Snap to Quick & Healthy Eating

Say you just kicked butt in your HIIT workout with your friends and you all want a post exercise snack…but one of you is gluten free, one’s paleo and one’s veggie.  What’s a diverse group of gals n’ guys gonna do?  Snap your fingers and put some spring in your step because there’s a pop of healthy foods at the ‘new to Chicago’ Snap Kitchen.

20150720_200141

Snap Kitchen originated in Texas and is described as “fresh, healthy take away” food.  The company works up a sweat partnering with local farmers and food producers while practicing sustainability.  Their to-go lime green containers are BPA free, microwaveable, compostable and recyclable.  They honor a wide range of dietary needs and 99% of their meals and snacks are gluten free.

image

matboxing and snap

Another core value of Snap Kitchen is their transparency.  Containers are marked with allergen information, nutrition counts and, best of all, symbols that easily snap shot what is or is not in the dish (think dairy free, vegetarian, sodium conscious, paleo, and more).  Snap gives you a choice of 3 sizes of meals ranging for different body needs.  Calorie counts range from 200-300 calories a dish for a small and up to 500 calories for a large meal.  As they serve up breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options, it’s easy for Snap Kitchen to supply your every meal.  Customers who are interested in uncomplicated weight loss can also try their 21 day Snap Commit Program, a 3 day quick start, or a variety of juice cleanses.

20150720_201829

When we checked out the Lincoln Park Snap Kitchen, we were surprised by the open layout and organization.  The location is relatively new so the raw juices were not available yet BUT we were given breakfasts, lunches and snacks to sample. Kaitlin, the Lincoln Park GM, explained that the meals were organized by nutritional needs.  Vegetarian and vegan meals lined bottom shelves while meatier options were above.  Meals are chef inspired so you won’t find any run of the mill “diet meals” here.  Although there’s a small seating area and a microwave available in store, Snap Kitchen is mostly for on-the-go people trying to simplify their food life.  We could totally imagine dropping in after a hard training day for a quick bite or a refreshing juice.

20150720_202314

Let’s snap, crackle and review the most pop-ular dishes in our opinion!

Carnivore Choices (Kate)

20150720_202146

Home, home on the range…where the deer and the bison playyyy.  So, I never thought I would like bison.  I tried buffalo once and wasn’t a fan.  The Bison Breakfast bowl with house made apple maple bison sausage (yumm), scrambled eggs and sauteed spinach and the lunch Bison Quinoa “Hash” with organic kidney beans, red quinoa and brown rice topped with scallions and cheddar cheese were my highlights.  I tried something new and loved it!  I also appreciated that the meats are grass fed and free range, thus cutting out some worry about hormones, antibiotics and corn fed lifestyle.

bison

Veggie Visions (Monica)

20150720_213509

Snap Kitchen offers unique vegetarian options.  I sampled the spinach, scrambled egg whites, goat cheese and sweet potatoes and vegan peach oatmeal for breakfast.  What could be easier than just grabbing a container out of the fridge on the way to work?  For lunch, I munched on Caveman Quickies (granola, dried cranberry, honey and almonds with a sprinkle of cinnamon) and no guilt chia pudding.  I ended my long days at the office with a quick gluten free dinner of mixed vegetable “lasagna” or Mediterranean eggplant “lasagna”, both nutritious and light but filling to my tummy.
image

Just Desserts!

20150729_112045

Gluten free brownies and chocolate chip cookies you say?  Yes, you can have delicious unprocessed desserts with Snap. Ingredients like coconut oil, flax seed and taste like whoaaa, you really can’t go wrong when loving these desserts feels so right and light.

With 3 locations in the Chicago area and 2 more on the way, Snap Kitchen is a convenient moderately priced options for people on the go who want to make healthy choices.  Interested in winning $500 worth of this good stuff?  Enter Snap Kitchen’s Snap in the City Contest for a shot at not cooking for months!!

Advertisements

Kettlebell Fitness for your tush and thighs

Spring and pending summer raise the “risk” of going out for fruity umbrella drinks, thus raising the probability of expanding our shorts sizes.  YIKES!  Sometimes you gotta switch up your fitness routine to get over the summer drink hump.  But what do two fitanistas do when they’ve tried a gamut of fitness styles?

13895055022_c261357dc1_o

Go to an expert!  Our bestest personal trainer friend alerted us to a Kettlebell option in Chicago that we just had to try.  Chicago Kettlebell Club is the go-to place for kettlebell sport training in Chicago, and is home of Chicago’s growing kettlebell sport team.  They also offer intro classes for greenies like us.  The only Kettlebell experience we’ve had was in circuit training-like classes where we hacked our way through the traditional wood chopper exercise.

But now, we know better!  One of the best things about Chicago Kettlebell Club is the bubbly, informative and meticulous instructor, Bea Rodriguez (read her personal story about how she got hooked on kettlebell).  When entering, we were late (we need to work on that!) to the North Side space where Bea’s small group training sessions are held, Evolution, but Bea looped us right in.  There were about 4 other people in the class and the circuit was posted on a dry erase board for more experienced classmates.  Bea warmed us up and then helped us through the entire class with basic kettlebell handling, form, and facts.  This was much appreciated as we figured out we had noooo idea how to handle that sucker.

ckc shirts

Basic Kettlebell Tidbits:

What Da…is a Kettlebell anyways?

Kettlebells originated in Russia and are either cast iron or steel balls with an attached handle.  They range in weight as can be quite light or supremely heavy.  Bea uses steel competition Kettlebells in her classes.

So how much do they weigh?

We started off with a 8 kg kilogram kettlebell (good ol’ pinky the Kettlebell) which equates to approximately 17.6 lbs and bumped up to the light blue 10 kg kettlebell (approx. 22 pounds).  The largest kettlebell (an appropriately colored gold bell) at Evolution weighs 48 kg lbs.

For the math curious, 1 kg=2.2 pounds (Oh you tricky metric system!)
13918827604_a156f74a61_o
There are different schools of Kettlebell thought/technique: Girevoy Sport Style and Hardstyle

Girevoy style Kettlebell classes focus on endurance over time whereas Hardstyle does more explosive movements where you tire quickly.  Bea practices Girevoy Sport style, aka fluid style, but you may encounter Hardstyle at your local gym.

You can compete with Kettlebells.

No ways! There is an upcoming competition in Chicago in June, and there are many competitions that team members can attend throughout the year, in Chicago and other states and countries.

ckc team practice

So who should join the Chicago Kettlebell Club?

Whether you’re in Chicago or not, you can join Coach Bea‘s kettlebell sport team.  Male, female, beginner and advanced athletes are all welcome. All you need are 2 things:

1) Set aside 3 times a week to follow Coach Bea‘s weekly programming, whether at home or a gym that has competition bells (in Chicago, Evolution Fitness at 6122 N Pulaski Rd and Phenomenal Fitness at 1450 S Michigan Ave has them)

2) Set up in-person coaching (at Evolution Fitness or Phenomenal Fitness) or video technique coaching.  You may also choose to attend optional team practice sessions at Evolution on Saturdays at 12pm.

Pricing will depend on location and the training package you choose.

Email Coach Bea at chikettleclub@gmail.com with your name and phone number if interested.  More info can also be found here http://thechicagokettlebellclub.com/faqs/

ckc team

Here’s a sneak peek demo of a kick butt Kettlebell signature move, the Double Turkish Get-Up 24kg .

Umm soo..do Kettlebells make you lose weight?

As with all things, your nutritional lifestyle and exercise both factor in but yep, Kettlebells burn some major calories so they are an effective tool to get your blood pumping!

We wholeheartedly recommend this class for beginners or advanced fitness students.  Aside from being comfortable with basic swing variations and squat techniques, there was one thing we were definitely sure about…..Bea’s Kettlebell class worked us out!  Our booties and thighs were sore enough to make us think we walked up a mountain!

 

Ready to try it out?  Your first class with Bea is free!  Contact her to get started today.

 13918573165_c8f9d45f53_o

 

 

And for you competitive go-getter types, here’s a taste of what a competition looks like:

Happy swinging!