Lincoln Park for Thrifty Types

Although Lincoln Park has that uppercrusty feel, there a hidden diamonds for anyone, including those with empty pockets, to enjoy.  Soooo come and check out some of the LP hood spots for fitness, food, and good times.

Where to tone

Lululemon on Halsted: Join the Lulu staff for a free one hour yoga class every Sunday at 10am at their Sunday Salutations series. Different instructors from various LP studios are featured each month.  All levels are welcome and they share their mats.

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Flirty Girl Fitness: The most recent addition to the Flirty Girl family is still just as pink and flirty. Even if you aren’t the pink purse dog carrying type, Flirty Girl offers not only pole dancing but hardcore strength workouts, Zumba and stretch classes.

i.d. gym: We desperately want to go back and try Fly Yoga with Brent Holten again.  The freeing feeling of being wrapped in a stretchy hammock while you practice your asanas a few feet above the ground can’t be replicated anywhere else.

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Where to taste

Peeled: Take a short jaunt down the sunny streets of LP after your downward facing dogs and try a freshly pressed juice or smoothie.  Try a seasonal smoothie flavor, like Girl and the Fig, while you can. Our recent rave was raw organic truffles! We keep dreaming about the smooth cocoa dusted flavors.

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Dawali Kitchen: is Kate’s go to for fresh creamy hummus (Mon is sadly allergic to the chickpea) and crispy falafels.  Their falafels are one of the best in Chicago area!  Non chickpea offerings include shwarma, spinach and feta pies, and other middle eastern inspired dishes.

All that working out makes us hungry anddd you probably noticed we like sweets (in moderation, of course).

Molly’s Cupcakes: lies in a people watching and shopping strip on Clark street.  Molly’s distinguishes itself with filled cupcakes (how about a Chocolate Lava Cupcake with a dark rich pudding center), aptly named cupcakes (Ron Bennington anyone?) and whimsical swings at the front counter.

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Molly’s Cupcakes Peanut Butter Nutella and Mixed Berry

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Where to explore

With the Lakefront as LP’s backyard, you couldn’t ask for a better location.  A bevy of fitness enthusiasts head to the lakefront path daily for biking, running, skating and relaxed meandering.  Bike rental options abound with a Divvy station right by the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Bike and Roll at North Ave Beach and Lakeshore bikes further north on the path.  For your more animal nature, walk through Lincoln Park Zoo for free and stop by their nature path to the south for a gorgeous Chi skyline view.

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Lincoln Park Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool

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FB Contest Winner and Fancy Gown Wearer!

Congratulations to our Facebook winner, Ela M., for correctly identifying curly kale from our recent Kale blogpost.

Ela wins a pair of tickets ($250 value) to the ultra spectacular 7th Annual Big Shoulders Fund Ball

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Enjoy your night, Ela, and share pics of the beautiful Chicago Illuminating Company!

*National Kale Day is being petitioned for currently and may be October 2nd. Whether a bunch or a bale, ya gotta love kale!  Like ChiOrganicGirls on Facebook for more fun food facts.

FREE YOGA and National Yoga Month: Get it to get Hawt!

September is not only the start of fabulous fall in Chicago but also National Yoga Month.  As the hustle and bustle of school and work picks back up, yoga can bring the chill feel of summer back into your life.  Read about the 10 benefits of Yoga at alignyo.com.

The Yoga Health Foundation is a major player in this push to inspire people to practice yoga and create a more balanced lifestyle.  They also offer one free week at  a variety of participating yoga studios – click here to find one near you.

We signed up to try Bend Yoga Studio, which just moved to a new West Town location, and will be offering a full relaxed report soon!  Many other Chi Town Yoga studios get into the action of celebrating National Yoga Month as well.

For the past two years, we’ve clamored to attend Exhale Spa‘s NamasDay event.  Exhale is a high end combo spa/studio that offers traditional yoga as well as barre and fusion classes.  For NamasDay, Exhale goes all out for guests with mini spa treatments, healthy treats, and cutting edge classes.

NamasDay @ Exhale Spa

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So where can you get your Yoga hook up?

Which category do you fit in?

A) Are you wearing fitness clothes and ready to socialize?

B) Are you wearing PJs and can barely drag yourself towards the TV?

If you’re an A, Try:

1) Corepower Yoga offers a free week to all new students.   You must like it hot as they are heated classes.

2) Zen Yoga Garage, one of our favsies, gives a free week to newbies as well.  Check out our previous blog for more info.

3) Lululemon and Athleta stores are a go to for the once in awhile yogi.  Search for your local store for exact classes and hours.  They give your weekend a boost with Saturday/Sunday classes.

If you’re a B, Try:

…Not drooling on yourself!  Get up and exercise that booty!

Free online yoga in those cute cow pajamas:

1) doyogawithme.com-There is a huge library of classes for beginners to advanced students.  You also have the option to buy a class for repeat views if you like it.

2) Alignyo turns a homebody into an “ohmbody” with featured classes from celebrity teachers.  They surround you with other yogic interests such as interviews, yoga digs, and health tips.

3) Youtube, baby!  Just search for yoga.  Jillian Michael’s butt kicking yoga classes are on there as well as anything from Kudalini to Vinyasa style yoga.  Tickle your fancy for whatever works in those monkey slippers you’re wearing.

Of course, we will keep the yoga party going long after September is over.  Where is your secret place to score some free yoga?  We are a community, after all!

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Vegan BBQ-style

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While we were preparing for Kate’s engagement party, we whipped up something new that surprisingly satisfied both veg and meat eaters alike: Seitan BBQ sliders with cabbage and kale slaw on honey oat rolls.

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Here’s the low down below.

Cabbage Kale Slaw

  • 1/2 red cabbage
  • 1/2 bunch of kale
  • 2 braeburn apples
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup olive oil and apple cider vinegar
  • Honey or agave syrup to taste

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Meatless BBQ Slider

Sauteed seitan and onion until onion is translucent.  Add bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (we chose Sweet Baby Ray’s, a Chi town gem) and stir until hot.
Put on favorite gourmet bun and slap the slaw and add bun on top.
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20130721_002645Congrats on your engagement, Kate!  Always Love You!  From your bestie and future sister-in-law, Mon! ❤

Acro A Go Go

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Sometimes you are feeling adventurous.  Sometimes you are willing to ignore personal boundaries and risk that your butt may fall on some stranger’s head.

This…is one of those times.

We had been talking for months about going to Acroyoga and shied away. Did we know enough yoga? Were we pretzely enough? Finally, we mustered the courage to go to the Trapeze School of New York in Chicago hidden at the Broadway Armory.

Our teacher, Jenny Melnick, and a fellow student guided us through the fine art (or in our case, the fine line) of counterbalancing, using your body weight to support poses and each other.

Mon: As we learned the basic poses, it was a challenge to communicate and listen to my body and my partner.  Some poses were easy and fun while other poses push your limit. I had to learn to trust myself and my partner as we relied on each other in poses such as the High Flying Whale.

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Kat: I was meant to be a base. (Don’t be dirty! A base is the pyramid person that the pose is built on).  Although it was weird at times finding the right balance, as I am short and everyone else was so gazelle like, I embraced being the rock of the formation.  Jenny took more care with us as we were new which made a challenging experience more comfortable.

We both highly recommend the experience. It would be worthwhile to go with a bestie or a man friend you trust as you are often in twister-like compromising positions.

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One Salad to Rule them All (AKA Fiesta Quinoa)

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Did we ever admit sometimes we are terribly lazy? When it came time to prepare for the opening credits of our “Lord of the Rings” Ravinia park movie picnic, Kat, predictably, was poking about. With a nudge and some coaxing, she whipped up the easy peasy quinoa even Gollum would approve of…

Fiesta Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cups Quinoa
  • Vegetarian broth
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 cup of fire roasted salsa
  • 3/4 cup red bell peppers
  • Scallions (green onions), chopped
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp, chopped jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp, chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp grounded cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Lime

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Instructions

Cook quinoa in vegetarian broth as per instruction on quinoa package.  Rinse and drain black beans and corn and mix together with quinoa and bell peppers.  Add the mixture of fire roasted salsa, chopped scallions, cilantro and jalapeño pepper with cumin, salt, black pepper, olive oil and lime juice.

Modified recipe from savvyvegetarian.

Mmmm our precioussss quinoa was a success. We are sure it will make a return for the Return of the King movie next summer at Ravinia. Maybe you will brave the fires of Mordor and join us next time. Enjoy!

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