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Health & Wellness vs. Convenience & Sustainability

October 2010

By Kateri O’Neil, Los Angeles

Tinseltown’s fixation on beauty and fitness transcends the celebrity set as Angelenos have become increasingly preoccupied with both looking and feeling good – on the go. Since we spend so much time driving, we want our health and wellness regimens to be as convenient and as efficient as possible.

Home delivery services, like Rawvolution, have been embraced by Angelenos who can afford the luxury. Health-conscious foodie friends rave about the newly bi-coastal The Dish’s Dish, whose team of “culinistas” cooks healthy and flavorful meals. Convenient, mobile eating is certainly the rage these days and for a cheaper alternative to home cooking services, other friends seek out healthy food trucks amongst the 6,000+ roaming vehicles that operate locally. Casual, convivial, mobile, and convenient, the food truck craze continues to gain momentum, such as the the Oprah-endorsed Green Truck that not only runs on vegetable oil and bio-diesel, but also serves food that is locally grown and 100% organic. Similarly, the Organic Oasis, which claims to be “The World's first solar powered organic smoothie truck,” champions health and wellness through an assortment of delectable organic snacks and smoothies, all served in biodegradable containers. Healthy living and eco-consciousness have undoubtedly become intrinsically linked.

Fresh food and beverages are definitely favored over packaged snacks. Juice bars and raw food joints have multiplied around LA as fresh vegetable blends, cider vinegar cleanses, coconut water concoctions, Kombucha, wheatgrass, and other tonics and elixirs have become daily habits for a growing legion of heath nuts.

For a real jolt, friends swear by the mighty E3Live®, touted as “100% Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, the 'Invisible Flower of the Water,’” is undoubtedly the supplement du jour. Supplements are certainly still in style - from Chlorophyll to Resveratrol and from Glucosamine Sulfate to Bioflavenoid concentrate, LA is eagerly popping pills in the name of nutrition.

The raw food wagon continues to gain steam as one friend after another attests to the physiological benefits of a raw food diet. While a fully-raw regimen may be too costly for a large portion of the population, snacks like Goji berries and cacao nibs have been adopted by a more mainstream audience. Eating raw food now feels like a treat rather than a punishment thanks to the assortment of delectable delights several brands have created. Raw Revolution energy bars, Righteously Raw cacao bars, and Go Raw’s scrumptious selection of granola, energy bars, and supercookies are true epicurean indulgences.

Speaking of healthy desserts, even frozen yogurt manufacturers have gotten savvy. My favorite froyo chain, Yogurtland, has one-upped Pinkberry’s original model, offering a cornucopia of flavors that boast health benefits beyond the ubiquitous “live active cultures.” Thanks to the placards that inform a discerning clientele of the added value of each mouth-watering treat, it somehow feels like a healthy indulgence once I know that my Pistachio and Pumpkin Pie combination are high in protein and fiber, respectively.

Spas are also taking note of global trends in healthy, conscious living and many have adopted measures to provide holistic, "green" regimens. Gone are the days when a spa was synonymous with mere manicures and massages. LA’s hippest spas are rediscovering indigenous health cures while promoting themselves as sanctuaries of modern luxury where busy Angelenos can retreat to undergo rigorous body rejuvenation treatments. Spas like Firm Body Evolution blend ancient remedies with the newest technologies, offering amenities such as an infrared jade sauna, a vibration machine, pneumatic compressions and acupuncture in addition to standard detox, weight loss, and training exercises. Similarly, spas like VODA Spa, Green Bliss EcoSpa and the Ayurvedic Neihulé Salon integrate an array of holistic wellness routines and healing plans including yoga and fitness classes, acupuncture, aromatherapy, nutrition workshops, fertility programs and macrobiotic cafes.

Angelenos like their fitness as they like their food: quick and efficient. Brutally-intense cardio workouts and sleep-inducing yoga classes have made way for hip hybrid routines. YAS has been winning accolades from friends and fitness freaks thanks to its yoga-spin combo, a class described as “Zen on Wheels.” Other friends let off steam taking hybrid classes that emphasize fun: Sweaty Sundays, Yoga Booty Ballet, and Pole dancing have their own cult followings amongst fit Angelenos.

Ultimately, Angelenos lead such a sedentary, destination-driven lifestyle that they seek to maximize each pit-stop to get as much out of each experience as possible while maintaining good health and helping to protect and preserve the environment.

Health & Fitness
Los Angeles

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