The other day I was hanging out in San Diego, waiting for a table for breakfast at The Mission. While my friend went to park her car, I was sitting outside the restaurant, staring into space and fantasizing about how thoroughly awesome it would be to have a green juice or smoothie.
At the very moment the thought popped into my head, I glanced to my right and saw a sign that said “green smoothies” with an arrow pointing up a random flight of stairs. No joke.
For a second I thought I was having a lucid dream. Did I imagine that? I looked away, and looked back again just to be sure it was real. Yep, still there. I figured I had a few minutes until my friend got back from parking, so I decided to go for it.
I bolted up the stairs and I found myself in a bright, sunlit yoga studio. I turned and saw a front desk with a man sitting behind it (turns out it was the owner of the studio, Kirk Hensler), and I immediately asked “are there green smoothies here?!” Yes, he said, laughing at how I busted in there on such a serious kale search. He began to explain what was in the smoothies. “Kale, superfoods…the organic greens were grown here, on the rooftop…” Wait, what!? Say no more, my friend. (I think I imprinted on him in that moment. Twi-hards, you know what I’m talking about).
Having a mild panic attack of awesomeness, I paid for my smoothie and dashed back out so my friend wouldn’t think I deserted her, but not before Kirk had the chance to say “you should come back and take one of our yoga classes.” I knew I’d be returning, if only to make sure this place wasn’t a mirage. So I came back a few days later for a yoga class (which was lovely), only to find they give out free green smoothie shots after every class. “I have to blog about this” was pretty much my only thought the entire time.
I know — you love my stories. But now let’s hear from Kirk about his yoga-kickboxing-green smoothie studio, Hale Holistic.
Why did you create Hale Holistic (and what does Hale mean)?
Kirk: I created Hale to give people a place to improve their lives without making it too complicated or pretentious. It’s easy to start taking yourself too seriously when you’re on the road to wellness, so I try to steer people away from that mentality. I just want people to be happy with whatever they’re doing.
We offer yoga and kickboxing. Some days people want to be all peaceful and one with the universe, and other days they want to punch the universe in the face. I also wanted to incorporate nutrition (since it’s 75% of being healthy) so I threw the organic green smoothies into the equation.
Hale means strong and healthy, free of defect and illness. I’m also a huge fan of alliterations so Hale Holistic made me very excited. It took about 4 days to decide on a name because that’s how long it took me to work through an entire Webster’s Dictionary. Hale is the place to go to be happy and healthy and not to feel like shit if you aren’t there yet.
Tell me about the smoothies.
K: The smoothie is kind of like my personal IV drip. I’ve been drinking green smoothies just about every day for the last 4 or 5 years. They have changed my life. The coolest thing (and for some reason it’s unknown to many people) is that I can stay incredibly lean and healthy with hardly any exercise. I’ve cracked the code and beat the system. Diet is everything. Pizza is everything too. I don’t have to eliminate comfort foods, I simply don’t crave them as much when I’m on the green drink. It’s a strange phenomenon and I guess it’s because it’s so incredibly simple that people don’t believe it. Drink a green smoothie (my green smoothie ;)) every day for the next 2 weeks and I promise you everything I own that you will enjoy EVERY aspect of life more. However, if you don’t actually want to improve your health (because it’s way more fun to complain about) stay away from the smoothie because you will be hooked.
Hale’s smoothie has organic kale, chard, seasonal fruit (banana is a good base) flax seeds, filtered water, and a mix of 17 superfoods including maca, cacao, acai, blue-green algae, inulin, and many more ingredients that will make your multivitamin bore you to death. I don’t sell expensive retail at my studio (none at all). I sell superfood organic green smoothies. Expensive clothes do nothing but hide the problems, I’m looking to face them and eliminate them. Oh yeah, the smoothie tastes good too, and who wants to eat all that salad all day? One stop shop.
I give free shots to students after class and sell bottles and carafes to clients. I built an organic garden on the patio, so most of the greens for the smoothies are grown 10 feet from where they are sold. They are usually harvested within 1 or 2 days of being consumed. Kinda fresh.
What’s happening with Hale Holistic that you’re most excited about?
K: I’m most excited about waking up other studios in the yoga industry that have been spoon-feeding a brand of pseudo-enlightened nonsense. Is that too much? I’m tired of yoga costing a fortune and I’m tired of yoga people thinking they are better than everyone else. It’s old and it won’t last. I have taken all the important and incredibly powerful aspects of yoga and left behind the stuff that turns people away from it. I don’t care if you eat meat (eating it for every meal might freak me out) and I don’t care if you’re not always peaceful…no one is. Let’s be real people and start facing this difficult world together with a little more honesty. Hale is fresh and it attracts people that are interested in being comfortable with who they are. I’m in it for the people, not the money. The people around us are all we have and I want to be surrounded by as many good people as possible.
Thanks, Kirk! The good news for us all is that this is a real place, not something I dreamed up in my holistic health fantasy world. If you’re in San Diego and you like feeling awesome, go there!
Hale Holistic is located at 1250 J Street, San Diego, CA 92101. www.haleholistic.com