New Luna Bar Flavors Revealed!

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As busy American chicks, we’re always on the go.  On the way to yoga, spinning and the odd trapeze class to mix it up, it’s awesome to have a quick snack to boost your energy on the commute.  We’ve always been a fan of Luna Bar but now we have even more cause to nibble on them. Brace yourself for a group of new alluring Luna Bars.  Choosing may be more difficult than picking the next Bachelor.

Meet the contestants!

Contestant No. 1: Chocolate Salted Caramel (for the lady who lunges)

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“Hi, I’m Chocolate Salted Caramel.  You know, salted caramel flavors are sooo in right now.  You should pick me because I’m chewy, filling, and satisfy your sweet tooth”.

New Chocolate Salted Caramel delivers 12 grams of protein with only 170 calories.  We also love its low glycemic load, meaning it won’t leave your blood stream in a tizzy, or leave you crashing down from a sugary high.

Contestant No. 2: Chocolate Cupcake (for dames who like it dark and mysterious)

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(Photo borrowed from Luna Bar)

“Hello lovelies.  I’m Chocolate Cupcake and I know how to make a lady feel right with dark chocolate chips.  Put that flabby cupcake back and get a lean mean version that surprises and satisfies”.

Chocolate Cupcake, where have you been all our lives?  With 8 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber, we dug Chocolate Cupcake’s surprisingly decadent taste.

Contestant No. 3: Lemon Zest (sometimes you want something lively and bright!)

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“Aren’t you looking fab today!  Bring the sunshine back into your life with a zesty combo of lemon and vanilla”.

Lemon Zest isn’t a new flavor but did you know all Luna Bars, including the luscious lemon, are gluten free now?  Get reacquainted with your citrus side with 9 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber.

 

We got to sample all 3 at Luna Bars recent “Try Something New” Chi Reveal Party at Equinox. There, Kate and her friend met up with several bloggers and sampled a TRX max/yoga class at Equinox.  Sweat was pouring as the instructor blended interval training with the TRX ropes, a sandbag and body weight exercises.  We relaxed in the second half with a dynamic yoga flow.  Needless to say, we snacked on Luna Bars to recharge once we finished!

Which contestant will you pick to recharge your fitness life?  What new fitness activity would you like to try with your new Luna Bar experience?

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Conquer your Core at the 3rd Annual Free FusionFest!

Free Core Fusion Classes on May 19th!

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WHO: Women’s Health & Exhale’s Core Fusion

WHAT: Women’s Health magazine and Exhale Spa are proud to celebrate the 3rd annual FusionFest.  Open to the public, the event will include complimentary evening Core Fusion classes, lite bites, goodie bags, giveaways, DJ’s and more at 18 exhale locations nationwide.

In conjunction with the FusionFest events, Women’s Health is kicking off its 3rd annual “Next Fitness Star” (thenextfitnessstar.com) competition with its July/August issue.  After vetting thousands of submissions, Women’s Health has selected the top five finalists who are competing to star in their own DVD series and become a fitness industry leader.  In select cities, the finalists will be in attendance at FusionFest to participate in the Core Fusion workouts and offer health consultations with attendees.

Exhale leads the barre fitness industry with a full suite of transformational classes including Core Fusion Barre, Core Fusion Barre+Cardio, Core Fusion Boot Camp, Core Fusion Cardio, Core Fusion Extreme, Core Fusion Sport and Core Fusion Yoga.  All classes focus on core strength for the ultimate full body workout. Using weights, balls, bands, and your own body weight as resistance, each class keeps you burning calories long after the class is over. Prepare to sweat, shake and melt the fat away as you lengthen and tone your body, and revive and refocus the mind.

WHEN:  Tuesday, May 19, 2015

WHERE: Exhale Chicago 945 North State St., Chicago, IL 60610

PRICE: FREE!

BONUS: Anyone attending the complimentary FusionFest classes will receive a free month subscription to WH Fit Club, the online fitness center that gives access to the hottest, most coveted workout studios and leading fitness experts across the country—including exclusive workouts from exhale co-founders Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp and exhale’s National Yoga Director Stefanie Eris.

RSVP: To book your complimentary Core Fusion class at FusionFest, visit info.exhalespa.com/fusionfest.

*Above content and pictures are utilized courtesy of Rodale Publishing*

Our Take: Going to exhale spa makes you feel like you’ve been transported to a tropical vacation.  The lighting and decor of the studio space are smooth and inviting.  Before or after class, you can pamper yourself with exhale blended hot teas. Classes are challenging, mats are cushy and nice to the wrists, and teachers are hands on, supporting and pushing you at the same time.  Women’s Health Magazine is a leader in the fitness mag industry and we love their unabashed covering of “taboo” women’s health topics and up to date research on nutrition and workout topics.  We hope we snag a free mag in our swag bags (yup, rhyming is too cool)!  Come join us next Tuesday for a free fabulous workout class and more at Fusionfest!

Underground Cardio Party: One week only!

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Some work days just make you feel like doing a flash dance when you get home to shake off the stress and yet Tuesdays aren’t huge clubbing nights. Next week (May 9th-14th), however, our disco ball dreams can come true.  ((305)) Fitness, New York’s trendiest underground dance fitness party is coming to Chicago. Imagined and created by Brown graduate, Sadie Kurzban, ((305)) Fitness combines the fiesta atmosphere of clubs (dark lighting, live DJs, flashing lights) with high powered dance moves, interval training and sport training elements. Sadie will lead all the classes.

Want to learn more?  Check out these articles: NY ObserverTODAY ShowHarper’s BazaarStyle.comNew York PostFusionThe Washington Post

SO why try ((305)) dance fitness?

  • You forget you’re working out when you hear you jam
  • You can burn 800 calories a class
  • You can wear outlandish fitness clothing and not get stared at
  • Dancing makes you smarter-not only does mixing up your fitness routine challenge your muscles but dancing activates your brain!
Don’t want to go it alone?  Come join us on Tuesday, May 12th at 7 pm (legwarmers and zebra print yoga pants encouraged!) or pick from one of 6 classes offered next week!  Don’t miss a chance to get sweaty and friendly with your fellow Chicagoans.  Classes take place at 211 North Stetson, Chicago.

Chicago, Lettuce Eat Healthy with Just Salad

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Just Salad…the restaurant title explains some of the genius of Chicago’s brand new salad eatery chain, a transport from the NYC.  It also makes us think of “Just Jack” and believe us, these salads will make you wanna do the same Will and Grace character Jazz Hands!

The first Just Salad location, placed conveniently for the downtown business set or tourists/culture lovers is just steps away from Grant Park at 20 E. Jackson.  Vibrant orange and lime green accent walls add energy to Just Salad‘s design and the Chicago location is situated in the historic Gibbons building which adds to the charm of the atmosphere.  Just Salad separates itself from the downtown munch bunch by providing quality healthy food with affordability.

These key points will make other eateries green with envy:

  • Just Salad‘s menu is created by a registered dietitian and nutrition info is readily available.
  • Protein offerings range from grass fed meats, sustainable creatures of the sea (aka seafood), organic tofu, & humanely raised antibiotic free cluckers.
  • Many produce options are GMO-free, organic and even local when possible.  Veggies are baked, raw or steamed and never canned (hey hey no BPA!)
  • Just Salad encourages us to reduce, reuse, recycle and be rewarded!  You can purchase a reusable ultra cute salad bowl and every time you bring it back for a salad refill you score extra toppings or CHEESE.

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So what did the Chiorganicgirls (royal we) think of it?  Well dang, who doesn’t love a good fresh salad.  As you walk in, you enter into a world of your salad imagination.  Like Chipotle x2, there’s a long topping assembly like starting with a bevvy of green choices.  Romaine, kale, mixed greens, spinach, and other lettuces start you off and then your head begins to spin (salad spin, ha) with the possible salad combinations.  The produce was very fresh, colorful and crunchy.  The portion size for the price was superb and the reusable salad bowl held about 2 servings of salad=only about 4-5 bucks for a big serving of salad with primo toppings.

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If you are feeling a little overwhelmed, you can start with a signature salad recipe.  Our favorites were the Thai Chicken Crunch with romaine, red cabbage, celery and crispy wonton pieces, and the (what did you like Monical?).  There’s even a Chicago inspired salad, the Windy City Kicker, with Italian sausage, giardiniera,red onions and celery.  If you wanna get really jazzy, get your Dr. Frankenstein on and create your own crazy salad (butternut squash, falafel, goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, horseradish chive dressing…you monster!).  We also really loved the menu because it’s colored coded to help you avoid allergy or even preference snafus.  You can easily tease out sneaky hiding seafood, gluten, or dairy.  Finally, don’t let the name fool ya.  Wait for it!  SURPRISE, there is more than just salads at Just Salad.  Wraps, juices and smoothies are available too.  We def need to go back after some sweaty warrior II poses at the Millennium Park summer yoga to try the Peanut Butter Chia Warrior with almond milk, chia seeds, PB, agave nectar and banana.  Doesn’t that recipe make you want to do Just Salad Jazz Hands now?

No?  Well how about a Kale Yeah (sorry had to!)

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JUST SALAD is open!

20 East Jackson Blvd

S State St & S Wabash Ave

Hours:

Mon – Fri: 10:30am – 9pm
Sat – Sun: 11am -8 pm

*We were not compensated for our opinions but did get to try some yummy free salad.

Fitness Friday: Travel Fit with Hyatt Chicago and The Barre Code

Music festivals, street food, Summer Dance, Taste of Chicago, baseball games: Chicago is a tourist’s dream.  Even us natives like a good hotel staycation to explore all that this great city has to offer.  But after all those donuts, Chicago dogs and Malort, you may need a good workout!

As travelling and fitness aren’t always synonymous, the Hyatt Regency Chicago is giving your health a helping hand with heart pumping in-room workout videos from the Barre Code.  Started in Chicago, the Barre Code has expanded across the country due to its’ poppy music, female friendly environment and muscle shaping moves.  Instead of Bearing Down (Chicago Bears!), you can barre up with specially created sets of body weight based strength training and intense cardio.  Each video unexpectedly uses common in-room items like towels, chairs and pillows to add functionality.  Guests can pump up the difficulty by borrowing free weights and yoga mats for no extra cost.  The 24 hour availability of workouts insure that business or pleasure doesn’t barre fitness endeavors!

Hyatt Chicago is seated downtown at 151 East Wacker Drive near Mag Mile.  This Sunday, April 26th 11 AM – 2 PM, Hyatt Chicago and The Barre Code are hosting a complimentary fun-filled fitness.

The Barre Code has studios throughout Chicago and is opening a new studio in Oak Park, IL at the beginning of May.  Studios also exist in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas with more to come!

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Get Sauced with Chicago’s Underground Culinary Culture

Two mysterious events this week entice those strong of heart and sound of mind. Darling, will you wander down dark hallways to weave your culinary wants?

Tonight!  The Sauced Night Market makes its way to Emporium Logan Square.  This night market takes place once a month on a Tuesday and hops from hip spot to hip spot (how hop hip).  Meander through aisles of local vittles like Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits while you sip on a apertif (a·pe·ri·tif noun an alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite) from Chicago Distillery. Get sassy (or saucy) to DJ beats and peruse the fine elixirs of Windy City Beard Co (works for your mustaches too ladies and gents!).

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Do you dare to join us!?

Sauced Night Market
Tuesday April 21st

6 pm – 11 pm

Emporium Logan Square

1366 N. Milwaukee Avenue

Free

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Wait, you don’t dare?  You prefer to prep for an impending apocalypse?  Build your emergency fridge ideas with Sauce and Bread Kitchen’s event: The Stew Survivalist Supper.  After all, if your last moments on earth are filled with culinary delights perhaps you can eat away the memories of those zombie attacks. Sauce and Bread Kitchen outlines it best

“Cooks Anne Kostroski (Crumb Chicago, SBK) and Mike Bancroft (Co-op Sauce, SBK) are digging back into this freeze dried genre after a 5 year hiatus with wide mole eyes.  They will wow you with a multi-course menu that without advance warning, one would never know could have come from canned, foraged, dried, or fermented foods.  If you are going to survive the apocalypse the least you can do is rock it in style”.  And rock it, you shall.  Hunker down and bunker up.

The Stew Survivalist Supper
Wednesday April 22nd

7 pm – 10 pm

Sauce and Bread Kitchen

6338 N. Clark Street

Fit, Free and Fun for Spring

Finally!  Events are starting to pick up and Chicago is bringing it’s S game.  Super. Spectacular. Spring.

We are so excited to share some of our secret spring events this week to put that sprang back in your step.

Tuesday April 14th (Lincoln Monument) and Thursday April 15th (Pritzker Pavilion) and every Tues, Thurs in April

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North Face Mountain Athletics

We got our first taste of Mountain Athletics at the kickoff event at the end of March on a clear 50 degree day and man, we didn’t know what to expect.  Our duo of personal trainers explained that each week focuses on a different body area all while integrating the core.  We went through a series of intervals all using our own body weight.  Exercise sets can be modified to fit your level of fitness which makes the workout approachable yet challenging.  We loved the partner exercises so bring a pal and get ready to sweat.

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Tuesday 4/14 (and Tuesday nights each week)

BENDER FLAVOR LAB

Calling all house heads slash yogis!  Bender Flavor Lab serves up a hot serving of unique fitness and jams each Tuesday at the Lab Dance Studio.  Each week holds a different theme and DJ set but always gives you snacks and water in an urban street art styled loft space.

Bonus: Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry’s on Tuesday 4/14!

Wednesday April 15th

Big City Blonde and Goldplaited presents a trivia and pampering event: “Blondes vs. Brunettes”.  Get competitive, red heads and dark locked people can rock the trivia too.  Participants can win glam make up prizes, indulge in styling and make up tutorials from Goldplaited, and obvs flex their hair color knowledge.  We need to study up!  Rsvp here.

Friday April 17th (through Sunday April 19th)

Pure Barre is is partnering with Real Simple for a “Beauty & Balance” Weekend April 17-19.  Stop by any of the participating locations to take a “Pure & Simple” specialty class.  To register for one of these special classes, please visit the local studio page and find the “Real Simple’s ‘Pure & Simple’ Class” on your studio’s schedule and click “Sign Up Now.”  New clients are welcome to try a complimentary class using the promo code “REALSIMPLE” – make sure to select the “Real Simple Class” option and enter this promo code upon checkout.

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Saturday April 18

It is time to Live Out Loud Everyday with Lole Activewear.  In celebration of the new Lole Southport location, they are having a grand opening party and fashion show brunch across the street at the Yoga Loft located at 1350 W Newport.  The store is directly across the street at 3434 N Southport Ave.

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image borrowed from Lole

Lole Spring/Summer Collection Preview Fashion Show
Doors Open:  10am
Show Time:  11am
Mimosa’s and brunch from Kitchfix, a $15 Lole voucher, and a Goodie Bag.  $10 Ticket donation going to CTF Children’s Tumor Foundation.

Giveaway: Getting Fly with the April Flywheel Fitness Challenge!

Are we the only ones who threw on bikinis under our parkas in the 70s Chicago weather Wednesday?  Yes, us Chicagoans are weather obsessed because dang it!  Our favorite very short spring/summer season is finally on the horizon.  With that in mind, we have been picking up the fit pace by trying new workout options in the Chi.  On Monday, we were honored to be invited to Flywheel Old Town for an intro to their Spring Flywheel Challenge.  Starting 4/20, Flywheel will be offering a support system to help you meet whatever your health and fitness goals are.  So if you want to throw off the parka and prance around the Maggie Daley water slides, now is the time to focus on those goals.

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What is the Flywheel Challenge?

Allison, our Flywheel instructor and a challenge coach explained that the challenge can be whatever you want it to be.  Whether you want to lose weight, gain endurance or speed or build muscle, the staff at Flywheel will cater the plan to meet your needs.  The basic skeleton is this:

There are 3 options for the 4 week challenge – The Flywheel Challenge, FlyBarre Challenge and FlyPlus Challenge (both Barre and Flywheel).

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(Below description of Flywheel Challenge is described by the Flywheel promotional team)

Flywheel Challenge
·      4 classes per week / 16 classes total

·      Optional weekly weigh-ins with designated Flywheel Coach

·      Kick-off event with a nutritional seminar and a Flywheel technique workshop that addresses proper bike set-up, positioning, arms and more to ensure that participants understand how to get the most out of their workout

·      The Flywheel Challenge is optimal for those looking to burn calories, increase endurance and improve cardiovascular health

FlyBarre Challenge
·      4 classes per week / 16 classes total

·      Includes optional weekly measurements with designated FlyBarre Coach

·      Kick-off event includes nutritional seminar and a FlyBarre 101 workshop where various portions of a FlyBarre class will be highlighted (at a broken down pace) to ensure participants have a better understanding of movements and technique

·      The FlyBarre Challenge is optimal for those looking to tone and sculpt, improve core strength, and increase muscular stamina

FlyPlus Challenge
·      3 Flywheel classes and 3 FlyBarre classes per week / 24 classes total

·      Includes optional weekly weigh-ins and/or measurements with designated FLY Coach

·      Kick-off event includes nutritional seminar, a Flywheel technique workshop and a FlyBarre 101 workshop

·      The FlyPlus Challenge is optimal for those looking to burn calories, increase endurance AND tone and sculpt

All Challenges include other perks like community discussions with other challengers to get peer motivation, professional nutrition support and meal plans as well as a kick off and closing party.

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Our Experience at Flywheel:

So spinning…is somewhat intimidating for those who have barely done it.  You have these shoes that strap you in and bike pedals that lock and load so it’s best to know what you are doing.  We liked Flywheel’s friendly front desk staff and sleek studio space.  The studio had support gentlemen who helped us get the perfect bike set up while the instructor was preparing to start class. The atmosphere during the class was less competitive and more like a fun dance party.  We definitely needed to towel off the sweat and were challenged by the intensity of the interval portions of class.

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Interested in getting a taste of the challenge?  WIN WIN WIN

One lucky winner will receive a free Flywheel class* to prep for summa summa timeeee.  Just comment on this blog post and tell us what your health and fitness goal are in preparation for the warmer months.

*Winner will need to set up a (free) account and username to access the class.

Sign up here to get on that cycle and ride into the sun, friends!

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Free Real World Training with North Face

Are you ready for a challenge?!  North Face, maker of the crazy lightweight jacket that somehow keeps you warm in the windy city (magic, we say!),  is putting Chicago’s fittest and finest to the test with their new and FREE Mountain Athletics training program.  We are pumped to get pumped for a few reasons:

1) The invite says “rain or shine”.  This is serious business, people.

2) Workouts are held on Tuesdays by the Lincoln Park Monument and Thursdays at the Jay Pritzker Pavillion, both gorgeous locations in case of “shine!!”

And the most essential one-

3) Your body changes when it’s challenged!  Stop doing the same ol’ treadmill tread and take these 6 weeks to learn how to train your body and excel at outdoor running, climbing or skiing.  You can review all the particulars here and follow along online with sport-specific training programs, a Mountain Athletics App, hard core athlete exercise tutorials, and chances to earn badges for making your goals.

Sign up and come join us next Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Lincoln Park.  Don’t be scured, athletes at all levels are welcome!
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Move your Bolly-licious Body with Doonya

It’s Move It March!  Yeah, March is making us mad so we are reclaiming the month in efforts to leap off our comatose couch-bound status.  Sadly, there is snow AGAIN on the ground and, with the irresponsible nature of Chicago Spring, indoor workouts are a must.  As we all need variety (or vari-itay as one could say), we jumped at a recent invite to sample a unique world dance inspired fitness class, Doonya.  Khushboo Rami, our fearless instructor and 1 of 2 Doonya instructors in the whole Chicago area, warmly welcomed us to the River North Gym for our first Doonya experience.

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Some of you probably have an inkling of what Doonya is all about from some alluring TV commercials.  Seriously, we had our debit card in one hand and the remote in the other debating on whether to buy their streaming online classes.  Doonya has actually been around since 2005 when innovator and super fit co-founders, Priya and Kajal, aspired to develop what they were doing in their Indian dance troupe to a replicable dance fitness method.  Khushboo was the 4th trained instructor in D.C. and carried the brand with her when she moved to the Chi.  So, what can you expect when you lace on your Reeboks and get ready for your flash dance moment?

Khushboo explained that Doonya has some major components that are present in every class, no matter where you attend.  There is always a mix of high and low energy cardio and 4 major dance styles are weaved throughout the class: Indian folk, Bhangra, Classical Indian dance/conditioning, and Bollypop (Indian popular dance sometimes mixed with mainstream Western pop/rap).  The signature moves, like the Bollytap, glute lifts and knee lifts, crunchy standing ab moves and the heel flick, you will be able to catch the rhythm after a few songs.  Once you have a few favorite numbers, you can request your best Bolly-shaking tunes on Facebook or directly to your amicable Doonya instructor.

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So how did our first class go?  Well, although we both work out (yoga, running, dance), our bodies were still challenged by Doonya’s high impact cardio sections.  Khushboo broke down basic moves before beginning routines which made it less intimidating for us newbies.  Near the middle, we found our sweaty spot but weren’t too concerned as the infectious dance music keeps you moving.  We really loved the M.I.A. “Bad Girls” remix and were super surprised by the challenging nature of the classical moves at the end.  Your thighs will shake!

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Ready to throw on a kurti and give it a try?  Khushboo teaches on Thursdays at 5:30 pm and drop in classes are only $15.  You can also sign up for a free 3 day pass for River North Gym and try your first Doonya class for nuthin’.  The gym is hiding on the 10th floor of the Merchandise Mart so take the Brown or Purple line if you don’t wanna mess with parking.  We can’t wait to go back to work on our shoulder shimmies.

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Here are a few of our fave Bollywood jams to get you in the bollymood for Doonya.  Do you have a secret Bolly-jam?  Let us know so we can expand our collection!

Dilli Wali Girlfriend

High Heels

1, 2, 3, 4 from Chennai Express