Fresh Salads Delivered to Your Work or Home Doorstep in San Diego
“A salad is not a meal. It is a style.” -Fran Lebowitz
Farmer’s Fix is a San Diego salad delivery company that offers weekly subscriptions of delicious and nutritious salads delivered directly to your doorstep at home! If you’d rather have the salads delivered to your work, they can do that also! Are you often wandering around on your lunch break looking for something quick, but also healthy to eat? When I do that, I usually end up at a fast food restaurant grabbing something in a few minutes because I couldn’t make up my mind. With Farmer’s Fix, this problem is solved!
I had the opportunity to talk with the CEO of Farmer’s Fix about how the company works, and where he got the inspiration to start such a great idea. Here is our full interview:
He describes the salads in detail throughout the video and it makes me very hungry! After watching this video interview, I went on the site to check out the Farmer’s Fix process right away. Their website is simple to use and actually, pretty fun! The salads are bright and colorful and look delicious!
Cofounders Tawei David Lin and Doug Murphy
Next time you’re craving a salad, make sure to head to myfarmersfix.com and order for yourself, your family, or your co-workers! If you place your order by Wednesday, you’ll receive your salads that Sunday! They are packed with different ingredients and always come fresh!
Have you tried their Kalefornia Dreamin’ salad yet? It is one of their best sellers. Let me know if you try it!
Run Specialty Store Aims to Become Community’s Center of Activity
“When we add events, we want to continue to find ways for us and the community to make a positive impact on our area.” -Kevin Lachenmyer
(This video preview of the store gives you a good idea of all the items you never knew you needed for running!)
More than 100 runners and walkers gathered in the parking lot of The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch in North San Diego on Thanksgiving morning.
After a few words of instruction from Fleet Feet owner Kevin Lachenmyer, the group headed out into the brisk morning air for a 5K fun run. The free event, which had a suggested donation of a canned good item, also included a circuit workout in the parking lot after the run, led by Bryan Hill, a trainer and certified coach with Rehab United Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy.
“The biggest thing we wanted to accomplish with our first major event like that was for it to go smoothly and be a positive experience for everyone,” Lachenmyer said. “That’s something that’s a little nerve wracking the first time around, but it went exceedingly well.”
Fleet Feet San Diego, a running specialty store located in the Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch, opened the first day of September of this year. Fleet Feet Sports is a national chain, but each store is locally franchised. The north San Diego location is Lachenmyer’s first store, which he hopes to turn into a central meeting spot for the local community.
“We want to do more and more events with opportunities for people to be active,” he said. “We want to keep growing and be a community centric store, the home base for our community where people want to come in to the store to hang out and talk about the things they have going on in their lives. We are excited to meet everyone in the area. No matter your sport or activity level, come in and say hello.”
The Turkey Trim workout on Thanksgiving morning was the first of many events on the calendar for Fleet Feet. The store also teamed up with Run North County, a free running club in the area, to help gather Christmas presents during the first week of December. All donations (toys for ages 2-teenager are needed) will go directly to an underprivileged child in the San Diego area through North County Health Services.
“When we add events, we want to continue to find ways for us and the community to make a positive impact on our area,” Lachenmyer said. “We want to have a charitable focus to everything we do.”
Fleet Feet also offers training programs for all experience levels, from those hoping to walk their first 5K to those wanting to run a new PR in the half marathon. The store kicked off its first training program in November – focused on the Carmel Valley 5K in January. Registration is currently open for the San Diego Half Marathon training group, which starts on December 20, and the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon training group, which will begin on March 14. Lachenmyer said the store will eventually offer training programs through full marathon distance.
The store is also supporting two free weekly fun runs. On Wednesday nights (leaving at 6:15 p.m.), runners and walkers meet at Fleet Feet for a 3.5-mile loop route using Carmel Valley Rd. and the 56 bike path, after which the group goes across the parking lot to Westroot Tavern for socializing. On Saturdays, Fleet Feet’s crew leads a longer run starting at 7:30 a.m. The route is an out and back on the 56 bike path, either heading toward Black Mountain and back or down toward the Pacific Ocean and returning. That route has multiple distance options for those looking for anything from one mile up to 10 miles total.
On December 14, Fleet Feet will have a special version of its Wednesday night group run, featuring a Saucony rep with demo Freedom ISOs. Runners and walkers will be able to try on the Freedom ISO, a soft yet responsive neutral which is the newest release in Saucony’s line, and even take on the 3-mile fun-run route in the shoes. Those who attend and follow contest instructions (which involve taking a picture and uploading it to Instagram) will be entered into a drawing for a free pair of the Freedom ISOs. After returning to the store, runners and walkers will have other opportunities to win prizes to go along with hot chocolate and Christmas cookies.
Fleet Feet San Diego’s staff members are trained to do personalized fittings for shoes, insoles, and sports bras, and the store is stocked with multiple options in all areas as well as injury prevention and recovery tools, technical and lifestyle clothing and sock, nutrition options, and running accessories.
But Lachenmyer said the main focus is finding ways to encourage and give back to the community.
“We’ve had a lot of people come through our store, and happy runners on Thanksgiving, who hadn’t been exposed to Fleet Feet before,” Lachenmyer said. “We’re excited to be able to demonstrate what we are about and start making a difference.”
Race Around the One-Mile Track with Your Family at the Del Mar Family Fun Run Before Enjoying Thanksgiving Festivities
Enter the Del Mar Family Fun Run online. There is an easy sign-up page where you can order your T-shirt and register for the 1 mile run that happens every Thanksgiving morning at the Del Mar Racetrack. Friends and family (along with some racetrack jockeys) gather together to jog or walk around the actual racetrack, that way they won’t feel too bad eating until they are stuffed later on in the day. I registered the three people in my family that would be in here in San Diego Thanksgiving morning, and warned them we’d be getting up early.
Wake up early. This was never in my Thanksgiving plans growing up, but this year I finally decided was the year I needed to get my family up early and get us going, doing something active before we veg out in front of the TV all day. We woke up around 6:15am and got dressed for the race. It was really chilly outside, so my son Ky and I wore pants and a jacket. (Only to find out later we should’ve also brought hat and mittens!)
Park at the Del Mar Racetrack for FREE. This is not usual for an event at the track, but parking for the Family Fun Run is FREE, and not as many people come to run as they do to bet on horses, so the parking lot isn’t terribly full. We parked easily and walked up to the clubhouse, where we signed in and received our T-shirts.
Enjoy the pre-race and post-race festivities. You and your family can enjoy the other aspects of the event before or after the race, but our family chose before, since we got there early enough. We got a stamp card to collect stamps from each table and in the end, won a prize. Each table had a different, silly game to play or craft to create. We had fun tossing bean bags, guessing amounts of candy corn, and stick horse racing. I also helped my son make a construction-paper-pumpkin-pie with a cool-whipped-cotton-ball topping, and a Native American headdress. We met some animals at the Meet-an-Animal station, and Ky got to pet a blue-tongued skink, along with a chicken and a rabbit! We both filled up our stamp cards and headed to the prize table, where I traded mine in for a Tootsie Roll and my son traded his for a small pumpkin.
Grab a quick snack and water. KIND was there with granola bars of all kinds to get people warmed up for the race. I tried a Dark Chocolate Chunk KIND bar, and it was delicious. They had a table of water bottles also for those who did not bring their own. My son found some of his friends and ran off to see the puppies that Helen Woodward had brought for a puppy race following the actual human race. I was a little nervous not knowing exactly where he was since it was such a big crowd, but everyone was friendly and it was pretty easy to find our way around. Tip: Make sure you bring extra warm clothes. It is not that long of a race, and you can tie your sweatshirt around your waist and put your hat/gloves in your pocket if you get too warm when you’re getting ready to run. We didn’t bring any extra warm clothes and were cold, so make sure to dress warm!!
Unleash your inner racehorse. At 8:00am sharp, they began the race, and we started jogging a bit, but my son ran ahead, so my fiancé Patrick and I walked most of the way. Ky ended up running the whole way, and had a bright red face by the time Patrick and I caught up. We had taken a leisure pace, enjoying the event with many other families. The track even had a stroller lane for those pushing their little ones, and faster runners went up ahead so it wasn’t super crowded. By the time we got back, the puppy race was just about to begin! I still hadn’t found Ky, so Patrick went to look for him while I recorded the puppy race on video. The puppies were adorable, and were not too excited about racing. Most of them just stayed down in their starting blocks, looking around for anyone that would pet them. One puppy actually made it to the end and everyone cheered! We finally found Ky with his race shirt and jacket off, sweating and explaining how he had run the entire race. I was so proud!
Stay to watch the horse races at a special early 11:00am post time! We had to get going for other Thanksgiving festivities after the race, but the track is always a fun time, and on Thanksgiving the first horse race starts at 11:00am. If your family has some extra time in the day, stick around to enjoy the races, and pick out your favorite race-winning horses! My son had never actually been to the track, (usually when Patrick and I go, it’s for an event and not with the family) so we will be coming back soon for a family day at the races!
Tell your friends all about the run while you eat all the food you possibly can without feeling guilty. Hey, you got up early and walked over a mile in the chilly cold weather! You’re allowed to eat whatever you want after a feat like that! Participation alone is worth the guilt-free feeling, and if you jogged at all, well add on another piece of pumpkin pie! Make sure to tell your friends and family all about the Del Mar Family Fun Run, and put it in your calendar for next year! It is a San Diego event not to be missed!
“Transform Your Style, Transform Your Life!” is the Motto of Personal Stylist Jasmin Zunzunia
“You can’t fake passion.” -Barbara Corcoran
I was searching online for new fall wardrobe ideas, since my personal style is not very, “well thought out” as you might say. I found Jasmin’s website www.JasminZunzunia.com and instantly was interested. Jasmin is a personal stylist here in San Diego and every “Fashion Friday” she sends out an email with fashion tips! She has a technology based background, but she broke away from the corporate world to follow her love of fashion. I emailed her asking tons of questions, and she was very kind to answer each one! Here’s what we went over:
San Diego Lifestyle: Jasmin, I love your site and fashion advice, tell me more about you!
Jasmin Zunzunia: Growing up I always loved fashion and technology, but I chose the “safe” route because there was a clear path to success and financial security. As the years went by, I kept trying to “make things work,” but my heart wasn’t in it. When your heart isn’t in something you do, day in and day out, you feel like you’re dying a slow death, and it affects everything in your life – your relationships, your health, and your overall zest for life. The majority of people are unhappy at work, and I decided that I no longer wanted to be a part of the majority.
SDL: Wow, so that’s when you switched to being a personal stylist? What exactly does that mean?
JZ: A personal stylist is about more than just shopping for pretty clothes! I empower my clients by helping them develop a truly unique style and wardrobe that fits their lifestyle. Often times people don’t realize that what they’re wearing affects how they feel and how they go about various aspects of their day-to-day life. Other times people know that what they’re wearing isn’t making them feel that great, but they don’t know how to “fix” things. That’s where I come in. I truly believe that every person deserves to feel like superwoman (or superman) every day!
SDL: Your services also include style transformation and event styling correct? Tell me a little more about your consultation phone call, and how that allows your clients to better connect with you.
JZ: The objective of my consultation phone call is to learn more about my client’s wardrobe challenges and let them know how I can help them. We already have enough daily stressors in our lives and getting dressed every morning shouldn’t be one of them! The best thing about your wardrobe and style is that you can change it IMMEDIATELY. You don’t have to work really hard for a few months before you see results.
SDL: That’s great! Your “In-Person Style Deep Dive” includes something called a Closet Reboot. Tell me more about what you do with clients’ closets. Do you throw out most of their clothes?
JZ: I believe that everything starts in my clients’ closets. If your closet is a disaster, adding new clothes will just make it a pretty disaster. Most people don’t wear at least half of their closet for various reasons. Sometimes they are saving clothes for a “special” occasion. Other times they are holding onto clothes that they are hoping will fit them again “one day.” Why can’t every day be a special occasion? There is no better time than NOW to live your highest quality life in the best wardrobe possible, so I help my clients free themselves of the clothes that are no longer serving them. During the Closet Reboot process, we go through every item in their closet and I ask them a series of questions. In the end, I believe the most important questions are:
Do you LOVE this item? and
Are you in LOVE with the way you look in this item?
The amount of clothes my clients let go of varies. My goal is to have my clients wear 100% of their closet, and I teach my clients that they don’t need to settle when it comes to their wardrobe!
SDL: Do you try to work with what the client already has and build on that, or do you work to create a totally new look for the client?
JZ: For event styling I create a completely new look and in some cases several looks if there are a series of events they are attending. For my J To Z Style Transformation, it really depends on the client. Sometimes they may have a solid work wardrobe but are missing casual or date night wear. Other times my clients have gone through a major life-changing event (weight loss, divorce, etc.) and they want to start from scratch. My Wardrobe Refresh is perfect if they already have great pieces to work with but need help filling in the gaps.
SDL: How interesting, sounds like you think ahead for every single event! And you actually do the shopping for the client? How can you be sure they will like and appreciate what you’ve picked out for them?
JZ: After I complete the Style Deep Dive and Closet Reboot I have learned a LOT about my client! Closets tell a story, and after spending several hours with someone I can really see what is and is not working for them. Then I go back to my creative drawing board and create a personalized Style Blueprint for my client. The Style Blueprint is a virtual vision board that illustrates their new and updated style. Before I begin shopping, I get my client’s approval of their Style Blueprint. This ensures we are on the same page before I start shopping for them.
Once I get my client’s approval on their Style Blueprint, I go shopping for them based on their Style Blueprint. I then pre-style a carefully-curated collection of complete outfits (this includes clothes, shoes and accessories) for my client to try on and select from during their in-person styling session. I also bring plenty of extra backup items so they have a wide variety of options to choose from, and I take care of all exchanges and returns after the styling session.
SDL: Sounds like a win-win for the client! What is the most exciting thing about being a personal stylist?
JZ: The most exciting part about being a personal stylist is seeing my clients make a transformation right before my eyes! It’s hard to describe, but often times they walk out feeling like a new person, or at least a better version of themselves. Happy client, happy stylist!
SDL: Do you do the in-person styling session at the client’s home, your home, or a store?
JZ: The in-person styling session is usually held at the client’s home. Sometimes my clients prefer to go shopping with me, in which case I pre-shop for the client ahead of time so they walk into a fitting room that is full of options for them at each store. I make the in-person styling session as much fun as possible and have goodies waiting for the client including flowers, candles, champagne and treats!
SDL: You really go above and beyond! Do you work with only specific brands or stores?
JZ: I work with all brands and stores. I believe it is critical to give my clients OPTIONS! I personally feel that I would be doing them a disservice if I shopped at a specific set of brands and stores.
SDL: Do you get a better discount on clothes when you shop for clients?
JZ: Since I am not affiliated with specific brands or stores, I typically do not get a discount when shopping for clients. In fact, some personal stylists actually markup clothes or make a commission off certain brands and stores, which I never do. In the end I want what is best for my client!
SDL: I love the idea of your “Style Soiree” you mention on your website. Is it more of a fun get together where friends can bring a few items they’re on the fence about getting rid of? Or more of a general styling party where you go over the latest trends/pieces with the group?
JZ: It is a combination of BOTH! 🙂 It’s a great way to get a taste of what a Closet Reboot is like and also get a dose of J To Z Style News and learn about the upcoming season’s trends. Add in some mimosas and it’s a party!
SDL: Ok, one more question, about cost. Can you explain a bit more about the different services you offer and the budget one needs for each?
JZ: My packages range from $500 to $2,500, and I also offer an hourly rate option for stylist/client shopping trips. I have three wardrobe budget categories; Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget (wallet-friendly options that won’t break the bank), Champagne and Strawberries (middle of the road), and Champagne and Caviar (high-end designers). I always ask my clients what they are comfortable spending and I work around that. I believe that you can look amazing at every price point, and it is my job to maximize my clients’ budget while still getting them quality pieces. I create a completely unique and personalized experience for each and every one of my clients (no cookie cutter approach here!) along with the added convenience of bringing everything to them. My clients don’t have to go to the mall or deal with the hassle of online exchanges/returns because I take care of everything for them. It’s all about giving them the ROYAL treatment!
SDL: Wow Jasmin, I am impressed and SO ready to have you come dive into my closet any day now! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me and answer all of my questions. You are an incredible stylist and I am so glad I found you!
Looking for a stylist to help you dress for an event or completely change your entire wardrobe? Look no further, Jasmin is here, and she knows how to make it fun! Have you hired a personal stylist? Let me know how they helped you transform your clothing, and your confidence. I would love to hear all about it!
Paige Hathaway Has a Five Week Fitness Challenge That Will Kick Your Butt
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” -Fred Devito
Fitness is definitely not something I know much about. Before I met my fiancé Patrick two years ago, I literally ate mostly bread, sugar and chocolate. I loved desserts, ice cream, brownies, anything that could satisfy my sweet tooth. It’s been 8 years now since I’ve had a baby, and my stomach is far from looking pre-baby-like. Also, once I turned 25, I started noticing something really strange. When I would eat a lot of bread and sugar, I would start to gain weight! Crazy right?! At first I tried ignoring it. That didn’t work. Then, I tried working out with a personal trainer at The Bridges Club gym, but that didn’t help too much. (Although it did help!) I still would gain weight if I ate terribly caloric food all day long, go figure. I had to put a stop to it somehow, so I decided that I had to learn more about nutrition, and eat healthier.
Paige Hathaway’s Fit in 5 Challenge
I turned to Instagram for inspiration, and it wasn’t long before Patrick sent me a post from Paige Hathaway, a fitness model and enthusiast. She was so gorgeous, and her body was rockin! I kept an eye out for her Instagram posts, and would always drool over each one, hoping that just staring at the photos would get me abs. Nope. Finally, Paige posted an invitation to join her Fit in 5 Challenge, where competitors follow a five week diet and exercise plan, and the winner takes home $5,000 in the end! I was intrigued to say the least, and tired of all the other ways I had attempted to get abs, so I decided you know what?! I am going to do this challenge. I am going to get fit. Here’s my video from the first week of the challenge:
I signed up (it’s a $200 entry fee) and enjoyed my final day of eating junk food and bread. Day one was intense. I took “Day 1” photos and was pretty optimistic about getting fit. The custom diet she created for me basically consisted of meat, and vegetables. No bread, no sugar, and no chocolate! The custom workout she sent me was so hard, and I struggled through it on the first couple of days. On the third day, I really wasn’t sure if I could continue in the competition. I was getting tired of meat, vegetables and going to the gym. It was getting in the way of my regular life. I couldn’t eat any of the options when I went out for happy hour at a local restaurant, and parties became something I desperately tried to avoid. I was supposed to do 20 V-ups in a row (where you lay flat on your back, arms out straight over your head and then do a crunch keeping your legs straight and touch your toes with your fingertips) and I couldn’t even do 5 without taking a break. I hadn’t lost any weight after three days, and I just wanted to quit. Then, on day 4, something really awesome happened. I did 6 V-ups in a row!!
I also started realizing how full I felt after eating meat or vegetables. Green beans actually starting tasting pretty good! I woke up every day for the rest of the first week with a determination to stick to the five week plan and succeed at trying to not eat everything in sight. When week two started, I was impressed with myself. I started really loving the way it felt to be done with my workout for the day, and eating the half of a banana Paige said I could have on the two days of the week that I did really intense workouts. I would judge everyone around me for eating bread or chocolate, telling myself how fat they would get eating that, and how fit I could get resisting. One day during the second week, I stared to compare every new food that I would eat to any food that I used to eat. Salsa had 2g of sugar, while the ketchup that I was eating before had 8g of sugar! Oatmeal had barely any sugar (I did douse it with honey though) and the sugary cereal I was eating before had outrageous amounts of sugar! I started learning about foods that actually filled me up, were good for me, AND tasted good. But the third week, really had me down.
I celebrated my birthday during the third week of the challenge, and it was the hardest few days of the challenge for me emotionally. It felt so unfair that everyone else could party and eat everything, and just because I wanted my abs to actually show, I had to miss celebrating my birthday. I wrote Paige an email explaining how I felt, and she replied something like this, “Amanda, you’re doing so great in the challenge so far! Just because you’re taking better care of your body physically, doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun with great company. You can always celebrate you birthday with cake after the challenge, but for now, try your hardest to stick to the plan.” I hated that advice. I really thought she would email saying go ahead and splurge for one day. Nope. I did eat a few bites of cheesecake for my birthday, and some cream based sauce on my meat that night, but other than that, I stuck to plan and wanted to throw a fit. The fourth week however, was the week that completely changed my life. (Well, I don’t know if I should say COMPLETELY changed my life, as I am eating a cookie right now as I type this.)
The fourth week it all kicked in. I had just 14 days left to get as fit as possible before the challenge was over, and just 10 workout days. Each day, I would go harder than I had ever before, pushing my legs, back, arms, and any other body part I was working on to the limit. I started really loving oatmeal (especially with a tiny sprinkle of cocao powder, and a sprinkle of chocolate protein powder) and craving protein. I could actually go out with people who were enjoying a night on the town, without hating everyone around me for eating and drinking. I would order a salad, knowing that I was doing it because that’s really all my body was craving. I didn’t need all of the pasta and deep fried food. It was just a temptation that I had always given into in the past. Instead of drinking, (alcohol I found out quickly has a TON of calories) I would have half orange juice half soda water. (Paige said during the challenge if you’re feeling sick, you could have some orange juice, so I figured if I felt “sick of life” when everyone around me was drinking, I could probably have some orange juice at that point.) It started to become a fun personal challenge of how many minutes of workouts I could fit in the schedule each day, and how many times I could choose healthy eating options instead. If I could succeed with not splurging on coffee, chocolate, or bread, it was a success. By the start of the fifth week, the challenge didn’t even matter anymore.
I know, that sounds crazy. Four weeks in, and I didn’t even care about the challenge anymore, seriously?! Reminds me of one of the first few days in the challenge, when I was watching Paige make something using a recipe. She weighed out some blueberries, and took just one blueberry off the scale because it was one too many. I laughed and made a joke to Patrick about how ridiculous it was that she thought she’d get fat if she ate that one blueberry too much. But seriously, I learned that everything in life is relative. I hadn’t ever cared about measuring food or getting sweaty every day before, because I didn’t want to care about my body. I wanted to give into every temptation, and enjoy every pleasure. But the truth is, unless you create balance in your life, you’ll always be chasing after things that make you feel not good enough in the end. Unless you have a goal, track your progress, and celebrate your successes, you’ll never grow and thrive. If you measure out every single blueberry, and just stick to the plan no matter what, you will have success, and it will feel incredible! The last week of the challenge I was so excited, I worked out so much, and felt great about the progress I had made.
What I Learned
Now a days, when I measure food and choose healthier options, I think back to the “Pre-Paige Hathaway” days, and laugh to myself thinking about how much fun I poked at these “fitness freaks.” Her Fit in 5 Challenge really changed my entire mindset, and allowed me to play a game with myself about will power. It built me up mentally, and I proved to myself that I could accomplish anything I put my mind to. Her challenge also gave me really great ideas for killer workouts for every part of my body, and got me really excited to workout and feel the strength build in my muscles. The challenge taught me a lot about nutrition, and the importance of finding out what I am really eating, and making sure it was something my body could thrive off of, and not just junk my body would have to store.
Life After the Challenge
Paige also has a membership website where you can join in and pay each month to get all of her greatest tips and tricks to everything fitness and health! When the challenge was over, I decided to try the Eat This Much app instead, where you put in your fitness goals, and the foods you like and don’t like to eat, and then the app sends you a grocery list and recipes based on your goals. It’s actually quite interesting, and you can even specify that you want recipes that you can make for dinner, and eat the leftovers for lunch the next day! As far as the fitness aspect of it, I still watch Paige Hathaway’s YouTube videos and follow her on Instagram for motivation, but my “free spirit” personality has a hard time following a strict workout plan. Patrick and I have been hiking around San Diego a lot more lately, so I get my workouts in different ways depending on the day, but I still love to lift heavy (well, heavy for me is like 20 lbs.) when I am at the gym. This challenge helped shape a better future for my body, and for my mind, and I couldn’t thank Paige enough for hosting a fun challenge like this. She starts a new Fit in 5 challenge every month or two, so make sure to follow her Instagram to join in and compete against 100 other people working toward their fitness goals!
If you have any advice for me on getting abs, workouts in general, or nutrition tips I would love to hear them! I am still a bit “lost” in the fitness world and trying to find my way, but at least I now have a goal in mind and have found a way to make fitness more of a fun game than hard work that’s only for the gurus. I really get excited about getting in shape and seeing my body transform. I love talking with others about their fitness journey, and what it takes to get to their goals. What’s the one piece of advice you live by to keep yourself healthy?
One of Most Intense and Beautiful Hiking Trails in San Diego
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.” -John Muir
This morning my fiancé Patrick, my friend Sam Guillen, and I hiked to the summit of Iron Mountain in Poway. This hike is deemed “moderate” by most hikers in online reviews, but being the unfit person that I am, I had a bit of a different take on Iron Mountain. Check out this video showing the hike to the summit:
We planned to hike this mountain today in preparation for our big hike to Potato Chip Rock, a pretty tough trail I’ve heard a lot about since moving to San Diego. (Check out our video of Potato Chip Rock here!) As the date of the Potato Chip Rock hike gets closer, I get more and more nervous, so hiking these “training hikes” is really helping. Iron Mountain is a hike that’s pretty close to the Mt. Woodson trail (where Potato Chip Rock is) and as we were getting our water backpacks on this morning, we heard other hikers comparing the two hikes, so we were happy to hear that. (If they were comparing them in any format, then Potato Chip couldn’t be THAT much harder, right?!) We set off on foot from the Iron Mountain Staging Area, and it wasn’t long before we were at the turn off for the Ramona Outlook, and the trail that leads to the summit. Here’s my takeaway of this hike:
It’s a LONG walk.
No matter what anyone tells you online about the steep climbing, the rocky trail, or the popularity, keep one thing in mind. You will be walking for a long time. I have only hiked Torrey Pines and South Fortuna before this, and those are both shorter hikes. This one seemed to last forever, especially on the way back, which if you love hiking, is a great thing! It is about 3.5 miles to the top, and then don’t forget, another 3.5 miles back down. I was out of breath after 5 minutes walking, and I have been working out quite a bit the past few months. Take your time.
It is quite popular.
I would suggest getting there early, and by early, I mean no later than 6am. We showed up and started the hike around 6:30, and the parking lot was already halfway full! By the time we finished, there were several cars lined up on both sides of the road outside of the parking lot!
You will not get lost.
This is one of the best hikes in all of San Diego for trying not to get lost while hiking. When we went to South Fortuna, Sam was our guide since he had hiked it before, and I was grateful to have him with us. There were several turn offs leading to other random trails, and I really needed his direction. Iron Mountain is not like that at all. There is a big parking lot, trail head (with an Iron Mountain arch) and the trails are very well groomed and marked. There is a Helipad landing area in case anything were to happen to need use of that. There are a few other trails you can take to other spots, but the trail to Iron Mountain summit is easy to follow!
Bring actual hiking boots.
I did not listen to my own advice on this one today, and I regret it. Make sure you have really sturdy shoes, as this hike gets pretty rocky. I saw people today wearing casual shoes, tennis shoes, and hiking boots, so it’s possible to wear whatever, but I am certain that those who were wearing hiking boots had a much better experience. I was lucky I didn’t twist my ankle. If you’re looking to add balance training to your Iron Mountain hike, tennis shoes would be a good option.
The views are incredible!!
Ok, now for the absolute best part of this hike, the views! On the way up, it’s really fun to see the mountain right in front of you, as it’s steep and intimidating yet exhilarating. In the middle of the hike, you can already start to get really great views of Ramona and Poway. Climbing over and through rocks is my favorite part, but looking out at the landscape once you do have good footing here is even more fun. As you get closer and closer to the summit it gets more exciting, as you’re never really sure how much farther you have left, but you can feel the top getting so close! You can see lakes, mountains, towns, and today, the fog layer, which we were above. It was magical.
Plan at least 2 1/2 hours to hike this trail.
All the reviews online said people were making it to the top in less than an hour. Those people must have been serious hikers, and/or runners. If you’re just looking for a good walking workout to get your heart rate up, and you’re not an avid hiker, this hike will take you over an hour to get to the top. It took us 1 hour and 40 minutes to climb all the way up, and another hour to get back down. We did not take many breaks at all, and my heart rate was definitely up the whole time.
Overall, Iron Mountain was my favorite hike in San Diego so far, and I will be back very soon to hike it again! Have you hiked it before? Did you wear hiking boots, and how was it? Let me know, I can’t wait to go back with real hiking boots!
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