FREE FITNESS: The Bar Method Classes this Weekend and GIVEAWAY!

Happy birthday to you!  Happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Bar Method!!  What kind of birthday is it when you get a present instead of the birthday girls?  A super sweet and sweaty one!

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The Bar Method is celebrating it’s 15th birthday of making ladies long and lean.  Bar Method’s signature moves are low impact yet can strengthen and tone you.  We are huge fans (like the kind of fans that have the big foam finger) of Bar Method and can’t say enough about their results.  Read our past experiences with Bar Method here!!

Oh and your present?  You thought we forgot!

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Take FREE Bar Method classes and tuck for yourself this Saturday 8/20 and Sunday 8/21*.  One lucky reader/new client will win FREE Bar Method cute and motivational sticky socks as well. Enter our Rafflecopter giveaway to win**!  Rafflecopter giveaway

*Only new clients are eligible for a free class.  Not new?  Bring a friend to the Bar!*

**Winner must be able to pick up socks at a Chicagoland Bar Method locations and must be a new client.  Giveaway 8/19 10 pm – 8/20 12 am**.

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Free class offer is valid on August 20th and 21st at any of four Chicago locations.  Call the studio you would like to visit to check the schedule and reserve your spot.
Gold Coast: (312) 573-9150
Loop: (312) 332-9150
Lakeview: (773) 935-2150
Wicker Park: (773) 384-3150

ARYA Healthy Immunity Boosting Drinks

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ~ Hippocrates

When many people think of Indian food, they picture the gold color and fragrant smell of curry. Turmeric is one of the spices that gives curry it’s signature color.  The distinct nature of turmeric boasts a sunny power that is hiding inside: curcumin.  Curcumin is a plant produced compound with a bevvy of health benefits like cancer prevention, inflammation reduction and perhaps even memory boosting.

Turmeric only contains about 5% or less of curcumin in weight so how are you going to access this compound without chewing a bunch of turmeric roots or currying it up on the daily?  Welp, ARYA Curcumin+ Beverages and Daily Antioxidant Gummy Chews contain ARYA’s Curcumin+, providing 27 times the absorption of regular curcumin.  Extracted from non-GMO turmeric, ARYA drinks and gummies are a food based way to get a bigger batch of curcumin into your bod.

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We were offered samples of the ARYA line for review.  So how do they taste?  Is sipping on curcumin better than sipping on syzurp?

ARYA Curcumin+ Beverages

There are four sparkling blends: Energy (Citrus), Radiance (Mixed  Berry), Immunity (Tropical) and Sports (Lemon-Lime).  All 4 have a bubbly texture and are refreshing.

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The Sports blend has the highest sugar content (over 20 grams, jeez).  Our guess is the sugars serve to replenish lost carbs after a hard workout.  Basically, don’t go sipping this drink after that difficult weekend of Netflix binging on the couch.

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Other blends have 5 or less calories and feature stevia and monkfruit as sweeteners.  The color of the blends can be a little startling and nuclear at first, but remember the color of turmeric?  Yup you got it: that bright yellow.  We have mixed feelings about the taste of stevia usually but the monk fruit seems to tamp it down for a more balanced sweetness.

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These four beverages include the equivelent of 4 tablespoons of turmeric in curcumin absorption per can.  The Energy blend was our drink of choice wit ginseng, taurnine and B vitamins.  This could be a healthier sub for your 5 hour energy or Red Bull drinkers, too!

Daily Antioxidant Gummy Chews

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The gummy chews are reminiscent of a gummy vitamin and have a pleasant mango flavor with a happy smile on the front of the gummy.  Gummies pack 1 tablespoon turmeric per serving – a daily dose of curcumin.

We think the gummies would be easier to infuse into a daily routine and the beverages would be more like a sometimes drink when you are looking for a boost.

ARYA Curcumin+ can be found at Walmart, on Amazon and at other retailers near you.

Guest Post: Top Three Yoga Mistakes with Yogi, Dena Dodd Perry

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Yoga is our zen spot and the way we first bonded and became this crazy Batman and Robin style blogging duo.  Yes, we fight crime and do yoga…you didn’t know?  But we definitely have experienced the whole “Am I doing this … Continue reading

Giveaway: Hydrate your Summer with Propel Fitness Water

Summa Summa Summa timeeee…time to sweat!  Have you ever ran in 90 degree heat because you threw caution into the lack of wind?  You definitely need to replace those lost electrolytes to avoid muscle cramps and quick fatigue.

With 9 flavors, Propel Electrolyte Water wants to keep your summer humming with a prize pack!  Take the “What’s Your Flavor?” Quiz to see if you’re more of a bubbly blueberry pomegranate or competitive cranberry lime.

Get thirsty for these prizes:

  • A sweat replacing pack of Propel Electrolyte Water flavors
  • Cool it down with a Propel moisture wicking yoga towel
  • Throw shade with Propel Sunglasses
  • Class up your fitness class with a Lululemon gym bag

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Here’s our fit flavor (no wonder, we are a 2 girl fitness blog!):

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“You’re more of a social butterfly than a hardcore competitor when it comes to fitness.  A fun workout takes priority over the amount you sweat.  You like group workouts like Zumba, kickboxing or barre with lots of upbeat tunes, or a walk in the park to catch up with a friend.  Of course, looking good while working out is always a priority – you never forget to match and accessorize”.

 

Once you’re all quizzed up, comment on our blog on what your flavor is to win this balanced bounty!!  Winner will be picked at random and announced by 8/15.

 

Yacht and Yoga Party with Daybreaker Chicago

Wake up, stretch, coffee, negative news, work, home, repeat…snooooze.  Break up with boring and start the day on a positive vibe!  Imagine stretching with 100 other people in a group sun salutation. Picture sipping fresh iced coffee from some of the hottest spots in your city.  Dream of dancing on a rooftop to energy pulsing beats…all before you trudge to work.  It’s not a dream!

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Daybreaker, a morning movement, organizes unbelievably fun yoga and dance parties before many people even roll out of bed.  With once a month effervescent parties in over 25 major cities, people across the U.S. and abroad can get on cloud 9 before their commute.  Their concept is to unite communities, live in the now with joy, and treat our bodies as the temples they are by refreshing with healthy morning snacks.

So what’s a Daybreaker party really like first hand?  Kate experienced the July Chicago edition of Daybreakers, the Red, White and Blue event, at the gorgeous Morgan on Fulton’s lush urban rooftop.  At first, leaving before the sun woke up seemed like a poor idea as her blankets were calling her back.  Once she got there, however, the spirit of happiness was infectious.  Friends with American flag headbands giggled and put on fake tattoos before flowing as a whole yoga body. Strangers donned headphones and danced in a silent groove to the bouncing beats of the Hood Internet.  Kate left, not only high on life and Dark Matter coffee, but with a bag healthy goodies like Kind Breakfast bars, Skinny Pop Popcorn, Organic Protein Shakes and Mamma Chia drinks.

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This month’s Daybreaker in Chicago will not only lighten your mental load but encourage you to take part in the glory of Chicago summers.  Start your morning legasea on a boat…sans dolphins…but it’ll still be awesome.

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Join Daybreaker revelors on a sunrise sail aboard the Daybreaker Yacht and get nautical with hundreds of fellow Chi-on the go-towners.

DAYBREAKER BOAT PARTY

Wednesday August 17

Spirit of Chicago | 600 E Grand Ave

YOGA 5.30am – 6.30am

DANCE PARTY 6.30am – 8.30am

Free coffee, juice & breakfast treats throughout the event

Live music from ShowYouSuck + DJ Lani Love & surprise performances!

BTW: Events are BYOM (bring your own mat) and bring a tote for all your wholesome loot!  People get creative with their outfits too.  Don’t be afraid to weird out in a boat themed look.  Wear some sailboat shorts, don an octopus costume.  People at Daybreaker encourage you to be yourself and thensome.

Seas the day with Daybreaker and get your Tickets here!  It’s aboat time you had some morning bliss.

 

Chicago in White: Exclusive PopUp Picnic Dining

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Enjoy the beauty of Chicago summer and Chicago’s people at an intimate evening of wine, white dresses and checkered picnic blankets. Chicago in White returns for its 6th annual celebration this Saturday, August 6th.  Be dressed to the nines to be part of the most lively gathering since its launch in 2011.

Chicago in White is inspired by the 1893 “City Beautiful” movement, designed to bring the city together in appreciation of its incredible aesthetic and design.

Every year, Chicago in White finds a location to stage its pop-up picnic style dinner party. They provide the tables, chairs and entertainment. You provide the lovely conversation and classy look.  This year’s secret location (Hint hint: Greater Hyde Park area, home of beautiful Promontory Point and President Obama) will be announced via email to all ticketholders the morning of the event.  Guests then pack their picnic baskets, dawn their all white attire, and head to Chicago in White’s outdoor location to begin an evening of breaking bread with old and new friends.  There will also be two types of ticket options this year.

  • $35 for General Admission
  • $150 for VIP Chloe Wine Collection Experience: be pampered with a delicious meal and wine pairing for two!
  • Both ticket holder types can pre-order Chloe wine from the collection or sample/purchase wine on-site
  • Think you got the look? Compete in the #ChloeInWhiteBestDressedContest 

Extra experiences can heighten your picnic party with Eataly!

At Chicago in White, Eataly will provide samples of their housemade gelato, and guests can also enjoy a complimentary demonstration and tasting of their housemade mozzarella (6-7:30pm).

Menu and pairing details, along with ticket info, are available at 2016chicagoinwhite.eventbrite.com

Don’t be Chi alone! Join Monica and her knight in white for an unforgettable evening this Saturday!

Natural Yoga Mat Cleaner: Mat Mist

Ahh yoga class, the glow of the candles, the collective sound of OHM, the stinky sweaty scent on your mat…wait.  A smelly yoga mat can totally ruin your one shot of the day to unwind.  You want your mat to be so fresh and so clean but without all the chemicals.

Namastay on your mat with Mat Mist. Mat Mist is a new aromatherapeutic, essential oil spray created by Brooklyn, N.Y.­based yogi, Cassie Cosgrove.

Just spray it up, roll it up and your mat is good to go.

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We were offered 4 blends to spray after our Sun Salutations.

  • Lavender Sandalwood Geranium: Calming lavender preps the chill atmosphere and sandalwood adds energy to your inversions. We like to use this as a bedroom spray for easier sleep.
  • Thyme Douglas Fir: Get in touch with nature with the earthy scent of Fir.
  • Lemon Myrtle Peppermint Vetiver: Fresh citrus and cooling mint can warm up a cool practice.
  • Meditation: Breathe deep without the incense and make your home into a studio with this relaxing scent blend.

Mindful Mat Mist Ingredients (image courtesy of Mat Mist):


Mat Mist Musts-

Ecofriendly:

  • No need for wipes or paper towels (note: for a very dirty mat, like beach and park yoga, Mat Mist will not deep clean your mat)
  • Bottles are from recycleable PET

Anti-Germies: Each of the essential oil combinations included in the line are known for their antibiotic, antiseptic, antifungal, and/or antiviral properties.  All oils are therapeutic grade, distilled carefully to retain the plant constituents known for medicinal properties.

Yoga Studio Friendly: Scents dissipate quickly to prevent you from being “that yogi” who perfumes the room.

Community Focused: Mat Mist donates 10% of profits to good causes and charitable sustainability organizations

Multi-purpose: Use it as a room fresher, both in the air or on sheets or furniture.

Cost: Mat Mist products are sold in a 2 ­ounce  ($11) or four ­ounce (MSRP $18) spray bottle.  Mat Mist also offers a subscription opportunity (MSRP $75/2oz or $108/4oz) where you receive new special ­edition mists seasonally throughout the year. Get fresh in your practice at matmist.com.
*We received samples of Mat Mist for review. We were not compensated for our opinions.*

Guest Post: Strength Training to Compliment Running

We are tackling the Wisconsin North Face Endurance Challenge in September and in preparation for this wickedly fun 10K trail run, we’ve partnered with Lauren Fairbanks, Chicago Mountain Athletics trainer.  This week Lauren is helping us become well rounded athletes by challenging runners to add strength training to their regimen. This is also part of the focus of The North Face Mountain Athletics Program. Athletes and amateurs alike can take part in these free bi-weekly workouts in order to improve their speed, strength or endurance in any sport. You may even have a “Lauren siting” there.   Welcome back Lauren!

lfIt’s no secret that serious runners favorite form of exercise is running, but many runners may be missing one key component to their training program.  One of the key components that compliment any running program is strength training.  For a number of different reasons, runners often overlook the importance of adding in strength workouts to their training regimen.  Some are scared to “bulk up” or gain too much muscle mass, while others might just be unfamiliar with how to work with weights.  These days, runners need to do more than pound out miles on the pavement to see improvements in their racing performance.  They need to be strong, athletic and have muscular balance to avoid injury during their training program.   Strength training helps build a solid foundation in the body and increases joint stability, which in turn can lead to fewer injuries.   The benefits of doing a strength training workout at least 2-3 days/week will not only help with injury prevention, but will also help your overall racing performance as well.  Strengthening both big muscle groups (Quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves) as well as the smaller stabilizer muscles throughout your hips (hip flexors, extensors, hip rotator muscles) will create a strong base to withstand the impact that running has on your body.  The best exercises for runners are those that strengthen the legs, hips and core.   Some examples of these would be squats, lunges, deadlifts, planks and step ups to name a few.  Strength training will not only help you feel stronger during your races, but can also help you run longer and more efficiently.  Stronger legs and core equals both more endurance and speed.

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If you’re brand new to strength training you should build your weight capacity up slowly, starting with just body weight exercises and then progressing to loaded movements.  Heavier strength training days can be done after your lighter mileage/intensity days, and body weight exercises can be done on the other days where your running training is more intense.  Smaller hip mobility movements and foam rolling can be done on a regular basis and act more as maintenance since they are less intense.    Below is a basic strength training routine you can do as a beginner with just body weight or add weight if you are more advanced.  Circuit through each tri-set 3x them move on to the next one.

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3 sets of 12 repetitions

Forward lunges

Step-ups

Plank (1 minute)

Hip fire hydrants

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3 sets of 12 repetitions

Single leg squats off a bench

Russian twists (30 seconds)

Lateral lunges

Side planks (30 seconds each)

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So if you’re ready to crank up the intensity in your training, run faster, feel stronger, and spend less time injured then starting a strength training program is a no-brainer.  You will definitely feel the positive effects in no time!

 

Lauren Fairbanks is a Certified Personal Trainer and Holistic Health Coach with a passion for helping people reach their goals.  As a lifelong athlete with an expansive knowledge of nutrition she strives to share her expertise with everyone she meets.  She loves working with people and helping open their eyes and minds to the positive effects of proper nutrition, physical activity and living a balanced life.  Lauren was a Division I Track & Field Athlete at Central Michigan University where she graduated with a B.S. in Dietetics.  Along with her Dietetics degree and personal training certification she also holds specialty certifications in Kettlebells, TRX, and Pre/Post Natal Training.  When she’s not busy working with clients you can catch her running or riding her bike around the city, cooking, checking out Chicago’s newest restaurant, or planning her next travel adventure.

 

Chiorganicgirls Meatless Monday: Grillable Veggie Burgers

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July is National Grilling Month and it’s been a scorcher in Chicago.  With all the BBQs and back yard grilling bonanzas this month, adding some veggie burgers to the mix can happify those who don’t wanna have a cow.  Humans are naturally omnivores, meaning we’re down (and hard wired) for some vegging out.  Plus, eating more veggie based meals can help the environment, reduce cancer risks, minimimize exposure to meat based antibiotics, and improve the quality of life for animals.  But lettuce not forget taste!  There isn’t mushroom for a bad tastin’ veggie burger on the grill.

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Upton’s Naturals, an independently owned Chicago based company, dedicates themselves to providing delicious veggie based meat alternatives for the vegan and vegetarian community in Chicago and abroad.  They just celebrated their 10th birthday and certainly know how to turnip any grilling occasion.

Their veggie burgers are one of the newest additions cropping up on their rotation.  So you may wonder, how does Upton’s Naturals: The Classic Burger stack up?

Battle of the Burger:

Traditional Hamburger vs. Upton’s Classic Veggie Burger

Traditional Single Patty Hamburger

  • Ingredients:
    • Beef (moooo)..maybe some hormones.  We can’t guarantee anything.
  • Nutritional Profile (from the USDA website):
    • Calories Per Serving: 254
    • Total Fat: 10 g
    • Saturated Fat: 3.1 g
    • Trans Fat: .5 g
      Polyunsaturated Fat: .2 g
    • Sodium: 378 mg
    • Carbohydrate: 29g
    • Sugar: 5g
    • Dietary Fiber: 1 g
    • Protein: 13 g
    • Cholesterol: 28 mg

Upton’s Classic Burger

  • Ingredients:
    • Vital wheat gluten, eggplant, water, tofu (water, soybeans, calcium sulfate), sunflower, canola or safflower oil, soy sauce (water, wheat, soybeans, salt), wheat flour, nutritional yeast, evaporated cane juice, onion, sea salt, garlic, natural hickory smoke concentrate, whole wheat flour, oregano, black pepper, paprika, parsley, marjoram and apple cider vinegar.
  • Nutritional Profile:
    • Calories Per Serving: 168
    • Total Fat: 5 g
    • Trans Fat: 0 g
    • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g
    • Sodium: 365 mg
    • Carbohydrate: 9 g
    • Sugar: 1 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 2 g
    • Protein: 22 g
    • Cholesterol: 0 g
Upton’s Taste and Texture: Upton’s Burger tastes a lot like their other seitan blends that we’ve had before.  There is a slight smoke flavor with a peppery finish in the patty.   It’s a hearty veggie burger, not one of those ones that falls apart, and it easily cooks on the grill in a short time.  Can’t beet a quick cooking meat free burger to get those planty vibes!
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So who won?  Is this your garden variety knock out?  Upton’s has less fat, calories, and cholesterol than than a traditional beef burger.  It also has more fiber.  Upton’s is kosher, lactose free and vegan so it digs away at different dietary needs.  Note: Upton’s burger is NOT gluten free so traditonal burger takes the medal for that category.
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Are you ready for your BBQ guests to cheer “Olive Veggie Burgers!”?  
Upton’s Naturals’ Classic Burger is planting itself at natural retailers throughout the Midwest for $3.99 for a 2 burger box. Click HERE for a store locator.  Swinging by the Chi?  Sample the classic burger or many other vegan delights (jackfruit tacos, vegan bacon mac and cheese and more) at Upton’s Breakroom in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood.  Visit www.uptonsnaturals.com and find @UptonsNaturals and @UptonsBreakroom on social media.

Your New Post Workout Snack: LUNA Protein Berry Greek Yogurt Bars

Rise and Shine, beautiful friends!  Working out in the morning can give you energy all day.  And who wouldn’t get out of bed for a new kick a#@ workout, free samples of the new LUNA bar flavor, a beautiful Chicago skyline view at the ROOF at the Wit and more.

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LUNA delivered just that with the launch of their new Berry Greek Yogurt Protein Bar and threw a fitty party that would make you break up with your covers.  LUNA’s new protein bar is a refreshing new flavor for those of you who doth not love chocolate (we know, some people are weird like that!) or people who want a breakfasty bite after an early workout.

Protein Bar Stats:

LUNA Protein is gluten free  and high in protein.  LUNA brand is one of our favorites because of their girl power focus and their promotion of positive initiatives for women here and abroad.

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LUNA Berry Greek Yogurt Bar is:

  • 170 calories
  • Protein filled with 12g soy/whey protein
  • 3 grams of fiber
  • Low sugar
  • Iron and Vitamin D filled (definitely a must to incorporate as we get older to prevent athletic injuries…more self care!)
  • Helps you more easily fit protein into your diet (especially for you veg heads like Monica or weird people who don’t like to cook meat like Kate)
  • Free of trans fat, partially-hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors or synthetic preservatives and non GMO

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And taste?  Kate isn’t a huge fan of protein bars in general and Monica is not crazy about sugar laden bars.  But the light yogurty coating and fruity filled flavor is a great combination.  It hit the spot after the crazy sweaty morning workout with Betina Gozo and Jeana Anderson.

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Nike Fitness Stats:

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Nike Master Trainer Betina Gozo. Photo Credit: Amy Boyle Photography

Chicago based rock star NIKE master trainer, Betina Gozo, and the motivating  Jeana Anderson Cohen from #asweatlife cheered us through a partner based HIIT workout.  Jeana Anderson Cohen’s concept, #SweatWorking, aims to get people in Chicago working out while networking and getting to know each other.  Betina ensured that we did by pushing our partners to their physical limits, making us feel stronger and more connected to each other.  We celebrated our successes with a LUNA Protein Berry Greek Yogurt bar.

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Photo credit: Amy Boyle Photography

Check our Instagram video post for the cool experience.  Also, go to the Nike Training Club schedule for more FREE workout classes with Betina and other Nike masters.  Sign up and bring your LUNA Protein Berry Greek Yogurt Bar.

You can make your own post workout berry bliss any where LUNA bars are sold!