The Last Solitude

La Playa invites you to The Last Solitude, a film by Catherine Bennett and Robin Biso for the 2010 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, featuring La Playa trainer and dancer, Erika Kloumann. Shimmering, melting and fleeting, The Last Solitude will be projected on a wall of ice and the majestic ceiling archway of the Courthouse. The film is a paen and tribute to the beauty of our coast.



6-10pm ONGOING

Live music by Jim Connolly and Anna Abbey


Green Machine Smoothie...

If you ever walk into La Playa and see a jar of frightening green juice- it's probably Colleen's Green Machine smoothie. Since there has been numerous inquiries as to what in the world the "glass of mud" contains- I figured it was time to disclose the secret recipe.  The smoothie is "blended" not "juiced" which I prefer for the thickness and also to retain the fiber in the vegetables.

Recipe for the Green Machine (usually it's green, but since I added blueberries to this one it's purple!)

1 handful of kale (4-7 stems)

1 handful of dandelion greens

1/2 cup of mango (i like the frozen mango chunks from Trader Joes)

1 banana

2 tbsp. of toasted flax seed

2 cups of unfiltered organic apple juice (or enough liquid to get the blender going)

 * this smoothie is like a soup. Use what's in your fridge. Kale is a staple for me because of it's reputation for being one of the healthiest greens, but most other leafy greens work just as well. The sweetness of the mango really cancels the bitterness of uncooked kale, but experiment with adding your personal favorite berries. Orange juice can be substituted for the apple juice as well.

Facts on Kale: Kale is high in beta karotene, calcium, fiber, iron, vitamins A, C & K and is considered to be an anti-inflammatory as well as boasting phytonutrients that help prevent cancer. Great source of calcium with less calories and fat than cow's milk. (go to for more fun facts on the healthiest foods.)


Diet Tip...




Omega 3 fatty acids found in tuna have an anti-inflammatory effect, which may protect our skin against sunburn, and possibly skin cancer!


Back to the Back

Lower back pain affects around 80% of the population at some point during their lives according to a study by Mayo clinic. Unbelievably it is one of the top reasons for missing work, and it can make just about any activity, including sitting and sleeping, extremely uncomfortable. With heavy backpacks being carried by kids at an early age and an increase of time spent hovering over the computer, a laptop or video games- it is becoming increasingly present at even earlier ages.

Professionals will agree the back is built to last, however like other parts of the body it has vulnerabilities which can significantly effect our lifestyles, as just about everything else in the body is beholden to its well-being For example, leg pain known as sciatica actually comes from nerves in the lower spine being compressed. Certain types of headache begin with the upper spinal column beginning at the neck/cervical spine. What most people may not know is that the bulk of back problems have a genetic history! If you have good genes and maintain core strength and flexibility, your back should last a lifetime.

To keep your back healthy and strong here are some basic reminders:

  • Maintain good posture: this will help prevent muscle strain and unnecessary pressure on the discs. Stand with a neutral pelvis and elongated sternum. Don't collapse! When seated, choose a chair with lower back support and sit upright. LIke Mom always said, "Don't slouch and keep your elbows off the table!"
  • Maintain a healthy weight: being overweight puts excess strain on the back muscles. Remember, we're always fighting gravity! Eat right, exercise with aerobic and strength training activities like Pilates.
  • Build muscle strength and flexibility: Core muscles of the abdominals and back maintain a corset effect for the spine. Strong leg muscles take pressure off the back when lifting. Flexibility in the hips and upper legs improves fluidity and coordination of movement. All these sources combined help to articulate the back and maintain full range of motion.

Pilates can be especially benefical in helping achieve the above three basic yet very important steps to a healthy back. Joseph Pilates stated, "In ten sessions you will feel the difference. In twenty sessions you will see the difference. And in thirty sessions you will have a brand new body."

-Kristin Turner

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