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Are you ready for the beach? How to stay fit California style

Sun, fun, and swimsuits are just around the corner. The big question is: are you ready for the beach? California offers some of the most beautiful beaches on the West Coast. With warm weather quickly approaching, fitting into that perfect swimsuit or pair of trunks is a must. We've got some fitness tips and tricks to share so you'll be ready for the beach just in time for summer!

California Meal Tips

Eating out: Everyone loves a great meal and there is nothing better than going out with friends, but eating out all the time can hurt your chances of being ready for the beach this summer. Some things to consider when you eat out:
  • What are you ordering? Check out the lighter menu options.
  • Do you know what's in your dish? Restaurants add a lot of fattening ingredients - watch things like dressings, sauces, and side dishes.
  • Whats a true portion size? They make take-out boxes for a reason!
  • Do you really need dessert? Usually, the answer is no.

California Fitness

Flickr-RoOoNa  Make it at home: Life is busy, but don't underestimate making your meals at home. Try making a salad the night before or bagging fruits and veggies as a snack or meal for the next day. Snacks: What are you snacking on? Sometimes we just crave something sweet or salty and that gets us in trouble.   Check out these snack substitutes:

  • Unsalted nuts in place of greasy chips
  • Carrots in place of Chex Mix
  • Fruit in place of a frappuccino
  • One serving of dark chocolate in place of a candy bar
  • Chew gum when you aren't hungry but feel the need to snack

California Fitness Tips

California Fitness Ready for the Beach

 Take the stairs: It may seem too early to trek all the way up to your office but it's definitely a great decision to get you ready for the beach! Take a walk: It's easy to stay in one spot all day. Consider using a portion (or all) of your lunch break to take a walk! The exercise will energize you and help you avoid an afternoon slump. Say no to soda: Cut out this sugary drink and replace it with water to see the results for yourself. This could make the difference in losing the last few pounds you can't seem to get rid of!

California Workouts to Help You Get Ready for the Beach

Cardio Cali Style: However you like to fit it in, carido is a vital part of any workout routine. Instead of running on a treadmill, try getting your cardio in California-Style. Some suggestions: biking, rollerblading, beach volleyball, or Ultimate Frisbee. The more you involve your friends, the more exciting these actives will be. Strength Training: Don't underestimate the power of adding weights to any workout routine. Ladies may shy away from this, but adding weights to your workout doesn't mean you'll bulk up like a body builder. It will, however, mean toning, definition, and weight loss. fitnessfirst bootcamp Flicrk-Fitness First Germany

Gym or no gym - that is the question: Can't seem to make it to the gym? Uninspired by staring at a blank wall? Try your workout outside. The fresh air, scenery, and visual stimulation can be a great motivator. Also try working out in groups. It's great motivation and perfect for accountability.

Have we inspired you? What keeps you motivated and ready for the beach?

Cover Photo: Flickr-Lumperjack

Treasure from Trash: Glass Beach, Fort Bragg California

They say that one man's trash is another man's treasure. In this instance, treasure from trash is an understatement. For residents and tourists of Fort Bragg, California, the trash that used to occupy what is now known as Glass Beach has definitely turned into treasure. The small town of Fort Bragg, located just twenty minutes north of Mendocino, is a destination worth adding to your road trip list. If you're coming from San Fransisco, it will take a little over three hours, while those coming down from Eureka will experience a beautiful two and a half hour drive. No matter the distance though, you'll be met with an incredible sight. Flickr-John K Flickr-John K

The History of Glass Beach

From 1943-1949, the beaches near Fort Bragg were used as dumping grounds for local trash. Following the devastation from the San Francisco earth quake in 1906, it became common practice to toss anything you didn't want into the ocean. The residents of Fort Bragg didn't have access to a trash service so they did the next best thing - they tossed their trash off the cliffs. Everything from car parts and glass bottles to household machinery was tossed over the cliffs to The Dumps, as they started calling it, without a second thought to what impact it would have on the environment. Little did the towns folk realize that they were the catalyst to something beautiful. Fort Brag Webpage When the locals became more earth-conscious in the late 60s, they began a renovation project for the The Dumps. Hauling away all of the remaining trash, they were shocked to discover something almost magical beneath the surface clutter. Time, and more importantly the relentless waves, had beaten the trash into beautiful, smooth glass pebbles replacing the old name with a new, more fitting one: Glass Beach.

Visit Glass Beach

It's not hard to see why you'd want to visit Glass Beach. Now part of the California State Parks System and MacKerricher State Park, Glass Beach is a thriving testament to something incredible coming from something destructive. Visitors to the beach now share in the popular past time of searching out lovely, multicolored pieces of glass worn by the waves over time. Flickr-John K Each pebble has a story to tell. The periwinkle blue stones are said to be remnants from apothecary bottles while the red stones are most likely from broken glass tail lights. The green stones are likely from old soda or beer bottles discarded with the rest of the trash in The Dumps. If you're going to visit Glass Beach today, there are a few things to note:  
  • The best picnic spot is on the cliffs overlooking Glass Beach #3 which is the beach farthest north
  • Bring your walking shoes, you'll have to hike down to the beach
  • Inside the State Park you cannot take the sea glass with you - outside of the State Park lines its OK - so make sure to bring a camera
  • There is a Sea Glass Museum you can visit
It's easy to get caught up in the horror of what Glass Beach could have become, but finding beauty in the broken things is what makes this story even more amazing. It's recycling at it's finest. Flickr-John K Check out this fun video for more info about Glass Beach: YouTube: VisitFortBraggCA Source Fort Bragg City Website Cover Photo from Flickr by John K

Laguna Beach: Relaxation at it's Best

Are you a fan of ocean activities or a true art lover? What do you do to relax? Spend a day at the beach, swimming and getting tanned, or maybe you’d rather admire some creative, fresh art pieces? At Laguna Beach, a small quaint town south of Los Angeles, you don’t have to choose. An amazing stretch of coastline and beautiful cliff top settings are natural gifts of this city. They called thousands of artists throughout the years and now Laguna Beach can boast with dozens of art galleries and renowned art festivals. The exquisite atmosphere wouldn’t have been complete without the high number of classy boutiques, where you find everything from seashell chandeliers to wind chimes. Go to the beach: and you’ll find heaven It goes without saying that the seven miles of amazing sandy beaches are a thrill for any beachgoer. Many tourists like to go for a swim and soak up the sun. But surfing on California’s best waves and diving into the magical underwater world are also common activities among visitors and locals. And we’ll share a little local secret with you: try the 1000 steps beach. You’ll feel as if you rented your own beach. It is true that climbing up and down the 200+ steps can be a bit difficult. But the gorgeous empty beach is very rewarding, we assure you. Laguna Beach Artwalk: FREE art, music, drinks and friends Every first Thursday of each month is Open Studios Day in Laguna Beach. If you are an art lover, this event is custom made for you. But even if you are just an amateur, we are sure you’ll enjoy the event. Artists are onsite and very fun to talk to. They usually tell interesting stories about their work so you’ll get valuable insights. Above all, almost all galleries offer free wine and other drinks, free snacks & live music. Take the Artwalk and feel the great artistic vibe! Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari: have you ever kissed a dolphin? From tens of dolphins and cute baby dolphins jumping in and out of water to majestic Blue Whales, you’ll get to admire the most amazing creatures of the marine world. After seeing bottlenose dolphins, Gray Whales, Humpback Whales, Orca Whales, this ocean adventure will become your favorite excursion and you’ll come back every year to meet your marine friends. Laguna Culinary Classes: become a gourmet professional and impress your friends and family It’s fun and educative. You explore different culinary styles and techniques and learn to prepare delicious menus. Only top notch ingredients are used and the best part is that you can take the food home. If you are a wine lover, you’ll surely like Wine Basics course or Food & Wine Pairing classes. Wouldn’t it be nice to go home after your relaxing holiday and be a pro in pairing wine with your favorite dishes? Eva’s – a Caribbean Kitchen: where awesome meets fresh and tasty Of course, the rum: sugar cane rum, vanilla rum, mango rum. And any kind of Caribbean cocktails based on rum you can think of for a tipsy fun time. But beyond this, the fish here is really fresh, the jerk pork is mind-blowing and the Callaloo soup (made with okra, coconut milk, clam and lobster base) will definitely become the favorite dish of seafood lovers.

State Bliss

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