Sharon Salzberg in Norcal, Flywheel Rides and so Many Ways to Meditate

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Meditate in Marin

New York–based meditation expert Sharon Salzberg will be in the Bay Area to lead a day-long workshop on loving kindness meditation at Spirit Rock, as part of a nationwide tour to promote her new book, Real Love. Activities will include talks, guided meditation, and direction for practice in daily life. // 9:30am to 4:30pm, Aug. 13 at Spirit Rock (Woodacre), spiritrock.org/calendar. Admission fees based on a sliding scale; register at eventbrite.com.

Om in the Club

If you missed May's sound bath series at Halcyon, or abandoned your meditation practice when the pop-up ended, good news: It's back. SoMa's most enlightened nightclub is bringing back its immersive, meditative sound bath series Resonate: Sound Heals starting this Thursday. This week's sound experience will include a combined sound bath and yin yoga session led by Loriel Starr and Reza Dirtyhertz. // 7:30-9pm, Thurs. Aug. 10 at Halcyon314 11th St. (SoMa). Tickets are $20; register at eventbrite.com.

Fly Rides

If you're looking to rub elbows with the brains behind Flywheel's sweaty indoor cycling classes, check out Flywheel master instructor and West Coast creative director Victor Self's Bay Area classes this weekend and next week. Self will be leading indoor cycling classes at the Market Street, Walnut Creek and Sunnyvale locations. // Aug. 9-17 at multiple Flywheel locations; check the schedule and book classes at flywheelsports.com.

Mission Meditation Pop-up

In the Mission, a new 10,000-square-foot wellness space is in the works for a big October opening. Called the Assembly, the space is already hosting a handful small classes lead by some of SF's most talented indie instructors, including Jing Cai of Pacific Pause. Cai's weekly mindfulness meditation series takes places on Thursdays starting this week. // 6:15-6:45pm, Aug. 10, 17, 24, 31 at The Assembly, 449 14th St. (Mission). Tickets are $18; register at eventbrite.com.

Your Week in Wellness: Wanderlust, Moon Circles and Yoga on the Beach

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Here's where to wind down this weekend:

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (July 20-23)

Today through Sunday, the West Coast's biggest yoga event of the year, Wanderlust, takes over North Lake Tahoe with celeb yogis teaching everything from restorative classes to advanced inversion workshops. Off the mat experiences include a bohofaux braid bar, essential oils tutorials, wine tastings, farm-to-table meals, and lots of late night dance parties. The superstar lineup includes the Bay Area's own Janet Stone, and imports we stalk on IG like Briohny Smyth and her husband Dice Iida-Klein, as well as Wanderlust and Kula Yoga founder Schuyler Grant. // July 20-23, single day tickets start at $115; 1960 Squaw Valley Rd., Olympic Valley (Squaw Valley), wanderlust.com

Ladies-only New Moon Circle (July 22)

We agree that an entire weekend of yoga and chanting can be overwhelming, so for something closer to home, the Mission's new wellness coworking space Assembly is hosting a new moon-themed evening. Led by Molly and Valentine of women's healer group Expansive Voice Movement, this three hour women's circle of intention-setting and self-power discovery includes a sound bath meditation and a group discussion about the moon and what it means as it enters the astrological sign of Leo for August. // July 22, free; The Assembly, 449 14th St. (Mission), eventbrite.com

Sunset Yoga on the Beach (July 21)

If 90 minutes of Friday night beach yoga at sunset sounds more your speed, Outdoor Yoga SF's yoga and and silent disco is the wellness experience you need in your weekend. Held at Baker Beach this and most Fridays, class starts with a light meditation followed by an energetic flow class that turns into a yoga dance party. Instructor Julie Aiello supplies noise canceling headphones through which she leads the class so as not to disturb non disco-ing passers-by. // July 21, tickets start at $24; Ocean Beach Stairwell 14 (Ocean Beach), outdooryogasf.com

Chill Yoga for Tech Neck

Yoga Tree's seasonal yin (relaxing, non-sweaty) yoga workshop led by Dina Amsterdam is inspired by Chinese Medicine's teachings that the heart is most open during the summer season. Focused on opening the heart, which is yoga-speak for undoing that 9-5 computer posture AND letting more joy and compassion into your life, the class includes movement, breathwork and meditation. // July 23, $75 day of or $65 in advance; Yoga Tree Valencia, 1234 Valencia St. (Mission), yogatreesf.com

Gymnastics for grownups, Poolside Yoga + Rose and the lululemon Collab you Need

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Nontoxic Mani/Pedis, Meet Wine

Allegra Angela, the wellness-minded sommelier of Bottlecoat, is pouring eco-friendly flights of wine on Fridays at posh SoMa nail hub ZaZa. Each weekly vino and mani pairing brings a different list of pours—this week, drink from organic wineries whose natural production processes are said to render headache-free wines. No reservations are needed for the wine tasting, but treatments should be booked by calling the salon. // $15; Friday July 14, 5-7pm, at ZaZa, 543 2nd St. (SoMa), zazaspa.com

Gymnastics for Grownups

The SoMa studio that taps into the sexier side of fitness—think pole dance, aerial silks, hoop and mindful contortion—SF Pole & Dance is kicking off a weekly adult gymnastics class on Thursday, July 20. Fret not, no acrobatic background is needed, but a few of these classes could totally upgrade your pole tricks. Gymnastics classes start with light cardio and stretching, then lead into handstand prep, somersaults and flip movement work. Classes are 75 minutes. // $30 drop-ins; SF Pole & Dance, 301 8th St., Suite 225 (SoMa), sfpoleanddance.com

Lulu Goes Earthy-Chic

Taryn Toomey's The Class—a "heart-centered cathartic movement practice" in New York beloved by supermodels and fit celebs—has inspired a capsule collection of chic, earth-toned athletic gear by Lululemon, available now through August at Lulu's Cow Hollow location. Shop a range of stylish bodysuits, studio-to-street wraps, and subtly vented three-quarter-length pants. // Lululemon, 1981 Union St. (Cow Hollow), shop.lululemon.com

Free Yoga @ Athleta

Athleta's free weekend classes are some of our favorite community things to do in SF. on Fillmore is partnering with YogaWorks during the month of July for free yoga classes. Held mostly on weekends, sessions are taught by Athleta ambassadors Sarah Ezrin, Lauren Slater, Natasha Zaslove, and others. Sign up at Eventbrite. // Athleta, 2226 Fillmore St. (Pacific Heights), athleta.gap.com

Say Om by the Pool

Summer means yoga and mimosas at Phoenix Hotel where a new program, dubbed Phoenix Rising, is now in full swing. This Saturday, down dogs and warriors will be led poolside by Yoga Tree instructor Peter Walters. Post-class, yogis will be rewarded with a mimosa or glass of rosé. BYO mat. // $10 includes yoga and a drink; Phoenix Hotel, 601 Eddy St. (Tenderloin); tickets available at Eventbrite.

W+A mani/medi PARTY(!), Free Yoga at the Four Seasons, + Gluten-free at Nourish

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Here are the wellness happenings you need to know this week—from the Global Wellness Day celebration at Four Seasons to SF's first-ever SoulCycle warehouse sale.

Meditation & Manicures (June 8)

If a night of self-care is in order, Well + Away and Hotel Zetta are hosting an evening sound bath with a side of manicures on Thursday, June 8 (6-9 p.m). Meditation and Manicures will begin with a 30 minute sound bath led by Loriel Starr, followed by a nontoxic manicure, complete with Priti NYC vegan polish, by Burke Williams. Wine, cold-pressed juice from Project Juice, and adaptogenic tonics by REBBL are all included. // Hotel Zetta, 55 5th St. (SoMa), viceroyhotelsandresorts.com; Tickets are $25 at eventbrite.com.

SoulCycle Warehouse Sale (June 8-11)

SoulCycle is hosting its very first San Francisco warehouse sale this week at Westfield San Francisco Centre. You can get your hands on the brand's cardio-chic gear—including leggings, tanks, T-shirts, bras, sweatpants and accessories—at 40 percent off. There are even goods for men and kids. Prepare for madness. // Thurs. June 8 through Sun. June 11; 865 Market St. Level 3, (Mid-Market); for times and location details, go to soul-cycle.com/community.

Free Yoga @ Four Seasons (June 10)

In celebration of Global Wellness Day, the Four Seasons San Francisco is offering complimentary power yoga class on its 5th floor Veranda Terrace this Saturday. Led by local yogi Diedre DiFazio, the class is technically sold out, but 10 lucky 7x7 readers can still sign up (hurry!). The flow class will be held outdoors (weather permitting) and will incorporate strength training, core and cardio. All levels welcome, BYO mat. // 9am, Sat. June 10; 217 Stevenson St. (SoMa); register for free at eventbrite.com.

National Psoriasis Foundation Ride (June 10)

This Saturday, the National Psoriasis Foundation's annual Napa Valley bike ride will support research into cures for psoriasis and psoriasis arthritis. There are two routes, an 18-mile and a 60-mile, both starting and ending at the Napa County Fairgrounds in Calistoga. After cruising over the finish line, a well-earned outdoor celebration will include bites, brews, wine and music. // 1435 N. Oak St. (Calistoga); $25 to register at teamnpf.org.

Living With Celiac or Gluten-intolerance @ Nourish Cafe (June 13)

San Francisco's new functional medicine center Parsley Health is joining forces with Nob Hill's new Nourish Cafe for an evening Q+A on the topic of navigating life with Celiac and other auto-immune diseases. Parsley's medical director Dr. Tiffany Lester and health coach Brittany Foreman will lead the discussion, and treats will be provided by Nourish, Nana Joe's and Bread SRSLY. // 7:30 to 9:30pm, Tues. June 13; 1030 Hyde St. (Nob Hill); register online at eventbrite.com.

 

The Best Sound Baths in the Bay Area

The Bay Area's Best Sound Baths

Sound Healing has become the wellness modality de la mode, ever since Gwyneth put it on the wellness map in 2016. Part meditation and part other-worldly nap, ‘sound baths’ (claw-footed porcelain and water are not part of the equation) are sound meditation sessions during which students sit or lay (or sometimes move!) with eyes closed and bathe in healing sounds and vibrations produced by crystal bowls, tuning forks and and rainforest sticks. Devotees claim its benefits include easing everything from chronic pain and digestive issues to stress and depression. If aural healing sounds like just the ticket you need to quiet that monkey mind, we’ve rounded up the five best sound healing practitioners in the Bay Area, from Baker Beach to Emeryville.

Monthly Full Moon Ceremony with Abigail Tyler

Abigail Tyler throws a multi-sensory monthly celebration to welcome the new moon and set new intentions for the upcoming month. Evenings includes a discussion of the new moon and its astrological implications, breathwork, chanting and sound healing using chimes, rattles, a Chilean Cactus Rain Stick and a variety of singing bowls. A final call and response vocal release exercise takes sound healing to the next level to let go of any lingering anxiety or stress. // 548 Fillmore St. (San Francisco) thecentersf.com/

Square One - Third Friday Sound Bath

Missy Felsenstein is Square One’s resident sound healing expert who hosts a monthly sound experience at the El Cerrito location. Paiste gongs and quartz singing bowls are played throughout an hour-long ‘sound savasana’ meant to relieve tension in the body and promote deep rest. Missy also leads weekly combo yoga and sound bath classes around the East Bay, with themes ranging from restorative to mindful movement. // 9951 San Pablo Ave (El Cerrito)

Sound Meditation SF

A local sound healing outfit that follows the vibrational-healing philosophy of Nada Yoga, Sound Meditation SF hosts monthly sound bath at gorgeous Grace Cathedral and rotating experiences at venues like the Conservatory of Flowers using Tibetan. Students lay in Savasana pose while the instructor uses gongs, crystal singing bowls, shamanic drums and chimes to create healing vibrations. // Rotating (San Francisco) soundmeditationsf.com/

Outdoor Yoga SF

A meditative sound experience from those new to the practice or who looking for a little movement, Outdoor Yoga SF is a ‘silent disco yoga’ during which yogis listen to healing tunes via headphones throughout beautiful outdoor spaces around the Bay Area, including Baker Beach and Chrissy Field. // Rotating (San Francisco and East Bay) outdooryogasf.com/

Resonate- Sound Heals

If you’re looking to experience sound healing with a rotating roster of SF’s most experienced ‘sonic practitioners’, Halcyon’s new Thursday night sound experience might be your new happy hour. One-hour sessions range from pure sound baths to yoga and sound, depending on the specialty of the evening’s instructor. Classes are currently running through May, and possibly into summer. // 314 11th St. (San Francisco) halcyon-sf.com

This story originally ran in 7x7. Check out more of our local SF stories for 7x7 here!


 

50 Shades of Self-Care this February

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Show yourself for the rest of this month. 

February is the month of #selfcare. And while we may have been thinking about our S.O. and the perfect VDay gift at the beginning of this month, now is the time to invest a bit more time in ourselves.

Turning attention inward and 'spending' time and energy on YOU rather than others can seem decadent and a little naughty (even thought it's absolutely necessary). That’s why we've created a ‘50 Shades’ themed list of indulgent self-love ideas for our friends at employee wellness perks company HealthKick, and are sharing with you here. So start reading and give yourself the love you deserve the rest of this month!

  1. Get your vitamin game in order - try Care/of’s personalized vitamin packs for chicly packaged and super clean vitamins and supplements

  2. Drink more water. Commit to drinking your weight in ounces of water each day.

  3. Get a massage. San Francisco's Remede Spa in the St Regis offers a deep tissue and hot stone therapy massage that will melt tight muscles. Or try an on-demand massage service like Zeel for a 60-minute Swedish session without stepping foot outside your home.

  4. Eat more greens. Have a big salad at least once per day, the rest of the month, and it will become a habit.

  5. Eat those greens even when you’re rushing around or on the road. ALOHA makes yummy individually packed greens powders that can be added to water no matter how far you are from the nearest salad bar.

  6. Turn up the heat on your yoga practice. Especially when it’s chilly outside, a hot yoga class can be a great way to dial up your cardio and flexibility. Try Core Power anywhere, Ritual in SF, Hot8 in LA for starters.

  7. Prepare a decadent dinner for one. Completely completely from vegetables. If you need a little inspiration (or fully prepared foods delivered to your door), check out Hungryroot’s carrot noodles with tangy sriracha peanut and almond chickpea cookie dough.

  8. Get yourself the gift of a morning workout. If you need suggestions, check out our city guides.

  9. That morning workout can even be a twenty minute walk to grab a morning tea or coffee and back. While you’re at it, tune into a Headspace guided meditation to get your zen on.  

  10. And don’t forget about a post-workout morning smoothie. Try out different smoothie combinations to discover new favorite flavors. For some expert help, try Greenblender’s smoothie subscription.

  11. Switch out your morning coffee for an antioxidant-packed matcha latte or an adaptogen-based latte like turmeric.

  12. Explore a new indoor workout, even if you normally swear by sweating in the great (urban) outdoors.

  13. Replace your nightly glass of wine for a glass of kombucha once or twice per week. We heart Health-Ade or Revive.

  14. Have a date night with coconut oil - cover your body, face and hair in the good stuff and then make a coconut-inspired dinner for one like a coconut curry with zoodles.

  15. Splurge on a trend-setting fitness classes you’ve been wanting to take.

  16. Treat your feet to a massage dedicated entirely to them, sometimes we forget how much work they do.

  17. But your hands could probably use some love, too, so take them out for a nice mani, too.

  18. Along with that mani, get a Friday morning blowout, without the stress of getting to the salon, by using an on-demand beauty booking app like PRIV or BeGlammed.

  19. Give your punam a facial’s facial with laser combo treatments and microcurrent therapy at spas like SkinSpa New York.

  20. If you’ve never tried it before, give wellness coaching a go to develop a positive personal narrative.

  21. Spice it up in the kitchen. Learn a new trick or two with the help of a gourmet meal kit service like Purple Carrot or Blue Apron.

  22. While you’re at it, clean up your spice drawer to make sure all is still fresh and that you have plenty of good-for-you herbs on hand.

  23. And give your fridge the same treatment - remove anything that won’t help on your wellness path and replace it with healthier versions that inspire you.

  24. Think about your beauty from the inside out by trying skin and hair supporting supplements, like those included in the new beauty pack by WellPath.

  25. Send yourself flowers. Or just grab a bouquet on the way into Trader Joe’s.

  26. Workout in your underwear, in the comfort of your own home, using a streaming fitness service like Cody App, Fit Plan or Grokker.com. Bye, inhibitions.

  27. Pack yourself healthy lunches using your favorites healthy flavors, or in a pinch order up from healthy lunch delivery services like Good Meal.

  28. Get a fitness form tune up from a personal trainer. Find one you love at your gym, or ditch the membership fees and connect with one who aligns with your goals at findyourtrainer.com.

  29. Organize your fitness apparel drawer, out with the old and everything else in its place.

  30. And treat yourself to a new piece of gear, you deserve it.

  31. Have a dance party for one in your living room.

  32. Think about your favorite cocktail, then Google how to make it lower in sugar and better for you.

  33. Make meditation a priority. The Path in New York and Unplug in Los Angeles offer great classes for beginners and those who want to deepen an existing practice.

  34. If you’re not in a meditation savvy city, explore the world of digital mindfulness via the many apps out there. Find one you love and commit to meditating each morning for at least five minutes for one week.

  35. Scrub that winter skin. DIY a sugar scrub at home, or take yourself out to a Korean spa for a thorough exfoliation.

  36. After, draw a bath and luxuriate in your favorite essential oils.

  37. Hit the stairs. They are awesome for your tush, cardio system and getting some fresh air. Bonus: they’re free.

  38. Clear your voicemail queue.

  39. If you’re already a spin pro, take your resistance to the next level with an added challenge like the new Pelo in SF or underwater cycling at Aqua in New York.

  40. Reinvigorate your oral hygiene routine. Companies like Tulip are revolutionizing oral health with cutting edge toothpastes and brushes.

  41. Unsubscribe from any email newsletters that no longer serve you.

  42. While you’re online, book yourself a health-focused getaway to somewhere you’ve never been. For trip planning ideas, check out Escape to Shape.

  43. Unplug once per week, for at least an hour. No phone, computer, television.

  44. Journal, just the good stuff. Write down achievements, however small, compliments you may have heard throughout the day and challenges you’ve overcome.

  45. Stretch! Develop a stretching practice at home, at your desk, at the gym. Cody App has a great stretching program with Ashley Galvin.

  46. Say ‘no’ to obligations that won’t inspire or help you on your journey. Your time is valuable.

  47. Same goes for social media accounts you currently follow. Remember, your time is valuable.

  48. Create a sanctuary at home for just you. You can use comfy pillows, artwork from a favorite trip, textures that calm.

  49. Develop a daily tea ritual - have an energizing cup to start the day or a soothing one made of herbs to wind down.

  50. Take yourself out to a movie. 50 Shades or other.

Last Minute, Vegan Valentine's Day Tasting Menus!

Last Minute Valentine's Day Inspo, from Casual to All-out

It's not a birthday or anniversary, or one of those holidays we all get the day off for, so waiting until the last minute to book dinner for a semi-faux holiday happens. So pull it together, read on, then head over to Opentable.com and get ready pony up for the good bottle of bubbles and embrace the cheesiness of VDay tasting menus!

From low-mai to high, here are four slam dunk last minute VDay dinner destination ideas we shared with our friends at VegNews.com

Mexico

Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit

This Valentine’s Day, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit is offering a tasting menu inspired by meals Frida Kahlo prepared for her lover Diego Rivera. Dishes include a raw coconut ceviche, corn sopes with black beans, Mayan Pibil with marinated wild mushrooms, and a Colima lemon cheesecake with agave honey and freeze dried fruits. The tasting menu is included in the nightly rate, which start at $393 per person.

San Francisco

Tamarind Hall, Thai Street Food & Bar

Authentic Thai comfort food, inspired by street vendors in Thailand, are offered this V-day at this part cocktail bar, part Thai restaurant. For $25 per person, a tasting menu includes fresh rice paper rolls, a Curry-osity curry sampler, a basil eggplant stir fry, and a sticky rice with mango dessert.


Vancouver

The Acorn Restaurant

The award-winning, vegetable-forward Acorn restaurant is vegan and gluten-free. This Valentine’s Day, a three-course prix fixe is $50 per person, with optional wine pairing at an additional $25, and will include long-standing favorites like the kale salad with tempeh and creamy vegan Caesar. Check out the Acorn site for the final V-day menu.

Miami

Sushi Garage

Executive Chef Sunny Oh’s Sushi Garage restaurant in Sunset Harbour works just as well for a group of friends celebrating Galentines Day over shared vegan sushi, or romantic partners going big with bubbles and custom rolls. Valentine’s specials include a Chef’s Choice vegan sushi mix for $32, as well as pink drinks such as a bottle of Moet Chandon Imperial Rose for $120 or a Strawberry Crush cocktail for $12.

Vegan Road Trip Must-Haves

As Californian cold-pressed juice fiends may already know, Juicero has changed the game for at-home juicing in our fine state. But could the Juicero Press go from well + home to well + away?  Last week on a NorCal road trip from SF to South Tahoe's new Coachman Hotel we put it to the test by packing a Juicero Press along with hiking gear and our favorite car-friendly snacks for a plant-powered road trip from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe.  

Here are our favorite road trip essentials, from hydration (hello, altitude change) to veggie-friendly protein bars (because you never know when you’ll see your next tempeh burger).

Pre-packed Veggies

Pre-packed veggies like organic baby carrots, broccoli florets or kale chips are hydrating, nutrient-rich and great for dipping into your road trip dip of choice. Trader Joe’s is a pre-road trip go-to to stock up on veggies that have all the crunch of a chip, without the preservatives or crumbs!

DIY Hummus

Prepping your own takes less than 10 minutes and the taste is beyond anything you can buy. When making your own, use your cold-pressed oil of choice, steering clear of the often over-processed canola oils used in supermarket brands. Just give the following ingredients a whirl in your blender and your fellow road-trippers will thank you: chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, garlic, lemon and a pinch of salt.

ZICO coconut water

Hydration is key at higher altitudes, especially when trekking between Tahoe's lakes and peaks. Keeping water bottles filled with H20 is the most important, but stashing some coconut water in the trunk keeps you hydrated and loaded up on potassium and electrolytes. It's also handy for mixing with juice and a splash of booze for a conscious happy hour. We're loving ZICO's new not-from-concentrate bottles, especially for this Indian summer.

Aloha protein bars

Aloha makes some of the cleanest bars around, clocking in at 18 grams of pumpkin seed and pea proteins. Sweetened with tapioca syrup and monk fruit extract and made creamy with cashew butter, they satisfy a sweet tooth as well as they fill you up. Our top pick is the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip flavor.

Flourless, Thumbprint Breakfast Cookies

Packing hearty snacks to grab while sitting in traffic, running out the door or before hitting the trail can save a morning on the road. The night before leaving, prep Angela Liddon’s Thumbprint Breakfast Cookies, made from mainly oats, flax and banana, for the easiest carb-up ever. Top them with a dollop of jam or peanut butter to turn them into a sweet treat.

Philosophie Coconut Butter

Continental breakfasts can be tough for our plant-based friends when the only veg options are plain toast and dry cereal. This is why we always pack a jar of Philosophie Coconut Dream, preferably in Green Dream flavor. Made of coconut butter, maple syrup and Philosophie’s Green Dream superfood powder, we spread it all over our toast, mix it into our coffee for a twist on Bulletproof Coffee, or eat it by the spoonful on the road.

Juicero + Your Fave Produce Packs

Nothing is more luxurious than waking up surrounded by the great outdoors and getting to make your own cold-pressed juice while still half asleep. This was our first road trip with a Juicero in the trunk of our car, and it was SO worth the extra five minutes of packing and unpacking. The Coachman Inn had space and outlets aplenty to plug in our Juicero Press, so we made our own fresh-pressed juice in the morning, took some Beta Glow out for a hike in a mason jar, had a Sweet Greens happy hour and shared with some with new friends. Traveling with our Press is now a long weekend must!

This story originally appeared on the Juicero blog. Let us know about your favorite healthy road trip essentials in the comments below.

 

Mo Clancy on SF's Best Chocolate Chip Cookie and Living Her Cleanest Life

Seed + Salt is San Francisco's first healthy, plant-based dining destination. The restaurant has become a vibrant, healthy living staple in the city, both for the lucky local Marina neighbors and those who happily schlep across town in weekday morning traffic for an other-worldly frittata. Its eco-sexy interiors and selection of 'classic-with-a-twist' dishes from scones to cookies to cobb salads are the vision of clean-living advocate Mo Clancy. Mo's shared her top picks for where to get well in San Francisco's Marina neighborhood, her go-to weeknight meal and her favorite NorCal roadtrip destination. 

Seed + Salt was such a dining game changer when it opened, what inspired the concept?

Well, opening Seed + Salt was never really my plan. I discovered there was a need for it while I was spending a lot of time in LA and NY and experiencing all of these healthy food options that we didn’t have at home in San Francisco. I was standing at the salad bar at Whole Foods one day thinking ‘is this all I can get?’ I really just started traveling and researching with the idea in mind, finding a lot of innovating things but nothing was what i wanted.

There were three things that were really important to me that I couldn’t find: convenience so I could grab clean and plant-based food without having to sit down and order, dishes that tasted like real food and not overly healthy, and third I wanted familiar menu items that people could recognize. Like our amazing chocolate chip cookie that is so simple, delicious and clean. I put the intention out there and things picked up speed quickly. I met chefs who helped me develop a menu, found some great vendors, on from there and the next thing i knew I had a restaurant!

What’s next for you guys?

We’re expanding our baked good program, which is not only vegan but gluten free and refined sugar free as well. We just introduced a super chocolate-y cupcake with chocolate frosting that is truly amazing and sells out most days. On the savory side, we will have new bowls and savory oatmeals. We’re also going to be introducing packaged goods that people can grab and go with like our gluten-free chia bread and baked yam chips.

What are some of your favorite wellness destinations in the Marina neighborhood?

I love our that our restaurant is in the Marina. In terms of my favorite food and juice in the area outside of the restaurant, Happy Moose Juice is a must. It is some of the best juice out there and we sell a ton of it at Seed + Salt. The other go-to I have for dining when I’m away from work is delivery from Thistle. They deliver clean, organic and mostly vegan food all over SF.

As for spa, I love SenSpa in the Presidio, they have some of the best masseuses in the city. I recently started floating at Reboot, the float spa. In terms of beauty, I’ve been spending a lot of time at Credo which has been a great addition to the neighborhood! I’m really sensitive to toxic ingredients, but since I’ve started buying at Credo I’ve been able to buy all sorts of eyeliners and other makeup that isn’t too harsh on my skin. My friend Tata Harper, whose cheek tints I’m addicted, now sells her products there and has a spa within the shop.

Another maybe less expected wellness destination for me is the Green Cleaners on Fillmore. Dry cleaning can be so toxic and I look at using a green dry cleaner as another part of living a clean life.

What’s your favorite item on the menu right now? Who are some of your favorite vendors/producers you’re working with?

Picking a favorite menu item is like picking  a favorite child! Right now I could say some of my favorites are the new Greek Falafel Salad with lemon tahini dressing, baked quinoa falafel and so many veggies. The coconut ceviche is another great one made with tons of coconut meat, lime juice, big chunks of avocado and a side of our baked yam chips. We’ve just redone our breakfast sandwich and it’s now made with a wonderful walnut chorizo, thick slices of our chickpea frittata, sprouts and aioli. Our chocolate chip cookie will always be my favorite, and the neighborhood agrees as it’s consistently our top seller.

As far as some of our cool vendors, we work with coffee producer Proyecto Diaz who grow their coffee beans on their grandfather’s farm in Mexico and give back to the community. I love Ryan, who founded Happy Moose Juice and think their quality is so good. Rhizocali’s organic tempeh in Oakland makes our fabulous organic black bean tempeh and black eyed pea tempeh.

What’s your favorite meal to prepare at home, for yourself and your family?

I have a couple of standards that I make as part of a really clean, mostly plant-based diet. I typically prepare things earlier in the week that can be easily mixed together for a hearty bowl for the rest of the week. With a seven year old son and a business I just have to be able to throw dinner together but not eat the same thing each night. I also try to stay pretty seasonal and have a seasonal calendar in my kitchen that I try to stick to it.

On Sunday or Monday, I roast veggies like squash and broccoli, and and prepare a batch of brown rice. Then I’ll make some sauce options for the week like a chimichurri sauce similar to what we do at the restaurant. It’s a spanish pesto with red wine vinegar and spinach, with a little zing to it. I’ll also do a pimento aioli or a vinaigrette with olive oil, whole grain mustard, red wine vinegar and a touch of stevia or agave. I’ll throw any of these sauces onto vegetables with some salt and pepper, and cranberries for the vinaigrette for a hit of sweetness.

How does the Seed + Salt ethos extend into other areas - do you have favorite natural beauty destinations, or favorite vegan beauty products?

Really, I feel like our ethos is about living a clean lifestyle. Right now it’s a squishy term, but for me it means that food is sourced ethically and transparently. I search for things that are organic, non-toxic, non-GMO. I seek out the same things in life outside the restaurant that I do in our food products. When I’m looking at a beauty product, for instance, I check to see if it has parabens, where are ingredients sourced from, if it has synthetic fragrances, if it’s been tested on animals. It can apply to cleaning products, to paint on house, to fabrics that you wear.

Awareness is key. As an example, when you look at almond milk in the food industry, people don’t think twice about its contents and healthiness. Most almond milk producers though aren’t transparent about what's in their product. Only 2% of most of them is made of actual almonds, everything else is fillers. At Seed + Salt, we use only whole, pure almond milk. I would never feed our customers that kind of thing. We are very transparent and honest about what we use. That’s why people trust us.

Do you have a favorite detox program in SF or do you ever juice?

No matter how clean of a lifestyle you live, you’re still living in the real world and absorbing things that aren’t clean. Yes, I do detoxes, but I don’t really believe in juice cleanses and think they can be hard on the body. If I do a cleanse, I’ll drink juice and eat raw vegetables and fruits for a couple of days until I feel better. Or I’ll just do a full day of vegetable broth if I’m feeling sluggish. I’m a big believer in cleansing from the outside and do infrared saunas, epsom salt baths and clay baths regularly. As a personal philosophy, I feel that when you cleanse, you need to make sure you’re replenishing your body with minerals or whatever else it needs so you’re not subtracting from your body, you’re adding.

Where do you go when you can escape the city to recharge?

I love going to Point Reyes or Bolinas nearby. A little bit further out I love visiting Big Sur and staying at Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn. I’ll stay for a couple of days and go to Esalen. I used to go to Wilbur Hot Springs, it’s a natural hot springs and lodge that the miners used to go to from the 1800’s. I think they are currently repairing the property from a fire, so for now Deetjens Big Sur and Esalen have been my go-to special places.

What are some healthy restaurants that inspire you, outside of San Francisco?

There are so many. When I first started thinking of Seed + Salt I was looking at what Pure Food and Wine and Dirt Candy were doing in New York. More recently, I’ve been visiting LA and enjoying Matthew Kenney’s Plant Food and Wine, Crossroads for a regular dinner experience that just happens to be vegan food and I just visited Little Pine which was great.

How do you eat healthfully on the road? 

It gets hard but fortunately there are more and more options. I always take a bag of our granola. I’m not that much of a granola fan but our granola is a really good mix of savory and sweet. I’ll take that and our protein-rich oat tahini cookies because they are super satisfying. It’s like eating a delicious bowl of oatmeal in a cookie! And I also carry just a simple banana or an apple in place of a bar because I think those can be high in sugar or highly processed. That said, we are thinking of developing a low-sugar bar but we haven’t figure out what that is yet.

 

Dara Kennedy's Healthy SF Haunts and Travel Beauty Musts

Ayla is SF's personalized luxury beauty haven. Sourcing equally local products and those she has clocked serious mileage around the globe to find, Dara Kennedy is an industry vet who lives on the cutting edge of natural beauty. Meet Dara:

How did you come to open your luxe natural beauty shop Ayla?

I grew up in Hannover, New Hampshire, which is on the border of Vermont. It’s a beautiful, idyllic college town where I was surrounded by nature. The Appalachian Trail literally ran behind my house. When I was in college, I visited my brother who was in the Bay Area for grad school and I fell in love with the area.  I love that the city is surrounded by nature preserves, beaches, forests and mountains nearby.

I lived here first from 1999-2003 working as a buyer for Macy’s which was really how I discovered beauty retail. That said, I also learned that being a buyer wasn’t what I wanted to do yet. So I went to work for a dot com when they were first becoming a thing at the end of ‘99. It was really interesting to be a part of that world when people first started buying online. The company I was working for was a personalized gifting site, which gave me some inspiration for what would become Ayla. I then worked in advertising and ended up being hired by a beauty client and moving to NY to manage their global skincare business before going to business school. I was back east for seven years, but always knew that I would come back. My husband and I decided it was the right time to return to San Francisco when we were about to have a kid and couldn’t picture having one in New York. Everything really just came together at that time with his work and my work and the pregnancy.

Is there anything special or unique about how SF locals approach skincare/beauty?

It’s different in SF. What I love about the mindset here is that it’s very balanced. People take a broad range of approaches to beauty. Growing up in Hanover, if you were to go out in town wearing lipstick people would be like ‘what are you doing’? I've found that here it's so accepting and diverse when it comes to beauty. 

It's less trendy here than in New York, which suits me more. I also see in New York that there is a great movement toward using more natural products across the board, which is fantastic, but people can be a bit extreme about it. Here, women are interested in using more natural products but they are not driving themselves crazy with that effort. 

Who are the skincare experts in town you swear by?

I’ve been a client of Lori Anderson's since I first moved to San Francisco. I totally trust her with my skin and I’m really picky about facials. Kristina Holey is another expert I swear by and she opened less than a year ago. She has a really holistic, unique approach. Most facialists talk about what you’re putting on your skin and life stresses, but Kristina takes it to another level, inspiring people to really take better care of themselves. And she does these wonderful facial massages that are part of her philosophy.

What are your favorite local-made beauty lines/products?

Vintner’s Daughter is one of my all-time favorite products. April Gargiulo their founder lives between San Francisco and Napa. She only has one product, an all-in-one anti-aging serum called Active Botanical Serum. This type of product is great because it packs a lot of great ingredients into one step, and you can use it regardless of skin type.

The only really tough thing about moving back here was what the moisture and fog do to my hair. So I’ve discovered local hair care lines like EVOLVh. I specifically love their Ultra Shine shampoo and conditioner.  It performs and feels like a conventional shampoo and conditioner. Reverie is another local one that I like. It’s made in Sausalito, although the company is LA-based. I especially love their MILK, a leave-in conditioner. It’s been formulated by a skincare specialist, so it isn’t sticky, and you can apply to wet or dry hair. It’s so versatile.

Are you into detoxing at all via treatments, juices, etc? Who/which brands do you rely on for this?

Lately I’ve been into detoxing my brain. I’m running a business and have two small kids, so things are crazy. The way we live our lives now, with email and texts coming at us from the moment we wake up, puts a lot of pressure on our brain. I love how our Ayla neighbor Juniper Meditation Center teaches meditation. I’ve had a keen interest in it since discovering meditation in a yoga teacher training I took in New York. But for a long time, I thought that I wasn’t doing it right or well. At Juniper, there is something so approachable and accepting about the way they teach. Sometimes I only do it for 5-10 minutes a day, but it’s made such a difference in my stress levels and my responses to people in tough situations. When I don’t do it, my mind feels much more crowded.

I haven’t done a full-fledged detox in the classic sense in a long time. It’s tough to do with small kids, at least if you want to eat the same things they do. But once a year I’ll use the Organic Pharmacy Detox Kit. First I’ll clean up my diet a little bit, then I'll start the system which includes detox capsules that help get digestion running smoothly, drops that support the kidneys and liver and this wonderful detox cellulite body oil that I think is really helpful in detoxing from the outside in. It’s a relatively easy system and pretty much anyone can fit it into their life.

Do you have a favorite local workout?

I love Sarah Pascual’s one-hour vinyasa class at YogaWorks. It’s hard to fit anything longer than that into my day at the moment! She heats the room so it’s easy to get warmed up. She uses these peppermint essential oils, which is such a simple thing but make such a difference. And the way she sequences the class is really good. I also do a lot of walking in the Presidio, because I find that walking in nature really helps ground me. I read an article in WSJ a few years ago about how walking aids problem solving. I think it’s called involuntary attention. I love doing it and that it's a double benefit of body and mind fitness.

Where do you go to recharge?

My favorite place to recharge is the Presidio. The woods there remind me of home in New Hampshire, and I love that it’s so accessible.

Outside of the city, I love Paris. On my last trip, I found these really cute little places to eat that were fantastic. I was traveling solo and they were so easy to visit alone: Cafe Pinson and, on a recommendation from Kristina Holey, Au Passage, where I sat at the bar and had a glass of cold red wine and a bowl of sweet potato with feta, salsa verde, and these delicious crispy black rice things on top. The food was amazing and especially at Cafe Pinson it was so healthy. I would go there every day if it were in SF.

Closer to home, I love Big Sur. You can’t go wrong with any of the places there. Post Ranch Inn is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

What does an ideal weekend look like?

Since my husband and I have a two year old and a four year old, weekends are centered around them, and one of our favorite places has become the Bay Area Discovery Museum right across the bridge. It’s on the water and is a good combination of indoor and outdoor activities. They also have a great little healthy cafe.

I love going to the beach because my kids love it and there is something really calming about the water. That’s another thing about SF, there are so many great beaches and easy access to the water. The beach at Crissy Field is such an easy one to get to. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is also great and has some really interesting wildlife. As a family, we also love going on little hikes in the Presidio together, too. It’s amazing that it’s right here in the middle of the city.

For food, whenever I can get away with taking everyone there together, I love the food at Seed + Salt. Their flatbreads are amazing and I’m kind of addicted to them. An ideal weekend would also include a yoga class - this hasn’t happened in a long time, but it would be ideal!

The kitchen is my happy place in our house, and I love the fact that my kids are getting into cooking as well. On the weekends, I love to cook with them. They stand together on a "learning tower" that we pull up to the kitchen island, and I can offload annoying kitchen tasks like pulling the leaves off parsley stems that, to them, seem fun and exciting. Sometimes we'll bake brownies or oatmeal shortbread, but usually it's just daily dinner prep.

When you're traveling, which products do you take in your carry-on?

I find that what my skin needs changes a lot. I don’t have a go-to set of skincare products that I have ready in a travel kit because what I need changes so much. On my most recent trip I had Vintner’s Daughter which works for a wide range of climates and always makes your skin look glowy and bright. We carry a great English all-purpose balm called Pommade Divine that I usually make myself a little pot of and bring. I nearly always have Luzern Lab’s Firming Collagen Booster. It layers really nicely, and it helps give your skin this plump and rested look. I always have my EVOLVh shampoo and conditioner and my MILK for my hair. Oh and another thing I always bring is my Ellis Brooklyn Fable scent. Those Ellis Brooklyn scents are great because they're phthalate-free and smell like fine fragrances, not like your typical essential oil blend. When I went to Italy for work the other week I packed a huge pack of detox bath called Voya Lazy Days. Everyone in my family had been fighting a cold, so on my first night in Florence I took a bath with this seaweed detox soak. Voya is headquartered on the north west coast of Ireland which is really pure and unpolluted. They have about 150 miles of coastline where they hand-harvest and process the seaweed really fast, within two hours, to preserve the minerals and activity within. The soak itself is just a bag of this seaweed with some salt. It makes me sweat more than I do at the gym. If you know you need to detox on the road, it’s not the most outlandish thing to bring.

Do you have an in-flight beauty routine when traveling longer distances?

I keep it pretty simple; I don’t wear any makeup. I try to use a good barrier-protecting cream, like M Picaut’s Calming Cocoon Cream, on top of a hyaluronic acid serum, like BioRecept’s Total Lift Eclat. That keeps my face really plump and hydrated. Ursa Major makes these wipes that we’re going to carry at Ayla soon; you can just run it across your face to refresh and I used it at the end of a flight to Frankfurt recently. It’s really refreshing and just takes that gross airplane film off of your skin.

What are your favorite wellness rituals while traveling?

I take these crazy three-day trips to Europe to scope out products, so I swear by a Bach Flower remedy I found in Paris for jet lag. I love it so much that we’re starting to carry it this summer. It’s called Voyages Elixir by Les Fleurs de Bach, and I will not do one of those crazy trips without it anymore. I didn’t take it on my most recent one, and I was a jet-lagged disaster! They also make one for stress and one for sleep. And they make one that is their version of Rescue Remedy, but it’s actually better. They're such a crazily passionate little company that makes Bach Flower, according to the original recipes using only organic extracts. A lot of other companies have started cutting corners, but this one really go to great lengths. 

Aside from products, I also try to walk as much as possible, and I meditate every night for 5 minutes. While traveling, actually, I can also meditate in the morning, which is a treat. At home, I’m usually woken up by a toddler and morning meditation just isn’t an option. But I can't wait to travel with them when they are a little older!

 

The BEST Spring Sunday with W+A and the COMPANY

Very Vital Sunday Invite.001.jpeg

Sleep in, brunch up and get yourself over to the Presidio on Sunday, April 24 for Very Vital Sunday! This daytime dance party slash wellness afternoon with Well + Away and new dance-cardio studio the COMPANY will be the most healthy fun you've had on a Sunday afternoon. Sunday's festivities will include a signature COMPANY class, VitalGuides for all, beverages from KeVita, protein bars by Perfect Bar, a trunk show by fashion-forward local activewear company Akrovita and a few healthy surprises. Tickets are $30.

7x7 agrees with us and shared Very Vital Sunday in their weekender roundup of best ways to get your sweat on. Come join us for an afternoon workout, light bites, kombucha and mingling with new healthy friends. 

Grab a gal pal and snag your spot now!

MNTSTUDIO Founder Elaine Hayes On Her Bay Area Favorites

 

A classically trained instructor with an eye for form and a knack for taking students to the edge of their edge, Elaine Hayes' light, bright SoMa studio is not the place you'd expect your core to be on fire so much you sweat through your Lulu. After a challenging Saturday morning reformer session that somehow flew by, Elaine shared the history of Mint, her SF wellness secrets and the only workout tool you need to bring on vaca.

The Mint Studios Pilates method is equal parts technique and athlete, how did you put it together?

It was my ballet teacher in high school who first introduced me to Pilates after I’d been dancing for 13 years to keep myself injury free and reinforce alignment. I was taking a mat class once a week, but even that helped my dancing form. Once I left for college at UC Berkeley I stopped dancing but I stayed with Pilates, taking classes at studios all over town, and discovering the reformer.

Even after I finished school, while working in finance and through law school I was still taking Pilates and ended up getting certified to teach. My cert is in a classical format, which I loved because I learned about biomechanics, anatomy and rehabilitation, but the stronger I got the more I wanted a more intense workout from my traditional classes. What I had been doing started feeling a bit slow so I started taking athletically geared classes, but I was getting injuries and my form was compromised.

This is where the seed for Mint was planted. I started incorporating athletic elements into my reformer classes to see how I could challenge my clients further. My classes became known for being extremely effective by focusing on proper form, fluid movement, and including athletically-geared moves to offer a full body, killer workout. These classes gained a popular following at my home studio, and I was having to turn away new clients for lack of space in my schedule. When that happened, I realized I needed to open a commercial space, which lead to Mint Studios opening in August of 2013.

What’s your history with the Bay Area?

I was born in the Bay Area but I grew up all over. Part of my childhood was spent on a tiny island in Brazil, then we moved to London and eventually my family came back to the Bay to Grass Valley which is about two hours outside of San Francisco. I went to college in Berkeley, came to SF after I graduated, and just last year my husband and I moved to Menlo Park for his work. I’m still in the city nearly every day to teach and meet with colleagues and friends.

You live in Menlo Park - where do you eat and work out in that part of town?

I’ve discovered Sprout Cafe on University Ave. They have these huge salads that you can throw protein on for the most reasonable price. I do that a lot. Lyfe Kitchen in Palo Alto is also great. I love going for lunch and ordering their Quinoa Crunch Bowl. Sometimes for a coffee I’ll go to Caffe Borrone in downtown Menlo Park. SoulCycle in Palo Alto is my favorite cardio class when I can get to it. I love the Pressed Juicery freezes that they serve at Pressed Juicery Palo Alto, they really taste just like ice cream!

Do you have any favorite wellness spots around the studio?

My favorite esthetician in SF is a woman named Marion Pernoux, who owns the nearby Ensoma spa. She gives the most incredible facials. She calls them cosmeceutical facials and you feel so well-rested afterward. She’s my go-to gal. For nails, I always go to Zaza because it’s near the studio and they’re so nice and friendly. For hair, and this is the thing people ask me about most, I go to Richard at Population for cut and color. He’s so talented and sweet, and a genius at what he does, and anyone I send there falls in love. I don’t think I should even share his name because I don’t want to risk not being able to get in for an appointment!

Where do you work out when you’re not in the studio?

Whenever I’m in Brazil, my aunt and I take Pilates together with her trainer. It’s all in Portuguese and aside from the language so different from how I teach my classes. When I’m home and not in the studio, I’ll do my own yoga/Pilates practice at home in my office slash yoga studio where I’ll also meditate. In the city, one of my favorite yoga teachers is Mark Morford who teaches at Yoga Tree and has been so inspiring with his contemporary approach to meditation. It’s not strict and regimented. He encourages you to let it be your own, even if it’s just for 2-3 minutes at your desk.

When I can get away for a weekend, I love going down to Esalen in Big Sur. It’s an amazing, magical place to reset and be in nature. Further south, I did my yoga teacher training at White Lotus in Santa Barbara with Ganga White and Tracey Rich. I like to revisit every couple of years. Before my teacher training I never thought I could meditate, but they encourage creativity and teach that it doesn’t have to be so traditional, like sitting in a totally blank room for two hours. It’s a beautiful place and the energy is so calming. The nature is stunning.

We hear you’re a runner. What running routes do you take around SF?

Sometimes in between classes I’ll run down Brannan to Embarcadero toward the Ferry building. I love running along the water and think it’s a great way to clear your head during the day. In Menlo Park I run outside. In class I’m always talking and instructing so it’s really nice for me to plug in my headphones and zone out for a little while. Sometimes I take my puggle Zoey with me when I run, too, which she loves.

What other Pilates studios anywhere inspire you?

There’s a studio in New York called New York Pilates that is so different from us in terms of esthetic, but they have a very cool New York vibe. Even outside of the studio I love what they do on social media! A former Mint instructor moved to New York and I encouraged her to check them out and now she teaches there! In LA, there’s a studio called The Studio (MDR). They have megaformer classes and a great community. It’s actually where one of my sisters-in-law goes and she raves about it.

What is your workout when you travel?

When we travel, I usually bring a resistance band in my bag. I always call in advance to see if the hotel we’re staying at has yoga mats. Some great hotel groups like Auberge Resorts provide them in-room. My usual philosophy is that if I can devote 30 minutes a day to just maintenance then I will feel good and won’t worry about it. I’ll usually get in 15 minutes of Pilates, 10 minutes of yoga and 10 minutes of stretching. Then I’ll get cardio in by running or swimming. I don’t really worry about it but I also don’t feel my best if I don’t get it in. My husband is the same way so we’ll normally workout together on vacation which we don’t normally get to do when we’re home. And I love kicking his butt with a tough Pilates workout!

 

 

 

Meet the Ladies Behind San Francisco's First (Best) Dance Cardio Studio

As part of SF VitalGuide launch season, we’ve been talking to San Francisco’s coolest wellness experts to learn where they eat, sweat, shop and escape. This week Lindsay Meyer and Kara Goldenberg of the COMPANY, SF’s newest workout and the city’s very first dance cardio studio. The ladies behind the COMPANY share where to get the ultimate post-workout shake, which athleisure items are worthy of stockpiling and where to get away.

What inspired the COMPANY?

L: I danced competitively growing up and through college, and even as a grownup in SF I was dancing in various forms. Before I found cardio dance I was more into formal dance and then I started teaching barre in Cow Hollow. A mutual friend in the NY dance cardio world introduced Kara and me, and Kara can tell you about her background, but it was such a complementary fit!

K: I moved here 9 months ago from New York and realized there was no dance cardio. I had been doing tons of it at Bari in Tribeca and I got here and there were no options like what I had experienced in New York where I swore by this kind of workout. The owner of my favorite barre studio in New York ended up introducing Lindsay and me and that’s how we started the class!

How did you find your gorgeous space in the presidio?

K: Through a lot of online hunting. We were looking for a studio that would rent us space by the hour and we found this beautiful studio in the Presidio that has these high ceilings with a lot of light. The location is easy to find and there is actually parking, such a rarity in this town.

L: We also felt like there was a dearth of dance studios in this part of town. In the Mission you have the great ODC and Lines. There are others in SoMa. In the Marina we just didn’t have fun dance options for adults!

The choreography seems very ballet inspired, is your workout wardrobe ballet-inspired?

K: We wear sneakers in class, and I take mine very seriously. Dance cardio can be hard on your feet! I like Brooks PureFlow and the Newton brand. They provide the right amount of support which is so important when you’re jumping and dancing. As I mentioned, I like sneakers but when it comes to leggings, I have a sickness. I love them all. I don’t stick to a specific brand but I love Bandier and Carbon 38. I find a lot of new brands on those sites or if I see someone in a class with leggings that I like I ask them where they got them and get a pair for myself.

L: I seriously don’t know anyone with more leggings than this girl! As for me, I prefer to stick with solid colors, so I own a ton of black leggings that I love and wear everywhere. I don’t have one favorite brand although I do have a lot of admiration for a brand called ADAY out of London and I have like four pieces from them. It was started by a friend of a friend and focuses on styles that you can wear to class and then  transition it to other parts of your day. They do a lot of with black and navy, which I gravitate to. I also like things that have just a little bit of sparkle.

What's your favorite pre and post-class bite in SF?

K: I think it’s important to have protein after a workout, and so I try to get in at least 20 grams after a session. The smoothies at Barry’s Bootcamp are great. I always get the Skinny Chocolate with PB. So good.

L: After a workout I like to make my own smoothie with greek yogurt, chia seeds, almond milk, almond butter and frozen strawberries.

What other workouts here in SF and elsewhere do you love?

K: I love Barry’s Bootcamp. I also recently started going to Core 40 which is such a serious core and ab workout. When I’m workout out on my own, I like to bounce on my trampoline at home.

L: I like to do a lot of Pilates, and would probably say my favorite Pilates in SF is Mighty Pilates in Presidio Heights. I used to teach barre and I still do a fair amount of barre when I can at studios like Pop Physique. As far as unique classes, I’ve been seeing rowing classes blow up in New York and there is a new rowing cardio class in San Francisco at a studio called Apex Wellness in FiDi. As far as cardio, I love Flywheel. My boyfriend and I have a lot of friends in the Mountain View area so we’ll stop in Sunnyvale for a class on the way down.

You’re teaching and workout out so much, who are your go-to wellness practitioners in SF when you need to recharge?

L: My boyfriend is a former professional triathlete. He used to get a ton of sports and recovery massages for so many years. So now I just make him give me massages! As far as other pampering, I love to get facials and can’t wait to try the spa at Credo Beauty on Fillmore. The one thing I never do is get manicures, it’s seriously been years. I have a strong belief about the toxicity of nail polish, so in that case I take care of myself by not having a nail routine.

K: I don’t do as much as I should. I’ve done one massage since I’ve moved here in the last 9 months! But I will when I can.

Where do you go to escape the city craziness?

L: When I really need to get away I go as far as I can. I love great hotels - Park Hyatt Dubai, One and Only Bahamas, I can go on. Closer to home, I love Kabuki Springs here in Japantown. For a weekend escape, I like Healdsburg, and we’re wine club members at Portalupi which I love visiting.

K: I’ve recently been making trips out to Marin. All of the Bay Area is so new to me, and we’re actually thinking of moving out there. Otherwise, I fly out to NY for more craziness!

The Bay Area has some great outdoor destinations - do you have any favorite outdoor activities, hikes, paddle board locations, etc?

K: I recently went out to Land’s End and hiked back into the Presidio, that was pretty awesome. I also frequent a lot of playgrounds with my son!

L: I go OnBoard SUP. It’s in Sausalito, off of Marinship way. They have paddleboard Pilates and paddleboard yoga. I enjoy going out to the 7am standup class before going to work. I feel like that is such a special Californian thing to do that you can’t have anywhere else.

How do you get your dance cardio fix when you're on the road?

K: If I have an open space, I will dance. That’s just me. If I’m traveling to NY I can take class there, easy.

L: I use ClassPass so I try to pop into more local and homegrown studios when I’m traveling outside of dance cardio hotspots like LA and New York. I’m from Minneapolis and when I go home I’ll go to a great HIIT studio called Alchemy. It’s not dance cardio, but it’s a great workout. In New York I really love Chaise fitness. It’s a combination of cardio barre and Pilates. You use bungees, a Pilates chair, it’s great and not as well known as it should be!

What are you looking forward to this season at the studio, in addition to the Very Vital Sunday event we’re doing together?

We are planning on adding a weekend class for Saturday early morning by summer. We’ve had so many requests for it. And of course the Very Vital Sunday class with Well + Away on April 24 is going to be a fabulous afternoon.

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For more information and to book the Very Vital Sunday Class on Sunday, April 24 from 1-3pm please visit the COMPANY.

 

 

The Best Vegan and Vegan-friendly Restaurants in SF this Spring

Updated 07/2-18: San Francisco may be just a bridge away from gorgeous organic farms, yet healthy vegan fare is not nearly as easy to find as it should be. In researching the new, 2nd edition San Francisco VitalGuide, we've eaten through the city's best vegan sushi, egg-free frittatas and every plant-based bite in between. The following are our picks for must-eat vegan and gluten-free friendly breakfasts, lunches and dinners in San Francisco pulled right from the first edition of the new SF guide.

The Plant
3352 Steiner St; Pier 3 The Embarcadero #108, 101 California St
$$$
Om
Try the basil pesto tofu scramble, Sambazon bowl (acai berries blended frozen mango and strawberries, topped with banana and granola), or any of their smoothies, juices and great coffees. The Embarcadero location is on the water with bay views. The Marina location is right off of Chestnut Street, the area's main shopping thoroughfare.

Nourish
189 6th Ave
$$
Vg
Bright, sweet and just off the beaten path enough to be truly locals-only, Nourish Café is a perfect healthy brunch hideaway. The coconut flour and quinoa waffles taste a million times more decadent than they are, and the banh mi salad will fill you up for a day’s worth of urban adventures.

Out the Door
2232 Bush St
$$
Om
Chef Charles Phan's more relaxed spin on his popular restaurant Slanted Door's is in an off-the-beaten-path location in the Fillmore neighborhood. The menu offers plenty of yuba-filled noodle dishes and veggie sides. What OTD is missing in waterfront views it makes up for in its feel like a local vibe.

Bouli Bar
1 Ferry Building
$$
Om
No tofu or tempeh here, but the delicious seasonal vegetables and perfect Mediterranean platter make for a satisfying light lunch. Bouli's hidden location inside the Ferry Building, flattering lighting, and lovely wine list make it a go-todaytime date spot.

Greens
Fort Mason, A
$$$
Vg
For special occasion lunches with a view, book a table at this first wave vegan restaurant in Fort Mason. Dishes such as lentil, tamarind and coconut milk soup are infused with ethnic flavors. Greens has prime real estate for watching the sun set over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Café St Jorge
3438 Mission St
$
Vg
At the edge of the Mission and Bernal Heights, Cafe St Jorge is an adorable, Brooklyn-y hipster haunt for recharging over pastries, Stumptown coffee, and a perfectly sized quinoa salads. Plus, there's free wifi.

Shizen
370 14th St
$$
Vg
Just order all the rolls w(ith a side of their famous ramen). If you must choose, the spicy tofuna is a good, simple start to a meal at the Mission's prettiest izakaya spot.

Gracias Madre
2211 Mission
$$
Vg
The original Gracias Madre has fewer whispy celebs and oversized shades than the LA location, but the lack of glitz is made up for with a prime Mission location. Don't miss the pumpkin and cashew cheese quesadillas and avocado ceviche.

Burma Love
211 Valencia St
$$
Om
The tea salad is the star at Burma Superstar, but a number of veg curry entrees are available at this local favorite, no-reservations Burmese eatery. Be prepared to wait outside, or check out sister restaurant Burma Love in the Mission for potentially less of a wait and newer digs.

Citizen Fox
2293 Mission
$$
Vg

Dec, 2017 update: Citizen Fox is now closed. The Mission’s newest  pub is the spot for hearty kale salads and chicken fried tempeh. Add protein to any of the salads for a filling meal of greens, or dig into entrees like the chicken fried tempeh with horseradish mashed potatoes for a plant-based spin on traditional pub fare.

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For more of the best vegan-friendly spotsSF, be sure to grab our San Francisco VitalGuide, 2nd edition: 

All the healthy bites plus everything else vegan-friendly (but not crunchy) in the Bay.

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Neighborhood Guide to Inner Richmond, according to the ladies of Nourish Cafe

Some of San Francisco's most charming indie destinations (The Tidy Shoppe,  Burma Superstar, Park Life, Green Apple Books) are cropping up in the Inner Richmond neighborhood. Seemingly a little further flung if you're used to getting your indie fix in the always buzzy Mission or grittier Tenderloin, it's really just four miles from the heart of the Mission. Not all that far outside of rush hour-hours!

Nourish Cafe is the Inner Richmond's cutest, most vibrant healthy destination for weekday lunch and weekend brunch. One of its two co-owners, Sarah Bacon, also operates the Inner Richmond neighborhood's go-to blog, Richmond District Blog

Sarah and co-owner/chef Brighton Miller shared their favorite activities in and around the Inner Richmond, greater SF and a few healthy tips for hitting the road.

How did Nourish come to be?

Brighton: I’d  done the Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts program at Bauman college in Berkeley and was traveling to LA and NY exploring all of the healthy, raw and vegan options out there. I realized we should have it here in SF! A lot of people think that SF is super hippy dippy and full of healthy options but there aren’t as many as you might think. In the Richmond area, before we opened Nourish, you really had to drive all the way into the Marina for a decent salad.  

Sarah: I agree. I’m also a native San Franciscan and operate a blog on the Richmond area. I was eager to open something in the neighborhood that is good for the community, so we kept our eyes open and we were lucky enough to find a space about six blocks from where we both live.

Who are your favorite local producers - juice, desserts, superfoods?

Brighton: We make a lot in-house, but I also love curating great products from local producers. For instance, we get our almond milk from a great local company called Three Trees. We currently make our own cashew cheese, but we are going to be switching to the wonderful Kite Hill. I try to find products that are clean and healthy, and that I eat myself.

We have a local sprout provider called Grateful Greens based in Los Gatos who provides all of our sprouts. We're also sourcing a sprouted drink from Living Apothecary, and we get our hummus from Love & Hummus. We source our bread and sauerkraut from a couple of Marin producers Josey Baker Bread and Wild West Ferments. We a great, simple coffee that we source from these women in Berkeley who operate a roastery called Ruby Roast. We wanted to find something so simple and amazing that we wouldn’t need to do any labor intensive coffee drinks or espressos.

You have the coolest set up in the Richmond. What are your favorite healthy haunts in the area?

S: The Richmond is an amazing neighborhood for recreation, you can walk a few blocks and find ‘real’ outdoors. I'm a block away from Presidio and four from Golden Gate Park. Both areas are great for urban hiking or working out. As far as healthy haunts go, we've only been open a year and so far it's still just us!

B: We definitely partake in some of the local foot massage places. I feel like our neighborhood from Geary from Clement street has lots of these. They’re especially great after working on our feet all day, every day. U2 Beauty Health Spa is the one we go to, you'll know it by the big foot sign outside! There are also a few Thai massage and Chinese medicine places on Clement that bring people from all over the city, like acupuncturist Johnson You. I highly recommend him. We are outdoors people, so while we do have the JCC gym, the neighborhood lends itself to running outdoors. Baker Beach and the sand ladder over there are both perfect for a sunny weekend.

S: Land's End is one of my favorite spots to run! Nourish is so close to the Presidio and De Young, it's really common for people to come and grab lunch and go on a hike or head to the museum.

Do you have any favorite fitness studios in your hood?

S: I actually put on a 5k run called Jog in the Fog, this year will be our fourth year. It starts in Mt. Lake Park and goes all the way out to Lands End. Other than that, I love Batteries to Bluffs, Baker Beach and the sand ladders there which are a great workout. Lands End is always challenging!

What are your favorite restaurants to visit when you're not at Nourish?

S: We do seek out other plant-based places like The Plant, and sometimes we cross the bridge to Marin to go to The Plant over there. I love salads at Blue Barn. Cha-Ya on Mission makes some great vegan sushi. We go to Angelina's in the neighborhood for breakfast when we can and check out new places as they open.

B: I love Cha-Ya, their food is so clean and beautiful. Gracias Madre is wonderful, too, we eat there regularly. Or we Postmates it if we can’t get to the Mission.

What's your favorite places for a healthy drink?

B: I'm addicted to our coffee, but when I can escape the city I like to go to Shed in Healdsburg for their fermentation bar. You can get kombuchas or shrub, and because you can’t get it in the city it’s such a treat.

What is your favorite food city? Favorite restaurant to visit anywhere?

B: I love Moon Juice, I think Amanda Bacon's products are amazing. When I'm in LA I go to Plant Food and Wine, Matthew Kenney's new place. Cafe Gratitude in Venice is wonderful. There is a vegan cheese shop called Vromage just off of Sunset, which has fabulous cheese. The Gracias Madre in Los Angeles is also really wonderful, and even this old school-seeming Italian restaurant called Craig’s has a vegan meat bolognese sauce. People are really into 'what’s next' in LA, which makes it really fun to eat down there.

What do you pack to eat when you're traveling?

B: I'm always looking for a clean acai bowl, something light that will give me energy but not weigh me down. As soon as I’m off the plane, I like to hydrate with a green juice. SFO is a great airport for healthy options!

Hotel dining, yes or no?

B: Where I stay in LA, every place has a house green juice. I was just at Four Seasons and they had a wonderful grain bowl and they offer almond milk as a substitute. In the past I would have said no, but I think that hotels are starting to cater to healthier people.

Any particular habits or tips for eating healthfully on the road?

B: I have the advantage of most people and I work at Nourish and I can grab one of our protein balls or granola bars and stick it in my purse. If I'm running across the city I'll grab a chia pudding or smoothie. We went to Mendocino last weekend and we grabbed a couple of chia puddings and granola bar so we didn't have to stop, other than at Shed of course! I like using ours because I'm a real freak about ingredients. At Nourish I know that everything I leave with is going to be clean.

 

Have you visited Nourish or disocovered any other healthy finds around the Inner Richmond? Share in the comments!