101 cider house

Top 20 of 2017

In doing some reminiscing about my journey, I realized that I've been a part of the health and wellness universe in a professional fashion since 2005. 12 years of working as a personal trainer, physical therapist, running coach, and yoga instructor. In those 12 years I've been privileged to have been introduced to countless numbers of wellness brands, companies, individuals, and products. Some have been passing trends. Others don't quite live up to the hype. But a few are everything you want them to be, and much more. 

I want to use my platform to be able to share what I've found that I absolutely love. The brands, companies, products, and people that are doing something special, something different, and something extraordinary.

The Top 20 of 2017 was born from this desire. 

Between December 1st and December 20th I'll be profiling each brand, product, and the people behind it on Instagram. Sharing my story of how I came to find the brand and why I love them so much. Not all brands and companies are directly health related, but hey, happiness is part of health as well. Many of these companies have been incredibly generous to participate in giveaways with products and experiences so you can enjoy them too. And no, none of these companies has paid me to be on this list. I reached out to all of them to express my gratitude for what they do.

This blog serves as a round up. A place to find all of the information you could want in one spot. And a sneak peak into which brands you can be snagging sweet rewards from!

Enjoy!

FOOD AND NUTRITION

Wild Friends FoodsDo you love nut butters? Do you love stories of young people following their dreams and building successful businesses from their dorm rooms? If so, than you'll love Wild Friends Foods.

Nuun HydrationIf you're like me, you grew up drinking sugary sports drinks that shall not be named here. Why? Because that's all we knew/had. Well, there's something better. Plant based, all natural, much lower in sugar, and cleaner overall. That's nuun. And that's just a part of why I love it.

RXBARProtein bars that aren't filled with lab grown ingredients are incredibly hard to come by. So when RXBAR first showed up in my life, with it's ingredients clearly labeled on the wrapper, I was stoked - and skeptical. We know protein bars that taste good are even harder to find. Well, they nailed it on both fronts. 

Four Sigmatic - Everyone hears the ads on podcasts and most of the time we tune them out. When I heard about mysterious "mushroom coffee" on Tim Ferriss' podcast, I couldn't get it out of my head. I love coffee and I'm super into other mushroom based supplements...what happens if you put them together? Magic, it turns out. 

101 Cider House - If you're a local San Diegan you know we have a plethora of breweries, but finding good cider is a whole different story. Most cider is sugar laden and ultra sweet. Not 101 Cider House. With buzzword ingredients like activated charcoal and spirulina, this is a totally different experience. 

BoochcraftA local brand that figured out how to take kombucha and make it boozy? That is enough to get me interested. Add in amazing flavors and great people and I'm sold. 

Dark Horse Coffee Roasters - Coffee sure has come a long way. From the days of Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks to a micro roaster on every corner. DHCR is consistently the best - the secret? Great coffee AND even better employees (the vegan donuts don't hurt either). 

Chosen Foods - When a friend goes to work for a new company, ends up loving her job, AND the company makes the best avocado oil on the planet, you take note. 

Beaming Cafe - I'm a firm believer in routine. And part of my routine calls for Friday morning breakfast porridge bowls from Beaming and morning meditation at the beach. A routine that makes me feel so damn good. 

Muir Energy Gel - We've all taken a Gu on a race course. We've all experienced the gut rot that comes along with it. What if you could take a gel, made of real foods, that would give you the energy without the digestive issues? You can. And it's made right here in La Jolla. 

BODY CARE

Schmidt's Naturals - It's no secret, I sweat. A lot. It's one of my favorite parts of working out. And I've heard over and over how dangerous traditional deodorant and antiperspirant can be for you, but can something natural actually work? Yes, turns out it can. 

Saje Wellness - Essential oils can get a bad rap. Many of them are sold through multilevel marketing businesses and use cheap source products, which makes them both shady and unappealing. Not Saje. This Canadian brand has been doing their natural wellness thing for more years than most, and it shows. 

Defense Soap - Wait? So a soap product made to keep wrestlers and martial arts guys from getting nasty things off of sweaty mats can actually be really great for your skin (and for clearing acne) too? This one is perhaps my favorite find. 

CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES

lululemon athletica - I won't bore you. I LOVE lululemon. The people, the philosophy, the collective, and yes, the clothes. My life would not be the same without them. And I don't mean that superficially. It's true. 

Knockaround - One can never have too many pairs of rad shades. And when those shades are made by equally rad dudes, locally, and for an affordable price, that's even better. 

Milestone Running - We might as well call this my second home. This local running store is so much more. It's home to a community of smart, connected, hilarious, friendly, and special people (and one special dog). Cheers to many more years creating with these crazy folks. 

Ciele Athletics - Introduced to me by some ultra running friends, this small hat startup has nailed the game. Incredible performance, even better looks, and (because they're made in Canada) the friendliest faces ever. 

Stance - When your socks are the coolest part of your outfit, you know the brand is doing something right. From partnering with huge names to collaborating with small groups, Stance has made their debut into the run world a stylish and successful one.

STUDIOS

Spirit Yoga Studio - Fun fact: Spirit was the very first yoga studio that I regularly attended upon moving to San Diego. When they first opened their doors it was all donation based and it was evident that the community surrounding the space made it special. While lots has changed in the years since then, the community feeling has not. And that keeps bringing me back, as both a student and a teacher. 

F45 San Diego Downtown - What? Paid fitness has made the list? Yup. When the paid fitness studio elicits the results like this one has, it deserves a spot. I have F45 to thank for my muscles - and for giving me a space to exercise them once again.  

What I'm Into Wednesday - The Long Weekend Edition

This Fourth of July weekend seemed to go on forever, didn't it? Having a holiday on a Tuesday is much welcomed (I'd assume) by the normal 9-5ers but quite honestly didn't feel much different for me. I still taught my normal classes, I just had WAY more people in them. Which was awesome. Shout out to the 43 peeps who showed up to Spirit Yoga on Tuesday morning. And extra love to the ones that were cool with practicing in the lobby since the studio was full. You all made my holiday start off perfectly.

This edition is dedicated to this long weekend. While it didn't feel much different for me, it was a blast to have friends around for multiple days in a row and led to some pretty fun little adventures.

See

Have you seen the Princess Bride? I thought I was the last person on the planet to have seen it, but then I found out that my two friends John and Lou hadn't seen it and it just so happened that it was playing at Cinema Under the Stars this weekend - so we had to go. Cinema Under the Stars has been on my SD bucket list. It's located in Mission Hills and is a giant outdoor movie screen with about four or five rows of reclining zero-gravity type seats. They show a great variety of older movies and the ambiance is exactly what you expect it to be: hilarious older gentleman who gives you your paper tickets, shows you to your seat, and introduces the film, a funny animated short prior to the main show, and all the expected movie snacks there to purchase. Just remember it's cash only and to reserve your seat online ahead of time. They do sell out!

Do

One of my favorite things to do is to go see live music and I much prefer small shows to large amphitheaters. San Diego has a great music scene, but one I forget about sometimes. Which was why it had been so long since I've seen a show. I was stoked to go out (way past my bedtime) on Saturday night to see the reggae band the Aggrolites with Angelo, Lou, and Amanda at the Music Box. I had never seen a show at the Music Box, but this India Street venue was awesome. Previously Anthology, the Music Box boasts a great updated feel and the perfect size crowds for someone like me. Check out a show there, you won't be disappointed. 

Smell

Pre concert we needed some grub and the consensus among us concert goers was unanimously: TACOS. We headed to City Tacos in North Park. The smell of fresh tortillas, fried deliciousness, and yummy seasonings always gets me. My favorites? The mahi mahi (which they were out of, sad face) and the portobello. But really, you can't go wrong. Don't forget to visit the salsa bar and stock up on some sauces and (my favorite) jicama slices!

Taste

I'm not much of a drinker these days, but I was feeling the need for something to wash down the tacos. Since I don't drink beer, my choices are usually limited to cider when we go to casual restaurants. And while I love cider, I don't love the sugar content and extreme sweetness that usually comes along with it. I decided to chance it on the 101 Cider House, Black Dog variety - purely because of the fact that it was a cider. And I was so pleasantly surprised! This is a probiotic, fermented cider with no added sugar (less than a gram per serving), 5% ABV and was not sweet at all. As a bonus, this seasonal flavor has activated charcoal and lavender. It was a funky grey color and so delicious. They sell the entire line of this LA based cider house right across the street at Bottlecraft - you know I stocked up!

Hear

Saturday morning I made a commitment to myself to go for an enjoyable, solo trail run. I've been battling with a resurgence of foot pain (plantar fasciitis on the right and midfoot on the left) and have NOT been enjoying running lately. Partly because of the discomfort and partly due to my own frustration of feeling like I've lost all of the running shape I worked hard to get back into pre marathon in May. So I went up the backside of Cowles Mountain solo with the pure intention of having fun. The sound of my footfalls and the heavy breathing - and only that (there's so many fewer people on that side of the mountain) were music to my ears! And while it was one of my slower run/hikes ever, mission was accomplished and I did have fun. More of that!