Luna, Beyond the Bar

LUNA is all about good food and good nutrition, but let’s face it: You’re not ONLY what you eat. Here we take a closer look at what feeds your strength. Whether you’re an athlete, an artist, a foodie or just plain awesome, we hope you’ll find something here for you.

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Her Story: Sonja Rasula of Unique
Her Story: Sonja Rasula of Unique

Recently named by Los Angeles Magazine one of LA's Top 10 Most Inspiring Women, Sonja Rasula is a curator of culture. A community leader and entrepreneur, Sonja is passionate about helping empower independent business owners, growing and activating community, and cultivating great design and art. She truly believes in "quality over quantity" and the power of creativity.  Sonja is best known for Unique LA, the world's largest made-in-America shopping event that she started in 2008. Last year she started CAMP, a business conference for creatives who hate business conferences - and yes, it takes place at a summer camp. After witnessing the amazing success and positive results of CAMP, Sonja decided to create a permanent place for entrepreneurs and creative thinkers... And so her third venture, The Unique Space, was born! Sonja’s diverse media background before starting Unique LA/CAMP/The Unique Space includes being a online content specialist (AT&T, Reebok, HGTV, Harlequin), being featured on television (ABC, CBS, HGTV, Food Network, MuchMusic), and being a writer and editor for a variety of print publications including Azure, Style Ideas, Canadian Living and The Toronto Star.

What makes UNIQUE…unique?
I think Unique USA is "unique" because we are indeed different from the other shopping pop-ups out there: We are the only ones to focus on made-in-America and bringing awareness to American manufacturing, I believe in showing people the importance of "quality over quantity", and I truly am passionate about diversity and my role in showing examples of diversity at the events and in my work.

What was your first job?
If you can believe it, my first paying job was at the age of 15 as a waitress in a motel diner! I had to do everything from wash the dishes to make the coffee to be a waitress to mop the floors, so it taught me a lot about discipline and hard work. And that I did not want to do that for long! :)

Who was/is your mentor?
Always strong women! My grandmothers were both role models for me, as they both worked outside of the home and then also raised great families. But my true mentors have always been my bosses, who each in their own way helped shape my work ethic, ideas, skills, work/life balance... I've been very lucky to work for and with great women all my life. Specifically some of the women I worked with at Harlequin (one of my first 'real' jobs) like Pam Laycock.

Describe your personal style in 3 words.
Eclectic. Classic. Bold.

What's the best meal you've ever made?
I pride myself on making really delicious spaghetti sauce, filled with grilled vegetables.

What's the best craft you've ever crafted?
Too many to count! I used to be on HGTV as a designer, so i craft a lot...

Favorite LUNA Bar flavor?
Lemon Vanilla!

What's your favorite spot in Los Angeles?
A hiking trail in Elysian Park, that looks out onto the city.

If you could have lunch with any female, past or present, who would it be?
I love the idea of talking with Gloria Steinem.

Looking back, what life/love/career advice would you tell your 16-year-old self?
Be confident in yourself and never look back. Trust your gut. Having braces isn't that bad, you'll survive. :)

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Protein Matters: How Much Do YOu really need each day?
Protein Matters: How Much Do YOu really need each day?

Protein has earned its reputation as a work horse for your body. Understanding how much you need based on each day's activity level will give you a leg up when it comes to replenishing, recovering, and recharging your body each day. Learn more here

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Charlene’s Fitness Journey
Charlene’s Fitness Journey

If you are what you eat, apparently, I am a LUNA Bar. It’s true, not only have I had one for breakfast almost every day for 14 years, but if you Google my name, you may even find a few pictures of LUNA Bars. Years ago, a Google search for my name may have come up with images of not-so-good-for-you foods. My weight gain had been gradual: the “freshman 15” in college, followed with another 15 pounds in law school, more after I got married, topped off with my first pregnancy. At one point, I stepped on the scale and saw the OMG number of 208 lbs. staring back at me. I had treated myself to a day of beauty at the spa before my first son’s Christening, and was mortified when I had to return to the desk and ask the receptionist if they had a larger robe, as the one-size-fits-all robe was lying. That was my “aha moment.” It occurred to me that I had become a spectator. I would watch TV, watch a movie, read a book, go see a sporting event or theatre performance- everything involved watching or reading about other people doing something. Going out to eat had somehow become something to DO. I used to go for bike rides with friends, have a weekly racquetball game, take a dance lesson, all of which, one by one, had just sort of stopped as the years passed. I was watching life go by...while I sat on the sidelines.   

The day after my aha moment launched an all out attack on my unhealthy lifestyle and THIS time, I meant business! I began working out consistently at home with the help of some home workout DVDs and found a great personal trainer. I found weight training, like some people find religion, as it was that life changing to me. Any other times, I had tried to work fitness into my life, I had only tried cardio, and since you can’t outrun the fork, I had made little progress. I went grocery shopping to stock up on some healthier food options and picked up my first LUNA Chocolate Pecan Pie flavor--and it was love at first bite. LUNA has become my go-to breakfast and I always keep one in my handbag so I’m never caught by surprise and ordering a bad choice at a drive thru. I try to eat lean proteins (chicken breast, fish, bison), complex carbs (steal cut oatmeal, brown rice), green veggies (kale, salads, & broccoli), and healthy fats (avocado & salmon).

I try to encourage others by being very open about my experience, and my weight loss led to being featured as a success story in Good Housekeeping Magazine, on the Bodies in Motion infomercial and website, and in a catalog for workout videos. After the Good Housekeeping magazine hit the stands, a few girlfriends messaged me on Facebook asking me how I did it, and I began giving them advice on what worked for me. I began commenting if they’d check in at restaurants, about what they were ordering, or they’d text me and ask me what to order. I pushed them to bust any excuses why they couldn’t work out. As they began losing weight, several of their friends started messaging me as well, and I created the FBJFit Facebook page dedicated to sharing diet and fitness tips, healthy recipes and fitness inspiration. I know my journey has encouraged a lot of people so I try to live up to it by continuing to make the right choices. I think having been on both sides of the spectrum gives me an appreciation for the struggles of one trying to lose weight, and the work and effort put into staying healthy. I think everyone has a vision of where they want to be physically and mentally, but getting there can be a complicated road. Through social media, without any sort of judgment and by using nurturing but firm advice, I try to help others set a strategic plan for achieving their own fitness goals. I feel tremendous joy in coaching others by sharing information and encouragement that I wish I had available to me when I began my own journey. I try to use this persona to be a champion for living out loud. I’ve learned many lessons the hard way, but I’m thrilled that I’m no longer on the sidelines of life!

MY LESSONS LEARNED: 

1. Remind yourself, “You’re no busier than a fit person.” We’re all busy.
2. Make your workouts like “brushing your teeth,” something you just do without question.
3. Always plan: Keep a LUNA in your purse for emergencies, check the menus online before heading out to a restaurant, bring a healthy treat you enjoy when attending a party.
4. As a general rule, unless it’s cauliflower, a Vanilla Almond or White Chocolate LUNA bar, if it’s white, don’t eat it.
5. Think of food as a choice, and not as a reward or a punishment. You don’t “deserve” a decadent dessert, nor are you “depriving” yourself if you don’t have it. 
6. Don’t get comfortable with some success. There’s no finish line or touchdown dance. As I was losing weight, and every time I went down a size, I would only buy one pair of jeans, one pair of tan pants, and one pair of black pants. I wouldn’t spend a lot, and I would tell myself, “Don’t invest in this size, as you’re not going to be staying here for long.” 
7. BLT’s count: bites, licks and tastes add up, and sips too (so try your best not to drink your calories!)
8. Recognize the saboteurs. You’ll need to be able to resist the “just this once,” “just a taste or bite won’t hurt you,” and even the “you’re no fun anymore” from some of the people closest to you.
9. Switch up your routines regularly, and chose something you genuinely enjoy!  I love taking Latin and ballroom dance lessons, running stadium steps with my girlfriend Sunday mornings, going for bike rides with my boys, and taking walks with my 85 year old neighbor (she’s my inspiration, and I can barely keep up with her!)
10. Eat foods in their lowest common denominator: Think orange, not orange juice, and shop the outside aisles of the supermarket; it’s where the least processed foods are.

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Fueling Up and Staying Healthy in College
Fueling Up and Staying Healthy in College

Keeping up with nutrition while also balancing a full schedule, studying for midterms and a busy social agenda isn't the easiest thing to do as a college student. LUNA nutritionist Sarah-Jane Bedwell has some easy-to-follow tips to make sure you ace your personal nutrition this year. Check out the preso and download your 5-day Meal Plan here.

Sarah-Jane Bedwell is a national speaker and media personality, Sarah-Jane has educated and entertained hundreds of different corporate and community groups as well as professional associations. Her mission is to help people achieve a higher quality of life through food and nutrition. As the official "Eat Like Me" food and nutrition blogger for SELF Magazine, a national women's health and fitness magazine, she has a valuable platform in which she can share the information that she is both knowledgeable and passionate about.

Team LUNA Chix

Team LUNA Chix brings together women interested in learning new sports, staying active and inspiring others to do the same. TLC consists of 26 Local Teams, including women at all levels and the Pro Team which includes 10 of the country’s most amazing (and winning) professional athletes. Together the teams train, compete and support each other, while also fundraising for the Breast Cancer Fund

Connecting Women Through Film

LUNAFEST is a traveling film festival of award-winning short films by, for, and about women. Every screening raises funds and awareness for local women’s nonprofits and LUNA’s beneficiary, the Breast Cancer Fund.

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Causes We Support

BREAST CANCER FUND

Only 1 out of 10 women with breast cancer have a genetic history of the disease. Breast Cancer Fund is working to find and eliminate environmental causes of breast cancer.

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HEALTHY CHILD HEALTHY WORLD

Educates parents, supports protective policies, and engages communities to create healthy environments where children and families can flourish.

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