Chicago’s Best NEW Workouts

Chicago Magazine unveiled the best new workouts in the city.  Guess what?  Healthy in Chicago agrees!

Here are the workouts that made the cut.

GoCycle-amazing cycle studio in Old Town. Check out their new Go Pump class which combines spinning with strength training.  Or Emmy’s spin and abs or spin and yoga combo class!  Your first class is FREE sign up now!

Barre Bee Fit- Read Healthy in Chicago’s review on the studio HEREFREE classes every Saturday in February at lululemon athletica Rush.

iFit Fitness-River North’s newest gym and boy did this neighborhood need a gym!

Tactix-for those who enjoy martial arts!

Crossfit-A Healthy in Chicago favorite.  Read more HERE and get one month free!

Now’s the time to try them out-what do you have to lose?

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3 Tips for Getting Back on (the Healthy) Track

 Have the gray, cold, dreary days taken your healthy New Year intentions captive? Don’t worry; all is not lost!  Usually, when we make a commitment to turn over a new leaf, the first few days – or weeks – can seem effortless.  We are caught up in the excitement and have fun changing up the foods we eat and adding new variety our fitness routine. 

 But then IT happens. 

Something catches us off guard:  a fight with a loved one, an extraordinarily busy work schedule, or a cold that just won’t seem to go away.  Whatever it is, once your new routine is disrupted, it is common to seek solace in your past habits.  We begin to crave the foods that comfort us and zoning out in front of the TV becomes much more appealing than working up a sweat.  You tell yourself you’ll just take a day off, but days quickly turn into months, and you find yourself making the same resolutions every year! 

 Does this sound familiar?

 The truth is, life has a way of always getting in the way.  Try as you might, everyone get sick, stressed out, and has disagreements.  The key lies in being prepared for the bumps in the road.

1. Make a list of activities that comfort you – and don’t involve food: Some of my all time favorites: catching a yoga class, taking a warm bath, and meeting a friend for tea.  These all help me to reconnect to myself, my intentions, and put things into perspective.  

2. Schedule in healthy activities into your calendar:  It’s easy to get lost in our busy schedules.  Don’t just wait to see how the week unfolds to figure out when you will get in activity or stock up at the grocery store.  At the beginning of the week, plan when you will exercise, grocery shop, and if you want extra bonus points – plan your meals for the week.  This will help keep you organized and prevent last minute take out. 

3.  Get Support!  Whether you turn to a good friend, fitness trainer, or health coach, it is important to make your goals heard and establish accountability.  This helps to keep you focused on your goals, and is an excellent resource to turn to if you fall off track.  It is important to stay in touch or have occasional sessions even when everything is going.  This will help to increase momentum, build trust, prevent relapses, and most importantly – get you back on track if you happen to slip. 

Amanda Skrip provides culinary and wellness services to inspire healthy living.  She specializes in food-based cleanses, weight-loss, and eating for energy.  In addition to working with private clients, she teaches natural foods cooking classes around the city.  Visit her website to and be sure to check out the blog, event schedule, and sign-up for the newsletter – www.amandaskrip.com

Celebrate National Preschool Fitness Day January 28

January 28th is National Preschool Fitness Day, a day to acknowledge the importance of developing

healthy lifestyle habits in preschool age children. With the growing concern over childhood obesity, diabetes and an early predisposition to heart disease, it is imperative that healthy habits of regular exercise and sound eating are taught to our youngest population. Two-thirds of adults and nearly one in three children are overweight or obese.

This has a direct impact on our work force, health care costs and overall quality and length of life.

National Preschool Fitness Day is a perfect time for the community, child care centers, preschools, businesses and parents to come together to encourage daily physical activity for all children during the preschool years.  Numerous studies point out that preventing disease and implanting healthy habits works best when aimed at children age 5 and younger.

To help celebrate the day, Aerobic Fitness Consultants offers a number of free preschool fitness activities and ideas. Go to http://www.kid-fit.com/preschool_fitness_toolkit.htm

to download your FREE National Preschool FitnessDay Tool Kit. A few of the items included are:

 

 

 

  • Fitness Activities
  •  Simple Healthy Recipes
  • Easy to make physical education equipment
  • Educational Handouts & Coloring Sheets
  • Classroom Projects

This event is sponsored by KID-FIT, a division of Aerobic Fitness Consultants, Inc. KID-FIT is a world renown physical education program designed to combat the childhood fitness crisis by teaching children ages 2-5 that it’s fun to exercise, eat right and take care of their bodies. Contact Aerobic Fitness Consultants toll free at (888) KIDFITT or via email at corporate@kid-fit.com.

CrossFit Chicago Women’s Classes-1 FREE Month!

Are you a person that likes to leave everything on the floor at the gym?  No, not literally, but physically…You push yourself to your max and had one of those workouts were your muscles shake, but you feel so accomplished and proud.

CrossFit Chicago can make this all happen and more!  And they now have Women’s Classes that are held every Monday-Thursday.   These classes are lower impact using mainly body-weight movements focusing on agility and cardio.  Think toned, tight, well conditioned body-but not beefed up.

Need another reason to CrossFit?  CrossFit provides a sense of community, and the support you receive from those around you is second to none.  From those just starting a workout regimen to ex-college athletes, you challenge yourself, and yourself only with the help of trained coaches. 

So why wouldn’t you want to give it a try, especially if it is free for a month?  CrossFit Chicago is generously offering Healthy in Chicago readers 1 MONTH free of CrossFit classes.  Start the new year off right and do one thing a day that scares you-challenge yourself and look good while doing it!

Email info@crossfitchicago.com to sign up today!

 Read more about the CrossFit workout here

Make Your Own Mix and Match Energy Bars

Get instant pep from these easy healthier homemade bars–for only $.19 per serving.

Make your own wholesome, on-the-go snack! Start with this recipe and mix and match to suit your taste using a combination of healthy ingredients in the chart below.

 Work Time: 10 Minutes / Total Time: 55 Minutes + Cooling Time / Servings: 18

 2 c cereal, coarsely chopped
3/4 c roasted unsalted nuts, coarsely chopped
3/4 c dried fruit, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1/2 c second nut or fruit or an extra (see chart below for quantities), optional
1/3 c sugar, honey, or brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 lg egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract, optional

 1. Heat oven to 300°F. Line 9″ x 9″ baking pan with foil. Oil and flour the foil. (An 8″ x 8″ pan can be used. Just bake 5 to 10 additional minutes.)

 2. Mix cereal, nuts, fruit, flour, and an extra, if using, in large bowl.

 3. Combine sugar and salt in small bowl. Whisk in egg whites and extract, if using. Pour mixture into dry ingredients and stir to combine.

 4. Pat into the prepared pan with moist hands or plastic wrap.

 5. Bake until bars are dry to the touch, 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on ingredients used. Cool completely.

 Need a little inspiration? Try these tempting combos for a healthy treat.

 Strawberry Fields: Granola, cashews, strawberries, poppy seeds

 Mango Tango: Wheat flakes, pistachios, mangoes, wheat germ

 Perfect Pear: Puffed rice, pistachios, pears, chocolate chips

 Big on Fig: Rice flakes, hazelnuts, figs, apricots

 Peachy Keen: Wheat flakes, almonds, peaches, raisins

 Classic: Granola, peanuts, raisins, chocolate chips

Prevention Magazine, December 2010

Shed Holiday Excess with a Food-Based Cleanse

The New Year is here: are you feeling as healthy and vibrant as you can be?  If your holiday celebrations have left you vowing to turn over a new leaf once and for all, a food-based cleanse may be the perfect solution.

 Weight loss, increased energy, improved sleep, and reduced cravings are all results of detoxing.  If you thought that starvation, strange liquid concoctions, and bulking up on a bevy of pills and supplements were all requirements for cleansing, forget everything you have heard!  Cleansing with food is safe, and perhaps more effective, than drastic, harsh techniques. 

 Ready to get clean?  Bulk up on leafy greens, fresh fruits and vegetables, clean water, and high-quality protein sources.  Focus on eliminating common food irritants such as: processed foods, wheat, dairy, soy, caffeine, and sugar.  Read on for more tricks-of-the trade to set you up for cleansing success. 

 1- Scheduling Smarts: Planning a detox is like planning a vacation; you need to look at your calendar and see when you can take ‘time off’ from food and alcohol indulgences. Chances are you will never have a few weeks free of social commitments and mealtime obligations but be strategic and choose when temptation will be at a minimum. 

 2- Pre-Detoxing:   Sugar and caffeine are the two culprits that cause the most withdrawal symptoms.  If you are particularly sugar or caffeine dependent, try to wean off the stimulants fully before starting to cleanse.  A sugar and caffeine-free diet help to keep cravings in check, energy levels up, and will make the removal of other ‘favorite’ foods much easier and less tempting. 

 3- Kitchen Cleanout: To make your cleansing plan easier to stick to, give your refrigerator and pantry a makeover.  Get rid of the foods that tempt you.  Do you like to mindlessly munch on candy after dinner?  If it’s not in the house, your habit becomes much easier to break.  Once cleaned out, take a trip to the market and stock up on leafy greens, citrus, berries, and cleanse friendly snacks so you can stay on track. 

 4- Exit Strategy:  How you end your cleanse is just as important as how you begin.  Give yourself a few days or a week to gradually re-introduce the foods you have omitted. You have just diligently worked to clean out your body, so it would be foolish to start throwing all sorts of toxins back in.  People sometimes find that they have previously unnoticed sensitivities to wheat or dairy, and they feel so much better by continuing to leave them out of their diets.  Others are shocked that their once overwhelming cravings for coffee, sweets, cheese, and/or bread have vanished. 

 Amanda Skrip (www.amandaskrip.com) provides culinary and wellness services to inspire healthy living.  She specializes in food-based cleanses, weight-loss, and eating for energy.  Amanda teaches cooking classes and wellness workshops around the city including Detox 101 and a Natural Foods Boot Camp.  You can check her schedule here (http://www.amandaskrip.com/?page_id=138)

Work Out for Free!

Thanks to the Chicago Park District, you can start your 2011 off right.  Work out for FREE January 2nd-9th at all Chicago Park District Fitness Centers.

The Chicago Park District has over 70 fitness center located across the city that feature state-of-the art equipment and a variety of fitness classes!  To find a location in your neighborhood click here.

Watch the video below to learn more!

Do you workout at a Chicago Park District Fitness Center? Share your experience and comment below.