Bikes, Trains and Ferries. From Carlsbad to Coronado.

Felt Cafe Cruisers

Our new Felt Cafe Cruisers along San Diego Bay

When it came time to treat ourselves to new bikes, we fell in love with Felt’s cafe cruisers. We found a great deal on new bikes at Holland Bicycles in Coronado, CA. It was love at first sight when I first saw these bikes years ago in a bike shop in La Jolla. A perfect mix of beach cruiser and street bike. What’s not to love about a bike with a coffee cup holder?

Bikes ride free on the Coaster!

Bikes ride free on the Coaster!

So with our new bikes in tow, we jumped on the San Diego Coaster and took a scenic ride on the double decker train from North County to downtown San Diego’s Sante Fe Depot train station. We took our bikes for a biking tour of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s exhibit of Viva La Revolucion: A Dialogue with the Urban Landscape. Various buildings and locations around downtown had been used to display graffiti art, it was walking or driving tour of various art exhibits and it was a fun addition to our biking adventure. The show had a cool interactive element in that you could call the exhibit’s phone number and enter a specific code for each artist and listen to a recording describing that artist’s work. A cool use of art and telecom!

Sunset on Coronado at the Hotel Del

Hungry for more adventure we hopped on the ferry from the end of the Broadway pier to Coronado. It was quick ride and once we arrived it was a short bike ride to downtown Coronado and the Hotel Del, where we relaxed and watched the sunset.

Sunset at the Hotel Del Coronado

As we rode the ferry back to downtown San Diego to catch the train home to North County, we took in an amazing view of the San Diego nighttime skyline.

San Diego city lights

One of the fun things about living in San Diego is taking what would otherwise be an ordinary day and making it extra special by just enjoying the simple joys of living in southern California.

Have any good SoCal bike adventures or must-do trails? Do share!!!


Come On Get Healthy, Celebrating National Nutrition Month

Eating Fresh and Healthy Is Easier Than You May Think!

Eating Fresh and Healthy Is Easier Than You May Think!

Did you know it is National Nutrition Awareness Month? While we should make an effort to eat healthy all year round, it doesn’t hurt to place extra attention on eating right this month. In 1980 the American Dietetic Association coined March as National Nutrition Month® in response to the growing public interest in eating right. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. For more information, visit eatright.org/nnm. Eating healthy is not always easy when our lives get busy. That is why planning weekly menus and having access to a library of healthy recipes that are easy to prepare and inexpensive to stock are so key to eating right.

In celebration of eating right, we tried a new recipe this week that is so ridiculously easy and tasty for a weeknight side-dish, that its healthy benefits are an added bonus. Try this deconstructed version of guacamole the next time you are looking to work in some healthy vitamins and good fats.

Avocado, Cucumber and Tomato Salad

This is a great salad recipe, but also an alternative way to serve avocados instead of making guacamole. Not only is it easy, it is full of healthy nutrients and good fats.


1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half

2 hass avocados, sliced in half and then scored into 1inch squares

1 Japanese cucumber, un-peeled and sliced

1 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped

1 tbsp Anaheim pepper, finely chopped

juice from ½ a fresh lemon, squeezed

sea salt

freshly ground pepper


Toss all of the ingredients in a medium salad bowl. Serve immediately. (It’s that easy!)


I Just Felt Like Running

The other day as I was running, I started thinking about all the helpful tips I’ve learned over the years. Here are a few things to keep in mind for your running program:

  • It isn’t how fast you run, it’s the pace that you keep. When endurance training, it is more important to set a pace that challenges you and try to hold it for the duration of your run. The best race is the one you have with yourself, don’t try to push yourself too early in your training to keep up with others that might be at a different level.
  • Remember to keep your shoulders back and breathe. Taking in air when running is really important, you need oxygen to keep your muscles performing at an optimal level and to keep your energy level up. If you catch yourself turning your shoulders in and slouching, you aren’t able to take in as much air.
  • Be your own coach. If you are trying to pick up the pace during your run you may benefit from doing some speed workouts. After doing a short warm-up jog, try jogging for 100 meters and sprinting the next 100 meters, continuing to alternate for at least 800 meters. You you will get a great calorie burning workout from doing this interval training as well.
  • Listen to your body and give yourself rest when you need it. Your muscles need rest inbetween workouts; and especially as we age we need to listen to our bodies. Pain can often be tolerated, but it can often be a signal from your body that you need to rest.
  • Incorporate strength and flexiblity training into your regimen. Building muscle mass and flexibility can help with your running program by creating stronger and leaner muscles. Try incorporating a yoga class into your weekly routine. Learn how to use free weights or how to use your own body weight for strength training, such as with pilates.

Above all just get out there and do it! The hardest part about getting into shape or staying shape is to force yourself to get out there and exercise on the days when you are tried or busy. Create a buddy system, having a workout partner, often can give you the accountability and the support that you need.

Written by in: Fitness | Tags: ,

Yoga vs. Pilates, What is the difference?

Tree Pose In Tahoe

Tree Pose In Tahoe

I was introduced to yoga just over ten years ago, and pilates just last year.  I have always considered myself to be athletic, I am life long runner and volleyball player.  But the difference that yoga and pilates have made in my life is tremendous.  They have helped improve my other physical activities by creating lean and toned muscles, and giving me a greater focus on my breathing. Life is about balance, and there is no better place to start than within.

I often am asked what the difference is between pilates and yoga.  (more…)

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The 8 Secrets to a Long Healthy Life

Today my Dad shared with me a very interesting video. As part of the Blue Zones tour, a group visited the small island of Ikaria in the Aegean Sea to discover why this location is home to some the longest living people in the world. Having been to Greece and now living as part of a Greek family, I found this clip not only interesting, but very accurate to the Mediterranean lifestyle. One thing I learned that I had not thought of before, was about the health benefits of drinking goat’s milk. Something new to add to the repertoire!

Written by in: Fitness,Food Bytes,Nutrition | Tags: ,

Nutrition is Personal, Know What You Need

We are thrilled to have our second guest writer. My talented sister and nutrition expert, Lindsay. Enjoy her first post at Allison Cafe:

Put down your morning cup of coffee, there is a better way to get the energy you need!

Metabolism is all of the physical and chemical changes taking place in the body. Certain foods have potential energy that can be metabolized in a way that allows us to obtain energy. We call this potential energy calories.

Get energy and prevent heart disease with red grapes, blueberries and strawberries

Get energy and prevent heart disease with red grapes, blueberries and strawberries

Energy is required for your body to do various types of work including everything from sleeping to running a marathon.Your personal metabolic rate is the amount of energy that is used over a period of time. In other words, it is also the amount of calories from food that are required for all of your daily activities.

So how many calories do you need in a day? This is defined as your “Total Energy Expenditure.” About 65% of the calories you consume each day are used for “Resting Metabolic Activities” which are activities like (more…)


This Month’s Fight Back Moment: Tobacco

Tabacco and Cancer

Tobacco and Cancer, Source: The American Cancer Society

Each month we will highlight important information that each one of us can implement in our own lives to help in the fight against cancer. This month I feel compelled to talk about the dangers of tobacco, both for those that smoke and for those who know someone who smokes. Below is just a small excerpt of the information available from the American Cancer Society:

Smoking damages nearly every organ in the human body, is linked to at least 15 different cancers, and accounts for some 30% of all cancer deaths. And it costs billions of dollars each year. Yet one in five Americans still light up. If you or someone you love uses tobacco, here’s what you need to know about how tobacco kills, and how to get the help you need to quit. The American Cancer Society has a wealth information on the topic on their website here.

The 1982 United States Surgeon General’s report stated that”Cigarette smoking is the major single cause of cancer mortality (death) in the United States.” This statement is as true today as it was in 1982 (statistics). Smoking is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the United States. Here are some more eye-opening facts: (more…)


Just breathe…

Today I started my day with a new yoga class. A local retail store, Lululemon, regularly holds complimentary classes in their store. On Saturdays they have an 8:30am yoga class before the store opens. It’s amazing, they move all the product displays to the sides and they hold a class in the middle of the store. I walked in 10 minutes early and already the large room was almost full. The lights were dim and calm tropical music was playing.

take time to breathe, you'll thank yourself for it

take time to breathe, you'll thank yourself for it

I found a place to set down my yoga mat and as I looked around the room, I was struck by quotes and sayings written on the walls throughout the store. My favorite?

“…you can choose to throw in the towel, or you can pick it up and wipe your face with it.”


Written by in: Fitness,Life Moments | Tags: ,

April’s Fight Back Moment: Nutrition and Fitness

Each month we will highlight important information from the American Cancer Society that each one of us can implement in our own lives to help in the fight against cancer. This month I invite each of you to fight back through nutrition and physical activity.

Did you know that the American Cancer Society has confirmed that eating a healthy diet and being physically active can help prevent cancer?

    Prevent heart disease and inhibit tumor growth with red grapes, blueberries and strawberries
    Red grapes, blueberries and strawberries may prevent heart disease and inhibit tumor growth with anthocyanins

Here are some important rules to live by:

  • Eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day, with an emphasis on plant sources (i.e. not juices).
    • Try to work them in at each meal and for snack times (think baby carrots instead of chips with your sandwich, or sliced strawberries in your cereal, etc.).
  • Choose a variety of healthy foods; whole grains in preference to processed grains or sugars.
  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle.
    • Adults, strive for 30 minutes a day (at least 5 days per week) of moderate physical activity (anything that makes you breath hard as you do during a brisk walk).
    • Kids and teens, strive for  60 minutes a day (at least 5 days per week) of moderate physical activity (anything that makes you breath hard as you do during a brisk walk).

As a part of my role on the event planning committee for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Clairemont, CA, I will share fight Back moments with you throughout the year. This year’s event on May 16-17, 2009 is less then 40 days away!


30 Minute Challenge

Did you know that dogs and humans both need at least 30 minutes of exercise each day? Not only does it make us feel better, get rid of anxiety, make us sleep better and helps our bodies look good; it also can help us prevent cancer.

Run Hayley run!

Run Hayley run!

According to the American Cancer Society’s research “…People who engage in moderate to vigorous levels of physical activity are at a lower risk of developing colon and breast cancer than those who do not…” (Source: American Cancer Society).

Today Hayley and I went for a long walk/jog by (more…)

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