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By | Fitness

Glowing skin is IN, and this season, we are told by the fashion industry that your biggest accessory right now is – HEALTHY, GLOWING, almost translucent SKIN. And while years ago the science of skin did not make this a possibility at any age, many things have changed in recent decades.

How to PREPARE you skin  – for sun, ski or just a  change in weather should start with what I call “BEAUTY FOODS”. Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, tomatoes, paprika, cucumbers, spinach and blueberries.

In addition, foods rich in Zinc, a mineral essential for  your immune system and repair of skin tissue. While meat and shellfish are rich in Zinc, there are downsides to these foods and many people prefer to stay away from them. Instead, opt for eggs, chickpeas and seeds, such as hemp and pumpkin. Nuts, such as cashews are also good sources of zinc, and lastly, my favorite source of zinc – dark chocolate. Become a skin PREPPER and add these nutrients to your DAILY diet.

PROTECT! When you are skiing, or just outside in the sun (how about a winter vacation to the canary islands?) you need to protect your skin! Gone are the cremes that cause breakouts and melt into your eyes. Nowadays protection products come in wonderful dry formats that give you a beautiful glow as well. My favorite is dr. Dennis Gross Dark spot Sun Defense spf50. A cocktail of wonderful ingredients that nourish the skin and protect against UVA and UVB.

Another one of my favorites is JUST SKIN FOOD – UNSCENTED ORGANIC SUNSCREEN spf30. made with non-nano zinc oxide and other organic oils. No water, no fillers. Awesome and effective! Also a tinted sunscreen is Nature’s brands day cream organic sunscreen, organic oils and sage and bergamot. $15. KARI GRAN makes use of Avo oil and other oils. Nice! SPF 26 ($48). JOSH ROSEBROOK sunscreen also reduces redness, acne and repairs skin. SPF 30 ($50)and KYPRIS – Pot of Shade Organic sunscreen SPF30 ($68).

PRESERVE – Skin preservation is like the cherry on top of the frosting on top of the cake! The popularity of sheet masks have a reason, they work and feel amazing! Other preservation tips are using serums after cleansing and finish with a natural oil. In order to calm the skin after a day on the slopes or beach or walking in the woods, look for ingredients like Chamomile, a potent skin calming substance. Some of my favorites are OSEA – Sea vitamin boost, with organic algae, that reduces damage from sun and wind. ($38). SOLEIL TOUJOURS ($26), organic antioxidant calming mist. For DIY’s you can use Aloe Great Tea Leaf extract, Yogurt, Cucumber, Almond oil, Grape and Sunflower seed oils and Calendula flower extracts. For some reason, mists, cooled in the refrigerator feel so good and if it feels good, the benefits increase exponentially.


Moving from HIIT to LIIT!

By | Fitness, Training

For the last couple of years, HIIT, or high intensity interval training has been the buzzword in fitness. Coming up on the scene is its gentler cousin LIIT, known as low intensity interval training.

After doing HIIT training, many people sustained stress fractures and injuries. Mostly because they simply were not ready for such intense stress on the joints and muscles. Studies now show that even the low intensity interval training has great effect on strengthening your heart, shedding more body fat, and being easier on your joints and bones.

In LIIT training, the intervals simply come from changing speeds, or changing directions for about 30-40 minutes. At every 4-5 minutes you should change direction or speed!

This way you would burn about 20% more calories then if you’re walking in a straight line!

Go for it and see how it feels!

Everything starts with your feet

By | Training | 3,302 Comments

I have for a long time been a proponent of working from the feet up when it comes to sports conditioning, such as in my specialties golfing, skiing, and skating. It is just starting to become in vogue. Yes, feet are not a fancy thing to work, but in my opinion it is the most necessary thing.

The human foot and ankle has 26 bones 33 joins 107 ligaments and 19 muscles.

The soles of the feet have more sensory nerve endings per square centimeter than any other by the body. What this means is, that your feet are the largest communicators to your brain, as to where you are in space. Therefore, The most important, and yet so often missed part of fitness, and recreational sports training,is that you must get strong from the ground up.

I find interesting, that Americans have for years tried to cover up their feet with shoes, heavy inflexible shoes, while in other parts of the world people are walking, and running barefoot and don’t  have as many bone, joint, and ligament problems as Americans. Could this be due to a profit driven shoe industry idea?

I often run into people, who cannot bend their toes, and  find it very painful. Yet, toes MUST BEND  in order to walk properly, and not shuffle your feet. Start bending your toes, flexing your feet, and my guess is your toes won’t break… but be healthier instead.

Joseph Pilates thought the feet to be so important he invented several foot  training apparatus just for this purpose.

My training therefore begins with a conscious awareness of your feet, especially arches which are connected to the core of your body. If this  bores you, then I will assume that being pain-free bores you as well.

However, if interested in improved balance, strength and endurance – the feet need to be at the base of your training.

The True meaning Behind Trendy Fitness buzzwords

By | Fitness | 4,519 Comments

Ever been confused with what the words functional fitness really means? The exercises and approaches to functional fitness are about as varied as lady Gagas hairdos! To weed out the erroneous, the stupid, and the dangerous approaches, I will give you a simple definition.

A functional fitness exercise is: Any exercise, or activity that moves you towards a specific goal which YOU have set, is deemed functional. In other words, you are looking for your fitness level becoming such, that it allows you to function effectively  in your daily life! Or, another one:  The demands that you place on your body throughout the day, be it your work, sport or leisure activity- you are able to do to your desired level of skill, and without injury. That to me is being FIT ENOUGH!

Lets take another word now: BALANCE! Many people experience balance issues, especially as they get older. Statements such as “my balance is bad, ” is a common expression – and so vague, that these words are merely a worthless complaint. The truth is, there are two kinds of balance, one is called righting reflexes, which keep your body up right when you moving over a stable surface, such as the ground. The other, is tilting reflexes, which allows you to keep your body upright if somebody bumped into you, or you are on an unstable object such as a bike or a swiss ball.

What kind of balancing exercises you need, depends on what kind of balance you want to improve. All balance however is dependent on muscle mass and your neuromuscular Communication system! In other words, no muscle, no balance, and if your brain is not able to communicate with your muscles- also no balance…

Next, let’s take the expression “Flat abs”! Who doesn’t want flat abs?! The answer is, we all do, but what are we willing to do to get them. By now I think we’ve all come  across Some piece of information, to yhe effect that crunches won’t do it, sit-ups wont do it, etc. The answer is all too simple, straightforward, and maybe even a bit uncomfortable. The truth is, when you abdominals Are bulging over your belt, it is the effect of undigested food in your gut. Plain and simple, end of story. Get rid of the undigested food that is sitting in your belly, fermenting away, because of over eating, and you abs will be flat immediately. There are many good cleanses out there, and if one doesn’t work for you, then try another kind. Something will work, and you’ll be healthier and have more energy in the process!

CORE- yes, CORE. This has got to be The biggest and most misunderstood word of the 20th century. Few people if any take The time to do a little research, and read up on what somebody with a bit of education has written about it, and defined core to be. The same people hire a trainer, with a wide variety of hypothetical certifications,and experiences, and allow that trainer, to tell them what the core is and how to activate it. Ha, I won’t go any further into it either, as I think there’s plenty of good information out there for those who are serious about finding out. What I will say, in conclusion is this: It is only, and I say ONLY  your thoughts/ imagery that can activate the Core.  Period. End of story.

How I became a Fitness Concierge

By | Fitness | 3,336 Comments

Once upon a time… That’s how the story begins… I, Ingrid Johnson, moved to Encinitas, to a town I fell in love with about 15 years ago, while still  living in Michigan.

After moving here,  I couldnt believe All The variety of fitness classes and trails available. I was like a kid in a candy store, so during my off hours, I would visit yoga studios, spinning classes, TRX and kettle bell classes, and anything I found interesting fitness- wise, all over the town. I walked, ran on trails and beaches, biked, hiked, met new and interestning people and had so much fun!

As I would tell people about my experiences, I started to get people asking ME for advice on where they should go for example yoga, spinning etc.

I now Had  a lot of different classes, studios, and teachers under my belt. I knew many beautiful trails, so I would give them advice on what I think they would like, what would be the most beneficial for them….

The next thing you know, concierge fitness, I started. It is no secret, that Encinitas is an amazing tourist town, with the friendliest residents, and most beautiful nature ..or, maybe it is a secret, in which case I want to reveal to people that it is more than just a town to visit, but a place to experience, embrace, and love, with an unbrideld passion.

All these fitness experiences, are part of Encinitas, which you can take with you everywhere you go for the rest your life.

Unlike a souvenir that wears out, and collects dust- your experience of fitness will continue to energize you, inspire you, and ravish you for the rest your life.

A Day in the Life with a Fitness Concierge…

By | Fitness | 9,154 Comments

It is Monday morning in late March, and you have exhausted all the beach runs, stairs, oceanview paths, ready for something different?  You call up Encinitas Concierge Fitness, who sais:  “Why not go trail running?” Encinitas is the home to over 30 Miles of trails for runners, bikers and equestrians. Many offer breathtaking views with a complete change in scenery depending on the time of day. Inland, toward Ranch Santa Fe and Olivenhain the trails have many trees providing shade and rolling hills for a variety of terrain! Great for toning your legs, and easy on the back and feet! Weather you want to go for 1 mile or 10, or anything in between, the Olivenhain trails offer a large variety to keep you interested in them for a long time to come!

Suggested trails:

For an easy trail run or walk, try my favorite trail around the Batiquitos Lagoon. It is 3 miles out-and-back has nonparalleled beauty, and scents from the many plans and trees. Everything from Eucalyptus to fennel to blooming bushes. It is a bit tricky to find where to Park, so I will  guide you to the right spot.

Tuesday, you want to try something different, maybe turn yourself upside down? How about and Aerial Yoga class, to stretch out the body. Try my favorite Baja Body in Oceanside. The silky hammocks help to decompress your spine, and deepen all your yoga stretches. If the idea of hanging upside down sounds frightening, knowing there is soft sand underneath your feet, should help!

Wednesday, feeling good and ready for a serious workout? How about a morning Spin or TRX class?  If you only know one name in spinning in Encinitas, it is Johnny Archer! His DYNAMIC PERSONALITY and talent make his spinning classes truly an extraordinary experience! People from all over the county have flocked to his classes for years, and just a few years ago, he opened his own studio, Cycology. Sweat it out with Heart rate strap monitor and top of the line bikes.

Still feeling good and need to do something with your upper body? How about a boxing class at the Boxing Club in Encinitas? It is family owned and operated since 1999. The feel is “old school” and you would expect Rocky to show up at any moment. Teachers are professional and passionate about their classes, so you will get the best! I love the Noon time boxing class with Dana, and boxing skills with Cody.

In the evening, attend a meditation group! This really will cap off your day in an amazing way! There are many Private local groups, friendly and loving to newcomers and regulars alike! I have many “favorites”, including Meditation and Martinis, Willow spring QiGong, or just a self guided contemplative walk through the Meditation Garden of Self Realization fellowship.

Thursday- a great day for Pilates with a Purpose! Whatever your goal or intention, your Pilates class can be individual or with other people! I personally create a Pilates class fitted to your current needs, and I also like Core 40 in Solana Beach for a class setting! It isn’t “true” Pilates, but it does use a Reformer type Equipment, and is an absolute “killer” core workout! And your classmates? The most beautiful women in the county!!!

The First Friday Night of the month is Black light Yoga in Carlsbad! An amazing experience, and a perfect date night in itself, whether alone or with someone. To cap it off……how about  a glass of wine or dinner at Paon, just a few doors down. Voted as one of the top 10 restaurants in San Diego with a wine bar attached to the restaurant!

Find your Running Style

By | Fitness | 2,231 Comments

We each have a different running style, a preferred terrain or ideal distance,  that makes us feel the happiest and most empowered. While running has gone through many different fads – interval training, HIIT, barefoot, longdistance, short distance, hills etc. the bottom line is… what makes you the happiest? Whenever I travel, and don’t know what I can do for fitness while away, I always bring running shoes. Only once, was I told I couldn’t run – it was in the midst of a Safari Camp in South Africa. Other than that, there is no stopping and there is no cost to it either.

Here are  a few of different running styles, #Encinitas offers them all. Read through and see what fits for you!

1. Treadmill

This is the foundation for running. You can do it in a ‘controlled’ environment. See your heart rate with Fitbit or another heart rate monitor, and adjust your intensity accordingly. If you get tired, you just hop off, no painful walking/stumbling back home, and you can also stretch before and after all in the same place. Also good for you who have outdoor allergies or when it is too cold or hot. A favorite place of mine is  #Orange Theory, where you can see on a large monitor what your heart rate is, and if you are working in your optimal intensity zone.

2. Group Training

Find a group to run with. Local running shoe stores organize weekly runs, as well as many other organizations. Find a group online with the same timeschedule and level as you. It is great motivation to run with others, one of my favorites is Sunday morning run around the #Mission Bay, in #San Diego,  with long time running coach Ozzie Gontag. He will film and analyze your running form, and coach you. All for free! And who knows, you might just make a new friend or two.

3. Distance running

This is also a basic training form, and so popular because of all the different races that we have here in Southern California. There is one just about every weekend, on the #Pacific Coast highway, on the beach, through the #zoo, through vineyards, #Downtown San Diego, #Oceanside military base. We raise money running for dogs, children,  health, to hear bands,  and really just for the fun and beauty of it. Start with a 5k run, and have fun trainng for it, then go for 10K if you like, but the main thing is to have fun.

4,Terrain running

Southern California offers so many kinds of terrains. We have horsetrails with soft terrain, Sand, pavement and rocky hills. Whatever you like for variation, get a map, some water and have fun. You can always vary running and walking, enjoy the beautiful vistas and being out in nature. Listen to your body and enjoy, alone or with others.

5. Fartlek Running,

Varying your running speed can be done anywhere really… on the treadmill, or on a known running path. Listen to your body, or if you are a tekkie, look at your heart rate and speed up/slow down accordingly.

6. Interval training

The fastest way to get “in shape” if that if your goal. You can determine your own intervals, but most common strategy is 5 intervals of 30 seconds with 15 second rest. Its quick, intense and can be a great plateau buster.

7. Hill running

This style of running combines several of the running styles. Great once you have a basic level of running fitness. You can use it for terrain, fartlek or interval training. You can walk downhill so you don’t get too sore the next day. Great for increasing your oxygen exchange rate in your lungs and also great for new views and vistas.

8.Stairs running

Many beaches offer magnificent  stairs to run up and down with beautiful views. The most famous and difficult ones are at Santa Monica Beach, also the most beautiful! My favorites are at #Swamis beach, but #Beacons and #Stonesteps are fabulous too. Start by WALKING up the stairs or do just one set….or your calves will be screaming for days and you won’t be doing much running at all. Great way to also strengthen your glutes and knees.

Finally a way to Improve the Golfer, not just the game

By | Golf Training | 848 Comments

Improve your scores and reduce the risk of Career-ending injuries by working with an elite trainer taught to specifically cater to the needs of golfers.

Most golfers know that an effective exercise program and correct training can prevent injuries and lead to a better golf game. When consulting with a personal trainer or a physical therapist to achieve better results, it is important to choose a trainer that has a solid understanding of golf. After all, a baseball player wouldn’t dream of going to a football coach to get out of a hitting slump.

A certified Golf Biomechanic focuses on improving function through correct training. Without a doubt the only way to improve a golf game is to improve the actual golfer – the way they stretch, swing and train. After all, many golfer spend thousands of dollars on golf clubs without even being able to swing correctly.

Paul Chek, author of The golf Biomechanics Manual and founder of the CHEK institute in San Diego, CA, designed the Golf Biomechanic Certification Intensive to teach his highly effective echnique to fitness trainers, health professionals and golf pros.

To earn the title “Certified Golf Biomechanic”, a person must first demonstrate extensive knowledge of the CHEK system for developing golf performance, and be able to address golfspecific conditioning needs. To prove their knowledge, they must also pass a rigorous practical and written exam.

Paul Chek is one of the most sought after conditioning and rehabilitation consultants in the world. He is respected not only because he promotes proper self-conditioning and training, but because his cutting-edge techniques also prevent more injuries.

“Unlike golf, bodybuilding does not include a functional component, success in bodybuilding is not dependent upon precision timing, control accuracy, or skill” Chek writes in the Golf Biomechanic’s Manual.  He maintains that by following a carefully designed program, conditioning the golfer specifically for the game of golf, the risk of injury can be significantly reduced, and the ultimate result is a better score.

“With successful application of scientific conditioning principles, todays golfer may, for the first time in over thirty years, approach lowering their golf scores, “Chek writes.

Why train with me?

By | Training | 2,859 Comments

Why train with ME?

Now that’s a good question… and, on the flip side…why would I train YOU? And Are you even trainable?

For starters, what The word TRAINING means to me, is a noticeable, UNDENIABLE improvement in the area you say you are training. Secondly, there should be a distinct difference between training with a trainer (me) and by yourself. You should be going beyond where you can go on your own- be it in the area of motivation, knowledge, or just time and effort to put a program together for yourself.

You should be getting visible results, learn more about your own body, and of course work out more creatively and efficiently than when you are alone.

My training is based on SCIENTIFIC exercise techniques, as it relates to selection of exercises, their order, weights, reps, volume and tempo.

I believe there should be an intelligent and STRATEGIC approach to workouts, a built-in progression. The workouts should get more challenging as you get stronger, varying low rep, medium rep and high rep training.

Therefore,  I think RECORD keeping is crucial for tracking results.

I  EDUCATE while I train in order to build more awareness of why you are doing what you are doing. A blind, mindless workout is not good for the body nor for the mind!

I PERSONALIZE, no, I INDIVIDUALIZE your program. Your workout is YOURS ALONE! There are no two people alike in the world, so why should workouts be? For example, I base the number your repetitions on wether your movement is still improving or weakening. I WATCH!

I demand ATTENTION – Yes, I know it may be a lost art, but there are still a few of us out there, that believe in paying attention to our clients, AND requiring our clients to pay attention to themselves and us.

I DO the work myself, so I know how it feels on the body. I TAKE Pilates classes every week, lift weights and run. Occasionally I take a spin class, yoga and kettlebell classes.  I also try new things TRX, barre, Fitwall, etc. and I perform core exercises and keep my intrinsic muscles strong.

The things I don’t know, or am not so good at, I refer out. I find the people who ARE GOOD at those things. Thus, I have built an exceptional referral network that I am proud of. I am confident in these folks that they will get the complementary results that my training alone cannot do.( I would like to emphasize here, that I don’t refer people to my sister, aunt, other relative or friend, or to anyone who asks for a referral.) My referrals are people who I have checked out myself, who’s work I know, have seen results for myself and for others: They include – Nutrition, Chiropractors, Massage therapists, more Advanced corrective exercise . My inspiration and new ideas come from peer reviewed journals, and not hyped upcommercial  fitness magazines that regurgitate the same information, only  with newer, trendier outfits, year after year.

I remain true to classic exercises, time tested and proven techniques, that yield results year after year, for the fittest and healthiest BODIES in the world!

So, as long as you are improving, there is a proper trainer training relationship. When improvement ceases, well, I think you know the answer….

In your humble service,



By | Fitness | 121 Comments

Too much or too little movement- either is detrimental to our physical, mental and spiritual being! Everything in the Universe is constantly MOVING…. and everything has an optimal rate of MOVEMENT. When you are not moving enough, or if you are moving too fast, your body has pain, disease and stress! The answer is an OPTIMAL exercise movement program.

Just as the body needs to feed on good quality food, the mind must also be fed good thoughts. Our physical movement starts in our brain, with our thoughts, and then proceeds outward from our CORE to our limbs.

My NEW Fitness program is THE ONLY  fitness program of its kind, that starts with SIMPLE and EFFECTIVE movements that date back to the beginnings of MAN.  Just as the early man had to be strong to cope with his daily life, so I have developed similar movements, that allow us to cope with OUR DAILY lives. I believe that the foundation of movement that improves, not harms, is based on EFFECTIVE BREATHING, BALANCE and COORDINATION, which in turn builds a stronger and more flexible body. I believe in whole body movements, and not isolated ones, (unless there is a specific need for that). To me, that is more like we were meant to move.

And THAT is also my definition of FUNCTIONAL FITNESS! To be FUNCTIONALLY FIT means that  you to have ample energy for daily WORK and injury free PLAY! It means  to MOVE your whole body with awareness and CONFIDENCE!