Fitcation ’13 *much gratitude from my heart

It does not happen often enough that I come back from a vacation relaxed.  With all the effort to make reservations, squirrel money away for a trip, then take time away from my busy life I know it is a 50/50 gamble that I will return needing a vacation from my vacation.  Maybe it is in the expectations I set? Maybe it is in not planning well enough? Or maybe it is in not picking the right experience for me?

Paso Robles, CA is insanely fun with girlfriends!
Paso Robles, CA is insanely fun with girlfriends!

I can happily say that I returned from Paso Robles feeling refreshed.  Fitcation was essentially a balanced lifestyle showcase for social media folks featuring this region.  My Fitcation 13 experience was technically a “working vacation” but my “job” as a yoga instructor even filled my cup with joy and enrichment.  See the follow-up visual essay to experience it as fully as you can virtually. Given my three days on the Central Coast I am tending to think  it was hospitality of the region had a great deal to do with my experience.  Our official affiliates provided top-notch consideration as well as merchants who were not even associated with our itinerary, thus did not know who we were.  This even includes the Waterfront Grill in Morro Bay who were kind enough to make an ice bag for an attendee with an injured knee then refuse to take any payment since a few members of our group had stopped there for a snack a little while beforehand.

SIP Certified is a seal I back 100%
SIP Certified is a seal I back 100%

The kind folks at SIP Certified orchestrated most of our adventures.  They are an agricultural sustainability certification non-profit organization.  They align with my values as a mindful consumer and local economy supporter.  When first approached about Fitcation I was hesitant to attend because I was pregnant at the time and knew my infant would be six months old and barely starting solid foods.  However the SIP Certified involvement is what truly drove me and my family’s effort to make my attendance possible.  They are a brand I trust and had already been eagerly engaging with as a consumer.

SIP Certified began over 15 years ago with 13 brands around the Paso Robles area and has since grown to 170+ brands throughout the state of California.  The certification goes beyond organic with true sustainability applying to not only ecological practices but also  business concerns such as continuing education for employees to continually elevate the quality of the workforce. Since SIP Certified’s roots began in San Luis Obispo County, their high density of brands, regional partners, and supporters agreed to host the group I was invited to attend with.  The primary sponsors of the trip who showcased the balanced lifestyle available for those living in and visiting this region were SIP Certified, Travel Paso Robles and Earth Footwear.

Others helped out to host our group including: Visit San Luis Obispo CountyVisit Cambria, Visit SLO, Morro Bay Tourism
We visited and enjoyed products + services from: Pithy LIttle Wine CompanyBrown Butter Cookie CompanyGeneral StoreStudios on the ParkPomar Junction Vineyard and Winery, Fig Good FoodDig, Deep, Play Hard BootcampCastoro CellarsUnlock WinePasolivoHalter RanchHearst CastleRobin’s Restaurant, ME!!!!, Kayak Horizons, Yacht Club in Morro Bay, Eatz, Tolosa Winery

Then there were the abundant goodies in our swag bags.

The Black Teaberry from Earth Footwear was seriously something with my swag. Seriously.
The Black Teaberry from Earth Footwear was seriously something with my swag. Seriously.

I know that this post reads like a NASCAR vehicle zipping past you with stickers covering every inch of the car.  I try to spare you having my blog read like a commercial UNLESS it is for brands and experiences I truly believe in or at least think you will enjoy. So please be patient and consider these names in your mindful consumer experiences or reach out and ask me specific questions about how I rate what they have to offer or ask them if there is something specific.
Finally I have to give a shout out to Leah Segedie and her team of contributors who worked to make this get-away happen for its third year.  There will be no Fitcation 2014 because Leah’s concentration will be on ShiftCon.  This is a new healthy, wellness conference taking place the first weekend in October in Los Angeles, CA.  Here is a good portion of her

Disclosure: The costs of the events and activities for Fitcation were defrayed by sponsors, and the attendees were contractually obligated to write a summary of the experience and also received free swag items. However, the thoughts and opinions I’m sharing in this post are honest and my own.

Review: Fitcation

In August of 2012 I had the pleasure of attending Fitcation with Bookieboo LLC as the group’s yoga instructor. I did a preview where I gave mad sponsor love and a wrap-up vlog with Leah Segedie (Bookieboo herself). This is my post of the in-between of that trip. In short, it was lame because I was lame. I have known a good deal of the women from the Mamavation community for a while and was really looking forward to hanging out with the ladies but my body had other plans.

You need to understand that we were put in some pretty swanky digs with an awesome itinerary to play with. My body was simply wiped from the pregnancy (the first half of this pregnancy was a struggle) as well as an anaphylactic attack to sugar cane. I missed about 2 days of activities with the group to hang out in a super luxurious bed in my room and sleep. Told you I was lame!

Recognize this from Extreme Makeover Weightloss Edition?

I beyond enjoyed the time I got to spend in the resort’s greenhouse.
Wedding taking place at the Four Seasons grounds. How pretty!

Fitcation is intended as a Fitness vacation for moms. This was my second time going as the yoga instructor. See my 2011 vlog recap from Austin here. Do you know the show Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition? The hotel that houses the California Health and Longevity Institute was our host hotel – The Four Seasons Westlake Village. How cool is that??? We toured the Institute as well as the adjacent Dole Headquarters. I had my allergic reaction to sugar being used during an oatmeal cookie demonstration in the Dole Headquarter Test Kitchen and had to miss my day with Dole which I really regretted because I love hanging out with food scientists when they are open to having their brains picked.

Sunrise from hotel room. Me and the high-thread count sheets got to spend a lot of time together.

So Dole… yeah. They are great with what they want to do health-wise with encouraging people to eat more produce as well as food research to maximize health with products like their mushroom powder that can be added to anything as a Vitamin D supplement. However their association with Leah Segedie for Fitcation came at a funny time as she was starting a social media juggernaut to support Proposition 37 in California to mandate the labeling of GMOs as Dole was a big opponent of this potential legislation with financial backing. Politics and big business can still exist within companies with great intentions for health and fitness. They are not the only health-advocate company facing how they are going to proceed with consumer transparency these days.

Lovely kicks via New Balance

We had some really fun workouts that I was able to do at Fitcation. We had a bootcamp morning where I discovered that my newly pregnant body had a heart rate jump to 185 after 15 burpees. I also discovered the pregnancy latency affect as I was watching my Polar heart rate monitor sky rocket to this number and felt fine but less than 10 minutes later was wiped and had to slow down then reduce the number of burpees and lunges the group was doing. My body was a fun prenatal experiment with OC Fit Body Boot Camp at the helm. The workout that I LOVED was with Hoopnotica. I had a hard time with some of the moves requiring us to spin with the hoop due to early pregnancy nausea but OMG as a yoga instructor who goes to festivals I can tell you my travel hoop will be coming in handy! Too much fun – check out their workouts. Then I did yoga as well as body check-ins the last day and think I did a good job tailored to my audience. The ladies in attendance seemed to respond well.  For my yoga portion I made sure to wear some of my New Balance Anue line of clothes including their Bodhi Pant.

Polar Heart Rate Monitor
I was pretty mindful of my heart rate with any activity to keep an eye on my changing pregnant body
I cannot wait to get down with the Hoopnotica workouts as part of my post-partum workouts!

The food was pretty decent. The event organizers were kind enough to get me a refrigerator in my room due to my stupid sugar cane allergy so I stocked up on goodies at a Trader Joe’s before we started. I am glad I did. Early pregnancy… there were not enough filling nourishing food breaks when I was with the group. There was another preggo with us and she can vouch that the Dole produce only, high-glycemic nutrition was not cutting it. I also hear that the day of sightseeing did not leave a lot of opportunities to eat and am told I was lucky I missed that or else I may have been really sick.

The lovely Alysa (InspiredRD) playing kitchen before her cooking demo

The big meals I was able to attend were the welcome with Joshua Metcalf in Leah’s suite. He is a motivational coach and gave us a great reminder talk about how we actuate our reality. Then the next night I attended a feast and cooking demo by Alysa Bajenaru RD at Leah’s house and had a chance to hang out with a number of Mamavation Moms I have known for a long time and some invited local moms with sizable social media followings.

You better believe I hit up spa services while I had down time at the hotel!

Overall this was my second year going and this is a great group of ladies that use this trip as an excuse to let their hair down, enjoy life, and be grateful with some of the brands that are ever so supportive of the Mamavation community year-round.  Go if you are lucky enough to get the chance!  #1 Join the Mamavation community #2 Hope you are cool enough to get selected to attend.

Fitcation was sponsored by Dole, Four Seasons Westlake Village, the California Health and Longevity Institute, Sip Certified, New Balance, Hoopnotica, Subway and Leading Lady Bras. These sponsors provided the attendees with lodging, meals, activities and product during the event. As an attendee I have given my honest opinion and all opinions are 100% my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of these brands.  I am very grateful to these brands for what they provided us with and have no qualms about publicizing their future efforts and marketing because they are sincere about the betterment of the customers they serve.

Fitcation 12 Vlog Wrap-Up

Special guest in my vlawg today.  The goddess behind Mamavation and Fitcation, Leah.


My time in L.A. was fun.  I had a bomb-diggity roommate in Pamela M. Kramer.  I saw a number of return faces like Megan, Angela, Lena, Amanda, Shelley and Leah.  And I got to be better acquainted with members of Mamavation and special guests.

Our accomodations were PLUSH! The Four Seasons Westlake Village and Dole took amazing care of us.

I am only posting this tidbit because my family and I have been loving on each other since I returned. I need to pull a few pics off my cameras and do formal thank you to our sponsors. This is it for now. Priorities

the wilderness to fitcation

vlawwwg (expect on Monday)

I am one wiped-out knackered schnookums. Add a 30-pound toddler, a pack, and some gear and I was lugging about 50 pounds on my back at about 9,000 feet elevation. I am not complaining though. Highlights are hopefully in my vlog. I am talking escaping a sudden Colorado downpour in a tent with the family, fabulous dinner next to the warmth of a wet wood fire, hiking with a cooing, sleeping kiddo in my ear, washing my hair in ice-melt, and lots of kissing with my best guy outside. This is my happy place.

I have the realization that this week is gonna start soon. I fly out on Wednesday to head home to L.A. to see loved ones before meeting up with the fabulous Mamavation ladies at Fitcation. Mucho, mega love to Dole for being a major sponsor and providing lodging, a tour, and breakfast. I cannot wait to report back to all of you with highlights of the tour. I am teaching yoga at Fitcation on Sunday and returning home late that night.

For now this little mujer is wiped. I have some big blisters on my feet, my legs are throbbing from exertion, and I am longing for a lengthy slumber. Hopefully I will add more about my weekend tomorrow.

This post is sponsored by GoVida Foods and hosted by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway.