Fit Travels #1: Chicago
Everyone says that is hard to stay in shape or active while traveling. I agreed with that statement for a long time, but I decided to proof myself wrong. I decided that every time I left home (Boston), I would achieve 3 things, stay active, eat healthy and don’t spend my whole bank account. Hard? YES, but possible.
Chicago was my third attempt to accomplish my goal. We have tried at least twice when we are visiting family in NJ/NYC. But this one had to be the winner.
#FitTravel series, will show you tips in how to stay active while traveling. I will show you the places I’ve been with a fitness and health perspective. Does that mean I ate super healthy 100% of the time? No, but I will show you healthy options, in case you want to try them!
So, What to do while in Chicago and stay active at the same time?
1. Walk everywhere! Find a hotel/airbnb/Couchsurfer that is on an area that is close to the main attractions. We stayed at a couchsurfer apartment (goal #3: don’t spend my bank account!) that was within a 20-30 mins walk from almost everything. So, instead of taking the train we walked everywhere. We got up earlier and took the time to plan our day. We got to feel the city vibe, the rush hour and got familiar faster with the city. After a couple days we felt like locals. The only time we took the train was to go to a white sox game.
2. Bike! Rent a bike and get around the city that way. We rent one with Bike Chicago it was next to Millennium Park (convenient!) but you can find cheaper options too. We did a total of 27Km around the city in one morning. It was a great way to go all the way up Wrigley Field and back and enjoy the lake front trail.
3. Take fitness classes and/or idolize your gym/hotel room! I had the chance to partner up with the barre code and sweat Chicago. They were nice enough to let me try their classes. The Barre code offers more than a simple barre class, they have cardio and strength classes. All pretty good! Even though barre isn’t really my think, my instructor, Alex, was very helpful and motivating. Sweat Chicago, is a boot camp class that will kick your booty! Is a boutique studio, so every single person will notice you are new; they will help you and make sure you sweat your brains out! Take Erin’s class, she is da bomb! If you don’t have time to take a class, create a quick core or hiit workout you can do at your hotel room and/or their gym! No excuses here!
Where to eat when everything is deep-dish pizza and donuts?
I know this can be hard. Chicago has a huge foodie community. Every corner has pizza and donuts, plus amazing tasty restaurants. However, we found pretty good places that were actually consider fast food! They were plant based, pretty damn tasty and affordable.
1. Chicago Raw. This place is a MUST. I am serious about it. It is so good, and you wouldn’t believe it but everything they offer is raw. Yep. No cooking involved. You will be eating whole food ingredients that taste so good! My favorite was the Maca Pichu smoothie and the signature sampler platter.
2. Wow Bao: Healthy Asian food made fast. Hum yes! Forget about those greasy Chinese places (even though they are yummy!), wow bao offers noodles, buns, dumplings and more. I got actually excited because quinoa was on their menu! It has some not super healthy options, but for the most part you can get plant-based dishes that taste pretty good.
3. Native foods café: another place considered fast food. However didn’t felt like that. You order your food and instead of waiting for it, you can go ahead and sit down and someone will bring it for you. Their whole menu is plant-based, however, some things were fried. Not 100% healthy, but better than other places. My favorite dish was their Native “chicken”, “bacon” and avo club. Really yummy!
4. Whole foods: of course, this super market is our staple place. We were lucky to be able to cook at the apartment. So, the very first day we got a big load of veggies, wraps, fruit and oats for breaky. If you don’t access to a kitchen, you can still get fruit and some veggies and make a wrap.
Of course we had not the best meals here and there, but honestly it didn’t really bothered us or we felt bad about it, because our 80% of other choices were healthy.
I am looking forward be in the hunt for more healthy places and fit tips on my next trip!
What would you like to see? Let me know!
Until the next one!