Get Fit at the Y

Plus, Fusion Eats in LV, COVID Vaccines at Bayside, and Fire Safe Your Place Event on May 15

We are lucky to live in an area where we have lots of restaurants, a great university, parks, and more. One of the other great amenities right in our midst is the Mission Valley YMCA at 5505 Friars Road.  Some of you who have been around for a while remember when there was another nearby YMCA branch – The YMCA Mind and Body Annex – previously located on the lower level at Hazard Center near the movie theater.  It has been closed for 7 or 8 years, but I used to go there because it was close, quiet, had less intense equipment, plus yoga, tai chi, and Zumba classes, and a very friendly staff.  One staff member I met there close to 20 years ago was Leonard Jones.  He always had a smile on his face, and a willingness to help the mostly older crowd with the machines.  Leonard went on to the Mission Valley YMCA as a personal fitness trainer and over the years I have observed him with his clients and always thought that he was in the perfect occupation — one of helping people stay healthy.   It was nice to see him again when the YMCA opened up inside and we were able to return to a socially distanced, masked workout routine.  

We thought it would be nice to give Leonard a shout-out, and so we asked him to answer some questions for us.  Here are the questions and his responses.

How long have you been at the YMCA?  I worked for the YMCA since 2002, working at Hazard Center from 2002 through 2007 and then on to Mission Valley YMCA.  I have been with the YMCA for 19 years.

How did you learn to become a personal fitness trainer?  I learned through my many years of sports training, playing football in high school and college, combining my training experience with my school knowledge.  This enabled me to become a personal trainer.

What are some of the biggest changes you have seen in the fitness industry over the years?  The biggest change is the new technology of the equipment and the new style of workout machines.  

How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect you?  The pandemic had a great affect on my job at the YMCA for the many months that the Y was closed.  The hardest part was not being able to train my clients and not being around the Y members.

How long does it take to notice improvement in the training process?  I tell my clients that it takes about 6 weeks to see a major change in your body during training, but you will see small gains in the first 3 weeks.  For instance, feeling healthier and having more energy and strength.

Who are hardest to train – men or women?  I personally think that women are harder to train than men.  This is because women have more personalized goals than men.  Men generally want to get stronger and work on their abs.  My female clients want strength, weight loss, good definition, good balance, strong core, and flexibility.  I have more women clients than men – about a 15 to 3 ratio.

Do you prefer free weights over machines?  I prefer free weights because with free weights you can target the muscles better than you can on a machine.  You can be more creative with free weights and they help you balance out your body parts.  With machines you can use the dominant side of your body to perform an exercise, with free weights you have to work your weaker side just as you do your dominant side.

What role does nutrition play in weight training?  Nutrition plays a big role in weight training for both clients who are trying to lose weight and for those who try to gain muscle.  You could spend 3 hours a day in the gym and not reach your goals if you practice bad nutrition.  You can spend half that time, have a good nutrition plan, and reach your goals. I would say 70 percent is good nutrition and 30 percent is working out.  

What is your personal exercise plan?  I work out 4 days a week.  I have to practice what I preach.

What else makes a good exercise plan?  One key thing is to stick with your workout regime.  Don’t stop and start over and over again.  Keep going to the gym, but make sure you change your routine, so you don’t get bored and stop going.  

Why should people join the YMCA?  I think people should join the YMCA because it is a great place for people of all ages to come and enjoy our fun activities and improve their health.  From weight training, cardio training, group exercise classes, kids place, water aerobics, basketball, pickleball, and more.  The staff is extremely friendly and there are activities for EVERYBODY ages 1 to 100.

Thank you, Leonard, for taking the time to answer our questions.  

Readers, if you don’t already belong to the YMCA, check it out.  Go down there and look around and see all the wonderful things they do, including child care, camp for kids, two pools, and everything else Leonard mentioned.  The Y sometimes offers special promotions on joining.  Their mission is help people realize their fullest potential through development of the spirit, mind and body.  And if you want to train with a “Personal Trainer Extraordinaire” ask for Leonard Jones.  He will help you with all your training needs and do it with a friendly smile on his face.

Call the YMCA Mission Valley at 619-298-3576. Their hours have changed during the pandemic so check with them before you go. They have inside and outside workout areas. Masks required inside.

Today May 13

Saturday May 15

Fusion Eats in Linda Vista

Linda Vista enjoys a reputation of consisting of people from many ethnic backgrounds.  This diversity is reflected in the community’s many ethnic restaurants – Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Mexican, and more.  We found one restaurant that combines several of these into one, and thought we would give it a try.  It is called Fusion Eats, and it is located at 5299 Linda Vista Road, in the Presidio Shopping Center.

This restaurant, according to its website, is “a Chinese/Vietnamese concept Asian fusion with an ode to our love for Korean and Mexican food.”  It has a vegan menu as well as many meat options. Its unique fusion aspect is reflected in the name of such dishes as the Chicken Bulgogi Burrito and the New Wave Orange Chicken.   

There are options to eat in, order delivery, order pickup.  They are adhering to COVID-19 county guidelines.  

Since we don’t eat meat, we ordered the Crispy Avocado Rolls which consist of creamy avocado, black beans, roasted corn, onions and cilantro fried to a crisp and served with house made garlic sauce.  We also ordered from the vegan menu, Vegan Lemongrass “Chicken” Banh-Mi.  This consisted of stir-fried vegan lemongrass “chicken”, topped with pickled veggie, vegan mayo, cucumber and cilantro on a Banh Mi roll.  Unfortunately, our carnivore sidekick is in the middle of finals and could not join us, so you will have to try the many meat dishes yourself.

There were four Avocado Rolls so we each had two. The sandwich was cut in half, so we also split that.  The portions were very adequate for lunch.  The Banh Mi was served with a side of wonton chips.

The Avocado Rolls were very tasty.  The garlic sauce was very, very garlicky, which we both liked a lot.  The roll was packed with filling and seasoned just right.

The Banh Mi sandwich was an excellent substitute for meat.  The plant based “chicken” was shredded and there was a lot of it in the sandwich.  The roll was more a soft roll than the crispy hard roll you sometimes get with a typical Banh Mi, but very tasty.  There were loads of vegetables in it as you can see from the picture.

They have a very extensive menu from shared plates, soups, salads, poke bowls, banh mi and wraps, and entrees.  They have lunch specials as well.  They have a complete vegan menu as well as a non-vegan one.  They are closed on Monday and open Tuesday thru Thursday 11:30 – 8 PM, Friday 11:30 – 8:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 12 to 8 PM.

So, the next time you are hungry for Chinese/Vietnamese/Mexican/Korean food, don’t bother going to four different restaurants—make it simple and just give Fusion Eats a try.

Fusion Eats

5299 Linda Vista Road, San Diego, California 92110



Monday: Closed

Tues - Thurs: 11:30PM - 8PM

Fri: 11:30AM - 8:30PM

Sat & Sun: 12PM - 8PM

Upcoming Community Events

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic: On May 13 (Today) from 9:00am to 3:00pm, Bayside Community Center will sponsor a COVID-19 vaccination clinic. This one day clinic will offer vaccines to 300 people. The primary audience is Linda Vista residents who are the hardest to reach, serve, and vaccinate. The event is being hosted in partnership with Bayside, the County Office of Education, District 7 Councilmember Campillo's Office, the SD Police Department, and the SD Fire Department. If you, or someone you know in the community needs to be vaccinated, please call the Bayside Community Center for further information. See the above flyer from Councilmember Raul Campillo’s office for more information.

Fire Safe Your Place event: On May 15, from 12:00 to 4:00pm, the Coastal Canyon Fire Safe Council  will host a fire safety event in the back parking lot of the Church of Latter Day Saints, located at 4741 Abernathy Road. This drive-through event will provide an opportunity for residents to learn how to create fire defensible space around their homes. See the below announcement for more details regarding this event. See the above flyer for more information.

—2021 San Diego River Days: This two weeks worth of free nature activities culminates with a San Diego River Days Watershed Cleanup on May 15 from 9:00am to 11:00am. Go to the San Diego River Days web site to learn more. Just click here.

San Diego Loyal FC Home Opener: Our local professional soccer team will play its 2021 season home opener on May 29 (7:30pm) at USD’s Torero Stadium. For detailed ticket info, click here.

Fire Prevention Advice from the Coastal Canyon Fire Safe Council


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