Fun in the sun on a trip I almost didn’t take

Greetings, friends! I don’t even know what day it is at this point. Life has certainly been a whirlwind lately and seems to be continuing in that direction. With group fitness class debuts, lots of work, travel, blogging and fitness conferences and even more upcoming travel, I’ve been go-go-go for about two weeks non-stop. Because I take any free moment not teaching classes or preparing to teach classes to work on the computer, I feel like I haven’t really been “done with everything” I need to do in a while. I guess that’s just how it goes.

That being said, on Monday of this week, I did get to spend a little fun time out in the sun with Dave and his coworkers for an end-of-season celebration for the employees of the champion Golden State Warriors at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. I tried to put my phone away (outside of taking pictures on it) and enjoy the few hours we were there. I had seriously considered skipping out on the day due to the fact that I had so much going on, but I was able to get some of my classes subbed, and I’m glad I went.

Ashley and Dave at the Santa Cruz BoardwalkThese were the outtakes, but I like them so much more than the other pictures that came out of this little impromptu photo shoot on Santa Cruz Beach.

A short day-trip to Santa Cruz armed with coconut water

After getting back on Sunday afternoon, unpacking and staying up late to work on the blog and various projects, I was very tired when I woke up just before 6 a.m. on Monday morning. I think my lack of sleep caught up with me, because I had that “heavy-tired head” feeling if you know what I mean. As Dave and I were leaving our house, rather than grab extra caffeine to wake me up, I actually reached for a liter of Naked Juice Pure Coconut Water. As a Naked Juice Ambassador, I’m lucky enough to get a sampling of products here-and-there, and I was so happy to see that coconut water was the latest delivery, arriving to my doorstep while I was gone in LA. I needed it!

You see, I’ve been relying on coconut water for hydration long before it was cool. In fact, I started drinking coconut water during tough workouts back in the days when a lot of grocery stores didn’t even sell it. It was rare. Not so much now. You can find coconut water everywhere, and I’m always replenishing my stock.

Naked Juice Pure Coconut Water on Santa Cruz BoardwalkWhat a beautiful sight. Beach, sunshine and coconut water! Yes, please. Take me back!

Nonetheless, I’ve found that oftentimes the hunger or fatigue we feel can be more from dehydration than it is from lack of sleep. In my case this week, it was both. But don’t you know, that chugging some coconut water brought some new life to me. I brought this water on the bus-ride to Santa Cruz and instantly felt a little better. Perhaps the flights and workouts from my time in LA for IDEA BlogFest and IDEA World Fitness Convention took it out of me more than I knew. My body needed extra liquid.

Fun in the sun at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk on a weekday

Our trip to Santa Cruz wasn’t long at all, but was just what we needed. We had a private and covered area as home-base for employees and guests. And after a welcome from the president of the Warriors, our group was set free to wander the boardwalk with some ride tickets and arcade credits in-hand. We played a few games, won a little toy for Rudy and then took on the big wooden roller coaster. (Which I have ridden before when Dave and I took our first trip to Santa Cruz a couple of years ago.)

Warriors fun day at Santa Cruz BoardwalkSunshine, games, rides and lunch on paper plates. Not your typical Monday.

Once we’d taken in the beach-side theme park entertainment, we joined a group for lunch back in the private area. Although typical BBQ fare was available, I selected the vegetarian option of garden burger with salad, as well as a cold glass of chardonnay (wine on a Monday, why not). I was already well-hydrated, so figured a little vino couldn’t hurt.

We hung out for a while with some of Dave’s coworkers, hit up the candy store for saltwater taffy and chocolate, and then caught a ride back home in the early afternoon with a friend, instead of the bus. It was a lovely outing, which I almost missed because I was tempted to stay home and work. Once we arrived back to Walnut Creek in the late afternoon, I was back on the computer catching up as best as I could, but was totally fine with calling it a day before it all got finished. Why? Because I needed that little outing with Dave more than I needed to cross things off my to-do list.

Introducing the tasty Naked Juice Pure Coconut Water

Back to the product at hand. My extra energy on Monday came from being hydrated by this new 1 liter Pure Coconut Water, which is not only Organic and Fair Trade Certified, but it’s also full of potassium and electrolytes and tastes great. I would know, because I’m somewhat of a connoisseur when it comes to coconut water and have tried nearly every product out there. So you can believe me when I say that this Naked Juice coconut water has just the right flavor and is very smooth.

Naked Juice on the beach via A Lady Goes WestOrganic coconut water, no sugar added and just 40 calories per eight-ounce serving.

And why does it matter that it’s Fair Trade Certified? That means that the Naked Juice company provides a fair premium to the coconut farmers they buy from, so that those farmers can reinvest in their local communities and in their harvests. These farmers then have better living wages for themselves and their families, which is very important and another reason to want to buy a product. For more information on what it means to be Fair Trade, visit Fair Trade USA. This isn’t always something I look for, but I like to be empowered with the information and may research it more.

That’ll do it for today, my friends! This morning, I’m coaching a couple of classes at Orangetheory Fitness, doing some work, taking the little Rudster to the vet for some more puppy shots and cramming for my debut of teaching BODYPUMP 94 tonight. I’m also teaching a freestyle core class after that, which may look similar to this core routine. Quite the day! I hope your day is awesome, and I’ll see you back here for tomorrow’s “Friday Favorites.” And if you play your cards right, there just may be a giveaway involved.

**Disclaimer: As an ambassador for Naked Juice, I was compensated to write this post and given product to try. However, all of the thoughts and opinions are totally my own. Thanks for supporting the lovely folks at Naked Juice.

Questions of the day

Do you ever look at the labels of what you buy to find out how/where it’s made?

How do you stay hydrated?

When’s the last time you got outside to play?

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  1. I do not care for coconut water, so I’m going to gloss over that, but I have to say that I’m so jealous of your beach day! I probably would have slept the entire time, as that is what I’ve been doing on and off since we got back! I think today is the first day that I’ve felt someone rested, lol. Glad you had fun!

    1. Hi Susie! I know! Man BlogFest and IDEA took it out of me too! But you can’t miss out on some fun sunshine and free food, right? πŸ™‚ Maybe by the weekend we’ll be feeling normal!

  2. I’m so jealous of your beach day! That was supposed to be part of my week last week. Turns out it was a good thing I stayed home. I have a tibia fracture and can’t walk 2-3 months. No wonder it hurt so bad.

  3. Looks like such a fun day! I am in love with your outfit as can rock those lace shorts! I’ve been a huge fan of coconut water for years now, and I love the one by Trader Joes. I might have to give Naked a try πŸ™‚ I hope you get some time to relax soon, busy lady!

    1. Hi Gretchen! Thanks for that! My lace shorts are from Nordstrom Rack, which is one of my favorite places to shop! And yes, get some coconut water!!:) Happy Thursday!

  4. What a fun day – I am so glad you went. I’ve only tried coconut water once and didn’t care for it at all. I drink lots of water. I don’t try and count my ounces so much, but I think I drink around 96oz a day. I have a 32oz water bottle I fill up about 3x a day. I love water. And, the water in Colorado is the best! I look at labels quite often. Not on everything I buy, but most of it. We actually have been sitting outside a lot here lately. We’ve been playing ladder ball and I’ve been pushing the kids on the swings a lot. Ahhhh, vacation πŸ™‚ Good luck teaching 94 tonight! I know you’ll rock it. Do you ever get a little nervous teaching a new release for the first time?? It seems I still will make little mistakes here and there in a new release when I teach it for the very first time. My goal is to someday get a new release perfect the first time I teach it!

    1. Hi Melissa! I think people either love or hate coconut water, and I LOVE it. As far as being outside, enjoy that all you can! And San Francisco has amazing drinking water, but out here in the East Bay (just outside the city of course) the water isn’t quite as good, so now I get it from the fridge filter. With new releases, I always get a bit of nerves before the big debut! Hopefully it will go fine! Have a lovely day, my friend! πŸ™‚

  5. I have tried to love coconut water but I’m not a fan. I will try this new one though, but maybe add a little something in it for sweetness (a sprinkle of Truvia can’t hurt can it?). I do enjoy Silk coconut milk in my coffee every morning though!

    As for your QOTD, I always check the labels. In recent years I have definitely taken more notice in what we’re putting in our bodies (especially with my kids). If I can’t pronounce it, and the list is a paragraph long, it isn’t going into my cart.

    1. Hi Karen, That’s a great way to be. If you can’t pronounce it (other than quinoa of course hahah), then stay away! You’re a smart Momma! And coconut water is something people love or hate, but maybe you’d like this one? Nice work on the Coconut Milk in your coffee, that’s something I haven’t tried. Happy Thursday to you!! πŸ™‚

  6. Ah…your posts always make me want to pack up and move to California. I’ve been a few times and love it so much. I’m on the East Coast, though, so I’ll visit as much as I can!

    I took Monday off from work after a busy weekend and went to the beach for a couple of hours mid-day. It was just what I needed. Glad you got to spend some time outside, too.

    I read labels all the time, on pretty much everything I buy. Unless it’s a treat, then I know the ingredients won’t be pretty so I try not to look! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Traci! How cool you were able to take a day off to hit up the beach too. And California is GORGEOUS, but I love my Southwest Florida beaches too. As far as reading labels – NO need to look at the labels on sweets hehehe, right? So true! Happy Thursday to you, lady!!

  7. This looks like it was such a fun trip! Glad you were able to take some time away to refresh. My to-do list seems like it’s getting longer by the minute, too, especially after everything we learned at BlogFest (hello, noindex-ing old posts!). It’s so hard to step away when we know that we have a lot of things to do, but it can be so helpful, especially if you’re spending time with the people who matter most to you. Have a great Thursday, Ashley! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Beth! I know! I haven’t started to tackle some of the blog learnings yet, but will get to that soon. And after being gone for several days, it sure was nice to turn-off for a bit on Monday at the beach. Hope all is well in your world!! I loved taking yoga next to you, by the way!

  8. I’m all about water with lemon in the summer. And seltzer – I love the fizz and it keeps me away from the Diet sodas! I wish I could take an impromptu day off during the week when the beach crowds are way less! I try to get out and relax on the beach once a weekend even if just a few hours. But I will have a full week of fun in the sun in August so I can’t wait for that!

    1. Hi Jamie! For sure — where are you heading in August?? And I like fizzy water too but don’t drink it very often. I should get on that! Happy Thursday to you, lady! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

  9. My issue with coconut water and especially this one is the high sugar content. That makes it un healthy. I eliminate all sugars from my food even fruit I gave up to avoid sugar as well as carbs. Sugar has devastating evil effects on our bodies. So at 8 grams this I would never use. I am lucky enough to live in Santa Cruz on the beach so every day is a play day of surf, fun and Sun, so glad you got out of the urban jungle to visit!!!!.

    1. Hi Alexia, I love visiting Santa Cruz and would like to go back again soon to spend more time, so it’s nice that you live there and have that in your backyard. As far as sugar content, we all have our own preferences of course. I don’t find 8 grams of sugar very high at all compared to many beverages, so it’s totally fine with me. Nor do I eliminate anything at all from my diet, so no need to stay away from it. We all have to choose what is right for us, which is the great thing about having a lot of options for food out there — but I love my carbs and my fruit ehheeh! πŸ™‚ Hope you’re having a great day, lady!

  10. I remember going to the boardwalk for school field trips, it was always such a blast! I know Costco always has coconut waters, and reused to get some. However I really believe that coconut water should probably be eaten raw/unpasteurized, so I love the ones the sell at whole foods- however it they can get pretty pricey!

    1. Hi Niki! I’ve had a few raw coconut waters, but none that I loved. However I do love this one. And yes, coconut water can be quite pricey — especially at Whole Paycheck heheh! Yay for school field trips. Those were the days ….

  11. I LOVE Santa Cruz!! It’s such a beautiful and fun place. So glad you guys were able to take a little day trip there. I’m not a huge coconut water fan, but I probably should give it another chance since I’ve only tried it once or twice.

    1. Hi Ashley! That’s the thing, people love coconut water or hate it. You never know if your tastebuds have changed since your last try though. Happy Thursday, lady! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Liz! Happy Thursday to you! I want to go back to the beach today! As far as coconut water, I agree that people love or hate it. But this one has a great flavor, so it’s worth a shot if you plan to try again hahaha! πŸ™‚

  12. Santa Cruz looks so nice! You lucked out with good weather too. I need to make my way down there eventually.

    And that coconut water sounds delicious! That’s awesome that it’s fair trade too. When certain foods become trendy it can really hurt the countries that they’re sourced from if it’s not done ethically so it’s nice to see a brand that actually cares!

    1. Hi Sarah! So true! I have started to understand the Fair Trade thing more and more and it’s something I will start to notice on labels! πŸ™‚ How’s life? When can I get you in a class? What are your free days??

  13. Now I feel like I must immediately move to the beach – I love it!!
    I’m very excited to sleep in a bit this weekend and catch up from the awesomeness that was IDEAWorld and BlogFest!

  14. Sounds like a really fun, and well deserved day! I’m glad you took advantage of it!
    I actually had some coconut water today after playing on the beach here in Savannah. Good luck on the launch tonight’s! Make it Bounce;)

    1. So jealous of your time in Savannah, Heather!! I want to visit there again soon, and have some coconut water there too! Have fun!!! πŸ™‚ You deserve a break after your weekend of pumping!

    1. Hi Sue! I know, people either love or hate coconut water. And I haven’t tried maple water yet, but would love to! Go get yours out of the fridge! πŸ™‚

  15. Santa Cruz! OMG the last time I was there… When I was 17 and it was RAINY and depressing every single day!!!! I had to get out of there QUICK. I am sad I didn’t get to spend time there in the sun because it looks like FUN πŸ™‚

    1. Hi GiGi! That’s so sad you have a bad memory of Santa Cruz. I’ve been twice and it’s been beautiful both times. πŸ™‚ Yay for sunny days heheh! Hope all is well in your world!

    1. Hi Giselle! Awesome! You should hit up the Boardwalk for some family fun. We’re going down to Monterey in two weekends for a wedding. It’s gorgeous there!! Happy Thursday, lady! πŸ™‚

  16. I LOVE Naked Coconut water! I’m not surprised you are a connoisseur of coconut water with all the workouts you do! That’s pretty meaningful knowing you stand by it!

    1. Hi Bethann! For sure, I do love the coconut water. It’s certainly a lot healthier than chugging bottles of Gatorade all day! πŸ™‚ Hope you had a nice weekend!

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