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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!!
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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!