Archive for October, 2010

LA Adventure Specialist - 11:03 27 October 2010

Grow Younger With This Special Fat

Grow Younger With This Special Fat

By Cassandra Forsythe-Pribanic, PhD, RD

It starts sometime after you hit 30: you get out of bed one morning and your back feels like a stiff branch and your knees are more creaky than they’ve ever been. For at least a few seconds, you take slow steps, one by one, until your body loosens up and feels no pain, like it normally felt when you were a younger person.

That morning, when you got out of bed, you realized that the hill you’ve been climbing is starting to get a bit rockier. All those past years of jumping off rooftops, or lifting extremely heavy weights, is starting to feel it’s damaging effects.  Today you realize it: you’re getting old.

The realization of stiffness, and perhaps even the start of arthritis or joint degeneration, is even worse than finding your first grey hair – at least with the hair you can cover it up. But, this stiffness in your back and achiness in your knees is a bit harder to hide; and you know it’s going to get worse.

Age-spots, wrinkles, thinning skin, aching joints; these are all signs of the proverbial time bomb that is our lifespan. We all want to go out with a bang, but how fast we go and how good we feel during this process all depends on how we treat our bodies from day one. Everything from nutrition, to our choice of exercise, to our choice of “recreational activities”, has an influence on our bodies’ aging lifeline.

How old are you, really?

Recently, scientists have discovered a truly unique way to measure how old your body really is. In 2009, the Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to molecular scientists for uncovering unique proteins in our bodies, called Telomeres, and their enzymes, telomerases, that play an important role in the aging process.

Telomeres are snippets of DNA at the end of our chromosomes that function like little end-caps, providing stability and protection to our genetic material. The enzyme telomerase is responsible for rebuilding and maintaining telomere structure and is found within our cells. Most normal human adult cells however, do not have enough active telomerase to maintain telomere length indefinitely, and therefore undergo telomere attrition with age.

Our telomeres shorten as a normal process of cellular division (which occurs all the time within our bodies). Each time a cell divides, the telomere is decreased in length until a critical length is reached, signaling cell death. This process of telomere shortening represents a ‘molecular clock’ that underlies aging. Usually telomerase enzymes rebuild your telomeres, but as we noted above, they have their own life span too.

Measuring age with telomeres

Telomere length is currently the best measure of your actual biological age compared to chronological age. It is also an important barometer of your overall health. Obesity is closely associated with chronic diseases, several cancers and premature death. Obese adults are found to have shorter telomeres than their normal weight counterparts. These findings support the notion that excess body fat may accelerate aging. Exercise, on the other hand, is found to up-regulate telomerase activity, which may provide the underlying molecular mechanism for the anti-aging effects of regular physical exercise.

Many human diseases of different origins that are associated with aging, as well as late stages of cancer are characterized by the presence of short telomeres.  It then stands to reason that therapies directed at preserving telomere length may slow aging and retard the onset of age-related diseases.

Preserving telomeres with omega-3s

When people think of omega-3 fats from seafood, they often think heart health and fat loss.

However, they can now associate a new benefit to omega-3s: Longevity.

New research suggests that these special essential fatty acids may actually preserve telomerase activity, and in turn, prevent shortening of telomeres themselves.

Cardiologists from the University of California, San Francisco, and other hospitals measured telomere length over five years in 608 patients who had coronary-artery blockage and previous heart attacks. Researchers found that people with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their white blood cells experienced significantly less shortening of telomeres over five years, as compared with patients with lower omega-3 levels.

This study focused on levels of omega-3s from marine sources, not from vegetable sources like flaxseed or walnuts. Omega-3 from plants don’t have the same effect on telomere length as seafood omega-3s, but still have other benefits, like improving the blood cholesterol profile.

Although all these patients had experienced some cardiac event, those with longer telomeres have less cellular aging and are most likely to live the longest with the most vitality.

The researchers in this study hypothesized that omega-3s work via two mechanisms to protect telomeres and preserve cellular health. First, omega-3s protect your cells against oxidative stress, a process that occurs in every one’s body and accelerates the aging process (free radicals and oxidative stress are one of the causes of age spots, wrinkles, joint pain and disease through cell damage). Second, omega-3s increase the activity of telomerase enzymes so that telomeres are always being rebuilt and preserved.

Marine Omega-3s for Healthy Longevity

Omega-3s from marine sources may be one way to preserve your youthfulness and protect against the damaging effects of aging. Think of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) like little super heroes of the fat world: in one punch they knock down free radical enemies while helping telomerases keep your telomeres healthy and long.

I hope you enjoyed this article, as I was inspired to share it after a health fitness conversation the took place on one of our private Los Angeles Tours.

Blackburn, E. H. Switching and signaling at the telomere. Cell 106, 661–673 (2001).Shay, J. W. & Wright, W. E. Telomerase: a target for cancer therapeutics. Cancer Cell 2, 257–265 (2002).Kim S, Parks CG, et al. Obesity and weight gain in adulthood and telomere length. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 Mar; 18(3):816-20Wermer C, Furster T, et al. Physical Exercise Prevents Cellular Senescence in Circulating Leukocytes and in the Vessel Wall. Circulation. 2009 Nov 30. Jeanclos E, Krolweski A, et al. Shortened telomere length in white blood cells of patients with IDDM. Diabetes 1998;47:482-6. Gardner JP, Li S, Srinivasin SR, et al. Rise in insulin resistance is associated with escalated telomere attrition. Circulation 2005;111:2171-7.Samani NJ, Boutby, R, et al. Telomere shortening in atherosclerosis. Lancet 2001;358:472-3. Morla M, Busquet X, et al. Telomere shortening in smokers with and without COPD. Eur Respir J 2006; 27:525-528. Farzeneh-Far R, Lin J, Epel E, et al. Association of Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acids with Telomeric aging in patients with Coronary Heart Disease. JAMA. 2010; 303(3):250-257
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LA Adventure Specialist - 9:14 21 October 2010

High Protein Yogurt…..YUM!

It is no surprise to me anymore that people have a multitude of questions and inquiries on our private Hollywood tours; admittedly from whisperings they hear on TV, find on internet, and read in tabloid magazines.

So, fitness and nutrition often gets weaved into our tour chats.  Last week a client asked me what was a good lite and nutritious breakfast option that she may not necessarily find at home but could enjoy here in LA!

Conversationally I shared some wisdom with her that I passed down from Certified Nutrition Specialist, Mike Geary.  Enjoy…..

Today’s Fitness Quickie from Mike G……………..

I just found an AWESOME yogurt recently (that is the creamiest yogurt I’ve found to date…absolutely delicious!), and it is the highest protein yogurt I’ve ever seen.

I always read labels at the grocery store and I’ve never even seen any yogurt come close to this in protein content. In fact, this yogurt that I found had 3X the normal protein content in comparable serving sizes of other brands and types.

This high protein creamy yogurt I found at the grocery store is called Fage greek yogurt… Fage is the brand of greek yogurts I found that had the highest protein content of them all that I compared.

There was 3 versions of this Fage greek yogurt – skim, 2%, and full-fat.

I ended up choosing the 2% version, which goes slightly against what I always preach about just choosing the full-fat versions of everything… but the 2% had the best ratios of protein and fat, without having too much milkfat.

If I remember correctly…

The skim version was about 20 gms of protein and 0 gms of fat The 2% version was about 19 gms of protein and 4 gms of fat The whole version was about 13 gms of protein and 15 gms of fat

The skim version wouldn’t have a great taste because of the lack of fat, and the whole version was pretty calorie dense, and I found that the 2% version had the best ratio of protein with still enough fat for a great creamy taste.

Mix this greek yogurt with some sliced strawberries or raspberries and some almonds or pecans (and maybe a sprinkle of hempseeds or chia seeds), a little stevia, and a little vanilla extract, and you have one delicious mid-day healthy meal, or high protein dessert to have at night!

Mmm, mmm good!

I know not everybody is going to have access to this specific brand that I found, but search the greek yogurt section at your market and see which types you find that have the highest protein and the best taste. -Mike Geary, Founder,

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LA Adventure Specialist - 10:28 18 October 2010

Bounty of the Pacific

When you think of seafood, your mind might settle upon Boston clam chowder or perhaps Maine lobster. But don’t forget about the wealth of delicious seafood that is routinely captured along the Pacific coast. Dungeness crab season begins in November in parts of California, and it runs well into the winter as you travel farther north. During a recent trip to California, I went on a couple of Hollywood tours, and during one we enjoyed some delicious crab while learning how to prepare one on our own:

Steam or boil the crab approximately eight minutes for every pound. Place the lid over the pot at an angle so that some steam can escape. Rinse the crab under cool water and break the apron off the shell. Next, remove and discard the carapace – along with any guts clinging to it – and the gills. Rinse once more, this time leaving behind only the shell and the succulent meat inside. You might choose to serve it as a half-crab.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 1:45 17 October 2010

Euro Cafe, Beverly Hills

Euro Cafe in Beverly Hills is an unsuspecting Italian Cafe located in Golden Triangle and definitely one of my favorite places!

Stepping through the front door the atmosphere invites you to hang out for a while to enjoy coffee, lunch or pastries.  It is the perfect place to take a “shopping break” as it it right right of Rodeo, and if  are into Soccer, it seems that they always have the games on!

I recently visited and had an amazing tuna salad that was perfectly dressed and tossed amongst beautiful organic greens!  Their panini sandwiches are a work of art and their cookies and pastries stirred a warm nostalgic New England east coast feeling that I miss!   So many people come to Los Angeles to eat, shop and take in so many of the diverse offerings.  This is one more fantastic place that we will enjoy telling our clients about on private Los Angeles tours.

Check out this video from my visit!  We where enthusiastically and genuinely  interrupted by an excited customer that wanted to share with us how much he loved the coffee at Euro Cafe! I Love it!

Euro Cafe

9559 Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

(310) 274-9070

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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:31 16 October 2010

Can you drink alcohol and still stay lean?

Inevitably on our private Los Angeles Tours, some type of fitness related conversation ensues, about fitness clubs, where the celebrities work out and run, ect.  “Vacation Calories” always come up too………so we thought you would enjoy this article!

Can you drink alcohol and still stay lean?

7 Tips to Still Enjoy Your Nights Out Drinking and Stay Lean at the Same Time

by Mike Geary, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist
author – The Truth About 6-Pack Abs

This topic seems to be a common struggle I hear from a lot of people… They want to get lean, but they don’t want to give up drinking alcohol.

Now, I’m not talking about alcoholic type of drinking (THAT is obviously a problem)… we’re just talking moderate social drinking here.

First, although some people may willingly choose to give up alcohol entirely, I still think most of us can drink in moderation, and still stay perfectly healthy and lean.  But there are a few tricks that can help you to not pack on the pounds… and I’ll mention those in a little bit.

As for myself, it comes down to choosing what I’m going to be strict about to maintain my fitness lifestyle and what I’m not going to be strict about.

For example, I’m pretty strict about never eating anything deep fried or made with trans fats, never eating white bread, and never drinking sodas or sweetened soft drinks of any kind… but I’ll admit that one thing I’ve chosen to not be strict about is drinking alcohol.  What… a fitness pro admits that he drinks and is not a fitness “robot” 24/7… No way!

Well yes, it’s true… I’m in my 30’s now and I certainly don’t drink as frequently as I did back in my crazy college days (man those college days were fun!), but I’ll certainly enjoy some cold ones when hanging out with friends, going to a bbq or dinner party, or during a night out at the bars and nightclubs.

It’s all about balance in your life, and not every aspect has to be “perfect” in order for you to still get the body and health that you want. You’ll drive yourself crazy if you’re trying to be perfect.

Of course, if you have no problem abstaining from alcohol and willingly make that decision, then that will certainly be the best thing for your health and your body.

However, for the rest of us, that actually do like to partake in some social drinking, here are a few tips that have helped me to stay single-digit bodyfat lean, while still drinking alcohol occasionally.

TIP 1. Obviously alcohol gives you extra empty calories on the days that you choose to drink. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, compared to 4 calories per gram for carbs and protein, and 9 calories per gram for fats.

However unlike ingesting carbs, protein, or healthy fats from a healthy food source, drinking alcohol gives you LOTS of calories with very little micronutrients.

On nights that I know are going to involve some drinking, it helps to make sure that dinner is based only around protein and vegetables. You’re going to take in a lot of empty calories with the alcohol, so eating a good portion of appetite-satisfying protein along with nutrient-rich vegetables can help to control your appetite and give your body the nutrients it needs.

Plus, most importantly, there’s just no room for loads of carbohydrate-rich foods if you’re also going to be consuming alcohol. Carbs + alcohol is a perfect recipe for growing a beer belly! Try to keep that evening meal a fairly low-carb meal to save yourself from extra empty calories.

TIP 2. If you want to save your body from adding layers of ugly fat, by all means stay away from syrupy, fruity drinks that are loaded with sugar… this is a double whammy for your gut as you’re not only getting all of the empty alcohol calories, but also loads of empty sugar calories. Big fruity drinks such as a big margarita, or other tropical fruity drinks can sometimes have as much as 500-600 calories per serving and 70-100 grams of sugar!

And I don’t think this even needs to be mentioned, but if you care about your body, any drink that uses soda pop as the mixer is going to be loaded with sugar (usually high fructose corn syrup) and calories.

Instead, your best bet is to stick with a clear alcohol mixed with club soda (NOT tonic) and a squeeze of lime or lemon (hey, at least you get a little vitamin C and antioxidants with the squeeze of lemon and lime!).  Vodka with club soda and extra lemon and/or lime squeeze is my drink of choice at the bars and nightclubs.

Stay away from tonic water mixers! Some people don’t realize this, but tonic water is loaded with almost as much sugar as regular soda pop… on the other hand, club soda has no calories at all. It’s clearly the lowest calorie way to drink.

TIP 3. If you’re going to drink beer, you’re better off choosing just 1 or 2 dark beers rather than 5 or 6 light beers.  Sure, dark beers have more calories than light beers, but dark beers also have more B vitamins and antioxidants than light beers, so you actually get more nutrition from the dark beer.  As long as you keep it to just 1 or 2 dark beers, you may still stay within 150-400 calories.

Generally, it also takes a little longer to drink a good dark beer compared to a watery light beer too.

TIP 4. Try to get in a high intensity full body workout before your night out of drinking. If you do this, at least you’ve revved up your metabolism and have your body processing calories a little faster.

Also, trying to get in some sort of exercise the morning after your night out can also help to get your body back to a good state of health. This may not be your best workouts in terms of energy, but it can help to just get your body moving and break a sweat, and get back to a good homeostasis.

TIP 5. Avoid the late-night munchies after a night of drinking! This is where most people do the biggest damage to their waistlines.

Instead, make sure to have some lean protein and vegetables quickly available at home (perhaps some pre-cooked chicken breasts, grass-fed steaks, or even tuna fish and some veggie sticks) so that you can satisfy your late night post-party appetite with lean protein instead of carbohydrates.  Veggies and protein is the key here.

The worst thing for your body is loading up on pizza, ice cream, and other carb-rich junk after a night out of drinking.

TIP 6. If you drink multiple drinks socially, try to keep drinking alcohol to only 1-2 days/week maximum if you want to stay lean. On the other hand, if you never drink more than 1-2 drinks per day, I think having 1-2 drinks daily with a meal can still be part of a healthy lifestyle. As long as those calories are accounted for and you still stay within your daily caloric maintenance.

TIP 7. Wine is one of the healthier drink choices… if you must have a drink, you might as well choose wine so you at least get a good dose of antioxidants as well. Red wine is known for it’s antioxidant content, however even white wines contain some antioxidants as well… white wines just aren’t quite as high in antioxidants as red wines.

Hey, if you can get a little resveratrol while enjoying your company, why not!

And finally, like I mentioned before, drinking alcohol just adds one more thing to your list that you have to work against in getting the body you want.

Abstaining may always be the best choice, BUT we also need to be realistic and know that social drinking is not something that most people are willing to give up entirely.

For that reason, this list of tips to help manage social drinking in a healthier way can really help you to stay leaner and healthier and still balance a little bit of social drinking into your life.

**Feel free to copy/paste this link and email this article onto your friends and family that may be interested in finding a way to stay leaner and still enjoy a few drinks.  Post this page link on your facebook pages, Twitter, blogs, forums, or anywhere else you want to share with friends.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 1:07 15 October 2010

BodyFactory Hollywood – Smoothies, Tanning, Shopping…..Oh My!

One of the exclusive gems in Hollywood that may not be on your radar is a place called BodyFactory Hollywood!

Specializing in low carb, low sugar & high protein smoothies, vitamins & world famous skin care,  BodyFactory is a hip and healthy social environment unlike any other in town!  On our private Hollywood tours, our clients are always wanting to know how their  favorite stars going about their daily lives and where they are hanging out?  Our clients are never less than impressed when we turn them on to BodyFactory, and have been known to make several visits there on one trip!

At their newest location they are featuring state of the art tanning that is actually the healthiest for you!

Check out this video of my visit and chat with Creator and Owner, Robert Green!

The celebrity client list at The Body Factory  is extensive because they have everything to make them look and feel great.  If feeling fun, fresh and fantastic is what you are all about-you must put BodyFactory Hollywood into your itinerary!

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LA Adventure Specialist - 9:00 14 October 2010

The Shave in Beverly Hills

Ok, this Blog post is for the men!

The Shave in Beverly Hills is the perfect place to spend a few hours being groomed to perfection!  Beyond shaves, their lavish menu of services will accommodate every man so he is looking good and turning heads!

Treat yourself and visit The Shave for the best reason of all, “being good to yourself.”  However,  if you need to look perfect for a special event or gathering, let The Shave take care of you! They can customize a groomsman’s experience to make your day unforgettable. They also serve the entertainment industry for location shoots and private parties.

I have had the pleasure of visiting The Shave with clients on our private Hollywood Tours.  Recently I visited for an experience of my own!

The Shave is nestled between the shops and restaurants on South Beverly Drive and provides a little taste of London to those who want a classic barbershop experience. They are a short walk to all things Beverly Hills including Rodeo Drive, world class hotels, and fine dining.

230 South Beverly Drive Beverly Hills, CA 90212




Tel: 310.858.8281

Vinnie & Paula Malcolm, Proprietors

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LA Adventure Specialist - 10:54 13 October 2010

Richard Simmons & Slimmons in Beverly Hills

For 35 years Richard Simmons has been a household name in the fitness industry!

Clients on many of our private Los Angeles Tours are not aware of the fact that Richard still teaches classes at his original studio where it all started, Slimmons in Beverly Hills!

I have personally taken Richard’s classes and I enjoy them so much!  Before the class begins, I am always impressed with the energy that Richard brings into the room.  This guy walks through the door of Slimmons and greets everyone with hugs in the studio foyer like old friends reunited!  Many people take his class locally, but many also travel from far away for the experience.  Richard takes time for everyone and you can tell that he truly and genuinely cares.  I am always impressed about the fact that Richard is extremely humble and thankful for the blessings in his life.  His classes deliver a message of hope, motivation and encouragement that no one else can quite convey the same way!  Beyond that…….lots of sweating,  laughing, and smiling!

Richard Simmons is a true leader that has overcome many obstacles, transforming them into an impressive fitness legacy that has helped countless numbers of people whom struggle with  fitness!  Spend just a couple of minutes around him and you know that he is passionately driven about his mission!  Truly, one of a kind!

Get the schedule, and take a class!

Slimmons, 9306 Civic Center Dr Beverly Hills, CA 90210-3604                                           (310) 275-4663 or (310) – A SLIM ME


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LA Adventure Specialist - 3:20 8 October 2010

Unity Fest Glendale 2010

The Unity Fest Glendale 2010 festival will be held on Sunday, October 10, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. For the third year in a row, the event will take place on Brand Boulevard between California and Lexington. Admission is free to this family-event.  On our private Hollywood Tours I like to make sure that our clients know about local festivals and happenings for them to enjoy on their visit to LA.

The goal of Unity Fest Glendale is to celebrate unity through diversity. This year’s event has something for all ages, including a wide variety of cultural music and dance, a global marketplace, international food court, farmer’s market and children’s games and activities. Brand area merchants and businesses will remain open, allowing visitors to experience all that downtown Glendale has to offer in the way of restaurants and retail.

The entertainment will include performances by some of the Glendale Sister City organizations. The full entertainment lineup will be announced on this site shortly.

Free parking is available in the Orange Street Garage, 222 N. Orange Street.

Mario Lopez

Television personality Mario Lopez will make a special celebrity guest appearance at this year’s Annual Unity Fest International Street Fair.

Lopez since 2008 has been weekday and weekend anchor on the television program “Extra.” He has also been seen on “America’s Best Dance Crew” and “Dancing with the Stars.”

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LA Adventure Specialist - 10:21 7 October 2010

Fall Festival 2010 is around the corner!

Fall Festival 2010 is around the corner!
Saturday & Sunday, October 16 & 17

Join us for the longest-running and most popular country fair in the city!  This 2-day festival will feature an entire lane filled with a petting zoo, an agricultural and educational play area for kids, carnival games, crafts, live music, fall harvest decor and more!  Great musical acts will take the stage throughout the weekend, including the Slim Jim Phantom Trio featuring legendary drummer Slim Jim of hit rockabilly band, Stray Cats!  This is my favorite time of the year to spend time at the Farmers MArket and showcase it to clients on our private LA Tours. Make sure to bring your cameras – you don’t want to miss our world-famous pie eating contest or our strolling scarecrow and trick roper!  All activities are free. check out

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