Tag Archives: chicago

9 Places You Can Workout Next to a Celebrity in LA, New York, and Chicago

OMG! It’s really them! That moment you realize you’ve identified a celebrity in the wild, out amongst mere mortals, living “just like us,” can be rather thrilling. For those who live in LA or NYC, it’s all too common to dine next to the hottest faces and grocery shop elbow to elbow with leading ladies, but for people in the other 48 states, running in to a celebrity on vacation is one of the souvenirs you hope to collect.

If you’re planning an active vacation this summer, hit these workout hot spots and you’re likely to sweat right alongside an OMG-moment-worthy celeb.

Picture or it didn’t happen, your friends will say after your excited tweet. But should you even let them know you know it’s them?

“When I see celebs in the gym, I think it’s poor personal etiquette to approach them during their workout,” advised Dan Flores, RTSm, a master personal trainer based in New York City. “I value my personal gym time and would hate to be interrupted. I would approach them after they were finished and on their way out of the gym.”

— New York City

heidi klum russell simmons

Central Park is no stranger to the rich and famous; in fact, it’s practically their cardio playground. Free to enter, take your morning run to one of the most famous landmarks in the world and you’re sure to spot a name or two worth bragging about. Heidi Klum, Russell Simmons, and Gwyneth Paltrow are on the extremely short list of A-listers you’ll run or down-dog along with!

The Mark Hotel has a state-of-the-art fitness facility that rivals any gym getting your membership fees. Book your stay here, and your workout may coincide with that of Oprah, Sarah Silverman, Larry David, David Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, and even dignitaries like the President of France! (more…)

Sprint to Orangetheory Fitness for a Seriously Sweaty and Worthwhile Workout

When I first heard the name “Orangetheory Fitness,” my mind immediately conjured up images of some kind of old school punk band playing a set in someone’s basement. Boy was I wrong! As it turns out, it’s a rapidly expanding fitness sensation (locations in more than 15 states and 2 Canadian territories) that is taking the continent by storm!

I ventured over to the Naperville, IL location (as I am now a Chicagoland resident) to try out a class to see what it was all about. When I entered I was greeted by a very friendly staff who explained the workings of what was to transpire in class. I was given my own heart rate monitor to wear for the workout to see how hard I’d actually be working.

orange theory fitness
The workout starts with interval training (which I am a HUGE fan of). The first part consisted of Indo Row machines (rowers with water in them for a real rowing effect) and then switching to the box area where we did various strength training moves. This persisted for about a half hour. At first, I was like “Easy Peasy!,” but by the third time around, I was sweating profusely and was feeling the burn!

The second half of the class had us on the treadmills. We did various lengths of intervals, running and jogging, mixed with recovery walks in between. I felt as though I could run a lot harder and faster because we were doing shorter sprints, rather than long drawn out runs. By the end of the second half, I had clocked more than two miles in sprints! (more…)

Name a Pretty Muddy Obstacle and Win 2 Entries to a Pretty Muddy Race

Have we got a pretty good deal for you!

The newest 5K to join the fun run scene is Pretty Muddy, a women-only race that kicks off a six-city tour in Chicago on September 15.

With many hurdles dotting the landscape of this three-mile obstacle course, each takes on a different personality and offers a new challenge to the women up to their ears in mud. And DietsInReview.com readers get an exclusive opportunity to name one of these obstacles!

The Pretty Muddy Obstacle Naming contest goes like this:

1. Visit and like our Facebook page at Facebook.com/DietsInReview

2. Post on our wall your idea for an obstacle name

3. Visit and like Pretty Muddy’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/PrettyMuddy to keep up with the latest race news

It’s seriously that simple! On August 24, we’ll announce on our Facebook page who had the winning entry. For the entire 2024 season, every woman who runs Pretty Muddy will go through an obstacle that YOU named! (more…)

Get Down and Dirty at Pretty Muddy, a Women-Only Obstacle Mud Run

Want to run Pretty Muddy for FREE? Then check out our exclusive contest at Facebook.com/DietsInReview. Enter a name for one of the Pretty Muddy obstacles and you and a friend could be getting pretty muddy at the race of your choice! Click for full details.

Fun and unique races are popping up everywhere it seems. Ways to get covered in color, glow-in-the-dark, or find your inner warrior have all been pretty popular additions to the running scene this year. Just when you think they’ve thought of it all, a new race with appeal unlike any other shows up. Pretty Muddy is a new race just for the ladies… no boys allowed!

Pretty Muddy is a 5k adventure obstacle course race. As you can probably gather, it’s also pretty muddy. The whole concept is focused on women being able spend free time out of their daily grind in an unforgettable way. The race was created by two men who watched their wives balance so much between work, family, and responsibilities and realized they needed more outlets for carefree time in their lives. And thus, Pretty Muddy was born. I can tell I already like these guys.

An occasional solo shopping trip or even wine night out with the girls isn’t always a true release, nor is it very active. But an obstacle course in the mud? Umm yes please! I can’t think of a better way to blow off steam with my friends while painting a constant smile on my face. (more…)

Sarah Wu’s “Fed Up With Lunch” Outs the Nutritionally-Void School Lunch Program [Video Interview]

How many times have any of us ever forgotten our lunch? It’s a pretty mundane event, we either skip or find a plan B and move on with our day. For Sarah Wu, it was not a common occurrence to leave her lunch at home. Making lunches for she and her toddler son was a part of her routine. However, one fateful day she did forget her lunch and what happened after that changed her life.

Sarah is a speech pathologist for Chicago Public Schools, and in 2024 she was working in one of the largest and poorest schools in the city (she remains there today). She forgot her lunch, but felt a little relief because for three dollars she could walk to the cafeteria and pick up that day’s hot plate. She admits to having ” a minimal understanding of food and scratch cooking” but upon receiving her school lunch that fateful day, she said “I knew there was something wrong with that meal.”

It was a bagel dog, a hot dog encased in a starchy white bagel crust, that was pretty soggy. This was served with a handful of tater tots (which qualifies as a vegetable serving), a Jell-O cup (a qualified fruit serving), and a chocolate milk. Almost immediately Sarah became “Fed Up With Lunch,” the title of her blog-turned-book in which she “outs” the goings on of the school cafeteria and how our children are being fed nothing more than processed, chemical junk.

“I didn’t think there was much I could do,” Wu told us, who took on the pen name “Mrs. Q” to protect her fragile anonymity. She agonized for weeks over what she was seeing at school before she finally started her Fed Up With Lunch blog, where she committed to eating lunch in the school cafeteria every day for an entire school year. She photographed the meals each day, all of which are shared in a photo insert in the book, and wrote about what she was served, what she was learning about the school food industry, and even the effects she was seeing on her students as a result of these meals. (more…)

Kim Fine’s True Weight Loss Story: “I Rewrote My Life Story.”

You could say that Kim Fine resembles a typical up-and-coming 20-something: she lives in the big city (of Chicago), works in advertising and has a lot of friends. But one thing that was different about Kim than her peers was that she wasn’t living like them. She avoided social functions and a lot of the benefits of living in a city like Chicago, in an industry like advertising. Why? Because in January 2024 Kim was at, what she calls, an all-time high and low.

Kim weighed 321.6 pounds on January 20, 2024. The all-time high was her weight, the all-time low was feeling trapped within herself and depressed. She says she wasn’t living the life a 24-year-old should. “I distinctly remember thinking to myself for years I was absolutely meant to be fat because my body must not know how to be thin,” Kim told us. “It was all I had really ever known.”

That day in January would be the last of that life and the first of this new life. “I rewrote my life story,” says Kim, but she didn’t do it overnight. Today, Kim is 25 and weighs 168 pounds, a dramatic 154-pound loss that she says is still in progress and that has completely changed this woman’s outlook and approach to life.

Want to know how she did it? Impressively, the old-fashioned way with hard work, more exercise, healthy dietary changes, and a commitment to herself. “I am not superwoman or more inclined to success than anyone else in this world,” Kim says humbly.

Hear Kim discuss Jillian Michaels’ Master Your Metabolism, which she credits with giving her the education she needed to get her food and fitness in control.

Listen Here:


Best Places to Run in Chicago

chicago lakefront walkChicago, Chicago, Chicago!! This great city offers tourists and locals so many different things to do. From inner city adventures to hitting the beaches of Lake Michigan, the Windy City has a rich history and lifestyle offerings. Chicago also offers several amazing safe places to run; the best of which are listed here!

Best Places to Run in Chicago

  1. Lakefront Walk: Located on the shore of Lake Michigan and extending over 18 miles of beautiful lake shore views. Simply amazing!! (more…)

My Kind of Town!

Daily, I am confronted with the challenge of how to maintain my newfound health in a city that is known for its amazing eats. There are so many temptations that it is hard to leave my apartment without worrying that I might be drawn to visit some of my Pre-Biggest Loser hangouts. Restaurants where I regularly visited and tended to over-indulge in foods that helped me land a spot on America’s favorite weight loss show. Recently I’ve caught myself not only avoiding my favorite restaurants, but more sadly, the entire city block on which they are located (which by the way makes for an awkward morning run!).

The realization that I’m starting to develop somewhat of a restaurant phobia concerns me, and leads me to ask the question “What am I so afraid of?” Do I not trust myself enough to know that I am completely capable of walking passed these incredible establishments without being mysteriously sucked in and devouring everything in site?

I am quickly realizing that there is more to this recent restaurant phobia than meets the eye; it’s not fear that’s been keeping me away its guilt. For far too long I have had a guilt-ridden relationship with food, I ate it then felt guilty afterwards. Its almost as if I felt the need to repent after enjoying a meal at my favorite restaurant. I would go home feeling as though I had done something wrong, and usually comfort myself by seeking that in which I found comfort- “FOOD.” It was truly a vicious cycle!

Well, I think its time that I take a stand and declare enough is enough. I refuse to continue this guilt-ridden relationship with food. If I feel the desire to go into one of my old culinary haunts I’m going to do it! If I feel that I have a taste for something that I haven’t eaten in a while, I’m going to eat it! Now don’t misunderstand what I’m writing, I have no intentions of entering these establishments and over doing it, rather I plan on taking the knowledge I gained while at the Biggest Loser and applying it to my visit. Simple tips such as not ordering appetizers, staying away from the complimentary chips and salsa, and asking the server to pack up half of my order to go before it even reaches my table are all ways that I can enjoy a meal without feeling guilty. Most importantly I plan on communicating with my server how I want things prepared in an effort to seek out the healthier version of foods I once enjoyed.

My plan moving forward is to truly make Chicago “My Kind of Town” by eliminating the guilt I once associated with its food and replacing it with the peace of mind that I now posses the knowledge to enjoy the great food Chicago has to offer instead of fearing it.

Chicago is staying fit this weekend

If you’re in a Chicago this weekend, it’s a good time to pull out your running shoes and gym clothes.

Tomorrow is Chicago’s fifth annual Chicago Moves Day. The event is sponsored by the Mayor’s Fitness Council, and dedicates an afternoon to encouraging Chicagoans to live a healthy lifestyle.Chicago Moves Day

At the event you’ll find area fitness trainers, fitness classes for all ages, health screenings and more, or start the day with a 5k Run. The two-hour event is broken into 10 minute exercise segments, with classes like Firefighters workout with the Chicago Fire Department, Arthritis Exercise Class from the Arthritis Foundation and a Kids Cardio Kickbox.

Then, Saturday you can attend the final Self Magazine Workout in the Park. The event is similar to the one that took place in Central Park last week, just without the special appearance by Jillian (see our coverage). The cost is $25 at Lincoln Park, Grove 8, from 11am-3pm.

self magazine in the park

Whether you’re in Chicago or not, the 30 minutes of activity, 5 days a week that the Mayor’s Fitness Council recommends is an ideal way to incorporate more physical activity into your daily life. Ride a bike, take the stairs, walk the dog or swim laps- it all counts!

Paczkis anyone?

It’s hard to believe that Ash Wednesday is just a mere few days away. (Wasn’t Christmas just last week?) This obviously makes the day before Ash Wednesday no other than Fat Tuesday when these traditionally Polish fried balls of flour, sugar and an assortment of fillings are eaten by the dozen. Certain cities across the U.S. like Chicago, Detroit, Hamtramck, Milwaukee and South Bend, devour these carb-laden delicacies on the Tuesday before Lent- but did you know that paczkis are supposed to be consumed on Fat Thursday, which is the last Thursday before Lent?

Rather than listing the calorie, carb and fat content of one of these speciality doughnut-like treats, if you live in a part of the country where the lines outside your local Polish bakery are a mile-long before 4 a.m., have fun if you decide to indulge. Eating indulgently is a balancing act so if you’re feeling a bit guilty about your paczki weakness, nix dessert after dinner or forgo the 3 p.m. sugar fix. Enjoy and happy eating!