Holiday Travel: Carry On Bag Necessities

Welcome to December. Is it really the most wonderful time of the year if you have to go to the airport? In any other situation, a complete stranger yelling at you to take off your clothes and shoes is considered a violation. But, there is one way to try and tame travel stress (other than a valium and a glass of wine), which is to be equipped with a large carry on bag that has everything I need to make my flight more comfortable. 

The Bag

I always travel with my MRKT Martin Travel bag. It has enough room for everything I need and more. I also use it on weekend trips. Made entirely of vegan felt and microsuede, it's stylish and durable enough to be squeezed under the seat.

Snacks Snacks Snacks

I always travel with tons of snacks because Terminal 3 at LAX, which is the only terminal I fly out of, literally has zero healthy food options. (Zero! If don’t believe me, read the Yelp reviews.)

I’m really into Perfect Bars right now. High in protein, they’re packed with superfood, non-gmo, gluten-free ingredients. They’re also filling, so I don’t end up eating junk food on the plane. My favorite flavors are Almond Butter and Maple Almond butter, which taste like spooning actual almond butter out of a jar, but in bar form. The Blueberry Cashew flavor is also pretty delicious. I usually bring extras so I can eat them for breakfast on the go.

I also love Heath Warrior Chia Bars. Between 100 and 110 calories each, these small, but mighty snacks have 1000mg of Omega-3, 4 grams of fiber and 3 grams of plant-based protein. There are several flavor choices, but my favorites are coconut and dark chocolate. They’re light, but filling, so they're good for before or after working out (which is something I try to do when I travel) or for those times when you know you're going to eat dinner in an hour, but you're starving. 

Purely Elizabeth's Ancient Grain Minis are practically made for travel. Gluten-free, non-gmo and vegan, every bag has 2oz of ancient grain granola. You can mix into yogurt (which is readily available at most airports, even LAX) or pour milk right into the bag. It won’t leak, I promise. 

Cashmere Wrap

When I’m on a plane, I either sweat like I’m taking a spin class or shiver like I’m in a cyrotherapy session. So, I wear a light top and carry a cashmere wrap. It’s a blanket and fashion accessory all rolled into one. The one I'm wearing in the picture is from Vince and I’ve had it so long, it's practically vintage. 

Talbots currently has a beautiful cashmere wrap. While that store isn’t exactly one of my go-tos, there aren't many affordable cashmere wraps available this season. Cashmere doesn’t come cheap, but friends don’t let friends buy wool blends. Treat yourself. Traveling is hard enough. 

Neck Pillow

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I always try and catch a few zzzs on the flight, so a neck pillow is a must. Skip the ones they sell at the airport because they’re overpriced and generally mediocre. Instead prepare early and buy The World’s Best Neck Pillow. It’s comfortable, machine washable, cheap and apparently the world's best.

Decléor Aurabsolu Mist

Nothing makes your face feel gross quite the way re-circulated airplane air can. Decléor Aurabsolu Mist is travel friendly and smells like herbal heaven. You can also spray some on a cotton ball in place of your regular toner.

Thank you to Chin-Chin Hao for the beautiful photos. 

Adventures At Crunch's Sex-Ed Class

As someone who takes 4-5 group fitness classes per week, I feel my routine can sometimes get a little boring and repetitive. Sure, every spin, barre and Pilates class is somewhat different, but I like to try new things and keep challenging my muscles. So, in an effort to mix it up, I tried Crunch’s Sex-Ed. While the class wasn’t as naughty as I imagined it would be, it was way more fun than I anticipated.

While many fitness classes I’ve taken use props toys, none have been quite like the ones used in Sex-Ed. You can choose from working with “Carlos” or “Lucy,” who are male and female sex dolls. While Lucy has breasts and Carlos has chest hair, neither has genitalia. Call me dirty, but I checked. With Lucy’s loud blue eye shadow and Carlos’ creepy moustache, it’s almost impossible to work out with a straight face. While it’s a serious workout, you can’t take yourself too seriously while doing it.

Another source of humor was Sex-Ed’s creator and instructor, Jorge del Busto. From Malibu by way of Argentina, Jorge is kind of Central Casting for the stereotypical sexy, Latin man. Watching him demonstrate the moves with his hips and dancing around with Lucy, you just can’t help but smile. While I took his instruction seriously, I couldn’t stop giggling. The rest of the class couldn’t either.

As fun and lively as Sex-Ed was, I actually found it to be a welcome challenge. In addition to dancing with the dolls (sounds like a reality show, right?), the routines consisted of a variety of movements including squatting, thrusting and shaking the hips. Kind of a less graceful and more exaggerated version of what you might do in a barre class. Jorge designed this workout to use and strengthen the core and lower regions of the body aka all the muscles you use when you get it on. And much like having sex and dancing, it looks a whole lot easier than it is. Going back and fourth and tucking, I even got a few kegels in (#multitasking). Sex-Ed was perhaps one of the more interesting lower body workouts I’ve ever had. It’s also worth noting that all of the participants of the class that day happened to be women. While men would certainly find it fun, some might be a little self-conscious to attempt Jorge’s moves outside the bedroom.

As the class was ending, I was having so much fun, I started to wonder if any of the workout was actually affective. I actually wasn’t quite sure if I spent 45 minutes working out or just fooling around with a sex doll. However, it turned out to be pretty affective because (pardon the analogy) I was delightfully sore the next day. You know that feeling!

So, should you add sexercise to your routine? If you want a class that is really like nothing else out there, yes! If you are looking for a class to take with group of friends at different fitness levels, this is it! While Sex-Ed felt more like fun than foreplay, doing it with your partner might just get you in the mood to practice some of the moves you learned outside of class. No matter what, I’m pretty sure Jorge will be leading fun fitness orgies for a long time.