Overcoming So Much, Tara Mackey Now Lives an Organic Lifestyle
“Nature has a medicine cabinet, you just have to open it.” -Unknown
Tara Mackey is an incredibly inspiring woman who, after being on many different prescription drugs for many years, decided to quit taking them all, and begin looking for natural alternatives instead. She has since learned about so many wonderful natural products, herbs and vitamins that have completely changed her life. Her website theorganiclifeblog.com features stories of her life experiences and how she uses her natural remedies in her day-to-day life. Watch this video to hear about her past, how she came to be who she is today, and a bit more about her new book Cured by Nature:
Tara was born in New York, and moved out here to California when she was tired of her medications, and decided to “take a leap of faith”. She knew she needed to make a big change in her life, and decided moving out west was the perfect solution. When she got off the train in Encinitas, she immediately found the Self Realization Center in Encinitas, which she absolutely fell in love with.
Tara was on 14 different pharmaceutical medications for 11 years starting when she was 13 years old. All of the medications were very intense, and by the time she was 24, she had studied to become a scientist and wanted to continue her education in science. She had temporary goals, but then she also had other goals, such as simply wanting to be happy. She felt absolutely miserable and the more pills she took, the worst she felt. So, she came off all of her drugs cold turkey, (which she does not recommend), but throughout this process, she learned more about life than she was prepared to learn. She started reading books she had never read before, and started looking for natural alternatives to the medications she had been on. Within a week of being off her pills, she had found a natural alternative to almost everything she had been taking previously, and knew that organic living was the answer.
In Tara’s book, Cured by Nature, she explains how you can be happy and live your best life. She goes into deep, personal detail about her journey and life story, and she shares with you many natural remedies that may also help you in your own life.
You can purchase Tara’s new book Cured by Nature here and you can also find it in some local San Diego shops and cafes. Make sure to visit her website for new blog stories posted often, and follow her on Instagram for daily inspiration! Have you already tried a natural remedy? What have you tried, and how did you like it? We’d love to hear!
Pure Barre Del Mar is a Barre studio that offers different classes throughout the week for those looking for a bit different workout then they are normally used to! If you’re a San Diego resident and you’ve never tried a Barre class before, make sure to stop by Pure Barre Del Mar and chat with the staff! They will give you a week free pass, and show you the types of exercises they will be doing and the attire to wear to class.
I caught up with Mandy Eisenhart, the owner of Pure Barre Del Mar, to talk with her before and after my very first barre class, and she explained to me exactly how it would go. I had never heard of Barre before and I did not know what it was at all. I was pretty nervous, but shared at the end how it went based on my expectations. Check it out here:
Pure Barre Del Mar has been in the Pacific Highlands Ranch Village of shops, restaurants (like Dolce at the Highlands, Crudo, Luna Grill and Breakfast Republic coming soon!) and other unique stores for three years now. Mandy’s Barre studio here in PHR was voted Best Fitness Studio in the County, and after just one class, I could see why!
What exactly is Barre??
Pure Barre is a low impact workout that focuses on the smaller groups of muscles. Every Barre class utilizes a ballet bar to do movements but you do not have to know anything about ballet to do it. You’re doing very small muscle contractions the entire class, which makes your muscles start to shake. Then you focus on that shake, and it actually changes your muscles for the better.
I survived my first class, and it was really nothing like I expected. It was a mix of ballet, hip hop, and what I would call “Zumba for the new age” A lot of people have asked me if it is anything like yoga, and I would say not that much at all. With yoga classes I always feel pressured when I walk in the room to remain silent, be serious, and know most of the motions ahead of time. With Barre, the music drives the class and the instructor helps you a lot with each position. Every time you come back you get better at each motion.
Is it hard?
Yes, but would you want your workout to be easy? It is not extremely tough and the music helps you get through it. During the class, you work the tops of your thighs, inner and outer thighs, then stretch your legs out. Then you work your seat, and stretch even more on the floor. Then you work out your abs, which is one of the more intense parts of the class. Even teachers that have been teaching for 5 years can feel the burn of each abdominal muscle and the soreness afterward from the smaller motions.
At Pure Barre Del Mar they have a 45 minute new class called Pure Empower, targeting the whole body, but you can always modify any part of the workout to make it even more simple. 14 people can come to the Pure Empower class.
Then there is the Classic Barre class which focuses more on tiny movements and motions to get your muscles to shake, and that class can hold up to 20 people. It is a bit harder than Empower, but they have clients from age 18 all the way up to 70 who have taken and loved Barre classes.
How often do people come for classes?
Most clients come to Pure Barre Del Mar 5 days a week. Some come 3-4 times a week, which is a good frequency where you really start to feel results.
What do you wear to a Barre class?
You wear socks, (sticky socks work the best, like the ones you get when you visit a child trampoline park) and leggings or capris, along with a comfortable tank top. Pure Barre Del Mar has tons of cute tops and sticky socks for sale if you need anything for class.
How much does it cost?
If you have never done Pure Barre and you are a local San Diego resident, your first week of Barre will be free at Pure Barre Del Mar! After that it is $99/month for unlimited classes. They also host fun events for Halloween or different types of holiday events. Make sure to stop by the studio located in Pacific Highlands Ranch and see for yourself what Barre is all about! Let me know how sore you are the next day, and if you start going regularly after your first class!!
Interview with Jim Patterson, Director of Personal Training at Fit Athletic Club in Solana Beach
We recently became members at Fit Athletic Club in Solana Beach, and it is awesome! It has been voted as one of the best gym in San Diego by San Diego A List for a reason.
Over the last several years, we have been members of a couple different country clubs here in San Diego North County, but we recently moved within the San Diego city limits, which gave us access to all the wonderful public golf courses in the City of San Diego at massively discounted prices. In addition, we get access to the advanced reservation system for these courses. Although this is really awesome, we no longer had a gym membership that was part of our country club membership.
We looked at several gyms near our new home and our office, and set out some criteria for selecting a new gym:
A club that gets us fit and healthy
Great member service, so we don’t feel like a number
Convenient to home or work
Wide selection of equipment and free weights
Skilled and knowledgeable personal trainers
Group exercise classes
Not over crowded
Price of membership
Nice locker rooms and shower facilities
Also, as part of the preparation for our wedding, we wanted to hire a personal trainer to whip us into shape over a three month timeframe.
We visited four different clubs/gyms that varied in pricing, service, hours and amenities. We down-selected to three options: Crunch in Carmel Valley, Bay Club in Carmel Valley, and Fit Athletic Club in Solana Beach.
Crunch is nice new club close to our new home. It has a very reasonable joining and monthly fee, and it is brand new. However, the demographic is heavily weighted to people in their teens and early 20s, and the personal training staff wasn’t very experienced.
Bay Club is between our home and our office. It is an awesome club, similar to one of the country club where we were a member. However, the membership, even without the golf (Fairbanks Ranch Country Club) was pretty high relative to the other gyms. I think if you are looking for more of a country club experience, with a restaurant, lots of kids activities, wonderful tennis facilities, and couple of pool area (one exclusively for adults), it is a great club.
Fit Athletic Club in Solana Beach provides a balance of being a true service gym with experienced personal trainers, great hours, and a member demographic that ranges from early 20s to people in their 60s. They offer a variety of group fitness classes ranging from spin to yoga to Zumba to core to beach bootcamps. The are always improving the gym and recently installed new equipment in the Solana Beach location. The Solana Beach and Carmel Mountain Ranch locations of Fit were previously owned by Frogs Club One, but they have been totally renovated and seem brand new. The location is convenient to our office, and it has everything that we wanted in a gym at a reasonable price. We have been working out there for over four months now, and we love it! Although we don’t always need the child care, it is great to have it. Fit has a mobile app that replaces the need for a member ID and it also provides updates on classes and activities. A nice benefit of the club is that they also have lots of tasty food and beverages for both pre and post workout.
The downtown location of Fit is primary and 20s and 30s demographic that you’d expect in an urban area, and the Carmel Mountain Ranch location has a of families that you would expect in a suburban area. The downtown location also hosts adult pool parties for its members during the summer months, some of which are available to the members from the other locations.
We were recently able to get an interview with Jim Patterson, who is the Director of Personal Training at Fit Solana Beach. As it turns out, Jim was also our trainer for the three months leading up to our wedding. We loved that experience and he continues to be a great resource and good friend to us. Check-out our interview here:
Amanda: Hey everyone. It’s Amanda with the San Diego Lifestyle. I’m here today with Jim Patterson from FIT in Solana Beach. It’s in amazing gym. I met Jim a few months ago when I was getting ready for my wedding. My fiancé and I were looking all over for a good gym in San Diego where we could train.
We were looking for something personalized and private in a great setting, but also a good community. We came to FIT and it was a great place. I’d like to ask you today about the location and the people here. Tell me about FIT and why it’s in Solana Beach.
Jim: The original FIT club was in Houston. We moved out to San Diego and opened up downtown next to Petco Park. It’s a really beautiful gym. The cardio there is easy to do, because you’re looking out at one of the most beautiful baseball stadiums in the world. We then acquired two of the former Frog’s locations. We did a full renovation with all new cardio equipment and weight resistance.
Amanda: When was that?
Jim: That was in 2013. I came on about four months after the start of the renovations. We went from orange and green walls with broken down equipment to top-of-the line weight resistance equipment, cardiorespiratory equipment, a full sports performance area and all-new paint. We got rid of the orange and green.
Amanda: It looks amazing. You have art from local artists hanging on the walls.
Jim: Yes. One of the finer galleries here in Solana Beach has showcased art here. We change it out every month. If you have any questions about the art, you can also purchase it from here.
Amanda: Tell me about the trainers, what you specialize in and what people come here for.
Jim: I’ve been in the industry for about 18 years. I grew up here in San Diego and went to Colorado for school. I came back and immediately started working as a trainer. I’ve been doing this for 18 years now. This is the most solid, educated training staff I’ve ever created. It’s a fantastic group of people. They are highly educated.
No one has anything less than five years of experience. The majority have degrees and multiple nationally recognized certifications. It’s a buyer beware industry. You have to make sure that you interview your trainer, make sure they know what they’re talking about and they have a good level of education. You’re the product. You want to make sure that you’re safe and getting good results.
Amanda: Do you work with younger people or older people?
Jim: All across the board. It can be a little intimidating because we have such top-of-the-line equipment and we are considered more of a boutique type gym. We have a culture of fun and support. Everyone knows each other and supports each other. There are people in amazing shape, and instead of being intimidating, it’s highly motivating.
Amanda: There is such a motivating vibe around here. I know you have a lot of cool classes. You also have a spin room. What is spin all about?
Jim: They like to call it cycle. The word “spin” denotes that you’re spinning in circles and wasting time. These people are serious business. We cater to them as best as we can. The bikes are always perfect. There is a towel waiting for them when they get there. We have an amazing industrial sized AC system here. We don’t keep it too cold. We keep it on just enough so that you can still get a great sweat, but you’re not dying in there. You’re not doing yoga, you’re cycling.
Amanda: What room are we in here?
Jim: This is our group exercise room. This is a huge room. You can do anything in here from pilates to barre classes to the usual cardio funk, which people love. We highlight it over at the Belly Up with Carrie. She has a cardio funk class and she has a dance troupe as well. We put on a party over there. We sold it out in about five minutes. There was a line around the block. We were blown away.
Amanda: Tell me about the other areas. I know you have the turf area.
Jim: That’s our sports performance area. We’re working with sleds, TRX, physio balls, kettlebells and FreeMotion, which is a pulley-style piece of equipment. We have a sled simulator. We have a parachute simulator. Anything you want to improve on sports performance, corrective exercise or the old “functional” training. You can put functional into any type of exercise. If you’re moving your joints, it’s functional.
Amanda: On the other side, you have free weights and weight equipment.
Jim: Yes. I like to call it the meathead section. That’s where we have all of our heavy weights. I’m a recovering meathead. We have chest press, squats and leg presses. We have all of the good stuff that you can stack weight onto and bounce around.
Right outside of there is our outdoor area. We have a full CrossFit rig with another complement of dumbbells as well as two Muay Thai bags and boxing bags. We have a really good boxing class that’s held twice a week out there.
Kim Brutzman, one of my master trainers has a misfits class. That one is women only. We have that two times a week. It’s gotten so popular that she’s had to let the guys in and create a co-ed class as well. That’s just as supportive as the women only class. It’s impressive to see when women are in that situation how much they support each other. With guys, we’re sizing each other up and saying, “I’m going to beat that dude down.” There’s a lot of support in there. It’s good to see.
Amanda: You also have a dedicated stretching room. This is something that I don’t see at very many gyms. I’m always wandering around, trying to find a little spot where I can stretch. You have so many things in there.
Jim: Yes. There is really good padding in there. It has mirrors all around so that you can watch your form, especially if you’re doing something like yoga. It also has a full-length bar along the wall. You can use that for attaching pieces of equipment to or to help you stretch out. There is a whole set of foam rollers. There are different types of rollers. There are racquetball and lacrosse practice balls, which are really good to get deep into the muscle.
Amanda: Tell me about the FitKids. That was a huge selling point for me.
Jim: There are a lot of toys in there. It’s the size of two rooms. You can come in and drop them off. You can do monthly or daily, whatever works best for you. If you think you’ll be bringing them here three times a week, you want to do it on a monthly basis. It helps a lot of people with busy schedules, like moms with a lot going on. It’s great to be able to drop them off and get your sweat on.
Amanda: You also have amazing facilities in the back. The women’s bathroom is amazing. It’s like a spa in there. What else do you have?
Jim: We have executive style lockers. We completely gutted it. Everything in there is brand new, all the way down to the wood in the sauna. Every tile is new. All of the fixtures are new. It’s very modern contemporary. You get a good feel when you go in there. It feels like a high-end hotel. You can make sure all of your things are safe in the lockers.
It’s a selling point with a lot of gyms. You want clean, friendly and well-maintained. Clean really starts with the bathrooms. No one wants to go into a gas station toilet.
Amanda: I know that you have some upcoming and ongoing events.
Jim: We always have something going on. It does kick up a notch in the summer time. If you’re working for that summer body, you’ll want to show it off. We have downtown pool parties that we sponsor with different high-end hotels downtown. We also have a monthly barbecue, resort style at the Carmel Mountain Ranch.
They have a very nice pool over there with gazebos and a lot of open space for barbecues and pool parties. It is a little more family oriented in parts of it because that is more of what Carmel Mountain ranch is versus downtown. There are not a lot of kids at the pool parties downtown.
Amanda: There’s something for everyone.
Jim: Yes. We’re also sponsoring a golf tournament to benefit Urban Angels, which feeds the homeless downtown. Each gym puts on things with its members. There are beach barbecues and bootcamp workouts.
Amanda: The beach is less than a mile, maybe a half mile from here.
Jim: It’s not even half a mile. It’s right across the street and down that path about 75 yards.
Amanda: Thank you so much for talking about what it’s like here. It’s such an incredible gym. I know there are a ton of people in Solana Beach right now wondering where to go. Do you have any final words of wisdom for those people looking to get in shape but don’t know where to go?
Jim: These are things that apply outside of the gym as well. If you come to FIT, you can utilize them here, but you can also do them anywhere. It’s all about motivation. Everyone has in the back of their head, “I have to lose 10 or 20 pounds.” When it goes from your head to your heart, that’s when you get the motivation to do that. It can happen in a lot of different ways. It could be a doctor’s office visit. You get an EKG and it’s not good.
Don’t let it get to that point. If you have some pounds to shed, you know it’s affecting your heart. Our heart is our ticker. You have to start doing something. You can walk on the beach, go for a small hike or go for a bike ride. Then start to investigate what you’re eating. That’s the key.
Find out your calorie intake and how many calories you need. Once you determine that, based on your activity level, body fat percentage and lean muscle mass, you get that number. You can go as far as you want to go with body fat reduction. Once you follow that, you will get to your goal. If you don’t do this, you will not reach your goal, no matter how hard you work out. You can work out as hard as you want, but if you eat a breakfast burrito afterwards, you negate that calorie burn.
You might feel better in your muscles. You might have a little more endurance. But dropping that weight is all around calories. You don’t have to suffer. Find out how many calories you need and you can eat the foods that you enjoy in the right amounts.
That way, you will stick to a nutrition plan. It becomes a lifestyle change. The other thing that I mentioned earlier when it comes to trainers is the safety component to exercise. You can go into any gym and pick up weights. Every time you walk out, you say, “Did I just get closer to my goal?”
Or you can talk to a professional. I’m not saying that you need a trainer for the rest of your life. You can have four or five sessions. Get a program designed for you. Then you can walk into any gym in the world and say, “I know exactly what I need to do to get myself to my goal.”
Amanda: People don’t want to put that on a trainer. They don’t want to say, “I’m only going to use you for a month.” That’s good to hear that a trainer appreciates that.
Jim: Yes. Especially at higher end gyms, you won’t have to worry about that. Maybe at other gyms, it’s a bit different. They look for volume. With FIT, you are our marketing. We get you great results. We give you a fantastic gym. We give you a good experience. You’re going to tell your friends. We don’t want to plaster it all over trucks and buses. We want people talking about it. We give you the best possible product. We get you the best possible results. You go out and tell your friends. They come and see us.
Amanda: I can’t wait to tell my friends at my wedding when I’m fit. Thank you so much for everything that you’ve done for me.
As you already know (because you’re already reading these blogs), San Diego is the BEST place to live for outdoor activities! Seriously, where else can you enjoy such amazingly beautiful weather to be outside every day doing your favorite activities? Running, biking, swimming, hiking, team sports and more are all abundant and thriving here in San Diego. I think “America’s Finest City” says it all!
Unfortunately, sometimes being so active means getting injured. You know how it goes. You pull it, strain it or bump it, and then you expect to heal quickly so you can get back to your favorite activities right away. But what do you do when the injury doesn’t heal quickly? When weeks are going by, it’s just not getting better, and you’re still not competing at your best?
What you do in these situations is you call me. I am an Acupuncturist with a specialty in summer sports injuries and long-term chronic pain, and I can help.
Over the years I’ve seen that Acupuncture can work wonders for an acute injury, meaning an injury which took place in the past six months. I always urge my patients to see me as soon as they get injured. If you come in close to your injury date, most injuries can be healed in a few sessions. No need for long treatment plans. Sprains and strains will heal quickly and you’ll be back on the court having fun!
Acupuncture can also work wonders for chronic issues, i.e. things that have been going on for over six months . I see a lot of chronic sports injuries because most people wait, hoping their injury will heal, the meds will work, or the sprain or injury really wasn’t that bad. Then at around the six-month point, most people start getting concerned, as they should. Often they have been to physical therapy and still have the pain. This is where I believe truly Acupuncture thrives: Helping heal these long-term nagging injuries that keep us off the court, or at a disadvantage.
When a patient comes to see me I start by doing a complete intake to understand the injury. Maybe it’s simple, maybe it’s not. Once I do my intake, I evaluate the situation and provide a treatment plan outlining how many sessions it will take to get back out there.
There are many theories as to how Acupuncture works. I think the main reason it helps injuries so well is that the combination of the insertion of the fine Acupuncture needles, infrared heat, and the special Chinese herbal topical formulas I use increase the circulation in the area, pull out the inflammatory exudate, and bring in new nutrients to help the injured tissue heal. The cumulative and repetitive sessions result in less pain and an increased range of motion, and get you back to where you can play hard.
At my clinic I also do Cupping and Gua Sha, other forms of therapy which bring increased blood flow to an injured area to increase the range of motion and help the area heal.
I would say the biggest question I get from people who have never tried Acupuncture is, “Do the needles hurt?” The quick and only answer I have for that is no. A seasoned, practiced Acupuncturist should be able to give you a comfortable, pain-free treatment for your injury. Sure, once in a while there may be a small pricking sensation, but overall, Acupuncture is a pleasant experience where you rest, feel endorphins, and walk away in less pain.
The next most important question I get is, “What else can Acupuncture treat?” Because Chinese Medicine, the practice of Acupuncture and Chinese herbs, is a complete medical system, I can treat everything from colds and flu to difficult-to-define illnesses. Several of my specialties which may interest you are gastrointestinal issues (anything that has to do with digestion and elimination), women’s issues (periods and menopause), headaches, cardiology, and again, auto-immune type disorders that many times become ill-defined and for which Western medicine may not have the answer.
Want more information? I offer a free 30-minute consultation so you can meet me and find out if this medical approach can help you. Please feel free to visit my website, look for the orange boxes to schedule yourself a consultation or session, and get yourself back on the court!
Golf is a sport for all ages. Whether you are starting off at a young age or spending your retirement days playing a few holes it is an all-encompassing sport. The San Diego Lifestyle Blog previously wrote a post titled ‘5 Reasons I Love Golf’ so in this post we are going to expand upon one of the points: exercise.
Golf has a reputation for many things, yet one area that is often overlooked is the health benefits. No more. Here are 4 health benefits of golf.
Increased Life Expectancy
That’s right, those who play golf live longer to play more golf (and enjoy the other aspects of life, of course). According to the BBC, studies undertaken at Edinburgh University, Scotland found that golf could help players with chronic diseases such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer and strokes.
Dr. Andrew Murray from the university said: “evidence suggests golfers live longer than non-golfers, enjoying improvements in cholesterol levels, body composition, wellness, self esteem and self worth.” The next time a non-golfer questions your devotion to the game you can tell them that you are merely extending your life.
Low Impact Exercise
Golf is not like most sports where after a certain age people cannot continue playing as their body gives up. A round of golf is usually played at a leisurely pace over a time period of 4 – 5 hours. Yet don’t let the pace of golf fool you into thinking it is a poor form of exercise. Popular golf magazine Golf Monthly believes that a round of golf equals an average 30-minute gym session. If you forgo the golf cart then the magazine estimates that walking an 18-hole course will result in 1,400 to 1,500 calories burnt. You may not walk off the course with a six-pack but you will definitely reap the benefits of exercise.
Help the Fight Against Alzheimer’s Disease
As you increase in age the fear of losing mental sharpness or falling victim to conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease are very real. Keeping the mind active and engaged is one of the most effective methods to fighting these conditions. A round of golf engages the brain in many different ways from hand-eye coordination to tallying up scores when playing a friendly (or not) round against other players. Unlike most other sports golf can be taken up at any age making it ideal for those in their senior years looking for something new to do.
This point may seem contradictory to anyone who has read articles such as the one published by Play Your Course which looked at the world’s ‘Top 10 Angry Golfers’. While there is no doubt that at times golf can be club-breaking frustrating, the sport is also considered very beneficial for reducing stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that exercise not only helps reduce anxiety during the activity but also long after. Golf also has the added benefit of being an outdoor sport, and one where the outdoor surroundings can be enjoyed, which is also shown to help reduce stress and anxiety. You will also meet likeminded people on the course and hopefully create new relationships and friendships.
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