Max your fitness training and prevent injury with Nike Master Trainer, Jason Raynor

Have you ever been in a fitness class and felt a twinge in your knee during a lunge? Or how about that back pinch just from your regular morning stretch?  You may feel as fit as a fiddle until one of those strings snaps, reflecting an imbalance in your body.

Full disclosure: both of us discovered the sucky-ness of injury this summer with pinched nerves and bulging discs.  Stress+work/blog computer scrunching+cell phone snapping=a toll on your bod!

Trainer Raynor Time

We were curious and a bit nervous when we got an invite to try a functional movement assessment with Jason Raynor, Master Nike Trainer.  Raynor has a flex worthy list of fitness certifications and experience including a stint as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Washington Redskins.

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Traynor Raynor demoing a walking side squat

We met up with him at one of his current sweat spots, the JW Marriot in downtown Chicago, to get the rehab and rebound experience of functional movement assessments.  Think of it as self-help for your fit life!

Now let’s get to the fitty gritty deets.

Functional Movement Assessment Basics

Functional movement assessments can help you identify those instabilities, not only to prevent injury but to amp your athletic performance.  Even amateur fit fiends like us could benefit by optimizing our every day movements.

Trainer Raynor guided us through the first 3 of the 7 movement patterns of the functional movement system.

  • Deep Squat
  • Hurdle Step
  • In Line Lunge
  • Shoulder Mobility
  • Active Straight Leg Raise
  • Trunk Stability Push Up
  • Rotary Stability
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Trainer Raynor evaluating Monica’s deep squat

But that was just the warm up!  After each movement, he asked follow-up questions, gave feedback, and took detailed notes.  Both of us had different areas of strengths and weaknesses.  Kate had mobility issues with her hurdle step (think slow mo-hurdle) while Monica held tightness in her hip flexors that showed up as knee pain during her split stance lunge.  (Check our short video post on Instagram)

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Trainer Raynor teaching the proper hand and feet placement for a deep squat

Raynor tackled our tensions with personalized stretches and taught us how to move to protect from injury.  Practiced consistently, these corrective exercises will wipe out your inconsistencies and put you in peak form!

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Monica practicing a corrective stretch for her hip flexors

A detailed report is sent to you after your sesh to ensure you can “work it out nowwww” more efficiently and effectively.  Trainor Raynor doesn’t just work on your fitness (although that’s Fergalicious enough).  He targets all areas of health transformation with:

  • Team or group athletic development and coaching
  • Nutrition Consulting
  • Individualized Personal Training

We are huge fit fans of the functional movement assessment and plan on going back to complete the screening.  Ready to be that agile athlete hiding inside you? Contact Trainor Raynor for appointments and rates!  Check out his profile on the following:

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*We received one shared functional movement session in exchange for an honest unbiased review*

LG Fights Childhood Hunger at Chicago Taste of the Nation

LG served up fun, fabulous food and fancy yet functional appliances at the recent Taste of the Nation event at Revel.  Why?  LG is a sponsor of Taste of the Nation to join the fight against childhood hunger!
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Taste of the Nation gathers the best chefs in foodie cities and provides party goers with vicacious vittles, delish desserts and curiously crafted cocktails, like a Boo Punch we sampled from Knife and Tine (just in time for Halloween!).  Although their could have been more veggie options, the bevvy of tastes, sights and smells made this a delectable affair one not to miss.  We loved  sampling savory bites, taking pictures in the LG Selfless Selfie Photo Booth, and donating extra cash for the silent raffle.
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LG’s sponsor area featured their gorgeous goods like their new Black Stainless Steel appliances.  We got a hands on (and smudge free) tour!  We loved the fridge with a “door within a door” function for all our kefir and kombucha bottles that take up too much side door space.  If you want a drink, you can open the clear mini door and keep the fridge closed!  Oh and it’s water dispenser is big enough to fill our yoga water bottles.
LG’s series also features an easy clean oven and clothes steamer that can make dry cleaning go extinct like dinos.  Find them all at Sears!  These beauties weren’t the only stars of the LG show.
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Chef Jason Vincent, former acclaimed Nightwood chef, displayed his plucky personality and cooking prowess.  Owner of his first in demand restaurant, Giant, AND father of one, Vincent  whipped up a family friendly meal to demo how to make eating healthy, tasty and cheap.
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He even made Monica some veggie quesadillas so she could savor the whole experience.
Try it yourself with his recipes below!

Black Bean, Corn, and Avocado Salad

Serves four people for $8 a serving

  • 1 can of black beans (or dried=cheaper)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 4 small, ripe tomatoes (cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 lime

Chicken & Zucchini Quesadillas

  •  1 pack white corn tortillas
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2 oz queso fresco
  • 2 oz queso chihuahua
  • 1 large, juicy tomato
  • garlic salt
  • onion powder
  • whole milk sour cream

Can’t wait for the next Taste of a Nation?  You can help No Kid Hungry in November by hosting your own friendsgiving and donating!  10 bucks gets 100 meals for kids :).

We have to thank LG from the bottom of our hearts and stomachs for hosting us AND sponsoring such an awesome event and cause!  Check out their new appliances to simplify and classy up your life.

 

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Chicago Beast + Balance Yoga and Brunch

Wanna feel the flow this weekend and get your balance back?  Whether you’re  beauty or a beast when you workout, you’ll love Beast + Balance‘s pop up combo strength training and yoga classes.  Top off your kick a@^ experience with a smattering of sexy services at the post flow market or bop on to brunch at Siena Tavern.  Wanna sleep in tomorrow?  Try the afternoon flow after you bite.

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Come get sweaty and wild with us tomorrow for “fitness, feasts and facials” with Beast + Balance!

When: October 15th 2016, 10-12 p.m. or 1-3 p.m.

Where: 444 N Wabash Ave, Chicago

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What: Get it that yoga practice crackin’ with a cool community.  Mingle it up at the market with these bangin’ local brands:

RXBAR
Mud Facial
Blowout Junkie
Harvest Juicery
Dr. Brew Kombucha
Graze Kitchenette
Vital Proteins
Green Sheep Water
Paleo Cookie
BowTruss Coffee
Brunch up your Saturday in style at Siena Tavern with a 3 course meal (shared app, entree and *happy* dessert — oh and 2 rounds of drinks) before or after you hustle hard.

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Help Feed a Kid with LG and Taste of the Nation And WIN! Leave No Kid Hungry Selfless Selfies.

LG Electronics is sizzling Wednesday October 5th with famous Chicago chefs and mixologists for Chicago’s Taste of the Nation benefitting No Kid Hungry.  This annual fundraiser sizzles with the city’s top chefs, mixologists and tastemakers.

No Kid Hungry.

Chicago’s Taste of the Nation® for No Kid Hungry 2016 will be held on October 5, 2016 at Revel Fulton Market

VIP Admisison: $200 | 6:00pm

General Admission: $125 | 7:00pm 

Life's Good with LG.

LG Electronics turns up the heat by partnering with Jason Vincent, chef and partner of the trending Logan Square restaurant, Giant.  Jason will create and serve up a special dish while you fawn over the function and look of LG’s new Black Stainless Steel Series of refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers and microwaves.

A premier national partner of No Kid Hungry, LG is the official home appliance partner of the Taste of the Nation culinary fundraising series.

In 2016, through its partnership with No Kid Hungry, LG already has provided more than 1.5 million meals for children facing hunger.

Can’t attend but wanna help?

Join LG’s “Share a Selfie. Feed a Kid.” Campaign and enter to win one of two $500 Sears Gift Cards**!

Light Up the Night: 4id Runner Safety Lights

What comes to mind with the fall season?  Crisp air, pumpkin spice drinks, apple cider donuts, and losing the light.  It’s getting darker earlier and, although this is perfect running weather, we gotta figure out how to stay safe in our bustling city.

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Looking like a ghost while you exercise outside is a bad idea (unless it’s Halloween!). Lighting up (in a positive way) is easier than you think, way more easy than returning from the dead!  One of the simplest things you can do when biking, running or trekking outside is use wearable lights.

We tested two different products from 4id that can keep you lit and visible.  4id specializes in safety wearables for athletes.  They geared us up good with 2 of their most popular products:

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Power Spurz

  • Snugly wraps around the back of your shoe.
  • They are flexible and don’t put much pressure on your foot which we appreciated.

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Power Armz

  • Shows off your huge biceps (or small ones)
  • Wraps around your upper arm with a velcro strap attached to the lighted component.

All 4id products are:

  • Weather proof, flexible and durable (Rain can’t stop your shine!)
  • Easy to attach (no assembly required) and be attached to
  • Available in 5 neon LED light colors
  • Switchable to 2 settings, pulse (or blinky as we say) and static light
  • Lighting your way with over 70-100 hours on their included batteries

4id also lights up your lifffeeee with bike lights, skater boy (or girl) leg lights or even lace lights because you need to keep them shoes tied, right?

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Buy all of your lights (all of the lights) Kayne style at 4id‘s site for $19.99 each or 40.00 for a pair of Power Spurz or Power Armz.

*We were provided 4id products for review.  Our opinions were not compensated and are our own*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Wellness: BluePrint Booch

Anyone who knows us knows we are KRAZY for Kombucha.  We jump to pick up a bottle of that fizzy stuff.

So of course we said “Booch Yeah” to trying BluePrint‘s new kombucha fermented teas blended with their cold fresh pressed juices.

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For those not in the bubbly know, kombucha is drink made with fermented tea and sugar that houses a colony of “good for ya” bacteria (more tummy tamers).  Some of it’s possible benefits include:

  • Detoxing
  • Weight loss
  • Immunity
  • Improved Digestion

Kate and Monica recommend kombucha for people with colds, hangovers or long weekends of too many french fries.

We’ve cleansed with BluePrint® cold pressed juices as well as different kombucha brands so how does BluePrint®’s kombucha fizz up to the rest?

BluePrint® Kombucha drink line consists of six varieties:

  • Kale-a-lu-ya
  • Jack Rabbit
  • Heart of Gold
  • Miss Tang
  • Raise the Roots
  • Sweet Heat

Serving Size: 14 Ounces

Flavor: We sampled two flavors:

  • Sweet Heat is an effervescent blend of apple, ginger, lemon and a pinch of cayenne.  The spice kicks your metabolism into gear while the ginger and lemon makes you feel refreshed.
  • Raise the Roots bubbles your energy up with beets, carrot and our beloved ginger.

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Calories: Between 70-90 calories per bottle

Sugar: 19-20 grams (homemade kombucha has about 10 grams of sugar for this serving size)

Fizzy rating: 10! We think it’s the fizzish.

Ready to sip and sparkle on ya own?  BluePrint® certified USDA organic Kombucha Drinks bubble at Whole Foods Market and local retailers in the New York Tri-State area, as well as in Midwest-area stores.

 

Win a Lifeway Kefir Prize Pack and Tame Tummy Troubles!

If there’s one thing politicians on both sides of the aisle should be able to agree with, it’s the stance of being pro-biotics.  HA!  Haven’t heard of probiotics as a hot button issue?  Well, perhaps that’s because they are a … Continue reading

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