Jessica Sepel Takes Us on a Wellness Tour of LA

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Jun 29, 2017

by ALEX GREIG, Online Writer

Plant protein, Gwyneth Paltrow-endorsed Moon Powder, bone broth, kombucha health tonics, cryotherapy, sensory deprivation experiences – if the wellness trend is slightly out of the ordinary, it likely originated in Los Angeles. In the ’90s it was wheatgrass shots, now it’s SoulCycle and 24/7 athleisure wear. For nutritionist Jessica Sepel, all the new health trends to be discovered are “thrilling”.

“With a new yoga studio and healthy café popping up on every corner now, it’s hard to keep up. For me as a nutritionist, it is an absolute delight. Health has become a religion for many Californians, not just a trend. If you’re seeking health inspiration, this is where to find it.”

We sent Sepel to check out the latest in LA – here’s what she found.

Where to get a special smoothie 

Lifehouse Tonics + Elixirs 
“This place has my nutritionist tick of approval. The smoothies are formulated with herbs and superfoods that will make you feel amazing. They also contain low to moderate amounts of natural sugar unlike most store-bought smoothies – and actually taste delicious! I recommend Lifehouse’s Shroom Shake made from reishi mushrooms, cordyceps, almond milk, cinnamon, cacao and coffee.”

7515 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles 

Beaming
Beaming does a swift trade in plant-based food, cleansing programs and green smoothies. I love the Knocked Up smoothie – it’s designed for pregnant women but everyone can benefit from spinach, avocado, sprouted almond milk, banana and chia powder. It’s so tasty it’s hard to believe it’s healthy.”

Various locations around Los Angeles

The most Los Angeles workout classes

Y7 Studio
“This is the yoga class for those who find yoga too low-energy. Here, practitioners work through their poses to Jay-Z and A Tribe Called Quest songs inside a candlelit, infra-red sauna. Y7 is one of the hottest yoga trends in LA.”

8270 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles

Equinox
Equinox gym is sexy and scene-y. It can be pricey to get a membership but it’s worth it – the classes are amazing. I take the Vinyasa Flow yoga classes taught by Carolina Goldberg at Equinox Beverly Hills and the Rockin’ Model Workout is excellent – the name says it all. It’s a dance class created by a model and it doesn’t feel like hard work, it’s like working out in a dance club! So much fun.”

9601 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills

Where to start the day

Backyard Bowls
“Here you’ll find delicious acai smoothie and oatmeal bowls – they’re the Backyard Bowls specialty. I always go for the Power Bowl with gluten-free granola, acai, peanut butter, banana, blueberries and hemp milk.”

8303 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles

The best spots for healthy snacks

“I adore Beauty Bars from Erewhon health food store and I always pick up kale chips and almonds from Kreation.”

Does LA do real coffee?

Paramount Coffee Project
“For sure. If you need a really great Australian coffee, Paramount Coffee Project is the place. This is the LA iteration of the much-loved Surry Hills café in Sydney.”

456 North Fairfax, Los Angeles

The best spots to for a healthy lunch on the go

Café Gratitude
“If you’re after cleansing, plant-based food, Café Gratitude [https://cafegratitude.com/] is the place. The menu is all plant-based, gourmet dishes made from local produce. I love the Whole Macrobiotic Bowl: butternut pumpkin, adzuki beans, sea vegies, greens, kim chi, garlic tahini and quinoa with a Golden Turmeric latte for dessert.”
639 North Larchmont Boulevard, Los Angeles 

Sweetgreen
Sweetgreen is all about local produce, sustainable practices and delicious healthy food. I think it’s the freshest salad around. There are lots of options such as the Thai watermelon – organic rocket, romaine lettuce, watermelon, blueberries, cucumbers, cabbage, mint, sesame tofu and spicy cashew dressing – but I prefer to just make up my salad as I go.”

6115 West Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood

Where to get a healthy sushi fix

Shojin
“Just order the Dynamite Rolls – thank me later. They’re spicy tofu and avocado sushi rolls with spicy mayo and beet sauce – amazing. Shojin is all vegan and macrobiotic, using brown rice and gluten-free sauces. You will be blown away by how delicious vegan Japanese can be.”
Third floor, Little Tokyo Shopping Centre, 333 South Alameda Street, Los Angeles 

The best healthy fine-diners

Crossroads Kitchen
“This is fine-dining vegan food. The Crossroads experience is sophisticated, with dim lighting and fabulous ambience and a menu to match. This place proves just how elegant and tasty healthy food can be. I order the roasted baby spring carrots with carrot romesco and almond yoghurt and the “artichoke oysters” – oyster mushrooms with artichoke puree, yellow tomato béarnaise and kelp caviar.”

8284 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles

Plant food and wine by Matthew Kenney
“With a seasonally crafted menu and locally sourced organic ingredients, Plant Food and Wine is a real treat. I like to sit back and relax in the outside courtyard – it’s like sitting in an Italian villa while being served elegant plant-based dishes and biodynamic wine.”

1009 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice

Where to find celebrity-endorsed green juice (thanks, Gwyn)

Moon Juice offers wholesome and refreshing tonics and juices – you feel healthy just being there! My favourite is the Goodness Greens juice: celery, spinach, dandelion, kale and parsley. This will see off your hangover.”

8463-3 Melrose Place, Los Angeles

Is there such thing as a healthy taco? If so, where can we get it?

“Yes, and LA is the place to find it. I go to Gracias Madre for plant-based tacos such as the carnitas with barbecued jackfruit. It tastes just like pulled pork – trust me. The jackfruit is topped with pickled cabbage, crispy onion, black beans and cashew crema. Rumour has it Ellen DeGeneres is a big fan.”

8905 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood

Where do Angelenos hike?

“Runyon Canyon is so LA – check out Hollywood stars’ Instagram accounts to see just how many celebrities spend their weekends hiking here. It’s an easy way to escape the chaos of Los Angeles and you get to see that famous Hollywood sign at the top. It’s just off Sunset Boulevard and easily reachable if you’re staying in West Hollywood or Beverly Hills.”

 

Where to stay for wellness

The Four Seasons has dedicated wellness menus, a beautiful al fresco fitness centre and organic facials by Tata Harper.”

300 South Doheny Drive, Los Angeles

How to spend a Sunday morning

“Melrose Place Farmers’ Market in West Hollywood. I love grabbing a coffee from Alfred’s Coffee and strolling down to the market. The fresh berries are something special and I love trying all the healthy treats on offer. It has such a great vibe on a sunny morning.”
8400 Melrose Place, Los Angeles

Where to shop for health foods

"Erewhon is a health nut’s dream. It feels like the Bloomingdale’s of the healthy food space. I trust everything in there – fruit and vegetable are carefully sourced, there’s a full-time health practitioner in the vitamin section to help customers, and the take-away section is filled with fresh salads, flaxseed wraps and juices. At the juice bar, you’ll see celebrities queuing up for wellness shots made from turmeric, aloe vera, reishi mushrooms and probiotics. You’ll leave buzzing with energy.”

7660 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles

The best health and wellness spas

Wi Spa is a Korean-style spa with hot and cold baths and sauna rooms. You can add a massage, body scrub or facial to your soak, too. The Den Meditation is a meditation centre that serves both aspiring and advanced meditators. You can try guided meditation, mindfulness and sound healing.”
Wi Spa, 2700 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles

The Den Meditation, 360 South La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles

Is there such thing as healthy ice-cream?

“Yes! Try Kippy’s – the ice-cream is made from coconut cream and sweetened with local raw honey and dates, and you can top it with cacao nibs, raw nuts and berries. My personal favourite is the cinnamon honey flavour.”

245 Main Street, Venice