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…

Eat

Taking on Whole30

Most of November and December was spent (like everyone else) eating, drinking, and being merry. This meant lots of drinks, tons of parties, and ALL OF THE FOOD in the world (and let me tell you – it was all delicious). I had so many great things take place over the last few months, including time with my family and friends. I will definitely say that I enjoyed every single cookie I put into my mouth, every single glass of wine I drank, and every meal I had. Come January, I definitely felt perhaps a little off my game. I wasn’t 100% on point all the time with tracking my macros, and I found myself being hungrier and hungrier with the macros I follow. I LOVE my ice cream (Halo Top WHAT’S UP), and I LOVE Walden Farms, but I also know that there is plenty out there that I can eat and put together that is fresh, nutritious, and from the earth. I realized that I wanted to challenge myself to eat more wholesome, nutritious foods, and less of the ice cream, pancakes, and protein bars I have been eating. Don’t get me wrong – there is absolutely nothing wrong with eating those things. We all deserve to have treats and enjoy the food we eat. However, I got to the point where I realized I needed and WANTED to spend more of calories/macronutrients on wholesome, nutritious, delicious foods. I think my body literally was starting to crave them. I made a pact with myself as a New Year’s intention that I would spend more of my time coming up with creative recipes using fruits, vegetables, and meat. Little did I know this is basically what Whole30 is. I definitely had heard about it before – one of my best friends has done it numerous times and has given me tons of advice already. I bought the book ‘It Starts With Food’ and I bought the book ‘Whole30’. I’ve been working my way through them, and needless to say, they are REALLY interesting. I’ve always been fascinated by food and how it nourishes the body and fuels us, but in the books, Melissa Hartwig provides plenty of rationale as to why grains and dairy aren’t necessarily the best products for us. Does that mean we should cut them out forever? Not necessarily. However, I can absolutely see the points she made with both food groups and why they might not be the most nutritious/best foods for us. I decided I’m going to challenge myself to do Whole30 – at least for a while. I’m going to try my best, but I also understand that life is life and I’m not going to deprive myself if I want to go get a glass of wine with a friend or something during these next 30…