W Los Angeles, California, USA

WRITTEN BY: Jennifer Nordstrom

West Los Angeles is a wonderful place to live and play. There are so many fun and fabulous areas to explore.

People in West Los Angeles like to appreciate life by being active and enjoying the beautiful coastline and beaches. In addition to the natural elements, the restaurants, museums and shopping will keep any visitor busy. As a mom with four kids, (two of which have T1D), we are always exploring all that Los Angeles has to offer. These are just a few highly recommended spots great for both Type 1 diabetics and non-Type 1’s alike.


Check out the chic Venice Beach scene with a walk down Abbot Kinney Blvd.  Abbot Kinney has become a mecca for shopping and speciality shops as well as fine dining. Try parking at one end of the street and walking several blocks, exploring shops, art galleries and restaurants. You’ll find all kinds of people here from local artists to tourists to high profile celebrities. The shopping ranges from unique boutiques that sell local arts and crafts to high-end fashion, with highlights including Heist, Aviator Nation, Strange Invisible Perfumes, Kendall Conrad and the most exquisite paper store, Urbanic Paper Boutique.

Los Angeles is full of beautiful hikes, and on the Westside there is nothing better than hiking in Malibu Canyon. The nature is unparalleled, with beautiful ocean views, stunning cliffs and peaceful scenery. You can even hike to an abandoned mansion and through a waterfall. With several trails to choose from in a variety of lengths and difficulty levels, a hike at Malibu Canyon is perfect for all ages!


True Food Kitchen is a healthy lifestyle restaurant in Santa Monica Place Mall. It has several options that would work for Type 1 diabetics and many gluten free items, making it a great choice for those with celiac disease as well. They are extremely accommodating about food allergies and special requests. True Food Kitchen is a favorite for our whole family. Some of our favorite dishes are the street tacos, steelhead salmon over kale, quinoa inside out burger and gluten-free pizza.

This restaurant is centrally located at the south end of the famous 3rd street Promenade in Santa Monica. It is surrounded by a high-end shopping mall with large anchor stores, like Nordstrom and Bloomingdales as well small boutiques and a variety of restaurants. The area is also home to many small hotels and the beach, home to the famous Santa Monica Promenade, is only a few blocks away.


Besides being the name of a fabulous gym, Box ’N Burn is a fun, fast-paced fitness routine. This 60 minute workout, appropriate for all fitness levels, teaches you the fundamentals of boxing and footwork while providing a great workout. You can even opt to wear a heart-monitor that evaluates your heart rate and calorie burn throughout. The classes are capped at 15 which makes for a more personalized workout, and there is a mobile app to make reservations. 

The gym has classes for all ages, including several options for young people. Designed & taught by 2008 Olympic games Medalist Tony Jeffries, the Kids Gloves Program is non-contact and non-competitive. It is designed to enhance focus, build confidence, teach discipline and improve fitness all while having lots of fun! Box ‘N Burn has two locations in Santa Monica and Brentwood, and the first class is free!

An insider tip: If you workout at the gym in Brentwood, afterwards enjoy the must deserved BEST coffee in town across the street at Caffe Luxxe.


Côte is a new luxurious experience in nail care. They use their own exclusive line of  nail polishes (in 109 colors)  free of the five major toxins most often associated with nail polish, and are committed to a “toxin-free” salon experience. Côte is an excellent place for private parties as well.

Located in the heart of Brentwood, Côte is close to shopping at the Brentwood Country Mart and within walking distance of local sushi favorite Sugarfish (which has several locations throughout LA). It is also neighbors to one of the best bake shops on the Westside, Susiecakes. Enjoy a relaxing chemical free mani/pedi, and treat yourself to a delicious snack afterwards!


The Getty Center Museum is a world-renowned collection of European and American art, from medieval times to the present. A unique destination, the Getty Center combines the modern design of architect Richard Meier with beautiful gardens, open spaces and spectacular views of Los Angeles. The central garden is an evolving work of art, with tree-lined walkways that lead visitors through extraordinary sights, sounds and scents. The museum is open everyday except Mondays and admission is free. It is advisable to make a parking reservation before you go, or get dropped off by an Uber or taxi.

If you want more Getty art, check out the Getty Villa as well. Perched above the Pacific Ocean in picturesque Pacific palisades, the Getty Villa is a recreation of an ancient Roman country house, offering a taste of life in the first century A.D. The collection and changing exhibitions showcase 7,000 years of ancient art, from the end of the Stone Age to the fall of the Roman Empire and more.


Saint Johns Medical Center is located at 2121 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica CA 90404 (310) 829-5511.

Santa Monica / UCLA Hospital is located at 1250 16th Street, Santa Monica CA 90404 (424) 259-6000.


Walgreens at 1932 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica CA 90403 (310) 829-9264.

APP-100-height-pxDIABETES HELPERS by HelpAround is a smart phone app (download HERE) that connects you with other users who either have diabetes or are a parent of a child with diabetes.  Working with your location on your phone’s GPS, you will be instantly connected to someone in the trusted diabetes community, who can help when you are short on supplies or if you need recommendations, advice or have an emergency.

Jennifer Nordstrom

Jennifer and her husband John, have four children. Their two oldest daughters Riley (21) and Claire (18) were diagnosed with Type 1 in 2011, only one week apart. Ever since their diagnoses, Jennifer has been committed to helping the Type 1 community through support of many charitable organizations, including JDRF. Jennifer currently serves on the Village School Board of Trustees, and is also heavily involved at Harvard-Westlake school in Los Angeles.