A guide to healthy living in LA

By Britt Collins, LA-based writer and editor.

Photography by Steve Skinner Photography/Getty

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January 2018

Sun-soaked and free-spirited, Los Angeles is open to anything new and wholesome. From moonlit hikes to wellness refuges, here are some suggestions for the super-healthy.

Best for: clean eating

LA is awash with chic vegan restaurants. Among the latest hotspots, Sage Vegan Bistro and Brewery dishes up American classics of mac-and-cheese and tacos with a twist, and comes with a taproom to knock back cruelty-free crafted microbrews and cocktails. The West Coast outpost of the Butcher’s Daughter serves plant-based Cali-deli-style fare (kale Caesars, stone-baked pizzas and veggie BLTs) in a light-filled dining room, with an espresso bar and shady patio. The canteen-cum-general store sells everything from wild honey and wellness lattes, to a fine-tuned curation of small-batch beauty products and botanical remedies from local artisans. 

Already a LA institution, musician Moby’s Little Pine, a stylishly sparse café that looks like an Alpine lodge, boasts a mid-century modernist interior and inventive organic Mediterranean-inflected creations of grains, greens and soya meats. Plus, all the profits benefit animal-welfare charities.

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Best for: a detox juice

The juice craze is an LA mainstay with juice bars sprouting up across the city. Moon Juice’s cleverly packaged fruit, nut and vegetable blends with showy names like California Sun and Silver Strawberry – touting better skin, better sleep, better sex – has cultivated a cult following and recently opened its third location. The bright and breezy Clover Juice bar-café, started by three friends, whizzes up seasonally changing jewel-bright juices and smoothies, to super-food shakes and wheatgrass vitality shots for a little splash of goodness.

The canteen-cum-general store sells everything from wild honey and wellness lattes, to a fine-tuned curation of small-batch beauty products and botanical remedies from local artisans.

  • Explore one of LA’s best-kept secrets at Point Dume State Beach © Alamy.

    Blockbuster beach

    With its close proximity to Tinseltown, Point Dume has featured in many big action flicks, including Iron Man and Planet of the Apes.

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  • Take the holistic approach at LA’s healthy cult-classic, Moon Juice.

    Get the LA glow

    Try one of Moon Juice’s infamous elixirs, including the ‘beauty tonic’, the ‘good night tonic’ and the ‘brain tonic’, all available in drink or ‘dust’ form.

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  • Release your inner yogi by joining a class at Wanderlust Hollywood.

    A bit of a stretch

    For a whole body workout, opt for Wanderlust’s ‘Hot Fixx’ class, where you’ll sweat it out at a cosy 30 degrees Celsius.

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Best for: wellness

One of the more curious trends to emerge is the new wave of one-stop wellness refuges. Wanderlust, an all-in-one holistic hangout in Hollywood, is an urban oasis devoted to all good things. Spilling across three floors, it has a yoga and meditation studio, a speakeasy called The Library where you can chill and sample biodynamic wine and beer, and the Wanderlust veggie café, curated by culinary star Seamus Mullen, with vegan and gluten-free options. Tucked away in a secret garden space, Venice’s visionary new 30Fifteen Studio offers boutique fitness classes (yoga, Pilates), massage therapy, energy healing, tarot readings and body and nutrition workshops.

Best for: night hikes

Hitting the trail after dark is California’s hottest activity and night-hiking options abound. Most people go to Griffith Park for the views and stargazing in the Observatory, but when the sun goes down it feels magical taking one of these twilight treks up the winding paths, past the ruins of the Old Zoo, with twinkling city lights below. Join the moonlight walk along its hillside trails of Coldwater Canyon – organized by the non-profit group Tree People who plant and tend native and exotic trees across a 45-acre park – on the third Friday of each month. The Tree of Life Trail above the Hollywood Hills is another popular trek. Wander up to the Wisdom Tree, the lone surviving tree after the 2007 wildfires, for the nighttime views of Lake Hollywood and Downtown LA.

  • Make good on your five a day with a brunch at The Butcher’s Daughter © Matt Waugh.

    Matcha made in heaven

    Despite its name, The Butcher’s Daughter is a plant-based haven, with a drinks menu brimming with matcha, chai, raw honey, turmeric and cayenne.

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Best for: surf and turf

The beauty of LA is its access to nature, providing a refuge from the city and a good workout with revitalising sea air and cinematic views. Wander along Point Dume State beach in Malibu, the rugged bluffs along the Pacific Coast Highway, and look out for sunbathing seals and pods of porpoises. Just steps away from the Malibu mansions, Malibu Lagoon, also known as Surfrider Beach, attracts surfers of all levels for its smooth-breaking waves and pristine sandy shore. For camping, hiking and rock climbing, head for the high desert of the Joshua Tree National Park, which is among the most mystical places on earth and the darkest night skies. Sleep under the Milky Way and lose yourself in the raw, primitive landscape of gnarled Yucca trees and ancient rocks.

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