Nutrition: Farmer's Market to Table


Living in Northern California offers a splendor of outdoor farmer’s markets, with some open throughout the year. Abundant fruits, vegetables, flowers, seafood, and beyond give us access to local farmers and a tangible answer to something profound: where does our food come from?  At the farmer’s market, you’re on a direct receiving line of true farm-to-table ingredients. 

Unlike grocery stores, where a variety of fruits and vegetables are always available, the stands at a farmer’s market often boast similar harvests. There is a general rule that what is plentiful is what’s in season. Take note from gourmet chefs who craft their menus based on seasonal ingredients and follow suit! Sample different varietals of apples, tomatoes and peaches, and delight in your bounty at its peak freshness raw, cooked, or preserved for future enjoyment.

Local farmer’s market purveyors are a valuable resource, so during your next outing don’t be shy. Ask questions about the farming process, harvest, food preparation tips, and any favorite recipes that utilize the current harvest. You can also visit a farmer’s market website to learn more about local farmers and their stories.  Below are some tips to get the most out of your next farmers market trip:

Take your own bag If you have a sturdy reusable grocery bag, be sure to grab it before heading to the market. The farmers often have small paper or plastic bags that can lead to unnecessarily bruising your goods! Be mindful of how much time you’ll be outdoors and purchase the more fragile items (i.e. peaches, plums, berries) before you take off for the day. If you plan on getting seafood or protein, having a food safe insulated bag, will keep things fresh until you get home. 

Go early, wear a hat, and lose the shades Beat the crowds for first dibs. Since it’s usually quieter at the opening of a farmer’s market, you may also find more opportunities to chat with some of the farmers. Since you are outdoors, don’t forget ample sun protection. When shopping for fruits and vegetables, remove sunglasses for a full sensory experience of holding, smelling, and seeing what you’re selecting to take home.

Try before you buy One of the greatest benefits of shopping at farmers market is the plethora of samples available. You can’t bite into a fruit at the grocery store, which can lead to taste bud disappointment once you get home. So, taste, smell, touch, and then buy. If there are no samples out, ask for one – they are likely to oblige! Look for what’s in season before you go:

Chef it up Prepare meals that take full advantage of your farmer’s market goods, including meal preparations that showcase the ingredients raw and cooked. Peaches? How about a peach and arugula salad with balsamic vinegar, grilled peaches with honey, and freeze some diced ripe peaches to blend into smoothies. 

Love: Under the Sun, Moon, or Stars


with longer, sun-filled days and warmer temperatures on the horizon, it’s a perfect opportunity to take date night (or date day!) outside. Taking part in physical activities, new adventures, and getting some Vitamin D can help boost your mood, and strengthen your relationships and friendships. Here are a few ideas for a wide range of “dates” that you can enjoy in the great outdoors in the Bay Area this summer.


Solo Date

Treating yourself to some alone time absolutely counts as a “date!” Download a great playlist (here is one of my Spotify favorites: Happy Sunny Days), pop in your ear buds, and head out for a run along the Embarcadero, where the sun and salt air is sure to make you feel alive. If you’re not a runner, head to Golden Gate Park for a long walk or hike. Be sure to wander the Japanese Tea Garden, where quiet contemplation is encouraged. The Botanical Gardens are a perfect place to stretch out on a blanket and catch up with a good book and an iced tea.


New Romance

Hoping to impress a new love interest, or explore some activities together? Activities that focus on health and wellness have become incredibly popular in the past few years. Head over to Crissy Field where the wind is always at maximum velocity – perfect for flying kites while overlooking one of the most beautiful views in the entire city. From there, you can easily walk up to the Marina, where you have a plethora of restaurants to choose from for afternoon bites and happy hour. Don’t forget to pick out dessert from Susie Cakes on Chestnut Street!


Married Life

With work, personal hobbies, and family taking up so much space in our lives, setting aside time for date night with your long-term partner is an important way to stay connected. San Francisco is home to some truly romantic views and outdoor dining experiences. Start the evening with a sunset catamaran cruise around the bay, followed by a reservation on the outdoor patio at La Mar on the Embarcadero, or Foreign Cinema in the Mission. If the night still feels young after dinner, there are plenty of award-winning cocktail bars in both of these areas. Don’t forget to skip the Lyft and enjoy the walk hand-in-hand.


Family Time

There are plenty of family-friendly options for day “dates” that you can enjoy with the kids. Spark Social in Mission Bay is full of food trucks, easily accessible family restrooms, and a huge athletic field full of communal sporting equipment like cornhole and soccer balls. Off the Grid in the Presidio is another family favourite Sunday event, where you can set up some chairs and relax on the huge lawn for the day. Land’s End is a surprisingly kid-friendly hike (though not great for strollers, so bring a carrier), and you can hit Ocean Beach afterwards for some sand and water play, followed by lunch on the lawn of Beach Chalet.

Obstacle Course Racing Q&A


Want your workout to feel one with nature? You may want to try Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) which incorporates natural terrain into the course, so you are traversing muddy ditches, thick forests, steep mountainsides, grassy meadows, and whatever the weather decides to throw at you that day.

OCR’s aren’t for the faint of heart: they take strength, agility, endurance, skill, and even some bravery. One of PowerPlay’s trainers happens to be an OCR champ, who always (yes, always!) finishes Top 10 in her races. This month, we’re catching up with her to ask about her Obstacle Course Racing experiences, and get some tips for incorporating OCR skills into your workout:


Q. What’s your background in OCR?

A. “I started competing in OCR’s in 2013 with Warrior Dash.  I was getting bored of road races and was doing a lot of functional training, so a friend recommended trying an OCR.  I entered the Warrior Dash in Oahu (I was living in Maui at the time) and I won!  Winning that race garnered my entry into the Warrior Dash World Championships where I took 20th out of 100 – from then on, I was hooked! I started looking into other races and competed in Spartan Races, Terrain Races, and Battle Frogs. I definitely fell in love with Spartan Races!” 

Q.. What combination of training do you find to be most effective for OCR prep?

A. “For myself, I find a balance of running, strength training, and HIIT/Functional Training helps me feel prepared. OCR’s utilize a combination of skills, and you need to be versed in all of them in order to do well. I usually run 3-4x per week, strength train 2x per week, and do HIIT/Functional Training 2-3x per week. Running is often overlooked, but definitely key! You will frequently be running up to a mile between obstacles, so you need to train your legs and lungs!”


Q. How do you stay in the game mentally during race time?

A. “During a race, I get huge rushes of adrenaline! I also try not to focus on people around me, but only on myself. For example, I have favorite songs that I play in my head, and mantras I use when I get tired. If I make a mistake on the course I remind myself to focus, and that one mistake does not have to determine the mood of my race. I let go of disappointment, and focus on what is ahead of me!”


Q. Gear is key! What’s in your bag for race day?  

A. “Pre-race packing, I’ll make sure to have a stash of Nuun hydration tablets, K-Tape and K-Tape blister pads, clothing options for varying weather, extra shoelaces, energy snacks, and energy chews (like GU brand). I also consider what I’ll need immediately after the race, like a towel, change of clothes and shoes, more Nuun hydration tablets, a natural energy bar like Rx (I don’t have an appetite after racing, but know I need food!), a hat, and sunglasses. After expending a lot of energy (and being wet), a “chill” can set in, so a warm sweater can be a lifesaver!”


Q. What’s your OCR “secret weapon?”

A. “Lots of grip work practice! I can’t say this enough! Bouldering, Kettlebell farmer’s carries, and dead hangs are all great ways to work on grip and build some calluses. I also drink pickle juice for two nights before a race to prevent cramps!”


Q. What piece of advice would you give to any new Obstacle Course Racer?

A. “Have fun! Of course you will be more confidant and better prepared if you train as much as possible, but on race day try to enjoy the experience. Remind yourself to smile – you are basically on a huge adult playground! When you make mistakes, take mental notes to work on those skills for next time, but don’t let those mistakes define your race or get you down. What is the point of all that training and commitment if you aren’t going to enjoy it?!”


Trainer Spotlight and Author: Jenn Philpot is a decorated OCR champion, marathoner, and Kettlebell expert. When she’s not training and motivating clients, you can find her monkeying around San Francisco with her young daughter or off on a sunny run along the water.

Sun Salutations


As we ease out of a very rainy season, we are all grateful to feel some sunshine again! What better way to celebrate than to work some sun salutations into your practice?

Traditionally, sun salutations were practiced during the sunrise to salute the light, both from the sun and internally. The movement was our way to stoke our internal fire, building heat and “burning off impurities.” Sun salutations were mostly practiced with your back facing the sun, so that the sun could warm your spine and allow for an easier transition into longer held yoga poses, or Asanas. Today it’s hard to find a yoga class that doesn’t incorporate some or all of the sun salutes into a sequence, regardless of the time of day. Many classes start with salutes as a way of warming up the muscles, and encouraging us to create balance, focus, and a quiet mind in order to become the best version of ourselves.

There are many variations of a Sun salutation, but the main use physically is to energize the body. It is best practiced in the morning and/or at the beginning of a yoga practice. Try to remember the importance of managing the breath as you work through your salutes. The breath with movement is a key element of Yoga, and elevates your practice to more than just a series of stretches and bends. With each step, focus on how many breaths it takes to move from one pose to the next. A traditional Vinyasa flow links one breath for each move, which is a perfect place to start. The fewer the breaths, the faster you will move from pose to pose, and the more active the flow will be.

If you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up to start your day or boost your energy post-lunch, try this simple variation of Sun Salutations with a series of lunges.

Mountain Pose with Hands in Prayer (Tadasana with Anjeli Mudra) Exhale

Mountain Pose with Hands in Prayer (Tadasana with Anjeli Mudra) Exhale

Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana) Inhale

Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana) Inhale

Forward Fold (Uttanasana) Exhale

Forward Fold (Uttanasana) Exhale

Half Forward Fold (Ardha Uttanasana) Inhale

Half Forward Fold (Ardha Uttanasana) Inhale

Forward Fold (Uttanasana) Exhale

Forward Fold (Uttanasana) Exhale

Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana) Inhale

Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana) Inhale

Plank Pose (Phalasana) Exhale & Inhale

Plank Pose (Phalasana) Exhale & Inhale

4-Limbled Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)Exhale

4-Limbled Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)Exhale

Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana) Inhale

Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana) Inhale

Downward Facing Dog (Adha Mukha Svanasana) Exahle

Downward Facing Dog (Adha Mukha Svanasana) Exahle

Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana) Inhale

Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana) Inhale

Forward Fold (Uttanasana) Exhale

Forward Fold (Uttanasana) Exhale

Half Forward Fold (Ardha Uttanasana) Inhale

Half Forward Fold (Ardha Uttanasana) Inhale

Forward Fold (Uttanasana) Exhale

Forward Fold (Uttanasana) Exhale

Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana) Inhale

Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana) Inhale

Mountain Pose with Hands in Prayer (Tadasana with Anjeli Mudra) Exhale

Mountain Pose with Hands in Prayer (Tadasana with Anjeli Mudra) Exhale

Nutrition: Prep for Meal Prep


When it comes to eating well throughout the week, planning ahead is everything. If you’re focused on improving your diet to compliment a new workout routine, or simply looking to build healthier eating habits for the whole family, meal-prep may be the answer to reducing last minute eating out and unhealthy snacking. Here are some plan-ahead (prep-for-the-prep!) strategies:

1. Stock the basics: your pantry should have a variety of staples, like grains, seasonings, proteins, and healthy oils. Take an inventory of what you have (check expiration dates) and restock the essentials. Invest in glass food containers in varied sizes that are versatile (store, heat, freeze, dishwasher safe). Got kids? Find kid-size containers for eating on the go. If you have body re-composition goals and are looking to get summer ready, then consider adding a food scale to your kitchen staples. This way you can measure out your exact macros and stay within your caloric goals

2. Keep it real, keep it small: change can feel overwhelming. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to comfortably whip up a meal prep plan for a week in the beginning, or sustain that initial gung-ho spirit. Start by taking smaller steps, which will last in the long run. Just thinking about prepping for the week will have you approaching your shopping differently. Buying, washing, and portioning out vegetables and fruit for the next 2-3 days is a good first step to understanding how prepping ahead will save you time and help you eat better. From there, move on to planning a meal (i.e. breakfast) and a snack for the next few days. Depending on your schedule, prepping breakfast the night before, or having dinners ready-to-go will result in saving you time, reducing the stress of last minute meal-thinking, and help you stay in control of eating.

3. Get inspired: not sure what to put on your menu or shopping list? Check out Pinterest and meal prep sites for ideas. Try jotting down meal ideas for the first 2-3 days (keep it simple) and see how you can build on those meals to round out the rest of the week. Here’s an example: I start with a basic chicken soup (whole organic chicken) boiled with onions, carrots, and celery (we eat this

for dinner with pasta or rice) and then I use the chicken/stock the next day for a curry by adding fresh onions, carrots, and potato along with curry sauce or spices. I chop the extra carrots and celery as a snack or to pack in the kids’ lunches.

4. Prep, eat, freeze: optimize your meal planning based on enjoying food at its peak deliciousness, and knowing when to freeze to minimize waste. Think handfuls of fresh/raw berries over oatmeal or yogurt early in the week and then freeze them for smoothies before they get mushy for later in the week. Eat seafood first, and work those spices and marinades for proteins to be enjoyed later in the week. Root veggies that have a longer shelf life can be roasted and reheated without compromising flavor or texture.

5. Learn from the pros: plant-based, portion controlled food delivery programs can jumpstart your journey and clue you in on portions and ingredient combinations. You can see how the pros add flavour with spices and ingredient combination and incorporate the same concepts into your meal prep regime. Local (SF) food delivery company we love:

In Action: Do the Twist


After indulging in comfort foods over the dreary winter months, it’s time to wring out our intestines with some detoxifying twisting poses. For anyone who has dealt with digestive issues, learning yoga twists can become a go-to staple for relief and prevention. Twists are postures that generally involve moving the shoulder to face in an opposing direction to the hips. Twists are great for not only wringing out the internal organs and bringing fresh blood to the intestines, but they are also vital for helping to maintain healthy spinal rotation and mobility, and opening the chest and shoulders. With so much goodness packed into one pose, it’s a pose everyone should try.

 *Note: twisting poses are not always safe for pregnant women. Be sure to see a professional before trying any twisting poses if you could be pregnant.

Try This!

Lying down: lay on your back with your knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Allow your knees to gently fall to one side, while turning your head in the opposite direction. This will create a light twist through the spine. You can put your arms straight out to the side (in a “t” shape), or use one hand to gently pull your knees down closer to the floor to deepen the stretch. Repeat on the other side.

Sitting: sit on the floor with your legs comfortably crossed. Start twisting your upper body, as if trying to look over one shoulder. Use your hands to gently pull on your knees to help you hold the pose. Try to keep your hips as squared as possible, and only twist as far as your body will allow while your hips stay in place (if you feel either of your Glutes start lifting off the floor, you are out of alignment). Repeat on the other side.

Style : Athleisure

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Athleisure, defined as (yes, it’s an official word): casual clothing designed to be worn both for exercising and for general use. The trend likely started with the yoga pant showing up outside the studio and picked up speed with the launch of celebrity lines, like Beyoncé’s co-founded line, Ivy Park. We love this trend (which will hopefully stick around!) for its sporty/retro vibe and high comfort factor. Not sure how to incorporate it into your wardrobe? Here are some styling tips:

1. Foundation pant: Find a good pair of joggers - not tight like yoga pants, not baggy like sweat pants. The jogger is a tailored pant often with a cuff at the ankle, and pockets. These are the pants you’ll love to pull on after your workout, the ones you’ll grab when you travel, and the ones you won’t want to take off! The right fabrication and silhouette will look good enough to wear out: Our picks: women: Men:

2. Matchmaker: the cool factor of the athleisure look is achieved by either going full matchy-matchy (think matching track suits or sweat outfits) or mixing athletic pieces like joggers or leggings with other non-technical clothing pieces, like a fitted sweater, denim, or leather jacket.

3. Vintage sport comeback: flashback to Champion, original Adidas stripes, “Just Do It” slogans, and Fila. Reissued in modern silhouettes, these brands elevate old school basics from gym to chic. Don’t be surprised to see these brands popping up all over department stores. Vintage looks sure to deliver big style include shrunken track jackets and sweatshirts.

4. Neat feet: footwear is a big part of this trend with countless options for rounding out the athleisure look. For sneakers, depending on your style you can go sportier and look for sneakers with bigger soles, thicker laces, or unexpected prints and color combinations. For a more minimal look, choose a sleeker, low profile style like a lightweight slip on. For the summer, pair those joggers (or biker shorts) with a pair of athletic slides. Bonus: you look on-trend, AND you’re ready to workout at any time!

Fitness: Muscle Recovery


Workout routines should conclude with ample time to stretch and rest. Yes, you’ve finished the ‘hard’ part, but rushing out to whatever is next (even if it’s sitting at a desk) can actually set you back. By skipping this recovery step, muscles stay contracted (stressed)- and will eventually leave you feeling sore, and less motivated to conquer your next workout with gusto.

By making recovery (at the gym and at home) a non-negotiable, you will experience happier muscles, clarity of mind, and a stronger mind/body connection. Here’s a breakdown of our recovery + restoration essentials:

1. Muscle Shivasana If you practice yoga, you’ve heard that shivasana (corpse pose, where you lay on your back in complete relaxation) is the most important pose of the practice.  Channel this thinking during more rigorous strength training by ending with slow stretching and breathing. To start, tune-in to where you feel the most tight: relax, find your breath, stretch to relieve tightness, and breath. Follow by stretching any additional muscles you just worked.

2. Roll it out Foam rollers are great for daily myofascial (muscle pain) release. Use your roller for a quick 15-minute self-care session. You can focus on one or two muscle groups (ie: fronts and backs of legs), roll out your entire body, or concentrate on your most sore muscles during each session. Try to spend at least 60-90 seconds rolling out each muscle group. A roller we love is by OPTP. They also have good roller balls which can be used to self-massage target areas like shoulders and feet.

Try this! Use different tools to get the job done: for large muscle groups, a traditional foam roller will help release large areas of tissue; a set of rolling balls or recovery balls will work wonders to target smaller areas, like the hip flexors and shoulder blades; a specialized foot roller is essential for keeping your feet pain-free. 

3. Headspace Our modern, multi-tasked lives operate in non-stop busy mode. At the end of the day, our minds and nerves are tired but stimulated. Whether it’s from work, family, or worry – whatever is on our minds, needs a place to rest (so we can sleep and recover). Carving out some time and developing a daily habit to quiet your mind and reflect on your priorities, will not only help you stay focused, but will also allow your muscles to relax. It’s not easy to switch from busy mode to meditation bliss, so try something that still involves doing, like journaling or taking a shower/bath with intentional mindfulness to clear your head so you can rest. 

4. Stay hydrated (beyond water) Water plays a significant role in the process of recovery - helping digest vital nutrients and repairing muscles damaged during exercise. In addition to drinking water, eating foods with high water content will help you stay hydrated throughout the day. Watermelon and strawberries are composed of over 90 percent water. Grapefruits, melons, lettuce, and cucumbers are also great for hydration. A homemade broth is a also an unexpected nourishing and comforting way to up your hydration (just watch the salt).

5. Massage as therapy Reward your mind + body with a good massage, which is especially beneficial following a workout. Oftentimes, rewarding ourselves is associated with a celebratory meal or drink, which we love too! Pro-athletes get massages as part of their therapy - not just because it feels good but because it promotes blood circulation and more effective muscle recovery. Next time, swap that celebratory meal for a killer massage.