Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chicago's Most Fit & Fabulous Foodies

From left: Liz Grossman, Chris LaMorte, Kelli Zink, Steve Dolinsky and Heather Sperling.

Eating out can be hazardous to your health—when you're a professional food & drink writer. I've seen my weight go up and down 10 pounds to 15 pounds to 20 pounds for the last several years because of the rich foods and beverages I must consume in order to do my job effectively.

I've always, however, taken fitness very serious and maintained a regular workout regime. I've always indulged in the very power-driven Forrest yoga and as well as cycling in the city, but only recently did I take up Flywheel in River North.

The intense, indoor cycling experience takes the usual spinning class to the next level, offering high-tech bikes, stadium seating, light weight training, and extreme climbs and descents. Classes average 45 to 60 minutes, and immediately after you're rewarded with a complimentary piece of fresh fruit, which certainly holds off your appetite for a couple of hours.

The hard work has paid off (Forrest yoga+cycling+Flywheel) and I now approach food and drinks more responsibly when I dine out. My routine satisfies my lifestyle and work schedule, but everyone's different.

Here's what some of my colleagues do in order to stay in phenomenal shape . . .


Steve Dolinsky: Food Reporter, a.k.a. "The Hungry Hound" on ABC-7 News and

His Regular Workout Routine: Every Monday I see Kristin Hubbard at In Core Fitness for one hour. I also hit CorePower Yoga in Bucktown at least once or twice a week at 6am for the sculpt class (warm room, with weights).

His Favorite Spot To Eat & Drink When He Wants To Eat Healthy: If I want to eat healthy, I'll hit Lula Café or MANA Food Bar.


Liz Grossman: Managing Editor of Plate magazine, freelance writer and blogger at

Her Regular Workout Routine: I love taking the group classes at Equinox. The instructors are fantastic, and are very good at varying things up, and keeping their classes challenging, but fun. I usually take four to six classes a week, which can include a mix of strength training, dance, boxing, Pilates or interval training. When I'm not at the gym, I'm usually jogging around my neighborhood, or taking a drop-in class at Nature Yoga Sanctuary or Shred if I am feeling really motivated. I think the secret of my fitness success is to constantly mix up my workouts, and stick to the activities that I really love. It also helps to hit up classes with friends—if it's a social event, I'm more motivated to go.

Her Favorite Spot To Eat & Drink When She Wants To Eat Healthy: I love MANA Food Bar on Division. I love me some meat, but don't miss it at all when I dine here. The small and large portions let you order and try lots of dishes. Favorites include the Mana sliders, elotes, vegetable salads and the bulgogi. I also think it's one of the coziest, best-lit dining rooms in the city. I also love Peeled juice bar, specifically the Green Day Live or Rapper's Delight. Parking is an adventure over there to say the least (I pray a 15-minute loading zone will someday appear), and there can be a wait if it's crowded, but I probably crave a Peeled smoothie once a day. Of course, I finish them in 2.2 seconds, but they're worth it.


Chris LaMorte: Editor, UrbanDaddy Chicago

His Regular Workout Routine: My goal is to work out daily. But life, deadlines and inertia mean that amounts to be about three to four times a week, if I'm lucky. I alternate between straightforward cardio workouts and free weights, but my real secret is an iPod app called iFitness, which provides routines and step-by-step videos. Because I really never know what part of the city I'll be from day to day, I like being a member at Fitness Formula Club where they have lots of locations. My favorite is the one in the Gold Coast because there's a secret rooftop deck with great views. But the new West Loop location with the poolside cocktails is the closest thing Chicago has to Miami right now.

His Favorite Spot To Eat & Drink When He Wants To Eat Healthy: I lost nearly 20 pounds this year. The salad bar at Whole Foods at lunch is a major reason why. It's really the best in town. But I only go for their raw options. Nothing cooked. They have one option called a "Detox Salad." It's a mix of finely chopped broccoli, cauliflower, kale, raisins and sunflower seeds. I feel like, if I get a scoop of that in my bowl, I'm covering all my bases.


Heather Sperling: Chicago Editor of

Her Regular Workout Routine: Yoga, plus a heavy reliance on a strong metabolism! I frequent Yogaview on Elston; Claire Mark is my favorite teacher, but I've never taken a bad class there. I'm currently obsessed with the Monday night classes; they're a great way to start the week with some focus, breathing and sweat. I go for level 2 classes, even though I'm more of a 1.5 ... but that way you work harder (and sweat—and laugh at yourself—more). I mix in the occasional CorePower class, too, which is heated for added aerobic intensity. And in general I walk as much, and as fast, as possible!

Her Favorite Spot To Eat & Drink When She Wants To Eat Healthy: MANA's collard maki is incredibly satisfying. I'd happily eat it once a week. I love sharing a whole fish—like the whole-roasted fish with peanut gremolata and a side of rapini with garlic and lemon at Balena. Ideally there would be a nice Italian white (wine) on the table, perhaps something Sicilian, but if going healthy, skip the vino, and definitely finish with pu-erh tea for dessert (which aids in digestion).


Kelli Zink: Host of CelebTV and FOX Chicago's "Good Day Chicago" contributor

Her Regular Workout Routine: CorePower Hot Yoga and Flywheel. I've sworn by hot yoga every since I watched two of my girlfriends drop serious weight without trying via only hot yoga. In fact, I've loosened up on my diet and it still works! When I want a fun and fast cardio burn, I hit up a Flywheel (class).

Her Favorite Spot To Eat & Drink When She Wants To Eat Healthy: Anywhere that serves an ice cold dirty martini; olives are very Mediterranean diet friendly (kidding)! I love 25 Degrees' veggie burger and the crab cake at Hugo's Frog Bar. I tend to veer towards simple, whole foods.

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