Archive for July, 2013

Unhealthy Foods That Sabotage Your Workout

Monday, July 29th, 2013

A common mistake people make is they assume, because they’ve had a good workout, they can eat whatever they’d like. This is simply not the case. It is important to maintain a healthy diet alongside a good exercise routine. Today we are going to talk about a few foods you should avoid eating altogether if possible. These foods are best left on your grocery store shelves, not the shelves of your families pantry.

1. Full Fat Dairy Products. This one is kind of a no-brainer. Dairy products can be extremely high in fat. Reduced fat products contain most all of the same nutrients without all of the added fat. These are the products to buy instead. Also try a dairy alternative like soy or almond milk (just to be sure to watch the sugar content).

2. Creamy Soups. The thing is, soups can be a great meal, it they are made right. Soups can be a great way to make fresh vegetables taste good. Watch out for high sodium content! Cream based soups harbor tons of fat filled ingredients and can destroy the best intentions of a dieter. When given a choice, always choose something broth based.

3. Cookies, Crackers, Chips and Cakes. This ones easy, don’t buy em, don’t eat em. It’s as simple as that. More likely that not, these items contain very little nutritional value, and will only add unnecessary calories to your diet.

4. Soft drinks. Stick to more natural beverages like milk, coconut water or try making your own flavor concoction from fresh fruit or vegetables around your house. Avoid the diet soft drinks as well. The best drink for your body is water (that’s what a large portion of your body is actually made up of).

5. Frozen Foods. The undeniable convenience of frozen food is hard to deny, but the nutritional benefits sure aren’t there. Frozen foods are usually packed with unneeded sodium and preservatives. If possible try making your own meals and freezing them for later consumption. This is an easy way to control the nutritional content of your food.

The list could go on and on, but we figured we could pick on 5 easy ones. Don’t forget, a good diet is only as good as a good exercise routine and vice versa. A balanced approached will be the one that succeeds the most. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself, make good choices and find what works best for you!

CrossFit Vs. Personal Training?

Monday, July 15th, 2013

According to, CrossFit is a fitness program that involves constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity. This fitness program is usually completed with or against other people. It is a belief that a regimen of constantly varied functional movements, performed at high intensity, in a communal environment leads to health and fitness. Here is some more information on CrossFit:
• Most CrossFit programs are set up in circuits, meaning there are different stations (with different activities) and each station is timed.
• There are not a set number of repetitions one must complete; it is completely up to the participant to decide how many repetitions they want to complete.
• The exercises that are completed in CrossFit often vary.
• There is usually a combination of exercises that involve strength, power and endurance.

CrossFit can be effective in helping people maintain a healthy standard of living, but it is mainly geared for people who are already fit. In other words, first time exercisers, people with injuries, and people who are severely over weight or “out of shape” might have a difficult time completing a CrossFit work out. CrossFit can be very tiring and stressful on a person’s body, if that person is not used to a lot of activity. Most CrossFit exercises may cause more pain and discomfort to a person with a previous injury. CrossFit is a fitness trend that was started in the early 2000’s and has exploded in popularity. Be cautious of CrossFit as it is not for everyone, especially those susceptible to injury. Some CrossFit users also complain about the cult like and jock like mentality found at some gyms.

On the other side of things, personal training is often more beneficial for general fitness because it is more personal; meaning that a trainer actually develops individualized plans depending on their clients’ goals, abilities, and limits.  Here is some more information on Personal Training:

• Personal trainers will often assess how fit a person is and will eventually develop workout plans to help the client maintain a healthy standard of living or to achieve their goals.
• A personal trainer serves people of all fitness levels; from first time exercisers to professional/elite athletes. Personal trainers create and develop workouts or workout plans to help their client(s) achieve their fitness goals or to maintain general fitness.
• Every program, along with the exercises, varies from trainer to trainer as well as client to client. A good personal trainer will not only challenge their clients to stay in shape; by using a variety of exercises, but the trainer will also be a positive source of motivation

Personal training might not have the trendiness that CrossFit does, but it’s a tried and true formula for exercise. In the end, getting exercise is important, but it’s up to the person as to which method is going to be most successful for them. For more questions about personal training at Chicago Family Fit, visit us at the gym (634 Busse Hwy, Park Ridge, IL 60068) or visit us on the web at

Try Healthy Ethnic Foods to Spice Up Your Diet

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Often times “eating healthy” seems to limit dietary choices. Most times when we are on a “Diet” we eat the same foods, at the same times, every day/week. This also carries over to grocery shopping and the entire experience becomes very boring. Eventually this can lead to failure and you start slipping back to buying and eating tempting junk foods for something different.
Recently I have started doing things a little different. Twice per month I started shopping at the local Polish Deli to see what they had to offer. Walking in the store is a much different experience altogether, the store is smaller, less crowded, and actually much cheaper than the local big box stores. Many of the items are made fresh and definitely taste that way. While trying to find some different options, I have discovered 3 side dishes that are healthy and taste really good. They are:
• Beet and Onion Salad-Shredded beets and onions
• White Cabbage Salad-Made with vinegar base, low calories and very flavorful
• Fresh Sauerkraut-Tastes different than canned varieties.
• Borsch- A Soup where the base is made from Beets
In addition to the Polish Deli, I have also incorporated Mediterranean foods like Tabouli Salad, Hummus, and kabobs into my diet. In addition to trying new foods, I have enjoyed the experience of trying foods from other cultures, while also staying on track with eating healthy. This also provides a great experience for those with kids to help familiarize them with different cultures and ingredients. Who knows, you may find some new foods to start putting in the rotation!
If you have any further questions or would like more information, come see us at Chicago Family Fit. You can visit us on the web at or find us on Facebook at

Are you hydrated?

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Today we’re going to revisit an old topic. We’re in the full swing of summer, and that means it’s getting hot outside. One thing we all need to remember is to stay hydrated.  Dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion, cramps, and decreased performance.  Even if you don’t feel thirsty, keep fluids handy.   Water and sports beverages tend to work best, but it only works if you drink it constantly. Not only do you need to replace the fluids you loose during a workout, but you need to build up a reserve in your body.

Also, be cautious of certain drinks as they may have hidden ingredients that can dehydrate you further. Some good sources of hydration are: Water and Sports Drinks (If you will be active over an hour). Some poor sources of hydration include: Pop or Soda, Coffee, Tea (caffeinated), Beer or other alcoholic beverages.


Here’s a helpful graphic that shows level of hydration in your urine. A sample of your urine is a great indicator of how hydrated you are. If you are not going to the bathroom, that is a sign that something is seriously wrong. Regardless, check out the chart below and see where you fall today.



If you have any further questions or would like more information, come see us at Chicago Family Fit. You can visit us on the web at or find us on facebook at