Street Art in Chicago

I have been wanting to do this for a while, but a few days ago one of my best friends and I went on a bike exploration of the city of Chicago to find as much street art as we could. A few months ago, I went to get a sports massage in West Town (on the west side of Chicago, clearly..) and I came across a few different murals. West Town isn’t an area I visited too frequently, but I was blown away when I drove just a few blocks and saw mural after mural. If you live in any urban area, there is bound to be street art somewhere. Now, I have never known a ton about art, but I am always mystified but the abilities artists have. Trust me, I wish I could draw/sing/paint/literally do anything creative in that capacity. The people who made these are true artists. Anyway, my friend Dani was in town visiting from China, and we decided to take our bikes and ride around town to find all of the street art. If you live in an urban area (or maybe even not urban?) I highly recommend searching online to find a guide to street art. I guarantee there are TONS more places in our city – we were only going down three or four streets in one neighborhood and ran across tons of murals.   We searched “Chicago Street Art” to find some inspiration of where to go, and stumbled across this link: A Guide to 51 Neighborhood Murals You Must See Right Now We used this as a guide to start our exploration, but I bet we could go even further beyond what we did.   If you live in Chicago and haven’t visited the 606 yet… you must take a walk/run/bike ride. It’s a newly done path over on the west side, extending from Bucktown all the way to Humboldt Park. It’s gorgeous, really peaceful.. and honestly pretty great. Definitely comparable to the Lakeshore Path (although probably like 1/4 the distance haha). See below for a map of the 606 in Chicago if you are ever visiting.   Anyway, we took the 606 trail over to Wicker/Logan area and got off, visited a few murals on Western Avenue.     Continued riding down Western over to Division, toward Humboldt Park. I think almost every single side street had one or more murals on the side of their buildings. Absolutely incredible artwork, and a lot honoring Puerto Rican heritage (from my understanding).           Like I said, if you are an urbanite in really any capacity, definitely find some street art in your city. It’s absolutely incredible, and seems to tell some pretty amazing stories. Our goal was to find as many murals as we could..before it started raining. We had big plans to go to the…

Marriott Mag Mile – Just Magnificent

Magnificent: Impressively beautiful, elaborate, or extravagant; striking When I think of the word magnificent, I think of something that is truly awe inspiring and different. People who come to visit Chicago almost always make a trip to the Mag Mile – filled with shops, restaurants, hotels, and just about everything wonderful you could imagine. As a Chicagoan, I don’t think I always appreciate it for what it is – truly awe inspiring and striking. Two weeks ago I was invited to spend the night at the Marriott Mag Mile. The stay included dinner at their on site restaurant, Harvest, an opportunity to tour and utilize their state of the art fitness center and fitness lab, and an overnight stay in one of their remodeled guest rooms. I haven’t been able to make it out of town in quite a while, so this overnight stay at an incredible hotel right in the heart of Chicago was an incredible opportunity and exciting event. I was teaching bootcamp at Kick@55 so I was a bit late to dinner, but I was able to make it just as dinner at Harvest was starting. We were treated to a ‘Fit Fam’ menu – items made on site using local and fresh ingredients. Dinner included two salads, three main courses, and two desserts – all focused on utilizing the best ingredients, put together in a delicious and healthy way. First, we were able to try the two salads – a spinach salad made with rhubarb, goat cheese, walnuts, and a honey vinaigrette, as well as a farro salad with orange, riddichio, and feta. Main courses included halibut with roasted asparagus, stuffed chicken with roasted vegetables, and strip steak. All were INCREDIBLE. I still cannot get over just how delicious and fresh all of this food was. This is a restaurant I would frequent often, not just during my stay at a hotel. All of the main courses put together by the chef were outstanding – I truly want to go back as soon as possible for dinner. We were treated to two desserts – one a coconut cream ice cream and another, a greek yogurt tart topped with berries. I loved how focused all of these dishes were on utilizing foods that are known to be nutrient dense and provide guests with a chance to feel that they are eating delicious and nutritious foods. I know sometimes when traveling it can be easy to have to find quick food and it doesn’t always make us feel that we are eating the healthiest we could be. I was so impressed by the quality of food and the restaurant overall. Please take the time to check it out! Now – let’s talk fitness. Most hotel gyms are small, have a few pieces of cardio equipment, a set of dumbbells, and if we’re lucky, towels are provided. The Marriott Mag Mile spent some time renovating and…

Eat

DELICIOUS & EASY

Hi friends!! I have so many life updates. Life has been crazy busy over the last few months – all in a good way. Trying lots of new things, doing lots of new things, and keeping really busy. I’ll try to update you all soon, but for now, I’m mostly concerned with getting more content up on this blog!! Keep checking back for updates, fitness ideas, recipes, and more. I’ll keep this post short and sweet. I’ve been on the lookout for lots of new recipes and have been trying to get inspiration in different places. As much as I love to eat fresh produce and meats and cook everything from scratch, sometimes it’s just not possible. In order to help save on some cash and to save food overall, I’ve been looking to the frozen section lately for fruits, vegetables, and meats. In general, all of this tends to be quite a bit cheaper, and ultimately it lasts longer. While fresh is probably always preferred, it’s just not always feasible. We are busy students, professionals, athletes, friends, family members, and more. We wear so many different hats that sometimes in order to keep ourselves sane, we just need a quick and easy frozen meal to pop in the microwave.   One of my colleagues inspired me to try out the Barbecue Chicken Teriyaki from Trader Joes! It’s located in their frozen aisle and comes with three servings. They have pretty fabulous macros for one serving (150 g = 1.5 F/18P/11C) and let me tell you – this is absolutely fantastic. So delicious, and for it being an item from their frozen section, it really did not disappoint.  The chicken I believe is meat from the chicken thigh, so it’s a bit more fatty tasting, but without the high fat content. The teriyaki sauce is literally the perfect flavor and mixed with rice or cauliflower rice just brings it all to a new level. I also have to admit – Trader Joe’s in general has some pretty HIGH QUALITY amazing food and so much of it is macro friendly (or just healthy in general!) I encourage you to check out their frozen section for lots of fun recipe ideas. I looked the chicken in a skillet and broke it up into three servings. I cooked 200g (about 2 cups) of cauliflower rice in the microwave. Usually, I prefer fresh cauliflower rice, but I actually almost think that the frozen stuff is easier to work with. Added in another 100g (about 1 cup) of Trader Joe’s frozen broccoli florets. A bag comes with 3-5 servings – enough for a week and probably half of the price of fresh bagged broccoli florets.   Mixed the cauliflower rice, chicken, and broccoli and wa-la! Dinner is served. The sauce on the BBQ Chicken does an amazing job of…